Signs of bed bug activity may exist beneath loose areas of wallpaper near beds, in the corner of desks and dressers, in laundry, and in drawers. Look carefully into the creases in the bed linen, and seams and tufts of mattresses and box springs for bugs or eggs. |
Check items carefully for bedbugs before moving them from one location to another. Bedbugs like to rest in dark, undisturbed areas. Carefully examine all night tables, baseboards, dressers, headboards (especially padded ones), electrical outlets, any items stored near or under the bed, any nearby carpeting or rugs, picture frames, switch plates, inside clocks, phones, televisions and smoke detectors: in short, anything and everything that is in the room where there is an infestation.
Create a barrier to stop bedbugs from crawling up from the floor and walls of the room to the bed. Keep all items on the bed from touching the floor and walls (e.g., bed skirts). Commercially available devices are now available which prevent bedbugs from crawling up the legs of beds to the mattress. You can also place the legs of the bed inside glass jars or metal cans with a bit of talc (baby) powder. Then treat the legs of beds with double sided tape to keep the bedbugs from reaching the bed.
Steam can be used to control bedbugs on infested mattresses. Take care to use steam that is hot enough, and avoid excess moisture, which could lead to mould. Inspect your bed thoroughly by checking the seams and tufts of the mattress as well as the box spring, bed frame and headboard. You may have to remove the cloth underside of the box spring to see if there are bugs inside. Mattress pads, sheets and other bedding should be washed in hot water and dried on the high setting.
Infested areas can be vacuumed carefully with a brush attachment. Afterwards, throw the vacuum bag out right away and check the entire vacuum for bedbugs.
You may have to throw your bed out or purchase a mattress encasement. Holes or worn spots in the fabric may let bedbugs lay eggs in areas not easily reached.
Not all pesticides can be used on mattresses and bed frames. Carefully read the label to ensure that the pesticide is approved for use on mattresses and bed frames.
Bedbugs can hide in upholstered chairs and sofas that should also be treated with careful vacuuming, steaming or freezing and laundering of all possible parts (cushions, slipcovers, skirts, etc.).
Small items that cannot be laundered can sometimes be treated by heating (temperatures greater than 50°C) for by freezing. Some items can be wrapped in plastic wrap and placed outdoors in the sun on a very hot day, or in sub-zero temperatures in the winter. However, the freezing temperatures must be kept for a prolonged period of time (e.g., 4 days of consistent cold at -19°C) and may not kill all of the bedbugs.
Be very cautious about taking in second-hand items such as furniture and mattresses. Inspect and clean them before bringing them into the home. When you travel, carefully check the hotel room for bedbugs. Don't bring your pillow from home; and don't put your suitcase and other items on the bed.
Zippered mattress and box spring encasements designed for bedbug control will prevent bedbugs from hiding in the seams and tuft of mattresses and in the boxsprings. However, bedbugs are capable of crawling between the teeth of zippers and not all encasements are able to keep bedbugs out. In these cases, duct tape can be placed over the zipper. Check encasements often for tears and holes where bedbugs could get in.
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