Spring Cleaning 2014: Getting Rid of Bed Bugs

Now that the holidays are over and 2014 has kicked off, the temperatures across Canada should be rising soon. In just a few short weeks, temperatures will once again rise into the double digits, heralding the beginning of spring and increased activity for all inhabitants of Canada.

The temperature change also inspires Canadian homeowners to begin spring cleaning—the age-old practice of cleaning a home from top to bottom. Spring cleanings typically last a couple of days, during which homeowners will thoroughly clean every room. If you’re undertaking a similar endeavor this spring, you’ll want to pay special attention to a couple of rooms in your home this spring: bedrooms, living rooms, and dens.

Among the items you’ve accumulated during 2013 that may have become clutter, bed bugs may also be something you’ll want to purge during your spring cleaning.

What a bed bug looks like.
Not something you’d want to find in your home.

If you’ve never had a run-in with bed bugs before, you may be wondering how they entered your home. Bed bugs, like other insects and pests, avoid the outdoors during the winter months, instead taking refuge in warmer buildings like homes and retail stores to survive the winter. These pests can enter your home through any number of ways, making it difficult to pinpoint the source of an infestation.

Signs of Bed Bug Infestations

Although bed bugs can enter your home through cracks and other points of entry in the exterior of your home, they are most commonly imported from other places. If you’ve opened your home to friends and family, their bags could potentially contain bed bug stowaways who will settle in your home. Furniture, clothing, and other gifts and items brought into the home can also contain bed bugs.

If you’re not sure whether these pests have made their way into your home, there are a few signs that typically indicate an infestation:

  1. If you or your guests have complained of red, raised bumps on their bodies, they may have been bitten by bed bugs.
  2. Bed bugs molt, leaving behind skins. If you see these brown exoskeletons near a mattress, you may have an infestation.
  3. Black streaks on mattresses or other pieces of furniture that look like dried blood is actually fecal matter from these pests.
Black smudges in seams of a mattress indicate bed bug infestation.
Bed bug fecal matter on a mattress is just one of the signs.

Getting Rid of Bed Bugs during Spring Cleaning

There’s no better time to deal with a bed bug infestation than during spring cleaning. Odds are, you’ve got all the tools and help you’ll need to get rid of these pests—you just need to know how to kill bed bugs.

Locating bed bugs is the first step in getting rid of them, and can prove difficult if you’re not sure what to look for. Thankfully, bed bugs are creatures of habit, and favour specific places.

How to Find Bed Bugs in Bedrooms

First, you should perform basic cleaning in your bedroom, which includes removing your bed linens and promptly washing them.

When you’re ready to check your bedroom for bed bugs, grab a flashlight and visibly check the upper and lower seams of your mattress for signs of bed bugs—these include the black streaks, molted skin, and even live bed bugs. Flip the mattress and repeat the process, checking all sides for signs of these pests.

Be sure to check your box spring too!
Always check your box spring for signs of bed bugs!

If you have other furniture in the bedroom with upholstery, you should check those too. Remove seat cushions or any other fabrics and carefully inspect for signs of bed bugs.

How to Find Bed Bugs in Living Rooms

Upholstered furniture in your living room provides a warm environment similar to your mattress, making it another popular destination for bed bugs. Remove all cushions and pillows from sofas and loveseats, inspecting them inside and out for signs of bed bugs.

Other Places Bed Bugs Hide:

  • Baseboards
  • Window sills
  • Bed frames and box springs
  • Night stands and drawers
  • Clothes
  • Drapery and curtains

How to Kill Bed Bugs

Once you’ve found evidence of bed bugs, it’s time to get rid of them. Depending on what you have on hand, dispatching these pests should be easy, but it’s important to ensure that you take your time and kill or remove them completely; it only takes a few survivors to retreat and repopulate, causing another infestation.

Chemicals are typically the easiest way to kill bed bugs, but come with their own risks; make sure you keep children and pets away from the area and open windows for proper ventilation. Using rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle can typically kill bed bugs and their eggs on contact.

Using a vacuum to collect these bed bugs is also a good tactic; use a high-powered vacuum to collect all bed bugs and eggs, and then submerge them in rubbing alcohol or hot water.

Professional Bed Bug Control and Extermination in Canada

If all else fails, you can rely on Truly Nolen for help; our highly-trained pest control technicians can easily kill bed bugs and give you the information you need to keep them away for good. Give us a call at 1-888-832-4705 to speak to a technician—you may save yourself a lot of time next spring!