If you have had the unfortunate experience of getting bed bugs, you may have already realized several things. Bed bug exterminating is expensive. Most exterminators leave a list of requested items to be completed before they arrive in order to reduce the number of exterminating trips. The bed bug checklists are normally extensive and time consuming. However, most bed bug cleaning checklists do not include what to wear during the cleaning process. Here are some tips on what to wear when cleaning bed bugs.
cleaning bed bugs
Bed bugs are tough to get rid of. Failure to wear the appropriate apparel while cleaning bed bugs may allow the bugs to get onto your clothing and subsequently your vehicle, home and/or office. It is critical to wear a biohazard suit while cleaning for bed bugs. If possible, get a suit at least 2 sizes larger than your shirt size. The suit should be baggy enough to fully stretch out your arms above your head and touch your toes without ripping the seams. Keep in mind, you will be performing work, so a snugly fitting suit will easily rip under the arms and in the crotch. You should also get a suit with a built in hood and booties. The booties will likely be much too big for your shoes, so taping the excess to the top of the bootie is recommended. Wear a set of disposable booties over the built-in booties, as booties tend to rip easier than the rest of the suit, especially if you are walking a lot. If you notice a rip in the outer booties, replace them immediately.
Some people are allergic to bed bugs. Inhaling bed bug feces could be harmful. When you are cleaning bed bugs, wear a disposable mask at a minimum. However, if you are allergic, you may want to consider wearing an N-95 disposable respirator, half-faced respirator, or a full-faced respirator. If you are an employee of a company, you will need a proper fit test and medical evaluation before wearing the respirator at work. You employer is required to pay for your respirator, fit test, medical test, and cartridges.
You will be touching a lot of surfaces that may have bed bugs during the cleaning process. You should wear disposable gloves throughout while cleaning bed bugs. Use duct tape to tape the gloves to the arm holes in the suit, but leave the last 1/2″ of tape loose. Fold the 1/2″ of loose tape to itself, preventing the tape from sticking to the bottom layer. If you neglect this step, it will be very difficult to remove the gloves when you take a break or when you finish the job. After both gloves are properly taped to the arm holes, put on an additional glove over each glove. If your outer glove rips during the process, remove them immediately and replace them.
Even in colder environments, wearing a biohazard suit while cleaning bed bugs can cause heat stress or potentially heat stroke. If possible, take many breaks and allow your body to cool off. Some safety stores sell small fans that can be worn around your neck, under your clothing. Some stores sell cold packs that you can attach under your suit to keep your core temperature cooler while working. When vacuuming bed bugs, monitor your suit, especially under the arms and in the crotch, to make sure these areas do not rip. If they rip, stop and immediately replace the suit.