If you are experiencing a bed bug infestation, it’s important to get rid of these pests as soon as possible to prevent their spread and their irritating and potentially scarring bites. Thankfully, there are several effective ways to treat bed bugs, though they are often difficult to eliminate.
Bed bugs can result from an unclean home or could come from luggage or clothing following a trip to a location where bed bugs were present. Regardless of how you got bed bugs in the home, it can be a challenge to get rid of them and prevent them from infesting multiple rooms. However, if you take the right steps, you can effectively mitigate bed bug infestations along with the risk of future infestations.
Here are the top 5 ways to treat bed bugs if you spot them at home or have sustained bites as a result of an infestation.
1. Eliminate Clutter and Allow for Fewer Hiding Spots
One of the best ways to prevent bed bug infestations is to reduce the amount of clutter in the home, which you can do by simply removing any unneeded items such as newspapers and clothing. The more items you remove from the space, the more difficult it will be for bed bugs to hide.
Keep in mind that cardboard boxes are also popular hiding spots for bed bugs, but plastic containers are less likely to house them.
2. Thoroughly Clean the Space
To further prevent bed bug infestations and make it easier for pest control professionals to inspect the space, it’s important to make sure everything is cleaned. Items you’ll want to clean in the home include any furniture, bedding, baseboards, switch covers, outlets, and other spaces where bed bugs tend to be.
Wash and dry all of your clothing, bedding, and other washable items that may contain bed bugs, placing them in sealed plastic bags when moving them between each room.
You should also remove and clean any fabric window coverings in the home, followed by vacuuming and washing the floors.
3. Ensure Bed Bugs Can’t Hide Anywhere Else
In addition to reducing clutter and checking dark crevices in areas throughout the home, make sure that bed bugs don’t have any opportunities to hide throughout the home be re-checking baseboards for any crevices or cracks, which you may need to caulk for sufficient sealing.
Wallpaper should also be secure and any damage to walls such as large cracks and holes should undergo necessary repairs. Also, make sure outlets and wall switches are properly sealed and don’t display any evidence of an infestation.
4. Take Care of the Bed
Staying true to their namesake, bed bugs prefer to make their home in the bed over all other potential locations. You can prevent bed bug infestations by making the bed an island that’s at least six inches away from nearby walls and furniture.
Make sure all bed linens are consistently clean, including sheets, pillowcases, mattress pads, and comforters, all of which are vulnerable to infestations. Once clean, seal all linens in plastic bags until placed back on the bed.
Following treatment, you can use covers for mattresses and box springs, but make sure they have zippers and are designed to withstand tearing.
Once you have addressed the bed itself, you can check under it and get rid of any unwanted items, while storing clothing and other items in the same room to prevent any potential spread to another area of the home.
5. Consult with Professional Exterminators
If you are unable to effectively remove bed bugs or prevent their spread throughout the home, it’s best to work with professionals who can perform a thorough inspection and clear the home of any infestation. When hiring professional exterminators, make sure they have access to all areas where bed bugs are known to hide, including closets, areas around furniture, and walls.
You should also make sure that areas are clear enough to allow for proper inspection so exterminators can determine the best way to treat the space. With sufficient treatment of your home with the help of a team of experts, you can more effectively remove an existing infestation and prevent future issues.
Taking all of these steps can help you get rid of bed bugs in the home and keep your home clear of bed bugs in the long term.