If your kids brought bed bugs home from their last sleepover, you need to get rid of the bugs as soon as possible. Even just a few bed bugs can turn into a full-blown infestation in no time at all. Here are three steps you should take to get the problem under control.
Identify the Problem Areas
As soon as you find one bed bug, you can be sure that there are others hiding in your home. You'll need to identify the problem areas to isolate the bugs. In most cases, bed bugs will limit their travels to the bedroom areas. However, if your children bring their bedding into the living room, or other areas of the home, you may have an infestation that has spread throughout the house. Search each room and identify the areas where you find bed bug activity. Signs of bed bug activity include small, dried blood stains on your sheets, bed bugs eggs or casings along the edges of mattresses or couches.
Remove Bedding and Other Items
Once you've identified the rooms that have bed bugs in them, you'll need to remove the bedding and wash it in hot water. Remove upholstered or soft fabric items – such as couch cushions, pillows or stuffed animals. Vacuum the items and then carefully place them in dark plastic trash bags. Move the bags to the garage and allow the items to remain in the bag for several days. The heat that builds up in the bags will kill any bed bugs that might be on the objects. Once the rooms have been treated for the infestation, you'll be able to bring the items back into your home.
Call the Professionals
Bed bugs can be tough to get under control, especially if your entire home has been infested with them. You're going to need the assistance of a professional exterminator. As soon as you know you have bed bugs in your home, you'll need to contact an exterminator for more information and help. They'll be able to treat the entire home to ensure that the problem is taken care of the first time.
If you have bed bugs, don't take chances. You're going to need to act fast to stop the spread and stop the bugs in their tracks. Use the steps provided above to identify the problem, control the spread and kill the bugs. For maximum protection, it's a good idea to schedule monthly pesticide treatments to make sure the bugs stay away.