Bed bugs have been pestering humanity for thousands of years and it is no respected of social status since it can be found in the homes of the rich and the poor.
The good news is that, unlike mosquitoes and ticks, bed bugs don’t spread disease, and there are practical steps you can take to prevent an infestation.
If your home is Infested With Bed Bugs, there are practical steps you can take to get rid of them. Here are some things you should look out for and things you can do to get rid of them.
Check Your Mattress
Bed bugs don’t like being jostled, so they avoid hanging out in your hair or clothes, but they like to stay close by, since you are their food source. The mattress is the first place you should inspect. They love to hang out in cracks and crevices and can fit into any gap the thickness of a business card.
One of their favourite spots is the piping along the edge of a mattress. Look for the bugs themselves, their dark droppings, your dried blood, eggs and goldcoloured shells that have been left behind after molting.
Inspect the piping of your mattresses a couple of times a year or every time you flip or rotate your mattress.
Traps are not really an effective way to wipe out a bed bug infestation, but they’re an excellent way to determine whether you have them. Set traps in areas where they may hide or travel.
If they aren’t living in your mattress or other parts of your bed, that means they need to travel up the legs of the bed frame to get to you, so place traps there as well.
If you confirm you have bed bugs in one bedroom of the house, it is essential you treat that entire room, but you won’t necessarily need to treat the entire house. Set up traps to monitor other bedrooms and living areas to make sure they stay bug free.
Look for Bite Marks
Bed bugs usually feed and then scurry back to their hiding places. They try to avoid crawling all over their food for fear of waking us up. They usually bite the bare skin they find closest to the mattress. That’s why it’s common to see two or three bite marks in a line along the skin that was in contact with the mattress or pillow.
Hire An Exterminator
Hiring a pro to wipe out bed bugs isn’t cheap. You will likely need a few chemical treatments. Professional heat treatments will cost even more. And even if you hire a pro, you’ll still have to do lots of work yourself (moving furniture, washing all clothes, etc.).
You can however do it yourself by buying some chemicals. When working with chemicals, always read the directions. You should be able to stay in the room during the treatment process. Room treatments entail thorough cleaning and applying chemicals which needs to be repeated three times, two weeks apart.
Bag and Wash Clothes and Bedding
The first thing to do after confirming an infestation is to bag up all your clothes, towels, bedding and curtains in plastic bags. Tie tight knots to seal the bags and keep them tied until they reach the washing machine.
Wash with hot water and dry thoroughly. Temperatures over 65 degrees Centigrade will kill bed bugs and any eggs they’ve left behind.
Store clean clothes in another room until you’ve finished treating the infested room. If you plan to take laundry to a professional cleaner or public laundry, treat it chemically first to avoid spreading the bugs.
The first step is to vacuum every surface in the room, the baseboards, all the furniture, the mattress, box spring, bed frame, everything. Use a small wand to get into all the corners and crevices.
Treat the filter and the inside of the canister with contact spray insecticide. Flat surfaces like walls and dresser tops can be wiped with alcohol. Wipe a small inconspicuous area first to see if the alcohol will damage the paint or wood finish.
Isolate the Bed
Isolate the infested mattress from the rest of the room. Start by pulling the bed away from the wall and away from other furniture like nightstands and chairs. Remove box spring skirting that hangs down to the floor. Oversize blankets that drape to the floor can also act as a ladder for the little buggers.
Spray Bug Killer
Spray insecticide on all the areas where you’ve seen signs of the bugs or the bugs themselves. Spray all the areas where they’re likely to hide, such as the furniture near the bed, the entire bed itself and the perimeter of the walls near the baseboard.
A lot of insecticide sprays are contact killers, which means they kill only the bugs and eggs they touch directly, so there’s no reason to spray all the walls, ceiling and the entire floor. Many brands kill other insects, like fleas and cockroaches, as well.