Returning home from a holiday vacation where you stayed in a hotel with bed bugs can bring a lot of relief. However, that relief can turn into despair if some of those bed bugs came home with you. Bed bugs can easily attach themselves to clothing and get into your suitcases. The bites and sores you thought you left behind could start happening again while you sleep in your own bed. Here is what you can do to rid your home of bed bugs.
You Will Need:
- Bed Bug Traps
- Bed Bug Pesticide
- Washing Machine
- Clothes Dryer
Determine the Extent of Infestation
The first thing you should do is to locate where the bed bugs are hiding in your home. Bed bugs will commonly be in your bedroom so they can feed during the night on your blood.
The easiest way to determine how extensive a bed bug infestation is through using bed bug bait traps. The traps use a pheromone, or odor, to attract the bed bugs to the trap. An adhesive coating will make the bed bugs stick to the trap once they walk onto one.
You can recognize an adult bed bug by its flat, reddish brown, body. Young bed bugs are often translucent and much harder to see.
Place the traps all around the house; especially around the frame of your bed and backboard, your closet, and chairs and couches.
Monitor the Traps
The traps closest to the infestation will have a large number of bed bugs. As you move away from the area of infestation, the traps will show less and less bed bugs in them until you don't catch any.
Use this information to determine where you should spray the bed bug pesticide.
Clean Bedding and Clothing
You should take the bedding off of your mattress and wash them in hot water before you spray your bed. You should also do the same with clothing in dressers and the closest where you find the presence of bed bugs.
Dry the bedding and clothing in the dryer with the temperature set at the highest level. Temperatures at or above 120 degrees Fahrenheit will kill bed bugs at all stages of their life cycle, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Spraying Bed Bug Killer
Make sure to spray along the seams of the mattress and in all the crevices on the furniture where you found bed bugs. The EPA currently lists over 300 different pesticide products that can be used to kill bed bugs.
Adult bed bugs can live for a year without coming out to feed. You should keep your monitoring program with bed bug bait traps going for at least that long. Make sure you check the label on the bed bug bait traps you are using to find out when they need to be replaced.
If you find the presence of bed bugs again after monitoring the bait traps for a while, repeat the same process above or call a pest control company to get rid of the new infestation.