How to get rid of bed bugs? Number of very important steps needs to follow in order to get rid of bed bugs. First, you need to start with the proper identification. You also need to find out that what what works well in your case depending on the infestation. Before going ahead with any of the treatment, there are number of home remedies available to get rid of bed bugs at minimal cost.
Bed bugs can travel easily and are readily transported via clothing, bedding, luggage and furniture. You can read this article to find out how to get rid of bed bugs?
Before starting you first need to know that what are bed bugs and where they hide?
What are Bed Bugs?
Bedbugs are brownish, oval and small insects that live on the blood of humans or animals. Adult bedbugs are approx. size of an apple seed and have flat bodies. After feeding, their bodies may swell and come to a reddish color.
You also need to know that bedbugs do not fly, but they can move quickly on walls, cellings and floors. Over a lifetime, an female bedbugs may lay hundreds of eggs. Each egg is size about of a speck of dust.
Before reaching to maturity, Immature bedbugs (nymphs) shed their skins five times. After reaching maturity and before shedding they need a meal of blood. If the conditions are favourable, bedbugs can produce three or more generations per year. Bedbugs are a nuisance and they do not transmit any diseases.
Where Bed Bugs Hide?
There are so many ways by which bedbugs can enter your house, for example, with clothing, luggage, used couches, used beds and some other items. Because of their flattened bodies, they can easily fit into tiny spaces. Bedbugs tend to live in groups but they do not have nests like bees or ants. First choice of bedbugs hiding places are bed frames, mattresses, headboards, and box springs. These places are preferable because they get easy access to people to bite in the night.
They may scatter and left your bedroom, and can move to any other protected location. They can also go to nearby apartments or rooms.
Bedbugs only servives on blood, but this is not a sign of dirtiness. You can easily find them in hotel rooms and immaculate homes.
When Bedbugs Bite?
Bedbugs usually bites at night while people are sleeping. They feed themselves by piercing the human skin and then suck the blood through an elongated beak. Usually the bed bugs feed themselves for somewhere 3 to 10 minutes. After that they crawl away and you cannot noticed them.
In starting most of the bedbug bites are painless but later you can feel itchy welts. Bedbugs bites can be on any area of skin exposed and usually different from flea bites. Flea bite usually around the ankles. Bedbugs bite also do not have a red spot in the center but flea bite do have.
Most of the people, you won’t able to realize bedbug infestation think that the welts and itching may be caused by something else, like mosquitoes bite. In order to confirm that the bites from bedbug, you have to find the bed bugs.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs?
In order to get rid of bed bugs you first need to find the bed bugs location, then you need to take steps to treating and controlling the bed bugs and finally preventing then to entering your home again.
(A) Finding the Bed Bugs to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
1.) Check Rooms to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
- First you need to dismantle the bed and its components and stand then on one end.
- Now, you have to look for the bedbugs . They are light-brown, molted skins of the nymphs.
- You can also see some dark spots and are usually present on mattress seams or on the other places.
- To gain the access and possible treatment, fabric underlying the box spring must be removed.
- You need to carefully examine the crevices and cracks of bed frames, especially wood frames.
- Bed bugs have an affinity for fabric and wooden items than the plastic or metal items.
- Some times it is difficult to treat the mattress and spring box and in that case you may require to discard the items.
- You can buy bed bug proof mattress and cover you infested mattress to starve bedbugs to death by trapping them. Buying a mattress cover will eliminate the cost of buying new box spring and make further inspection and treatment easier.
- Inspect the underneath bed items carefully.
2.) Inspect Nightstands and Dressers to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
- Carefully examine you dresses and night stands inside and out.
- Only after satisfactory inspection, place them inside your wardrobe.
- Also, check for the cracks, recesses, and corners for bed bugs infestation.
3.) Inspect Sofas to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Check the sofas and upholstered chairs in your house. This is the another best place, where bed bugs can hide easily. You have to pay the close attention to the skirts, tufts and seams, and crevices beneath cushions. If you are using your sofa for sleeping then it can be major hotspots for bed bugs.
4.) Inspect Other Common Places to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Check the other common places in your house to find bed bugs. These places include but not limited to under the edge of wall carpeting (especially behind furniture and beds), ceiling wall junctures and wood molding cracks. Usually the bed bugs congregate in some specific areas, but you can find bed bugs eggs scattered in other areas.
5.) Use a Flashlight to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Professional sometimes uses a pyrethrum-based “flushing agent” into the crevices. This will help them to reveal the hiding bed bugs.
(B) Treating and Controlling to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
1.) IPM Approach to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
You can use the integrated pest management (IPM) approach to get rid of bed bugs. This approach involves multiple tactics such as adopting preventive measures, then sanitation, and at last chemical uses to specific location.
2.) Heating to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Heating is another way to get rid of bed bugs naturally. For this you need to collect the affected items and then have to launder and apply the heat to them 120°F/48.8ºC minimum. Some smaller items, which are not fit for laundering can be de-infested by heating. Items which are bulk or not fit for direct heating, can be wrapped in plastic and then place it under the sun for heating. You need to keep those items under sun for 1-2 days depending on the temperature during days. You can also inspect the center most location of item with help of a thermometer. Temperature below freezing point also succumb the bed bugs. For this, minimum two weeks is required to maintain the chilling period. People tried to get rid of bed bugs from entire apartment or home by lowering or raising the thermostat, but this practice will not be successful.
Wash all linen items mattress covers, clothes, leather bags, teddy bears and clothing.You can wash them on hot and setting. Wash the laundry bag also on in washing machine on hot setting also tumble dry on hot.
In some metropolitan areas, you can find laundry service which provide the bed bug cleaning and laundry services. They are professionals and some other methods to get rid of bed bugs.
Some valuable items which can not be discarded or washed, spray them with non-toxic spray to get rid of bed bugs. After separating with a bed bug non-toxic spray seal them in a plastic bag for minimum a month and then you dry clean to remove odour.
3.) Steam to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Steaming is another option to get rid of bed bugs. You can go to local hardware store and easily get a simple device capable to generating the steam. You can also generate steam from an electric kettle, but you need to attach some flexible tubes in order to do this. Hot steaming the clothes, carpet, beds and other affected area will kill the bedbugs and their eggs.
4.) Vacuum to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
You can also vacuum your house to get rid of bed bugs. Vacuming will help to get rid of bed bugs and also eggs from carpet, walls, mattresses, other surfaces in your home. You need to pay special attention to edges of mattress, edge of wall to wall carpets, tufts, seams, and box springs. After vacuum, you need to collect the vacuum contents in a seal-able trashed bag and disposed off. After vacuum the carpet it is adviced that use blow hot steam to kill the bed bugs and their eggs left even after vacuum.
5.) Repair to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Repairing is an essential step to get rid of bed bugs. You need to first repair the cracks in plaster and then you have to fix the loosened wallpapers with help of glue to eliminate bed bug harbourage sites.
6.) Insecticides to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Consider using insecticides to get rid of bed bugs. Residual insecticides is applied as a spot treatment to get rid of bed bugs hiding in cracks and crevices. For better results, use a vacuum cleaner to remove the dirt and debris from cracks and crevices. By doing this, insecticides will get more penetration and provide effective results. There are many readily available aerosol pesticide sprays present in the market but uses of this spray will make bed bugs scatter and make it more difficult to get rid of bed bugs. IN order to treat the wall attics and voids, you can use dust formulations.
After two weeks from the initial insecticides treatment, you need to repeat the same treatment since it is difficult to find all the places where bed bugs hides and also left bed bugs may have hatched.
7.) Discard Affected Items to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Sometimes condition of infested box spring and mattresses is very bad and nothing can be done even with professional help. In that case, you need to discard the mattress and box spring. It is also necessary to inspect the complete apartment including adjusent rooms since bed bugs can travel from one place to another.
8.) Silica Gel to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Silica gel is another thing which help you to get rid of bed bugs easily. The fine grind silica gel will get stick with bed bugs skin and can’t be shaken off. This will dehydrate the bed bug and causes death. For this, you need to grind some silica gel and apply it all over your bedroom. You can put some silica gel along the walls, around the bed and on your mattress. You also need to be careful that you will not inhale it. On place of silica gel, you can also use some other dehydrating substance for eg:, Food grade diatomaceous earth. Both silica gel and diatomaceous earth has almost the same effect but food grade diatomaceous earth is safer. Also, the exposure of diatomaceous to your pets and children are not dangerous.
9.) Tea Tree Oil to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
- You can use the tea-tree oil to clean the infested area. Tea tree oil can eradicate bedbugs.
- Take some tea tree oil and clean the house thoroughly, from bottom to top.
- Use few drops of tea tree oil while washing the bedding and other clothing infested by bed bugs.
- Vacuum and wash all carpets with tea tree oil.
- Spray the tea tree oil on spring box and under mattress and down your bed.
- Spray the tea tree oil in you house thoroughly. To make the spray, you have to put 18 drops of tea tree oil in approx. 18 oz of water. Use this mixture to spray the entire house including furniture, beds and carpets.
10.) Professional Assistance to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
In the last, when you tried everything and not able to get rid of bed bugs then it’s the time to take the help of professionals. Locate a professional pest control company nearby. They better know where to look, and have tools and chemicals at their disposal to get rid of bed bugs.
(C) Preventing Bed Bugs From Entering to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
- Don’t buy second hand furniture, beddings and bed to avoid entering bed bugs in your home with these items. If you are not in a condition to buy new one, then you must inspect such items closely before bringing them at home.
- Examine headboards and bed for any sign of bed bugs while travelling or staying in any hotel.
- Don’t keep your luggage on floor, always try to keep it off the floor.
- Storage facilities and warehouses keeping stoke for new furniture, rail-road cars and trucks may be infested. Chances are also there that if your new furniture are stored or shipped from these places, they are carrying bed bugs with them.
Other Useful Tips to Get Rid of Bed Bugs:
- You can apply witch hazel to stop the itching after bedbug bites.
- Examine that there are no new bedbug bites. This will help to prevent the future problems from bed bugs.
- Bed bugs leave there hiding places at night only and you can’t see them in day light.
- If you don’t want to dispose the box spring and mattress then encasing them will be helpful.
- You can do brushing and vacuum to remove the bed bugs and their eggs.
- There are some restrictions on the pesticides when they are used for the treatment on beds. Most of the companies treat tufts, seams and crevices of bed components but they not use chemicals on the blankets, bed sheets, mattress surface and clothing. That’s why pest control company always recommend that you should discard the infested bed.
- Mattress corner is the favourite place of bed bugs to hide. Carefully examine the corners of mattress.
- You may or may not discover that you have been bitten by bed bugs and it will depend on the individual tolerance. Some people also feel it immediately or with in a few hours.
- Bedbugs usually don’t move and they appear to be dead while they are heading. When you hit them with the steam they will start moving. You have to steam them until they stop moving .
- If you want that bedbugs not come to your bed them you have to lift your bed and put all legs of bed either in a container filled with any type of oil. This will help to stop bed bugs from climbing from ground. Also, avoid hanging bed sheets and blankets to the ground.
- Insecticides are suitable to be used for cleaning bedsheets and linens. You need to wash these items in hot water and them dry them on hot settings.
- When you soak the infested clothes they there are good chances that you kill the bed bugs easily. But chances are there that the bed bugs eggs hatched faster, so you need to dryer them also on hot settings. You will see a drop in number of bites.
- Normally without having anything or feeding, bed bugs can live up to a year. So if you are covering your mattress with bed bugs protecting covers then it has to be on mattress for long time.