Bed Bugs Info & Services
Bed Bugs Exterminating - Control and Treatment
How Do I Control or Treat for Bed Bugs?
A critical first step is to correctly identify the blood-feeding pest, as this determines which management tactics to adopt that take into account specific bug biology and habits. For example, if the blood-feeder is a bat bug rather than a bed bug, a different management approach is needed.
Control of bed bugs is best achieved by following an integrated pest management (IPM) approach that involves multiple tactics, such as preventive measures, sanitation, and chemicals applied to targeted sites.
Use of (IPM) Integrated Pest Management Techniques for Bed Bug Control
IPM uses Prevention, Inspection, Sanitation, Trapping and Chemical Techniques to reduce and eliminate the infestation.
Do not bring infested items into one's home. It is important to carefully inspect clothing and baggage of travelers, being on the lookout for bed bugs and their tell-tale fecal spots. Also, inspect secondhand beds, bedding, and furniture. Caulk cracks and crevices in the building exterior and also repair or screen openings to exclude birds, bats, and rodents that can serve as alternate hosts for bed bugs.
A thorough inspection of the premises to locate bed bugs and their harborage sites is necessary so that cleaning efforts and insecticide treatments can be focused. Inspection efforts should concentrate on the mattress, box springs, and bed frame, as well as crack and crevices that the bed bugs may hide in during the day or when digesting a blood meal. The latter sites include window and door frames, floor cracks, carpet tack boards, baseboards, electrical boxes, furniture, pictures, wall hangings, drapery pleats, loosened wallpaper, cracks in plaster, and ceiling moldings. Determine whether birds or rodents are nesting on or near the house.
In hotels, apartments, and other multiple-type dwellings, it is advisable to also inspect adjoining units since bed bugs can travel long distances.
Sanitation measures include frequently vacuuming the mattress and premises, laundering bedding and clothing in hot water, and cleaning and sanitizing dwellings. After vacuuming, immediately place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag, seal tightly, and discard in a container outdoors-this prevents captured bed bugs from escaping into the home. A stiff brush can be used to scrub the mattress seams to dislodge bed bugs and eggs. Discarding the mattress is another option, although a new mattress can quickly become infested if bed bugs are still on the premises. Steam cleaning of mattresses generally is not recommended because it is difficult to get rid of excess moisture, which can lead to problems with mold, mildew, house dust mites, etc.
Repair cracks in plaster and glue down loosened wallpaper to eliminate bed bug harborage sites. Remove and destroy wild animal roosts and nests when possible.
After the mattress is vacuumed or scrubbed, it can be enclosed in a zippered mattress cover such as that used for house dust mites (Protect-a-Bed). Any bed bugs remaining on the mattress will be trapped inside the cover. Leave the cover in place for two years or so since bed bugs can live for a long time without a blood meal.
Sticky traps or glueboards may be used to capture bed bugs that wander about. However, the effectiveness of these traps is not well documented.
Residual insecticides (usually pyrethroids) are applied as spot treatments to cracks and crevices where bed bugs are hiding. Increased penetration of the insecticide into cracks and crevices can be achieved if accumulated dirt and debris are first removed using a vacuum cleaner. We avoid using highly repellent formulations, which cause bed bugs to scatter too many places. Dust formulations may be used to treat wall voids and attics. Magic at times repeat insecticide applications if bed bugs are present two weeks after the initial treatment since it is difficult to find all hiding places and hidden eggs may have hatched. Phantom is a non-repellent that is labeled for bed bugs and is showing good results.
We do not use any insecticide on a mattress unless the product label specifically mentions such use. Note that very few insecticides are labeled for use on mattresses. If using an appropriately labeled insecticide on a mattress, we take measures to minimize pesticide exposure to occupants. Apply the insecticide as a light mist to the entire mattress, opening seams, tufts, and folds to allow the chemical to penetrate into these hiding areas. Allow the treated surface to completely dry before use. You the client should not sleep directly on a treated mattress; be sure bed linens are in place. We do not treat mattresses of infants or ill people. Alternatives to using an insecticide on a mattress are discussed in the 'Sanitation' and 'Trapping' sections.
Insecticidal dusts made of silica + pyrethrum, such as Tri-Die or Drione, can be safely used to treat for bed bugs. Clean under and around bedroom furniture especially areas that seldom get cleaned. Apply a very light spray of Tri-Die or Drione silica dust (silica + pyrethrum) to mattress seams, bed frame, crevices, and any cracks that cannot be repaired. Follow label instructions carefully when applying any insecticide to, or around, bedding.
There are also two new botanical insecticides that are safe enough to use on, and around, bedding to control bed bugs. EcoExempt KO (see below) is an aerosol spray based on natural plant oils. It is the only aerosol insecticide I would suggest for indoor application. EcoPCO DX (see below) is a dust formulation and can also be safely used on mattresses and around beds.
No insecticides are labeled for use on bedding or linens. These items should be dry cleaned or laundered in hot water and dried using the "hot" setting for no less than 5 to 10 minutes.
Regular cleaning and inspection of hiding places is the best control strategy for bed bugs. Insecticidal treatment of bedding and furniture may be necessary but be very cautious when using insecticides on mattress and box springs because of the potential for prolonged exposure to toxic materials while sleeping.
Combat Bedbugs Safely
Magic continues to strive to make pest extermination as environmentally friendly as possible. Following the research guidelines set by several major university studies Magic has built a heat chamber as a solution to bed bugs and wood destroying insects in the safest way possible. With the Heat Chamber, Magic can successfully eliminate these pests without the use of chemicals. This is accomplished by placing the infested belongings (Mattress, Dressers, Clothing, Electronics and Wood Furniture) inside the chamber and gradually raising the heat within the chamber and of the belongings. Learn more about our green exterminating project, and fill out our free estimate quote to learn how Magic can help get rid of Bed Bugs in your home today!