Bed bugs are a growing problem in many communities and eradicating them has become a serious challenge. Unlike other pests, they are not a result of poor housekeeping and do not spread disease, but they are very annoying and can be a great source of anxiety. 

Bed bugs can be more difficult to control than other insects, often taking several treatments spread over a period of weeks. Most over-the-counter products are ineffective, and improper use may exacerbate an infestation and can even cause serious health risks. If you think you may have bed bugs, have a pest control professional perform an inspection and determine the most appropriate course of action. The first step always involves prepping the home before bed bug treatment. For a list of local pest control professionals in the Boston area, click here.

What else do I need to know?

The most common method of extermination is a chemical spray of pesticides, which must be applied by a licensed and trained professional. Bed bugs are tiny and hide in the crevices of baseboards and behind outlets. For the treatment to be most effective, the exterminator will need to spray around the perimeter of the affected rooms and furnishings. It may also be necessary to move furniture and belongings away from the walls to treat these hard-to-reach areas.

Most exterminators also recommend washing and drying all clothing and linens at high heat—even items that are clean and stored inside dressers or closets. HouseWorks provides all manner of bed bug preparation. To ensure treatment is as effective as possible, HouseWorks will provide a list of all of the tasks that must be performed before treatment can begin.

Another method of extermination involves pumping very hot air into the affected rooms and sustaining that high temperature for a number of hours.

All of this can be very overwhelming and disruptive, especially for seniors or families with small children. For anyone who may not be able to manage these tasks independently, there are companies—including HouseWorks—that offer services to assist in the necessary preparations, and can coordinate with all parties to help resolve this problem as quickly as possible.

For more information about bed bugs, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, offers extensive information and additional resources.