Hoarding cleanup is tough on its own, but when bed bugs are involved, the process becomes much more difficult. The more clutter that is in the home, the more difficult it is for the pest control company to exterminate the bed bugs. Heat treatments are almost impossible, as there are too many combustible items inside the home. Fire hazards are likely to exist in other areas of the home. Unfortunately, for the pest control treatments to be most effective, you must address the clutter.
Bed Bug Cleaning
Generally, bed bug cleaning should be done throughout the entire home, but if isn’t feasible, you must start somewhere. If you’ve noticed the most bed bugs in the master bedroom, start there. Leave any rooms not currently being used until last, as the bed bugs will be unlikely to inhabit those rooms due to a lack of food (blood). If you can procure one, put on a biohazard suit with built-in booties and a hood. Put on an additional set of disposable booties over the built-in booties. Put on a pair of disposable gloves and minimize the exposure of your skin from the suit and gloves. Tape the gloves to the sleeves of the suit, then put on another pair of disposable gloves over the original set, but do not tape them. Use trash bags to collect visible trash and debris from the room. When they are 3/4″ full, tie the bags and remove them from the home (place them on a porch or in the trash container outside). Continue this until you have removed all visible trash from the room.
Bed Bug Cleaning & Clutter
Once the trash removal is complete, remove the clothing, bedding, and remaining linens from the room. Place them in new, clean 45 – 55 gallon trash bags and place them in an area where you can dry them later. Once this task is complete, stay suited and use a vacuum cleaner with an attachment to vacuum the walls, corners, ceilings (if possible), crevices, floors, and all surfaces of the mattress and box spring (6 surfaces each). Vacuuming will help trap live bugs and eggs, but will not affect bugs that are inside the walls or inside the mattress. Move each item at least 12″ away from each wall. Some pest control companies will agree to spray individual rooms. This is a much more cost effective solution than treating each room of the home, but it may not kill all of the bugs. Generally, additional pest control treatments are needed to kill bed bugs from each room.
Once the first room is complete, repeat the same process for each room where bed bugs are found. Again, the entire home should be done, but realistically, many hoarded homes are simply too difficult to completely follow each bed bug cleaning checklist. This process should greatly reduce the amount of bed bugs inside the home, and if you are lucky, may eliminate them altogether if the affected rooms are completed.