Bed bugs are on the rise here in Austin, leaving human hosts with itchy, red bites which can result in infections, anxiety and insomnia. Contrary to popular belief, clean homes can harbor bed bugs, although clutter provides these pests with even more harborage areas. Our homes have an almost endless supply of areas bed bugs can hide, since these pests can squeeze into cracks as narrow as the width of a credit card.
Chem-free’s proven protocol to remove bed bugs and prevent future infestations includes:
The first step in getting rid of bed bugs is to determine the extent of your problem. Bed bugs are most active at night, so you’ll need to have a professional confirm that you have these pests and not another type of insect. Bed bug bites can easily be mistaken for flea or mosquito bites, and bed bugs are similar in appearance to ticks to the untrained eye.
Once you determine that you do have bed bugs, you’ll need to decide on the best course of treatment. Depending on your situation, Chem-free may recommend the use of effective, low-impact solutions and non-toxic heat treatments to control bed bugs.
Although these pests can survive in lower temperatures, they perish when their internal temperature reaches over 110 degrees. Heat treatments offer a non-toxic and highly effective method to control bed bugs. However, your regular thermostat and space heaters can’t get your home to the temperature needed to effectively kill these pesky pests. Heat treatments are best administered by professionals who understand bed bug biology and behavior and have the proper equipment to bring your home to the needed temperature.
To kill bed bugs in all their possible hiding spots, Chem-free’s heat treatment brings your home to an internal temperature of 125 degrees. Bed bugs in all stages of their life cycle—from egg to adult—will die under these conditions. In most cases, your home will only need a single treatment.
Our pros can also help advise you on which electronics and other items you should remove from your home which could be damaged during this process. You’ll need to also make sure your pets have a safe place to stay while the heat treatment is being administered. Treating bed bugs with low temperatures is not as effective, since home freezers may not get cold enough and bugs only die after being exposed to these temperatures for an extended period of time.
Unlike traditional treatments, heat treatments leave no harmful residue, so one benefit of this type of treatment is that you can return to your home the say day it is treated. Chem-free’s pros can also advise you on what to do with your bedding, furniture, clothing, boxes, books and other belongings after treatments to ensure no living bugs return to your belongings.
One of the theories about why bed bugs are back is that these insects have become resistant to some methods of chemical treatment. Unlike the protocol for some other pest infestations, bed bug treatment requires careful monitoring and follow-up visits. In addition, long-term success can depend on the diligence of homeowners to remove clutter, vacuum and seal crevices and cracks to discourage the development of new resting areas.
Chem-free with work with you to schedule follow-up visits to conduct this thorough monitoring for you and to suggest preventative measures you can take to prevent the bed bugs from coming back. Homeowners who have had an infestation may choose to use special bed bug covers on mattresses and box springs for up to a year after a treatment to protect against bed bugs. These encasements should be specifically tested to protect against bed bugs and should be strong enough to withstand any tears that could allow these pests to get back in.
Regularly washing and drying linens with heat can also reduce the number of bed bugs, although you’ll need to make sure to also clean your hampers, since bed bugs can also hide in these spaces.
Chem-free provides a written guarantee with our bed bug treatments. We’ll return as many times as necessary during your warranty period to make sure your home is free of bed bugs, at no additional charge to you.