So, the results are in and you have a bedbug problem in your home or place of business. What do you do? Frankly, I’ve heard some real horror stories about what people do to get rid of bedbugs and I’m here to tell you what’s safe and what’s not.
The first thing that comes to mind is the bug bomb. These DO NOT WORK ON BEDBUGS! If they did, these pesky things wouldn’t be such a problem. The other things that don’t work are heating the room or apartment to a temperature designed to kill the bugs. This might kill any bug that is asleep in the mattress, but those that are still hiding in the walls will just move far enough away from the heat source so they don’t die. Once the heat is gone, they’ll be back. Similarly, it isn’t possible to freeze a room enough to kill them. You CAN freeze garments, shoes, luggage, etc. for 3-4 days in a deep freeze and this will kill anything that is in a small item.
One more thing you should NOT do is try to exterminate them yourself. Face it, bedbugs are a pest, but they’re not dangerous…they don’t carry disease. Taking matters into your own hands and spraying your mattress down with dangerous chemicals, or worse, the mattress where your tiny child sleeps is FAR MORE DANGEROUS! Please do NOT apply chemicals you are not qualified to use. This is especially true if you are trying to get rid of bedbugs in your place of business or if you are a manager of an apartment house. For the sake of your tenants’ safety, call in the professionals.
You CAN do a few things that will help. You can vacuum your mattress and box springs thoroughly every week (more often if possible). You can also encase your mattress and your box springs in an allergy repellant covering that seals completely. This will need to be kept in place for a full year (checking regularly that it has no tears) as bedbugs can go a full year without a meal and still survive.
Clear out any clutter in the affected room. Vacuum baseboards, walls, cracks, seal peeling wallpaper; vacuum outlets and light switches at least once a week.
If you’ve tried all the above measures and are still getting bit or your family reports being bit, please call in a professional exterminator. It will take them several times to completely eradicate the problem, and it will cost a bit of money, but this is the surest and safest way to get rid of these pests.
Any item of furniture that is infested, please dispose of it properly. If you place it out on the curb to be picked up, label it in bold letters “INFESTED WITH BEDBUGS” as this is the most common way for bedbugs to be transferred. Hopefully your problem will be short-lived and you’ll be able to get a good night’s sleep again.