To clean up bed bugs

Removing bed bugs is not something you should or can do yourself. It will provide you with basic information on the decontamination methods used by pest control companies and what you can and should not do yourself.

Pest control technician sanitizing a bed for bed bugs

There are four different methods that pest control companies such as Rentokil and Anticimex use to eradicate bed bugs: heat, cold, poison and diatomaceous earth, and most often a combination of these methods is used with the addition of, for example, vacuuming. No method guarantees that all bed bugs are killed in the first round of treatment and many bed bug infestations require treatment to be repeated two or more times.

It is up to the pest control company to decide which decontamination method to use in your particular case.

How long a clean-up takes depends on a number of factors:
1. How big the infestation is
2. How big the dwelling is and how much of the dwelling is infested
3. How messy or tidy you are
4. If the infestation is only in the single dwelling or if it has spread to other dwellings
5. How well you follow the rules of conduct during the decontamination process (this information will be provided by your pest control technician in charge of your case).

Heating can be carried out in three different ways. Using fan heaters, entire rooms and apartments can be heated to a lethal temperature for bed bugs. A pest control technician may also choose to steam individual pieces of furniture or moldings. Some pest control companies also use heat tents where infested furniture is placed inside a tent that is set up in the home, provided there is space.
Bed bugs die when exposed to temperatures higher than 45 degrees. Aphid eggs die already at 35 degrees. However, it is always recommended to wash or tumble dry clothes at a minimum of 60 degrees to be on the safe side.

In very specific cases, the pest control company may choose to freeze furniture in a large freezer container. However, this is usually very expensive.
To kill bed bugs quickly, you need to expose them to -25 degrees for 1-2 hours. However, if you are going to put clothes or other small items in your own freezer, you need to leave them in the freezer for at least 1 week.

Using poison to control bedbugs is something that most pest control companies do very sparingly. The reason for this is because it is simply not seen to be effective enough and because bed bugs can develop a resistance to poison quite quickly. If poison is used, it is a specific poison approved by the Swedish Chemicals Agency for bedbug control. Only pest control technicians are authorized to use/apply the poison.
It is not recommended to fight bedbugs with different types of insecticides that you can buy yourself. This is because there is a risk of repelling the bed bugs instead and thus spreading them.

Diatomaceous earth
Is a white powder that is completely non-toxic and is made from algae. Bed bugs have a protective layer of wax on their body and are sensitive to drying out. The silica destroys the wax layer and slowly dries out the bedbugs. If a bed bug has enough silicon on it, it can die within 72 hours, but it can also take much longer. The most important thing with silicon is that it is applied in the right amount in the right places. Silicon is long-acting.
Silicon can be bought in regular department stores and is used as a pesticide against other insects such as ants. However, it is not recommended to apply silicon yourself in your home as this can interfere with and complicate the decontamination process for the pest control technicians. If too much silicon is applied, there is a risk that the bed bugs will simply walk around the preparation.

What can you do yourself?
If you have discovered bedbugs in your home, the first thing to do is to book an extermination through the pest control company with which your association, landlord or insurance company cooperates.

After that, you can start preparing for the clean-up. The absolute best thing you can do is to clean. Vacuum the floor thoroughly, especially under the bed, sofa and along the skirting boards, so as not to risk minimizing the effect of silica or poison if the pest control technicians choose to apply it. It is also important during the decontamination process not to store things under the bed and to keep floor surfaces as free as possible from clothes, bags and other possible hiding places for bed bugs.

We do not recommend that you do anything more than this yourself before talking to your pest control company. Remember, it is important that the technician can see the size of the infestation for themselves to make an accurate assessment of which decontamination method to use.

The most important thing to keep in mind when going through a bed bug removal process is to be patient and ask your questions directly to the pest control technicians. Of course, you can also ask us questions regardless of which pest control company carries out the cleanup.

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