Even just the idea of bed bugs can make your skin start itching and crawling. So if you think that you have found bites, a carcass, or other evidence that suggests these critters are in your home, you want to act immediately to get rid of bed bugs.
Normally, where one bed bug is found, many more exist. Just one female bed bug is able to lay up to five eggs every day. As bed bugs are such prolific breeders, waiting even just a few days to call the bed bug exterminators can allow the problem to grow significantly worse. Although it is possible to carry a single bed bug from an infested place into your home on your clothing, luggage, or other personal items, this doesn’t happen very often. It is more likely that where you have found one bedbug, many others exist.
So, the important question is: if you find a bed bug in your home—what should you do?
What to Do When You First Notice Bed Bugs
Even though your tendency may be to panic, it’s best if you don’t. You need to keep a level head and answer some important questions so that you can report to the bed bug exterminator appropriately. Then you can get the problem taken care of and get on with your life.
Make an Inspection
If you do find a bed bug in your home, you have probably found it somewhere near your bed. Because these bugs like to live in soft environments (and feed on the blood of humans) they will usually be found in beds and on soft furniture. You’ll need to inspect your bed and other hiding spots in order to determine where they are living and what stage of life they are in.
Read More: The Top Ways Bed Bugs Enter Your Home
When inspecting your home for bed bugs, be sure to check sheets, blankets, mattresses, pillows, and your headboard. You may need a flashlight to do this well, as bed bugs are nocturnal and will be working very hard to disappear from your sight. When examining for bed bugs, you are looking for more than simply the small, apple-seed sized bed bugs themselves, but you’re also looking for eggs, bed bug feces, and even empty shells of nymphs who are shedding as they grow.
Call the Bed Bug Exterminator
As soon as you have determined that you have bed bugs (and not fleas which only bite around the ankles) go ahead and call the local exterminator. If you aren’t sure exactly what you need, a reputable pest control professional will ask you appropriate questions to help you know exactly what you need to do.
Although the existence of bed bugs is not a commentary on your cleanliness, there’s no reason to provide extra places for these critters to hide. Pest control professionals may have a difficult time treating your home if there are piles of clutter lying about, or if items are stored under your bed. De-cluttering is critical to the elimination of your bed bug problem.
Your first instinct when you find a bed bug is probably not to save it. However, a bed bug carcass may come in handy if you need to show your specimen to the exterminator, landlord, etc. Save any bed bugs you find by using clear tape to pick them up and then placing them on a piece of paper or index card. Seal this in a zippered bag and place in the freezer until you need it.
Wash and Dry Clothing and Bedding
Bed bugs can’t handle the heat so washing and tumble drying your clothing and bedding is your best bet for keeping your home pest free. Even if you don’t see bed bugs on your clothing or linens, it’s best to go ahead and launder everything as the eggs can be difficult to see. Note that bed bugs may be able to survive a cold wash cycle so be sure to wash on hot and tumble dry when you can. If you can strip the covers off of your sofa and cushions, laundering these may be advisable as well.
What Not to Do When You Notice Bed Bugs
Once you have scheduled bed bug extermination, here are some guidelines on what not to do:
- Don’t go to a different room or to someone else’s house to sleep. The bugs may follow you and then you’ve simply perpetuated the problem while upsetting your friends and family.
- Don’t throw out your furniture. In most cases, you don’t need to throw away your furniture and your pest control professional can help you make these decisions.
- Don’t treat the bed bug problem yourself. Dealing with bed bugs is a very complicated, difficult process which involves the use of many harmful chemicals. For the safety of your family and assurance that you’ve eliminated the problem, using a bed bug exterminator is truly the best and safest route.
It’s never going to be great news when you discover that you may have bed bugs. However, following these tips and getting help from a professional such as Cypress Creek Pest Control, makes dealing with bed bugs as easy and pain-free as possible.