If you are reading this, then you are probably dealing with a bed bug infestation. The fact that you have decided to treat your premises means that you have taken the first step in waging a war against these critters. Naturally, it is important to follow some protocols prior to any bed bug treatment as these can ensure that you get the most out of it.
Whether you are opting for a DIY bed bug elimination treatment or have called in the professionals; read and print this handy checklist to make the process most effective and also to protect your kids, pets and valuables throughout.
Room Preparation Checklist for bed bug treatment
- Remove all linen, blankets, sheets covers, bath towels, drapes, curtains, throws, rugs from the bed and the room and place them inside sealed plastic bags. Take the bag to the Laundromat/home laundry room for cleaning these items on the highest heat settings.Wash and dry these items in hot water (with little bleach where allowed). Dry the items and then reseal them in the bags. Do not open the sealed bags until the bed bug treatment is completed.
- Remove all items from inside the drawers, closets, bedside chests and under-the-bed storage, if any. Remove coats, clothes and place them inside plastic bags and launder them. Pick up shoes, slippers, socks and seal them in plastic bags dusted with bed bug powder or sprayed with similar products.
- Remove toys, pets’ feeding/water bowls and place them safely away for the duration of the bed bug treatment.
- Ensure that the bedrooms are completely stripped and devoid of any delicate items.
- Enclose/cover appliances, music systems etc in cabinets where possible.
- Strip sofas off their pillows and if possible wash the sofa covers and pillow cases in hot water.
- Call people over to help you move furniture, if needed. Furniture must be placed at least 18 inches away from the walls.
- Remove outlet covers and wall vent covers. This is needed in case you are using heat treatment so that all the bed bugs hiding inside are eliminated.
- Do not move any of your belongings to your neighbors’ homes until the bed bug treatment is complete. Doing so would simply transfer the bed bugs, their eggs and larvae to their place.
- Inspect books, electronics, picture frames, plastic toys etc. These items cannot be washed and must be stored in clean storage bins. Your pest control company can advice you if these can be subjected to the bed bug heat treatment.
- Prior to the start of any bed bug treatment, vacuum the rooms first. Hard wood floors can also be washed using some cleaning solutions. To prevent bed bugs and larvae from escaping, seal all vacuum bags. You can also add some diatomaceous earth inside the bags to kill the bed bugs. Dispose-off the vacuum bags far away from your home.
- Treat the box springs of the bed with approved bed bug products, to eliminate bed bugs completely. You can even vacuum inside the box spring.
- Consider using some bed bug proof mattress encasements to protect bedding from remaining bed bugs, if any.
- You can also vacuum chairs, sofas and other upholstered items.
- Ensure that all rooms are clutter free as this gives more number of places for the bugs to hide in.
- If the kitchen is going to be treated as well, ensure that all food items are safely stored -you could also cover the countertops and tables with sheets or newspapers.
- Keep pets and children away during the treatment.
- Irrespective of the bed bug treatment and products you use, make sure you repeat the treatment after 14 days to eliminate remaining eggs and larvae.
Bed bugs can remain alive for months, even years without blood meals. So make sure you perform routine inspections particularly if you are waking up with bite marks on your body. We hope this handy bed bug treatment checklist will help you regain your good night’s rest.