What You Can Do Around Your Home
Bed bugs are small and can hide in a myriad of places—under wallpaper, behind picture frames, in electrical outlets, inside box springs, in mattress pads, in night tables… You must be very thorough in order to properly address bed bug infestations. As bed bugs can travel up to 30 m and can be transported in clothing, luggage or other household items, you may have to treat nearby rooms to prevent the infestation from continuing.
If you suspect that you have a bed bug infestation, you can either choose to treat them yourself or you can call in a professional pest control operator. Most of the time, bed bug infestations will require more than one treatment as well as physical means of control.
Infested areas should be vacuumed carefully with a brush attachment, and the bag should be disposed of immediately afterwards. When inspecting your bed, examine the seams, tufts and crevices of the mattress, box spring, bed frame and headboard carefully. Bed bugs prefer wood and fabric to metal or plastic. Mattresses and box springs should be steam-cleaned. Mattresses can be wrapped in zippered bed encasements, available from allergy supply companies, or wrapped and sealed in plastic film. Mattress pads and sheets should be washed in hot water and dried on the high setting. You may have to remove the cloth underside of the box spring to determine if there are bed bugs inside.
Bed bugs cannot easily climb metal or polished surfaces, and they cannot fly or jump, so treating the legs of beds will help keep them away. Coat the legs with double-sided carpet tape or petroleum jelly. You can also place the legs of the bed inside glass jars or metal cans.
Treating a bed effectively can be quite challenging. Holes or worn spots in the fabric may allow bed bugs to lay eggs in areas not easily reached, and there are restrictions on how insecticides can be used on beds. Carefully examine all night tables, baseboards, dressers, headboards (especially padded ones), electrical outlets, any items stored near or under the bed, any nearby carpeting or rugs, picture frames, switch plates, inside clocks, phones, televisions and smoke detectors—in short, anything and everything that is in the room where the infestation has been noted. Upholstered chairs and sofas can also harbour bed bugs and should be treated with careful vacuuming and laundering of all possible parts (cushions, slipcovers, skirts, etc.).
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