It is normal for homes and businesses with bed bug infestations to need at least two treatment applications. Fumigation can kill bed bug adults and larvae, but eggs are trickier to kill. They may survive the first treatment and hatch about two weeks after being laid by the female. The second treatment helps kill any bed bugs missed the first time around and kill any newly hatched bed bug larvae.
Whole Home Treatment
The whole home needs to be treated for bed bugs by a professional pest management company in order to effectively get rid of bed bugs. It’s no use treating just one room or treating only one floor. Bed bugs will simply move from the area being treated to an untreated area and in a little while move right back. How to get rid of bed bugs is to have the entire building treated at least twice. You also need to go through all of the preparations for treatments at least twice.
What Preparations Do I Need to Do?
You will need to do a lot of preparations in order for the insecticide to come into contact with bed bugs. You will need to remove any clutter. You will need to pack away food, plates, silverware and medications so they will not become contaminated. You will need to empty all drawers and closets. Wash all clothes, linens, bedding and small pillows in hot water. Place cleaned items in plastic bags or bins so bed bugs cannot get to them.
Why Are Bed Bugs So Hard to Kill?
Insecticides usually need to have direct contact with bed bugs in order to kill them. Since bed bugs are practically flat, they can hide in tiny cracks and crevices in your home, walls, furniture, bedding, clothes, floors, picture frames and electronics. If the edge of a credit card can fit in a crack, so can a bedbug. According to Cornell University, adult bed bugs can go up to 13 months without eating. This means they can wait in their hiding places long after any insecticide has disappeared.
Since bed bugs hide in such tiny cracks, it’s best to repair all cracks and splits in floorboards, sideboards, window frames, doors and walls. Never bring home mattresses or furniture sitting on the curb or next to a dumpster. Although they may look just fine, they could harbor bed bugs. If you live in a row home and your neighbors have bed bugs, your home will, too.
Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services: “Bed Bug Treatment Using Insecticides.” Dini M. Miller, Ph.D.
Cornell University New York State Integrated Pest Management: FAQ List for Bed Bugs
University of Kentucky: “Bed Bugs.” Mike Potter; August 2008. http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef636.asp
National Public Radio. “Bedbug Genome Reveals Pesticide Resistance.” Jon Hamilton; January 19, 2011. http://www.npr.org/2011/01/19/133057071/bed-bug-genome-reveals-pesticide-resistance