No one wants to deal with bed bugs, but even more than that, no one wants to deal with bed bugs twice. If you’ve recently had to deal with these pests, how you clean your home after the bed bug treatment can impact how effective the treatment is in the long term. Below, we’ll cover the basic cleaning steps to follow after a bed bug infestation, but be sure to speak with the pest control expert that treats your home or business for any specific instructions.
Give it Time
One of the most important things to know before you start cleaning is when you can clean. Many treatments take several weeks — as long as 21 days — to fully work, so cleaning the wrong things before that time has passed can limit its effectiveness. In most cases, it’s recommended to wait 30 days before cleaning most floors, the bottom foot of walls, and any walls next to appliances.
It is also very important to abstain from shampooing or steaming any soft surfaces in your home, including carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture, and draperies until this time has passed. You can, however, vacuum as needed, as long as you change the bag in the vacuum after each time you use the vacuum cleaner. If your vacuum is bagless, empty the canister after each use, double-bag the contents, and discard them outside the home as soon as possible.
The one thing you can and should clean immediately after a bed bug infestation treatment is all horizontal surfaces that you use regularly — dining tables, end tables, coffee tables, kitchen counters, and stove tops should all be wiped clean with soap and warm water.
Focus on the Removables
The basic rule of thumb when it comes to cleaning everything else is if it’s soft and you can pick it up, you should clean it, with a focus on heat, which can kill any remaining bed bugs. Use the following guidelines to help rid all fabrics in your home of bed bugs:
- Linens, comforters, clothes, stuffed animals, pillows, seat cushions, and any other soft things in your home that can be washed in your washing machine (or at a laundromat) should be washed in bleach or color-safe bleach at the highest temperature possible.
- All of the aforementioned items should be dried in the dryer on its highest heat setting for a minimum of two hours. Be sure to not overload the dryer to ensure the heat can permeate all the fabric.
- Any items that cannot be washed, which may include some clothes, draperies, and upholstery covers, should be cleaned using a steamer to kill any bed bugs with the heat. Where possible, these should spend a minimum of 2 hours in a high-heat dryer as well.
Proudly serving the greater Chicagoland area in Illinois and southeast Wisconsin, the professional exterminators at Aerex Pest Control understand the habits of different types of pests and use that knowledge when developing a pest control program that is best suited to your home and your particular problem. Our technicians are professional, state certified, licensed applicators. Call today for your free consultation 847-255-8888 or click here for a free quick quote.