Say you are the proud Tenant of a home and you made the greatest deal ever – it’s in an awesome neighborhood, it has a sweet rent price and it came already fully furnished; there’s only one problem you quickly discovered: there are bedbugs on your mattress!
But don’t get desperate. We are here for you.
Listen, you can always buy a new mattress and throw that one away. However, that might not be enough to get rid of them, as they can hide in another piece of fabric around (or even in the bed frame and the box springs) and move back to your mattress. Just like when you try to get rid of head lice, it will require a big overall clean up and the adoption of good habits because bedbugs usually enter your home without anyone noticing, through luggage and clothing coming from the outside. So, bear with us as we go to the beginning of the bedbug battle.
First thing you have to know is what a bedbug looks like. They seem to be a mix of several dreaded garden pests - though none live in the garden. They have flattened oval bodies, they are brownish and small - about the size of an apple seed. Once they feed – off your blood – their bodies get reddish and swell a little. They do not fly but move quickly.
Don’t worry, though: while they are a pain, they do not transmit diseases.
Now, if you suspect there are bedbugs around, you should remove all bedding and check it carefully for any trail of blood or excrements from bed bugs. Examine the wood framing of your bed, and nearby items like telephones, the edge of the carpet and even inside books and electrical outlets. If you see bed bugs or find signs of their presence… then it’s time to go back to your first question:
The short answer is calling an exterminator.
But if you want to try and DIY-it, you should start by cleaning all the thick fabrics within the bedroom (bedding, linens, curtains, and clothing) in hot water and dry them at the highest dryer setting. Shoes and stuffed animals (if you have them) can’t be washed, but it’s not a bad idea to put them in the dryer on high for 30 minutes.
Use a rigid brush to scrub the mattress seams and extract the bedbugs – and, if there are, any eggs – and then vacuum the whole thing.
Real Estate Advice:
Even if you do all we just described, the chances of still having bed bugs around are big. So we recommend calling pest control to take care of it and add protection against other indoor allergies that could be creeping up on you.