I’ve been through the whole Bed Bug business, so I’d like to consider myself a pro at handling this. So far, I’ve talked about how you can identify if you have bed bugs, Cleaning after finding bed bugs, how you can get rid of them on your own, and today I’m going to talk about how you get ready for Pest Control if, in the end, you decide that you need a professional.
I’m going to be honest with you right up front, it isn’t easy. In some ways, you may think that you would have rather just handled everything on your own, but I assure you that having the professionals in was the RIGHT decision, and if you can afford it, I would absolutely recommend the same for you.
How to Prep for Bed Bug Pest Control
- Wash everything. Literally. You will need to go through and wash everything that can be washed in the rooms where you’ve seen the bed bugs. This means emptying out every drawer and your entire close. Even if you THINK that there aren’t any bed bugs lurking in your clothes, don’t take the risk, just wash everything.
- Remove all bedding, including mattress pads and the gauze underneath the box springs. Bed bugs LOVE holing up behind the mesh. Wash all of the bedding and the mattress pad, toss the gauze out.
- Remind yourself that everything must be washed in HOT HOT water and then dried in HOT heat for at least 30 minutes (I personally go longer).
- Store clean laundry in an airtight container. Once you’ve completed a load of laundry, you will NOT want to put it back in your drawers / closet until after pest control finishes. You need to place it in an airtight bag, but those vacuum bags are expensive. We did a little research and determined that the large black contractor bags (these worked best for us, Husky Contractor bags), twisted closed and then sealed with a zip tie are JUST as effective and much less.
- Remove all of the face plates on outlets and light switch covers. If you’re wondering why, it’s because Bed Bugs can lurk within walls and enter and exit via this face plates. They’re pretty simple to remove, so just do it!
- Place all of the furniture in your rooms in the center of each room. Pest control will need to get behind and around them so that they can treat the edges of the room. I recommend getting slippy furniture movers, they make them both for hardwood and for carpeted floors. For hard wood and for carpet (affiliate links).
- If you live in an apartment, insist that your landlord have all apartments checked for Bed Bugs. <A little secret, our landlord refuses to force the tenants below us to have their place inspected. She said she’d let them know we have had them, but will not force them to have a person come in and look. So frustrating!!!>
- Finally, remind yourself that no matter the hassle of prepping for pest control, it is worth it, if you can once and for all, get rid of the Bed Bugs.
Going through the whole experience (now, twice) has been difficult, but I have learned a lot and am hopeful that I can impart some of this knowledge onto you.
If you’d like to read my other posts on the subject matter of Bed Bugs, you can read them here.
How to Choose a Pest Control Company – a fantastic article, that is very handy to have around, should you ever need to hire pest control.
If you’ve gone through an ordeal like this before, how did YOU prepare?
Have you had to do as much as we did? More? Less? Share in the comments below!
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I appreciate the tips you have for preparing for a pest control company. I would never try and get rid of pests myself, for a ton of reasons! We might be dealing with bed bugs now, so I will remember to wash in “HOT HOT water” like you said. Thanks for the info.