How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs: Bad Idea #8 Throw Out Your Furniture

Bed Bug Infested Curbside CouchThrowing out your bed bug infested furniture is like throwing out money. It won’t get rid of your bed bug problem, just make you poorer. Throwing out your mattress, couch or chairs is one of the worst things you can do when you have bed bugs. We know, tossing the furniture seems like a smart way to combat bed bugs, but it is not. Taking action may make you feel like you’re taking care of the bed bug problem, when in fact you haven’t. Sure, the bed bugs hiding in your mattress will find themselves on the street, but that just lowers the competition for your blood. Other bed bugs hiding in your home will literally come out of the walls to feast on your neck, arms, and legs. In a few days, even more bed bugs will emerge from the bed bug eggs under dressers, in wall voids, and behind floorboards. These almost invisible baby bugs will be happy to join the feast. How many mattresses and other pieces of furniture are you willing to throw out before you call a professional and have the bed bug problem taken care of for good?

Should you install bed bug proof mattress encasements instead of throwing out your mattress? No. Bed bug proof mattress encasements won’t do a darn thing on their own. They are part of a prevention and treatment strategy–not an active infestation cure-all.

If you have bed bugs, here’s what you do:

1. Call a professional

2. Follow the professional’s instructions, which will include installing mattress and box spring encasements AFTER the treatment for bed bugs.

3. If you still want to use bed bugs as an excuse to redecorate your home, by all means toss your old furniture AFTER the bed bugs are gone; otherwise you’ll just be adding new hiding places to an old bed bug problem.

Bed Bug Prevention

bed bug mattress encasement

When there is no immediate bed bug problem, bed bug proof mattress and box spring encasements make a lot of sense as part of a prevention strategy. They make it impossible for bed bugs to infest your mattress and make bed bug mattress inspections easier to conduct. They do not prevent bed bugs from crawling onto your mattress and biting you…

Insect Interceptors

To prevent bed bugs from crawling onto your mattress and biting you, I always recommend that clients place insect interceptors under the legs on their bed frame. These serve two purposes: they keep bed bugs from crawling up onto your bed (protecting you from bites) and they capture bed bugs so you can quickly identify that you have a problem. Insect interceptors are far more useful than sticky traps as a bed bug “early warning” tool. Different brands of insect interceptors use different containment methods. Some use talcum coated polyethylene, others used specifically engineered plastic to keep bugs from climbing out. Neither type uses chemicals, but both capture bed bugs in a slippery, dry moat where you can easily see them.

Purchase bed bug prevention products at our on-line store. Want to learn more about bed bug prevention? Read my book!

About the Author:

Garrett Thrasher is Vice President and General Manager of Thrasher Termite & Pest Control of So Cal, Inc., Chairperson of the San Diego District of the Pest Control Operators of California (PCOC), a member of the bedbugFREE network, and a member of the National Pest Management Association. Author of The Bed Bug Battle Plan: Field Tested Solutions for Bed Bug Extermination and Prevention (ISBN: 1500838209), Garrett’s solid understanding of bed bugs, their behavior, current outbreaks, and experience on camera has made him a leading contact for news and media outlets. He is also a sought after speaker on the topic of managing online reviews for positive impact. He has spoken at PestWorld and PestTech, and was featured in PCT Magazine and the PCT Podcast. Thrasher Termite & Pest Control of So Cal is accredited by QualityPro–the mark of excellence in pest management.

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