What are the most important do's and don't's when I think I have bed bugs?
Check out this great link for comprehensive advice on what to do, and not to do, when you suspect that you have a bed bug problem.
Why are bed bugs so hard to get rid of?
First of all, bed bugs are small, flat, and adept at squeezing themselves into tiny spaces. They can hide in places we'd never think of looking for them, like behind loose wallpaper or under electrical switch plates. To successfully eliminate an infestation, you've got to find and kill every viable bed bug, which is not an easy task. Second, bed bugs multiply quickly. A single female can lay 500 eggs during her life, and within a few months her offspring can reproduce as well. A few individuals introduced to a new environment can increase exponentially. Depending on conditions, bed bugs can produce 3 or 4 generations in one year. Additionally, bed bugs reproduce most quickly in temperatures between 70 degrees and 82 degrees Fahrenheit, where most people keep their thermostats. Bed bugs can go a remarkably long time without feeding, should no host be present to provide them with the needed blood meals. Scientists have documented adult bed bugs living up to 550 days without eating, and nymphs may last for months. So simply leaving an infested dwelling unoccupied for a few months in hopes of starving them out will do nothing to discourage the little freeloaders. Just to make their extermination more difficult, bed bugs can sense chemical odors, and may avoid areas where cleaning agents or even pesticides have been applied. Some scientists believe bed bugs have developed a resistance to certain insecticides as well. Finally, to rid a dwelling of bed bugs for good, every possible hiding place must be cleaned or treated. In a home, that means all clothing, bedding, linens, and other washable fabrics must be laundered, usually repeatedly. Every crevice and seam of mattresses and upholstered furniture must be inspected and treated. Cracks in walls must be sealed, loose wallpaper reattached or removed, and carpets treated and vacuumed. Dresser drawers have to be emptied and cleaned, and all clutter must be removed to limit hiding places for stray bed bugs.
When affected items are treated in a dryer at 180 degrees Fahrenheit, it kills not only adult bugs but their eggs as well. It is especially important to treat the affected items at this elevated temperature in order to kill the eggs! Bed Bug Laundry NYC additionally provides wash and fold laundry services, so that your items come back to you clean, smelling great, folded--and bed bug-free.
The key to exterminating bed bugs is killing their eggs--most dryers do not typically operate at a sustained temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit, which is critical for effective elimination of the eggs. Bed Bug Laundry NYC guarantees this sustained temperature in our sterile, dedicated facility. We also hang onto your items for as long as you need us to, eliminating the risk of reinfesting the clothes you are treating.
Do you treat shoes, bags, and other non-clothing items?
Yes, we do. However, we do remind our customers that our heat treatment process can be hard on delicate items. We ask that you do not give us items that you feel would not fare well at high heat.
Call us, and we will send you our pick-up worksheet, which has detailed instructions on what to do to get ready to use our services.
In what timeframe can I get my things back?
We can process laundry in as little as 24 - 48 hours; depending on the amount, dry-cleaning will take at least 3 days. However, we have found that most of our customers are not ready to have their items back immediately. Because a treatment in the home can take several weeks or months to achieve results, we encourage our customers to take advantage of our storage solutions and not have their items returned until the coast is clear! We do of course deliver items as soon as customers request them back.
Do you operate in other cities in the US?
We service clients in the NYC area, as well as near-city New Jersey (Morris, Hudson, Essex, Passaic, and Union Counties). We also recently opened our Chicago location! You can learn more about our services in Chicago at www.bedbuglaundryandprep.com.
Providing treatment, storage, and support for people dealing with bed bugs in New York City.
FROM THE INTERNATIONAL BED BUG RESOURCE AUTHORITY...