Bed bugs in Utah are a real problem. Since the late 90’s bed bugs continue to surge as a pest problem in the U.S and Utah is no exception.
Most calls Extermiman receives start out by customers indicating that they are getting bit. People that call us have normally taken the time to research information online to find out what is biting them. Many clients that contact us have already identified that they are dealing with bed bugs.
Problems with bed bugs are quite common now in Utah. It is helpful if you are able to identify how the bed bugs entered your home, so as to try and prevent reinfestation in the future. If you provide hospitality services to the public you will need to consider ongoing long term measures to inspect for and control this potential problem.
You may consider some of the following tips and information when dealing with a bed bug infestation.
1. Mechanical Solutions
a.) If your mattress and/or box spring are heavily infested or in poor condition consider replacing them. It would be preferable to get the infestation under very good control before you bring the new items into the home so they do not become reinfected.
b.) Purchase certified bed bug mattress and box spring covers to seal bedbugs in and out of these items.
c.) Organization and decluttering are crucial to a successful bed bug elimination program. There are many companies that will not engage in or guarantee treatments, if the environment is cluttered because it provides hard to treat hiding places for bed bugs.
2. Sanitation Solutions
a.) Vacuuming thoroughly is a pretty good method to reduce bed bug populations. Focus on seams, cracks, folds and tufts of mattresses. Vacuum the carpets in infected rooms well. Focus on edges of the room specifically where the carpet meets the floor boards. Two problem areas where vacuuming is difficult are the inner parts of box springs and the cracks in bed frames.
b.) Wash bedding/laundry in hot water if possible, this should kill all stages, egg through adult. If laundry must be washed in cold water, experiments have shown that laundry may soak in cold water for 24 hours to kill all live stages, but it was not shown whether it killed eggs. Placing fabrics in the dryer for 30 minutes should kill all stages, egg through adult as well.
c.) Steaming is another method that is very effective in controlling bed bugs. Vapor steam is preferable because temperatures can reach about 250 degrees. Hot water temperatures have the ability to kill bed bugs at each stage of development from egg to adult. The limitation on hot water and steaming methods are that there is no residual control in the environment.
3. Chemical Solutions
a.) Chemical control is another option. If you are a do-it-yourselfer then you should strictly follow the label of the product(s) you are using. Find a product that is specifically labeled for bed bug control and then apply as directed by the label. If you are able to use a product that has residual (lasting) control properties it is better than a product that is contact only with no residual.
Benefits and limitations of methods
Many cleaning methods (especially steaming at very hot temperatures) have the benefit of killing bed bugs at each stage of development. The limitation to this method is the lack of residual control in the environment.
Chemical control with residual action has the benefit of controlling bed bug populations over a period of time. Hatchlings are vulnerable to an active chemical application. Bed bugs emerging from deep hiding locations such as inside walls, furniture or under carpets may come in contact with an active residual chemical application. Some drawbacks to chemical control include the inability of most insecticides to kill bed bug eggs and the improper use of chemicals by not following label guidelines.
Professional help is available if you need it. If you would like a free estimate or if you would like to discuss your specific situation please contact us at 801-296-5960.