Bed bugs are alarmingly common pests with a penchant for turning up pretty much anywhere and everywhere. According to a survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association, a whopping 97 percent of professionals have conducted a bed-bug treatment within the past year, and bed bugs appear in all 50 states in the U.S. Contrary to popular opinion, your property’s cleanliness (or lack thereof) doesn’t play into whether or not you’ll end up with a bed-bug infestation. The most important thing you can do is to deal with it quickly — and that means properly preparing for a professional bed-bug treatment.
In this article, we will provide a bed-bug service checklist. Why? Because to deliver the most effective service, residents must prepare their homes before conventional bed bug service can begin. Please refer below to the following items of the Smithereen Conventional Service Checklist:
Steps To Take Within Bedrooms
Preparation is vital in the success of bed bug elimination, particularly within bedrooms, which is where these insects primarily shelter. To ensure you receive the most effective treatment we ask that you partner with Smithereen to complete the below checklist. Please notify Smithereen or your management company if you have any allergies, asthma, chemical sensitivities, or other medical conditions prior to treatment. It is recommended that you, children, and pets not be active in the treated areas for at least two hours after the treatment is complete or until the material has dried.
Our bedroom bed-bug inspection checklist includes the following:
- Empty dressers of all clothing, place said items in plastic bags, and seal them.
- Remove all books from bookshelves and place them in plastic bags, but do not remove them from the room.
- Furniture (dressers, nightstands, under the bed) should be emptied and cleaned. Items should be inspected and placed in a plastic bag.
- Lift the mattress and box spring out of your bed and place them either against each other in an inverted “V” shape or lean them against the wall. Stand them on their shorter side so that they look like a picture in portrait orientation.
- Open any sofa beds or convertible furniture in order to maximum treatment effectiveness.
- Vacuum any furniture within the room, including around seams and in small spaces where bed bugs may be hiding. Remove and dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag immediately.
- Pull any items stored under a bed out into the open.
Bedding, Clothing, and Soft Items
- All bedding and linens (sheets, blankets, pillows, etc.) should be removed and sealed in plastic bags until it can be washed.
- All cloth items (bedding, pillows, clothing, curtains, soft toys, etc.) should be placed in the dryer on high heat for at least 30 minutes. Washing is not recommended as it increases preparation time and the risk for damage. Move items to dryer in plastic bag and use a new bag after drying, dispose of old bags in outside garbage. Open bags only when necessary and re-secure them and keep them prepared until Smithereen or management has notified you that the bed bug treatment is complete.
The Room Itself
- Remove all pictures and paintings from the walls, but do not take them into another section of the house.
- Unscrew and remove any wall covers, such as phone jacks and light switches.
- Vacuum the floor thoroughly even if you have hard floors. Ensure that you immediately dispose of its bag outside.
- Do not remove furniture, televisions, or electronic equipment to another room. They need to remain in their current space for treatment.
- Empty closets and bag all of their contents.
Steps To Take Within Other Rooms
While bed bugs tend to concentrate within bedrooms due to the presence of people within them for an extended period every night, they can take up habitation virtually anywhere within a property. If you suspect that you have an infestation that extends beyond your bedroom, part of your bed bug treatment preparation checklist should include going through other rooms and performing the following tasks:
- All upholstered furniture must be thoroughly inspected; pillows and blankets should be removed and placed in the dryer on the highest heat setting for 30 minutes.
- Furniture should be moved away from the walls to allow access. All dressers, nightstands, and other furniture must be emptied and accessible for inspection and treatment.
- Electronics should be unplugged, and outlet covers removed to allow for the treatment of interior wall spaces. Other items such as lamps, clocks, computers, radios, TVs, and hanging pictures serve as a common hiding place for bed bugs and should be left in place for inspection.
- Any items that have bed bug activity or are suspicious leave to the side to be inspected by the technician.
- Vacuum under cushions and crevices of furniture.
- Vacuum floors especially well along baseboards.
- Discard the vacuum bag immediately/wash the canister with very hot soapy water and dispose of the water right away.
General Guidelines During and After Your Service
When considering how to prepare for bed bug extermination services, understand that there are a number of general principles you should adhere to both during and after the treatment, such as:
- No chemicals will be used for treating any children’s furniture or toys. Please prepare children’s rooms in the same way as described in previous sections.
- Fish tanks, reptile aquariums, and any other animal tanks need to be covered and, if possible, removed from treatment area. Aeration filters on tanks should be turned off until two hours have passed after the completion of the treatment.
- You and your family will need to leave the premises and not return until a minimum of four hours after the conclusion of the treatment.
- Label bags so you know what is located where. Put clothes you wear more frequently in one bag to avoid opening more bags than needed.
- It is not recommended to have any new mattresses/furniture delivered to your home until Smithereen or management has informed you that treatment is complete.
- If it is necessary to dispose of items, they must be wrapped before moved or taken out of the home.
- Mattress covers are recommended for any bed bug infestation. Covers can be purchased through Smithereen.