This step may require a small financial investment on your part. We recommend encasing your mattress with a mattress encasement, try Mattress Safe covers. These encasements will trip existing bed bugs inside of your mattress and prevent others from coming in. This will effectively eliminate your mattress as a hiding spot, thereby making them a bit easier to locate and find. Read more about the product here: http://www.mattresssafe.com.

Also, if you haven’t already done so, put your blankets, clothes and pillows through a hot laundry cycle. Inspect your pillow for any live bed bugs and eggs. If you find some, a great method for grabbing them is to use some duct tape. Save them for your PCO in case they require a sample. This could save you money by eliminating the need for their own verification of a bed bug presence, however an inspection is always a good idea.

An additional control method is to “isolate” your bed, by moving it away from the wall (make sure blankets are not touching the floor) and by propping its legs onto interceptors that effectively trap bed bugs traveling on and off your bed. We recommend the ClimbUp Monitor, learn more about it here: http://www.insect-interceptor.com. The bed bug isolation technique is controversial because it is not a proven method for avoiding bed bug bites. In fact, some bed bugs may be observed climbing up walls and ceilings to drop onto their victim’s beds. The isolation technique should be viewed as a control method, to monitor bed bug activity and provide a gauge for how severe an infestation is.

PackTite retails for approximately $300

Another great product for you to consider using is PackTite. PackTite is essentially a portable oven for storing your non-electronic goods in (think blankets, books, tools, clothes, etc.). The product works by the user placing their goods inside the PackTite on a rack, placing a monitored thermometer in the center of the goods and closing the lid. Afterward, a temperature is set (preferably 120 degrees Fahrenheit, 5 degrees over the bed bug’s thermal death point) and once it is reached, is held for at least one hour. A great invention and a key measure in decontaminating your goods.

HotShot No-Pest Strip

An alternative for decontaminating your goods is to use Hot Shots “No-Pest Strips”, which can be thrown specifically into non-living spaces (luggage, closets, etc.). They work by releasing a fume thereby killing all living insects. Be sure to follow label instructions closely, as the released fumes are harmful to humans and pets. These strips are best used in a closed environment that is not often entered by people or pets (in sealed bags for instance).