Bed bugs are one of the most challenging pests to get rid of. These tiny, sneaky critters are hard to spot, and they spread quickly. Plus, their eggs are not easily killed by typical DIY methods.
While hiring a professional exterminator for bed bugs is the most effective way to get rid of them, you can also do a few things on your own. Here is a helpful guide on eliminating these pesky parasites from your home.
A Few Things You Should Know First About Bed Bugs
You might think you have bed bugs at home because it is dirty. But this isn’t exactly true. These tiny insects are not attracted to dirt. Instead, they thrive in places where they can find their food: blood. They typically nest in parts of your house where they can easily access their blood meal—in your bed, sofas, and carpets.
Bed bugs enter your home by hitchhiking onto furniture, luggage, clothes, and linen. Although these bloodsucking parasites don’t spread diseases, their bites can be itchy and irritating. They also multiply rapidly. It takes only weeks before these pesky creatures take over your home. So, you have to eliminate them as soon as you suspect their presence.
Signs There Are Bed Bugs in Your Home
You may not suspect bed bugs are residing in your house until they have feasted on your family. To know if these bloodsucking critters are the ones biting you, watch out for these signs:
Insect bites that look like raised, red bumps following a zigzag pattern
Proof of the bugs themselves (red-brown, flat, and tiny insects)
Rust-colored excrement spots on your bed
A musky, locker-room smell around your sleeping or lounging areas
Eliminating Bed Bugs From Your Home
Once you’ve identified that you have bed bugs in your home, it’s crucial to act fast since they spread quickly. Here are a few steps you can take to eliminate these insects:
1. Wash Your Fabrics Using Hot Water and High-Heat Setting Dryer
Bed bugs can be killed using high temperatures. Wash the bedding, clothes, towels, stuffed toys, and pet beds in your home using hot water. After that, put them in your dryer in the highest heat setting.
2. Vacuum Your Mattress and Carpets
You can use your vacuum cleaner to pick up bed bugs from their hiding places—your mattresses, closets, and carpets. These tiny critters also love nesting in cracks, so you should vacuum the joints and seams of your furniture too. When you’re done, place the contents of the vacuum in a plastic bag. And then seal it and throw it away.
3. Use a Bed Bug Mattress and Box Spring Cover
Placing a bed-bug-proof cover for your mattress and box spring can also help eliminate these pesky insects. These covers trap bed bugs and kill them over time. Aside from this, you can prevent these tiny critters from biting you at night.
4. Clean Your Home Using a Steamer
Another way to subject bed bugs to high temperatures and kill them is through a steamer. Aside from killing adult bed bugs, the heat of a steamer can also destroy their eggs. Set your steaming unit to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, steam-spray your rooms, paying extra attention to closet shelves, carpets, and window trims.
5. Seal Wall Cracks
Besides your beddings and couches, bed bugs love hiding in tiny crevices on walls. Inspect your home’s walls for damage and other places these critters can nest in—like areas with lifted wallpaper. You can use caulk or plaster to fill in wall cracks and wallpaper glue to seal down lifting edges.
6. Use Pesticides or Desiccants
You can also use conventional treatments to kill bed bugs. Pyrethroids and pyrethrins are low-toxicity and fast-acting insecticides you can purchase. If you’re not a fan of harsh chemicals, desiccants—like silica gel and diatomaceous earth—are good pest control options. These treatments have a high kill rate, and bugs don’t develop resistance against them.
7. Hire a Professional
Hiring an exterminator for bed bugs is the best action if you want to quickly and effectively eliminate these critters from your homes. Pest control specialists have the necessary knowledge and equipment to eradicate bed bugs. They also have access to better pesticides and other pest control treatment materials.
Before the exterminator’s visit, ensure that you prepare your house. Wash and seal all your belongings. Plus, make plans to have your family and pets away from home while the pest control expert works.
How Long Does It Take To Completely Eliminate Bed Bugs?
Professional extermination can kill all adult bed bugs, but eggs may survive. It can take three to four visits to completely eradicate these pesky creatures, depending on the infestation’s severity. So, have your home regularly inspected after pest control treatments.
Bed bugs are a nuisance to your home. These critters are challenging to eradicate, but by following the mentioned steps, it is possible to get rid of them permanently.