If you have kids away at college, they could be exposed to bed bugs. Recent reports show that not even Yale University is immune to the pests, as they've been struck with a bed bug infestation. Unfortunately, bed bug infestations are difficult to get under control. If your kids have brought bed bugs home with them, you're going to need to act fast to get rid of the bugs and prevent them from returning. Here are three steps you should take as soon as you find bed bugs in your home.
Call an Exterminator
If you have bed bugs in your home, you need professional assistance. Bed bugs can infest your entire home in no time at all. While they prefer to stay near bedrooms, they will travel throughout the house looking for human blood. In fact, you may inadvertently transport them from your bedroom to the living room couch – or other comfy chairs – if you bring your blankets and pillows out to watch television. An exterminator will know exactly where to look to find the bugs and will be able to treat the entire problem for you.
Inspect the Bed
When it comes to cleaning your bed after a bed bug infestation, don't stop at the mattress. You're going to need to remove the bedding and the mattresses so you can inspect the headboard and bedframe. Before you inspect the beds, fill a plastic spray bottle with equal parts water and bleach. You're going to need this to treat your bed. The first thing you should do is remove the bedding from your bed and place it in a plastic bag. Set the bed outside. Next, you'll need to vacuum the front and back of your mattress and box springs.
Be sure to vacuum inside the creases and seams to remove bugs and eggs. Set your mattress and box springs against a wall in your room while you inspect the headboard and frame. Vacuum your bedframe and headboard to remove bugs and eggs. Finally, spray your mattress and box springs with the bleach solution and allow them to air dry. The bleach solution will kill the bugs and the eggs that might be hiding.
Heat Treat Clothes and Bedding
To make sure that you don't have bed bugs hiding in your clothing and bedding, you'll need to heat treat them. Your bedding should already be in the plastic bags. Place your clothing in bags and remove them from the room. Clothing and bedding that can be safely washed in hot water should be sent through a wash cycle.
Any clothing or bedding that cannot be washed in hot water should be left in the plastic bags for a few days. The heat that builds up in the bags will kill the bugs. When you remove the items from the bags, shake them out to remove the dead bugs and wash them according to label instructions to get them clean.
If your kids brought uninvited guests home from college, don't panic. Use the tips provided above to get rid of bed bugs and keep them away. Contact a business that handles bed bug removal for more information.