Bed bugs have been prevalent for thousands of years. Although at one point they were nearly annihilated by toxic chemicals like DDT, the bug has survived and undergone genetic modifications, becoming immune to most pesticides and sprays. Now, they are making a comeback particularly in major metropolitan areas like New York City and Philadelphia. Many people mistakenly believe that bed bugs are isolated to the bed and bedroom alone. This is a misnomer and often leads to ineffective treatment.
Why You Must Treat Your Whole House for Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are opportunists. They’ll hitch a ride home with you on your coat, clothing, or luggage and quickly infest not just your bedroom, but your whole house. They will take up residence anywhere that there is someone to feed on. If you nap in your Lazy Boy recliner, fall asleep to your favorite movie laying on the couch, or even snuggle up on pillows in front of the fireplace, bed bugs will gather nearby and strike for a quick snack. Therefore, treating just the bedroom for bed bugs is ineffective. You may kill all the bed bugs in the bedroom, but the rest of your home will still be infected, allowing the bugs to quickly move back in.
Finding the Bed Bug Infestation
You might be proud of yourself for finding the bed bugs hiding in your bedroom. They may have been congregating along your baseboards, behind your headboard, in the picture frames, or hidden behind the wallpaper. However, just because there is a large colony in your bedroom does not mean that the bugs have not ventured into other areas of your home. They could be in your living room, laundry room, family room, or other bedrooms of the house. Even if you have not had guests in your spare room for a few months, it is possible that there are bed bugs hibernating and waiting for the next meal, as they can live up to a year without food.
Hiring a Professional Bed Bug Exterminator
A professional exterminator that specializes in bed bugs is expensive. You can expect to pay about $200 per room and you’ll likely need several rounds of treatments in order to eradicate the infestation. Professional heat treatments will cost even more which is why you might be tempted to save a few bucks and only treat the bedroom. Unfortunately, this won’t cut it. DIY is a good alternative. Although you won’t have the same expertise as a professional, if you do a thorough and informed job it can cut the cost down significantly, allowing you to treat every last corner of your home. DIY treatments must also be repeated two or three times several weeks apart to be successful.
Types of Professional Treatments
If you decide to hire a professional to treat for bed bugs there are various treatment options to consider.
Heat treatments: Heat treatments can reach into every nook and cranny of the home. Thermometers are placed in each room to make sure the necessary 135 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit is reached to eliminate all bugs.
Insecticide treatments: An insecticide treatment in every room is effective when employed correctly on all surface and crevices. It will likely require two to three treatments to effectively eliminate all bugs.
Steam: Steam is another treatment option that can be used throughout the house. The steam can kill bed bugs of all life stages on any materials, mattresses, and upholstery it touches, killing the bed bugs without damaging furniture.
Do your research to decide which treatment option you believe will provide the best coverage for you. It is imperative that you treat every room of your home to truly rid yourself of bed bugs and avoid the painful experience of reinfestation.
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