Preparing for Conventional Bed Bug Treatment
Preparing for treatment applications is critical to its success. This section describes preparation for both conventional bed bug treatments as well as for heat treatments. Accompanying video clips will help demonstrate the essential preparation techniques.
Proper preparation before treatment is essential for effectiveness. This preparation protocol is for conventional chemical treatment. Some treatments do not require this level of preparation some may require more. Always follow the instructions of a well-qualified, reliable pest control professional if hired.
Do not remove any items from the infested rooms before treatment. By doing this, you increase the possibility of spreading the bed bugs to other rooms and units.
- Move all furniture at least two (2) feet away from walls.
- Have all drawers in dressers, nightstands, vanities, and armoires removed and emptied for inspection. Store contents in sealable plastic bags or tightly secured garbage bags.
- Wash/dry clothes, bedding, and linens
- Wash clothes, bedding, and linens with laundry detergent using the hottest water temperature setting that is practical. Next, place all “dryer safe” items in the dryer on high heat for at least 20 to 45 minutes. Store items in sealable plastic or tightly secured garbage bags after drying.
- Place “dry clean only” items in sealable plastic or tightly secured garbage bags and brought to the dry cleaners. Dry cleaners should be notified of the infested items so the infestation does not spread within the facility.
- Place both the mattress and box spring on their side – the pest control company will need to have access to the underside of the bed. Remove everything from the headboard(s). Wash/dry as appropriate, and store all items in sealable plastic or tightly secured garbage bags.
- Remove all children’s toys and any other items that children can put in their mouth, especially those items on the floor, from the infested rooms. Place washable/dryable items in the dryer on high heat for 20 to 45 minutes. Items may also be put in sealable plastic bags or tightly secured plastic garbage bags and then placed in the freezer for four days, if practical. After washing/drying or freezing, store all items in sealable plastic bags or tightly secured garbage bags.
- Remove all items found on the floor of closets and underneath the beds in infested rooms, wash/dry as appropriate, and store in sealable plastic or tightly secured garbage bags.
- Remove all pet bedding, wash/dry as appropriate, and store in sealable plastic or tightly secured garbage bags.
- Unless otherwise instructed, remove all items from coffee/end/sofa tables, bookshelves, hutches, TV stands, CD/DVD/tape cabinets, and entertainment units in rooms to be treated. Store items in sealable plastic or tightly secured garbage bags.
- Place all sealed or secured plastic bags in an area where they will not restrict access to infested rooms.
- Roll up all “area” or “throw” rugs, and place together in an area where they can be treated.
- Vacuum floors and use a crevice tool/wand around moldings of the room(s) to be treated. Thoroughly vacuum all furniture, mattresses, pillows, upholstery, and curtains. It is very important to focus on creases, buttons, cording, and folds. After vacuuming, dispose of the vacuum bag or the contents of the bagless vacuum canister in a plastic bag. Seal the bag tightly and immediately dispose of it in a garbage container outside the home. Thoroughly wash the bagless vacuum canister with hot soapy water to eliminate any bed bugs and eggs. Clean or mop all vinyl, ceramic, and wood floors.
- Unplug electrical equipment such as computers, TVs, alarm clocks, etc., in rooms to be treated. Remove electrical wall plates. This will allow the pest control operator to treat wall openings.
- DO NOT discard mattresses or furniture until a pest control operator does an inspection. Mattresses and furniture often do not need to be discarded. New mattresses or furniture should NOT be purchased until after the infestation has been eliminated.
- Notify pest control operator of any allergies, chemical sensitivities, or similar medical conditions prior to treatment.
- We strongly recommend that small children, elderly persons, people with respiratory problems, and pets vacate the premises during the treatment. They should stay away for at least four (4) hours or until any treatment product has dried, whichever period is greater.
- Inform building management if assistance is needed to complete any of the above tasks.
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- Leave your home for at least four (4) hours or until any treatment product has dried, whichever is greater. Keep pets and children off treated surfaces until any treatment product has dried.
- Keep all windows open.
- Wipe off furniture tops in treated rooms, and wash all cribs and headboards.
- Do not make bed until treatment is finished and beds are dry.
- Do not sleep in the room for a minimum of four (4) hours or until any treatment product has dried, whichever is greater. It is recommended that beds be encased in a zip-up mattress cover made of cloth or tear-resistant plastic for up to one year. Zippered mattress covers offer some protection from bed bugs by trapping them in the encasements. The bed bugs will eventually die over a period of a year. These do not replace any other treatment methods.
- Replace electrical wall plates.
- Inspect and clean all items before returning them to areas underneath the bed or in the closet.
- Inspect and clean all items before returning them to bookshelves, hutches, TV stands, CD/DVD/tape cabinets, and entertainment units.
- Depending on your treatment plan, you may need to keep clothing, coats, shoes, linens and other fabric-based items in plastic bags for anywhere from several weeks to months to ensure that your items do not become re-infested. Be sure to check with the pest control operator or landlord for a date when you can safely return belongings to closets or dressers.