If you've ever found bed bugs on your mattresses at your camp, rehab or recovery center, shelter, or facility, your first reaction might be to discard everything in a panic! That approach may not be the best use of your resources and hiring a professional to eliminate them can get pretty pricey. An alternative option would be to get rid of them yourself which is hard work, but completely possible.
At American Bedding, we know the best way to help rid your facility of bed bugs. Keep reading for the 5 best ways to treat your furniture to get rid of bed bugs.
Wash and Dry
Heat is the key ingredient for destroying bed bugs. Temperatures between 117 and 122 degrees Fahrenheit will kill these pesky critters. That means you can kill the bed bugs on your sheets and blankets by washing them in hot water.
Some items cannot be washed in a washing machine, but they can still be dried. Putting those items in the dryer on high heat for 20 minutes should kill the bugs.
Steam and Vacuum
When it comes to beds, furniture, floorboards, and other accessories near your bed, a washer and dryer are not as helpful. However, steam is the perfect solution for items that you can't toss into the washer or dryer. Keep in mind, that steam does not kill the bed bugs you can't see. If they're hiding in crevices out of sight, steam will not be as effective in eliminating them.
After you've washed and steamed everything, including mattress covers, mattresses, and bunk beds, use a vacuum to clean up the dead bed bugs as well as the shells, eggs, and fecal matter they've left behind.
Our bed bug-proof mattress covers have been independently certified to trap bed bugs with no possibility of escape, so they can still be used safely! They are also more affordable and effective than a DIY plastic wrap that can sometimes be used to suffocate bed bugs within a mattress or mattress cover.
To treat items that can't be effectively steamed, we recommend purchasing a portable heat box. A heated box is designed similarly to a cooler with a plug. You can put books, documents, shoes, and other items in the box as it heats to a temperature that destroys the bed bugs, but not your items.
The key is getting infected items to reach the 117-122 temperature range. Because these high temperatures must reach all the way to the item’s core, it can be difficult to do it yourself. Make sure that items, particularly dense items like wood or pillows, are heated long enough for the insides to meet the required temperature.
Spray and Powder
To finish things off, purchase sprays designed to kill bed bugs. Contact spray kills and evaporates quickly, as well as a residual spray, which offers long-lasting protection in case there happen to be any eggs left behind that could hatch.
Powders can also be used to kill bed bugs and prevent hatchlings. Remember: sprays and powders should not be used on pieces of furniture that humans touch. Use them in crevices like between baseboards and the carpet or tiny spaces on the bed frame that do not come into contact with humans.
Don't be afraid to be an overachiever when you're ridding your facility of bed bugs. In fact, be an overachiever because if you do this job halfway, you'll end up doing it all over again in a few weeks.
Get Bed Bug Proof Mattresses and Furniture
Once you've eliminated bed bugs from the facility, take extra precautions to make sure they do not return. One of the best ways to prevent another infestation is to use mattresses and mattress covers with a bed bug-proof design. The inverted seams on the mattresses at American Bedding offer no place for bed bugs to hide, making an infestation unlikely.
Another investment that can save facilities from bed bug infestation is metal bunk beds and furniture. Wooden furniture retains moisture, creating a natural environment in which bed bugs can burrow and hide during the day, whereas metal furniture is cold and dense, decreasing the availability of hiding places for bed bugs. American Bedding’s Model 4500 Metal Bunk Bed’s powder-coated steel frame and curvaceous design limit the places where bed bugs could potentially hide and spread.
Investing in adequate metal storage containers where guests can stow their belongings can also help to limit the spread of bed bugs significantly. When clients lack adequate storage space, their belongings often lie around on the floor, the mattresses, and on one another’s luggage, creating an environment in which bed bugs can easily move and spread from person to person, ultimately infesting everyone and everything. Our Platinum Furniture Collection provides an aesthetic line of metal furnishings that allow guests’ personal belongings to be stored properly: which in turn limits the possibility of a bed bug infestation.
We don't want you to deal with bed bugs any more than you want to. Keep bed bugs at bay this season with our helpful tips and free checklist for download below!