Ways to Get Rid of Bed Bugs at Home
You will immediately look for ways to kill bed bugs as soon as you learn that you have a bedbug infestation. Well, the good news is that there are a lot of options depending on the level of infestation in your home. Most of these are easy and are possible to do even without the help of an expert exterminator.
Top Ways to Eliminate Bed Bugs in Your Home
There are different natural ways to eliminate these bugs from your home. However, the combination of several methods or repeatedly doing one method can get better results. The following are some of the top ways that you can do or use to eradicate bed bugs infesting your home:
Freeze Infested Items
One way to eliminate bed bugs is by placing infested items in the freezer. Though these critters may live in a cool room without feeding for up to a year, long exposure to freezing temperatures will kill them. This process may take longer than usual, but it can be your go-to option.
Do this by placing infested items inside a plastic bag and putting them in the freezer. The temperature must be below -17°C for at least 2 hours. You can leave them for longer hours or even a day or two just to make sure that they die of cold.
Another effective way to get rid of these bugs is to vacuum clean items where bed bugs hide. It is a simple method as it is. However, a regular vacuum is not enough. You must use a HEPA vacuum that is designed to have an immediate containment for these bugs. This method can be used to treat beds and other infested items.
Use this to capture nymphs, live bugs, and eggs. To loosen eggs on mattress seams, tufts, and folds, use a stiff brush. Make sure that you also vacuum chairs, soft furnishings, and even carpets and curtains. This method can capture a large number of eggs and adult bugs.
If you don’t have a HEPA vacuum in hand, make sure that you use disposable bags when vacuum cleaning. To prevent your captured eggs and bugs from spreading, remove it and put it in a sealable bag before throwing.
Another effective method in killing bugs is by the use of hot steam. What you need is a bed bug steam cleaner. Apply hot steam on infested surfaces. Aside from getting rid of bugs hiding in cracks and crevices, the heat can also penetrate through cushions, mattress lining, and other thick items. This means that whatever is hiding in between your mattress will die upon contact.
These bloodsucking insects die quickly when they are exposed to temperatures exceeding 60°C. Use your steam cleaner for killing these critters by doing the following:
- Vacuum all areas thoroughly.
- Pass the steamer over areas where you confirmed the presence of the bugs. Do the same in areas where you are suspecting these critters are hiding.
- The fabric where you passed the steamer must only feel damp. If you think it is wet, you should lower the steam to avoid damaging surfaces that shouldn’t be exposed to too much water.
- Once done, use a fan to ventilate the area and help in drying the treated surfaces.
- Do this method several times just to make sure that all bed bugs are killed and eradicated completely.
Remember that this method will only kill the bugs that will come in contact with the steam. Those that are hiding may survive the entire process. Thus, the need to repeat the procedure for better results.
Hot Wash Infested Clothing and Bedding
If the bed bug infestation in your home has affected your clothing, it advisable that you wash them in hot water. You should also have them dried in high heat. Simply place them inside water-soluble plastic bags to avoid spreading the bugs in other rooms. These types of bags can be thrown in the washer with the clothing, as they will dissolve in water.
Right after washing, run the dryer in the highest heat setting to kill the rest of the bugs. Make sure that the temperature is beyond 60°C. For delicate items, you can have them dry cleaned. Don’t forget to tell them about possible insects in the item for them to take precautionary measures once they treat it.
Use your Hair Dryer
If you want an easier way of heat-treating cracks, you can grab your hair dryer and adjust it to the hottest setting. Point it directly into these cracks to kill the bugs with the hot hair. This may also force them to get out of the cracks. Make sure you have your vacuum cleaner ready to suck up the bugs coming out of the cracks.
Use Bed Bug Pillow Cases and Bed Bug Mattress and Box Spring Encasements
Using encasements is a natural way of preventing bed bug bites at night. This will also stop the critters from going to other areas of your house. Encasements meant for this purpose are tightly woven. Thus, preventing the critters from escaping or entering.
For the bugs to die and not spread, keep the encasements on for a year or so. There are also pillowcases made to deal with bed bugs, so make sure you also get them for complete protection.
There are traps that you can make at home and there are also those that only requires proper setup and works like magic. One supplementary item that can help rid of bed bugs is the use of CO2 traps, active bed bug traps, and interceptors.
Though interceptors work without the help of any lure, they can still be considered as traps. You can place them under the legs of beds and furniture. What these do is that they prevent the bugs from climbing bedposts or furniture legs. The bugs will be trapped in an inner well because of the smooth surface in this part.
You can also use CO2 traps and various active traps that lure the bugs out of hiding. These also trap them inside the devices with glue strips. This prevents them from going anywhere near you. Also, it prevents them from moving to other areas of your home.
Bed Bug Sprays
There are sprays made specifically for killing these critters. You can find residual insecticides and contact insecticides. Residual is advisable to be used in areas where the bugs may pass when they come out of hiding. Contact sprays are for live bugs you see crawling anywhere in your home.
Follow the label on how to use whichever spray you choose. Also, make sure that you don’t use it around pets and kids. As much as possible, find those that are not chemical-based or those made with environment-friendly ingredients.
Another natural and effective way to kill and eliminate these bugs is the use of this powder. You can put the powder inside a powder dispenser to easily sprinkle some in tight and narrow spaces. Aside from killing the bugs that came in contact with the powder, it can also kill those in the colonies as it goes back and brings the powder to the other bugs.
DE works slowly in destroying their protective membrane. In a certain period of time, it will dehydrate their system and die. Apply this on areas where you think bed bugs are passing through. Leave it in the area for about 40 days, vacuum, and reapply new DE powder to attain complete removal of the bugs.
See to it that you choose the type of DE carefully. Look for food grade DE to make sure it is safe for home use. Aside from these pesky critters, it can also be used for treating other insects such as fleas. It is also crucial that you only apply the powder in areas that your pets and children won’t reach or don’t have access to.
Some Tips to Prevent Them from Coming Back
The thought of noticing another set of signs of bed bugs after you eliminated them is frustrating. However, there are things that you can do to prevent them from returning to your home. Some of these are:
Be Extra Careful Whenever You Travel
There is a high chance that you can contract bed bugs in the hotel rooms where you stay when travelling. Thus, the need for you to be extra careful whenever you are travelling and staying in other places.
Take time to inspect your room before settling inside. Place your luggage in the bathroom during the inspection. As soon as you spot any signs of these critters in your room, go to the front desk and immediately request a new room. You can also move to another hotel if they can’t provide a new room.
Avoid Bringing Home Items from Thrift Stores
As much as you want to take advantage of beautiful and affordable items in the thrift stores, you should start avoiding it. Thrift stores and second-hand items are among the common sources of these bugs.Even new ones have the tendency to bring bed bugs in your home, so check the item first before bringing it inside. You can also treat it prior to placing it anywhere in your home.