If you’re like most Americans during the holiday shopping season, you’re probably dreading the arrival of your next credit card statement. Unfortunately, there are millions of families that are also dealing with a bed bug infestation this season, making their financial matters much more serious. What can be done to reduce the treatment cost of bed bugs while still ensuring the treatment is effective?
There is no way around it: bed bugs are expensive. Treating a bed bug infestation is unlike any other household pest, many of which are often dealt with by simply laying down poisonous baits and waiting. Due to so many factors, like their resistance to certain chemicals and their ability to hide almost anywhere, there is no single easy method to get rid of bed bugs. Pest control professionals know this, which is why they charge hundreds of dollars per room.
If you aren’t willing to pay the price for a professional extermination (or don’t want to take the chances of their treatment failing), you could save hundreds or thousands of dollars by confronting the infestation on your own. Your success or failure will depend on the thoroughness of your approach, so it’s important that you follow the right steps and don’t cut any corners. If you are fighting bed bugs, here are some easy ways to save money during your treatment process:
1. Don’t throw away your mattress or furniture
Probably the most common mistake our customers make is discarding their mattress after they discover bed bugs. Many are even encouraged to do so by pest control professionals, who suggest that it will make the treatment process easier.
Throwing away your bed does nothing to help a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs aren’t just in your bed: they are likely hiding out in your nightstand, dresser, closet, wall voids, and in cracks and crevices throughout your bedroom. As soon as you bring in a new bed, bed bugs will probably just reinfest it right away.
Unless you plan on burning down your house and everything in it, disposal simply isn’t enough. All you’re doing is throwing away money. Instead, encase your mattress and box spring, and place traps under each leg of your bed.
2. Don’t waste money on ineffective solutions
Like with most any household problems, there are dozens of bed bug treatment theories buzzing around the web. People suggest things like cedar oil, ammonia, and rubbing alcohol will kill bed bugs on the cheap. Some of these ideas may have some merit behind them, and may kill some bed bugs if you try them. However, you are much better off using products that are specifically designed, labeled, and registered to kill bed bugs.
Rather than spending time and money putting together your own treatment methods, invest in proven contact and residual products. The right combination of sprays and powders will not only be more effective at killing bed bugs, but will offer residual protection to fight the infestation over time.
3. Don’t skip steps in your treatment process
Following every step in a bed bug treatment is critical to success. Skipping steps, such as certain products in a combination, can lead to a failed treatment.
The worst (and arguably the most common) offense is not following up after the first treatment. Many customers do a great job of wiping out the existing population of bed bugs, but don’t set up defenses to protect against the unborn eggs, which will hatch within two weeks.
A pregnant bed bug can lay up to a dozen eggs a day, and up to 500 eggs in her lifetime. Hatchlings begin feeding immediately, and can reach sexual maturity in as little as three weeks. If you don’t follow every step thoroughly, including re-applying chemicals every two weeks, you may end up cutting down your infestation only to have it repopulate within a few days or weeks.
We outline four distinct steps in our recommended solution for good reason. Bed bugs require what’s called an “integrated pest management solution”. This means that you must use multiple products and multiple methods in combination to effectively treat a bed bug problem. Taking shortcuts and skipping steps will only ruin your chances of success.