Bed Bug Service Preparation Requirements

Bed bugs can be a frustrating and difficult pest to deal with. Preparing properly for a bed bug treatment service is key to getting successful results. There are a number of steps you’ll need to take in advance to ensure the bed bug removal process goes as smoothly as possible.

Evaluating Your Bed Bug Problem

The first step is to thoroughly evaluate the extent of your bed bug infestation. Carefully inspect your bedroom, as this is generally where bed bugs will first establish themselves. Pull back the sheets and check the mattress seams, box spring, and bed frame for any signs of the bugs themselves or their fecal stains and cast skins. Inspect crevices in baseboards, window sills, door frames, and furniture near the bed. Also check upholstered chairs or sofas in the bedroom or places where you sit and relax.

Look in other rooms of the house or apartment as well. Bed bugs can spread beyond the bedroom, hiding in cracks in walls, furniture, clutter, and carpeting. The more rooms that are infested, the bigger the infestation. Document where you find bed bugs or any signs of them with photos and detailed notes.

Knowing the extent of the infestation will help the bed bug service know what rooms and furnishings need to be treated.

Decluttering and Organizing

One of the key preparation steps is to thoroughly declutter and organize the infested areas. Clutter provides lots of hiding spots for bed bugs and makes treatment more difficult.

  • Remove everything from closets, under beds, and around furniture. Discard or donate any items you no longer need.
  • Organize and pack essential items tightly into plastic bins with lids. This prevents bed bugs from getting into the containers.
  • Launder any clothing, linens, curtains, etc. on the highest heat setting to kill any bugs or eggs. Dry items on high heat as well. Store clean items in sealed bins or bags.
  • Vacuum floors, furniture crevices, baseboards, and wherever you have found bed bugs. This removes some of the bugs and makes it easier for the pest control treatment to penetrate. Discard the vacuum bag right away.
  • Clear off as many surfaces as possible – like dressers, nightstands, and floors – so the bed bug service can easily treat them.

Taking time to reduce clutter and thoroughly clean infested areas prepares the environment for the most effective bed bug treatment.

Purchasing Encasements

Encasing mattresses and box springs in special bed bug proof encasements is recommended before treatment. The encasements trap any bugs inside and prevent new bugs from getting into the mattress and box spring.

Look for quality bed bug encasements made from strong vinyl or fabric and designed to resist tearing. The zippers should also be durable and completely seal the encasement shut. Leave encasements on for at least a year until the infestation is eliminated.

Heat Treating Items

To kill bed bugs or eggs, you may want to use heat treatment on certain items like toys, electronics, books, papers, shoes, and more. One option is to place items in a hot dryer for 30 minutes on high heat. You can also use a portable heater designed specifically for bed bug heat treatment, which gets hot enough to kill all stages of the pests.

Work with the bed bug service to determine which items could benefit from heat treatment to make them bed bug free before the main control treatment.

Moving Furniture Away From Walls

Another key preparation step is to pull all furniture, beds, and bedding at least 18 inches away from walls. This allows the bed bug exterminator full access to baseboards, outlets, and any potential hiding places along walls. The further furniture is pulled out, the better.

If possible, stand mattresses and box springs upright leaning against the wall so pest control can treat the bed frame, headboard, and wall edges. Empty dressers and nightstands and slide them away from walls as well.

Carefully lift any furniture to inspect below it and vacuum beneath it to remove bed bugs.

Sealing Cracks and Crevices

To aid in control, use caulk to seal any cracks and crevices where bed bugs could hide. Areas to focus on include:

  • Along and behind baseboards
  • Window and door frames
  • Expansion joints
  • Moldings
  • Pictures and posters
  • Outlets and switch plates
  • Furniture joints

Look along the edges of carpet as well for gaps bed bugs could use to hide under carpet. Seal these spots with caulk or tuck carpet edges under tack strips if possible. Eliminating access points makes bed bug treatment more effective.

Checking Other Rooms

Even if you have only found bed bugs in your bedroom so far, they can easily spread to other rooms through cracks in walls, electrical conduits, or by clinging onto clothing and belongings. To be thorough, inspect and prepare other rooms by:

  • Vacuuming floors, carpets, and upholstered furniture
  • Reducing clutter
  • Sealing crevices and cracks
  • Ensuring all rooms are decluttered for easy access during treatment

Checking rooms beyond the bedroom prepares for the possibility that the infestation has spread further within the home.

Informing All Residents

Make sure to inform everyone living in or using the infested areas about the upcoming bed bug treatment. Give them time to prepare and declutter their own living spaces. Educate them on reducing clutter, organizing possessions, encasing mattresses, and moving beds and furniture away from walls.

Ask residents to vacuum and tidy their own personal living spaces in advance of the treatment. This helps ensure the pest control specialist can access and treat all infested areas.

Planning Where to Stay During Treatment

Most bed bug pest control treatments will require you to be out of the home or apartment for 4 to 6 hours. Infants and individuals with respiratory conditions or chemical sensitivities may need to vacate the premises for up to 48 hours.

Plan where you will go during the appointment:

  • Stay with family or friends if possible
  • Rent a motel room for the night if it’s an extensive treatment
  • Take pets to a kennel or caregiver for the day
  • Schedule treatments when no one is home or around lowest occupancy

Planning ahead for where to stay prevents having to evacuate rooms at the last minute while the treatment is happening. Inform the pest control company in advance of anyone who has no alternative but to stay home during the appointment. They can make any needed accommodations.

Inspecting Other Areas You Use

While you mostly find bed bugs in bedrooms, they can also infest other places you frequent and rest in. To avoid reintroducing bed bugs, carefully inspect:

  • Workplaces: Check under desks, in cubicle furniture, lockers, and breakroom couches. Inspect offices or maintenance areas if infestations are severe.
  • Child or daycare facilities: Look along the edges of cribs and nap mats. Check children’s cubbies and lockers. Inspect child care facilities thoroughly.
  • Transportation: Examine vehicle seats, seams, floor mats, and upholstery for signs of bed bugs. Public transit and airplanes may need to be inspected as well.

Let the appropriate individuals and pest control companies know if you find bed bugs in locations outside the home so they can be treated as well. Failing to treat secondary infestations often causes reinfestation of the primary location after treatment.

Preventing Spread of Bugs During Preparation

As you clean, declutter, and prepare for treatment, be extremely careful not to spread bed bugs to new areas. Make it standard procedure to:

  • Seal any items removed from infested rooms in plastic bags or bins before taking them through the home.
  • Avoid placing items from infested areas onto beds, couches, or other furniture.
  • Inspect and treat items from infested areas before moving to other rooms.
  • Dry potentially infested laundry on hot immediately after removing it from infested areas.
  • Vacuum carefully to avoid scattering bed bugs while cleaning.
  • Cover mattresses and furniture with sheets or tarps before moving to prevent dropping bugs.

With vigilance and proper precautions, you can prepare for treatment without giving bed bugs more places to infest!

Timing the Preparation

Ideally, complete your preparation 1-2 days before the scheduled treatment. That gives enough time to properly declutter, clean, and organize without leaving too big a gap before the service appointment.

For more extensive infestations, start preparing 1 week in advance. Get a head start on major decluttering and extensive laundering of items from infested rooms. Just be sure to do a final sweep of preparations 1-2 days before the actual treatment occurs.

Time your efforts strategically based on the size of the infestation and the amount of preparation required.

Ask the Pest Control Company for Guidance

Reputable bed bug elimination companies will provide guidance on how to properly prepare for maximum treatment effectiveness. Ask them questions like:

  • Should I launder all fabrics and linens or just infested areas?
  • How should I arrange and move furniture for best accessibility?
  • Are there any items I should remove or not remove from infested rooms?
  • Should infested mattresses be encased or disposed of?
  • Should I use sealing and caulking in crevices before you arrive?
  • What is the best heating method to treat electronics and other items?

Every home and infestation is different. Getting specific direction from the pest control technician ensures you prepare correctly for the treatment particular to your situation.

FAQs About Preparing for Bed Bug Service

How soon before my appointment should I start preparing?

Aim to finish major preparation 1-2 days in advance. For heavy infestations, get a head start 1 week ahead so you can take more time to declutter and organize thoroughly.

What’s the most important thing I should do to prepare?

Reducing clutter, laundering fabrics, and vacuuming where bed bugs are found helps make treatment more effective. Encasements and sealing cracks are also useful.

How many days will I need to be out of my home?

Most treatments take 4-6 hours, though you may need to be gone up to 48 hours if it’s a large infestation. Inform pest control if anyone needs to remain home so accommodations can be made.

Should I throw away all furniture from infested bedrooms?

Not necessarily. Proper treatment applied by a professional can eliminate bed bugs from furniture in many cases. Encasements also protect mattresses and box springs from infestation.

I found bed bugs at work – what should I do?

Notify facilities management immediately so they can inspect for infestations and call an experienced commercial pest control company if needed. Preventing spread is key.


Preparing thoroughly before bed bug treatment requires work but pays off through better results. Decluttering, cleaning, encasing beds, sealing cracks, and arranging furniture properly sets the stage for the pest control technician to access and eliminate all bed bugs. With both diligent preparation by the home or business owner and effective treatment by a professional, bed bugs can be sent packing for good.