If you have bed bugs at home an integrated pest management (IPM) approach is best to resolve the problem. Bed bugs are difficult pests to control. However, there are things you can do to deal with the problem prior to the application of treatment.
Once bed bugs are identified and confirmed in your home there are certain pre-treatment steps you must take. Preparing the room for bed bug inspection is essential for successful bed bug control.
A thorough inspection before any cleaning allows you to determine the extent of the problem. It prevents the disturbance and spread of bed bugs before the application of treatment.
Bed bug inspection checklist
a. Remove curtains and drapes from the window and place them in plastic bin bags and seal the bags tightly.
b. Remove all bedding, pillows and cases from the bed and place them into plastic bags. Seal the bags tightly before transporting them to the laundry room.
c. Empty drawers, closets, night stands, wardrobes and tables and place belongings into plastic bags. Seal the bags tightly.
d. Place clothing, coats and shoes into plastic bags. Seal the bags tightly before removing them to the laundry room.
e. Place all loose clothing (e.g. garments found outside the dresser) into plastic bags and launder as per laundry instructions below.
f. Remove all items from underneath the bed and on the floor and place them into plastic bin bags and seal the bags tightly.
g. Place all items that are not washable (e.g. plastic toys, books, electronics) into plastic bags for inspection and seal the bags tightly.
h. Remove all cloth and plush items, except plush furniture and place them into plastic bin bags and seal the bags tightly.
i. Remove and launder the pillows of plush furniture if possible.
j. Pull all furniture at least 18 inches away from the wall.
k. Remove outlet covers, switch plates on the wall, phone jack plates and light switch covers.
l. Remove all wall hangings (e.g. picture frames, mirrors) and clean and treat the items.
m. Remove television set from wall unit, if applicable. Keep all electrical equipment in the areas for treatment.
n. If heating or air conditioning units are near to the bed remove the front panel for inspection.
o. Undo carpets at the wall/floor junction. Do not remove the carpet from the room.
p. Remove all wall mounted items and place them into a plastic bag for inspection.
q. Remove electrical socket and switch plate covers.
r. Place books, magazines, notepads and files etc. into a bag for inspection.
s. Remove everything off the floor to permit thorough inspection.
t. Pets and humans must vacate the area during treatment and wait outside the area for at least 4 hours after treatment.
u. If you have fish tank in the house, cover it with a towel or plastic because it is extremely sensitive to pesticides.
v. Clean all clothing linen and other items and isolate them until the bed bug problem is resolved.
w. Ensure you have access to the bed, closet, all furniture and baseboard to inspect and treat them.
x. Pry baseboard away from the wall where possible.
y. Discard all plastic bags used to transport infested items into an outside garbage bin.
Launder all washable items (e.g. bedding, pillow cases, plush cushions etc.) in hot water (>60°C or 140°F [thermal death point rate]) and then place washed items into the dryer and set the temperature at the thermal death point rate for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Place the items into plastic bin bags after drying and seal the bags tightly. Keep all laundered items out of the infested room until the pest problem has been resolved.