Q: What Chemicals do you use? A: For the main part of the treatment, we generally use several chemicals: an insect growth regulator to break the life cycle with a sterilizing effect - which can last for four months, and a residual product is used to actively kill bugs as they become exposed to it. We expect this product to last for 4-6 weeks. We may also apply a direct, contact kill material to any live bed bugs found during treatment. This eliminates the bugs immediately and stops any possible future mating or egg laying.
Q: What is physically treated and what methods are used? A: All bedrooms in the home will need to be treated. Living rooms and furniture are normally treated as part of the treatment as well. In a normal living room, bed bugs may be found harboring on frequently used furniture such as couches and chairs, especially if someone spends a lot of time on the furniture.
As far as methods, we apply the pesticide material to the mattress, box spring, bed frame, night stands, dressers, baseboards and any other necessary areas. All overstuffed furniture, chairs, tables, and living room furniture are also treated. We may also treat closets, window and door frames, etc, depending on the structure and the level of infestation. All application procedures follow federal label guidelines.
We will be able to tell the level of infestation by the number of adult bed bugs, nymphs and eggs found in the bedrooms or living room.
Q: How are the things that are taken from drawers and put into bags treated? A: The drawers are treated inside and out. We do not treat your personal items. We recommend that you wash and dry clothing and personal items before you put them back into the drawers.
Q: Do I have to vacate for several hours, and how long does the actual treatment take? A: Generally, plan 1 to 2 hours for a standard sized 3 bedroom home. This time can vary depending on how many furnishing and items are in the home. A sparsely furnished home may only take a 1 hour, where a cluttered home may take longer. Apartments do not take as long, with a 2 bedroom apartment taking about 45 minutes, again depending on the level of furninshings and belongings. We do not require that you vacate the home or apartment, as long as people and pets are not in the immediate vicinity of treatment. However, for most treatments, people tend to leave during treatment and return shortly after. There is minimal odor with the material, and we usually try to establish air flow as we treat from room to room.
Q: Is there a guarantee? A: Bed bug treatments are not guaranteed and an established bed bug remedy may take up to three services. A heavier infestation may take more follow-up treatments. Please take note that there is no overnight remedy and patience will be required.
Q:I've heard that bed bugs are hard to get rid of, is this true? A: Yes, however, when the proper chemicals are applied, the areas are treated properly and most important - you've prepared for the service well and follow all the technicians' instructions, bed bugs can be eradicated. It may take time and patience but it can be done. The only times it can seem that there is little control is if there is reintroduction, meaning new bugs are being brought back to your home or apartment through traveling or frequent guests are staying in your home. Another way it can feel unsuccessful is if the customer doesn't prepare correctly for the service and that causes the technician to be unable to treat areas he needs to, or if the necessary follow-ups are not completed before the bed bug problem is resolved.
Q: When can I sleep in my room again? A: It is important to continue sleeping in the room after the treatments. If the room is vacant then the bugs won't emerge from deeper recesses. Bed bugs can live up to a year without a blood meal which outlives the chemical residuals. Bed bugs come out when they detect heat and carbon dioxide that is emitted from a warm blooded mammal. As a person’s breath and other gases build up in a room, the bed bugs then emerge to feed. If the bed bugs cannot detect a host, they will remain in their hiding places. The encasements that are installed at the time of treatment will also provide a barrier from the treatment and also protect you from any bed bugs that could emerge from their harborages in the mattress or box spring.
Q: How can I avoid getting bed bugs again? A: Bed bugs are a big problem for travelers. If you travel, you should check your hotel room for evidence of bed bugs. In most hotels/motels the headboard is usually mounted on the wall. Take the headboard off the wall and look behind it. You can also pull the sheets away from the mattress and look for the bugs or their droppings, which are typically found in the mattress and box spring corners and along seams. Keep your suitcases off the floor and put them on a dresser, or better yet, in the bathtub upon arrival. If anything suspicious is seen, report it immediately to the management and request to change rooms.
Upon arriving home from your travels, you can unload your suitcases outside and launder the clothing before bringing them back into your bedroom. Thoroughly examine non-washables like toiletries, shoes and other non-washable items before bringing them inside. Bed bugs primarily hitch a ride on luggage, and if you had a bed bug encounter while away from home you can additionally place your empty suitcase(s) outdoors and spray them with an over-the-counter luggage spray or thoroughly spray them with Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and allow them to dry before bringing them back inside the hom. You can repeat the process if you want. You may also want to invest in fully zippered bed bug proof encasements for both the mattress and the box spring in your home.
If you have guests that are from an area or home that has known bed bugs or if they had been staying in hotels before arriving to your home, you can have them go through same process as described in the above paragraph. If they had acquired unusual bites while they were traveling, this should be considered a "red flag" and you may want to question them on where they were staying before arriving at your home.
You may not be able to completely avoid bed bugs in the future, but awareness is the first step in trying to avoid this uncomfortable and expensive problem.
Q: Bed bug covers for the mattresses; can I buy any mattress cover? A: Standard mattress covers won't be good enough. Look for covers that state they are bed bug proof, with the primary difference being the zipper. The zipper on a properly designed cover will be able to keep bed bugs from penetrating from where the zipper ends. Bed bug covers will keep the mattress clean of bed bug droppings and will keep them out of the framing of the box spring, making them more difficult to find and identify. The box spring and mattress are very desirable to bed bugs because once they're able to get behind the dust cover on the bottom, the framing allows a lot more hiding and breeding areas.
Q: How much does a treatment cost? A: Bed bug treatments are very labor intensive for the technicians. It requires moving mattresses, furniture, and sometimes taking apart the bed frames, etc., and prices vary based on the size of the workload.
Our treatments generally have an initial charge, and it is based on a few factors, such as the number of bedrooms, whether it is a home or apartement, the level of infestation, cluttered conditions, furnisahings, etc.
We then schedule a follow-up treatment in approximately 2-4 weeks, and the follow-up service is usually around 75% of the intial cost.
Follow-up pricing is only valid if the follow-up service is scheduled within 45 days of the last treatment. Services requested after 45 days will revert back to the initial charge.
Please call our office for a more detailed explanation of the cost. Office Phone: 724-349-7900
Important Note: If the bed bugs infestation is severe prices may increase, our cost estimates are for normal infestations and actual costs will be determined at the time of inspection or service.
Q: What are the chances the bed bugs will be gone after the first treatment? A: We encounter different levels of bed bugs in each situation. If treatment occurs within the first two weeks of the introduction of bed bugs, there's a good chance the first treatment could correct the problem. Many times however, the professional pest control company is brought in much later after the initial problem and has turned into an infestation. Some people try to treat it themselves for weeks or months before calling a professional and some people take that long to figure out that the bites are from bed bugs.
Normally in an early bed bug problem the customer will notice bites two or three times a week in the first two weeks or so. The bites become more frequent or nightly as the bed bugs become populated. A single bed bug only needs to feed one to three times a week depending on their stage in the life cycle. As that bed bug begins breeding and laying eggs, a new generation develops and they begin feeding and the bites become more frequent. When the infestation gets to this point, you now have a full life cycle happening and it will include Adults, nymphs and eggs, which could mean eradicating dozens or hundreds of bed bugs in various stages of development. The longer the problem has been developing the more follow-up services are expected. Bed bug eggs take two and a half to five weeks to hatch and the female bed bug can lay up to 10 eggs a day, so the longer the infestation remains untreated the longer it takes to correct.
We generally expect an average bed bug infestation to take about two treatments spaced apart two to three weeks. If bites reoccur or are continuing into the fourth or fifth week, another follow-up treatment may need to be scheduled. Some customers have relief into the fourth or fifth week and may not need a third follow-up. If, upon our initial inspection, we have discovered eggs, nymphs and adult bed bugs it is highly advised to plan on having a minimum of two treatments.
Q: Can I treat my bed bug problem myself? A: This is something that we do NOT recommend doing, and it is due to a few reasons. First, using over-the-counter products that say they are labeled for bed bugs are typically contact insecticides with little to no residual, and also tend to repel bed bugs from the area where the material was applied. Because of this, the products tend to scatter bed bugs in many directions, as they want to get away from that repellent material. Ultimately, once the bed bugs have scattered, it makes control a lot more difficult. This is also true for the “foggers” or “bombs” that promise to provide instant control. The issue with these products are not only do they repel and scatter bed bugs, but they also do not penetrate into the areas where the bed bugs are actually harboring. Use of these sprays generally make control a lot more difficult when a professional is ultimately hired for the treatment, as the over-the-counter products and the professional materials will not work well together. Second, applying a pesticide inconsistent with its labeling is against federal law. It is imperative for the health and safety of people and pets that labels be followed properly. A pest control professional is licensed and trained in applying pesticides properly and according to federal label guidelines. It is not worth the risk to try and apply pesticides on your own where personal injury may occur due to improper application procedures. Third, although it may seem expensive up front for the initial services provided by a professional, in the long run it will be most beneficial and effective to have a professional perform the treatment properly.
We would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have about a bed bug treatment. Please give our office a call at 724-349-7900.