What is the most effective way to get rid of bed bugs?
The EPA recommends integrated pest management as the most effective way to get rid of bed bugs. Integrated pest management (IPM) can be carried out by a pest management professional safely and swiftly. The professional will assess the level of infestation in your home or building. The pro will determine the sources of the bed bugs: whether they are hiding in one location, are occupying multiple locations in one room, or have set up camp in multiple locations throughout the house. Based on the severity of the infestation, IPM can include thoroughly cleaning the area using containment protocols (safely packing infested bedding and other items into plastic to be disinfected), the appropriate pesticide treatment, and the necessary follow-up to eliminate any new hatching eggs. The EPA recommends chemical treatments (when safely applied) because “although bed bugs may sometimes be controlled by non-chemical means alone, this approach is often very difficult, potentially less effective, and usually more resource intensive.” Use caution if you attempt to use pesticides yourself. Carefully follow directions and know that some bed bugs have developed resistance to pesticides. Pesticides that are licensed only for use by professionals are known to be stronger and should be applied with the proper tools and techniques.