Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are tiny insects that feast on the blood of humans while they slumber using elongated mouthparts that can pierce through the skin. The University of California's Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program describes these household pests as being oval in shape, red or mahogany in color, and measuring approximately 1/5 inch in length. The university goes on to point out that each of the female bed bugs is capable of laying two to five eggs per day, which means it doesn't take long to have a full infestation. Below is a list of everything you need to know before you begin treating your home for those bed bugs:
Determine Which Rooms are Infested
You may spot the bed bug bites on your person when you wake in the morning and know that you have a problem in your bedroom, but what about the rest of your home? Depending on how long you've had the bed bugs, there is a good possibility the tiny insects made their way to another bedroom or the living room area. Check each room in the home for evidence before you begin treatment so you know exactly which areas to target. The UK College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment reveals that bed bugs are nocturnal and leave behind dark stains and reddish smears on mattresses and box springs. You'll also want to look for bed bug skins, as these creatures molt a total of five times throughout the course of their lives.
Prepare the Rooms for Treatment
Once you know which rooms have the insects, you can prepare the rooms for bed bug treatment. Take out any personal belongings and strip all of the beds. You can wash the sheets, blankets, clothing, and even your curtains using your washer and dryer. Next, pull all of the furniture out away from the wall. This is because bed bugs can live in baseboards and you want the treatment to reach these areas.
Vacuum Every Surface in the Room
Not only do you want the room to be empty of as many items as possible before treatment, but you also want it to be clean. This is the best way to make sure the bed bug treatment reaches every nook and cranny that the bed bugs could be hiding in. After you have finished vacuuming, place the bag or contents of the vacuum in a plastic zipper bag. Toss that bag in a garbage bag and then place the garbage bag in an outdoor receptacle until trash day. This keeps any bed bugs you collected from getting out and finding a new area of your house to infest.
After you've completely got your home ready for treatment, you'll need to decide whether you're going to treat the home yourself or hire a professional like Canady's Termite & Pest Control. It is a good idea to keep in mind that while the DIY method saves money, an exterminator has the knowledge and tools to ensure the job is done right the first time.