Renting is probably the best and cheapest way to enjoy the benefits of an item without worrying about storage and hefty prices. Well. At least it was. You now have to worry about breaking it and the unwanted company you will soon have at your house. The cost you just saved could mean future incurred expenses. Yes, bed bug treatment.
A carpet cleaner is a great arsenal to acquire in your fight against dirt or a dirty carpet. It is even better that you can rent it. However, bed bugs have been known to inhabit these cleaners, especially in heavily infested homes. Before you give up on renting this great appliance, consider reading this.
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What is a carpet cleaner?
Your average carpet is usually made of nylon, cotton, polyester, sisal, wool, triexta, and polypropylene fibers. Underneath the thread are three layers of pile grade and backing. After repeated stepping and pawing, dirt, dust, and grime will be stuck between these layers. The sticky grime, stain, and mud are the stubborn culprits that call for a carpet cleaner. Dust and crumbs can easily be cleaned with your average vacuum cleaner.
A carpet cleaner is a formidable ally in your fight against these sticky foes. This appliance takes a three-pronged approach to clean your carpet. First, it jets out a cleaning solution into your carpet. In turn, a spinning turbine scrubs and dislodges the grime and mess from your carpet. The final approach is a powerful suction that sucks all this mess from your carpet, leaving it clean.
Can bed bugs live in a carpet cleaner?
Yes. Bed bugs are one of the most resilient and hardcore pests inhabiting this planet. Bed bug history proves they can survive the harshest conditions and continue reigning havoc on you. They can indeed inhabit appliances to either hitch a ride to new zones or to breed and start a new infestation. It is best to play safe when renting any device, including a carpet cleaner.
This does not mean that any carpet cleaner will have bed bugs taking shelter. There are a lot of factors that will determine whether there is an infestation or a single bug incident. It could also be that there are no bed bugs.
Will you get bed bugs from renting a carpet cleaner?
You have to be open to the fact that you can bed bugs from any second-hand appliance you bring into your house. Carpet cleaners are not an exception to this. Bed bug statistics show that bed bugs are everywhere in the USA. If the previous user had an infestation, there is a big possibility that that vacuum cleaner will have bed bugs. After feeding or engorging in blood, bed bugs like to rest in dark places here; they are undisturbed and can breed in peace. A carpet cleaner offers these suitable conditions.
However, before you go baying for blood, a rented carpet cleaner does not necessarily have to appear to be a transportation bus of bed bugs to you. You will have to consider a lot before coming to this conclusion.
These conditions include whether:
- The previous storage location or house had an infestation
- Length of use or time
- It had regular servicing or not
- The transportation had bed bugs or not
- Number of people who have rented it so far
- Its condition
Ultimately, there is only one sure way to know if that carpet cleaner you rented has bed bugs. However, be careful because if you break, you will not only have bought a used crappy carpet cleaner at full price, but you may also have let loose some bed bugs in your beautiful home wreak havoc. You will have to take out your tools and open them up to see them inside.
How do you know that a carpet cleaner is infested?
Taken at face value, it’s almost impossible to know that the carpet cleaner you rented is infested. Bed bugs will inhabit inside the carpet cleaner since it has dark and humid conditions favorable to them. They could lay eggs which can be let out onto the carpet while cleaning it. These eggs could start long-troubled nights, frustration, and possibly mental and physical pain.
The next step will depend on how far you are willing to go to ensure the safety of your house. It is always safe to assume that the rented carpet cleaner is infested. Besides, it’s better to be safe than sorry. It would be prudent to isolate the carpet cleaner as soon as you get it home. If possible, wrap it in an airtight plastic bag to prevent bed bugs from escaping.
Take out your toolbox and screwdrivers and open the carpet cleaner. Remember, for most companies; this would void the warranty. But since you are set on ensuring that your house is not a haven for bed bugs, take it apart and examine it for bed bugs. According to a study done by EPA, these are the indicators of possible infestation;
- Rusty reddish stains that are usually indicative of bed bug excrement and eggs
- Bed bug exoskeletons are usually whitish-yellow or light brown
- Live bed bugs
- The musty sweet, berry-like smell in case of a sizeable infestation
Can bed bugs damage the carpet cleaner?
There is no reported damage of bed bugs to electronics. They cannot bite into wires and electronic parts. As reported by a study, bed bug mouth parts are adapted to only feeding on blood. They have two proboscises, one to suck out blood while the other injects anti-coagulants into the blood to prevent clotting during feeding. They are not strong enough to damage electronics. They can, however, cause dirt build-up through excretion, shedding of exoskeletons, and dead bed bugs.
How to get rid of bed bugs if you find them in your rented carpet cleaner
The first step is to inform the rental company or the person you rented from that you found bed bugs in the carpet cleaner. It will help them check their other stuff and storage rooms for these bugs. You will also have to sort permission to do bed bug elimination yourself. Once you have been granted a go-ahead, this is what you will have to do;
- Silica gel: You can use Silica gel to get rid of bed bugs in a carpet cleaner. It offers the benefits of not short-circuiting the carpet cleaner while desiccating bed bugs to death.
- Vacuuming: Physically remove and scrape off bed bugs and their eggs. This should be your first option.
- Essential oil: You should use essential oils at high concentrations and in moderation. For the best effect, apply it regularly.
- Bug tape: These sticky tapes can help trap these bugs for a long time and can be kept in the cleaner for a while without t affecting the appliance.
- Heat treatment: Remember that electronic appliances can handle heat only to a certain level. It should be a last resort, and you should remove all potentially explosive parts.
Should you sanitize a rental carpet cleaner before using it?
It is always recommended that you sanitize any electronics, furniture, garment, and clothing you get into the house. It is even more vital to do it if these items are second-hand purchases or rentals. It helps to keep bugs and dirt from your home. It will also boost your confidence in the cleaner’s safety and storage.
However, it would help if you considered many factors, especially with a rented item like the cleaner. As mentioned earlier, you should get permission from the rental company or the person you rented it from. The electronic should also be in mind. Some electronics have batteries that are likely to explode. How long you plan to use it should also influence your choice.
Since electronics are sensitive to liquids, ideally, the choice of sanitizer should work to clean them and kill bed bugs. Rubbing alcohol is one of the best and safe options to take. Take time to clean your carpet cleaner with isopropyl alcohol, concentrating on all nooks and crevices.
Do not let bed bugs be the reason your lovely carpet is ruined. Carpet cleaners are a must-have for beautiful homes. You must thoroughly investigate the prospective rental company before renting a carpet cleaner. Online customer reviews can help you with that. A publication in the Washington Post suggests that online customer ratings help ascertain the best service provider
It also helps to ask the rental company to open and inspect the carpet cleaner for signs of bed bugs in your presence. If you notice any signs of bed bugs, request another cleaner.
Can bed bugs travel in a carpet cleaner?
Yes. Bed bugs are surprisingly hardy bugs that can survive and breed in electronics for months before feeding again.
Can bed bugs lay eggs in a carpet cleaner?
Yes. An engorged female bed bug can lay eggs for months before the next feeding.
Will I spread bugs to others if I rent a carpet cleaner to get rid of them in my home?
Yes. A single female bed bug can start a massive infestation. It would be prudent to inform the next client or owner of an infestation.