So you “think” you have bed bugs or you “do have” bed bugs. Either way, it is important to know what to do if you have them and especially important to know the serious mistakes that many people make.
Because there is a general lack of public education of bed bugs and some pretty bad suggestions all over the internet, people risk their health, homes, environments, relationships and finances daily. Although this list is not in any particular chronological order, please read through the whole list to make sure your approach with any bed bug situation is with common sense and knowledge!
If you can “relate” to any of these below and have questions on what to do, please contact The International Bed Bug Resource Authority. www.ibbra.org
- Lack of awareness: Where Were You 40-50 Years Ago? Decades have passed since we last had bed bugs infiltrating our lives as they are today. The general over-all lack of awareness turns people to the standard pest control that is used for the common everyday pests that we are used to. Be careful NOT to reach for RAID!
- People Hide The Fact They Have Bed Bugs From Landlord, Friends, Relatives (Keeping It A Secret).
- Don’t keep bed bugs a secret – get help! People just don’t understand that bed bugs are something every single living human that has blood can fall victim to. I believe that covers about 7 billion people worldwide. There is no reason a person should be ashamed if they get them.
- Self-Treatment : Using Bed Bug Bombs (Foggers), Certain Liquids, Contact Killers, Etc. People have driven bed bugs deeper into hiding places because of “bed bug bombs” and in some cases have needlessly started fires in their homes. Also, grabbing for a bottle of bleach or anything under the kitchen sink can cause total failure of treatment of bed bugs. Be extremely careful here!
- Improper Removal of Infested Items: Moving infested items without proper wrapping and labeling of them can spread bed bugs to other parts of people’s home as well as stairways, hallways and trails to disposal areas. This has caused a multitude of problems for many people. People “drop” bed bugs in otherwise clear of bed bug locations and unsuspecting people pick infested items at the curb.
- “Move” To Get Away From Bed Bugs without Complete Elimination. When treatment methods fail or an unreasonable landlord doesn’t treat the building properly, people “think” that if they move they will leave the problem of bed bugs behind. Unfortunately, they travel right along with you infesting yet another premise.
- Sleeping In another Room In Order To “Get Away From the Bed Bugs”: Bed bugs are drawn to warmth and the carbon dioxide we expel as we breathe as we sleep. Bed bugs will “follow” you were ever you go to sleep. This causes the spread of bed bugs into other parts of the home. Stay where you are!
- Staying at a Friend’s House without Taking Proper Precautions: Again, don’t keep bed bugs a secret. Bringing bed bugs with you in your personal items or on your clothing can cause an innocent person to deal with bed bugs in a short period of time.
- Coming Home From a Trip – (Bringing Infested Items into Car Or Home): The importance of checking all items you carry with you during a trip takes precedence over all when returning so that you don’t introduce a hitchhiker to your home. Properly protect your belongings whenever traveling.
- Not Checking Hotel Rooms before Occupancy: One of the biggest mistakes one can do is not check the room before you enter with your belongings. Ask questions and thoroughly check your surroundings!
- Moving Into Homes and Apartments without a “Bed Bug Background Check”: Bed bugs can cost you plenty. Not just the frustration of bites but treatment of your personal belongings. Ask before you move into a residence about their policies, previous bed bug infestations and treatments. Always be cautious!
- Allowing Friends and Family to Visit without an Established Protocol: We all love our friends and families and want them to visit us. When people travel they can easily pick up a hitchhiker here or there. Carefully inspect all visitors’ belongings before you place them into your guest room.
- Proper Identification of the “Bug”(S) By A Trained Professional: Don’t treat for any bug that you are not sure of what it is. People use the wrong products all the time and in most cases make matters worse!
- Using Unlabeled Chemical Products a Friend Gave You: NEVER, EVER USE ANY PRODUCT THAT DOES NOT COME WITH A MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET! People and have literally poisoned themselves and their environments using unlabeled products.
- Not Doing Follow up Treatments: The affordability of bed bugs treatments can cause undue stress but cannot be overlooked. Depending upon the extent of some infestations and the type of treatment used, it may take several treatments before all bed bugs are gone. Always follow your bed bug professional’s advice!
- Leaving Post Treatment and Used Vacuum Bags inside the Vacuum and In the House: Often people get caught up in the process and forget to clean out the vacuum and tools used for treatments. Any live bed bug sucked up can crawl out. Always empty the vacuum of the bag, place in another sealed bag and remove to the trash. Move the vacuum to the garage or bag it!
- Placing Freshly Laundered Items Back Into Infested Premises: Until all bed bugs are cleared from the premises do not return your clean items back into dressers or closets. And remember do not re-use the bags you originally used to transport the laundry. Don’t risk being re-infected!
- Allowing “Clutter” To Build Up: Many people just “can’t” get rid of their “stuff”. Clutter can cause a complete failure of any bed bug program. I use the rule if you haven’t used it in a year – get rid of it. Clean it up!
- Over Use and Placement of Dusts products: Dusts were designed to be used “sparingly”. If you can see the dusts pilled in snow type drifts you are probably using too much.
- People Don’t Prevent Re-Infestations: Don’t adopt the expression of “out of sight – out of mind” after the fact. Now is the time to become pro-active with the possibilities of getting them again. Learn all you can to avoid picking up another hitchhiker.
- Purchasing Furniture and Items From Second Hand Stores: Thoroughly check EVERYTHING purchased from any store before bringing them into your home or car! Especially second hand stores.
- Picking Up Furniture on The Street Or Out Of The Dumpster: Your neighbor got the “ick factor” because she discovered she had bed bugs and just threw her designer couch to the curb. Be extra cautious when picking anything up from the streets. The likelihood is that beautiful couch has a “secret problem”.
- Putting Things Outside In the Heat/Cold: The temperatures needed to get rid of bed bugs are extreme in both heat and cold and must be carefully monitored by a professional who knows what they are doing. Don’t think your methods have reached the ambit temperature needed.
- Treating Mattresses with Pesticides: Again, this is a place where your body can come in contact with pesticides which can be absorbed in your body. Don’t take the chance!
- I can “do it myself” people: Some people make the decision to self-treat. And it many cases when the bed bugs have just been introduced, it can be done with great success. But, when bed bugs are allowed to establish and reproduce after several months – can be a nightmare! Think it out before you make the decision to self-treat.
If you or a loved one is experiencing bed bugs for the first time and don’t know which way to turn, call on an IBBRA member in your area. They can direct you to safe and proper bed bug elimination methods and options and help you with solutions to your nightmares. Visit www.ibbra.org