The biggest bedbug outbreak since World War II has sent a collective shudder among apartment dwellers, college students and business travelers across the nation. Bed bugs are increasingly becoming a problem within residences, including homes, apartments, hotels, cruise ships, dormitories and shelters.
What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs have oval-shaped bodies with no wings. Before they feed, they are about 1/4 inch long and flat as paper. After feeding, they turn dark red and become bloated. Bed bugs have a one-year life span during which time a female can lay 200-400 eggs depending on food supply and temperature. Eggs hatch in about 10 days.
How do bed bugs get into my home?
Bed bugs are often carried into a home on objects such as furniture and clothing. If you think you have a bed bug problem, check for live bed bugs or shells in the following areas:
- Seams, creases, tufts and folds of mattresses and box springs
- Cracks in the bed frame and head board
- Under chairs, couches, beds, dust covers
- Between the cushions of couches and chairs
- Under area rugs and the edges of carpets
- Between the folds of curtains
- In drawers
- Behind baseboards, and around window and door casings
- Behind electrical plates and under loose wallpaper, paintings and posters
- In cracks in plaster
- In telephones, radios, and clocks
Bed bugs can also travel from apartment to apartment along pipes, electrical wiring and other openings. If the infestation is heavy, a sweet smell may be noticed in the room.
Bed Bug Customer Treatment Preperation For Ulv Liquid Treatment:
Preparing the Bed
In general, the bed will need to be stripped and the bed frame taken apart. Any sheets and bedding should be carefully bundled, or bagged, and made ready to be taken to the laundry room. Wash in hot water or use hottest dryer. For items that cannot be washed in hot water, they should be dry-cleaned. We can treat draperies, sleeping pillows, and decorative pillows.
Preparing the Room
In the bedrooms where you are being bitten, clothing must be removed from the dresser drawers and nightstands emptied into plastic bags. This clothing does not have to be washed because it will be returned to the drawer after the drawer is treated.
Preparing the Closet
We ask that you clean out the floor of the closet so we can treat that and don’t leave anything at the baseboard you don’t want treated. Shoes are frequently left out, and we don’t want to treat those. Hanging clothes, however, can be left on the rod.
If there was ever a great time to de-clutter your home, this is it. If the likelihood that you’ll ever touch or need an item again is low, bag it and trash it. That is true whether the items are in a target room or elsewhere. Also, take a good look around at your children’s stuffed animals and toys, piles of magazines and newspapers, bags of clothes. We can treat the stuffed toys with a material that will not leave a residual and leave them safe to handle after the treatment.
If there are any pets or birds, they will need to be out of the house. Fish or turtle aquariums will require special handling as they are very sensitive. You must shut off the air filter and securely cover the tank and any possible openings with plastic.
What we do to get rid of them:
We now offer two different types of treatment
1. Ultra Low Volume (ULV) liquid treatment
Treatment is extensive because bedbugs have so many hiding places. We begin at the infested bed treating the mattress, box springs, bed frame and headboard with appropriately labeled materials. We will continue to move outward in the room to include the flooring, both th carpets and wood floors, baseboards, night stands, behind picture frames, chest of drawers, and dressers. Since wood is a favored harborage area, any wood which is not sealed must be treated. Any bedding which can be washed or dry cleaned, should be. Pillows, drapes, stuff toys and any cloth object left in the room will be treated.
The material used to treat objects that touch humans kills bedbugs on contact but does not leave a residue, therefore it is not harmful to humans once it is dry. The good news is that they can be eliminated and you will not have to replace your mattress and box springs. It is important not to delay. As you try on-line remedies or home cures, the bedbugs can spread. A child who is getting bitten solves her problem by taking her pillow and blanket into another room but unfortunately she doesn’t see the bedbug on her blanket and the infamous hitch-hiker has invaded another habitat. Many homeowners successfully battle ants or mice but this is one of the insects you should trust to a professional. This treatment method may require a few follow up services. And is less expensive than the heat treatment with more preperation by the customer unlike the heat treatment.
2. Heat Treatment
Cautions when using targeted heat treatment;
- No people or pets in area during treatment even though 120 degrees in itself is not deadly to humans or pets, dehydration can occur quickly.
- The heat at 120 degrees show slight distortion (not melting) of low grade plastic trash can liners, sanitary plastic on hotel/motel cups resulting in the need to remove all low grade plastic from treatment area.
- Even though the heaters produce temperatures below spontaneous combustion levels Remove any combustible materials in close proximity to the heaters to prevent possibility of a fire.
- No unsupervised use of equipment. Equipment must be monitored by personnel to assure no malfunction.
- Once target temperature reached the equipment can be turned off and let the room cool down on its own or left on to operate automatically for several hours. Remember that one minute at 120 degree give a 100% kill but that temperature needs to be reached in more insulated areas (carpet floors, mattress, box springs, clothes in closets, couch and chairs, etc.) to assure total eradication of all bed bugs and eggs. Our research shows it may take up to 1 hour to reach target temperature in center of mattresses.
Preparing for heat treatment:
No candles or pets. And all ac off and pilot light off if using natural gas. This basically requires no preperation. No one on the property. And 100% eradication!
We used remote temperature monitoring and recording system and choose to use the digital recorders to document temperature and time for each application. We feel it is a good practice to keep a digital record of temperatures reached in order to prove, if necessary, that any insect in the kill zone would be exterminated due to the temperature and time held.
Additional advantages of using targeted heat treatment.
- Lowers humidity and helps control surfaced mold/mildew.
- Helps eliminate odors in carpet, bedding, etc.
*Bradford & Son’s Pest Services will not treat without confirmed evidence of bedbugs. There are some skin conditions (scabies) or other parasites such as mites which may be the source of bites. If bedbug evidence is not present, we may suggest that you see a dermatologist.