It can be quite challenging to find and eliminate bed bugs mainly because they are very small and can multiply quite quickly. However, if you have confirmed the presence of bed bugs, you should not waste any time to get rid of them. Not doing anything to kill them would aggravate the issue, and you may even have to call in professionals to clear a big infestation.
Most people become aware of the presence of bed bugs when they notice small itchy spots on their bodies. If you are wondering why you have developed those red rashes on your back, you may want to check your mattress and furniture in your room for the presence of bed bugs. These annoying pests can easily hide underneath your mattress – you will find them inside the seams of your mattress as well as in furniture around your bed. Headboards, box springs, and bed frames are also their favorite hideouts.
It is true that bed bugs do not carry disease, but you need to keep in mind that their bites can cause severe allergic reactions. They inject an anticoagulant in your body and your immune system can react to it. The severity of the reaction depends on how your immune system reactions to bed bug bites. Sometimes, you only notice an itchy rash, but it is possible to have fluid-filled blisters on your body, which can become infected when you cannot keep yourself from scratching them.
The best thing is to confirm the presence of bed bugs and then waste no time to clear the infestation. You can always try some natural ways to get rid of bed bugs. Here are some suggestions:
Eliminating Bed Bugs from the Headboard
Your bed is their favorite hideouts, so you should start by de-infesting your bed. In most cases, you can find bed bugs hidden in the box spring or in the bed headboard. They hide under your mattress because this allows them to come out of their hideouts, feed on your blood, and then hide again. They like to stay in close proximity of their ‘food’, but this also provides you with an opportunity to confirm their presence.
One simple idea would be to discard your bed. While this may not be the most economical idea, this would help get rid of a large percentage of bed bugs in no time. However, if you want to keep your bed, you should be ready to use every way to de-infest it properly. Many people use pesticides to de-infest the bed, but that is not a good idea. You can use a pesticide only if it is specifically designed to kill bed bugs without posing any health risk. You will not find many pesticides considered safe to eliminate bed bugs. Pesticides are not going to prove that effective anyway, and that is mainly because they kill only when bed bugs come in direct contact with them. Bed bugs hidden in the seams or other hard-to-reach places would stay unaffected.
You will have to try other ways to kill any bed bugs present underneath your mattress or in the box spring. Vacuuming is a good choice. This helps destroy visible bugs as well as their eggs. You can also have your mattress heat treated to exterminate bed bugs. While vacuum cleaning really helps, you need to keep in mind that this can infest your vacuum cleaner. Moreover, you are not going to get good results from portable, lightweight, and battery-charged vacuums – they are less likely to have the suction power required to clear an infestation. Use electrically powered vacuums that come with a hose to access tight areas.
Even when you have physically treated your bed, it is important to understand that there may still be some of those pesky crawlers left in the bed. This is the reason why it makes great sense to encase your box springs and mattresses – you can find especially designed encasements to trap bed bugs where they will die of starvation.
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs from Carpets and Furniture
Once you have dealt with your bed, you need to move on to the furniture and other stuff in your room. You have to inspect every corner and even check behind the frames on the walls and in the electrical outlets. Here are some natural ways to kill bed bugs in your room:
- Spread Diatomaceous Earth: You can find many natural pesticides to help deal with a bed bug infestation, and diatomaceous earth (DE) is probably the most popular option to use. Diatomaceous earth is quite effective when used properly. This organic powder is quite potent and kills bed bugs when they are exposed to it. Therefore, you need to sprinkle it in places where you suspect the presence of bed bugs.
- Try Essential Oils: You can also make use of essential oils such as lavender, eucalyptus, or peppermint oil to deal with your bed bug problem. The scent of these oils helps keep bed bugs at bay. You should take the concentrated form of lavender oil for the best results and add few drops of it in different corners of your room. Be sure to add it to the corners of your bed frame to keep bed bugs from reaching you at night.
- Use Tea Tree Oil: While other essential oils also work, you are going to get better results by opting tea tree oil. You can use it clean your home or you can also make a 2% solution with tea tree oil and lukewarm water and fill a spray bottle with it. Use this solution to clear bed bugs from all your carpets, beds, and linens. Try it once a week to get great results.
- Make Use of Rubbing Alcohol: The use of rubbing alcohol can also be considered an effective way to exterminate bed bugs naturally. You can coat your furniture pieces with rubbing alcohol for protection. Rubbing alcohol has a dehydrating effect on bed bugs and kills them eventually.
- Use Pyrethrum Extract: Obtained from specific plants, pyrethrum extract can help keep bed bugs out of your home. These plants are called Pyrethrum because they contain a special ingredient called pyrethrin. Experts believe that this active ingredient has the power to directly affect the nervous system of bed bugs. This will eventually kill them.
- Use a hair dryer. This is another simple yet effective way to get rid of bed bugs. Simply use your hair dryer to reach all the crevices and get bed bugs out of there. You can then try other ways to exterminate those bed bugs.
- Encase Pillows and Mattresses: While bed bugs can survive up to 400 days without a blood meal, you may still consider using specially designed encasement to keep them entrapped in your mattresses and pillows. You can continue to use your bedding as usual without having to worry about bed bugs coming out of the mattress to bite you. Just make sure there is no way for bed bugs to come out.
Try Vacuum Cleaning
One simple way to get rid of bed bugs is to vacuum everything in your room or anything that seems infested. To get rid of bed bugs, it is important to vacuum everything you possibly can. This includes everything from carpets and furniture pieces to soft furnishings, curtains, and the mattresses.
It is important to use a vacuum cleaner with a right type of nozzle to help eliminate bed bugs from your home. You have to keep the nozzle very close to the bed bugs and their eggs to get them out – this is important because bed bugs can cling to surfaces tightly with the use of their small claws. Similarly, bed bug eggs will be attached to surfaces with a cement-like material, which makes it difficult to remove them even with a vacuum cleaner. Therefore, you should use a stronger vacuum cleaner and ensure that the nozzle offers you a good reach.
It is important to point out that while vacuuming is a great way to get rid of bed bugs, you need to be very careful when handling the task. There is always a risk of the vacuum becoming infested. Therefore, it is a good idea to use a different vacuum cleaner than the one you generally use for routine cleaning. Once you have used the vacuum, be sure to store it in a heavy contractor grade plastic bag. After vacuuming, you should also discard vacuum bags immediately. Put them in a sealed plastic bag before you discard them. Taking these steps is important to ensure that the vacuum does not end up creating additional problems by spreading bed bugs to other parts of your home as well.
Wash Your Belongings at a High Temperature
You can wash your infested items at a high temperature to get rid of bed bugs. It works just fine for all clothing items and even bedding, but you may avoid exposing delicate items to high heat. You can simply put other washable items in your washing machine and wash at 60C.
Once you have washed the items, be sure to dry them in a dryer at a hot setting. This is to ensure that no bed bugs and their eggs have survived. Again, you should pay special attention to which items can be exposed to high heat. This method usually works fine for shoes, bedding, curtains, and even stuffed animals.
Steam Clean Your Belongings
If you want quick results, you may consider using a steam cleaner. This proves effective because you can expose infested items to 120F or more. At this temperature, you only need 20 minutes to kill bed bugs at all their life stages. You have to ensure that the temperature is high enough and you expose those infested items for long enough to that temperature. If you do not pay attention to this, steam cleaning would no longer be effective.
Consider Freezing Bed Bugs to Death
Just like very high temperature, low temperature can also help exterminate bed bugs. Freezing bed bugs to death is also a better choice when you are dealing with delicate items that cannot be exposed to high temperature. You can simply put those infested items into plastic bags and then leave it in the refrigerator for several hours. You may have to expose your belongings to a temperature of 1F to kill bed bugs in a couple of hours. Be sure to count exposure time once the core temperature is already 1F or else you will fail to get rid of bed bugs and their eggs.
These are some natural ways to kill bed bugs. You may have to use professional bed bug cleaning services if you are dealing with a large infestation. As you can see that it is quite difficult to clear an infestation, so it makes great sense to take every step to keep bed bugs from entering your home. Here are some steps to take:
- Avoid buying used furniture pieces and be sure to check them thoroughly if you really have to buy anything. The same holds true for used mattresses and beds. Be sure to inspect every joint, corner, and seam to ensure you are not buying infested items.
- Vacuum your luggage thoroughly after returning from vacation. Bed bugs can travel miles clinging to your luggage, so leave your luggage in the garage, vacuum it, and then take everything to your room.
- Do not waste time once you have identified an infestation. If there are bite marks on your body or you notice dark marks on your bedding, it is time to inspect your room thoroughly to confirm the presence of bed bugs. And if you have an infestation, take care of it immediately before the problem gets out of control.
So, be sure to take these precautionary measures to avoid bringing bed bugs home and then wasting a lot of time and money in an effort to get rid of them.