How to Control a Bed Bug Infestation

Tips for killing bed bugs for good


Understanding what not to do is just as crucial as knowing what steps to take when dealing with a bed bug infestation. Many homeowners inadvertently exacerbate the problem and end up wasting money in the process. To effectively combat bed bugs, it's essential to avoid actions that may worsen the infestation. Read on to discover key tips on how to eliminate bed bugs permanently and prevent further spread.

For professional help, contact Cowleys Pest Services' professional bed bug exterminators, serving Somerset, Edison, Lakewood and surrounding areas in New Jersey. Call 1-855-239-9059 or click below to schedule service!

Don't panic

While bed bugs can be unsettling pests, it's important to note that they do not transmit blood-borne diseases like ticks or mosquitoes. Although dealing with bed bugs may feel overwhelming, it's crucial to remind yourself that it's a temporary situation. Countless households have successfully overcome bed bug infestations, and yours can too.

The key to defeating bed bugs lies in implementing a well-thought-out strategy and enlisting the help of experienced pest control professionals. With the right approach, victory in the battle against bed bugs is achievable. Acting swiftly by engaging a pest control expert is essential for effective eradication. Delaying treatment to confirm an infestation or attempting DIY solutions only allows the bed bug population to proliferate further in your home.

Don’t use home remedies

It's crucial to exercise caution when considering home remedies for bed bug infestations, as some can be ineffective or even hazardous. For instance, thyme oil may deter bed bugs but won't eliminate them, potentially leading to their spread. Coating bed frame legs in kerosene or petroleum jelly is not only ineffective but also poses fire and health risks.

While leg protectors can offer some defense against bed bugs, they are not foolproof barriers. Bed bugs are resilient creatures with a knack for reaching their hosts, making DIY treatments ineffective in the long run. Additionally, substances like kerosene present significant safety hazards and should be avoided.

Given the persistent nature of bed bugs, it's best to rely on professional pest control services for effective eradication. These professionals have the expertise and resources to tackle bed bug infestations safely and efficiently, providing peace of mind for homeowners.

Don’t move around – bed bugs will follow

Attempting to adjust your sleep habits to outsmart bed bugs is generally ineffective and may even worsen the infestation. For instance, sleeping with a light on won't deter bed bugs, as they are primarily attracted to their hosts' inactivity rather than darkness. Bed bugs are adaptable creatures that will feed under any conditions if hungry and the host is accessible.

Similarly, relocating to a different room or even moving to another location won't solve the problem. Bed bugs can track their hosts based on carbon dioxide emissions, meaning they will simply follow you to a new sleeping area. Moreover, bed bugs can survive for months without feeding, remaining dormant until a suitable host is available. Therefore, attempting to avoid bed bugs by changing rooms or locations is likely to spread the infestation further.

The most effective approach to combating bed bugs is to eliminate them directly. Delaying or avoiding this step only prolongs the problem or exacerbates it. Bed bugs rely solely on human blood for sustenance, necessitating close proximity to their hosts. While it may seem counterintuitive, continuing to sleep in the same bed can help contain the infestation to a limited area.

If you experience adverse reactions to bed bug bites, consider enlisting the help of a willing volunteer to act as a temporary host. However, it's essential to note that most people experience minimal discomfort from bed bug bites, and bed bugs themselves do not transmit diseases.

By promptly engaging the services of a pest control professional, you can effectively address your bed bug problem and consign it to the past.

Don’t bomb or fog

Avoid using bug bombs or foggers in rooms affected by bed bugs, as these methods can exacerbate the problem rather than resolve it. Instead of eliminating the infestation, bug bombs and foggers act as bed bug dispersal devices, causing the bugs to scatter throughout your home.

If your bed bug issue is localized to specific rooms, utilizing bug bombs or foggers can quickly escalate the situation into a widespread infestation. After treatment, bed bugs will seek refuge in other areas of your home, making containment challenging. Similarly, if the infestation is confined to a single apartment or office space, bed bugs will migrate to neighboring areas, spreading the problem further.

In cases of pest infestations, containing the issue is paramount. Unfortunately, bug bombs and foggers often exacerbate the problem rather than providing a solution. Therefore, it's best to avoid these products and seek professional pest control services for effective and targeted treatment.

Don’t blast your heat

Avoid attempting to kill bed bugs by turning up the heat in your home. While high temperatures can effectively eliminate bed bugs, it's crucial to understand that this method requires precise control and specialized equipment.

Simply increasing the temperature in your house is insufficient to eradicate bed bugs and may even cause them to scatter in search of cooler areas. Similarly, home remedies like wrapping items in black plastic and exposing them to sunlight are ineffective for eliminating bed bugs.

Professional pest control professionals have specific protocols and specialized heating equipment designed to deliver high uniform heat that penetrates the entire room simultaneously. These treatments are the most effective way to eliminate bed bugs safely and efficiently. Therefore, it's essential to rely on the expertise of bed bug specialists for heat treatment procedures.

Don’t spot spray with ineffective DIY products

The proper use of insecticide takes training, especially when dealing with households where there are very young and very old. That is why there are licensed pest management professionals who are trained and experienced in chemical applications, ensuring safety above all else.  

You may derive some satisfaction when killing those bugs that receive a direct hit, but ultimately it will make the infestation worse in the same way that bombs and foggers do. The sprays will further entrench the bugs, pushing them deeper into your furniture, your walls, and your home. If you see a bed bug and bed bug signs like stains on your sheets, assume there are many more bugs hiding for every one that had the nerve to venture out during daylight. If you want to squish it with a tissue or suck it up with a vacuum cleaner as a stress reliever, no harm is done. But killing a few isolated bugs that happen to rear their ugly head won’t put a dent in the overall infestation. Resolving a bed bug infestation requires a unified, coordinated attack.

Don’t jeopardize the health of your family

Fear of bed bugs has driven people to overuse common pesticides resulting in serious health problems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 100 cases of insecticide poisoning associated with people’s DIY efforts to get rid of bed bugs. In one case, a person died. The very young and very old can have extreme sensitivities to pesticides. Applying them on your own, especially those not formulated to kill bed bugs, or even worse, designated for outdoor use only, can have serious health consequences for your family. Common toxicity problems come from using too much product, failing to wash or change bedding after treated with insecticide, and from using products, especially foggers, not registered for killing bed bugs.

Don’t steam clean or use your blow dryer as a “heat gun”

Other waste of time activities are steam cleaners that are not meant for killing bed bugs. They are not hot enough or dry enough. But you will blow them around the house spreading the infestation. Along the same lines, don’t try to blast them away with a blow dryer. It does more harm than good. It's better to have professionals come in and perform heat treatment, chemical treatment, or a combination of both. Cowleys Pest Services can help you determine the best method of bed bug extermination.

Don’t throw out your mattress and box spring

Don’t throw out your mattress and box spring. First, just carrying the mattress out of the home usually causes the bed bugs to drop off all over your home like World War II paratroopers. Second, bed bugs hide in more than just mattresses. Lugging out one solitary piece of furniture won’t make any difference. The only reason to dispose of a mattress is psychological. If you insist on throwing out your bed, wrap it in sheeting or buy a special mattress disposal bag. Also, don’t leave it outside for someone else to pick up and cart into his or her home along with the hitchhiking bed bugs.  

Don’t throw out your furniture

Even worse, don’t throw out your furniture. Most furniture can be treated by your pest control professional. It is a waste of money and is more of an act of frustration and desperation since it will not resolve the problem. The bed bugs will remain hidden in the cracks and crevices of your home. Again, if you are getting rid of infested furniture be sure to warn others if leaving it outside for others to pick up. Better yet, take it to a landfill or waste facility right away.

Don’t wait to treat your bed bug problem

One of the most critical "don'ts" for homeowners or property owners is to avoid waiting and seeing when it comes to bed bug infestations. Bed bug problems do not resolve themselves; in fact, they tend to worsen over time. These pests reproduce rapidly, becoming increasingly entrenched in your home with each passing day.

If you notice even a single bed bug, it's crucial to take action immediately. Bed bugs are seldom solitary; where there is one, there are likely many more lurking nearby. Signs such as bloodstains on sheets and unexplained bites on your body indicate a potential infestation that requires prompt attention.

By reaching out to a pest control professional without delay, you can prevent a minor issue from escalating into a major problem. Addressing the infestation early on helps contain it, reducing the overall cost of treatment. It's a common misconception to believe that a bed bug problem isn't "serious enough" to warrant professional intervention, but with bed bugs, any presence is cause for concern. Even a single bed bug is one too many and should be addressed promptly.

Contact a NJ bed bug control professional

A bed bug infestation cannot be resolved until an action plan is implemented that includes field-tested, clinically proven, effective strategies and products. Only a licensed pest control professional, like Cowleys Pest Services, has the resources to successfully remove these infestations. Applying ineffective products or home remedies only gives the bed bugs more time to gain a foothold in your home. And two weeks later, you are dealing with a larger, more costly infestation. The sooner a pest control professional who is experienced in bed bug infestations is contacted, the faster the bugs will be out of your home and out of your life.

For assistance with bedbug treatment and extermination, contact Cowleys Pest Services today. We service Somerset, Edison, Lakewood, Piscataway, Bridgewater, Toms River, Brick, Old Bridge, Princeton Junction, Middletown and surrounding New Jersey.

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