Step 1: Identification
In order to understand what you are dealing with in any aspect of pest control you must be able to identify the insect, especially with a bedbug infestation. Bedbugs in particular are treated very differently than any other insect that pest control operators deal with daily. Some of the differences are simple, yet very important.
- Bedbugs are nocturnal, which makes them very complicated to find when the infestation is not severe.
- Bedbugs are similar in looks to ticks, stink bugs and bat bugs. If not properly identified, this could make the treatment ineffective.
- Bedbug bites can often get looked over as being from mosquitos, ants or ticks.
In the pest industry, most companies do not offer solutions for bedbugs due to the complexity of treatment and the cost for proper equipment. It is important to find a reputable bedbug company that specialized in these services vs. a general pest control company.
A great new solution to identifying bedbugs is though K9 inspections. Live bedbugs put off a pheromone that dogs are able to detect which makes them great for identifying bedbug infestations. A properly trained k9 and handler will be able to pick up on as little as 1 live bedbug and is the go-to inspection method for Georgia Bedbug Solutions.
Step 2: Preparation
Like many things in the world, bad preparation leads to bad results. In order to succeed with a bedbug treatment you need to prepare the infested space. The only guaranteed way to eliminate bedbugs is through heat remediation (more to follow on that in step 3) and some items simply can not handle heat well. A few examples of what needs to be removed due to heat are:
- Vinyl Records
- String Instruments
- Glued Picture Frames
In addition to items that need to be removed there are also preparations that can help the treatment go quicker like:
- Removing comforters from the bed
- Removing clothing from dressers and placing them in laundry baskets loosly
- Turning off the air conditioner
All of the above should be given to you in what is called a “prep sheet” and should be followed precisely to prevent anything from being damaged or over insulated. When dealing with heat remediation, if the checklist is not completed the company will likely postpone the service or need to charge extra.
When using heat, there is a large difference in treatment time between a well prepped home and a home with clutter. A home with clutter will take longer to heat to lethal temperatures thus leading to the unfortunate increase in price.
Step 3 – Treatment
Once everything has been identified and prepared, it is time to sit back, relax and let the professionals take over. The average treatment time for bedbugs using heat remedation is 5-7 hours and is proven to be extremely effective. In fact, heat remediation is the most effective treatment for bedbugs in the industry with a 99% success rate.
The reason behind using heat over chemicals is actually quite simple. Heat kills bedbug eggs and chemicals do not. You also get to keep all of your furniture with heat treatments. With chemical treatments you need to throw out your furniture because it is impossible to spray inside your mattress or under your carpet where the eggs are likely at.
When treating a home using heat remediation there are currently 2 types of equipment we use:
- Electric Heaters
- Propane Heaters
Electric heaters are going to be a bit slower and heat up a smaller space, however they have their place in our industry. Electric heaters work great when there is only 1 bedroom infested and the resident cannot leave the home. We simply plug in the heater, close the door and let the heat start heating. They also work great in downtown areas such as skyscrapers and multifamily residences.
Propane heaters are going to be for the big jobs. These heaters are large and hook up to propane tanks located outside. These heaters are capable of heating up to 5,000sqft and are bad news for bedbugs. When dealing with full size homes that have bedbug infestations, the propane heaters are 100% the way to go. When treating for bedbugs in Atlanta, GA this is typically the go to method.
Regardless if the bedbug infestation is big or small, this is no task that a “over the counter” pesticide can fix. If your dealing bedbugs, follow the “The 3-Steps Of Eliminating A Bedbug Infestation” as outlined above and get back to being comfortable in your own home, sooner than later.