Preparing your home for bed bug treatment

You can treat your home yourself, but it is recommended to work with a pest management professional to prepare your home for bed bug treatment.

Once you have determined that you have bed bugs you have a choice to make. Will you attempt to get rid of the bed bugs yourself or hire a professional? The task requires a great amount of time and effort; some people may not be able to attack the problem themselves. However, hiring a professional can be expensive. If you own your home, the decision will be up to you. If you rent, you will have to work with your landlord or property manager. The focus of this article is on working with a pest management professional. Future articles will discuss how individuals can to work to eliminate bed bugs themselves. They will also address tenant and landlord issues.

A pest management professional will want to inspect the home before beginning any treatment. The inspection will tell the professional how widespread the infestation is. It will also prevent the disturbance and spread of bed bugs before treatment begins. Once the professional has inspected your home, they will offer recommendations for treatment (options may include heat treatment and chemical pesticide treatment). Once a treatment plan has been selected, the professional should provide you with instructions on how to prepare your home for treatment.

After the pest manager’s inspection, it is time for you to clean and organize. Cleaning and organizing a room or home for bed bug management can be as much of a burden as moving. It is, however, an extremely important first step in the control of bed bugs, because bed bugs thrive in cluttered living areas. Cleaning should be carried out in a systematic way. Soap or detergent will aid in the clean-up of bed bug debris and allergens, making the environment healthier and more tolerable for those living there.

Here are steps to follow when cleaning and organizing. If the pest management professional is going to use heat treatment, the steps may be different.

Michigan State University Extension has partnered with the Michigan Department of Community Health to address the bed bug issue. For information on how to prevent or treat bed bug infestations, visit www.michigan.gov/bedbugs.