No doubt, the infestation of bed bugs in your home could constitute a great challenge for you if you don’t know how to get rid of them. It is often so because bed bugs are extremely difficult to get rid of since they have a high rate of multiplications and are building resistance to pesticides and insecticides. They constitute a threat to healthy living and often require the intervention of experts to get rid of.
Studies have shown that one out of five Americans have encountered bed infestation with little to no awareness of how they can get rid of them from their homes. If you fall into this category of people, it’s important you invest your time in reading this article.
In this post, you will learn some cost-effective ways you can successfully wipe away bed bugs and their eggs from your home. You will also learn some tips on how to prevent the infestation of bed bugs in your apartment.
However, before going into providing you with the remedies, let’s look at the financial impact of bed bugs and how these bugs get into your house, so you can work towards preventing them from intruding your home. As the common saying goes, “prevention is always better than cure.” Preventing the infesting of your home by bed bugs will save you a lot of troubles, embarrassments, money, and nightmares that come with dealing with the bugs.
What do bed bugs look like and where do they come from?
Bed bugs are small nocturnal insects with natural characteristics of infesting every hidden corner of a home they found conducive enough to thrive in. These creepy bugs have the capacity to multiply rapidly and dominate the bed areas if not quickly vanished.
They soon become a hazard in your household with negative implications for your health and hygiene. Your sleep is definitely going to be affected as their activities become more active at night. Hence, a bed bug-infested mattress could make every night’s sleep a nightmare for you if something urgent is not done to get rid of them.
Bed bugs feed on the blood of their hosts. They belong to the Cimicidae family, which are insects commonly found in warm temperatures. One common characteristic of these insects is that they are very shy, so they hide in the daytime and come out only during the night to feed on your blood.
To maintain a low profile during the daytime, the bugs hide in the little spaces and corners they can find on your bed, mattress, desk, drapery, linens, nightstands, headboards, artwork frames and other household items.
Bed bugs can be transported into your home via any of the above-mentioned items you move from other places they have been infested into your house. If brought in unnoticed, they quickly multiply and become dominant in your home.
So, while sleeping at night, the bed bugs will creep out of their hidden places and use their two hollow tubes to pierce your skin to draw blood from your body for about five minutes. As they feed on you, they will not only disturb your sleep but soon you may start having skin infections and allergic reactions.
In order to avoid all these troubles, it is important to learn some effective ways you can prevent bed bugs from infesting your home.
Early detection is the key to preventing bed bug infestation as complete prevention might not be totally realistic. Every day, as you move from your office to visiting friends, neighbors, colleagues, and family, you are exposed to the possibility of importing bed bugs to your home.
So, the regular check of bed sheets for blood spots or other signs of an infestation is the best way to guarantee early detection. Common signs of bed bug infestation you should look out for are bites on your body, a sight of dried blood on your body or bed sheets, bed bug skin, and their eggs.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs: 18 Tips
If your home is already infested with bed bugs and you’re looking for ways to get rid of the insects, the following tips will show you how to do it effectively. Bed bugs are skilled at hiding in tiny places and they have built resistance to most insecticides. So, getting rid of these insects and their eggs requires effective methods and remedies.
Although you can engage the services of professionals to get rid of bed bugs in your home, there are some do-it-yourself strategies anyone can apply. Here is a list of some effective remedies you can use to get rid of bed bugs from your home.
#1 Expelling bed bugs through the temperature conditioning
Generally, bed bugs can’t survive both extremely cold and hot conditions. To apply the cold temperature condition remedy, what you should do is to put all infested items in a freezer for four days at 0 °F (-18oC). The bugs and their eggs will freeze and died-off at this temperature.
Using the heat treatment is, however, easier compared to the cold temperature treatment. All infested items, including linen and clothing, should be washed in hot water for at least 30 minutes and then dried at high temperature for another 30 minutes.
#2 Use a clothes dryer on a high temperature
The heat treatment can also be done if you, or even with black plastic bags in the sun or in a hot, closed car. If bed bugs are exposed for an hour to a temperature of over 60°C (140°F), the heat will kill all bed bugs rapidly.
#3 Vacuum Cleaning
Vacuum cleaning is another effective way to get rid of bed bugs in your home. The vacuum’s suction wand can help remove bed bugs and their eggs from every nook and cranny of your apartment.
Change the vacuum bag immediately after use and wash all the attachments in hot water with strong detergent. Ensure to use a vacuum that allows disposal into a sealable plastic bag. Remember to clean the vacuum filter after the whole exercise.
#4 Diatomaceous Earth Dust Powder (Desiccant)
This chemical free powder can be spread anywhere you know bed bugs nest. The diatomaceous earth powder takes up to 10 days to destroy and kill bed bugs and their eggs, however, it succeeds to kill up to 90%.
The Diatomaceous earth powder helps to destroy bed bugs through dehydration. So, when the powder is added to cracks in the wall, crevices in the furniture, and other rooms at your home, then every room will become practically unbearable for bed bugs to thrive.
However, you should not use a pool or food-grade diatomaceous earth which could harmful to you and other members of your household if inhaled.
#5 Baking Soda
A commonly overlooked but highly effective substance for getting rid of bed bugs is baking soda. The baking soda works by drying out bed bugs leaving little moisture inside them.
The drying properties of baking soda help to dry up the bugs and destroy their eggs quite soon. So, spread the baking soda in the infested areas for optimum results. Always remember to vacuum the soda following a couple of days since use, to clean up the environment.
#6 Steam Treatment
You can also get rid of bugs by steaming your carpet, mattress, cushions, and other items in your apartment or home. With a minimum steaming of about 113 °F, the bed bugs will be gone. The steam goes through the items destroying the bugs and eggs in the process. However, you should avoid electric outlets during the steaming process in order to avoid electric shock.
Lavender oil, leaves, soap or its powder can be employed to get rid of bed bugs. All you have to do is to apply any of these alternatives on the infested areas to keep the bugs away.
Bedbugs feel uncomfortable when they perceive the scents of lavender. They eventually become weak and die. The eggs also get affected by the process to form new lives becomes altered by lavender’s scents.
#8 Sweet Flag
Sweet Flag, also known as calamus, has a strong anti-microbial effect. Calamus is, therefore, a great bed bug repellent due to its powerful aromatic properties, which help to destroy the bugs.
The herb is available on the market. You can purchase Sweet Flag and follow the instructions on the packet to prepare a solution that can be sprayed on the infested areas to eliminate bed bugs from the room.
#9 Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil with a high level of antimicrobial effects. Its antibacterial properties make it essentially used in the fight against any type of microbes.
So, use tea tree oil around the house when cleaning, or add the oil drops to clothing and other infested areas, to help get rid of bed bugs.
For better results, try mixing lukewarm water (water in temperature of 100 and 110°F) and tea tree oil and use it to spray the nook and cranny of your place including the walls, furniture, carpet, linens, bed, drapes, cupboards, and mattresses. Spraying this solution often will help eliminate bed bugs in your apartment.
#10 Mint Leaves
Mint leaves are great repellent and are effective at preventing bed bugs from entering your home. So, you can sprinkle crushed mint leaves around the infested areas and within the mattress and linen closets to keep bed bugs at bay.
Insecticides kill bed bugs by acting on their nervous system. However, unfortunately, over the years bed bugs have developed resistance against some insecticides. Hence, not all insecticides are effective against bed bugs. Moreover, you need to be careful when applying insecticides so you don’t use harmful chemicals.
Insecticides are best applied by experts after taking adequate non-chemical measures. If you must do it by yourself, you should use insecticides that comprise of canola oil and pyrethrum, which are safe for your pets and harmless to children.
#12 Change your mattress frequently
Do not neglect to replace your old mattress with a new one frequently. In general, a mattress can last between 7-10 years, however, you should always be careful with signs of bed bugs and air your mattress or even replace it earlier than that timeframe. This will ensure you have a healthy sleeping surface. There are plenty of quality mattresses to choose from, all you have to do is pick the best mattress for your needs.
Other preventive strategies:
- Do not bring second-hand furniture or external linen into your home without proper screening for bed bugs infestation. You should subject such materials to hot temperatures for at least 1 hour before bringing them into your home.
- Encase your mattress to isolate it from the wall, furniture, and other objects in the room.
- Keep a tidy home and avoid cluttering of furniture to help cut down hiding places available to bed bugs.
- Work on reducing cracks in the walls and furniture so as to limit hiding places for bed bugs. Where possible use furniture made of metal and plastic instead of wood.
- Use the large plastic bag to encase your luggage when you’re on vacation with friends, family, or in a hotel room that is prone to bed bugs infestation.
- Don’t move things from an infested room to other places.
Bed bugs are not your friends. Apart from posing a health risk for you and members of your household, they can also be embarrassing when entertaining guests. So, it is advised that you give a go on the above remedies and apply the ones you find conducive for you, so you can get rid of the creepy insects from your home safely.
You should also consider all the preventive measures mentioned above so as to ensure your home stays safe from bed bugs infestations.
Lastly, it is recommended that you bookmark this page for future reference in case you need it in the future.
This is a fantastic article. I would really want to see those bed bugs disappear.