You must get a good night’s rest, as it refreshes you for the tasks that have lined up for the next day. Wellness experts advise you get between 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily for the best results.
And while many people try to doze off peacefully, many have had their sleep disrupted by a tiny insect called bed bugs.
Yes, bed bugs can turn your dreams into a nightmare with their bites and blood-sucking habits.
For the fact you are reading this article, we can safely assume you’re currently dealing with a bed bug infestation, and you have no idea how to remove them.
If this is the case, your problems are about to be solved, as we will discuss how to get rid of bed bugs and their eggs.
All you have to do is read to the end!
About Bed Bugs
As problematic as these insects are, they are really small in size. An average-sized bed bug measures a mere 5 millimetres. And just in case you don’t know how small that is, just think of a pencil eraser – A bed bug is way smaller.
What they lack in size, they make up for with their cunningness, toughness, and ability to reproduce fast.
As for their ability to withstand hunger, these pests can go for months in-between meals, so even if you’re away for a while, they’ll still be well and alive when you get back.
To make matters worse, one female bed bug can lay as many as 500 eggs in her lifetime. Now imagine having several females around the rooms in your home; that will lead to a full-blown infestation in no time.
Bed bugs feed on blood, which is why they bite in the first place, and these bites leave very visible marks on your skin. These marks come in the form of itchy red welts all over your body that can leave you scratching yourself.
Thankfully, you can get rid of bed bugs, but you have to exercise patience, as they are very resilient pests.
How Do I Get Rid Of Bed Bugs In My Home?
Bed bugs may be hard to get rid of, but it is very doable.
There are several approaches you can take to do this, including the chemical and non-chemical methods.
You also have the option of hiring a professional pest control service to inspect your home and remove the pests for you. This will require you to pay a service fee, but you can rest assured that a credible professional will get the job done, and you will no longer have bed bugs to deal with.
However, you may be the DIY type who likes to handle domestic issues yourself. This, too, can work, but you need to take the right steps.
Inspect For Bed Bugs
Once you notice a bed bug on your bed, carpet, or couch, then you can rest assured it isn’t alone. Bed bugs are experts at hiding, and you can have hundreds of them lodged in the tightest corners of your cushions.
You will need to take action fast to get rid of them before the infestation gets worse.
That being said, the first step to removing bed bugs in your home is to take a thorough look to inspect for bed bugs so you can discover where they are hiding. Once you find any evidence of bed bugs, you can begin making plans for disinfestation.
Remember, you have to look into the tightest corners of your mattress, couch, and any other cushions you have in your house.
Luckily for you, a bed bug produces a foul smell, so you can use that to trace them, especially when they are in large numbers.
Here are some places you can begin your search –
• Around the tags of your mattress and box spring
. Around the bed frames
• The cracks in the bed frames and headboards
• Around the baseboards
• In-between the couch cushions
• Around your furniture joints
• Inside your electrical outlets
• Under loose wallpaper
• Around the seam where the wallpaper and ceiling meet
• Under loose wall posters
Since a bed bug is so small, you may not be able to notice them with your naked eye. This is why I recommend using a flashlight and magnifying glass to improve visibility.
If this is your first time dealing with a bed bug infestation, you may not be too sure what they look like.
A Bed bug is reddish in color and about a quarter-inch long, so if the bugs you find in these tight corners fit the description, then you’ve found the pests.
If you still aren’t sure, then you can look for other evidence of bed bugs.
One of such signs is their droppings, which are blackish and about the size of a dot. If you find smears on your wall, bed, posters, and calendars, close to the area where you spotted the insects, then you are dealing with bed bugs.
Other signs of a bed bug infestation are bloodstains on your bed, which could result from smashed bugs or droppings of your own blood.
Small pale yellow eggs are another sign of an infestation, as well as yellow shredded bug skins.
To ensure the insect you found is a bed bug, you can put it in a jar and take it to an exterminator to confirm.
Using A Vacuum To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs
Once you have confirmed that the problematic insects are bed bugs, you need to take quick steps to control their population before they multiply.
There are several ways you can do this: using your vacuum to suck them up and dispose of them.
Make sure you run the vacuum around the corners of the areas where you found them. They are good hiders, but that doesn’t mean they can withstand the suction of a vacuum.
The areas where you should concentrate on include –
• Your bed/bed frames
• Your dresser
• Every area of your carpets
• Electronic appliances (turn them off first)
• Around your couch
I advise you use a small portable vacuum cleaner, as it can maneuver better around your furniture.
Once you are done sucking them away, you should dump the contents of the vacuum into an air-tight plastic bag and seal it.
Inspect the vacuum to see if any bugs are hiding inside. Dispose of the ones you find and give your vacuum a thorough clean.
Washing Your Clothes Can Help
A bed bug can hide inside your clothes, especially when they are in a pile. If you notice one clinging onto a shirt that you just took out of the closet, then it means there could be more inside.
Grab your flashlight once again and take a close look in-between your clothes to see if you will find more. If you do, don’t just take out the one that has been infested; take out all of them and prep them for a thorough wash.
You will need large plastic bags to dump the infested clothes. If you carry them by hand, then some may move onto your body or fall on the floor, escaping the wash in the process.
Dump the clothes into your washing machine and set the temperature to the highest setting. One thorough cycle of hot water is enough to terminate bed bugs instantly.
Any clothing that can’t be machine-washed can be hand washed outside. You can also place them in the dryer afterwards, as the heat can also kill them. A 30-minute dryer cycle should do.
If none of the clothing can be machine washed or dried, then put them in a plastic bag and leave them there for a few months. Bed bugs are resilient so that they won’t die immediately, but there’s only so long they can go without food.
If you have bright sunny days, you can spread the clothes outside and let the sunrays do the trick. Bed bugs don’t like high temperatures, so the heat from the sun and the outdoor wind can put them off.
Leave your clothes out for at least a week for the best results. Also, make sure that you will have a long stretch of sunny days before you spread your clothes outside.
You don’t want to sit on your couch or lay on your bed with a bed bug on you, as that defeats the entire purpose of getting rid of bed bugs.
Taking Out The Infested Furniture
If the bed bugs are lodged inside your upholstered furniture, then you should take them outside for treatment.
Remember that bed bugs are very tiny, so if there is a tear in your cushion or crack in your bed frames, they can leave the corners and enter deep into the furniture itself.
When the cushions are outside, you can do a thorough vacuum around the surfaces. If you notice a tear, you will have no other choice but to rip the furniture open to expose the wood.
The wood can later be treated with chemical spray paints to kill any bed bugs inside. You can also use toxic pesticides on the wood to remove bed bugs.
I have to warn, though, toxic pesticides aren’t just dangerous to bugs; they are also dangerous to humans. If you must use this approach, then protect yourself by wearing a nose mask to avoid inhaling the fumes.
This practise is best done in an area that isn’t within your living space but not outdoors. Your garage is a good option, so you can move your car out and place the furniture there.
If the infestation is minor, then a thorough Vacuum should do. But if the infestation has gone deep into the furniture and is beyond saving, then you’ll just have to throw it away.
Eliminating Their Hiding Places
Having too many piled-up clothes, books, or old documents in boxes will do you no good in the fight against bed bugs. They are so small that they could hide anywhere, so why encourage them by allowing extra hiding spaces?
Keep your home free of piles and hiding places as much as you can. Throw away old junk that logs the area to reduce the areas where the bed bugs can hide.
You should also take note of the wear and tear in your furniture. If there are crawl spaces that grant them access to the deeper ends of the furniture, then they will not hesitate to crawl through.
Before you seal any tears in your furniture, make sure that you treat them first.
Do not mistake moving items from an infested room to a clean room, as that will only encourage their spread.
Another approach you can take to eliminate their hiding places is to glue down any loose wallpaper or poster. If your home has a large infestation, I suggest tearing down the wallpapers and posters to keep your walls free of hiding spaces.
If there are cracks in your walls, doorposts, or window posts, you need to seal them to eliminate their hiding spaces.
Another tip is to move your bed away from your bedroom wall to prevent bed bugs from hiding in-between the tiny space between the wall and the bed.
As an extra measure, you should place bedbug-proof covers over your mattress. Make sure the covers are zipped all the way round to prevent bed bugs from crawling inside.
Besides keeping bed bugs out of your mattress, the cover will also trap some bed bugs, and they will die from suffocation.
Killing Bed Bugs
There are many ways to terminate bed bugs without calling a professional pest exterminator. While taking out furniture can reduce the bed bug population in your home, killing them on the spot isn’t also a bad idea.
Here’s what you can do.
1. Use heat
I have already spoken of how bed bugs can’t stand high temperatures, so that you can use heat for bed bug treatment.
Temperatures as high as 115°F are enough, so you can dump infested clothes into your washer and turn up the heat.
You can also boil some water, pour it into a large bucket, and soak infested clothes in it for about 30 minutes. The heat, as well as the water, will kill them.
You can also place your clothes in a dryer and set the temperature high enough to kill bed bugs.
For your mattresses, couches, and other items that can’t be machine washed, you can use a steamer on the corners where bed bugs hide.
You can also leave infested items out in the sun so the heat can kill them. A 95° temperature is hot enough for this.
Another way you can use heat to kill bed bugs is to leave some of your infested items in a closed car. The car has to be one you hardly or never drive, and you should park it in your yard, not your garage, so the sun’s heat can penetrate and kill them.
If the temperature is cooler than 95°, it will take much longer for the outdoor heat to kill bed bugs.
2. Use Cold
Bed bugs don’t like cold temperatures that fall within 0°F (-17°C), as it can kill them quickly. This is a simple bed bug treatment anyone can try.
With this in mind, you can suck up as many bed bugs as you can with your vacuum cleaner, place the bugs in plastic bags with some rubbing alcohol, then place the bags in a freezer.
You should leave them there for at least 4 days for the best results.
Using Chemical And Non-Chemical Bed Bug Treatment
One of the most effective ways of killing these pests is by using a chemical bed bug treatment. Several commercial-grade insecticides can kill them, but you have to buy the ones that are EPA approved and specifically made for killing bed bugs.
Below are some effective insecticides you can use to kill bed bugs.
Pyrethrins and pyrethroids are among the most common chemical pesticides used to kill bed bugs.
You can visit a pesticide store near you to buy one, then apply it to your mattress and box spring to kill them.
Chlorfenapyr is another chemical pesticide that can kill bed bugs. This bed bug control substance works by disrupting their cells upon contact.
This type of bed bug control pesticide works by damaging the nervous system of bed bugs and is considered among the most effective bed bug killers in the market.
If you have tried the other chemicals, but the bed bugs are still there, you can try Neonicotinoids, as bed bugs cannot resist their potency.
Desiccants have also proven to be great at killing bed bugs. However, they kill the bugs slowly and not instantly.
This bed bug control substance works by destroying the exoskeleton of the bugs, and without this outer layer, the bed bugs will die.
Two very good examples of desiccants are Diatomaceous Earth and silica aerogel (Tri-die and CimeXa).
Diatomaceous Earth has become popular for bed bug control due to one major reason, and bed bugs cannot resist them. However, it will take about 2 months for the substance to wipe out its population.
To use, simply sprinkle some of the diatomaceous earth around the infested areas, and the diatomaceous earth will stick to their bodies and begin to take action.
5. Foggers or bug bombs
Bug bombs and foggers can also be used for bed bug control. All you have to do is buy one, read the instructions on the package, and use it as instructed.
I have to mention that foggers and bug bombs are great at killing surface bed bugs, not the ones that are hiding within cracks and crevices. So they may not be the best option for killing bed bugs lodged deep inside crawl spaces.
You should also know that the content of foggers is extremely toxic and will harm humans and pets too. For this reason, you should protect yourself and your household when using.
Put on a nose mask before you set off the fogger so you won’t inhale the content. You should also keep the doors and windows of the rooms you are bombing closed so the chemicals can’t escape into other areas of your home.
Foggers and bug bombs work with a timer, so you actually have a chance to leave the room before they set off.
Using Plant Oil-based Products
There are several plant oil-based products that you can use to get rid of bed bugs. The advantage of using such products is that they are less toxic to humans than the other chemical products I’ve mentioned so far.
Examples of plant oil-based products which you can use for bed bug control include Patrolare and EcoRaider.
You can apply the products in the areas where you find the bed bugs to be most active. This should include around your bed, couch, carpets, cracks and crevices in the walls, and any other pace they may be hiding.
Monitoring The Affected Areas
After you have tried one or more of the recommended treatments listed above, you will still need to keep a close eye on the affected areas to ensure that the treatment is working.
Don’t just assume that the bugs will be gone immediately because, as I have said before, bed bugs are resilient creatures who know how to hide.
Do regular checks around your furniture, especially your mattress, to see if you will find any bed bugs left. If you do, then you can repeat the treatments until the ones that are left are exterminated.
You can improve your chances of finding any leftover bed bugs by placing bed bug interceptors under each leg of your bed.
Bed bug interceptors can trap bed bugs before they can even climb up your bed. Leave the device in place for as long as you deem fit until you are sure there are no more bed bugs in your home.
Hiring A Pest Management Service To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs
If you still find bed bugs in your home after you’ve tried all the control methods listed here, then I suggest you call the professionals to come and get rid of the bugs.
Pest control professionals would’ve treated more bed bug-infested homes than you can count, which means they have all the experience needed for pests as stubborn as bed bugs.
Invite them over to your home for a thorough inspection. When they arrive, they will investigate and find the areas where the bed bugs are hiding.
You have indeed inspected your home during your DIY extermination process, but you’re not a professional, so it’s possible you missed a lot of spots.
Trust me, the pros won’t miss it, as they can determine exactly where the bed bugs hide.
Some pest control companies use dogs to sniff out the bugs, which is a great approach since dogs have a very strong sense of smell, and bed bugs give off a terrible musty odour.
It may take more than one visit by the pest control agency to determine the full extent of the bed bug infestation. And they will only begin treatment once they have figured out just how bad it is.
Treatment begins with a plan, which the professionals will discuss with you before they begin. You and your family may be required to leave the house for a few days while the extermination is ongoing.
This is because the professionals have all sorts of chemical insecticides which they may use to kill bed bugs in your home.
Pest control professionals can also use whole room heat to kill bed bugs. They make use of special equipment that heats the room to temperatures as high as 145°F.
As we have discussed before, bed bugs cannot survive such high temperatures.
Before the pest control company begins disinfesting your home, they will give you instructions on how to prep your house before their arrival. Follow these instructions to improve your chances of success.
If indeed you have to move out of your house during disinfestation, then you can stay at a friend’s or family member’s place. A hotel is also a good accommodation option.
If the bed bug infestation affects only one or two rooms in your house, then you may not need to move out entirely. All you have to do is avoid these rooms during treatment and only go back when the pest control professionals say it’s okay.
Ideally, it will take about 3 to 5 hours for the chemical treatments in a room to wear off. But I advise you to stay away from a chemically-treated room for at least 24 hours before going back inside.
As mentioned before, hiring a pest control professional will cost you a decent amount of money, especially if you hire a reputable one.
However, it’ll be worth it in the end, as you can be 100% sure that the pests will be eliminated, and you can go back to sleeping well at night.
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How Do I Permanently Get Rid Of Bed Bugs?
As you can see, getting rid of bed bugs is no easy task, so if you manage to succeed in exterminating them, why allow them to come back.
Temporary fixes are good, but keeping them away permanently is much better.
There are several bed bug prevention tips that you can use to ensure that they never come back. The good news is, you wouldn’t need to hire a professional for this phase, as these tips are easy to follow.
Here’s what you can do to make sure you keep bed bugs away permanently.
1. Clear all clutters
Having rooms filled with clutter only creates good hiding spaces for bed bugs. And the more hiding spaces they have, the more they will feel comfortable staying in your home.
Clear out boxes of old magazines or newspapers to create open spaces where the bugs cannot hide. If you have piles of old documents, keep the ones that are still relevant and get rid of the ones that aren’t.
As far as pest management is concerned, remember that piles and other hiding spaces are your enemies.
2. Cover your mattress and box spring
A good way to permanently keep bed bugs from hiding in your mattress is to seal it with a bed bug cover. These covers have no spaces where the bugs can crawl through, so you can rest assured it will work.
However, you must make sure you zip up the bed bug cover all the way round to eliminate any entry point.
3. Wash regularly
Practicing regular cleaning habits will help prevent the growth of the bed bug population. Make sure you wash your beddings, curtains, carpets, and other washable furniture regularly.
The wash will kill the few bed bugs hiding underneath these items, and they will not have the chance to reproduce and expand.
Even if they’ve already laid eggs on any of these items, they too will be destroyed by the wash cycle.
Remember to use hot water while washing, as bed bugs hate heat.
Another tip is to vacuum your carpets regularly, as bed bugs could also be hiding in them. They don’t stand a chance against the vacuum cleaner’s suction power, neither do their eggs.
Vacuuming a few times a week will ensure that your carpets stay free of bed bugs and their eggs permanently.
4. Seal cracks
Seal all the cracks around your light sockets, electrical outlets, and baseboards to limit their hiding spaces.
You can use caulk to seal the cracks in the walls.
5. Check for bed bugs in hotel rooms before coming home
Unfortunately, you may be directly responsible for bringing bed bugs into your home, as you can unintentionally pick them up from wherever you are coming from.
If you have to spend the night in a hotel, make sure that the room where you’ll be sleeping is free of bed bugs. If it isn’t, chances are the bugs will cling to your clothes or crawl into your box and follow you home.
What Is A Good Way To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs?
A good and effective way to get rid of bed bugs is to hire a professional pest control service to do the job. Pest control experts have way more experience than you, so that they will be more effective than you.
What Is The Main Cause Of Bedbugs?
The main reason you have bed bugs in your home is that someone brought them in accidentally.
Bed bugs are not good travellers like ants, so they move from house to house by clinging to your clothes.
When you visit a friend or a hotel that has a bed bug infestation, then there is a good chance you will attract them. Remember, bed bugs feed on human blood, so they will always be attracted to people.
Why Are Bed Bugs So Hard To Get Rid Of?
A bed bug is among the most resistant insects globally, as it can withstand a good number of insecticides.
They are also very tiny, which makes hiding in cracks very easy for them. A bed bug can fit into the tiniest cracks and escape extermination if not done the right way.
Another reason a bed bug is so hard to get rid of is the speed at which they reproduce. The female bed bug can lay up to 500 eggs during her lifespan (about 4 to 6 months).
Think about it, if one female bed bug can lay 500 eggs in 6 months, then several laying female bed bugs will mean an explosion of the bed bug population in your home.
A bed bug can also survive for long periods without food, so starving them to death isn’t a viable option.
Another thing that makes getting rid of bed bugs hard is the piles and clutters in your home. The more there is, the more hiding spaces they will have.
There you have it, guys, that’s how to get rid of bed bugs in your home and avoid their bites. Remember to be careful not to bring a bed bug in from wherever you are coming from. Also, seal the cracks and crevices along your walls to limit their hiding places.
Pest management can be difficult, so Follow the DIY approaches mentioned in this article to get rid of bed bugs and their eggs. Don’t hesitate to call a pest control company if you don’t see any positive results.
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