This time of year isn’t just a common travel season for us, it’s also a popular time for bed bugs to move from host to host. The more travelers there are, the more opportunity exists for bed bugs to hitchhike. Preventing bed bugs is very challenging because of their nature, but being diligent about inspecting for them can help. Make sure you inspect hotel rooms for bed bugs before you stay, check luggage after returning from travel, and even inspect clothing items or backpacks that come home from school during winter break. These are all easy areas for bed bugs to travel. There are many options for getting rid of bed bugs, should you find yourself with an issue, but not all of them are good options. Here are some frequently asked questions with answers from the experts:

Can I get rid of bed bugs myself?

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Many DIY sites will tell you that you can kill bed bugs by using natural home remedies, including rubbing alcohol or essential oils like lavender, tea tree or peppermint oils. Where some of these home remedies have merit, these solutions require that you see each individual pest and apply the products directly on them. Bed bugs are great at finding hiding places – it’s how they’ve survived all these years. They are also small, particularly in the immature stages of life, so can go unnoticed, even when out in the open. The chances that you will find every single bed bug and apply a home remedy directly to them is virtually impossible. If you leave one single mated female alive, her and her young can re-infest your property in a few months’ time. Using these DIY solutions, you are more likely to end up with furniture that smells like peppermint than you are to find a solution to your bed bug problem.

Does bed bug spray work?

There are tons of bed bug sprays and insecticides on the market. Much like DIY solutions, they usually aren’t very effective unless you know the exact location of the bed bugs and their hiding places. Bed bugs have also built up a resistance over the years to several pesticides, so depending on what you use, it can be ineffective. Because bed bugs typically hide in places that can’t be infiltrated by things like spray or foggers, it can be very difficult for these products to work. You also need to take additional precautions with these chemicals, as they can be harmful to your family and pets if used improperly.

Can you get rid of bed bugs permanently?

You can get rid of bed bugs, but there is always a chance another bed bug will find its way back into your home or business. If you find bed bugs are a recurring problem, you are either not solving the problem in the first place, or you continue to visit a place (or have guests that visit a place) where bed bugs are present. This is particularly common in multi-family housing such as apartments or condominiums. Bed bugs can easily be carried from unit to unit, and it can be a huge frustration. The best prevention is diligent inspections, and if you find you have bed bugs in a multi-family property, make sure to notify your property manager. If you have an issue, it is possible your neighbors do too, and then things can get out of hand very quickly.

Can an exterminator get rid of bed bugs?

Yes, an exterminator can get rid of bed bugs, and they are really your best bet. A pest control provider has training on bed bug biology and behavior, meaning they know where to look for bed bugs and how to eliminate them when they find them. By using a combination of techniques, they can eliminate bed bugs at all stages of development, something virtually impossible to achieve with DIY products.

What do exterminators use to get rid of bed bugs?

Exterminators use a variety of strategies to get rid of bed bugs such as heat treatment, mattress encasements, crack and crevice injection/spot treatment and pesticide dust. At Wil-Kil, we even have a canine inspection unit to help us sniff out all the various spots bed bugs may be hiding!

It is strongly recommended that you ask the professionals for help when it comes to bed bugs. To learn more about how Wil-Kil can help, check out our bed bug treatment options or give us a call!