Before your exterminator arrives to treat your bedbug infestation, you can take several steps to help the process go more smoothly. Trying to isolate the infestation, preemptively cleaning out your house, and readying your home for heat treatments are good ways to prepare and keep the infestation from growing worse.
Isolate the Infestation
If you notice bedbugs primarily in one area of your home, the best thing you can do until an exterminator arrives is to try and keep it that way. Bedbugs travel easily on belongings that move from room to room, so try to "quarantine" the affected area by making sure nothing leaves. If you have to enter the room, make sure anything you bring in with you is thoroughly inspected before taking it back out.
You can also make it harder for bedbugs to jump from object to object by moving all infested items, such as pieces of furniture, to the center of the room and leaving everything else empty. It might not stop them, but it can slow them down.
Wash and Seal What You Can
While professional treatment is the best way to get rid of bedbugs for good, you can get a head start by washing them out of anything you can. Items like clothing, pillows, and stuffed animals can be run through the washer and dryer; heat effectively kills these pests, so select the highest heat possible on your dryer cycle.
Additionally, once your items are cleaned, dried, and double-checked for any remaining bugs, seal them in airtight bags to make sure they remain free of infestation.
Do a Thorough Cleanout
The more you own, the longer and more difficult the extermination process will be. This makes it a good time to do a thorough clean out of your home and dispose of infested items that cannot be saved. Such items might include anything large and porous, like cushions or furniture that can't be washed or steam treated. Bedbugs and their eggs are tiny, which can make it very difficult to remove them from certain objects.
If you opt to throw anything out, make sure you seal any trash in airtight containers as well to prevent bedbugs from spreading further.
Remove Heat-Sensitive Belongings
Because heat effectively kills bedbugs, one treatment your exterminator might use is to put small heaters throughout your house, heating everything up to a temperature that will kill these pests. Your house will be very hot for at least several hours, which means that any belongings that could be damaged by this heat will need to be isolated or removed.
If your exterminator decides to use this treatment, they can help you prepare by inspecting your house and pointing out what needs removing if you aren't sure. Contact a bed bug exterminator for more information.