Now that you have positively identified that you have a problem with bed bugs, it is time to get down to the brass tacks of getting rid of them. It is important that you not minimize the usage or importance of the following steps in combating bed bugs. When dealing with a bed bug problem or a full- blown infestation, you must realize that it is a constant and ongoing battle.
Vacuum furniture and carpeting on a regular basis.
After vacuuming, it is important that you immediately remove the vacuum cleaner bag, seal it in a plastic bag, and discard it outside of your home. If you do not give attention to performing this step, you run the risk of releasing any cap- tured bugs back into your home. This would represent a wasted effort of your time.
Turn up the heat.
Bed bugs cannot take sustained and extreme heat. Steam heat is particularly effective in combating bed bugs. If you have a steam cleaner (such as a small por- table clothes steamer), this will do just fine. Make sure that you buy one that reach- es approximately 150 degrees Fahrenheit to 200 degrees Fahrenheit at the tip. Start with the seams of all furniture, as this is a favorite hideout. Flip over your sofas, chairs, recliners (etcetera) and give them a good dose and blast of steam to the underside of each piece. Give attention also to the arms and any receded crevices where you think (or even where you don’t think) they may be. Prolonged blast will help to reach the active adults and nymphs that have already been born, as well as the eggs that have not yet hatched.
Bed bugs will also succumb to extremely cold temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. But the freezing temperatures must be sustained for no less than 4 to 5 days straight.
Thoroughly launder your clothing.
If you find bed bugs present in your home, it is not necessary to discard all of your clothing as some may do. Simply wash your clothing on a regular basis, and thoroughly dry them on a high heat setting for at least 30 to 45 minutes. The heat, once again, is the trick. The lint trap should catch most of the carcasses. If you cannot immediately launder your clothing, simply put it all in trash or lawn and leaf bags. Seal the bags completely. Then set them outside in direct sunlight for no less than 5 to 6 hours. The extreme heat within the bag should kill most of them. Still, be sure to launder and dry them promptly at your first available opportunity. When removing your clothing from the bag, be sure to watch carefully for any stragglers that may have survived and may escape back into your house. It should also be noted that along with clothing, consider children’s stuffed animals, shoes, and boots when attempting to locate hiding spaces.
Wrap and encase your mattress and box springs.
This step is especially helpful as it helps to fight bed bugs where you lay your head at night. Since rest is a necessary and crucial thing, this will undoubtedly help you out tremendously. You can totally encase your mattress and box springs. If you find bed bugs in your actual bed, you can try encasing your mattress and box springs in bed bug resistant slipcovers. They are designed specifically with zippers to totally encase your mattress and make it ‘bed-bug-proof’. Depending upon your location, you may find these at many retailers or department stores. You may also try finding them at an online retailer. Once you do this, you may want to leave it in place for at least a year, and make sure that you do not puncture the encasing material accidentally. You will want to make sure that this doesn’t happen so that any remaining bugs that go undetected in the mattress or box springs are trapped and cannot escape. Keep in mind that they can survive for well over a year without feeding a second time.