Many infested items have so many places where bed bugs can hide unseen by the naked eye.
More common than not, one can find a perfectly good, non-stained or ripped mattress, box spring and other beautiful furniture items just sitting on the curb or rode-side for anyone to grab up and take home.
EEEK! Think before you do this!
The unsuspecting person now introduced bed bugs in their own homes.
Disposal of bed bug infested furniture and mattresses have caused a considerable amount of problems for many people. Because of the “ick” factor, a knee-jerk reaction for many people is to just throw away any item that may have suspected bed bugs. (Many of these items can be easily treated).
People drag these infested items through their homes, picking up bed bugs on themselves, dropping bed bugs here and there, in hallways, stairwells and all the way to the curb.
When choosing to throw away infested items it is important to know how to go about doing it properly. DO NOT drag it through your home as bed bugs can easily transfer to your clothing or fall off during transport.
The best way to discard these items is to wrap it completely.
Here are a couple of ways you can protect your home from bed bugs falling off during transit.
Most all hardware stores carry plastic tarps used for painting. These can work well if you secure it properly but there are some drawbacks:
Painters plastic and tarps can be difficult to handle – You need tape to secure it – The slippery surface makes it difficult to handle and transport – Can easily tear or rip – creating “exposure portals” for bed bugs to escape
We have found that using 18” Shrink Wrap often used by the furniture and moving industry works well for both coverage and ease of movement and handling. It has a certain “stretch” quality so that you can easily cover any exposed area of the item you are wrapping.
Advantages of discarding with “Shrink Wrap”
- Easy to handle (this comes on a roll)
- No need for tape (it stretches and sticks to itself)
- Has a good surface so hands don’t slip while transporting
- Items can be wrapped tightly several times creating a “smothering atmosphere” inside to help kill bed bugs
(Always use a furniture truck or dolly to move large or heavy items. This helps to keep the plastic from ripping or tearing or damaging your back).
After complete and careful wrapping of each item you are discarding, attach a sign or mark with BIG BOLD LETTERS – BED BUG INFESTED – BEFORE taking it to the dumpster or to the curb. If you are calling in a disposal company to pick up the infested items, make sure to tell them what it is that they are picking up and that it is infested with bed bugs and it is wrapped for safety.
REMEMBER – DO NOT TREAT WITH PESTICIDES YOURSELF!
If you made the decision to keep your mattress because there are no tears, it’s new or in good condition, or you can’t afford to replace it, but it has a sign of bed bugs, there are effective methods of removing them using vacuum and steam and protecting them from future infestation. Call on a trusted IBBRA member in your area for help. www.ibbra.org
Although using vacuums and steam cleaners work well, it is unlikely that all of the bed bugs and eggs will be removed so using a mattress encasement afterwards will trap any remaining bed bugs inside the encasement where they will eventually die from starvation. Again, these are options and the choice is up to you.
“TEMPORARY” BED BUG RELIEF TIP:
Often “box springs” are a source of infestations.
For a “temporary relief” from bed bugs until a pest management company can show up, shrink wrap can be used to wrap box springs. This can help keep straggler bed bugs inside the box spring. Wrap several times around the box spring securing the corners afterwards with a soft towel against the frame to keep from tears.
CAUTION: THIS IS NOT A SUGGESTION FOR USE ON ANY FURNITURE THAT IS BEING USED, PET SLEEPING PADS, ANY TOP MATTRESS, BABY MATRESSES OR CRIBS. SUFFICATION CAN OCCUR – USE WITH CAUTION!
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