Mold Remediation Can Eliminate The Dangers Of Mold

DANGERS OF MOLD AND HOW MOLD REMEDIATION CAN ELIMINATE THOSE DANGERS

There are many who are not aware of what mold is. Mold is a type of fungus. It is normally displayed in an array of colors such as blue and greens. Normally mold grows in areas where there is a high abundance of moisture that cannot be controlled.

Mold can grow on almost anything including wood, food, plants, walls, and ceilings. Mold reproduces by releasing a large population of spores. The spores can withstand extreme temperatures and are very enduring.

Dealing with mold can be tough because when breathed in or direct contact with it can cause health complications. This is why there are masks and remediation kits designed to deal with mold problems and reduce the threat of health complications.

Studies have shown that even people who are healthy can become affected by mold. One of the most common problems with mold exposure is allergic reactions. Other problems have been linked to the following:

  • Respiratory
  • Asthma
  • Respiratory system failure

Remediation is the clean up and the elimination of mold. Mold is toxic and should be removed whenever it is observed no matter if it is in the home, outside of the home, or in a business. There are professional mold removal specialists that can help.

Mold is developed in areas where there is moisture present. The most common areas for mold are the bathroom, basement, and kitchen as these are areas that deal with water. Mold has been known to grow within 24-48 hours of the moisture buildup.

There are many different types of mold found in homes. In fact, there are more than 100 different kinds of mold. Some of the most common types of mold found in homes are:

  • Alternaria
  • Botrytis
  • Penicillium
  • Stachybotrys Chartarum

If there is confusion about the type of mold growing in the home, there are mold inspections that can be done by professionals. Inspectors know what to look for and where. There are plenty of reasons to be concerned about the type of mold that’s growing in the home. These and many others are benefits of a mold inspection:

  • Eliminates smell of mold in home
  • Rids walls and ceiling of bacteria
  • Peace of mind
  • Detects leakage problems

A mold inspection comes in two stages; the first one is the collection of samples. The second one is to determine the species of mold. This will give the experts an idea about the toxicity level of the mold and how to effectively remove it.

Remediation is done on a professional level. Mold needs to be removed through special equipment. Most people think that using chemicals on it will eliminate it, but bleach and other cleaners will not kill off the mold or prevent it from growing.

Mold removal can be done in the areas where it is seen and also in nearby areas. Mold grows very fast therefore spreading quickly. Once mold spores have gotten into the air, they are normally spreads throughout from the HVAC system.

When mold has developed inside of the ductwork to a HVAC system, there is professional ductwork cleaning services available to take on all sorts of mold colonies. Professionals are highly recommended at this level of remediation.

Mold remediation experts usually take advantage of state of the art equipment using high velocity air scrubbers. This helps to remove the mold out of the air. Also, special heap vacuums are used to catch small and large spores.

Black mold is the deadliest form of mold there is. It is unhealthy for all age groups to be exposed to. In some cases, there are groups of people that are more sensitive to black mold as these groups of people have weaker immune systems:

  • Seniors
  • Children
  • Pregnant women

Mold should never be handled by someone that does not have experience around it. Direct contact with it can result in dry, red, irritated skin. It may feel like a burning sensation and medical attention may be needed.

Over half of the homes in the United States have mold problems. Inspections along with remediation specialists should be taken advantage of in these situations. Mold remediation can prevent health problems and creates a healthier living environment for all to enjoy.

 

4 Signs That You Need Mold Remediation

Mold may be present in your home and affecting your life even if no actual mold is visible. Here are four things that may indicate you need mold remediation.

The general rule is that when mold is visible, it is time to kill it and remove it. But mold isn’t always visible and so there are other criteria to strongly consider when it comes to mold remediation. Here are the four criteria to look for mold in your home.

  1. A water event or occasional/frequent water intrusion

Has there been recent water intrusion? Water does not necessarily equal mold growth as spores have to already be present. But since mold spores are microscopic (2-10 microns), a water event is usually the trigger that causes mold to be seen or otherwise detected.

Note: Mold means moisture or humidity is, or has been present. Water does not necessarily mean mold growth is present.

  1. Discoloration

Most molds cause the organic material the mold is consuming to change colors. Whether the food source for the mold is human food or drywall paper, if colonization is allowed for enough time, there will usually be a discoloration that will reveal a mold problem.

Most molds, when allowed to grow in abundance, are visibly seen in certain colors. Mold is not only black. Many species are visible in gray, white, brown, red and even some hues of pastel colors. Some molds look like dust, or fuzz, while others look like sand granules. Certain molds thrive on certain food sources, and they all require different moisture content or relative humidity in the ambient air.

Note: Water seeping through masonry sometimes causes a white crystalline, powder-like discoloration called “efflorescence”. This substance is made up of minerals and should not be confused with mold.

  1. A musty odor

Is there a musty odor that prevails, or come and goes? Some molds are odorous when colonizing. Although some species do not cause odors, when a musty, moldy odor is combined with other criteria, one can conclude that mold is present. Even if mold is not visible, remediation may be necessary.

Note: Some individuals have a great sense of smell. Others may think that they do. Odor alone should not be the only criterion used to determine whether remediation is necessary. Some actively colonizing fungal species give off odors. Dead or dormant spores generally do not, but are just as detrimental to human health. Absence of odor does not mean that there is no mold and odor does not mean that it is caused from fungal growth. Do not rely solely on scent for detection.

  1. Adverse human health effects

A good indication that there is “unacceptable fungal ecology” within a building envelope is that occupants feel health symptoms when spending extended periods of time in a certain space and feel much better when spending extended periods of time outside that space. If residents in a home or employees in a workplace experience congestion, allergy symptoms, headaches, fatigue or respiratory problems after each night’s sleep or after the end of each work day, this may be an indication of unhealthy air quality.

One environmental hazard to cause unhealthy air quality is a mold infestation. If one spends a week on vacation away from work and home and all symptoms disappear, perhaps the home, school or workplace has unacceptable fungal ecology or unhealthy indoor air quality

 

What is performed with a Mold Remediation Protocol?

Interview – Review and discussion with an authorized representative of the Property of current conditions which has led to the claim.

Site Assessment – A physical site assessment of the Property in the area(s) of concern to: visually assess the damage(s), retrieve temperature and RH readings, take air and direct samples for mold (if applicable), and gather room dimension to create room/floor drawings to identify the location(s) of concern.

  • Air Sampling – The purpose of non-viable spore trap air sampling is to provide an approximation of the airborne microbial (fungal) spore concentrations. A minimum of one control sample is typically taken outside the most common used entrance into the building, then one or more air samples are collected in the areas of concern within the building. Elevated airborne spore concentrations may indicate an indoor microbial reservoir(s), or that cleaning of personal effects or the HVAC system(s), is a necessary component of a microbial remediation plan.
  • Direct sampling – The purpose of direct sampling is to identify the type and concentration of microbial spores present on affected materials identified with suspect visible microbial growth. The sampling results are also used for reference for source contamination when air samples are taken.

Non-Scope Items – include visual identification and records review for:

  • Asbestos Containing Building Materials (ACM)
  • Lead-Based Paint
  • Fire Reduction Chemicals

Qualifications: No federal guidelines exist at this time. However, some States have placed requirements for licensed Mold Assessors and Mold Remediators. For those States that do not have specific requirements, it is recommended that you use a person who:

  • Has taken a minimum of 24 hours of mold assessment and remediation courses,
  • Follows one of more of the recognized industry guidance and practices, and
  • Acquires, at a minimum, 8 Continuing Educational Units (CEUs) bi-annually.

 

What Happens During Mold Remediation

No one likes surprises when having any kind of work done in one’s home. It is a disruptive situation no matter what the project. In the case of mold remediation, you are going to have strangers in your home in “other worldly” outfits using serious chemicals. You will feel much less stressed if you know just what the mold remediation company’s MO is.

Firstly, you have a few things to do before the remediation crew arrives:

Fix the water problem that caused the mold. Mold remediation is an involved and costly process. You don’t want to have to do it all over again.

Clear a path for the crew to move easily from the outside to the mold area and back. For instance, remove cars from the driveway and garage.

Keep pets out of the way—in a room with the door closed, in the yard if the crew won’t be working there.

The mold remediation company parks the truck as close to the house as possible, lays plastic sheeting down and runs hoses from the doorway to the mold area (unless they can access the mold area from outside of the home, such as in the case of a crawlspace).

The mold remediation workers suit up: head-to-toe white suits, booties, respirators and goggles. They do this on every job, toxic mold or non-toxic. They then spray the mold area with an EPA-approved biocide (mold killer). The workers leave while the biocide does its thing.

The next day, the mold remediation crew returns, puts down plastic and suits up. They then spray the mold area with an encapsulant, a type of paint or whitewash that encloses (as if in a capsule) any mold spores that remain. They should spray well beyond the treated area to eliminate any chance of mold growth. For example, the whole attic should be sprayed even if the mold is confined to one spot. Tip: Confirm that the company’s procedure includes this before you sign the contract.

Next, the crews cleans the air with an HEPA (High Efficiency Particular Air) air scrubber and an air exchange that replaces moldy air with clean, fresh air. The final step is using an HEPA vacuum to clean the floor or any surface that can be vacuumed to remove stubborn spores that linger.

Mold remediation usually includes disposal of moldy porous building materials (drywall, insulation, etc.) and cleaning and disinfecting carpet and personal items if they can be saved.

Have a post-remediation inspection done to ensure that the remediation was performed properly. The company that did your initial mold inspection and testing can take care of that.

 

How to Keep Mold from Coming Back

Fortunately for homeowners who’ve recently undergone mold remediation, there are preventive measures that you can take to help keep mold from growing back. Here are some proactive steps that you can take to keep mold away for good:

  1. Identify areas where there’s a moisture problem, and correct it. Basements and other areas prone to moist air can benefit immensely from the presence of a dehumidifier. For low-lying areas, sump pumps provide an additional line of protection by removing excess water automatically. Take note of any moisture you notice in your home. This can include dark spots on ceilings that indicate a leaky roof, or musty smells inside a closet. Fixing water leaks and replacing decaying wood can go a long way toward keeping your home free of unwanted fungi.
  2. Dry wet areas as soon as possible. If water gets into your home, remove it as soon as possible. For example, if you have water in your basement from a burst plumbing pipe or a heavy rainstorm, dry out the area immediately, before there’s time for mold to take root. Even seemingly mundane things, like leaving wet clothes in the washer for a few days, can be an invitation for mold.
  3. Keep out moisture with proper ventilation. Appliances that produce moisture, like clothes dryers and stoves, should vent outside. You should check your AC unit periodically to make sure it’s not generating moisture. If it’s leaking, dripping, or the coils are covered in condensate, you probably need to call an HVAC repair service.
  4. Use mold-resistant building materials whenever possible. This may not be possible in already existing homes, but if you’re remodeling, building an addition, or building a custom home, it’s a good way to stay one step ahead of mold. There are newer varieties of drywall and Sheetrock that are paperless– instead of gypsum covered with paper, they use fiberglass instead. This creates a highly water-resistant surface, and mold cannot break down and metabolize it. This is especially useful in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and other areas where moisture is pretty much a given.
  5. Keep your indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. If your home is humid, and you notice a lot of water condensing near windows and pipes, consider using dehumidifiers.

 

Continue Reading

Kill Bed Bugs With Pest Control

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Have you discovered bed bugs in your home or have bites from bed bugs? A treatment by a professional pest control company or exterminator may not be in your budget or work with your schedule.

Luckily, it is possible to treat a bed bug infestation yourself without spending a fortune. You must be diligent and committed to the treatment process, but you can eliminate bed bugs yourself! Read our guide below for the 4-step DIY bed bug treatment process.

STEP 1: Preparing a Room for Bed Bug Treatment

Before you begin your own bed bug treatment, you will need to prepare the room or rooms where bed bugs have been found, in addition to rooms that share walls with the infested rooms. Remove any items in the room that you absolutely cannot treat or that have already been treated. Cover items that will be removed from the room in plastic bags before moving to the next room to prevent any unseen bed bug from infesting another room.

Remove any paintings or art from the walls. Be sure to thoroughly check any item that is removed from the room to prevent bed bugs from being transferred from room to room.

If you have a mattress that is heavily infested, we recommend covering it with a bed bug proof mattress cover or bed bug mattress encasement before moving. You will also need to cover your box spring with a box spring encasement.

If your mattress needs to be disposed of and replaced, be sure to cover the mattress with plastic before disposing to protect sanitation workers. Labeling a mattress or covering with “Bed Bugs” is also helpful.

Infested sheets, linens, and garments should be washed and then dried in a household dryer on high heat (over 120 degrees F), as the heat will kill bed bugs. Any garments that cannot be washed may need to be dry-cleaned or discarded as insecticides cannot be used on these materials.

If stuffed animals, books, or soft toys are infested, place those items in an air-tight bin along with vapor strips to kill the bed bugs.

STEP 2: Treat the Cracks, Crevices, Tufts, and Folds of Your Home for Bed Bugs

Some bed bug products cannot be used where others can. Also, bed bugs can build up a resistance to certain pyrethroids, making them difficult to treat. This is why using a variety of products to kill and control bed bugs will produce the best results. We recommend using one of our bed bug kits. These kits include our most powerful and effective products for a variety of applications to save you time and money.

STEP 3: Treat Your Mattress for Bed Bugs

To get rid of bed bugs in a mattress, use an aerosol spray labeled for bed bug treatment, such as Bedlam Aerosol Spray, and spray or mist the insecticide onto the mattress. Focus on the seams, tufts, and folds of the mattress and spray until the mattress is damp. Allow mattress to dry before remaking the bed with freshly laundered sheets that have been run through a dryer on high heat.

After treating a mattress or box spring for bed bugs, we recommend encasing each in a bed bug proof cover. This will prevent re-infestation and will make future inspections and treatments easier. Be sure any product that has been sprayed or applied to your mattress is dry before you cover the mattress with a bed bug proof cover. You can make the bed with your freshly laundered linens over a bed bug proof mattress cover.

After encasing, you will not need to re-treat your mattress or box spring further. If you are not encasing your mattress or box spring, you will need to reapply the aerosol spray every 7-10 days until you do not see any further bed bug activity.

You can follow the initial aerosol spray treatment with an insecticide dust. Dusts are great for hard to reach areas like the corners of mattresses and where mattresses and box springs meet. Dusts also last for several months.

Don’t forget to dust your box spring as well. Remove the dust cover from the bottom of the box spring and dust in corners and crevices.

Again, we highly recommend encasing your mattress and box spring to avoid having to re-treat.

Characteristics of Bed Bugs

To continue cycles of mating and egg production, males and females must feed (consume a bloodmeal) once every 14 days. With regular feeding, a female can lay 1-3 eggs daily and 200-500 eggs in her lifetime. Should a bed bug’s regular feeding be interrupted, however, it can still survive for several months on one meal.

Bed bugs are not known to travel large distances on their own. However, they will attach themselves to movable objects such as bedding, boxes, clothing, and furniture. Besides residences, bed bugs are known to inhabit a variety of interior settings like offices, stores, hotels, and gyms.

Step 1: Determine the Severity of the Problem

Determine Severity

Most bed bugs are found within eight feet of a place where a human is resting. But as their population grows, so does their footprint in your home. That’s why it’s important to check the following areas:

  • Mattresses, box springs, and bedding
  • In curtains and behind peeling wallpaper
  • Under carpet
  • Cracks in furniture and in hardwood floors
  • Piles of clothing

With your flashlight and credit card, search and probe crevices to check for bed bugs. If you see these pests moving, capture them with adhesive tape. Wipe the area with soapy water to clean away any dead bed bugs, droppings, eggs, and shed skins. Also consider vacuuming the area for an even deeper cleaning.

If you have one or more rooms with substantial clutter or items strewn about, you’re providing bed bugs with a haven. The simple act of reducing clutter deprives these pests of breeding areas. But if you can see bed bugs, black or brown stains that indicate droppings, or if you experience bites, you’re likely dealing with an infestation.

Step 2: Build a Plan to Stop Further Infestation

Build A Plan

With their ability to hide, their tiny size, and their frequent reproduction, you may find it challenging to remove bed bugs from your home. Making matters worse, the egg stage of a bed bug’s life is actually quite resistant to many forms of treatment. Recognize that ridding your home of these pests make take a number of steps.

Step 3: Take Action to Eliminate the Bed Bugs

Take Action

Your DIY tactics will play an important role in evicting pests. Experts suggest the following tasks to clean rooms, wipe out bed bug homes, and discourage their spread:

  • De-clutter rooms of your house or apartment
  • Buy a mattress encasement to protect your mattress and box spring
  • Vacuum multiple times each week as you fend off the pests
  • Wash and dry your clothes at the hottest setting (at least 120 degrees) to kill any bed bugs
  • Apply caulk to cracks and crevices seen in walls and door frames
  • Contact a pest control specialist if signs of infestation continue

Step 4: Check Your Results

Check Your Results

Give your efforts a full week to take effect. This should be enough time in case any eggs were missed during cleaning. If the results are not to your liking, contact a pest control specialist. The infestation may require an insecticide, which is best handled and deployed by a professional.

Bed Bugs and Humans

Remember that bed bugs are not known to carry diseases to humans. But our exposed areas of skin – the hands, neck, face, leg, and arms – are open targets to bed bugs when we sleep.

You may not even be aware of a bed bug bite since these are not known to be painful. In fact, hours or days may pass before you notice signs like swelling, bleeding, or secondary infection at the site(s) on your skin if the bites are not cleaned. This reaction is more likely in small children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems.

Weather and Seasonal Behavior of Bed Bugs

Higher temperatures are a bed bug’s ally for a few reasons. First, heat quickens the pest’s life cycle. In everything from feeding to the maturing of eggs to general movement, hotter days are a bed bug’s comfort zone.

This means that your home is potentially a prime habitat for bed bugs throughout the year. Because winter temperatures are extremely uncomfortable to bed bugs – and sends them into a dormant state called diapause – they will always seek a warmer environment. The controlled climate of your home provides a setting where they can be active all year. If the clothes we wear carry these pests, then we help them reach new sites for infestation. This means that controlling and eliminating bed bugs can be done at any time on the calendar.

Removing bedbugs

Bedbugs measure just 5 millimeters across—smaller than a pencil eraser. These bugs are smart, tough, and they reproduce quickly. Bedbugs know where to hide to avoid detection, they can live for months between meals, and a healthy female can lay 500 eggs in her lifetime.

No surprise that these tiny bloodsuckers can wreak a lot of havoc in your home. If they get into bed with you, they can leave red, itchy welts all over your body.

Fortunately, you can get rid of bedbugs. Be patient as removing bedbugs often takes some time and effort. You may have to try a few different chemical and non-chemical approaches, especially if you have a large infestation.

Certain factors can make bedbugs harder to remove. You may have a tougher time ridding your home of them if you have a lot of clutter, or you travel often and bring new bedbugs home in your luggage.

If you can’t rid your home on your own, you may have to call in a professional exterminator. Read on for a step-by-step guide on getting rid of bedbugs.

Step 1: Identify all infested areas

If you’ve got bedbugs, you want to find them early before they start to reproduce. It’s much easier—and cheaper—to treat a small infestation than a big one. Yet smaller infestations can be harder to detect.

Search for bedbugs yourself, or hire a professional to do an inspection. Some inspectors use specially trained dogs to hunt down bedbugs by scent.

Bedbugs’ small, narrow bodies enable them to squeeze into tiny spots—like the seams of a mattress or couch, and the folds of curtains.

Also look for them in places like these:

  • near the tags of the mattress and box spring
  • in cracks in the bed frame and headboard
  • in baseboards
  • between couch cushions
  • in furniture joints
  • inside electrical outlets
  • under loose wallpaper
  • underneath paintings and posters on the walls
  • in the seam where the wallpaper and ceiling meet

Use a flashlight and magnifying glass to go over all of these areas.

You can spot bedbugs by these signs:

  • live bedbugs, which are reddish and about ¼-inch long
  • dark spots about the size of a period—these are bedbug droppings
  • reddish stains on your mattress from bugs that have been crushed
  • small, pale yellow eggs, egg shells, and yellowish skins that young bedbugs shed

Once you find a bedbug, put it in a sealed jar along with 1 teaspoon of rubbing alcohol. Other types of bugs can look a lot like bedbugs. If you’re not sure what type of bug you’ve found, bring it to an exterminator or entomologist to identify.

Step 2: Contain the infestation

Once you know you have bedbugs, you need to keep them contained so you can get rid of them. A quick and easy way to trap bedbugs is with your vacuum. Run the vacuum over any possible hiding places.

This includes your:

  • bed
  • dresser
  • carpets
  • electronics (like TVs)

Seal up the vacuumed contents into a plastic bag and throw it away. Then thoroughly clean out the vacuum.

Seal up all your linens and affected clothes in plastic bags until you can wash them. Then put them on the highest possible temperature setting in the washer and dryer. If an item can’t be washed, put it in the dryer for 30 minutes at the highest heat setting.

Anything that can’t be treated in the washer and dryer, place in a plastic bag. Leave it there for a few months, if possible, to make sure all the bugs die. If you can’t clean furniture, throw it away. Tear it up first and spray paint the words “bedbugs” on it so no one else tries to take it home.

Step 3: Prep for bedbug treatment

Before you start treating your home, do a little prep work to maximize your odds of success. Make sure all your linens, carpets, drapes, clothing, and other hiding places have been cleaned or thrown out (see Step 2).

Next, get rid of bedbug hiding places. Pick up books, magazines, clothes, and anything else that’s lying on your floor and under your bed. Throw out whatever you can. Don’t move items from an infested room to a clean one—you could spread the bugs.

Seal up any open areas. Glue down loose wallpaper. Caulk cracks in furniture and around baseboards. Tape up open electrical outlets. Finally, move your bed at least 6 inches away from the wall so bedbugs can’t climb on.

Step 4: Kill the bedbugs

Home cleaning methods

You can first try to remove bedbugs without chemicals. These bugs are pretty easy to kill with high heat, 115°F (46°C), or intense cold , 32°F(less than 0°C

Here are a few ways to treat bedbugs using these methods:

  • Wash bedding and clothes in hot water for 30 minutes. Then put them in a dryer on the highest heat setting for 30 minutes.
  • Use a steamer on mattresses, couches, and other places where bedbugs hide.
  • Pack up infested items in black bags and leave them outside on a hot day (95 degrees) or in a closed car. In cooler temperatures, it can take two to five months to kill sealed-up bugs.
  • Put bags containing bedbugs in the freezer at 0°F (-17°C). Use a thermometer to check the temperature. Leave them in there for at least four days.

Once you’ve cleaned all visible bedbugs, make the area inhospitable for their friends. Place bedbug-proof covers over your mattress and box spring. Zip these covers up all the way. Bugs that are trapped inside will die, and new bugs won’t be able to get in.

If these methods don’t wipe out all the bugs, you may need to try an insecticide.

Using “Isolation” to Thwart Bed Bugs

In addition to insecticides, PMPs have various non-chemical techniques available to them to control bed bugs. Vacuuming, trapping, heat, cold and steam are important components, especially in situations where bed bugs are showing signs of resistance to insecticides.

There’s one non-chemical tool, isolation, that you may be using or recommending without even realizing it. If you can isolate or separate people from the bed bugs in their homes, you will naturally reduce bed bug bites and reduce bed bug anxiety.

Isolating the bed from bed bugs is especially important in infested apartments or residential sites where infestations remain uncontrolled (for various reasons) and people must live with bed bugs for the time being. Bed isolation can provide a measure of relief.

COOPERATION IS KEY. Isolation involves special manipulation of the bed or other sleeping area so that bed bugs can’t reach sleeping people. Isolation methods require the cooperation of your customer. Although you may show the customer initially how to turn their bed into an isolation “island,” they will then be largely responsible for maintaining the system. It’s a simple process, but it’s a multi-step process. For that reason, it’s very important that you make sure your customer understands the concept of bed isolation.

Explain to your customer how bed bugs get to their hosts to feed. Some bed bugs are hiding right in the bed, but more are hiding in cracks and crevices nearby, coming out at night and making their way onto the bed. People make it easy for them to do so by providing “bridges” that connect from the floor or wall or furniture directly to the bed. Climbing right up the bed leg is probably the most common way for bed bugs to reach their host. They also get onto beds by moving from draperies that touch, or up bed skirts that reach the floor, or by climbing up from boxes and other items stored under the bed.

The goal is to make the bed an island that does not touch anything and nothing touches it. The bed should not make any contact with the walls or floor other than through the bed’s legs, which are sitting in the middle of their own islands, moat-style interceptor traps. Anything that touches the floor and thus creates a bridge, such as a bed skirt or bedspread, will provide a travel route for bed bugs and destroy the protection.

Proper bed isolation can offer almost immediate relief to residents at the beginning of a bed bug control program. In some accounts, you may be constrained from providing the level of bed bug control necessary to completely eliminate an infestation, but you can still offer the possibility of a good night’s sleep to bed bug-weary customers.

Bed Bug Control – How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Reduce Clutter:

Remove all personal items (stuffed animals, soft toys, blankets, electronics, etc) and anything that does not stay in the room permanently. Caution: Be mindful that items from the infested area can transfer bed bugs to other areas.

Launder Infested Garments and Linens:

Infested garments and bed linen cannot be treated with insecticide. They need to be laundered in hot water (120 degrees fahrenheit minimum). If washing is not available, heating the garments or bed linens for several minutes in a clothes dryer may work.

Dismantle Bed Frames:

Dismantling bed frames in infested areas typically exposes bed bug hiding sites. Having access to these areas during cleaning is important. Stand up the box spring and shine a flashlight through the gauze fabric and look for bed bugs. If the fabric is torn (possible hiding place), remove fabric to prepare for spraying. Once covered with these encasements, bed bugs can not enter or exit. There is no need to treat the mattress or box spring when using these encasements. Keep them on for a year.

Remove Dresser Drawers:

Remove drawers from desks and dressers since bed bugs like to hide in these areas. Turn furniture over to inspect and clean all hiding spots. All furniture should be pulled away from the walls.

Clean the Area

Scrub infested surfaces with a stiff brush to dislodge eggs. Vacuum the room extensively. Use a vacuum hose attachment to thoroughly vacuum cracks and crevices on furniture and along baseboards on the walls. Vacuum along baseboards, furniture, bed stands, rails, headboards, foot boards, bed seams, tufts, buttons, edges of the bedding, as well as the edges of the carpets (particularly along the tack strips). A good vacuum cleaning job may remove particles from cracks and crevices to encourage greater insecticide penetration. Bed bugs cling tightly to surfaces, so it is best to vacuum by scraping the end of the vacuum attachment over the infested areas to pull out the bed bugs. Caution: It is not good to use a bristle attachment, because you may transfer bed bugs to other areas since they cling to the brush. Dispose of vacuum cleaner bags after you are finished in an outdoor trashcan.

Caulk and Seal

Caulk and seal all holes where pipes and wires penetrate walls and floor, and fill cracks around baseboards and molding to further reduce harboring areas.

Bed Bug Appearance

Tip: The common Bed Bug can be seen with the naked eye. Since bed bugs are difficult to see, use a magnifying glass.

Adult bed bugs are brown to reddish-brown, oval-shaped, flattened, and about 1/4 to 5/8 inch long. Note: Their flat shape enables them to readily hide in most cracks and crevices.

Tip: Eggs are not placed on the host’s body (the person sleeping in the bed), but the eggs are found on surfaces near where the host sleeps.

Bed Bug Inspection Tips:

Look in any place that offers darkness, isolation and protection to the bed bug.

Inspect adjoining rooms where an infestation is found. Even when the bed bugs themselves cannot be found, their hiding places can be located by looking for the spots of fecal material they often leave.

Bed Bug Inspection Check List

Inspect these Areas:

  • The Mattress and Box Spring
  • Bed Frame and Head / Foot Boards
  • Other Furniture
  • Walls and Carpet
  • Electronics and Appliances

The Mattress and Box Spring

Check the mattress throughly, paying close attention to seams and tufts along the edges. Flip the mattress over and inspect the bottom carefully as well. Pay particular attention to any rips in the fabric. View the fabric on the bottom of the box spring and shine a flash light to verify that bed bugs have not penetrated the interior of the box spring.

Bed Frame and Head and Foot Boards

Remove the mattress and box frame from the bed frame and shine a flash light all along every potential hiding place on the bed frame. Remember bed bugs can slip into an crack a business card can fit into.

Other Furniture: Desks, Chairs, Dressers, etc

Take out all drawers and cushions from surrounding furniture. Check all seams and crevices carefully with a flashlight. Take your time and inspect thoroughly. Bed Bugs are commonly found in these areas in an infested room.

Continue Reading