Not all pest problems are created equally. While some pests can be eliminated quickly, others require multiple treatments. This can create a lot of apprehension for homeowners who are then either forced to live with the critters living in their home, or take on the added expense of a hotel room. Particularly when households are battling fleas and bed bugs, multiple treatments are necessary due to the nature of the infestation and the challenges of getting rid of each and every bug.
First and foremost, it is important for pest control company and the homeowner to manage expectations. If expectations are not properly managed, that creates the opportunity for frustration and aggravation that could otherwise be avoided. First and foremost, when selecting a pest control company to handle a bed bug or flea problem, they should offer you detailed information on the entire process and a timeline for the entire project. Homeowners can also ask their selected pest control company for a schedule of treatments as well as a schedule of charges so that there are no surprises later.
Fleas are an unpleasant pest, more specifically, an external parasite, that are most often and commonly associated with cats and dogs. The Bug Squad’s Natasha Anderson is quick to point out that when it comes to fleas, they are a challenge to get rid of because they must be destroyed using a very specific removal process. Failing to follow this process effectively results in a flea infestation that quickly repopulates. Some homeowners are great at protecting their pets from fleas, using flea collars or monthly flea treatments that make their fur an uninhabited place for the tiny annoyances. Fewer homeowners know that humans are also at risk for having fleas, and find that their hair also offers favorable conditions.
Fleas can spread throughout a yard and house quickly. Fleas feast on blood and lay eggs, which can be itchy. When a pet, or human, itches their bodies, that spreads eggs around the house, which then to go on to lay more eggs, and it’s a perpetual cycle that can be difficult to stop. It is very important to remove the fleas as soon as they are identified in order to prevent an even worse infestation.
When a homeowner identifies fleas on their cat or dog, using a finely spaced comb can help to eliminate the problem quickly. Fine tooth combs, or flea combs (sometimes called flea brushes) can be found in your local pet store, national pet store chains, and even in your local drug store in the brush section for the fine tooth combs. Using the comb is simple, as Matt Popkin of Pet Care Rx highlights, but it is absolutely important for the pet owner to carefully and methodically brush out the fleas. Along with the comb, the pet owner just needs a bucket or large bowl filled with hot and soapy water which will kill the fleas once you have brushed them from your pets’ fur.
Along with getting the fleas off of your pet, it is just as important to get the fleas off of your bedding. When hiring outside help, this should all be done prior to the first treatment, ideally on the same day, so that your pets do not pick up any fleas from the house, and that they do not spread more eggs throughout the house as it is being treated.
Just like it is important to get every single flea off of your pet, it is just as important to get every single flea out of your home. A single flea can lay about 800 eggs, and once they hatch, getting rid of them is a challenge. To get them out of the home, it is necessary for the pest control company to use a powerful vacuum, ideally one that is water based, to get rid of every flea in your carpet and tapestries. Along with deep cleaning the carpets, treating the upholstery is important. Due to the nature of the pest, their small size, and their propensity to quickly multiply, if after a first treatment you notice more fleas, immediately reach out to your pest control company to perform a second deep clean and treatment.
If there is a pest that any homeowner would not want to invade their living spaces, that would be the bed bug. Bed bugs have made a huge resurgence across the entire United States, and there are hundreds of incidents of bed bugs at hotels and motels across the country indicating this is not a localized problem. Bed Bug Treatment Site suggests that using an exterminator is the best way to get rid of bed bugs, but they are also the more expensive option.
First and foremost, it is important for the pest control company to confirm that your home does in fact have bed bugs. Along with physical signs of bed bugs, homeowners and pest control companies should look for bed bug waste and shed body shells. Once bed bugs have been confirmed, treatment can start.
When hiring a pest control company to take care of your bed bug problem, they should provide information of what to do prior to their arrival. This includes putting all linens in plastic trash bags and then washing them on high heat and dry on the highest temperature to ensure they are all killed. For pillows in affected rooms disposing of them is best as they are hard to treat effectively.
Bed bugs die with heat, and reputable pest control companies know this. They should be upfront about the likely need for more treatment due to the nature of how bed bugs burrow and hide deep in furniture and beds. After the first treatment though, you should notice a remarkable drop in the infestation. After a second, or even a third treatment, they should be much harder to find, and are hopefully no longer a problem in your home.
What to do while treating?
When treating for fleas or bed bugs (particularly for bed bugs) patience is key. Most people are able to handle living in their homes with bed bugs by taking precautions. Use a mattress pad that zippers around your entire mattress, wash your sheets every day or two in hot water and dry on high heat, throw out mattresses and pillows that cannot be salvaged, and when bringing in a replacement mattress, first protect it with a mattress pad that covers the entire mattress.
While the number of treatments for both fleas and bed bugs may only be one, two, or three it can be a challenge to live in your home with the pests. In this case, spending time with friends or family is an option, or staying in a hotel room can be a viable solution. Unfortunately, this is an expensive option. However, if there is no way to stay in your home with an infestation, then the cost can be managed.