What are bed bugs? These are simply small insects that are oval in shape and brownish in color. They live on human or animal blood. For adult bed bugs, they are characterized by flat body types and are not bigger than an apple seed. After they suck on blood, the shape of the body changes since they swell and become reddish. While they do not fly, these insects are very fast on ceilings, walls and floors. The female bed bugs have the ability to lay hundreds of eggs over their lifetime. These eggs look like white specks of dust. If you have bed bugs in your home, read on to learn more about how to spot and how to get rid of bed bugs.
Find Where the Bed bugs Are
Dismantle your bed and placing the parts separately
You will need to dismantle your beds and separate all parts. You may need to remove the gauze fabric which covers the box spring. This gives you more room for inspection and also for treatment. You need to carefully examine the crevices and cracks on the bed frames. This is especially important if the frames are made of wood. It is important to know that bed bugs thrive better in wooden structures than they do in plastic and metal structures.
Please note that it is extremely difficult to permanently get rid of bed bugs in mattresses as well as box springs. It is more advisable to get rid of these components. If you cannot get rid of the box spring or the mattress, you can use a bed bug proof mattress cover on the infested mattress. This traps the bugs inside and they starve to death. It can take up to 400 days to starve the bugs to death. Therefore, ensure the mattress cover stays on for a long time. Ensure you also check for bed bugs in any items you may have stored under your bed.
Empty Your Dressers and Nightstands
You need to completely empty your dressers and nightstands. Check for bed bugs in the inside and also outside. Also inspect the wood work underneath. The bugs are notorious for hiding in corners, cracks and recesses.
Examine Sofas and Chairs Upholstery
Chairs and sofas are also great hiding places for bed bugs. You need to closely pay attention to the tufts, seams, skirts and also crevices under the cushions.
Never Miss Out Other Common Areas
After checking the bedroom and lounging areas, you need to look for bugs in other places like wall edges. This is especially important in places behind furniture. Check along wood molding cracks as well as junctures on the ceiling walls. While bed bugs prefer to put up refuge in a common area, it is important to check for eggs and traces of the bugs in every possible area of your home.
Get Tips on How to Get Rid of Bed bugs
Bag and launder infested items
If you own smaller items that can’t be laundered, you should consider heating them to disinfest. Simply wrap items in plastic papers and place them in a sunny or hot place (122°F/50°C minimum) for a few days. If you cannot disinfect using heat, bugs also succumb to extreme cold temperatures, below zero degrees preferably. You will need to leave the items in these conditions for at least two weeks.
You will also need to launder all linens in hot settings. You need to machine wash all clothes and linens on hot and tumble dry on hot too. Steam is an effective way of killing bed bugs. Please note that it is not possible to rid your house of infestation by lowering or raising the thermostat. If you have items that you cannot wash or throw away, you can use non-toxic disinfectant sprays. Seal these items in plastic wrappers and let them remain like so for a few months.
Try point steaming
You can easily purchase a steaming device from your local hardware. It is also possible to turn your electric kettle into steam equipment simply by attaching a tube to it. Steam kills the bugs and the eggs. Use the steam on seams, crevices and corners.
When you vacuum, you remove bugs from your mattress, carpet, floor and any other surface you vacuum. Make sure you particularly vacuum tufts, seams and mattress edges. Also vacuum the walls that come into contact with the furniture. Once done, ensure you dispose the contents of the vacuum tightly sealed in a trash bag. You can also consider steam cleaning your carpet as this gets rid of the bugs and eggs that the vacuuming might have missed.
Using pyrethroids (residual insecticides) is one of the best tips on how to get rid of bed bugs. You simply apply the insecticides to crevices and cracks where you suspect the bugs might be hiding. You can ensure the insecticide completely penetrates the spaces by first removing dirt and debris through vacuuming. Avoid using spray insecticides as this gives the bugs time to flee from the area being treated thus making eradication hard. Repeat the insecticide treatment after two weeks. This will kill any eggs that may have hatched again.
Discard Infected Items
There are times when discarding infested items would be the best cause of action, especially box springs and mattresses. You will also need to check and treat any rooms that may be adjoined to yours. Ensure you destroy the items you discard to ensure someone doesn’t carry them home. This helps to minimize the spread.
Encase the Pillows and Mattresses
If you want to sleep peacefully at night and prevent the bugs from spreading, you can consider encasing your pillows and mattresses. Use tightly woven covers to prevent the bugs from escaping or entering. You can keep the encasement on your mattress and pillows for at least 12 months. This is enough time for the bugs to starve to death.
Use Tea Tree Oil Insecticides
Tea tree oil has very helpful insecticide properties that are perfect for getting rid of bed bugs. You can use this homemade insecticide spray on the hard to reach places. To create an insecticide spray from tea tree oil, pour twenty drops of the oil in a bottle filled with water. Shake it well to mix and spray reasonable amounts to cracks and crevices. You can use this natural spray each day until you are satisfied that the bugs are gone.
Use pesticides made from lavender oil
Just like tea tree oil, lavender oil is also great for ridding your home of bed bugs. Lavender is an insect repellant and is also very toxic to bed bugs. The good thing is that it is completely safe for use around the house. You can mix it with peppermint oil to also get rid of insects in the house. Lavender is also very effective when it comes to destroying larvae and eggs.
Simply add around 15 drops of the oil into a spray bottle filled with water and use it on infected areas. You can use some of these methods of how to get rid of bed bugs at the same time. This way, you stand a better chance of completely ridding your home of these parasites.