In the last decade, bed bugs have been appearing in homes and apartments all over Toronto. They spread from one place to another very easily going unnoticed and reproduce at alarming rates with each female laying up to 12 eggs per day. Once they are in they can be very stressful and difficult to get rid of due to their great ability to hide and their resistance to most pesticides.
If you have the misfortune of coming across these pests in your it is strongly recommended that you do not try to get rid of them on your own and instead hire a professional bed bug exterminator to make sure no bed bug is left behind. Here you will find the steps that are taken by a bed bug exterminator to locate and eradicate these awful critters.
Step 1: Bed Bug Detection
A strong indicator that you have bed bugs is if you notice that there are small red bite marks on your skin after sleeping. To be sure that these bites are from bed bugs you should do a quick inspection of common spots that bed bugs would hide, such as in the seams of your mattress, and look for bed bug droppings on your bed sheets.
Once you have determined that you have bed bugs in your home it is time to call in a bed bug exterminator to do a more thorough check to examine the extent of the infestation. If necessary, the exterminator may even bring a trained K-9 to sniff out the ones that are impossible to find such as those hiding behind walls and under floors.
Step 2: Preparing the Home for Bed Bug Treatment
To effectively get rid of all bed bugs in your home it is very important to prepare your house prior to treatment. Some of the preparation that a bed bug expert may ask you to do before treatment begins are:
- Eliminate any potential hiding spots that can easily be removed from your house and place them in a tightly sealed plastic bag. This includes items such as bedding, comforters, pillows, clothing, table cloths and any other clutter in the infected areas.
- Electrical items such as vacuum cleaners, alarm clocks and power adapters in the infected areas should be provided to the exterminator as these are great hiding spots for bed bugs and must be handled accordingly.
Only when all personal items and clutter have been removed from the infested room can a proper treatment begin. However, before the treatment begins it is important to properly wash all of the fabrics that you removed from the room.
Step 3: Washing Your Clothing and Linens
Bed bugs are very resilient creatures but one thing that gets them every time is high temperatures. Follow these tips to wash your linens in a way that should kill all bed bugs:
- Place all of your clothing and linens into a washing machine, cleaning them with hot water, and then put them in the dryer on high heat. Make sure to immediately throw out the garbage bags that you used to bring your clothes so that if there are any remaining bed bugs they do not hitch a ride back home with you.
- Items such as backpacks, pillows and stuffed animals which can not be placed in the washing machine should be put directly in the dryer on high heat for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Once finished, placed all clean items in new tightly sealed plastic bags and keep them in there until you receive further instructions from your bed bug specialist.
Step 4: Bed Bug Treatment
Now that you are ready to have the exterminator apply an effective bed bug treatment it is time to decide what type of treatment you will be using. There are several treatment processes available depending on your budget and the extent of infestation you are dealing with. Here are three of the most popular treatment methods, ordered from most economical to most expensive.
Although bed bugs have developed a resistance to most pesticides, there are still some insecticides available that can exterminate these pests. This is the most economical option available and involves having all infected areas sprayed with an insecticide that is safe for humans and their pets. Once the insecticide is applied it will have to remain in place for several hours after which the exterminator will come back to clean up all remnants of the insecticide. This method can yield great results only if applied by a professional who knows exactly what they are doing.
Steam treatment, although more expensive than chemical treatments, is proven to be more effective and is safe for the environment. This type of treatment uses a combination of high temperatures and specially formulated solvents to exterminate all bed bugs in a room. The steam is applied directly to all infested areas such as mattresses, furniture and baseboards, and is monitored to ensure that bed bugs do not escape to find harborage in a location that has not been treated.
This is the most expensive option available but also the most effective and environmentally friendly option. Heat treatment uses exactly what it’s name implies to get rid of bed bugs; heat. It is most commonly used in commercial properties such as schools and hospitals where chemical treatments are not allowed, but can also be used in residential properties. This method requires heating up infested areas to approximately 45°C, which is above a bed bugs thermal death point, and maintains this temperature in the room for a few hours to ensure that all bed bugs and their eggs are exterminated. After having heat treatment applied to infested areas in your home or business you can be sure that there won’t be any bed bugs remaining and repopulating your property.