After being bitten while you slept or even seeing a few bed bugs crawling around, your first reaction may have been to call an exterminator to help deal with your new-found bed bug infestation. However, while you wait for the exterminator to arrive, there are some actions you can take to help keep the bed bugs under control.
1. Get Rid of Some of the Bugs' Hiding Places
Contrary to what their name suggests, bed bugs do not only live inside your mattresses and box springs. They can live anywhere, including your closet and even the piles of clutter sitting under your bed and on the floors in your rooms. These piles provide protective cover for the bed bugs, especially when they figure out that the stuff is rarely moved.
One of the first things you should do when you discover bed bugs is to get rid of the clutter. Not only does this rob the bugs of some of their hiding places, but it will make the exterminator's job easier when they are trying to assess the situation and locate the pests.
2. Keep Your Home Vacuumed
Once you have removed any clutter piles around your home, the next thing you can do to help get rid at least some of the bed bugs is to thoroughly vacuum your home. This does not only include vacuuming your carpets. You should also vacuum your mattresses, box springs, and any upholstered furniture.
As you vacuum, you will not only suck up adult bed bugs but also some of their eggs and larvae to help keep new bugs from growing up to bite you. After you vacuum, either remove the bag or empty the canister, depending on what type of machine you are using, and seal the contents in two tightly tied plastic bags.
If you used a bagless vacuum cleaner, do not return the canister to the vacuum right after emptying it. Instead, wipe the interior with alcohol, and rinse any filters with alcohol followed by hot tap water. These steps can help you kill any eggs, larvae, or adult bed bugs that may have been left behind.
Using the above tips will not kill off the entire population of bed bugs in your home. However, it can help keep their numbers in check until the arrival of a bed bug exterminator, who can fully assess the extent of the infestation and discuss possible solutions for getting rid of the pests once and for all.