Chemical Free Bed Bug Management
Highly cluttered homes and bedrooms provide bed bugs with numerous places to hide, and makes treating the home with insecticides almost impossible. Therefore, reducing clutter will greatly improve your chances of eliminating bed bugs. Before having your home treated for bedbugs, place piles of clothes that are laying on the floor into sealed bags for laundering. Remove all items from under the bed, but do not put anything on top of the bed or move items into another room (potentially spreading the infestation).
Go through your closets. Bag and throw away any items that you no longer use. Do not move items from the closets into other rooms. Stack those items that you wish to keep in front of the closet door so that they can be inspected*. Items that have no value, such as old news-papers, junk mail, magazines, and broken electronic equipment should be bagged and thrown in the trash immediately.
Your pest management professional may provide you with specific instructions on how to reduce clutter in your home or apartment. Be prepared to follow those instructions to the letter.
Dissolvable Laundry Bags
Your pest management professional may provide you with dissolvable laundry bags or you can purchase them yourself. Dissolvable (GreenClean™) laundry bags are laundry bags that dissolve in the washer. You can pack your clothing and other washable belongings into the bags and put them directly into the washer without having to open the bag or dispose of a potentially infested bag in the laundromat.
The value of vacuuming is not that it controls bed bugs, but that it makes inspections so much easier. In large infestations, bed bug harborages and aggregation sites are not only filled with live bed bugs, but also with their debris (dead bedbugs, molted skins, hatched egg shells, and feces). It is often difficult to distinguish what is alive from what is dead in a messy harbor age, particularly after treatment.A high powered vacuum is very useful for removing this debris. While no vacuum is powerful enough to remove all of the bed bug eggs (eggs are cemented into place), the removal of the bed bug debris makes it much easier to see if anything is still alive in these harborages after they have been treated. Just make sure that the infested vacuum bag is thrown away outside of the building.
Mattress encasements are now a standard part of a quality bed bug management program. A mattress encasement is more than a bed cover. The encasement is intended to seal your mattress so that no bed bugs can infest your mattress, and any bed bugs currently infesting your mat-tress can never bite through or escape from the encasement. It is extremely important that the mattress encasement be placed on both the mattress and the box springs.
If you cannot afford to encase both, make sure that the box spring is put into the encasement. The box spring is a favorite bed bug harborage, and it is very difficult to treat. Encasing the box springs makes bed bug treatment much easier and more effective. It is also important that the mattress encasements you purchase have a zipper that will close completely. Many people neglect to zip the cover all the way up and this is the number one escape route used by bed bugs. Mattress encasements that have a zipper protector (Protect-A Bed or Mattress Safe) will prevent bed bug escape even if the zipper is not entirely closed. Also, the teeth of the zipper must be tight enough to keep newly hatched bed bugs from escaping through the teeth. Not all mattress covers are effective at keeping bed bug inside so make sure that the product you purchase describes on the label how it has been tested for containing bed bugs.