How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

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How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs? How to Kill Bed Bugs

Sleep tight and don’t let the bugs bite is a famous rhyme that has some truth. Bed bugs can be a nuisance to have in your home. Although they can inflict skin irritations, their risk of passing illness and diseases to humans is minimal.

Nonetheless, you should never ignore a bed bug infestation. Sometimes it can be challenging to spot these bugs. It’s vital to know their characteristics before figuring out how to get rid of bed bugs.

Read on to learn more about bed bugs characteristics, and steps to take to get rid of them.

Characteristics of Bed Bugs

The male and female bugs need to consume a blood meal every 14 days to continue their cycle of mating and egg production.  A female can lay up to three eggs daily and over 500 eggs in her lifetime with regular feeding. Any feeding interruption means that a bed bug can still survive for some months on a single meal.

These parasites do not travel for long distances, but they can attach themselves to items like furniture, bedding, clothing, and boxes. They can inhabit hotels, stores, offices, and gyms. What’s more, they are active mostly at night but will seek a host during the day when hungry.

Bed bugs emit a sweet, yet musty odor when in large groups. They can’t survive in extreme temperatures that are over 113 degrees.

Another vital aspect is that bugs do not have nests like bees or ants. They prefer to live in-group habitats within their hiding areas.

Signs of Bed Bugs Infestation

Some of the signs that may indicate that you have bed bugs include:

Red Bites

One common indication of bed bugs is their bite marks.  The bites can be in a straight row or a curved line.

Fecal Spots

Bed bugs live black stains or dark brown smears, and not red spots as most people imagine. You’ll find the stains near or around your bed.

Rusty Spots

Bed bugs love to hide around bed frames and on mattresses. If you spot rusty spots around your bed or mattress, that’s a sign that your room is infested with bed bugs.

Odor

Bed bugs release pheromones that can cause an unpleasant odor. You’ll sense a foul and musty smell when walking around an infested place.

Steps to Take to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Some of the steps you can take to get rid of bed bugs include:

Determine the Extent of the Problem

The first step is to inspect and determine the severity of the bed bug problem.  Begin your inspection by looking under piles of clothing, under your carpet, mattresses, bedding, and behind wallpaper. Don’t forget to check for bugs in cracks in hardwood floors and furniture.  Strewn items or substantial clutter may also harbor these pests.

Come Up With an Action Plan to Stop Further Infestation

Bed bugs are tiny, something that makes them challenging to eliminate. What’s more, the reproduce frequently, which may lead to an infestation. At this point, you need to figure out what tactics to implement to evict these pests. You can decide to implement DIY methods or hire a professional pest control company.

Kill the Bed Bugs

You can opt to use chemical and non-chemical treatment to kill the bed bugs. Ensure that you read the instructions on the insecticides you purchase.

Check the Results

After implementing the tactics, give it time to take effect.  A week will provide you with time to see what you may have missed. In case you don’t get the results you anticipated, call in a pest control specialist.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

If you’re looking to get rid of a bed bug infestation, taking some steps can help control their spread. These include:

Clean up

Setting up a clean zone is critical to your bed bug control regimen.  You need to have a place you can put your items after you’ve determined that you don’t have bugs.  That prevents contamination or further infestation.

To start, clean the walls, vacuum the carpeted area, and use a cloth to clean hard floors. Pay attention to cracks on the walls, spaces in the bed frame, and in between the baseboards.

Do the same with your artwork, paintings, or photos on your walls. Move on to other areas of the room after cleaning up the open space and walls.

Vacuum Your Furniture

Vacuum each item as you work through each room to remove bugs. A regular vacuum cleaner can pick the pests on cushions and beddings. Use the vacuum on your bed frame, box spring, mattress, and any furniture.

Don’t forget to vacuum wooden areas with cracks and under carpets where the bugs may hide. You can use an attachment with some degree of power if you’re cleaning a tight space.

Launder Your Items

Washing your bedding and clothing is an excellent way to kill bed bugs. When washing your clothes, ensure that you sort them, clean, dry, and store them.

Have plastic bags to pre-sort clothes in the infested area. Be careful to check the washing instructions when sorting. Put the dry-clean clothes separately. Seal the bags before moving them to prevent the spread of the bugs to other rooms in your home.

Once you get to the washer, empty each bag inside and wrap it around the opening. Put any empty bags into another clean bag before disposing of them. Use the highest temperature to wash and dry the clothes. However, be careful to ensure that your fabrics can withstand these temperatures to avoid damage.

When dealing with dry clean clothes, you can opt to put them into the dryer for thirty minutes. You can then take them to a professional cleaner for pressing and cleaning. Drying helps to kill the bugs.  After cleaning, fold your clothes and place them in a bag. You can then take them out once you get home.

Encase your Furniture

Once you’ve vacuumed the rooms and laundered the fabrics, you’ll want to use a different encasement to cover the box spring and mattress. That ensures that these pests do not get out and infest other areas. Make sure that you choose an encasement that fits the size of your furniture and bed.

Preventing a Bed Bug Infestation

You need to take certain precautions in regards to travel, cleaning, and buying routines for the most effective prevention. Below are some tips on how to prevent infestation, as well as how to avoid a re-infestation.

Clean and Vacuum regularly

Bed bugs are invasive and like to hide around. Getting rid of clutter ensures that these pests have nowhere to hide around your house.  Also, vacuum regularly to eliminate any bugs you may have acquired while outside.

You may want to consider painting or caulking to seal cracks in crevices or cracks that may act as hiding spots. Bed Bugs hide in power outlets to escape termination. Ensure that you cover the power outlets to prevent them from moving to another location.

Throw out Affected Items

Discard any infested box springs, mattresses, and other items.  Be sure to damage them or chop them before throwing them out to prevent their spread.

Use a Bed Bug Trap or Interceptors

You can monitor your house for bed bugs by using an interceptor to alert you of possible problems before the problem becomes severe.

Spray Insecticides

Although cleaning infested areas can solve the problem, it won’t eliminate the pests’ problem.  You may need to use chemical treatments at some point.  Use the pesticides for spot treatment on target areas.

Check Second-Hand Items Carefully

Previously used items like furniture, luggage, clothes, and mattresses can harbor bed bugs, which could lead to an infestation.  If you have to buy second-hand items, always inspect and clean them before bringing them inside your house.

Inspect Your Items after Traveling

After getting back home, go ahead to inspect your belongings for bugs. Get a flashlight and check your suitcases, mattress, sheets, bed frame, and box springs for signs of excrement or blood spots. Don’t forget to check pet beds as they may also act as hiding spots for bugs. If possible, wash the pet bedding on the highest heat and dryer settings.

Be Cautious When Traveling

You can control bed bugs from entering your house after traveling by using luggage racks for packing and unpacking of suitcases instead of placing it on the floor or bed. Also, inspect your bed and headboard before jumping into bed.

Once you’re home, unpack everything and place it in a washing machine. Clean all items that may show bed bug stains. Put the dryer on high setting to kill the bugs. Do not forget to vacuum your suitcases.

Use Essential Oils

Tea tree oil and neem oil won’t kill the bugs, but they can discourage the pests from infesting your furniture, box springs, and mattress.  Apply the oil to places you may have noticed these pests in your house or furniture. That will keep the infestation contained.

Other oils that may help with bed bugs include rosemary oil, peppermint oil, and lavender oil. Mix the essential oils with water to create a bed bug repellant spray.

Make Use of a Steamer

A steamer can help get rid of bed bugs as it penetrates deep within the footboard, bed frame, box spring, and the mattress surface.  Use a cloth attachment on the steamer to limit the moisture released. Do this slowly to make sure that the bugs are eliminated.

Watch out for Early Signs

Identifying early signs of bed bugs could mean eliminating the threat before the problem worsens. It could also save you from full extermination.  However, you need to know these signs. The most common are bed bug bites, which are itchier, red, and prone to scaring.

Stains on your sheets could also indicate the presence of bugs. The stains could be red or brown. Skin castings and fecal traces around the mattress or box spring could also signify a bed bug problem.

Steps for Treatment

Bedbugs are notorious, and they reproduce at an alarming rate. You may need several treatments to get rid of a bed bug population.  The first step involves the inspection of walls and floors. You also need to get rid of clutter to make sure that your environment doesn’t foster the bugs. The final step is to call a professional.

When to Call a Professional Pest Control Company

Trying to handle a bed bug infestation by yourself can prove challenging. That’s why it’s critical to contact a professional pest control company. They have qualified and experienced specialists who start by inspecting your entire house. They will also identify common target areas and use tools to check cracks.

After inspection and assessment, the specialist will advise you on the best course of action depending on the extent of the infestation.  They will customize a treatment that works to remove these pests safely and quickly. Depending on the company you choose, they may advise on further treatment after 30 days of initial treatment.  You’ll also get tips on how to prevent and avoid future re-infestations.

FAQ

Some common questions on how to kill bed bugs include:

How Can I Kill Bed Bugs in Electrical outlets?

If you happen to find bed bugs in electrical outlets, it’s essential to contact a pest removal service. Also, you may need to call in an electrician to inspect your home’s wiring for any damage.  That ensures that in case of any problems, the matter is resolved to avoid a fire hazard.

How Can I Kill Bed Bugs and Eggs Fast?

The only fast way to kill bed bugs and eggs fast is by using heat. The heat radiates into furniture, walls, and mattresses to kill bugs where they hide.  You can use high heat steam on recliners, carpeting, bedding, and furniture. Spot treating surfaces with bug spray can also help kill these annoying pests.

More information about how to get rid of bed bugs

https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/bedbugs-infestation#1

https://www.epa.gov/bedbugs/do-it-yourself-bed-bug-control

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/298185.php

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