Bedbugs were once thought to be a poor man’s plague, now bed bug infestations are common even in the nicest of neighborhoods.
One thing that makes them difficult to track is that infestations are under reported. Hotels don’t want the bad press, and middle-class neighborhoods are embarrassed to report these pests.
Bed bugs tend to be found in clusters, in confined hiding places such as cracks and crevasses in walls or flooring, under wall-hangings or peeling paint, around buttonholes, pleats and seams (in mattresses, curtains), and also in electronic equipment (ex. inside clocks, phones, televisions and smoke detectors). Eggs tend to be placed in the areas where adult bedbugs hide. For bed bugs, 3 or 4 generations can be produced annually. Over a period of two months, a female can lay 200 eggs.
Bedbug Eggs: Hatch in 6-10 days during warm weather or in a heated environment
Nymphal stage: lasts 35-48 days under good conditions
Adult Bedbugs: If well-fed, they may live up to a year or more without a blood meal
Read on for some great tips on how to get rid of bedbugs. These measures are unlikely to get rid of a bedbug infestation on their own, without being combined with professional services. However, they are helpful for reducing a bed bug infestation and preventing bites. Please note it is important to detect and attack a bedbug infestation early-on in order to prevent excessive spread and resulting costs.
10 Tips for Bedbugs
- Avoid throwing out your bed and other furniture. You can save time and money by using plastic mattress and box-spring covers, and taping over the zipper areas with packing tape. Leave covers on for 18 months to be safe. Other furniture can be ecologically decontaminated with our services. Until the bedbug infestation is resolved, bringing in new furniture will only risk it getting contaminated.
- You can vacuum to capture bed bugs and their eggs, but because the eggs are embedded to the fabric, you may have to scrape the surface. Dispose of vacuum bag in a sealed garbage bag immediately.
- When traveling hang clothing in the closet farthest from the bed, place luggage on the folding rack or the dry cleaning bag found in the hotel.
- Stay where you are! Avoid sleeping in another bed or staying with someone else. This could cause the bedbugs to spread.
- Pull your bed away from the wall or any touching furniture
- Eliminate clutter, especially underneath the bed- put infested materials in garbage bags. These can be treated by heat or cold (see below).
- COLD: You can leave these outside during cold weather. Keep in mind, you need a week of temperatures below -10 °C to kill all life stages of the bed bug, or -32 °C for half an hour. Ah, the beauty of New York weather.
- HEAT: Use heat to treat infested materials. Some materials, such as clothes and curtains, can be cleaned with a steam cleaner, clothes iron, or by being washed hot and placed in the clothes drier. Check that the materials are heat tolerant before treating. Materials placed in black garbage bags can be treated under a blazing summer sun, especially if placed inside a car during a warm, sunny day! Temperatures above 46 °C can kill all stages of the bed bug in less than 10 minutes.
- Clean the bed frame. You can wipe it down with a rubbing alcohol spray, or a spray of soapy water. Be careful, as rubbing alcohol can damage some finishes.
- Treat perimeters of room with diatomaceous earth. Apply the earth in all cracks and crevasses in the walls and flooring. Treat around the bed, covering the area around the bottom of bed posts.