If your home is infested with bed bugs, you are not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), since the early 2000s, once-rare bed bug infestations are becoming more and more common across the United States, Canada, and Europe. Because many bed bugs have evolved to be resistant to pesticides, a professional must be called in to completely eliminate bed bugs.
Here is what you can expect and a few steps you will need to take after your home is professionally treated for bed bugs.
Wait Until It Is Safe to Reenter Your Home
Depending upon the severity of your bed bug infestation, your pesticide control agent will use a variety of treatments to eliminate the bed bugs. For example, many companies use extreme heat, which will kill the bed bugs on contact. The company might also use pesticides. If pesticides were used, it is crucial to wait several hours after the agents leave before reentering your home. Your pest control provider will tell you how long you need to wait based on the pesticide that they use.
Waiting not only prevents your family from becoming sick, but it also allows enough time for the pesticides to soak into the furniture, carpets, and other porous surfaces, which allows them to become more effective.
After you enter the house, open up all the windows throughout the property. This will help remove any lingering odors from the home. Placing fans in the windows will also help quickly remove any odors.
Clean All Surfaces and Vacuum Thoroughly
Next, grab an all-purpose cleaner and some rags or paper towel and wipe down all the hard surfaces throughout your home. This includes the kitchen counters, bathroom counters, your dining room table, and dressers. Use a mop to clean all the hard flooring in the home.
Vacuum all the rugs and carpets throughout your home, as well. Pull the beds, furniture, and other pieces from the wall to thoroughly vacuum all the rugs. This will ensure that you completely eliminate any dead bed bugs and dead eggs from the surfaces of your home.
Repeat wiping down the surfaces, mopping, and vacuuming every day for several days after the treatment is finished. This will ensure that the dead bugs are removed and that any surfaces are free from remaining pesticide residue.
Check for Signs of a Continued Infestation
Remain vigilant in the days and weeks after the infestation and continue to inspect your home thoroughly for any remaining bed bugs. Pay special attention to upholstered furniture, underneath your bed, inside dresser drawers, and anywhere else that bed bugs prefer to hide. Set bed bug traps throughout your home.
If you notice any bed bugs or eggs, contact your pest control agent immediately to have your home reevaluated and to determine the best treatment options moving forward.
Prevent Future Bed Bug Infestations
Finally, the best method to control bed bugs in your home is to prevent future infestations. Here are a few tips to help you prevent reintroducing bed bugs into your house:
- Inspect second-hand furniture and clothing for bed bugs before bringing the items into your home.
- After you return from a vacation, inspect your luggage and clothing for bed bugs and their eggs.
- Vacuum your home often to eliminate any bed bugs eggs that have made it into your home.
- If you live in an apartment building or share a wall of a duplex, install door sweeps and seal any cracks or crevices around your home to prevent bed bugs from sneaking in from your neighbor's property.
Inspect your hotel room for the presence of bed bugs when you are on vacation. Pay special attention to the hotel mattress, bed spring, dresser drawers, and the area between the mattress and bed frame.
From thoroughly cleaning to knowing how to prevent a future infestation, there are several steps you will need to take after your home is professionally treated for bed bugs.