This step-by-step guide utilizes a best-practices Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to bed bug control. For basic bed bug facts, including identifying bed bugs and their bites, click here.
Prepare The Area
Treat the Bed
Treat the Furniture
Treat the Room
The first order of business is a good inspection. Look in any place that offers darkness, isolation and protection. Be prepared to inspect all areas of the room using a bright flashlight and a magnifying glass if you have one available. Bed Bugs can leave reddish-brown spots on mattresses and have a distinct smell. Remember that the bed bug's flat shape and small body enable it to hide easily in cracks and crevices. Bed bugs, eggs, larvae, and fecal deposits will go unnoticed with just a casual inspection.
You should leave nothing unturned when doing your inspection for bed bugs. Bed Bugs could be hiding anywhere! Examples are: wall sconces, behind electrical switch plates, behind wall posters, between books and magazines on shelves and in racks. Be prepared to inspect all the places near sleeping areas, which may mean taking the bed frames apart!
Inspect cracks and crevices in head and foot boards and attached side railings and supports. Look for any cracks or crevices where bed bugs may crawl into to hide. If the top of the mattress have any rips, the bed bugs may hide there as well. Look also in your box springs, both top and bottom for any rips that might shelter these bugs.
Prepare The Area
A thorough cleaning of the premises will make bed bug control efforts much more effective. Strip all beds down to the bare sleeping surface. Bedding (sheets, blankets, comforters, covers, and shams) should be washed in very hot water. Very hot water (120+degrees) will kill the bed bugs. Personal items (stuffed animals, soft toys, blankets) should be removed, cleaned with a vacuum cleaner, and bagged in plastic for several weeks or more. Remove all items from under the bed as well. Clutter should be removed from furniture tops and bed stands. Open up the clock radio and phone (that's right, Bed Bugs may be hiding in there too!). Tap the open ends into a bag or on sticky tape so the bed bugs can't jump and hide. Get rid of all clutter. Vacuum every surface in you affected bedrooms including the inside of dresser drawers, dresser cavities, walls and closets. A good vacuum cleaning job may remove particles from cracks and crevices to encourage greater penetration for the treatment detailed later. Discard vacuum cleaner bag in a sealed plastic bag when finished.
In severe infestations, clothing should be removed from dressers and chests. Utilize a crack & crevice vacuum tool to remove bed bugs from deep harborage such as: under baseboards; under carpet edges (pull up along the tack strip); around switch plates (you may have to remove the plate first); from the bed frame; inside box springs; inside furniture; and from floor cracks.
Use a hand-brush attachment to vacuum up most of the bed bugs. Vacuum mattresses and box springs (especially along seams and folds); upholstered furniture; and behind drapes. Also vacuum the floor completely. After vacuuming, remove the bag from the vacuum, and discard it in a sealed plastic bag .
Treat the Bed
The bed area needs to be treated next. Look carefully at the folds and seams of the mattress, the headboard, footboard (if present), box spring/support platform, frame, etc. You will be able to see bed bugs with the naked eye or the aid of a small magnifying glass. All cracks and crevices of the bed structure should be treated for bed bugs with a light application of Bed Bug Contact Killer. Apply the spray on the tufts, folds and seams of the mattress. The underside of the box spring may be sprayed as well. Allow about 20 minutes until the mattress and box spring are completely dry. Put the Bed Bug Proof Box Spring Encasings and the Bed Bug Proof Mattress Encasings on both the box spring(s) and the mattress. This may require more than one person to properly slide the encasings on. Although the encasings are very resilient and tear-resistant be careful not to tear them. Before you zip the encasing up, spray a couple blasts of Diatom Dust XR between the encasings and the mattress/box spring(s) on both tops and bottoms from the Professional-Grade Hand Duster. Lightly spray the Diatom Dust XR in between the box spring and bed frame or platform. Also, spray a few blasts between the mattress and box spring(s). Lastly, apply the white Barrier Tape to the legs of the bed frame. If the bed frame is a support platform and doesn't have bed frame legs then tape the platform near the floor in such a way there is no clear path from the floor to the mattress for a bed bug to climb without running into the Barrier Tape. Note, that the Barrier Tape is highly adhesive and may leave behind a residue on furniture. If this is a concern, use a low-adhesive painter's tape on the furniture first and tape over it with the Barrier Tape. Most painter's tapes can be left on for up to 14 days and still be removed cleanly.
Treat the Furniture (Night Stand, Chests, Dressers, Couches and Chairs)
The next step in bed bug elimination is to do a very thorough crack and crevice treatment of the furniture in the room. This should involve vacuuming (if you haven't already done so) and spraying Bed Bug Contact Killer . For wooden furniture pieces, you cannot miss any cracks. For upholstered furniture, apply Bed Bud Contact Killer as you did on your mattress and box spring. Apply lightly and test in an inconspicuous area before treating any fabric or surface. Once the Bed Bug Contact Killer has dried, apply Diatom Dust XR under any couch/chair pillows and in crevices. Always turn bed bug infested furniture over and treat from the bottom. Look carefully underneath all the legs of the furniture. Bed bugs hide in the most unlikely places. Some furniture may have hollow metal framing (children's bunk beds are an example). Treat inside the metal tubing with Diatom Dust XR .
Treat the Room
Spray all baseboards with Bed Bug Contact Killer and allow to dry. Once dry, apply Diatom Dust XR along the baseboards as well. To apply properly, use only light pressure on the Professional-Grade Hand Duster so as to apply the dust thickly and it doesn't plume. The ideal application will leave a line the dust 1 to 2 centimeters in diameter. Make sure to thoroughly dust the baseboard nearest the bed. Pull the bed away from the wall and any furniture it may be touching. Do not allow any bedding to touch the floor or cross the barrier formed by the Barrier Tape. This may entail removing any bed skirts. Apply the dust liberally under the bed in a zigzag pattern and around the bed legs as well. Be careful not to spray the Barrier Tape with the dust as it will lose efficacy.
If you have followed the guide above, you should not be getting any more bed bug bites. Vacuum and redust the room every two weeks for two months. Note, this does not mean bed bugs are completely eradicated. Keep your bed pulled away from the wall and frequently launder bedding to ensure you don't receive any more bites. If you are still getting bites, review the guide and make sure you didn't miss anything. Repeat the described treatment within a week if you are still getting bitten. Also, desperate bed bugs have been known to dive-bomb their subjects from the ceiling in extreme cases. They climb up the walls to the ceiling directly above you in your sleep and fall onto the bed. To prevent this from happening, or as an extra precautionary method, apply the Barrier Tape on the ceiling above your bed in the shape of a rectangle larger than your bed. A painter's tape can be used again to avoid adhesive residue issues.
Good Luck and let us know of any problems or success stories you may have. We are committed to your well-being.