Can I get rid of Bed Bugs or Should I Hire a Professional?
Although they measure less than half an inch at full size, bed bugs can be a real menace – these nasty little bloodsuckers can be hard to kill. As a result, finding bed bugs in your home, office or favorite spaces can go quickly from mild irritation to a mortifying nuisance if not properly dealt with.
When bed bugs show up, you need to act quickly to secure their removal. The insects reproduce mighty fast, and within the space of weeks, you could go from a single nest to a full-blown infestation.
Dealing with bed bugs requires significant effort though since the bugs are tough, smart, and notoriously difficult to deal with. They are accomplished hitchhikers and can cling to clothing, hair, and other objects or escape into hard-to-see spots.
This is why health professionals and agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, recommend that if you find bed bugs, you should call in a Pest Management Professional. Professional exterminators such as Thermal Eradication can deal with the pest problem comprehensively, ensuring you don’t have to worry about new problems only a few months later.
But sometimes, you may want to try DIY measures to deal with very small bed bug problems or conduct a search by yourself. Can you successfully get rid of bed bugs using these DIY measures, or are you best served by contacting an experienced pest exterminator immediately? This article explains all you should know.
Is it possible to get rid of bed bugs by yourself?
In many cases, yes. While there are certain factors that make it inadvisable to attempt extermination by yourself, there are several scenarios in which it will be safe for you to remove bed bugs on your own. Some of these include:
- Where you do not have an infestation and the nest you have discovered is small
- Where the presence of bed bugs is limited to only a single room, and in small quantities
- Where you accidentally brought bed bugs home with you on your clothes or luggage and catch them before they proliferate
- Where you have thoroughly checked the house and do not find any other evidence of infestation
In all these circumstances, it can be safe to deal with a bed bug problem on your own. However, it is important to be careful as you attempt the extermination.
Bed bugs are quite tenacious and have been known to require several visits from the exterminator before being entirely wiped out. In addition, some species of bed bug are becoming resistant to certain types of insecticide.
Without proper care, you may miss important hotspots or inadvertently take the bugs with you to other rooms or places. So, once you’re certain that you have what it takes to deal with the problem, but these DIY best practices to work.
Best practices for DIY bed bug extermination
Dealing with a bed bug infestation requires being deliberate. You don’t want to make any errors in terms of how you search for the insects or your extermination options.
Thankfully, you don’t need to go out and buy chemical treatments or search for non-toxic pesticides to do the job. You can accomplish the extermination with the same everyday items in your home. Here are the steps you should take in ridding yourself of bed bugs in your home:
- Figure out the extent of the problem: After spotting signs of bed bugs, the first step you should take is to find out how much of a problem you have. Just like cockroaches, bed bugs never show up alone and when you spot one or two, there just might be a few hundred around. Check thoroughly for the insects, starting from the place you first noticed them. Some of the other places you can check include:
- The ends of bed sheets, especially close to the headboard
- Around the seams and trimmings of your mattress, especially near the tags and the box spring
- Between the cracks and fittings of the bed frame and any other furniture in the room
- Under loose wallpaper, posters, and paintings on the wall
- Inside wall sockets and other electrical outlets
- Any other place you find the bugs or their signs, which include tiny, pale eggs; shed skin and reddish spots or stains from bed bug droppings
- Prepare for containment: Once you figure out the extent of the infestation, start to prepare for containment. You want to ensure you keep the bed bugs from spreading between rooms or clinging to anything that can allow them to hide. A good step to take is to clear away the clutter that is close to infested sites. But don’t move items from an infested room to a cleanroom.
- Contain the infestation: In containing the bed bugs, there are several steps you will need to take:
- Start by vacuuming the bugs everywhere you find them. Tie up the vacuumed content in a plastic bag and dispose of it in a covered trash can outside the house
- Seal up your affected clothes, bed linens and anything else that can be washed in a plastic bag
- Seal up anything that cannot be washed, such as books and the like, in a clear plastic bag.
- Tape over wall sockets, fix wallpaper tears and cover every other spot that the insects can escape into
- Destroy the insects: Take the clothes you’ve sealed up and put them in the washer. Keep the cycle on for 30 minutes and ensure the water is at least 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Intense heat and extreme cold are deadly to the bugs. Put the clothes into the dryer which should be set at the highest setting for another 30 minutes. Other steps to take include the following:
- Using a steamer that’s as hot as possible, run over every inch of your couches, mattresses and any other place you can’t wash immediately
- Take any items that cannot be steamed or washed outside and spread them directly under the sun or you can put the sealed bags containing these items in the deep freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cover your mattress and box spring in bedbug-proof covers and zip them tight
- Re-inspect the infested areas: After treatment, go over the infested areas once more, and again a few days later. Sometimes, the measures stated above may not be enough and you might need to use chemical treatments to kill the bugs. If this is the case, it’s advisable that you call in a professional exterminator right away.
If you’re up to it, you can check out some chemical treatments that might work, such as desiccants, pyrroles, and pyrethrins. But, again, if you have uncovered an infestation that is very serious or your home cleaning methods do not work, you may be best served by calling in a professional.
Professional bed bug removal
Pest management professionals are trained to identify, isolate, and safely destroy or remove pest infestations. With bed bugs, they especially know how to rid people of the insects for good, ensuring that the rate of resurgence is very low or nonexistent.
Although many like to think relying on a professional is more expensive than DIY methods, the opposite is often the case. Exterminating bed bugs can be very labor and time-intensive. If the infestation is in your home, it can cost you valuable time you could be spending in other profitable endeavors. And if you have bed bugs in your business, the cost of resurgence can be quite high, as it may force you to close your business for a while.
But professionals understand the risk posed by bed bugs and are already looking out for these loopholes right from the start. You can be sure that a professional will help minimize the impact to your business and ensure you can be back making money as soon as possible. Other reasons to choose a professional include:
- Application of highly effective and affordable treatments that can catch the entire infestation
- Use of non-toxic materials that are safe for homes, businesses, and the general environment
- Experience with fighting bed bugs, meaning they know what the tenacious little critters are capable of and will come prepared
Pest management professionals are equipped with the technical knowledge and experience to rid you of bed bugs permanently. When you rely on them to assist with your pest problem, you can save time, energy, money, and ensure it’s the last you see of the annoying pests.
Thermal Eradication professional bed bug extermination
We understand the problems a pest situation can bring and are prepared to help you evict these unlawful occupants.
We employ only the best and most cutting edge treatments in ridding our clients of bed bug problems, including our highly effective heat treatments. If you would like to learn more about our dedicated pest control services, or you want us to assist with a pest control problem, please get in touch with us today.