Bed bugs repulse most people. They infest every nook of your home, hiding until nightfall, then emerging under the cover of darkness, to scurry up your bed legs, and under your linens to silently feed on your blood. Then, they go the same way they came, returning to their hiding place and leaving you covered in itchy bites. However, the worst part of the infestation can be the damage that is done to your belongings, often forcing you to throw valuable items away.
Places Where Bed Bugs Hide
Many people believe that bed bugs only live on beds and box springs, but this is not true. While they typically like to stay close to the bed for a quick meal, bed bugs can reside anywhere in your home including:
- Along baseboards
- Behind wall hangings
- Under wallpaper
- In the folds of the mattress and box spring
- Within dressers
- In electrical outlets
- Within electronics such as computers, tablets, clocks, and cell phones
- Bed Linens
When bed bugs nest within your belongings not only are they difficult to remove, they also leave behind their shed exoskeletons, feces and more, damaging your belongings.
Protecting Your Belongings from Heat Treatment
The best method for saving your belongings is catching the infestation as early as possible and seeking out treatment to eliminate the infestation. Unfortunately, treating for bed bugs can be equally damaging to your personal belongings.
If you decide to have a heat treatment done, you will want to remove all heat sensitive items from your home to prevent damage as the temperature will reach between 120 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. You should unplug all electrical cords, move any furniture at least four inches away from the wall, and pack up and move certain items that may be destroyed in the high temperature. This list can be extensive and include:
- Aerosol cans such as air fresheners or hairspray
- Flammable or combustible chemicals
- Musical instruments such as pianos, guitars, or violins
- Carbonated beverages
- Flammable products
- Fish tank
- Oil paintings
- Electronics that might be damaged by heat
- Ink cartridges
During treatment, most exterminators use high powered fans. You will want to secure all loose papers, mail, and other lightweight items that might take flight.
If you have any items that have been recently laundered and are definitely bed bug free, put them in plastic bags to protect them from the extermination process and to avoid re-infestation.
Protecting Your Belongings with Vapor Treatment
Another great option for saving your belongings is vapor treatment, a relatively new option on the scene. The vapor travels with air molecules to penetrate deep into the cracks and crevices of items that can’t be laundered such as mattresses, electronics, books, luggage, clutter and more. It’s safe to use even on your treasured laptop or other electronic devices that can’t be sprayed. Simply place your items in the treatment bag with the specified number of treatment pads and leave it for 48 hours. The vapor will travel deep into every crevice of each item, eliminating hidden or nesting bed bugs and leaving your belongings good as new.
Caring for your Belongings After Treatment
Bed bugs are messy insects. Their fecal matter is blood-based which can be notoriously difficult to get out of fabrics. To remove the specks from your bed linens or other items, pick a detergent that tackles blood stains and wash on high heat. You should also wash your clothing, throw rugs, pillows, and anything else that may have been soiled.
Cleaning up After Treatment
As the bed bugs die off, unfortunately they don’t simply disappear. Clean your house from top to bottom to remove any remnants that could potentially damage your belongings. Wipe down any hard surfaces with hot soapy water and use a vacuum or shop vac to remove any remains, promptly dispose of the contents in an outdoor garbage receptacle away from the house.
Having bed bugs will cost you sleepless nights, emotional trauma, and expensive treatments. The last thing you need is for it to cost you your treasured belongings. Use these tips to protect your prized possessions so you can go back to enjoying them after you fend off your infestation.
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