Horror! Panic! Those little red welts that are itching you aren’t mosquito bites. You have bed bugs!
Gross? Icky? Definitely. The end of the world? Probably not. Life may be a little more challenging for a while, but you’ll live through this. We’ll help.
Here’s what to do when bed bugs are bugging you:
1. Call Stern Environmental Group immediately. You can’t get rid of bed bugs by yourself. Do not try using household insect sprays or bug bombs. Bed bugs are resistant to these chemicals and will simply move to another room, infecting more parts of your home. This truly is a job for experienced pest control professionals. Make sure the professional pest exterminator you call knows how to eliminate bed bugs specifically and has satisfied customers who will attest to his success. That’s why you want to call Stern Environmental Group. We are the bed bug experts and will get rid of your bed bug problem — guaranteed! The faster you call in a professional bed bug exterminator, the faster you’ll get rid of the nasty buggers.
2. Look in the mirror and tell yourself, “I am not a dirty person.” Bed bugs are not caused or drawn by filth or dirt. They are insects of convenience that hitch a ride into your house on infected clothing, shoes, cardboard boxes, used furniture, etc. You don’t get bed bugs because you haven’t dusted for a few weeks.
3. Do not move your mattress, sleep in a different room or sleep at a friend’s house. You’ll just spread the little buggers to a new location. Try not to disturb the infected areas until your pest control professional arrives to assess the extent of the infestation.
4. Follow the instructions of your pest control professional. Different firms may use different chemicals. Your pest control professional will tell you what steps you need to take in your home to ensure that the chemicals he uses will have maximum effectiveness. Don’t rush around bagging everything in plastic or throwing it out. You may wind up making things worse instead of better. Take a deep breath, try to remain calm, and wait for instructions from your pest control professional. Then follow his instructions religiously.
5. Take a hot shower. It’ll help wash away that creepy crawly feeling and make you feel better.
Here are some more things you can do to make life more bearable until the the siege is over:
- Thoroughly clean infested rooms, as well as others in the residence. Scrub infested surfaces with a stiff brush to dislodge eggs.
- Vacuum repeatedly using a powerful vacuum to remove bed bugs from cracks and crevices. Dismantle bed frames to expose additional hiding places. Remove drawers from desks and dressers and turn furniture over to inspect and clean all hiding places. Remove baseboards and electrical plates with your vacuum at the ready to suck up any bed bugs. As soon as you turn off the vacuum, immediately double-bag the vacuum bag in plastic and discard in an outside garbage receptacle.
- Reduce clutter throughout your house and in closets to minimize potential hiding places.
- Encase your mattress and box springs in zippered vinyl or allergen mattress bags. After installation, inspect the bags for holes or tears and seal with permanent tape. Any bugs trapped inside will eventually die and new bugs won’t be able to take up residence.
- To prevent bed bugs from crawling onto the bed, pull the frame away from the wall, tuck sheets and blankets so they don’t touch the floor, and place bed legs in dishes of mineral oil.
- Caulk and seal all holes where pipes and wires penetrate walls and floor. Fill wall cracks and cracks around baseboards and moldings to seal off hiding places.
- Wash infected clothing, sheets and bed linens in hot water and dry immediately on the hottest setting to kill the bugs. The steam created while the wet clothes tumble in a hot dryer will kill any eggs not killed by the hot wash water. Continue drying on hot setting at least 20 minutes to 2 hours after clothes are dry to make sure you kill every last one of the buggers.
- Empty your dresser and closet and wash all the contents. Store your clothes and linens in tightly sealed plastic bags until use to prevent reinfection.
A few preventive measures:
- Don’t bring home used furniture you find sitting out on the street. It’s just not worth the risk. Used furniture is one of the easiest ways bed bugs are transported from site to site.
If you buy used furniture or luggage from a store or neighbor, inspect it carefully for signs of bed bugs. If you see telltale rusty spots or smears or find pea-sized, pearly-white egg globules, take a pass.
- When discarding infected possessions, wash and double-bag them in plastic first before putting them in the outside garbage can or dumpster. If you discard infected furniture, before setting it out on the curb as trash, make sure you put a sign on it warning that it’s infested with bed bugs. Why spread the misery?
Because bed bugs spread through air ducts and along electrical and plumbing conduits, if you live in a multi-tenant dwelling, adjoining apartments on the same floor and directly above and below yours should also be inspected by a pest control professional. For more information on bed bugs, click the post title and visit the Stern Environmental Group website. You’ll sleep well tonight when you get “Stern” with your pests.