Bed Bugs: Basic Do's and Don'ts

If you suspect you have bed bugs…learn these basic bed bug do’s and don’ts.


1. Rule out other possible causes for mysterious bites – other insects, allergies, environmental factors or health-related conditions (see Invisible Itches:  Insect and Non-Insect Causes).


2. Learn about bed bugs – what they look like - in all life stages.  How often do they feed?  How long do they live?  How often do they breed?


3. Collect specimens and evidence of bed bugs (see Signs of Bed Bugs). This is essential for positive identification by professionals.  Trap, then with clear scotch tape, affix it to an index card and store in a Ziploc baggie for your pest control technician.

4.    Learn about treatment options:  pesticides, dusts, freezing, heat, etc.  A combination of treatments and more than one application is not unusual.   Treatments are based on the science of bed bug biology.

5.    Follow your pest control company’s protocols.  Pay close attention to their instructions for vacuuming, laundering and storing belongings.  These protocols are designed to enhance treatment and straying from them may lengthen your infestation.

Do Not:


1. Don’t panic.  Panic leads to obsession, lack of sleep, and poor judgement.  Research your enemy and seek professional guidance.


2. Don’t stay with relatives or friends.  When your uninvited guests again become hungry, some might scurry over to your unsuspecting neighbours for a feast and, inadvertently, spread your problem to your host’s residence.


3. Don’t leave your bedroom in search of another respite for slumber, such as your sofa or spare room.  Bed bugs sense their buffet by heat (your body) and exhaled carbon dioxide (your breathing).  They will follow you.  Now you have spread the infestation throughout your residence.


4. Don’t think you can ‘starve them out’ by moving all family members and pets out of the residence.  Bed bugs can survive 12 to 18 months without feeding.


 5. Don’t release a ‘bed bug bomb’ or a ‘fogger’.  Small crevices and wall voids, will not be penetrated.  This method will drive your infestation deeper into the structure of your home.  It will take longer to kill the bed bugs and increase the cost.


6. Don’t discard your belongings; you will drive up your costs.  A bed bug dog detection service will pinpoint the items infested.  A responsible pest control company will develop an integrated pest control strategy to effectively rid your belongings and your home of bed bugs.