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Is it Necessary to Prepare My Home Before a Bed Bug Treatment?

Bed bug service prep can be a challenge and daunting task for homeowners. Find out what prep means and how Cooper Pest Solutions uses the No-Prep Philosophy to get rid of bed bugs in your home.

Are you considering hiring a professional pest management company to remove bed bugs in your home? If so, what are some of the requirements that most pest management companies require before they will perform service? There are many different philosophies when bed bug treatment preparation, and this article will help you decide on the best course of action to eliminate bed bugs in your home. There are two philosophies, “prep” and “no prep” which have very different requirements for homeowners which we will explain in detail below.

The Preparation (Prep) Method:

What do many pest control companies require before treating my home?

Most pest control companies will require that you do significant prep work on your own time, without their help, before they even begin service. The actions they require differ based on the type of treatment as well as the type of residence. Leaving preparation in the hands of the client can lead to a myriad of problems that pest control companies are all too familiar with.

Below is a sample checklist for clients to complete before their bed bug service begins. We’ve created the list from several other pest control companies in the New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania area.

  1. Lift mattresses and box springs out of the bed frame and stand them up against a wall.
  2. Empty all closets and dressers.
  3. Wash and dry all clothing within the room on high heat.
  4. Bag all personal items that cannot be laundered.
  5. Empty all luggage and travel bags into untied bags.
  6. Remove all sofa, chair, and other upholstered furniture cushions and accessories.
  7. Remove all sheets, blankets, pillowcases, and other bed coverings from the mattress and box spring and dry for at least 50 minutes on high heat.
  8. Thoroughly vacuum your mattress, box spring, inside of dresser drawers, all carpeting throughout your entire home, floors, area rugs, sofas, futons, recliners, upholstered furniture, and physical bugs you may see.
  9. Remove and dry all curtains and window dressings on high heat.
  10. Inspect items that cannot be washed such as books, electronics, picture frames, and plastic toys. Place them into plastic bags only if you do not find bed bugs on these items.
  11. Reduce clutter under your bed and around the room.
  12. Encase your mattress using specialized mattress encasements.

These were the most common requirements. Depending on the company and how severely infested your home is, there could be even more tasks for you to accomplish before treatment begins.

What happens if I don’t prepare my home before bed bug treatments?

If you do not prepare your home for bed bug treatments when required, the technicians that come to service your home will likely not do these things for you. This can result in mishandling of materials which could spread bed bugs throughout your home or destroy your bedding and belongings. Something as simple as flinging comforters and sheets onto the floor can relocate bed bugs. Without the proper training of bed bug specialists, doing this could prolong the process and make it more challenging to eliminate bed bugs without even knowing it.

The Prep Method and Disruption of Bed Bugs.

When a pest control company leaves bed bug service preparation in the hands of the client, a multitude of things can go wrong. Even when you diligently follow every step of the checklist that the pest control company provides, it’s incredibly easy for you to unknowingly make the situation much worse. It’s only natural that you will make some mistakes. Is it realistic that you are expected to thoroughly inspect the crevices in your couch, your kids’ toys, and electronics for bed bugs without being a bed bug specialist yourself? Something that’s simple for a pest control technician to do such as encase your mattress can be challenging for someone who is attempting to follow instructions and seeing a mattress encasement for the first time. This step is incredibly important to successful bed bug elimination because encasements create a barrier against new bed bugs. If this step goes even a little bit wrong, it may significantly impact the efficiency of the service.

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