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How Do I Prepare for Bedbug Extermination?

Steam cleaning carpets and furniture may help kill bedbugs.
Article Details
  • Written By: Susan Grindstaff
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 24 June 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Bedbug extermination is often difficult to manage on your own, so hiring a professional exterminator is probably a good idea if you want fast results. The main thing you can do to prepare for bedbug extermination is give your home a deep thorough cleaning. Get rid of as much clutter as possible, and machine wash everything that you can, paying particular attention to bedding. In addition, you should probably plan to clean carpets, furnishings, and draperies.

If you do not own a steam cleaner, you should probably rent one. Most grocery store chains and home improvement centers rent portable machines for a daily rate. If you start early in the morning, you may be able to finish in one day, but it may be a good idea to go ahead and budget for two. There will likely be many items in your home that you will need to steam clean, and a lot of it could end up being slow, tedious work.

The bedroom is a good place to begin cleaning. Pest control experts recommend steam cleaning the mattress, making sure to get into the seams around the side. Bedbugs tend to like to get into the creases between the seams and tufting. Once the mattress is cleaned, start on the box spring, again paying close attention to any seams or creases. If you have any upholstered furnishings in the bedroom, use the upholstery attachment on the steam cleaner to go over those as well.

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Bedbug infestation is usually worse around areas where you sit or sleep, so living rooms and dens should be be cleaned as thoroughly as the bedroom. If cushion covers on sofas or chairs can be removed and laundered by machine, you should do so. If that is not possible, the entire piece should probably be steam cleaned, taking care to get inside the crevices.

It is recommended that all carpets be steam cleaned, and other floor coverings should be vacuumed and mopped. If you have already sprayed an insecticide this step is especially important, because some insecticides used in bedbug extermination should not be mixed with other chemicals. In addition to cleaning the floors, all baseboards near areas where you sit or sleep should be thoroughly cleaned, as they are another likely area for bedbug infestation.

Some final things to do that will make bedbug extermination more successful include stripping and laundering all bedclothes. It is also recommended that draperies and window coverings be removed and laundered. In addition, you should move furnishings well away from walls and baseboards, so the exterminator has easy access for spraying those areas.

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