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Is it Necessary to Prepare My Home Before a Bed Bug Treatment?

Posted by: Cooper Pest - Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Bed bug service prep can be a challenge and daunting task for homeowners. Find out what prep means and how Cooper Pest Solutions uses the No-Prep Philosophy to get rid of bed bugs in your home.

Are you considering hiring a professional pest management company to remove bed bugs in your home? If so, what are some of the requirements that most pest management companies require before they will perform service? There are many different philosophies when treating for bed bugs, and this article will help you decide on the best course of action to eliminate bed bugs in your home. There are two philosophies, “prep” and “no prep” which have very different requirements for homeowners which we will explain in detail below.

The Preparation (Prep) Method:

What do many pest control companies require before treating my home?

Most pest control companies will require that you do significant prep work on your own time, without their help, before they even begin service. The actions they require differ based on the type of treatment as well as the type of residence. Leaving preparation in the hands of the client can lead to a myriad of problems that pest control companies are all too familiar with.

Below is a sample checklist for clients to complete before their bed bug service begins. We’ve created the list from several other pest control companies in the New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania area.

  1. Lift mattresses and box springs out of the bed frame and stand them up against a wall.
  2. Empty all closets and dressers.
  3. Wash and dry all clothing within the room on high heat.
  4. Bag all personal items that cannot be laundered.
  5. Empty all luggage and travel bags into untied bags.
  6. Remove all sofa, chair, and other upholstered furniture cushions and accessories.
  7. Remove all sheets, blankets, pillowcases, and other bed coverings from the mattress and box spring and dry for at least 50 minutes on high heat.
  8. Thoroughly vacuum your mattress, box spring, inside of dresser drawers, all carpeting throughout your entire home, floors, area rugs, sofas, futons, recliners, upholstered furniture, and physical bugs you may see.
  9. Remove and dry all curtains and window dressings on high heat.
  10. Inspect items that cannot be washed such as books, electronics, picture frames, and plastic toys. Place them into plastic bags only if you do not find bed bugs on these items.
  11. Reduce clutter under your bed and around the room.
  12. Encase your mattress using specialized mattress encasements.

These were the most common requirements. Depending on the company and how severely infested your home is, there could be even more tasks for you to accomplish before treatment begins.

 bed bug treatment prep

Pest control companies require you to bag clothing

preparing my home for bed bug treatment

Prep work involves removing all of your clothing from closets

 

What happens if I don’t prepare my home before bed bug treatments?

If you do not prepare your home for bed bug treatments when required, the technicians that come to service your home will likely not do these things for you. This can result in mishandling of materials which could spread bed bugs throughout your home or destroy your bedding and belongings. Something as simple as flinging comforters and sheets onto the floor can relocate bed bugs. Without the proper training of bed bug specialists, doing this could prolong the process and make it more challenging to eliminate bed bugs without even knowing it.

 

The Prep Method and Disruption of Bed Bugs.

When a pest control company leaves bed bug service preparation in the hands of the client, a multitude of things can go wrong. Even when you diligently follow every step of the checklist that the pest control company provides, it’s incredibly easy for you to unknowingly make the situation much worse. It’s only natural that you will make some mistakes. Is it realistic that you are expected to thoroughly inspect the crevices in your couch, your kids’ toys, and electronics for bed bugs without being a bed bug specialist yourself? Something that’s simple for a pest control technician to do such as encase your mattress can be challenging for someone who is attempting to follow instructions and seeing a mattress encasement for the first time. This step is incredibly important to successful bed bug elimination because encasements create a barrier against new bed bugs. If this step goes even a little bit wrong, it may significantly impact the efficiency of the service.

Most importantly by moving around items in the room you can disturb the bed bugs making the bed bug removal more challenging, potentially costing you more money for further treatments!

 

What happens if I am physically unable to prepare my home before a bed bug service?

If you are physically unable to complete all of the tasks that other pest control companies require you to do before bed bug services, they will still require you to prep the room. Some companies will not even help if you are a senior citizen or have a disability that prevents prep work from being an option.

bed bug removal prep

Technician encasing a mattress

These pest control companies require you to find a company that offers bed bug preparation services and pay the company out of pocket, separately from the bed bug service price. It’s either that or find a friend or family member that’s willing to help you with all of the tasks that need to be accomplished prior to the service in a short amount of time. Pest control companies that rely on the prep method will not begin service until you prep your home on your own, no matter how challenging it may be for you.

I’ve been told that heat treatments don’t require any prep. Is this true?

While heat treatments can be relatively effective in eliminating bed bugs from your home, we believe the drawbacks in many circumstances outweigh the benefits. Heat treatments can be construed as no-prep with the promise of leaving your belongings in place and positioned as a “safe” method. In reality, heat treatments are more of a “low-prep” option. A lot of these companies tell you that you don’t need to do anything before treatment, but then require you to “remove firearms, ammunition, medication, deodorant, hairspray, spray paint, paint thinners, candles, lip balm, make-up or thing things prone to melting,” as specifically indicated by a local pest control company referring to heat treatment prep. Some heating can break the sealing around windows can be destroyed which don’t show up until several years later. Companies specializing in heat treatments for bed bugs also typically say that your electronics will be safe from damage even though most everything else will not. This is because a room has to be 117-122 degrees Fahrenheit to kill off bed bugs. These companies claim the benefit of heat treatments with what they call “no-prep,” are a one and done solution and many not offer a guarantee after the service is provided. So it is very important to ask the company that is providing a bed bug heat treatment what their guarantee covers and how long the service is guaranteed.

By now you’re probably wondering three things:

  1. Why do pest control companies ask clients to do everything on their own?
  2. What’s the advantage for pest control companies to leave prepping a room for bed bug treatments to you to figure out?
  3. If you’re paying for a bed bug service, what are you getting out of it if you’re doing half of the work?

We believe the answer is twofold.

  1. Lack of proper training

No-Prep means the pest control company does all of the preparation of a room for bed bug services. This takes a significant amount of training to accomplish correctly. If a company requires you to prep a room before bed bug treatments, it could be because they simply don’t know how to provide service the most efficient way.

  1. Increased profits

The less work that the technicians have to do, the less time they need to spend at your home. Getting you to prepare the room for treatment is one less thing they don’t have to provide, especially because it takes so much time to complete. When you take care of a giant chunk of the work, they can get in and out as quick as possible.

What is Cooper’s No-Prep Philosophy?

No-Prep is how we deliver our bed bug services for our clients because we know the risks of moving bedding, clothing, and other stuff in the room can spread the bugs around making additional treatments necessary. When the bugs are disbursed into other areas of your home, this can potentially cause you additional stress because you may still be bit after treatment, and you may have to spend additional money for bed bug removal.  Unlike other companies, our No-Prep Philosophy reduces the number of technician follow-up visits and expedites successful bed bug elimination in your home. No-Prep also means no bounce back. Some pest control companies will declare your home free of bed bugs without eliminating the entire population. This results in “bounce back” of bed bugs into your home after the service is complete. In cases like this, companies put their clients through bounce back due to spreading the bugs from do to excessive prep work (or lack of training), not because they are willingly trying to deceive the client. While their treatment causes the bed bug population to dip below detectable levels, without the proper use of materials or monitors they have no way of knowing that the bed bugs are completely gone. While these companies believe they have eliminated the bed bugs and they may give a short-term guarantee, the problem arises when bed bugs that went undetected continue to breed and this is when the bounce back is noticed by the homeowner. In some cases we have heard that these companies have accused the homeowner of re-introducing the bed bugs back into the home . With our deep knowledge of bed bugs and their biology and behavior, bounce back is not customary and you are fully covered if this ever happens after our bed bug service.

The No-Prep Philosophy was created with the client in mind since our goal as a company is always to solve your problem in the quickest way, that’s most convenient for you. We understand that bed bug infestations can be a very frustrating and emotional experience for clients before the bed bugs are completely gone. This is why we take the burden off of you and work fast to get rid of bed bugs quickly without additional preparations before treatment while also offering a guarantee after the service is provided.

The No-Prep Philosophy was created by our very own entomologist Dr. Richard Cooper. Dr. Cooper is the author of numerous articles in industry trade journals, has published over 20 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals, including The Bed Bug Handbook: The Complete Guide to Bed Bugs and Their Control and is frequently invited to speak at scientific and pest management industry meetings. Dr. Cooper has been involved with the Cooper pest control business for several decades while also helping pioneer the successful mattress and box spring encasements that are widely used as an industry standard. With his scientific research he identified a need for a product that was necessary to create a bite-proof and escape-proof tool to protect where bed bugs hide most: the mattress and box spring. At Cooper, we believe that encasements are vital and not optional for total bed bug elimination. That's why encasements are installed for every client for our bed bug service and no extra fees are charged.

Dr. Richard cooper was also involved in the development of bed bug monitors. Rick was part of a team that created the blackout which is currently used for monitoring and capturing bed bugs. Once these interception devices capture bed bugs, they can’t escape.

Blackout Bed Bug Monitor

As part of our bed bug service we install blackouts under every bed leg where we suspect or treat for bed bugs to make sure we properly eliminate the bed bugs in your home.

How does No-Prep benefit you?

  • Bed bug elimination can be guaranteed with minimal or no effort of your behalf.
  • Bed bug mattress encasements and bed bug monitors are provided and installed by our professionals with no participation required by you.
  • You do not have to prepare your home for bed bug treatments. That means no flipping over mattresses, emptying your dressers, moving furniture, or vacuuming.
  • Our specialized technicians are the best trained in the industry. Not only does Copper provide 8x the industry average for our technician training, but our technicians are also required to pass a series of written and field exams before they can treat for bed bugs (and throughout their career). We know bed bugs are sneaky and can be hard to find which is why we train our technicians to easily pinpoint where they live and breed!

We are so confident that you will be completely satisfied with our service that we offer a 3 month guarantee after we declare your home bed bug free with no bugs and no bites.

bed bug inspection

A Cooper Pest Solutions bed bug specialist inspects dresser drawers for bed bugs

 

How does Cooper Pest Solutions get rid of bed bugs?

Step 1: Don’t panic and start throwing away your furniture or spraying chemicals everywhere.

Step 2: Call Cooper Pest Solutions.

Step 3: Our customer service team will schedule one of our bed bug inspectors to visit your home for an inspection. Once properly identified, treatment by our dedicated technicians can begin as soon as the next day.

Step 4: The Cooper technicians will utilize the following treatment methods to eliminate bed bug infestations in your NJ or PA home.

  • Encasement of all mattresses and box springs.
  • Following a visual inspection to determine where fecal matter from bed bugs is found, we will steam two feet around the affected area to ensure that they are eliminated.
  • Application of environmentally conscious pesticides. Our technicians will use pesticide dust to eliminate pests behind beds, switch plates, carpet tack strips, etc. Liquid pesticides are also applied to baseboards to exterminate any bed bugs that may be hiding there.

Since every infestation is different, we tailor our bed bug solutions to quickly eliminate your problem.

Call our customer service department at 1-800-949-2667 or fill out the contact form on this page to schedule an inspection at your home. You’re one step closer towards getting rid of bed bugs with our guaranteed no prep service and getting back to your daily activities without worrying about bed bugs in your life.

inspecting for bed bugs

A Cooper Pest Solutions bed bug specialist inspects living room furniture for evidence of bed bug activity

 

Please note that if you live in an apartment or multi-family housing unit, please instruct your landlord to call us to set up the inspection. Unfortunately, we cannot work with renters or tenants without your landlord’s consent.

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