Important Information About Your Bed Bug Treatment
This page contains essential information on what you need to do to prepare rooms for bed bug treatment and safety advice on the insecticides we use.
The name “bed bug” is derived from the insect’s preferred habitat of houses and especially beds or other areas where people sleep. Bed bugs are mainly active at night, but not exclusively so, and are capable of feeding on their host without being noticed.
A number of adverse health effects may occur due to bed bug bites, including skin rashes, psychological effects, and allergic symptoms. Diagnosis involves both finding bed bugs and the occurrence of compatible symptoms.
Adult bed bugs are light brown to reddish-brown, flattened, oval shaped and have no functional wings. Bed bugs have segmented abdomens with microscopic hairs that give them a banded appearance. Adults grow to 4-5mm in length and 1.5-3mm wide. Newly hatched nymphs are translucent, lighter in colour and become browner as they moult and reach maturity. Bed bugs may be mistaken for other insects such as booklice and carpet beetles.
Preparing Room(s)for Bed Bug Treatment
You must do the following before a bed bug treatment, otherwise it may not be possible to carry out the work but you will still incur a charge: -
- Vacuum all floors and soft furniture thoroughly to remove any debris, eggs or live insects etc., especially in bedrooms and other areas used by people for sleeping. The vacuum bag or contents of the vacuum must be carefully placed inside 2 plastic bags and sealed before putting the bag in an outside waste bin.
- Hard floor surfaces should be swept and washed or vacuumed.
- Empty wardrobes, drawers etc. and wash the contents on the hottest wash possible min 60c, delicate items such as silks and woollen items can be bagged and frozen for 2-3 days. Clothes and bedding should be placed inside plastic bags in the rooms where bed bugs are active before being carried to the washing area/laundry so that insects do not fall off on route.
- Strip the beds and wash bedding in the hottest temperature that the fabric will allow (check manufacturers guidelines). Alternatively, you should tumble dry all clothing and bedding for at least an hour on high heat.
- Remove all possessions from the floor (books, toys, magazines etc.) so that as much of the area as possible can be treated. Pull furniture away from walls to allow treatment behind.
- Where possible, metal or wooden beds and other known harbourages should be dismantled to allow them to be thoroughly treated. Box/Divan beds may need to be destroyed as they cannot be effectively treated.
- Children and pets should not be present during treatment. Fish tanks should be removed or covered. Any open food should also be covered or removed.
- Whenever possible the only items in a room when treatment commences should be the bed and empty furniture.
After the treatment
- After treatment keep out of the property until the insecticide has dried or a minimum of 4 hours. If it is not possible to stay out of the house, you should, as far as possible, stay out of the treated area(s).
- When the insecticide has dried the treated rooms must be occupied and bedrooms slept in as normal. This is really important; as bed bugs are attracted to the carbon dioxide we exhale so normal occupation of the property will draw the bedbugs out and into contact with the residue of the insecticides . If you fail to do this the treatment might not work.
- You may see some bedbugs for a number of days after treatment. This is due to eggs hatching. The insects will die once they come into contact with the insecticide.
- Do not vacuum for at least 2 weeks following treatment. The longer you leave the area without vacuuming the greater the chance that treatment will be successful.
- If cracks and crevices are harbouring bed bugs some minor water staining may occur from a water based insecticide being spayed into these areas. We cannot be held responsible for making good any subsequent damage to painted surfaces or papered walls. Any cracks along skirting boards should be filled after the treatment has been carried out.
- Please note: Revisits should not be necessary if the above instructions are followed but re-infestation can occur if unlaundered bedding or clothing is introduced back in to the room or if bed bugs remain in untreated parts of the property. For this reason we cannot guarantee bed bug treatment and revisits will normally incur an additional charge.
Avoid contact with the wet insecticide. In case of accidental contact:-
- Wash off skin immediately, remove contaminated clothing
- Eyes – rinse at least 15 minutes, seek medical advice
- Ingestion – rinse mouth, seek medical advice
- Inhalation – more than incidental move to fresh air, keep warm, blow nose, seek medical advice
- If you would like further advice or information please contact the Environmental Health Service on firstname.lastname@example.org or look on the Council’s website www.stroud.gov.uk