Here are some tips from your friends at RHH Insurance on how to deal with bed bugs. If you find bed bugs in your home or business, it’s important to get rid of them as quickly as possible, as they can breed and spread very quickly. Patience and persistence is the key to ridding your premises of bugs.  Stop bugs from hiding in your bed Double-sided carpet tape attached to the base of bed legs does not allow the bugs to crawl up to you. Also effective is mineral oil or petroleum jelly applied at the base of the bed leg. Don’t forget that crawling up a bed leg is not the only way a bug can end up hiding in a bed. Use a protective cover that encases mattresses and box springs to eliminate many hiding spots. 

Hire a pest management professional (PMP) Hiring a PMP is the best way to get rid of these pesky bugs. Licensed PMPs know what products should be used, and where. If they are affiliated with a state or national association it’s likely that they stay up-to-date on current practices. They also know best how to find bed bugs. Unfortunately, you will need more than one treatment, and potentially several. The PMP will have to come back two weeks after the initial treatment to apply more insecticides to kill any eggs that have hatched. Insecticides do not kill the eggs. In order for the PMP to do the job properly, he will require prep work from you. If the PMP does not require you to do prep work, call the next company on your list.

Cleaning Thoroughly cleaning a room can help to eliminate bed bugs. Scrub infested surfaces with a stiff brush to dislodge eggs and use a powerful vacuum to remove the bugs from cracks and crevices. This will not ensure that you’ve got all the eggs, but it will help. When vacuuming, use the smallest attachment to suck the bed bugs out of hiding. Bed bugs in the vacuum bag or canister will still be alive. Put the bag or canister contents in a sealed plastic bag and freeze for two weeks to kill the bugs.

Heat treatments Steamers and heat treatments will kill eggs and adults on contact. It is unclear how deeply the high heat of a steamer will penetrate wood and fabric; therefore, steaming may not kill all the eggs or adult bed bugs. Because steam can carry electricity, stay away from switch plates, electrical outlets, and appliances. In order for heat treatment to work, items must be in a dryer on the hottest setting for 60 minutes. Spraying The pesticides used in the middle of the century, such as DDT, have been removed from the market due to environmental and health concerns. There are sprays that claim to kill and repel bed bugs, but they are not your best defense. You should not apply insecticides on your own. You may cause the bugs to hide in different places, which will make it more difficult for a PMP to exterminate them. “Don’t let the bed bugs bite” is no longer just the rhyme it once was.

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