Bed bugs are small, tricky, intelligent species that reproduce quickly. They know well the perfect areas where they can hide to escape detection. They can also live with meals months apart, and one healthy female can lay around 500 eggs throughout her lifespan— talk about small but terrible.
Because of their intelligence, it would come as no surprise if they start disturbing your sleep. Once they invade your bed, you will wake up with itchy, red-welt rashes on your body.
But you don’t have to worry as bed bugs can be gotten rid of with the proper treatment. The only catch is that it can take a while and a considerable effort to remove them altogether. Also, not one treatment can do the job, so you may have to try different approaches, especially if you are infested big time.
Different factors can affect the removal of bed bugs. It may be difficult for you to remove them if you have mountains of clutter or if you like traveling, bringing home new bed bugs.
Remember, if you cannot get rid of the bed bugs on your own, you can also seek professional help. But, here are some steps to treat a bed bug infestation at home.
Getting rid of bed bugs at home: A step-by-step procedure
1. Identify the areas infested by bed bugs.
This step is the first step into getting rid of bed bugs. This step is necessary so you can get rid of them right away before they can start reproducing.
You can search where most bed bugs are located yourself, or you can hire a professional bed bug exterminator to inspect your home. Some inspectors have trained dogs with them who can hunt bed bugs.
Bed bugs are so small that they can squeeze their bodies in the tiniest spots like the following:
- folds of curtains
- mattress seams
- bed frame cracks
- Electrical outlets
- Furniture joints
- Loose wallpaper
- Underneath posters and paintings on the walls
You can use a magnifying glass and flashlight in checking these areas. The following characteristics can identify bed bug-infested areas:
- They have bed bug droppings
- Eggshells, pale, small yellow eggs, yellowish skin sheddings
- Reddish, live bed bugs about a quarter-inch long
- Reddish mattress stains— crushed bed bugs
2. Contain the bed bug infestation
Once you know where the bed bugs are located, ensure that you contain them. An easy and quick way to trap them is to use a vacuum. You can vacuum your carpets, dresser, bed, and even electronics to get rid of the bed bugs.
Make sure to seal the vacuumed contents into a plastic container that you can throw away. After this, clean the vacuum thoroughly to ensure that there are no bed bugs left in the vacuum.
Then, put the affected clothes and linens in a plastic bag until you decide to wash them. Make sure to wash them in the highest possible temperature setting in your washing machine. If you cannot clean the item in the washer, you can throw it in the dryer for half an hour at the highest heat temperature setting.
3. Prepare for the bedbug treatment.
Before you finally treat your home with bed bugs, you can do a bit of prep work to ensure success. After getting rid of infected clothing and linens, you can start picking up magazines, books, clothes, and other items around the area. Throw them out as much as possible and do not bring them to clean rooms as this can spread the bed bugs. You can also seal loose, open, and exposed areas.
4. Treat the infestation by killing the bed bugs.
There are chemical and non-chemical treatments you can try to kill bed bugs. For non-chemical home cleaning method, you can do the following:
- Wash infected clothes and beddings in hot water for half an hour. Then throw them into the dryer in the highest temperature setting for half an hour.
- You can use a steamer in items that you cannot wash and dry, such as couches and mattresses. These are common hiding spots of bed bugs.
- Use black bags in packing up infested items and put them out on a hot day (around 95 degrees). For areas with cooler climates, you will have to wait for two to five months before the bugs die.
- You may put the bed bugs at a freezing temperature in the freezer. You can leave the bag there for four days minimum.
Once the identified bed bugs are killed, you can put bedbug-proof covers over your box spring and mattress so that the bed bugs that you still haven’t seen cannot quickly go back. These covers help trap bed bugs you haven’t exterminated and keep new ones out.
You may try chemical treatments next if you cannot wipe all the bed bugs out. Some of the insecticides used for bed bugs are the following:
- Pyrethroids and pyrethrins
- Plant oil-based products
Working with professionals to ensure successful bed bug extermination would still be the best bet.
5. Observe the infested areas
Bed bugs do not usually go away after just one treatment. You have to make sure that they are gone for good. So, monitor the infested areas at least every week and see if new bed bug activity is going on.
To make sure that you can spot surviving bed bugs easier, you can put bed bug interceptors in on each bed leg. These interceptors can trap bed bugs before they can reach your bed. You may check these interceptors regularly up until a year.
6. Continue treating the area as needed.
Bed bugs are challenging to exterminate completely. If you have treated the area multiple times and still see new ones crawling in and out of spots, you may have to get them professionally treated.
Leave the treatment to the professionals.
If you do not have the time, patience, and effort to treat the bed bugs, you can contact professional exterminators like Hybrid Pest Control. They have insured and licensed technicians that can treat your entire home. With their professional services, you can ensure that bed bugs are completely gone. Browse their website for their bed bug and other insect termination services.