Bed bugs are always quite difficult to exterminate.  Do not take a step quickly and you will notice things spiraling out of control. There will be hundreds of them in no time, and they will keep multiplying unless you do something to kill them. If you do not know much about bed bugs, it is better to call in a professional and let them take care of everything.

Alternatively, you can decide to educate yourself about bed bugs. Know how they look, where they live, how they feed on your blood, and what you can do to eradicate the problem. It certainly demands time and attention, but once you know your enemy, you will be able to plan things better and eventually throw them out of your property. It will be a long journey though, so be prepared to invest a good amount of time and money to get rid of a bed bug infestation.

Know Your Enemy

Bed bugs are like a fierce enemy – they stay hidden and wait for the right moment to attack you.  Therefore, it makes great sense to get familiar with what you are up against.  Bed bugs are oval-shaped crawlers and are usually 4mm-5mm long. They are brown in color but the color depends on whether or not they have fed on your blood. They are nocturnal, so you are less likely to see them during the day.  You will find them if you carefully check creases in mattresses, cracks in plaster, gaps under headboards, and between timber floorboards. Use a flashlight to find these bed bugs and confirm an infestation.

They are nocturnal, so you are less likely to see them during the day.  You will find them if you carefully check creases in mattresses, cracks in plaster, gaps under headboards, and between timber floorboards. Use a flashlight to find these bed bugs and confirm an infestation.

In case you live in a condominium or apartment, it is important that you inform your property manager about the presence of bed bugs. They may agree to help you take care of the issue. Bed bugs can easily move from one apartment to another, so it is important to make a coordinated effort to handle the issue. If you find an infestation in your home, here are some of the most effective ways to clear it in 2017.

Bed bugs can easily move from one apartment to another, so it is important to make a coordinated effort to handle the issue. If you find an infestation in your home, here are some of the most effective ways to clear it in 2017.

If you find an infestation in your home, here are some of the most effective ways to clear it in 2017.

And no, there have been no new, novel ways of eliminating bed bugs invented over the past few years

Here’s the tried and true methods that do work:

  • Start by checking and treating your bed. You do not have to throw it away even when it is infested. Moreover, you cannot clear an infestation just by replacing the mattress – any new mattress will also become infested if there are bed bugs in your room. You should consider washing it in hot water for about half an hour. It is better to have your mattress covered using specially designed covers. This will keep bed bugs from coming out to get a blood meal and they will eventually die.
  • Once you have taken care of the mattress and box spring, you will have to do something to kill any bed bugs in your bed frame. Vacuuming will certainly help, but it is only going to be effective against adult bed bugs. You may have to use insecticides to deal with eggs and nymphs.
  • It is important to treat the rest of your room after you have taken care of your bedding. It is a good idea to move your furniture to one side of the room and then treat everything one by one. You will also have to get your clothes out of your drawers and infested closets and have them treated as well. Put them in zipper bags and set aside.
  • Put all your personal items into plastic bags – this should include books, papers, toys, CDs, electronics, and anything that would provide bed bugs a place to hide.
  • Clean the rest of your room, including all cracks and crevices around pictures, blinds, outlets, windows, clocks, and posters. You will also have to clean areas under your carpets. It is not easy to see nymphs because of their small size, so you may have to vacuum several times to get rid of them. You can also use sticky tape to pick up bed bugs from walls, furniture, etc.
  • Once you have cleared your room, you need to treat your bagged items. For this purpose, you can opt for heat treatment. You have to wash all washable items at high heat for at least half an hour. You can tumble dry your clothes and other items for 30 minutes on high temperature to get rid of bed bugs and their eggs. Keep in mind that it is important to heat-treat your clothing and other items and do not leave them in the bag because bed bugs can survive up to 2-5 months without a blood meal. Therefore, isolation is not always the way to go.
  • Heat-treatment is certainly a great option, but not all your items can withstand high temperatures. The other alternative is to expose those infested items to low temperatures. You can put those bagged items in your refrigerator. Keep in mind that you can kill bed bugs if you expose those items to 32F for several days.
  • Use insecticides when you feel that other options are not working great. It is better to call in a professional to handle insecticides safely. They have more knowledge about insecticides and know which one will work considering the size of infestation in your home. However, you can use bed bug bombs or foggers on your own. Keep in mind that foggers usually work fine, but they cannot kill all the bed bugs hiding in crevices and voids.
  • Use desiccant dusts in areas where you suspect the presence of bed bugs. This should be done in addition to vacuuming and heat treatment because diatomaceous earth is going to kill bed bugs only when they are exposed to it. You can also consider using low-toxicity contact sprays – you can find quite a few of them in the market today. These alcohol- and soap-based sprays are usually safe and help kill bed bugs. Just keep in mind that these products are less likely to work when they are dry.
  • If you have decided to use pesticides, you can opt for pyrethroid sprays. They are stronger and usually last longer than other products. Any important consideration is that these sprays work only when bed bugs are not resistant to them.

As you can see, it is never easy to clear a bed bug infestation. It is time-consuming and takes a lot of money as well. Therefore, you should take preventive measures and keep bed bugs from entering your home. If you already have them, take care of the issue as soon as possible or the infestation will grow quickly and you will need a professional’s help.