Now that you know your enemy and the tools that will be instrumental in your campaign to kill bed bugs yourself, now you will go through the Battle Plan which will incorporate all of your combat equipment and will consist of four steps. Whenever possible, you’ll want to prevent waging all-out war by means of prevention: if you are as cautious as I am, I highly recommend having a heat treatment chamber handy that you can use to treat your luggage, clothing, and other objects upon returning home from any trip or sleepover. In the event that prevention fails to keep out the enemy and an invasion is confirmed, then I highly recommend resorting to the Four Step Battle Plan below.
1. Secure your Mattress
- Remove bedding, place in sealed trash bag to prevent escapees.
- Place bedding in a washing machine on the hottest setting then place in dryer for highest setting.
- Use vacuum to remove enemy units from your mattress, box spring, frame and head/footboards, taking care to go over any crevices, holes or gaps. Dispose of contents immediately in a suitable trash receptacle.
- Go over all parts of the bed with your steam cleaner to wipe out any remaining enemy forces, again making sure all crevices, holes and gaps are penetrated by the lethal steam. Using a cloth and rubber bands to attach to the nozzle of your steamer is recommended in order to minimize expelled moisture.
- Spray bed frame and the joints with a residual spray to establish a lethal zone for enemy units that will remain for several weeks. Remember to wear protective gloves, follow the guidelines on the labels, and to avoid spraying areas that you or others will come into direct contact with.
- Encase your mattress and bed frame inside bed bug proof mattress covers and ensure they are fully zipped shut. Pillows can also be encased in bed bug proof covers specifically made for pillows. You’ll now have highly effective force fields that enemy units can neither get in or get out of. Be advised: it is not recommended to remove these barriers for at least 18 months, which how long the little bastards can go without a blood meal. We want to starve them out, nice and slow.
2. Set up a Perimeter Defense System for your Bed.
- Place Interceptor pitfall traps under your beds legs. 4-6 traps may be needed per bed depending on its size. With these in place, the enemy will not be able to climb up your bed legs to get to you!
3. Go on the Offensive.
- To ensure an even and easy to access battlefield, clear any clutter in your room and seal those items in plastic garbage bags. Placing these outside the bedroom will remove any extra terrain that might be used to the enemy’s advantage.
- Remove clothing from drawers and transfer them to a dryer and use the hottest cycle for at least 45 minutes. Store clothing that is not worn often in sealed plastic bags outside the room for the time being.
- Any items that cannot be safely washed or placed in the dryer (that were gathered and sealed in plastic bags previously) should be placed in a heat treatment chamber and allowed to heat to the lethal temperature range to ensure death of all bed bug life stages that may be on or inside those items.
- Using your vacuum and steam cleaner, perform a thorough sweep in the bedroom, terminating any enemy forces on sight. Places to patrol and sweep include window sills, cracks, crevices, behind wall mounted picture frames, and behind and under furniture. Your high pressure steam cleaner will ensure that you can penetrate deep into any cracks and crevices, killing enemy forces that may be hiding out of view. Remember to move the steam cleaner slowly (1 inch per second) and to dispose of your vacuum bag or thoroughly clean out the containment chamber after use.
4. Wage Chemical Warfare to ensure total annihilation.
- Employ your contact sprays to immediately terminate any enemy units that may have survived your initial assault. Focus on hiding spots such as cracks, crevices, along baseboards, below drawer and on drawer slides, behind night stands, dressers, and along the edges of your carpet. Be as thorough as you can in your assault.
- Immediately after applying the contact sprays, employ your residual sprays in the exact same areas you’ve applied your contact sprays. The residuals will offer lasting protection over a much longer period of time (2-12 weeks).
- Apply bed bug powders to areas such as below the edges of carpeting and wall voids. It is also highly recommended to remove plating for light switches and electrical outlets and apply the powder into the opening (NOT inside where appliances are plugged). For your safety, it is highly recommended that you wear a dust mask during application, and that you use a professional powder applicator, which will make it much easier for you to apply the powder where needed. The powder will provide lethal defense indefinitely as long as the powder is not disturbed or becomes wet.
- Re-employ the contact and residual sprays in the areas mentioned above two weeks after the initial application, then two weeks after that for a total of three chemical applications over the course of five weeks. This will ensure that any missed eggs will have hatched and the nymphs will come into contact with the sprays or powders resulting in termination.
Following this battle plan closely will result in massive enemy casualties if not completely wiping out their population in your home, liberating your home from bed bug occupation and bringing you and your loved ones the peace of mind that you deserve. In addition, you will have extremely valuable knowledge and experience in dealing with the bloodsucking scourge and emerging victorious. Winning a guerrilla war against bed bugs on your own is a huge badge of honor: wear it with pride!