Have you recently discovered bites from bedbugs? These small, reddish-brown, oval-shaped bloodsuckers can be most commonly found in mattresses, beds, and couches. They can also be present in some unexpected places such as stuffed animals, purses, and wheelchairs.
While they’re most commonly observed in the summertime, their lust for blood can extend to winters as well. Bedbugs are pesky critters that can exist just about anywhere. They can be found in nursing homes (59%), schools (47%), hospitals (36%), and even public transportation (19%). Contrary to popular opinion, bedbugs can also occur in well-maintained areas. According to a news report, bedbugs are present even in ritzy hotels in Paris.
If your home or office is infested with bedbugs, it’s time to get rid of them. It can be difficult but not impossible. Let’s take a look at the steps you need to follow.
In This Article
1. Recognize the Infestation
The most common sign of a bedbug infestation is the presence of bug bites. These bites can be severe in some cases as they may lead to a skin reaction. And for some people, it may take up 2-3 days before the common symptoms show up.
This means that you might be unaware of festering bugs until they have become a full-blown infestation. A bedbug bite looks pretty much like a mosquito bite, except the former is uneven while the latter is rounded.
Another way to find the presence of bedbugs is to notice their molted skins that are light brown in color. You might also find dark spots, which is actually their excrement, on your mattress.
2. Prepare the Area for Treatment
The treatment area will include the room where you found the bedbugs along with the rooms that share walls with that particular room. When you remove items from these rooms, make sure you place them in plastic bags so bugs cannot move to other areas.
All infested linen should be washed in hot water that is at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you check all corners of infested rooms including behind the furniture and cracks in wooden molding. Check every part that contains fabric, including curtains, carpets, couches, and upholstered chairs.
Don’t let the name bedbug fool you—these bugs can be found practically anywhere!
3. Treat the Infected Area
You’ll need some products in order to effectively treat the infected area. Check out this bestseller: Harris Bedbug Killer Value Bundle Kit. It includes powerful sprays, powders, and traps to ensure you get complete freedom from bedbugs.
It’s important to use a number of products because bedbugs can build resistance if you use only one type of bug killer. Use the aerosol spray from the kit on the mattress. Make sure you spray on the folds and seams where clusters of bedbugs usually hide.
Reuse the spray on the mattress every 10 days until the bedbugs stop appearing. Aerosol sprays should be used on all upholstered furniture, your entire bed (not just the mattress), wall hangings, and carpets as well.
Use bedbug powder on areas that are hard to reach. For example, mattress corners or carpeted areas. Treat all furniture including door and window frames as well.
Powder lasts longer than sprays but it acts slower. So it’s best to use it once you’ve finished spraying everything to make sure further infestation does not occur.
4. Discard Bug Infested Items
If your mattress is overridden with bedbugs, you’ll have to discard it. But before you discard it, make sure you chop it up so nobody is tempted to use it. Remember, bedbugs can be disease carriers. You don’t want anyone to contract a disease, so it’s best to chop up the mattress so it’s rendered useless.
5. Repeat the Process
Keep in mind that bedbugs will not be eliminated with just one-time treatment. The aerosol sprays should be used every 7-10 days so new bedbugs are killed before they can spread further.
Here’s the thing about bedbug eggs—they are resistant to most chemicals. Any bedbug eggs that are unaffected by the treatment will hatch and new larvae will be produced. This is why you need to repeat the process to make sure that the next generation of bedbugs is eliminated as well.
6. Take Preventive Measures and Realize That You’re Not Alone
When you visit a hotel, make sure you inspect the furniture for any possible infestation or you might carry them back home in your clothes.
Having bedbugs can be an embarrassing problem but you’re not alone. According to Orkin, Washington DC is the number one bedbug infested territory in the US. If you discover an infestation in your home, make sure you call pest control guys or handle it yourself—fast! Bedbug populations can double in a matter of weeks, so quick action is imperative.