The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) has long been a pest – feeding on blood, causing itchy bites and generally irritating their human hosts. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) all consider bed bugs a public health pest. However, unlike most public health pests, bed bugs are not known vectors for the transmission and spread of diseases.
Knowing what to look for is the first step in controlling bed bugs. Generally, adult bed bugs are 1/4 to 3/8 inch (4-5mm) long, brown in color, with a flat, oval-shaped body; while young bed bugs (also called nymphs) are smaller and lighter in color.
When not feeding, bed bugs hide in a variety of places. Around the bed, they can be found near the piping, seams, and tags of the mattress and box spring, and in cracks on the bed frame and headboard. If the room is heavily infested, you may find bed bugs in the seams of chairs and couches, between cushions, in the folds of curtains, in drawer joints, in electrical receptacles and appliances, under loose wallpaper and wall hangings -- even in the head of a screw. Since bed bugs are only about the width of a credit card, they can squeeze into really small hiding spots.
If a crack will hold a credit card, it could hide a bed bug. Ref. EPA.org
How we get them! Initial Inspection
1. Determine species and level of infestation
2. Identify rooms with highest levels of activity based on both visual and interview of residents
3. Give an estimate of how many visits as well as total time for service. Actual time may vary based on the overall cooperation of resident.
Pre Service Preparation by Resident
1. Carefully strip all beds and place bedding in a large plastic bag and seal or place directly into home washer machine. Do not take laundry to public laundromats until after the first service. Wash and dry at highest temperature fabric can handle.
2. Remove mattress and box spring from frame and place on their side. Wipe down bed rails with soap and water.
3. After the first service. Empty all dresser drawers and at least dry clothing at highest temperature setting allowed for 30 minutes. If bed bugs are active in drawers wash clothing first. Bag clothing afterward in large plastic bags and seal. Duck tape any holes in bags.
4. After the first service. Empty closets especially floors. If activity has been found in closets remove all belongings.
5. Both services. Move all upholstered furniture away from walls, vacuum cracks and crevices of debris.
6. Both Services. Vacuum all carpeting, pay particular attention to cracks and crevices along floor trim.
7. First Service. Remove all electrical outlet plates.
8. After First Service. Wrap mattress with approved bed bug proof cover. We recommend Mattress Safe or Protecta Bed. Wal-Mart Brand or other "knock-offs" covers will tear too easily and do not seal properly at the zipper. Average cost per piece is 75.00 to 120.00 depending on size. Make sure to measure the depth of piece to ensure proper fit. Too tight or loose will cause failure.
9. Both Services. Prepare to vacate residence for up to eight hours. Longer for heavy infestations.
What we do. Initial visit and 10-14 day follow up.
1. Use low-impact products that are properly labeled by E.P.A. for bed bugs.
2. We never treat mattresses that will be kept. Will treat mattresses for disposal and will cut covers to prevent reuse. 3. Inject approved products into potential and identified hiding places such as bed rails, underside of box springs and upholstered furniture. May have to remove dust covers.
4. Inspect and treat feet/legs of furniture as well as any hollow harborage sites.
5. Inspect and Treat headboards, bed stands, and dresser drawers.
6. Inspect and Inject product between carpet tack strips and floor trim as well as door window trim.
7. Curtain rods, shelving, clocks, light fixtures etc will be inspected and treated if possible or set aside for resident to determine if worth keeping or have disposed of based on the severity of activity.
8. Inject long lasting desiccant dust into wall voids at electrical outlet/switch boxes and plumbing voids.
9. During service visit, it may be determined activity is present in areas other than indicated here.
We will also treat those areas in accordance to the product labeling.
Post service requirements by resident
1. Upon initial return, open windows and air out residence for at least 30 minutes.
2. Wash down all food prep surfaces with soap and water.
3. Move furniture and bedding back into place. Use caution when moving beds. Avoid tearing bed bug covers. Repair tears with strong fabric tape or duck tape.
4. Inspect for dead bed bugs and make note of numbers and locations.
Adult bed bug activity usually drops within three days after initial service. Bed bug eggs will all hatch within 14 days of being laid. Any eggs that do not hatch by day 14 will not survive. It is for that reason we do a 10-14 day follow up. Due to my 33 plus years of experience, 90% of all bed bugs will die from direct contact during application. The balance will die from the residual effects of product(s) used. Any nymphs hatched after application will need to be treated on follow up. Due to their small size, they may not come in contact with enough of product to die before their first blood meal. Wrapping mattresses and box springs significantly reduce their chances of future contact.
Inspection and Pre/Post service interviews may include more details of service specs and precautions.
National average cost for a qualified bed bug service averages between 350.00 to 600.00 per one or two bedroom apartment unit (depending on clutter and number of total units serviced) when using the latest in pesticide technology. Heat generated control averages over $1000.00 per unit. Cryogenic and steam technologies have proven to be the least effective and average 750.00 to 900.00 per unit. Single-family homes vary greatly based on size and age etc. Averages around 900.00 to 1400.00 using pesticides and easily double that using heat. Spectrum Pest Control is in the forefront in innovation of bed bug elimination techniques. The owner travels all over the country for regular training as well as consulting for other services and manufactures.
Our pricing is both competitive and fair. We never require maintenance contracts for bed bug control. If at the end of the two to three visit program all recommendations have been followed? Spectrum Pest Control may be able to give a full 30-day guarantee.
Beware of the lofty promises of high volume, low-quality services. Spectrum Pest Control has been doing bed bug services longer than anyone else in south-east Wisconsin.
New bed bug monitoring devices are now available with our service. They are not available for retail. These may require a maintenance contract for replacing spent lures and reading results.