So, you’ve discovered you have bed bugs. You bagged your clothes and put it through your laundry cycle at the hottest settings. You stayed in your home and even better, stayed sleeping in your bed. Also, you did not try to treat it yourself or partake in a DIY project to rid of the bed bugs. Now what?

First things first, notify your landlord, apartment manager, etc.

If you live in an apartment, rent a room in a house, live in a dorm or were staying at a hotel, notify the right personnel of the bed bug infestation. This will allow neighboring tenants to properly prepare and take precautions for a bed bug infestation. This also allows landlords and building managers to assess and plan a solution for eradication. In most major metropolitan cities, tenants are not liable for paying for pest extermination, even if it may be the tenant caused the infestation. However, check your local state and city landlord-tenant housing laws to determine who is liable for paying for extermination.

Contact a PCO (Pest Control Operator)
All bed bug infestations require the help of a professional in order to be properly dealt with. Contact your local PCO to discuss a thorough investigation of your home (in order to be sure) and after discovery, begin talks of treatment options that would be best for your home and then scheduling and pricing. Be sure you are getting the best quality service at the best pricing.

Reduce clutter and unused goods.
If your home is messy or cluttered, clean up. Discard any garbage and unused or unneeded items. If you are using a chemical treatment (more on this later), it will make your PCO’s job a little easier if your home is clean, accessible and limits bed bug hiding spots. This is already a step PCOs ask of their customers – further steps include moving furniture at least 3 feet away from walls, taking everything off of the floor and organizing belongings into boxes and bags. For heat treatment, clean up is not necessarily needed. However, try to limit the amount of hiding spots and obstructions in your home, so that spotting bed bugs and locating real trouble areas will be easier.