How to Clean Up A Bed Bug Infestation

Here at IBBRA we highly recommend heat treatments to end your bed bug problem.  Heat works quickly and effectively, which allows your home or business to be operational in no time; But what happens after the heat treatment is done?  There are still some cleanup procedures that you should follow before the bugs will be gone for good.

Bed Bug Clean-Up Tips

The first step in cleaning up after a bed bug infestation is to wipe down everything.  This tip is one of the more apparent tasks, so we won’t spend too much time here.  If you can wipe it down, do it!  Make sure you get front, back, inside, under, and anywhere you can reach.

Next, you should spend some time vacuuming everything.  This should be done carefully, and the vacuum bag or container should be emptied regularly and into separate garbage bags than your other trash.

Tips for Vacuuming the Treated Areas:

  • Floors – Vacuum the whole room thoroughly.
  • Carpet Edges – carefully lift carpet off the tack strips if possible. Using the nozzle or brush tool, slowly vacuum the perimeter of the room.
  • Mattress – using the nozzle attachment, run the vacuum along the upper and lower sides of the piping (seam) that surrounds the mattress using a slow back and forth systematic movements. Start at one end and work your way around the bed, making sure not to miss any area. Next, using the flat attachment, vacuum the sides of the mattress, including any possible grommets and stitching throughout. Flip the mattress and repeat on the other side.
  • Box springs – repeat all steps for cleaning your mattress. If your box springs have a dust cover, you may consider removing it and vacuuming inside the frame of the box spring.
  • Upholstered furniture – sweep all parts of the chair inside and out just like you did with the mattress and box spring. Remove each cushion and vacuum thoroughly.
  • Hard furniture – vacuum all areas inside and out.

 

If you have any items that you’d instead discard, it’s best to do this after the heat treatment, that way, the bugs have died before you discard the item.  This prevents further spread of your bed bug problem.  It’s still a good idea to use proper steps to discard items, though, even after the heat treatments.

The best way to discard these items is to wrap it completely. Most hardware stores carry plastic tarps used for painting. These can work well if you secure it properly, but you’ll need to use tape to secure it.  We have also found that Shrink Wrap often used by the furniture and moving industry works well for both coverage and ease of movement and handling. It has a particular “stretch” quality so that you can easily cover any exposed area of the item you are wrapping. After complete and careful wrapping of each item you are discarding, attach a sign or mark with BIG BOLD LETTERS – BED BUG INFESTED – BEFORE taking it to the dumpster or the curb. If you are calling in a disposal company to pick up the infested items, make sure to tell them what it is that they are picking up and that it is infested with bed bugs, and it is wrapped for safety.

 

Lastly, if you hired a professional to perform your heat treatment, then you should ask them for a recommendation for further cleanup.  Always follow your pest professional’s procedures and best practices to ensure that your treatment is successful and any warranties or guarantees stay in effect.

Need a professional?  Check out our provider list at https://ibbra.org/service-providers/.

Need more info about bed bugs?  Learn more at https://ibbra.org/faq/

The Pros and Cons of Bed Bug Treatment Options

We know that there are hundreds of treatment options that promise to get rid of bed bugs quickly and effectively.  But when you’ve got a bed bug infestation, you don’t have time to wait for treatments to work.  You need the fastest, most effective treatment that will get your life back on track.

To help you decide which treatment is right for you, we’ve compiled a pros and cons list for each treatment type and information on when those treatments are most effective.  Then, when you’re ready to schedule a treatment, you can call one of the IBBRA certified professionals, rent equipment from our approved heater rental providers, or purchase a DIY product in the IBBRA store.

 

Heat Treatments (Electric Heating Units)

Pros

  • Work quickly, usually between 8-24 hours
  • Kills all stages of the bed bug life cycle
  • Great for small, medium or spread out infestations
  • No need to pre-treat any items or rooms
  • Safe and eco-friendly
  • No chemicals
  • Usually only requires one treatment to solve the bed bug problems
  • Can be set up by a professional in minutes

Cons

  • Can be more expensive than other treatment options
  • Requires large heaters and fans that can’t be purchased anywhere
  • Usually requires a professional
  • Heat sensitive items may be damaged if proper preparation isn’t completed before the treatment

Most effective when applied by a professional and when a k-9 inspection is done before and after to ensure the treatment was successful.

 

Chemical Treatments (Professionally Sprayed Pesticides)

Pros

  • Cost effective (over 68% of people choose chemical treatments due to the affordable costs)
  • Initial treatments are completed quickly
  • Great as a follow up to heat and in conjunction with other treatment methods

Cons

  • Chemicals don’t kill the eggs, resulting in “reoccurring” infestations…over-and over again
  • Often requires multiple professional treatments before the infestation is gone
  • Bed bugs are resistant to many chemicals (and their resistance is always growing)
  • Chemicals, especially off-the-shelf varieties can be dangerous, causing an allergic reaction, illness, and other serious health effects.
  • If not applied properly, chemical treatments can spread an infestation rather than kill it

Most effective when applied by a professional and used as a follow up to a heat treatment.

IBBRA does not recommend anyone use off-the-shelf pesticides in an effort to kill bed bugs.  Chemical treatments should only be applied by trained professionals.

 

Portable Heat Chambers (Collapsible Heat Tents)

Pros

  • Treatment is portable and can be set up anywhere
  • Single items can be treated, rather than the entire room
  • No need to pre-treat any items
  • Easy to use, can be DIY
  • Safe and eco-friendly
  • No chemicals
  • Kills bed bugs in the treatment area in only one application
  • Fast and easy setup
  • Kills all stages of the life cycle

Cons

  • Can be more expensive than other treatment options
  • Doesn’t kill bed bugs living in the carpet, behind walls or in any non-treated furniture
  • Heat sensitive items may be damaged if subjected to the heating area
  • Usually takes a professional to complete the treatment
  • Spreading the infestation could be possible if items are not moved properly

Most effective for single item treatment and in conjunction with a professional chemical treatment follow-up. IBBRA does not recommend anyone use off-the-shelf pesticides in an effort to kill bed bugs.  Chemical treatments should only be applied by trained professionals.

 

 

Dust, Foggers and Off the Shelf DIY Treatments

Pros

  • Easy to find at a hardware store
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Can spread the infestation to other areas of the home
  • Some substances are not tested on bed bugs, therefore leaving them completely ineffective
  • Some products, if used, can cause professional treatments and inspections to become impossible due to health risks
  • Could take months to kill bed bugs, if at all
  • Chemicals can cause dangerous allergic reactions, illness, and other serious health effects. Pesticide dust, such at diatomaceous earth, can cause damage to the lungs if breathed in.
  • “Bug Bombs” can cause fire and reduced air quality in the home

Not effective – IBBRA does not recommend anyone use off-the-shelf pesticides, foggers, pesticide dust or other unapproved DIY methods in an effort to kill bed bugs.

 

Mattress/Furniture Encasements

Pros

  • Affordable & easy to buy online or instore
  • Nothing can get in or on your furniture or you
  • Provides instant relief against future bed bug bites
  • Locks in any existing allergens, bed bugs, and bed bug eggs preventing new infestations (in encased items)
  • Will keep furniture clean and protects against infestations in storage
  • Takes away bed bug hiding and breeding areas by covering seams, cushions, piping, pillows, and any crack or crevice
  • Saves you from throwing out your furniture

 

Cons

  • Can take months to kill bed bugs
  • Doesn’t kill bed bugs living in the carpet, behind walls or in any non-treated furniture
  • Reduces the look and feel of your furniture

Most effective when used in conjunction with heat or chemical treatments.  Very effective for keeping items safe during storage and moving.

 

Bed Bug Heater Rentals

Pros

  • Affordable daily rates
  • Work quickly, usually between 8-24 hours
  • Kills all stages of the bed bug life cycle
  • Great for small, medium or spread out infestations
  • No need to pre-treat any items or rooms
  • Safe and eco-friendly
  • No chemicals
  • Usually only requires one treatment to solve the bed bug problems
  • Easy setup and prep
  • Professional quality equipment

Cons

  • Packages include large equipment that requires set up
  • You’ll need to know the power capabilities of your treatment area
  • You may need to pick up the equipment from the provider
  • Heat sensitive items may be damaged if proper preparation isn’t completed before the treatment

Most effective when used as directed and after a k-9 inspection to ensure that all infested areas are treated.

 

Need a pro?  Search your provider map for a certified professional near you!