4 Things you need to know when working with your Toronto Bed Bug Exterminator…
When you find yourself dealing with a bed bug problem there are many questions that arise. Often, as the process of educating yourself either online or by asking a friend, you find yourself with more questions than actual answers. In addition, people who suffer with bed bugs are often given inaccurate information that directly conflicts with either long-known facts or differs from new information that comes to light as a result of ongoing research into bed bugs and how they operate.
When you finally decide which type of bed bug treatment you are ready to proceed with and you have selected the bed bug extermination company that you’re comfortable using, you will then need to work with that exterminator in a number of important ways to ensure a positive outcome to your bed bug extermination.
Depending on the extermination method you choose there will be some differences in the ways that you must prepare but it is absolutely imperative that you follow the directions and advice of your bed bug extermination professional as, failure to do so will most likely result in a poor result. A proper pre-bed bug extermination preparation is absolutely essential!
Here you will find the four most important things to remember (and accomplish) when working with your bed bug exterminator…
Bed bug extermination preparation for traditional bed bug treatment
The preparation required prior to a ‘traditional‘ bed bug extermination should be given to the client at least three days prior to the scheduled procedure. This amount of time is usually required to accomplish the required items on the ‘checklist’. Keep in mind that the larger the home, the more ‘stuff’ or ‘clutter’ that exists in the home and the amount of articles that must be laundered and the amount of help you will have to accomplish the tasks all play into the amount of time that it may take to properly prepare your home for your bed bug extermination.
Preparing your home for the ‘traditional’ treatment entails such things as:
- Move all furniture 18 inches aways from the baseboards throughout the home. Doing this enables your bed bug technician to access the baseboards and surrounding areas so that a residual product can be accurately placed there. Bed bugs tend to ‘hug’ these areas when they ambulate and thus expose themselves to the product. The more accurately the technician can place this product the more likely the bed bugs will be able to come into contact with it and, thus, the faster they will die.
- Empty all dresser drawers in all bedrooms. This is an important step as bed bugs are well known to hid in, under and behind these drawers. Keep in mind that bed bugs do not like to be ‘disturbed’ and they prefer dark, out of the way places to hide until coming out to feed (on you) approximately every 7-9 days. Bed bug also often hide in the folds and creases of clothing so we find them in drawers quite regularly. The dresser drawers must be completely empty to allow the technician full access to kill any bed bugs that may be there but also to protect those areas that have not yet been infested.
- Wall electrical sockets (especially in the bedrooms) must be removed. Why? Bed bugs often infest these areas because they are dark and no one ever touches these areas – perfect for a bed bug! Your bed bug exterminator will inject a dry dust into these sockets. The dust kill bed bugs in two ways; first, it acts as a cutting mechanism, puncturing the exoskeleton of the insect and adding a chemical as well.
- Give your technician room to work. Once thing that we find often is that a ‘prepped’ room has NO room to work in. For obvious reasons, this is not productive when the technician arrives to do the bed bug job for you. If space is tight, try placing some of the laundry filled bags into your bathtub for safekeeping until the procedure is finished.
- Bed bug laundry procedures. One of the most important aspects of the bed bug treatment is laundry! Bed bugs love to hide and lay eggs in clothing so doing your laundry properly is absolutely essential for a successful bed bug extermination! Doing bed bug laundry is really quite simple… Dry your clothing on ‘high’ for one hour and re-bag, put a loose knot in the top and you’re done! Remember, do NOT wash the laundry first! Put the clothing in already dry and ‘dry’ for one hour on ‘high’ – it’s the heat from the dryer that will kill all bed bugs and the bed bug eggs.
Bed bug extermination preparation for a Bed Bug Heat Treatment
If you’ve decided on eliminating your bed bug problem via a bed bug heat treatment there are some important differences in the preparation required relative to the traditional treatment.
Prior to your bed bug heat treatment your exterminator should provide you with an extensive and highly-detailed preparation sheet. Due to the fact that heat is being used for bed bug elimination, there are some important steps that need to be taken to
- Ensure that all of the bed bugs and bed bug eggs are eliminated. This can only be done when sufficient airflow is achieved throughout the home and into every crack and crevice, nook and cranny!
- Ensure that no damage is done during the heat treatment process
- Ensure the safety of the technician crew performing the bed bug heat extermination for you.
All of the above are easily achieved by closely following the preparation sheet that is provided to you by the bed bug extermination company that you choose to use. The main things to consider are that temperature in your home will be raised to between 140 and and 150 F. for most of the day – obviously things that aren’t meant to be raised to that temperature tend to melt at that temperature! Candles, crayons, hot-melt glue etc… In addition, some safety items must be removed from your home prior to your bed bug heat treatment… Fire extinguishers, aerosol cans, propane tanks etc…. The most important thing to remember when it comes to preparing from the perspective of efficacy is to make sure that the cyclonic flow of air that will be created has an opportunity to completely fill every part of your home so that the heat that is generated can penetrate everywhere. For instance, do NOT pack your closets so tightly that air can not flow between articles located in them. Unstack boxes and pull things away from the back of the closets.
The preparation for a bed bug heat treatment can be quite extensive depending on the size of your home and the amount of ‘stuff’ in your home but the benefits always outweigh any perceived drawbacks. Bed bug heat treatments have quickly become the ‘gold standard’ in bed bug extermination. For more information on bed bug heat treatments see here.
The importance of Bed Bug Mattress Covers
Any good, experienced and knowledgable bed bug exterminator will tell you that an integral part of your bed bug elimination protocol is to use good quality bed bug mattress covers. When we say ‘mattress covers’ we also mean to include covers for the box-springs as well.
What is a bed bug mattress cover?
A bed bug mattress cover is an article that completely surrounds the mattress (or box spring) and zips up to create an impenetrable physical barrier to render it impossible for anything to penetrate that barrier once it is in place. There are two main reasons to install bed bug mattress covers on all of your mattresses and box springs;
- The bed bug mattress cover prevents any bed bugs from escaping the physical barrier.
- The mattress cover assists in bed bug monitoring in that they are white and provide a stark contrast to any bed bug fecal matter that may present itself when a ‘new’ infestation is present enabling the homeowner or professional technician to readily identify that there are bed bugs present without having to wait until the problem has manifested itself to the point where multiple bed bugs can be readily seen.
It is highly recommended that when dealing with a bed bug infestation, the homeowner purchase bed bug mattress covers for all mattresses and box-springs in the home. Preferably, the covers should made of a poly-knit fabric and had a ‘safety’ device collocated with the securing zipper.
It is possible to accidentally tear a bed bug mattress cover, as long as the tear is less than four inches long it can easliy be repaired with simply duct tape. However, if the tear is longer than four inches in length it is recommended that a new mattress cover be purchased and installed. If you find yourself in this situation it is important to know that the new cover should be put directly onto the old one – DO NOT remove the old one first to install the new one.
Listen to your bed bug exterminator and do what he/she tells you to do!
In the age of the internet there is more than enough information about bed bugs to keep one occupied researching for at least two lifetimes! Researching this subject on your own can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, gaining self-knowledge can be an enlightening and productive experience and prove to be valuable in that you can anticipate what is necessary relative to what may not be. On the other hand, there is so much inaccurate information on the internet regarding bed bugs that knowing which site can be trusted and what information is true can be daunting. It is imperative when searching for a bed bug exterminator that you consider the following;
- The bed bug exterminator that you choose should specialize in bed bugs! Killing bed bugs is not like treating for any other type of pest control problem. Very specific knowledge, equipment and procedures are necessary for a positive outcome to be expected.
- Your bed bug exterminator should be licensed and fully versed on all safety aspects specific to bed bug elimination in your home!
As mentioned above, gaining knowledge on your own can be a good and productive thing but make sure to query the pest control company about things that may not be clear to you. Your bed bug exterminator will ask you to ‘prep’ your home and conduct certain procedures prior to and subsequent to your extermination. There are also things that the pest control company will ask you NOT to do… Some of those things are;
- Do NOT apply your own bed bug pest control products in-between treatments!
- Clean up any ‘dust’ that you have applied PRIOR to your pest control technician arriving to perform the treatment for you!
- Do NOT ‘clean-up’ after your bed bug treatment has been conducted unless specifically given the ‘go-ahead’ by the company.
- Adhere to any advice your bed bug exterminator gives you! Each home and situation is different. When on-site, you exterminator should advise you and give advice based specifically on your particular home. Follow the advice that is given to you and ask questions of you’re not sure what to do. A good pest control company will be happy to spend however long it takes with you giving you advice and helping you along the way.
The bed bug resurgence in the Toronto area is in full swing! Fortunately there are proven methods of bed bug extermination that are being conducted by reputable pest control companies every day. Ensure that your bed bug pest control company is licensed by the Ministry of the Environment of Ontario and member of at least one of the recognized associations for pest control in Ontario. After selecting a reputable bed bug pest control company, get their advice and follow it.
Bed bugs are being defeated every day in Toronto and by following the advice of and working together with your bed bug pest control professional, your bed bug problem can be eliminated safely, quickly and efficiently.