How to prepare for bed bug fumigation

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We know all too well how stressful and inconvenient having a pest control problem can be, and sometimes the problem is so bad that the recommended course of action is fumigation. While heat treatment is usually our preferred method, it is normally backed up with a highly effective bed bug treatment as well.

Before we discuss bed bug fumigation preparations, it’s important to understand what the fumigation process entails. This bed bug pest control procedure is similar to heat treatment in its setup, execution and result. It is designed to completely eradicate pests by exposing them to a highly inhospitable environment for a period of time. While heat instantly kills bed bugs at all stages of development, fumigation relies on insecticide products to kill the bed bugs as they get exposed to them.

Things to avoid before a bed bug treatment

When preparing their home for fumigation, some people decide to move some of their belongings from their home into someone else’s so as to protect it from the chemicals. This is a mistake. If you have an infestation of pests that requires fumigation, there’s a high probability that the items you are removing are infested. Therefore, moving them to a friend or neighbour’s house can spread the infestation to them.

Furthermore, when you bring the items back into your home following the fumigation, if they are infested, you’ll simply be reintroducing the pests to your home. You’ll be undoing all the work you just paid for! The correct course of action is discussed below.

Cleaning and removing

Two important aspects of fumigation preparation are cleaning and removing. Items that are obvious targets for bed bugs, such as bed sheets, duvets, bedspreads, pillows and stuffed toys should be washed on the highest setting possible (i.e., as hot as possible without causing damage, which is around 60°C). They should then be immediately placed into plastic bags and kept separated from your other items.

For household items that cannot be washed, such as books and electrical items, inspect them and wipe them down thoroughly to ensure they’re free from pests. If the items are resilient it may be best to spray directly over them. If any bed bugs are hidden within, they will be further exposed when the time comes to bite you. If they are fragile, place them into plastic bags. This will protect them from the chemicals used during fumigation. Once the chemicals are dry, all the items should be replaced as they were.

Alternatively, you can remove these items from the property during the procedure if you have space to store them. However, if your belongings are kept in a sealed plastic bag, no bed bug treatment will be able to reach inside it. But the bed bugs within will not able to survive for much longer than six months.

For other items that are too large to wash or remove from your home, such as beds and sofas, vacuum them carefully. Doing so will remove any dead bugs and eggs, and is also likely to remove some live pests too. Vacuum clean all flooring—in every room—and wash any hardwood or tiled floors with a mop, soap and hot water. Be sure to carefully dispose of the waste from your vacuum cleaner; double bag it if possible and remove it from your house immediately.

The bed bug treatment will remain active on clean surfaces for longer. This not only makes it easier for the fumigation process to completely eradicate your pest problem but also helps to identify any possible areas where you had signs of bed bugs.

It’s also worth noting that some ornamental plants may suffer during the fumigation process due to the chemicals. Therefore, it’s important to inspect and temporarily remove them from the premises, or cover them with a sheet. If you have a garden, it’s a good idea to store them there until the treatment is over.

What chemicals kill bed bugs

Most bed bug sprays in the UK are made of a mix of various pesticides and insect growth regulators. There are organic options as well that efficiently kill bed bugs and their eggs, but their lack of residual activity means that repeated rounds of fumigation will be needed. Cimetrol Super is likely the best bed bug spray in the UK. Biopren 6EC is gentler but has the advantage of being suitable to treat bed bugs on mattresses.

Instead of using bed bug spray on the mattress, you can use diatomaceous earth. But it is important not to use it in excess as it may cause irritation of the respiratory apparatus if you breathe it in.

Arrange your home

Your home must be arranged so as to allow the fumigation to be as effective as possible. It’s important to reduce the number of hiding spaces that pests may use during the treatment; this ensures that pests will be adequately exposed to the chemicals throughout.

To fumigate a bedroom, it is best to move your bed, wardrobes and other large pieces of furniture away from walls. This allows for our pest controllers to inspect the area and for the chemicals to reach every inch of your home that needs treating. Whenever possible, it is best to place the bed on its side as to facilitate the work of the technician, above all if the bedroom is very small.

If your property is being fumigated soon, then following our guide will ensure that it’s well-prepared. If you have any further questions regarding pest control and fumigation, please let us know. Similarly, if you think that you may have a pest problem that requires fumigation, contact our team of experts. We have over a decade of experience in treating pest problems across London and the surrounding counties. We’ll inspect your property, diagnose the problem and recommend the very best and least-invasive treatment available. It’s our guarantee.