Choosing a Pest Management Professional to Treat Bed Bugs – Heat Treatment

Questions to Ask:

Why Ask?

Does your company treat for bed bugs?
Bed bug eradication requires considerable experience and knowledge, and some pest management professionals do not treat bed bugs.
How long have you been doing bed bug extermination?
The longer a company has been in the business of killing bed bugs, the more expert they typically become.
Are you licensed by the Ohio Department of Agriculture?
Pest Management Professionals (PMPs) MUST carry a valid pesticide applicator’s license from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. You can check the status of their license by calling 1-800-282-1955, extension 31, or you can find them online at: www.agri.ohio.gov. Never use an unlicensed exterminator!
Can you provide references?
They should answer “Yes.” Don’t hesitate to contact two
or three of the references.
How much will the treatment cost?
Some companies charge an inspection fee, but others do not. The cost of one treatment is more costly that traditional pest management, but it typically requires only one treatment.
Will you provide an estimate?
Most companies will provide you with an estimate.
How long will it take to get rid of the bugs?
It is typically a one-day treatment, but temperatures must reach to or above the killing temperature for bed bugs, so plan on between eight – 12 hours.
How will you treat my home?
Specialized heaters reach all of the cracks and crevices and kills bed bugs where they reside, and thermometers are placed strategically to monitor temperatures.
Will you treat my whole house (or business?)
The extent of the treatment will depend on the severity of the infestation. If the bed bugs are confi ned to one or two rooms, it may not be necessary to treat the whole house.
What about my neighbor’s apartment?
It is always important to inspect any adjoining units in a multi-family dwelling since bed bugs are active insects that can move through cracks and gaps in the walls. The tenants and the property manager have to cooperate with the pest management professional to accomplish this.
How do I prepare for treatment?
The Pest Management Professional should give you a detailed list of things to do to prepare your home for heat treatment. (See tips below as well.) There is usually less preparation needed than with traditional insecticide treatment.
Should I throw away my furniture?
The heat should be able to kill bed bugs hiding inside furniture (thermometers can gauge if the core temperature is high enough). If the PMP cannot heat treat a piece of furniture, do NOT remove it unless it is sealed in plastic to keep the bugs from being spread.Anything that you throw away must be completely destroyed so that someone doesn’t take it.

Tips to Minimize Infestations/Prepare for Treatment

  • Minimize clutter.
  • Vigorously vacuum carpets, drapes, furniture and all cracks and crevices daily. After vacuuming, vacuum up talcum powder, then put the vacuum bag in a sealed bag and dispose of it outside your home after each use.
  • Wash all fabric items on the hottest recommended setting, dry on high for an additional 30 minutes after the items are dry, and then seal them tightly in clear plastic bags labeled “Clean”. (Well-labeled and sealed garbage bags or rubber tubs with lids work also.)
  • If you acquire any new or used furniture, inspect it carefully before bringing it into your home to make sure it is bug free.
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