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Bed bugs are invasive insects that are no more than a few millimetres long. They are mostly flat and brown/reddish in colour. They are masters when it comes to finding extremely tight spaces in which to hide, breed and travel. And for some unfortunate reason, they can live up to a year between meals. Their meal? Blood. This means that it isn’t dirt that is attracting these insects in your house—it is you. But how they get inside your house is something we can have little control over. So how to get rid of bed bugs that suck your blood at nights and can’t really be starved to death?
There are many effective ways to kill bed bugs but it is wise to follow a step-by-step bed bug killer guide so your efforts don’t go to waste. Here’s what you can do:
How to Identify the Infestation
The signs are quite uncomplicated. You may one day wake up to small itchy bites and you’ll suspect you have bed bugs. But you will still need to identify them and find the extent of their infestation. This will help you plan on how to get rid of bed bugs permanently.
How to Identify Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are usually 1mm to 7mm in size, so spotting these red-brown insects directly can be tricky. But there are other signs you can look for like their skin sheds, black droppings or red blood stains on your sheets. They also make your room or your mattresses smell offensively musty. If these signs are there, then don’t worry, we are here to tell you how to get rid of bed bugs.
How to Identify Infested Areas before You Start to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs usually hide in mattresses, bed frames and headboards. But since they are tiny, they can hide around in a lot of small, tight spaces and can move very quickly over walls, ceilings and floors. So do watch out for your clothing, luggage, books, closets, rugs, wallpapers, electrical boards, etc. It would also help to use a flashlight to spot the evidence of bed bugs. And if you are still uncertain of the extent of infestation, call an exterminator who knows how to get rid of bed bugs permanently.
How to Contain the Infestation
Containing these bugs is important because they can quickly crawl away and escape from the area you are treating at the moment. This step of the bed bugs treatment will ensure that they don’t spread to other parts of your house. So how to get rid of bed bugs and trap them?
Vacuum and Discard Bed Bugs in Sealed Plastic Bags
One way of bed bugs control is to vacuum all of the surfaces in an infested area, including your wooden, plastic and glass surfaces apart from upholstered or cloth surfaces. Even use a stiff brush to clean the fabric on your mattresses and couches, as well as their edges, seams and folds. Collecting as many bed bugs as possible in the vacuum cleaner and isolating them in a sealed plastic cover should get you started in the process of bed bugs treatment.
Declutter and Discard as Many Objects as Possible
This process, however, is not going to kill bed bugs; this is only to contain them so you can now use the bed bug killers to clear out the rest of the infestation. But before you move on, try to declutter the infested area as much as you can; clean and vacuum as many surfaces (including walls, floors and ceilings) and objects (books, clothes, furniture, appliances and such). We also suggest you rid yourself of as many things as you can in a sealed plastic bag.
Do Not Shift Objects from the Infested Area to Other Areas
Do not move things from the infested area to other clear areas, as they can transfer bugs and make your infestation more severe. These precautions are suggested when you think about how to get rid of bed bugs because they can make the process more effective.
What about Your Clothes and Linens?
As long as you have vacuumed them, you can decide to throw them or wash them in hot water (highest temperature setting on your machine). If you cannot wash some of these clothes, put them in your dryer for 30 minutes in heat. This is how to get rid of bed bugs from your clothes and linen, maybe even your curtains, rugs and mats.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs — Some Remedies
You should know that once you’ve taken the early measures of bed bugs control, it is possible for you to use natural home remedies for bed bugs. But if you still prefer the chemical bed bugs treatment, then you can either do it yourself or call professional exterminators to do it for you.
How to Prepare for Bed Bugs Treatment
Well, you have done most of the bed bugs control steps by now — you’ve removed all the infested objects that you can throw and vacuumed the rest. You have removed all objects of clothing and washed them. You have taken care of those linens, curtains, rugs and mats as well. Your room must now have no visible signs of the infestation but in order to kill bed bugs you still need to close their escape routes.
Seal Every Crack and Crevice in the Area
Bed bugs tend to move on to other hiding spots like under your loose wallpaper, floorboards, cracks and gaps between your electrical boards or fittings. Make sure to seal these hotspots in the process of bed bugs treatment. Use plaster or any other sealant to fill these and fix these spaces. This will make your bed bugs solution much more effective and permanent.
Home Remedies for Bed Bugs
You can use a steamer on infested areas directly to kill bed bugs — for example, your mattresses, pillows, curtains, clothes, rugs, couches and more. For other belongings like books and magazines that you cannot discard, we suggest you store them in the freezer at -18 to -20°C for at least four days as a bed bugs control measure.
Bed Bugs Treatment with Chemical Exterminators
Less Intensive Products for Bed Bugs Control
These products are less intensive as they don’t pose any hazard for humans while they work. You can use herbal bed bug killer sprays — they are very effective bed bugs control measures. There are also some desiccants like diatomaceous earth and silica aerogel but these are very slow to kill bed bugs. They do, however, break the coating on top of these insects that makes them dry out and die eventually.
Intensive Chemical Treatments
There are chemicals like pyrroles, pyrethrins and pyrethroids that are conventionally used for bed bugs control. But many times, these insects become resistant to such chemicals; hence, neonicotinoid, a nicotine-based bed bug killer, can be used. It attacks their nervous system to kill them. If you plan on using bug bombs and foggers instead, take all the safety measures mentioned on the cover because these can be toxic to humans too. There is one another drawback in using these foggers and bombs, that is they don’t get into the cracks in you hard surfaces to kill bed bugs.
If you are willing to deal with these chemicals, it is best you call professional exterminators as they can accurately judge the extent of the infestation and choose the right kind of bed bugs treatment for your house.
How to Prevent Bed Bug Infestation
There are many ways to proof your house of these bugs. In fact, some of them also help in killing all the remaining bugs after your treatment. But how can you know for sure that your house is now rid of bed bugs?
What To Do after You Have Treated the Infested Areas for Bed Bugs?
You have to keep a close eye on the evidence of bed bugs for the next one year after the treatment. There are also bed bug interceptors that trap bed bugs when they try to climb your bed. You can put them on all legs of your bed to check if you still have bed bugs. Check every week for the signs to be fully sure.
What Attracts These Bed Bugs
It is your blood that attracts these insects to you, so cleanliness does not entirely become an issue till you have bed bugs in your house already. They can enter your house through your travel bags, old or recycled furniture, your guests who might be facing the infestation at the time and clothes that may have been exposed to bugs. So, what can you do to make your house inhospitable to these invaders?
What Can You Do to Prevent Them
Start by getting a good pest control done in your house and try to keep the place tidy and decluttered. Let your books and magazines not serve as hiding spots for these insects; store them in proper places that are away from rugs, beds and couches.
Change your sheets as often as you can and dust your couches, sofa sets and other upholstered furniture that can have your dead skin cells. This is a good way to keep the bed bugs away from your furniture. Buy a bed bug-proof mattress cover to avoid bugs from entering your mattress and also to trap bed bugs inside it to die. The covers also create a barrier through which these insects can’t bite you. So it is a win-win bed bugs solution.
Also keep looking for signs of these insects regularly and seal any cracks where they can breed to make your house as inconvenient to them as possible.
If this article has helped you with your problems, you may also want to read Keep Those Lizards Out: 7+ Effective Ways That Show How to Get Rid of Lizards. We also have solutions for Housekeeping: 7 Best Natural Bathroom Smell Remover Hacks You Need to Know.
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