If a tenant has a bed bug infestation, there are things he or she can do which will help keep the infestation from spreading. While it is always wise to hire a pest control company with expertise in this area, the company can only do so much if the tenant is not willing to assist as well. Here are some tips for tenants who have a known infestation.
Wash and Dry All Fabric on the Hottest Setting As Often As Possible
This includes clothes, towels, bedding, drapery and any other material where bed bugs could hide or lay eggs. High heat is effective at killing bed bugs. The dryer is especially effective. Advise tenants to put the fabric in the dryer at the highest setting for at least half an hour. This process should be repeated often, especially if the fabric is going back into the home where there is a known infestation. Ideally the fabric will be placed in a sealed bag until the bed bugs have been gotten rid of.
Tenants with known bed bug infestations should vacuum daily to scoop up any bed bugs or their eggs which cannot be seen with the naked eye. Tenants should not only vacuum the floor, they should also vacuum any moldings and furniture. Advise the tenant to remove the vacuum bag outside of the home to keep any bed bugs they have scooped up from re-entering the apartment. They should clean the vacuum thoroughly before bringing it back into the apartment.
Contain the Area
If a tenant’s mattress is the site of the known bed bug infestation, the tenant should purchase a mattress cover, a box spring cover and pillow covers that have been approved for bed bugs. The covers must be kept on for at least a year to ensure the bed bugs have been killed. During the year, advise the tenant to check for any rips or tears in the cover because these need to be fixed immediately to keep any bugs from escaping.
Getting rid of non-essential items in the home will help reduce the places bed bugs have to hide. Any non-essential items should be thoroughly cleaned, sealed and then stored outside the home until the bed bug infestation has been cleared.
Kill Them With Heat
Extreme heat can kill bed bugs. The hotter the temperature, the quicker the bugs will be killed. Temperatures of at least 113 degrees Fahrenheit are needed to effectively kill bed bugs.
Freeze Them Out
Extreme cold can also kill bed bugs. Again, the colder the temperature, the less time it will take to kill the bed bugs. Temperatures 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below are necessary to effectively kill bed bugs.