Are bed bugs not letting you sleep well? Want to get rid of these tiny blood-sucking insects?
Bed bugs tend to suck on blood while leaving small bumps on the skin that causes irritation and itching. Though they do not possess any life-threatening quality, yet their bite can be very frustrating and may lead to skin diseases.
Bed bugs have a flat and oval body shape. They do not possess wings to fly but have wing vestiges. The size of an adult bed bug is around 4 to 5 mm. They are usually brown in color; however, a blood-engorged bedbug would be reddish-brown. They are mostly present in the cracks and creviced of your bedding or mattress, but may be found in any other hidden area inside your house. You may also see them inside boxes, shelves, wardrobes, suitcases, books, and shoes. They are nocturnal creatures and would even hide behind the headboards, baseboards and behind electrical switchboards, wallpaper and photo frames. Bed bugs are tiny, yet creepy!
Bed bugs take 5-10 minutes to suck on the blood. Once they have fed, they hide under a secluded place for 5-10 days to digest their meal. This is the time when they also mate and reproduce.
So, how do you get rid of bed bugs? Here in this article, we will explain a few different ways, steps, and tips for getting rid of these bugs.
Different Ways To Kill Bed Bugs
At present, there are over 300 EPA registered pesticides. These pesticides are categorized into seven chemical classes. Mentioned below are the chemical forms to cure bed bug infestations:
Pyrethrins And Pyrethroids
These are the common ones used to control bed bugs and other indoor pests. Bed bugs cannot withstand these compounds. It helps in flushing the bugs out of their hiding places and killing them. However, some bed bug populations are immune to these chemicals compounds. Under such circumstances combining both the compounds can do the trick.
This class of chemicals destroys the outer coating of the bug, making them dehydrated and killing them. They are one of the most widely used bed bug control chemicals by pest control companies. They also have a long-lasting effect. Few examples of this compound are diatomaceous earth and boric acid. However, there are certain risks adhered to this compound. You need to be careful about not to inhale it, as it also possesses certain health risks.
The only registered bio-chemical pesticide that can be used against bed bugs is cold pressed neem oil. This is extracted directly from the seeds of the Neem tree, which is a tropical evergreen tree. Research has shown that it helps in killing the adult bugs, as well as destroying the eggs before hatching.
The only pyrrole pesticide that is registered to be used against bed bugs is Chlorfenapyr. This chemical compound helps in destroying specific functions of the bed bug’s cells, while eventually killing it.
This is a type of synthetic nicotine. It acts on the nervous system. Bed bugs are strongly susceptible to neonicotinoid and cannot endure its effects.
Insect Growth Regulators
These chemicals affect the growth of the outer shell of the bed bug and make them vulnerable. It also stops the pests from growing into their adult phase.
You can also stop the bed bug infestation with natural home remedies. If you see signs of bed bugs in any area of your home, you need to act immediately, before they spread. The following ways may help you out:
Get Rid Of The Clutter
Never clutter things in your home, as they are the most prospective places for bed bugs to hide and reproduce. Take out all the blankets, electronics and other items that are cluttered. Do not dump them in another space, as they may infest the new area too. It is advisable to clean them and put all the items inside concealed bags.
Wash Your Bed Sheets, Clothes, And Linens
Bed sheets, clothes, and linens have a lot of places where bed bugs may hide, especially in between the stitches and folds. Wash them with a strong detergent. You may also try dipping them in hot water with an antiseptic solution. These creatures cannot stand the heat.
Dismantle Your Bed Frame
Dismantle your bed frame and look inside the joints and cracks. Make sure to clean every corner of the frame.
Empty Your Drawers
Pull your dresser away from the wall. Take out everything from the drawer. Keep all your belongings inside a plastic bag and keep it concealed till it is thoroughly cleaned.
Make sure to vacuum every corner of your home. Do it slowly and carefully. Using a vacuum cleaner will let you pull out all the bugs where your hands are unable to reach.
If you want to take professional help to get rid of bed bugs thoroughly, you need to opt for a company that has a reputed name in the industry. To get good services, you need to look for experienced and licensed pest control professionals. Always look for recommendations. Before hiring a company, make sure to go through their profile and get reviews.
You will come across a vast variety of products that can be used to get rid of bed bugs. From bug sprays to mattress encasements, everything can be purchased online. Some of the most commonly preferred bed bugs control products are bed bug sprays, bed bug powders and dust, bed bug traps, clothing encasements, steamers, laundry treatments, mattress encasements, herbal bed bug control products, bed bug repellant creams and many more.
Bed bug traps or bed bug inceptors are best during the early stage of infestation. They are easy to use and very cost-effective. There are mostly three types of bed bug traps – Encasements, Adhesives and Interceptor Cups. The most effective ones are Interceptor Cups. These traps usually comprise of pesticide-free plastic cups coated with non-toxic talcum powders. The talcum powder prohibits these creatures to crawl out of the trap. You can place them near your bed and furniture. You will also find traps that are flexible and can be fit within the gaps in sofas, chairs, dressers, etc.
Bed bugs, as we know, cannot stand the heat. Therefore, treating the infested area with extreme heat will either make them flee or kill them. There two common types of heat treatment – Steam cleaning and a Clothing iron. Steam killing helps in destroying the eggs. Research has shown that these creatures cannot stand temperatures above 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, many people also use clothes iron to get rid of bed bugs in their mattresses. You may use the iron over the cracks in walls, floors, and wooden furniture.
Easy Steps To Kill Bed Bugs
If you feel like your home is being infested with bed bugs, the first thing that you need to do is look for it. Look for signs. These creatures leave behind stains that look like rust spots. You may find them on your bed sheet, mattress or your pillow covers. You need to see inside places that are dark, cold and isolated. Bed bugs are usually found in and around the mattress, headboard, footboard and the bed frame. You may also see them on your shelves, shoes, furniture, inside electronic switchboards, and behind the wallpaper.
Step 2: Clean The Infested Items
Clean the areas and items where you see signs of bed bugs. Clean and scrub them with a strong detergent. Wash your bed linens, towels and clothes. Wash and dry them at high temperature, as it will help in killing the bugs with heat. Place all the dried laundry inside concealed bags, making sure the bugs do not re-infest. Keep your clothes covered till your house is entirely free from bed bugs.
Step 3: Clean Your Mattress And Encase It
After doing your laundry and carefully placing your clothes inside concealed bags, start cleaning your mattress. Clean every fold, stitch, and piping, as the bugs tend to hide in every possible corner of the bed. If possible, opt for dry steam cleaning. This will let you clean every edge of your mattress using heat, and without moistening the mattress foam.
Step 4: Vacuum Your House
Once you have cleaned your mattress, vacuum your bed and the areas near it. Vacuuming the entire house would be a good idea. Opt for the smaller attachments, as it will let you clean inside the cracks and gaps. Also, keep your vacuum at the highest suction setting. Always empty the vacuum bag after you have cleaned, and dispose of the waste properly.
Step 5: Use Mattress Encasements
Put your clean mattress inside a mattress encasement. If you have cleaned other items in your house, keep them wrapped too. Keeping these items wrapped will keep the bedbugs away. Moreover, if any bug is left behind, the wrapping will stop them in feeding, and they will eventually die of starvation.
Step 6: Throw The Unused Items
If you have any item that you no longer use, throw them away. Cluttering your home will give more possible places to the bugs to hide and reproduce. Therefore, it is advisable to discard all the old clothes, stuff toys, electronics, etc.
Step 7: Conceal All The Cracks
Cover up all the cracks and gaps where bugs may hide. Bed bugs will disappear inside the tiniest of space in your bed frame or wallpaper. Make sure to cover them up, so that they are unable to enter them.
Step 8: Get Professional Help
If you think that you are still being troubled by bed bugs after the steps mentioned above, you may have to consult a professional. They will help you in getting rid of the bugs altogether.
Getting rid of bed bugs permanently may take weeks, even months, and a lot of patience. It also depends on the amount of infestation.
Household Items To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs
It is always handy to keep a packet of baking soda at home, as it has many added benefits. Baking soda holds the potential to kill bugs, and bed bugs are no exception. If you have baking soda at home, sprinkle some over all the potentially infested areas of your home. Moreover, baking soda is cost-effective and readily available. This process may also take some amount of time, and you will have to repeat the process a few times. However, it has been seen to be very useful in killing bed bugs.
Another easy and affordable home remedy for bed bugs or any other pest is vinegar. It has a strong smell, which is very harsh on the bugs. Apart from being readily available and affordable, vinegar is also easy to spray inside all the potential places for bed bugs. However, you have to note that vinegar would kill the bedbugs, but would not be able to destroy the eggs.
Borax powder is another widely used homemade pesticide.It helps in suffocating the bugs. You can also merge it with water and spray it inside the potential spaces and cracks. Washing your linens with borax water will also help in cleaning away the pests.
Removing Items Carefully
While eliminating the things that are infested with bed bugs, make sure to wrap them up. Wrap them with plastic before moving them out of the room. If you do not wrap them, there are chances the bugs may fall and infest other spaces inside your house.
If your house is infested with bed bugs, do let your relatives and friends know about it, before they plan to visit. This way you would prevent their homes from being infested too. Letting them know beforehand will let them be careful.
If you are traveling and planning to rest in a hotel, make sure to look out for signs. Ask the front desk before you check in. Even the most expensive hotels may be infested with bedbugs. Therefore, be alert and be careful. Once you enter your hotel room, have a thorough look at the bedding and mattress. If you see any signs, request for a different room immediately.
Be Careful With Your Luggage
Bed bugs are good travelers too. They may get into your bag and come back home with you. Therefore, make sure to place your bag in a place where there is no possibility for any pest. Place your luggage over a firm and hard surface, and put it away from the wall.
Things Not To Do
- Do not panic, as it is not a life-threatening situation. Bed bugs suck on blood; however, they do not spread any disease.
- Do not reach for the pesticide at once without being sure. You need to be sure if they are bed bugs or any other indoor pests.
- Do not opt for temporary solutions. Be calm and make a strategic plan of getting complete riddance.
- Make sure you plan to end the bed bug infestation permanently.
- Avoid using ‘home-made’ or garden pesticides, without proper instruction, as it might be dangerous for your health. A lot of these may not be effective in curing the bed bug infestation inside your house. Moreover, you might end up making the problem worse.
- Never use pesticides that are not EPA registered. Also, do not use a pesticide without knowing the instructions. Avoid any foreign brand pesticide.
- Do not apply chemicals to your or your pets body.
- If you have pets and children, do not let them go near the pesticides.
- Do not rub kerosene or gasoline over the infested area, as it might easily catch fire.
- Do not move things without wrapping them, as it might infest other houses too.
Conclusion: How To Prevent Bed Bugs From Coming Back
Once you get rid of all the bed bugs from your home, you need to make sure they do not re-infest. There are certain things that you could do to prevent the bed bugs from coming back.
- Do not clutter. Keep your home organized and clean.
- Vacuum your carpets and rugs every day.
- Use essential oils inside your room. This helps in repelling the bugs and other insects.
- Inspect your mattress on a regular basis, especially under it and inside the gaps.
- Make sure to dispose of your garbage properly.
- Cover all the cracks and crevices in the walls and furniture.
- If you have pets, make sure to keep them clean.