Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of, and it's even harder when you live in a rental apartment. The bugs can move from apartment to apartment, so even if you eradicate them in your space, they can always come back. For that reason, you should notify your landlord when you have a bed bug problem because there is a good chance your neighbors have a problem too. Whether you call a professional or your landlord does, you'll want to get treatment as soon as possible so you can get rid of the pesky bugs. Here's what you need to do in advance of the treatment to get your apartment ready.
Vacuum The Living Room And Bedrooms
Bed bugs are usually concentrated in bedrooms since they like to be close to their food source at night. If you spend a lot of time in the living room, it might be infested with the bugs too. The first step to getting rid of them is to vacuum. You can suck a lot of the bugs out of the carpet with a vacuum cleaner. Use the crevice tool and vacuum your chairs and couch too. You should also vacuum around your mattress, box springs, and bed frame. Once that's done, you can put bed bug enclosures over your mattress and box springs so you don't have to throw them out.
Seal Food And Cover Dishes
You probably don't have many bed bugs in your kitchen, but the pest control company may spray in there too if they treat your entire apartment. Just to be on the safe side, you may want to put all your food in containers to protect them from the pesticide. Also, cover your plates, glasses, and other dishes so they don't get pesticide on them when the exterminator sprays. Be sure to ask the pest control company about the things you need to do in advance to protect your food, food preparation surfaces, and dishes.
Bag Your Clothes
The most labor intensive part of getting rid of bed bugs is dealing with your clothing. Even if you don't see the bugs hiding in your clothes, you should still bag all your clothing just to be safe. You can kill bugs by washing the clothes in hot water or just by running the clothes through a hot dryer. If the clothing can't be washed, you can take them to a dry cleaners instead. The hot temperatures used to launder the clothing kills off bugs and their eggs. The trick is to stay organized since you won't be able to wash everything the same day. Bag all your clothing and wash them as you get time. When they are dry, put them in new bags until you are certain the bugs are all gone and then you can hang the clothes back in your closet.
Clean Out Your Clutter
Whether the pest control company uses pesticides, steam heat, or dry ice to kill the bed bugs, the treatment will be more effective if your apartment is free from clutter. Clutter provides hiding places for the bugs, and it can shield them from the extermination agents. Therefore, throw away all paper trash, clear out your clutter, and bag everything you can. Ask the pest control company if you should empty your drawers into bags before the treatment.
One thing you want to keep in mind when you bag clothing and other items is that there may be bed bugs in the bags. They can live a long time without feeding, plus eggs will hatch out even after adults are gone. So, remember to be very careful when you open a sealed bag. Search everything in it for bugs before you place the items back in their usual places in your apartment or you may spread the bugs around and start the infestation all over. After your apartment has been treated, you'll want to stay alert to further bed bug activity, keeping in mind your neighbors may have a problem they've not dealt with properly. The quicker you act when the bugs come back, the easier it will be to get rid of them.