- They can spread quickly and from room to room, so it’s important to move just as fast to deal with them.
- Time to put on your inspector’s hat and glasses. You need to investigate to find exactly where in your home bed bugs may be hiding.
- Don’t just assume your actions have completely worked. Stay diligent in checking and rechecking for pests.
Bed Bugs: What You Need to Know First
There are few things as daunting and disgusting to deal with in a home as bed bugs. Bed bugs might be small, but they thrive on the blood of both animals and humans. You may not even know that they’ve entered the home (considering that they are about the size of an apple seed), but they move quickly once they get into your home. Typically, they are found on mattresses, allowing the female to lay her eggs and cause an infestation practically overnight.
If you have an infestation and want to remove bed bugs permanently, it takes a battery of tools. Our complete list of items to use is:
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Identification of these insects is necessary to determine the infestation you’re faced with. However, the first signs that you’re dealing with bed bugs probably won’t be finding their eggs or scurrying across the floor. Instead, you’ll see itchy red spots on your body that they leave overnight as they bite you. While you may not find a nest, one bed bug often means that more are close by. They’ll find any spot close by to protect themselves, and they quickly spread into nearby rooms.
The most effective way to deal with an infestation is to do so quickly. There are many home remedies nowadays, using both chemicals and natural solutions to drive out bed bugs. If you want to get rid of this pest, consider the treatment steps below.
Bed Bugs Treatment: Dealing with an Infestation
If you already have the unfortunate predicament of an infestation, the first thing you need to do is address the problem. Procrastination is not your friend, leading to painfully itchy welts all over your body if you do nothing. Following these steps can help you eliminate bed bugs, starting with proper identification.
#1: Determine Every Area of the Home Affected by the Infestation
You can’t get rid of your bed bug problem without first figuring out where they are. Identification of the problem areas of the home shows you exactly where you need to focus the energy of your home remedies, but they can be quite hard to find. Look in areas that normally don’t see much light, including in baseboards, near mattress tags, in any cracks in the bed frame, and in mattress seams.
These bugs will go anywhere they can, so you might have to check couch cushions, the joints of furniture, or even inside electrical outlets. You might need to invest in a good flashlight and a magnifying glass if you don’t already have them to locate the bugs, their droppings, and eggs.
This is war! Make sure you are taking the remediation seriously. It will be challenging and you will have to be inconvenienced and somewhat uncomfortable as you deal with them. Your mattress may be the worst place to have them and really alter your rest over the next few days. And be prepared – you may have to dispose of the mattress altogether.
#2: Contain and Prevent the Spread of the Infestation
After you know where they are, you need to make sure they aren’t going anywhere else. Vacuuming the area is the easiest way to collect and trap them from all of the hiding places you’ve found. Place all of the collected bugs and put them in a plastic bag to toss out. The vacuum will need to be cleaned out and sanitized.
Any linens or affected clothing should be placed in plastic bags until you have a chance to do a load of laundry. They should be washed with the highest temperature setting. If the linens cannot be washed with hot water, it may be best to throw them away as well.
If any affected item can’t be washed, place it in a plastic bag for a few months to let the bugs die off. If you have to get rid of your mattress, make sure to label it “bed bugs” to ensure that no one else deals with the same predicament that you’re in.
#3: Prepare for Bed Bug Treatment
At this point, you still aren’t quite ready for any home remedies. You need to prepare the space properly by eliminating places where bed bugs can hide. Seek out any open areas or loose wallpaper that needs to be prepared. Also, move your bed away from the wall so that they can’t flee and quickly move to another room.
#4: Kill the Bed Bugs
Now, it’s time. Natural home remedies are a good first step of the process, using hot water or even steam to kill them. The key is to expose them to a high enough temperature so that they can’t survive. An insecticide is another helpful way to eliminate these bugs. Consider pyrethrin, pyrethroids, neonicotinoids, desiccants, or even bug bombs to deal with the pest in a more aggressive way. If you don’t want to introduce your home to these chemicals, EcoRaider and Bed Bug Patrol are both plant-based treatments that could work.
#5: Watch for the Reocurrence of an Infestation
Once the hard part is done, just watch your home to make sure that the infestation doesn’t return. Check the spaces that the bugs were previously in every few days to make sure no others have hatched or returned. Bed bug interceptors can go under each leg of your bed to trap the pest before it gets to the bed.
#6: Treat the Home Again if Needed
As effective as these home remedies may be, their resilience may lead them right back to all of their favorite places in your home. You’ll have to repeat all of the steps above to wipe them out. If the home remedies don’t work the second or third time, it may be time to call someone who could help.
#7: Get Professional Help
Even with all of these home remedies, the most effective solution for extreme infestations is often to get the help of an exterminator. These professionals have access to certain chemicals that kill bed bugs overnight, rather than waiting out natural methods. They also have special equipment to raise the temperature in the room in a way that you cannot. They’ll provide you with instructions to prepare the home before their arrival.
Summary of 7 Ways to Deal with a Bed Bug Infestation
We recommend that you follow these steps to rid your home of bedbugs. If you prefer, you can skip to number 7 and just call a professional.
|Order||Steps to Riding Your Home of Bedbugs|
|1||Determine every area of the home affected by the infestation|
|2||Contain and prevent the spread of an infestation|
|3||Prepare for bed bug treatment|
|4||Kill the bed bugs (See products listed above)|
|5||Watch for the reoccurrence of an infestation|
|6||Treat the home again if needed|
|7||Get professional help|
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Akos Nagy/Shutterstock.com
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