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Make sure you know what you’re doing before you try to get rid of bed bugs.  Yes they are super creepy and the stuff of nightmares, but if you wake up and really have been bitten by one there are some things you can do to solve your bed bug problem.  Here are some simple guidelines to getting through the situation, and not making it worse.

First, don’t freak out.

The idea of bedbugs invading your personal space is understandably disturbing and alarming, but getting rid of these pesky bugs starts with a clear head.  If you freak out and go into full panic mode it may hinder your decision making skills regarding how to get rid of the little blood suckers.  So take a deep breath and try to calmly address the situation.

Don’t cover yourself in pesticides.

Appling pesticides directly onto your skin is not a good idea.  Even if you actually felt bugs crawling on your body (or your vivid imagination felt bugs crawling all over though they weren’t actually there) a pesticide bath is a bad idea, and it won’t work anyway.

Insect repellants like the ones we commonly use for mosquitoes or flies don’t work on bed bugs. Mosquito repellants typically are only active for a couple hours at most, so by the time bed bugs come out between 3 am and 5 am those repellants are no longer working to deter much of anything.  Not to mention that by then there’s probably more repellant on your sheets than on your skin anyway.

Read the labels of any pesticide you do use Very carefully.

Not all pesticides are safe for use around or in areas in use by your family or pets.  All pesticides that target bed bugs are legally required in the U.S. to be registered with the EPA.  Even is the product is registered properly, you also need to check to be sure it’s approved for use in whatever area you intend to apply it.  Many products should only be used outdoors and can cause serious harm to yourself, others in your household, and your belongings if you use them indoors.  Use caution when deciding on what products if any to bring into your home.

Don’t be fooled by the name.

Just because they’re called bed bugs it doesn’t mean they confine themselves to your bed.  The tiny pests can hide out behind picture frames, in carpet, behind drapes, and all around the area where you like to sleep and they like to snack.  They can even hang out in that pile of papers or books you have on your nightstand next to your bed.

Don’t start sleeping somewhere else

Being creeped out by a bed bug problem is understandable, and it may seem like sleeping somewhere else is a logical solution to your problem, but it’s not.  If you move to another room or place you risk spreading the pesky little bugs.  If you’ve been sleeping in one place every night, then suddenly move somewhere else after you notice you’ve been bitten by bed bugs, your resilient pests probably moved with you.  Bed bugs are tricky little hitch hikers, they can hide unseen in lots of places, so try not to give them any free rides to new feeding and breeding grounds if you can help it.

Not all bed bug situations are the same.

Every infestation and situation is different, and unfortunately some might take longer than others to resolve.  Is the infestation located in just one unit, or is an entire apartment building affected?  Are any of the occupants sensitive to certain chemicals?  These are some of the factors that may impact the method used to get rid of bed bugs in different situations.

Take care when disposing of your vacuum bags

Don’t just throw your vacuum bag in the kitchen trash after cleaning.  There are lots of sources that will list vacuuming as a great way to help get rid of bed bugs because it sucks up both the bugs and the mess they have made.  However, vacuuming does not kill bed bugs.  If you don’t properly tie up and seal and properly dispose of the vacuum bag you risk re-infesting your home or even a neighbors if the bugs escape from the bag.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Getting rid of bed bugs on your own is incredibly difficult.  Bed bugs have been around for a long, long time, and have developed a resistance to some of the treatment methods commonly used.  Consulting with an experienced professional who will conduct a thorough inspection before forming a treatment plan is the best way to insure the infestation will be completely eradicated.  Also a skilled professional who deals with bed bugs regularly should be able to effectively treat your mattress and other possessions, and in many cases you shouldn’t have to throw them away.

Suspect a bed bug problem in your home? Earth Guard Pest Services can assist you by identifying the problem bugs, assessing the best way to eliminate them and prevent future invasions, and help you decide upon the right combination of pest control services for your household or business.

For a free pest assessment and estimate from our licensed, bonded and certified pest control professionals, contact Earth Guard Pest Services, (916) 457-7605 or contact@EarthGuardPest.com.