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Bed Bugs – Treatment Do’s and Don’ts

Bed bugs are challenging pests to eradicate; they hide in cracks and crevices which makes locating and eliminating them difficult.  Whenever possible, it is exceedingly important to hire a professional experienced in the eradication of bed bugs to exterminate the infestation.  Not only does their experience and training provide an advantage, pest control professionals also have access to the proper products and equipment necessary for complete and thorough treatment in the battle against bed bugs.  Residents do however play an extremely important role in the bed bug eradication process.  Pest control professionals are responsible for the treatment of the infestation; however, their job is made significantly more manageable when the resident properly prepares the home for treatment.  Individual companies typically have a checklist of tasks that the resident will need to complete prior to service.  Often, these lists will help to eliminate clutter and therefore assist in elimination of harborage areas where bed bugs hide and breed.  Preparation will also ensure that surfaces that commonly need to be accessible during a bed bug treatment are available to the technician.  The checklist does of course vary from company to company as professionals discover the techniques that provide the best results.  In addition, preparation will vary based on the type of treatment preformed.

Heat treatments are becoming available in the pest control industry in which the infested home or structure is heated to approximately 130 degrees for a period of several hours.  While some pest control professionals feel this is the quickest way to rid a home or structure of an infestation as the treatment is typically completed in one step, many more pest control professionals prefer to stick to the conventional method of applying insecticide that offers a residual protection against emerging bed bugs or reintroduction of bed bugs on items brought back into the home. Heat treatments require specialized training and equipment and are therefore typically more expensive than conventional insecticide based treatments.  EPA-registered products available to pest control professionals tend to be more effective than over-the-counter products sold by retailers.  One common misconception when purchasing over-the-counter products is that because the product is labeled for the control of bed bugs that the product can be applied anywhere bed bugs are found.  This is commonly not the case and labels will indicate that the product is not intended for use on items such as mattresses and other furniture.  In addition, bed bug bombs or foggers are frequently available over-the-counter; however, many pest control professionals have found that these products drive bed bugs into hiding in wall voids or untreated portions of the home and while they may provide temporary decreases in activity, a vast majority of residents that utilize them report that activity then later increases once again. It is extremely important to always read and follow labeling instructions on products sold over-the-counter.

When having your home treated by a pest control professional, never utilize additional products without first obtaining the approval of your pest control technician.  The use of certain chemicals may counteract or prolong your treatment process.  Always follow preparation and post-treatment procedures as designated by your pest control professional in order to provide positive assistance in the treatment process.