If you find bed bugs in your apartment, the first question that may come to mind is how will you ever get rid of them for good? Even though bed bugs can be difficult to treat, the good news is with the right measures and guidance, they can be eliminated. The most common breeding ground for bed bugs is typically in the beds of unsuspecting homeowners and tenants.
Many people believe that bed bugs are caused by a lack of hygiene or general uncleanliness. However, bed bugs are just as likely to infest the cleanest of houses as they are the dirtiest. In a home with more clutter, bed bugs have more hiding spots and can be more difficult to detect. However, that’s not what invites them.
The most reliable source for confirming a bed bug infestation within your apartment is by contacting a pest control professional but there are a few key signs of their activity within your home.
- Going to bed and waking up with bites, welts or rashes. Bite marks may appear in clusters.
- Dark spotting or blood droplets on mattresses, pillows or bedding. These are waste products bed bugs excrete while digesting a blood-meal.
- Visible observation of eggs, molted insect skin, or the insect. The failure to locate an insect does not indicate they are not present. Adult bed bugs are difficult to locate, and bed bug nymphs can be difficult to see due to their size.
If you are experiencing any of the above, we have come up with some steps to follow once you’ve identified a bed bug infestation.
Notify Your Landlord or Property Manager
Notifying your landlord is imperative when you find bed bugs in your apartment since if one unit is infested, that could mean other units are as well. Notify your landlord that way they could mount an action plan and help you hire a pest control specialist.
Contact an Exterminator or Pest Control Company
Successfully handling a bed bug infestation certainly requires professional help. Though you may find at home methods via research, it’s best to leave the work to the professionals. Remember, they’re not going to spread exponentially in the short time it takes you to find a qualified pest control specialist.
Clean Up and De-Clutter
There’s nothing you can do to eradicate the infestation. However, by squishing, removing, and killing bed bugs by cleaning, you can effectively reduce their numbers and chances to spread. Carefully carry all bedding or infected fabrics to the nearest dryer and put it on a high heat setting for at least half an hour. This will kill bed bugs. You can wash and dry the items after the initial dry.
Cover Your Mattress
Buy a bed bug-proof mattress cover or protector that will encase the entire mattress, not just the top portion. This should prevent more bed bugs from infesting your mattress and make it impossible for the ones that are currently there to get out.
Choose Your Sleeping Arrangement Carefully
It’s understandable that you might not be able to sleep in your bed knowing that it’s infested with bed bugs and this may cause anxiety and stress. However, if you’ve taken the steps above and think you’ll be able to handle any bed bug-related anxiety, then it’s best to sleep in your bed until it’s treated by a pest control specialist. This can reduce the chances of spreading the infestation to other rooms in your home.