Hopefully you’ve never come into contact with bed bugs, but if you have, you understand that it’s relatively easy. It’s not your fault or anyone else’s, but it’s a normal occurrence that requires preparation and education to deal with. Bed bugs do not discriminate; they are tiny creatures that feed on the blood of humans and animals and infest any area where it is easy for them to feed and breed. This leaves no one and no area safe from infection; but it should help you realize that neither you nor anyone else is specifically to blame. Dealing with the uncomfortable mental effects of experiencing bed bugs is difficult enough; you should never feel responsible for their appearance.
People can come into contact with bed bugs at hotels, friend’s houses, public transportation, their jobs, travel and secondhand or antique stores. Dealing with bed bugs is a series of steps. Below is a list of things on which to focus if you are concerned about bringing home bed bugs or if you came into contact with them. These things may also help give you peace of mind.
If you entered an area that is infected with bed bugs, do the following:
- Remove all clothing before entering your home, if possible.
- Place the clothing in sealed plastic bags.
- Take a shower.
- After the shower, if you have not tossed the sealed bag of clothing, put them in a washer with hot soapy water.
- Put them and shoes into a hot dryer for 30 minutes on high heat.
- If you have been on a road trip, vacuum your car or have it inspected and treated.
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs in a Work Environment
Especially if you work in a home service environment, you will encounter bed bugs at one time or another. All home service employees should be trained on how to act after coming into contact with bed bugs. Home service employees can look for the following in the homes they visit:
- Fecal stains on walls and beds
- Bed bug blood stains on walls and beds
- Bed bug eggs
- Bed bug nymphs
- Bed bug adults
- Whitish shed skins on beds, in crevices and on furniture
- Smashed or killed bed bugs
- Bug bombs or other bug killing pesticides around the house
When visiting a home that might be infested, home service employees should wear protective booties over their shoes, simple or protective clothing, no accessories and no handbags. Employees should take care not to sit on the bed or furniture within the home. Bring in your own chair, if possible. Also, only items that are absolutely necessary within the home should be brought along. Paperwork can be carried on a clipboard, and small, closeable bags such as fanny packs can be used to carry personal items, keys and cell phones. Bed bugs like to hide in cool, dark places – purses, backpacks and briefcases notwithstanding.
After leaving a home infested with bed bugs, record the incident for professional documentation.
Before entering your vehicle, remove your booties and put into a sealed plastic bag. Dispose of bag before entering the car.
Use a small mirror to inspect yourself and your clothing before stepping into the vehicle. Check the back of your pants, any fabric folds, cuffs, collars and shoelaces. If you do find a bug on your person, remain calm and remove with a wet wipe. Wipe down the area where you found the bug and toss the wipe immediately.
If you need to remove someone or something from an infested home, inspect the person’s clothing and put any loose items in sealed plastic bags. In severe situations, you and your client may need to wear coveralls, but if that’s not a possibility, line the area where they sit with a drum liner. After transportation, vacuum your vehicle thoroughly and use wet wipes to wipe down all necessary areas.
If You Still Have Bed Bugs
If you have contacted bed bugs, followed all of the above prevention, detection and control guidelines and still discovered bed bugs on yourself or your belongings once you reached home, contact a local Phoenix bed bug removal company to ensure that all bed bugs and bed bugs eggs will be removed from your home. Heat treatment professionals will give you guidelines to follow after eradication and will ensure that you are safe from further infestation. The above information is important to remember whenever leaving your home and especially if you are frequently entering other people’s homes due to professional or volunteer commitments. Stay alert and knowledgable when traveling, as well, as travel is a huge source of bed bug infestations.