Proper preparation is a mandatory requirement for bed bug extermination to be effective. Preparation involves providing access for pest management treatment as well as taking measures to ensure that bedbugs are destroyed or contained. If the location is not properly prepared, a complete treatment cannot be performed and NO GUARANTEE can be offered. Items in tightly sealed containers are usually safe from PA and NJ bed bugs and need not be emptied. Although preparation may be difficult for some people (for example, seniors or handicapped individuals), it is essential for effective treatment, and thus in such cases family members, friends or social or charitable agencies may need to provide assistance.
The property must be vacated by all people and pets during and after treatment for approximately four hours or until all treated surfaces are dry. It takes from several days to two weeks after treatment for bed bugs in New Jersey and Pennsylvania to be controlled. Residents can return the same day, but must understand that bites may still occur.
Health Conditions and Chemical Sensitivity
People that have a health condition or sensitivity to chemicals should consult a physician or medical specialist for a determination when and/or if they can return to the premises after treatment by a bed bug exterminator from Lethal Pest Solutions. Anyone that is particularly susceptible to the effects of insecticides should contact Lethal Pest Solutions Abater Buggsout to discuss treatment alternatives.
Owners with a pet that is ill, very old, or pregnant should consult a veterinarian.
- All furniture and appliances in the dwelling need to be pulled away from the walls and baseboards prior to our New Jersey & Pennsylvania bed bug treatment
- All furniture, such as bookshelves, nightstands, desks, dressers, clothes bureaus and chests must be emptied and left open for the exterminator to treat.
- Everything except furniture and appliances must be removed from the floors including closets and under beds. Strip the beds and furniture where people and pets sleep. Do not leave anything on or under the beds since the frames must be dismantled and treated.
- Remove items from closets.
- Infested electronics such as computers, televisions, radios, clocks, DVD players, and telephones may require treatment or be bagged and discarded. The use of heat or the bagging of infested electronic equipment with a DDVP strip are treatment methods but may damage the equipment and are not performed by Lethal Pest Solutions Abater Buggsout as a part of this treatment.
- Remove and discard all cardboard hangers.
- All Pictures and mirrors should be removed from the walls for treatment.
- Luggage should be emptied for treatment.
- Fish tank aerators should be turned off and the tanks completely covered with a towel or other cover and kept that way until airborne residues of insecticides have dissipated.
- Everything that can be laundered should be laundered, and laundered in advance of the treatment, then placed in storage containers with tight lids or sealed plastic bags.
This would include:
- sheets and pillow cases
- all clothing including items requiring dry cleaning
- stuffed animals, hats and shoes
- drapes, window treatments and so on
- The items should be securely tied into plastic bags, and emptied directly from the bags into the machines. (The bags should then be immediately disposed of.) It is heat, not water that kills any bedbugs residing within the laundered items; so the items should be washed in hot water, regardless of normal washing directions, and should be dried with medium heat (preferably high heat) for 20 minutes or more.
For those who have the ability to measure the temperature of the water in their washing machine, or of the hot air in their dryer, the target heat range is 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees C). If a marathon laundering session such as described is financially prohibitive, it has been posited by some that the items need only be run through the dryer, not the washing machine. However, the extensive water and spinning action associated with washing machines may assist in dislodging bedbugs from where they are residing within clothes and laundered.) However, this is optional as the heat of the cycle of drying will effectively kill all stages: eggs, immature stage (nymphs) and adults.
For items that require dry cleaning, the dry cleaners should be informed that the items in question are potentially infested, and the items should be bagged. (However, many dry cleaners then may refuse to accept the items.)
Consider treating items that cannot be washed with heat. Careful consideration must be given due to the possible damage that could result by placing items in high heat. If you decide to proceed at your own risk, place items to be treated in a plastic bag and place in an attic, in a sunny area, or other area with high heat. The temperature inside the bag should be more than 120 degrees F (49 degrees C) for at least 3 days.
The mechanical removal of bedbugs by vacuuming is a most important part of preparing for control. Vacuuming alone will not solve the problem, but it can substantially reduce bedbugs’ numbers and thus help reduce the population as part of preparing for treatment.
- A crevice attachment should be used on the seams of mattresses, on box springs, on bed legs, within furniture interiors, behind pictures, on curtains, and anywhere there is a possibility of the insects hiding (e.g. inside dresser drawers, dresser cases, under chairs, etc.).
- Carpets should also be vacuumed throughout the home, preferably with a power-head.
- Baseboards should also be vacuumed using the crevice tool not swept prior to the exterminator’s arrival.
- Vacuum bags and filters should then immediately be removed and either discarded outdoors (a good distance from the infested home) or incinerated. Clean the inside of the vacuum and under the wheels to prevent reentry of bed bugs.
Steam cleaning of carpets can be helpful; although bedbugs will not be in the middle of the floor, they may be under the carpets at the edges of rooms. Vacuuming is especially important, however. Pesticide is applied at perimeters and is effective, but the more steps are taken to assist removal, the more thorough the elimination will be.
- After the Pennsylvania & New Jersey bed bug treatment, seal the mattress and box spring or futon preferably in a mattress encasement or cover approved for bed bugs or inside a polyvinyl or polyethylene bag.
- Duct tape over the zippers of the mattress covers if they are not bed bug approved encasements.
There are differing opinions as to whether it is necessary to dispose of mattress, box springs, futons, pillows, and other bedding. There is of course often a heavy cost involved in the complete replacement of such bedding. It is clear, however, that getting rid of infested bedding does not solve the problem. The decision to replace bedding or not, depends on the condition of and often related level of infestation within the items, the comfort level of the owner, whether the owner can afford replacement, and aesthetics. A reasonable rule of thumb is that new bedding does not need to be replaced but if bedding is older and replacement may have been done soon in any case, then of course, replacing it AFTER control is a welcome clean start.
The notion that getting rid of bedding helps solve the problem is misguided. Infestation must be handled first and then if new bedding is desired, the old bedding can be disposed of.
The spread of bed bugs in apartment buildings is increased by tenants deciding to throw away old bedding. An infested mattress or box spring dragged in a hallway to an elevator will cause bedbugs to fall off or even run off the item, and these may then find their way into other units. As noted here, the use of plastic bags to protect bedding after treatment or to enclose bed bugs when the items are being thrown away are invaluable in preventing the spread of infestation. It is also suggested to slash or markup infested items so that others do not take them back into the building.
Bed bugs like to hide near the victim and are commonly found on seams of mattresses, or within the structure of box springs. The mattress bag serves to reduce this likelihood and in the case of box springs, it seals any remaining insects inside the bag. The mattress bag also protects the mattress from the mess of staining caused when bedbugs aggregate on seams. The bag is a good idea either until the infestation has been totally eliminated or in the case of good quality bags, useful as a permanent protection for the mattress and also to enable easier control if infestation recurs.
Those who end up disposing of suspect items should enclose them in plastic mattress bags, or large garbage bags, to prevent shedding bugs and eggs on their way to the disposal site. Care should also be taken to label throwaway items with a warning about the suspected bed bug infestation, as furniture is often reclaimed by dumpster divers.
New items should not be purchased until after the infestation has been thoroughly eliminated. Also, many retailers offer disposal of old mattresses. This can pose obvious problems if new and old mattresses are carried together on the same truck without the proper precautions taken.