Bed bugs can rob you of your well-deserved sleep and comfort at night. And if you are going through that experience, there’s only one thing you will ask. How to get rid of bed bugs? Well, the process is elaborate but simple. So, once you understand the principle, you might even do it without outside help.
Bed bug removal is essentially a two-step process. The first one is appropriately detecting bed bugs. Afterward, you kill them with heat and chemicals. And you will have several options for how you may want to apply those two.
These blood-sucking menaces are like spreading fire. The sooner you control them, the more chances you have at avoiding a disaster. So, read on to learn more.
Step1: Detecting Bed Bugs
If you are thinking about how to get rid of bed bugs, you first need to detect them. The undeniable sign of an infestation is finding live bugs. You might see the flat, oval, reddish-brown insects scurrying along the surface of your room or furniture (often the bed).
Find Signs of Infestations
However, these bugs know how to hide them well. So, you might not see any bugs but wake up in the middle of the night from a stinging bite. The area of the bite will look rash-like. Although, some people might not experience these outright.
Therefore, you should not only depend on bite marks and live bugs to detect an infestation. Check for the other less obvious signs too.
For instance, if your cushion or bed sheet has blood stains (squished bug) or rusty brown ink-like spots (bed bug excrement), you have a bed bug problem. You might also find bed bugs’ eggs and skin shedding that looks like dust particles.
Identifying the Hiding Spots
Bed bugs mostly come out at night to feed on their hosts. So, they need hiding spots for the daytime. These bugs don’t mind if the temperature gets a little colder or hotter than average. Plus, they have flat bodies that can fit through almost any cracks. As a result, there are many hiding spots in your home for these insects.
You should mainly start with checking the bed, mattress, and headboard for bugs. If you find bugs there, check these other spots too-
- The couch and its cushions and seams
- Clothes and bed sheets
- Curtain folds and picture frames on the wall
- Electrical outlets
- All kinds of furniture joints, drawers
- Loose wallpaper
- Junctions of the floor, walls, and ceiling
- Essentially all other cracks and corners of your home.
Correctly detecting bed bugs is the first and most important step in bed bug removal. If you miss even one spot, it can again result in a full-blown infestation just within a month. You can use a flashlight and magnifying glass for the job.
Step 2: Killing The Bed Bugs
Talking to Houston based bed bug exterminators we’ve learned that heat and poisonous chemicals are your two partners when killing bed bugs. The bugs can’t tolerate heat over 46C. And you can efficiently deliver this heat through a steamer or dryer.
As for chemicals, Pyrethrins and Pyrethroids are well-known bed bug killers. But before starting this treatment for bed bugs, you need to ensure the infestation can’t spread anymore.
Curb the Infestation
You need to contain the ongoing infestation. Only then can you be sure that you have killed every bug in the house (or close). For this, you will need your vacuum cleaner, washer, and dryer.
Take the vacuum machine to all the possible hiding spots and clean them thoroughly. Then put the contents of the cleaner into a plastic bag and dispose of it. You should properly clean the machine.
After that, get all your clothes, sheets and linen and wash them in hot water for half an hour. Put the clothes in the dryer to treat them with heat. You can also put not-washable garments in the dryer and treat them for thirty minutes at high heat.
You can try cleaning the furniture. However, the best option is to get rid of them. If the pieces of furniture are too important, then seek professional help. You can try putting them outside in the sun for a few days, but there’s no guarantee of the result.
Heat Treatment For Bed Bugs
Bed bugs can’t survive temperatures over 46 and under zero degrees. So, you can use both to kill the bugs. First, clear your home from clutter and tape down the electric outlet. Now take a steamer and apply the steam to all the bed bug hiding spots you had previously identified.
Put the loose items that can survive extreme temperatures in a bag. You can place the bag in the freezer and let it rest for four days at -17C. This will hopefully kill the bugs. Or, you might put the bag inside a bag and leave them inside a closed car outside for a day or two.
Chemical Treatment for Bed Bugs
You must consider chemicals if cleaning and heating don’t eliminate the bugs. Or, chemicals might be a finishing touch after you already have the infestation under control through vacuuming, washing, and heating.
There are a lot of bed bug specific products on the market. Whatever you buy, make sure that the EPA approves it. Otherwise, you will put yourself and your family at health risk.
Pyrethrins & Pyrethroids have proven effective for bed bug termination. But as they have been used long enough, many bug strains can resist these chemicals.
In that case, you can use Pyrroles or Neonicotinoids. You might also use desiccants. These chemicals destroy the bug’s cells or outer coatings or affect their nervous system.
After you have attended to all the bugs’ hiding spots, you can drop a bug bomb or use a fogger for the final touch. Hopefully, they will wipe out the last one of the bed bugs. Remember, foggers or bug bombs don’t reach all the corners and crevices of your home. So, you must attend to them before using these methods. Otherwise, the process will remain incomplete.
All chemicals you use here are toxic and designed for killing—so take proper precautions (face mask, gloves, goggles). And during fogging and bombing sessions, leave the house.
You now understand how to get rid of bed bugs. However, the best measure is the preventive one. So, use bed bug-proof covers and bed sheets in your home. Also, keep the environment in your house clean and clutter-free. And don’t forget to check the usual bed bug hiding places regularly.