Bed bugs can be found in almost anything, preferring to stow away in cracks, bedding, furniture, walls, baseboards, drapes and clothing. They are dormant until they need to feed, primarily at night. They suck on blood, leaving red bites on skin, as well as specks of blood on clothing and sheets. Bed bugs are very small (1.45 mm), ranging in size from the head of a pin to an apple seed. They can be tan to reddish-brown coloured. If you see bed bugs, you can help slow the spread by routinely vacuuming and laundering bed sheets and clothing. A pest care professional will manage the remaining bed bugs using dusts, liquid sprays and aerosols.
To prepare your home for treatment, do the following:
- Throughout your home, including the basement if you have one, move all furniture away from the walls by 12" to 18" so that we have access to ALL baseboard areas.
- Bedrooms: Strip the beds of all bedding. Wash sheets and blankets, place in plastic bags and seal.
- Empty the dressers and night tables of all items, including paper and personal items. Place all items in plastic bags and seal. Leave the drawers in the dresser or night table.
- Launder all clothing and bedding. After washing and drying, store your clean clothing in pest proof containers or sealed bags to minimize the chance of recontamination.
- BLANKETS AND PILLOWS CANNOT BE TREATED. These items should be washed and/or replaced more often.
- DO NOT pile items on top of mattresses or couches. These will be treated so access is necessary.
- All closets throughout the home must be emptied completely of all items, hanging, on shelves or on the floor. Also empty storage closets or storage rooms completely.
- Any items that are stored underneath beds should be removed and inspected thoroughly for the presence of bed bugs. After inspecting these items, store them in pest proof containers.
- Children’s stuffed animals can be washed, dried and bagged.
- Remove all knick knacks and standing picture frames and store in a safe place.
- Leaf through books and inspect items such as CDs and DVDs for the presence of bed bugs. After inspecting, store in air-tight plastic containers or sealed garbage bags.
- Remove electrical outlet covers prior to service so these areas can be treated.
- If you live in an apartment, remove the radiator covers if possible.
- Wash curtains and drapes, concentrating especially on the seams. Place in plastic bags and seal.
- Vacuum your home entirely, including mattresses, box springs, pillows and upholstered furniture. Place the vacuum bag in a garbage bag in case an insect or egg was picked up, and discard the garbage bag immediately.
- DO NOT empty kitchen cupboards.
- Once the technician arrives at your home, everyone must leave for a minimum of 4 to 6 hours. If anyone in the home is pregnant or nursing, has severe allergies, respiratory problems such as asthma, heart conditions or babies under the age of 1, then they must stay away for 24 hours or longer as required by their physician.
- All pets must be removed from the home for a minimum of 4 to 6 hours with the exception of birds, which must be removed for 24 hours.
- Cover the fish tank with plastic, a towel or a sheet and unplug any fish filters as they pump outside air into the water. Turn heat lamps or lights off because of possible electric hazards.
- Upon re-entry, you can vacuum but DO NOT wash baseboards, door/window frames or bed frames for at least 3 to 4 weeks.
(From our Preparation Guidelines for Bed Bugs.)
If you need bed bug control in Calgary, call the professionals at Cal-Rid Exterminators.