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Posted by USBedBugs on 10/19/2011 to How to get rid of bed bugs.
There is quite a bit you can do to confirm you have bed bugs and determine the extent of the infestation.Figuring out the level of your infestation will help you decide whether it is light enough for you to treat it yourself. or call a pest management professional.
The first step is to identify the source and the extent of the problem:
  • Carefully inspect all rooms for signs of bed bug activity.  Don't move too much around. You'll want avoid spreading the infestation.
  • Don't move furniture and bedding from room to room.
  • Wash and dry all clothing and place in sealed plastic bags.
  • Don't dispose of any furniture or mattresses until it the room has been treated. This will not get rid of the infestation, only give it a little respite.
A light infestation is when there are no more than 20 live bugs found per room or no more than 40  fecal traces and the infestation is contained to less than one third of the home. For light infestation you can do the following:
  1. Reduce all clutter in the infested room to try eliminate hiding places for the bugs.
  2. Thoroughly clean the house using a HEPA Vacuum Cleaner.  Make sure you also vacuum mattresses, box springs, window treatments, headboards and any cracks and crevices.
  3. Wash all bedding and encase all mattresses and box springs.
  4. Launder all washable items and place any shoes, bags etc in dryer for 20 minutes on high heat. Place items in plastic sealed bags or a BugZip.
  5. Dismantle beds to locate any hiding places. 
  6. Pull bed away from wall and place ClimbUp Insect Interceptor on legs of bed.  Make sure bedding does not touch the floor.
  7. Caulk and seal all holes and cracks around pipes, electrical outlets, base boards and molding.
  8. Dry Vapor Steam mattress, box spring, furniture, floor and walls. Be sure to thoroughly penetrate with the steamer. Heat is your best friend in the war against bed bugs. Bed bugs will quickly die in heat of 120 degrees or higher.
There are few things that you definitely DO NOT want to do when treating for a light infestation:
  1. Do Not move furniture between rooms
  2. Do Not dispose of any furniture until it has been treated.
  3. Do Not use any foggers.  This will only cause the bed bugs to retreat deeper into the walls and can be an inhalation hazard.
  4. Do Not use aerosols.
  5. Do Not raise the temperature in the room as a heat treatment
  6. Do Not use any products marked "flammable".
  7. Do Not use any products marked "For Professional Use Only".
  8. Do Not assume that more is better when it comes to pesticides as the overuse can cause more problems in the home.
Caution:  Call a professional if at three times of attempting to treat the problem yourself the infestation is still present. Be sure to call a pest management professional who is trained in erradicating bed bugs and takes an integrated pest management approach.
Reference- Bed Bug Beware  David Cain and Richard Strand,  2009

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