What to DO
What do I do if I find Bed Bugs?
The most important thing to remember is DON’T PANIC. Make sure you read all the information provided to you so that you can correctly confirm that it is, indeed, bed bugs you’re dealing with.
If that is the case, you should follow the steps below.
You will need to contact a pest control professional who will treat the area. You may need to prepare the room (living space), as detailed below, however you should discuss any room preparation with the pest control professional.
How to prepare the room for the pest control professional:
- Remove all linen, blankets, sheets, covers, pillows, towels and curtains, and put them into bags to be cleaned
- Empty drawers and closets, placing all items into plastic bags.
- All clothing and coats - including shoes, pillows and children’s plush toys - should be bagged and then cleaned.
- Anything that cannot be washed, like plastic toys or electronics, should be bagged separately for inspection.
- Plush furniture should be left in the room, but should be moved at least 18 inches away from the walls
- Remove outlet covers and switch plates on all walls
- Picture frames should be removed from the walls and need to be cleaned or treated
- People and pets must leave the area during treatment and wait the stated amount of time before reentering (usually 4 hours)
- Fish tanks should be covered with a towel or plastic
- All cleaned items must be kept isolated until the bed bug problem is eliminated
- Make sure the professional can get to all the furniture, closets, beds, and baseboards to inspect and treat
How to bag and clean items before pesticides are used:
- Personal belongings should be inspected carefully, cleaned, and sealed in plastic bags—Do not use cardboard boxes; bed bugs can hide in the folds
- Keep cleaned items separate from items that haven’t been checked or cleaned
- The room should be emptied of all personal belongings, and the floors should be thoroughly vacuumed with a brush attachment (which should be later washed in hot water and detergent)
- The mattress and box spring should be vacuumed to remove any live bugs and debris and immediately encased
- Hard furniture, floors and walls should be washed liberally with soapy water
- Outlets and electrical switch plates should be opened and inspected for signs of bed bugs, but not washed
- Wash in and around any non-electric heating units (such as steam pipes or radiators)
It’s important that the pest control professional you contact perform the treatment satisfactory so that it’s safe to return to your home. Here are some questions to ask the professional to ensure that they are qualified to perform the services you are requesting.
Questions to ask pest control professionals:
- Do you have experience in treating Bed Bugs?
- Do you have references?
- Are you licensed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC)?
- How do you check for bed bugs (visual or bed bug detection dogs)?
- What type of treatments do you offer (chemical, freezing, steam heat, dry heat)?
- Is there a contract involved? Is there a guarantee offered?
- How many treatments are involved for the quoted price?
Did you know that bed bugs like the dark and usually come out when you're sleeping. But, they will feed when the light is on if they're hungry enough.