Welcome! And congratulations on your decision to get rid of bed bugs. (Isn’t that why you are here!) If you are tired of being bitten and you are eager to eliminate them right away, then you are in the right place.
Bed bugs are a big problem to the public health since their recent resurgent. They can literally survive in almost any environment. It does not matter whether the environment is clean or neat, as long as there are humans living there.
There are many strategies specified by pest control experts to be used to treat infestation and prevent future activity of bed bugs in your environment.
Some of the things that can be used to fight the infestation is by using scientifically tested methods/strategies, natural remedies and prevention programs for your protection and elimination of the insect.
How to Find and Identify Bed Bugs
Finding, identifying and eliminating bed bugs plaguing your environment should not be taken lightly. They are nocturnal insects. Which means that you cannot see them roaming around during the day; they are only so active at night (they come out to feed at this time). Also be aware that they are very tiny insects and extremely fast creatures.
This does not necessarily mean you will have much difficulty killing them; so don’t worry. In this guide, you will learn how to get rid of bed bugs and prevent them from further breeding.
In order to make it easy for you, we will start with a brief description and quick facts (about bed bugs) so that you can identify them when you see them.
- A bed bug is a wing-less, brown and oval shaped insect. Average measurement of bed bug is 2-5 inches long and 1/9 inches wide.
- They feed on blood just like mosquitoes. They suck blood by making a painless bite on exposed body (eg shoulder, neck, hands). They usually feed on humans during sleep at night.
- A female bed bug can lay an outstanding 50 batches of eggs under crevices around the home (in a life time).
- They can last for several months without food. That is why they can live for 12 months even if they are not able to feed on blood.
- These insects are tiny and very fast. With their wing-less body, they can cover long distance pretty quickly. (Sounds like this is critical to their survival).
- They can easily attach to fabrics and furnitures and be transported from one place to another; thanks to their tiny bodies.
Since you now have an idea on what they look, live and bred on, you should be able to identify them when you see them. To locate bed bugs, you have to:
- Examine your bed and its components. First thing you need to do is to dismantle your bed and check items underneath it. This is often their hiding place. Keep in mind you are looking for bed bugs and their eggs (don’t be surprised if you are greeted by an army of their eggs!) Check cracks on bed, dust your bed sheets, seams and examine your box springs.
- Pay special attention to chairs and sofas. Sofas that may have been slept on are more prone to bed bug infestation. You can also disengage the chairs (if possible) to have a proper look. Spray bed bugs with insecticides when found beneath these places.
- Use a LED light to brighten up dark areas so that you can have a proper look. Pay attention to crevices, holes, carpet edges and corners as these are common hiding place for bed bugs. If they are present in these areas, you will see them moving around (as a result of the illumination from the LED) and their eggs all scattered all over the place.
In the following paragraphs, you are going to learn how to get rid of bed bugs and prevent them from getting in your home in the future. Read on to find out how:
How to Control Bed Bugs
If you have never dealt with bed bugs before, controlling them may be a bit difficult at first. But when you follow the guidelines below, you will find it easy and less cumbersome. Note: once you have discovered the presence of bed bugs in your home, controlling them will require your efforts and that of a qualified pest control technician.
To take control of these annoying creatures, you should:
1. Make sure to vacuum every infested area thoroughly with a vacuum cleaner. Pay attention to mattresses, bed sheets, carpet edges (or better still remove the carpet until treatment is completed). Don’t forget to dispose the content of the vacuum in a plastic folder bag after the operation is completed.
2. For better results, make proper sanitation around the home, and stall further breeding by taking preventive measures. Also spray relevant insecticides to applicable places to kill bed bugs and their eggs. Ensure that other things like bedding, wardrobes, cupboard are free of infestation. If traces of bed bugs are discovered after two weeks, re-use insecticides and chemical treatment. You should understand that you cannot get rid of bed bugs all at once.
3. Launder infested items. Sometimes, it may be impossible to launder smaller items that are infested. This can be resolved by heating such items to de-infest them. Clothes, linen and other items should be placed on heat such as a sunny area until they are fully treated. Tip: a steaming machine can be used for this.
4. If infestation is caustic and severe, discard infested items to maximize safety.
5. Apply steam onto hiding spot such as carpet edges, cables, room perimeter etc, to eliminate bed bugs and their eggs.
6. Be sure to remove cracked wallpapers, repair cracked wall, and un-hang unused pictures to block out bed bug hiding places.
7. Don’t use highly repellent formulations. They usually cause bed bugs to spread out to where you might not be able to get rid of them. Instead make use of less repulsive insecticides.
8. It was recently discovered that bed bugs could survive the effect of certain insecticides. This we gathered, is because they have developed strong resistant mechanisms capable of withstanding some insecticides. That is why we recommend that you purchase only tested and proven insecticides.
9. Another method of getting rid of bed bugs is using dehydrating substances. There are so many on the market now but we recommend the Diatomaceous earth. It is very effective if you want to eliminate bed bugs.
10. If you really want to get rid of bed bugs, we recommend that you call in a pest control management firm. This is optional, though they will help you eradicate those bed bug infestation completely from your home. The reason we recommend them is because they make use of advance pest control tools and are trained to handle bed bugs and their eggs.
How to Prevent Bed Bugs from Your Home
Now that you have learnt how to get rid of bed bugs and control them, while not read the following guidelines to keep them away from your home.
It is very easy to bring the dreaded creature into your home when you come back from travel. Mainly through luggage, purse and shoes used during your journey. You need to be careful how you use this items during and after travelling.
1. Don’t leave your luggage carelessly on the floor; that is an invitation to possible bed bug infestation. Try and place it somewhere above the ground.
2. Search for hiding places of bed bugs by looking under your carpet and bed, dust mattresses and bed sheets, and crack holes in furniture. If they come out at night to feed, they would hide underneath these places at night; so doing this step at night will yield better result.
3. Bed bugs are notorious for hiding under fabrics, furniture, loosened picture frames and old artworks. Move your luggage far from this areas (including your bed and wall). They can easily transfer to your luggage from these places.
4. When you get home, open your luggage and take out its contents. Try to examine them to be sure they are free from bed bugs before re-packing it. And don’t forget to keep it away from the bed.
5. In order to effectively get rid of bed bugs, take out all the clothing you used on travel and heat them for a few hours. You can place them in the sun or use a dryer. Note: bed bugs thrive in cold environment so heating is an effective way to get rid of them.
In the House
1. Examine your mattresses, bed sheets, travelling bags, and other belongings for any sign of bed bugs. They leave traces like dark spots, tiny specs of blood and eggs scattered about the place.
2. Make your home clutter-free. The less clutter your home is the easier it is to spot bed bugs and therefore prevent them from spreading.
3. Don’t furnish your home with second hand furniture and fabrics. They may have been infested long before you buy them.
4. Don’t be swayed by what other people might tell you. An hygienic environment does not necessarily mean no bed bugs (Albeit, it is important in the treatment procedure. But you need to understand that you can’t rely on that alone).
Treatment of Bed Bug Infestation
Treatment of bed bugs can be carried out in many ways and with different devices built for the purpose. We will go through the most popular ones here.
Bed Bug Treatment With Heating – How to Treat infested Items
Using Clothes Dryers. Since insecticides cannot be used on household items like baby toys, clothes, bedding, it may becomes difficult to kill bed bugs on these items. This problem is overcome by using a household dryer.
A typical clothes dryer put on high temperature settings (above the 120oF) is capable of killing bed bugs and their eggs in few minutes. Note: Items to be heated with a dryer include toys, handbags, shoes, books, and purses. They should be heated considerably to kill bugs and remove the infestation.
Using Portable Heating Devices. There are not many portable heating devices in the market right now for killing bed bugs. But the one that seems to get the job done is the PackTite Portable Bed Bug Killing
Heater Unit. The PackTite Bed Bug Heater can be used to treat infested items like shoes, tools, pillows, books, and clothing.
The PackTite Bed Bug Heater is a collapsible unit with a pouch for keeping items to be heated. It has an interior heater and exterior heat monitor to keep track of the temperature of items being heated.
It is capable of treating infested items that cannot be treated by a dryer and takes more hours to reach killing point for bed bugs. Read the manufacturers manual for instruction on items that can be treated.
Bed Bug Treatment With Heating – How To Treat Infested Rooms
Using Steaming. Steaming is an effective way of treating bed bug infestation. It is usually used by professional steamers and pest control firms in their pest control processes. The steaming is applied to upholstered furnitures, underneath carpet, box springs and every corner where insecticide may not be used.
You will have to hire a professional steamer to help you treat infested areas in your home. The steaming process should be slow and the heat concentration should be maintained throughout the operation; recommended temperature is 160-180oF.
Although steaming is an effective method of treating bed bug infestation, it should be blended with other methods to get rid of bed bugs completely. The prices of hiring a firm or professional varies from state to state, and country to country; so we cannot give concrete pricing.
Do it Yourself Heat Chamber. Once upon a time, two Drs., Philip Koehler and Roberto Pereira from the University of Florida came together to create a heat chamber that is capable of treating household items.
The chamber is made using Polystyrene Foam and is capable of de-infesting bed bug infested items such as furniture, fabrics etc. All infested items should be inserted in the chamber for heating which usually last for a few hours. Major pest control companies are now making use of the chamber to treat bug infested households with good result. Another reason being that the heat chamber is effective and easy to put together.
If you intend to use the chamber yourself, note that: The chamber should be heated at an optimal temperature (usually 120oF) in order to reach bed bug’s deathly temperature.
Don’t expect to carry out a thorough treatment of your room, kitchen or household in a matter of hours. Getting a proper cleaning and completely wiping out bed bugs and infestation may take you several days (usually less, so don’t be afraid)
If your bed is infested by bed bugs, and you have some cash to spare, discard it and get another one. It is usually safer that way.
This is because pest control firms follow a guided instruction on where and where not to spray insecticides in a hotel or home. This could include your bed, bed sheets, pillows, couch etc. These may leave these areas (if they are initially infested) prone to further infestation.
“Killing bed bugs might seem difficult at first. But when you get into action, you will not only be able to eliminate them, you will also be in a position to help other people.”
Bed Bug Symptoms
When you are suspicious that bed bugs are present in your home, it is normal for you to want to find out what the possible symptoms are; especially if you have been bitten. There are enough signs that will help you figure out if you have them in your home or if you have bitten. Some of the signs are:
1. itchy welts and reddish spots on your body. If you have been bitten, you will notice a gruelling line of red itchy welts along parts of your body; especially those areas that are exposed during sleep.
2. Blood stains on mattresses and bed sheets. Blood stains on pillows, mattresses etc. is an indication that they may be present and have probably bitten you during your sleep.
3. You may perceive nasty, musty odours in your home which is a relevant sign.
4. Another sign to look out for is the presence of these insects in the fold of mattresses and bed skirts.
Other symptoms may be perceived, but these are the most common; and has been uncovered through various research studies.
Bed Bug Bites
Bed bugs feed on human blood and sometimes on other animals if the former is unavailable. They do this while you are asleep at night. This bites are often painless; which is why they are unnoticed during the process. Most important thing to note is that they don’t spread diseases through their bites. Often times, there may not be any visible impact on the skin for several days after the bite has occurred.
Bed Bug Treatment
The next thing to do immediately symptoms are discovered is to isolate the patient from getting repeated attack (bites). If you notice this symptoms yourself, you might want to replace infested items or get somewhere else that is not infested – until proper treatment is carried out. You can then treat areas that are infested areas by using vaccuming, laundering and other treatment methods discussed above.
Bed Bug Extermination
The insect can be exterminated using some or all of the methods discussed above. Using insecticides, vacuuming, laundering and enlisting the services of a pest control professional are some of them.
Bed Bug Infestation
Since the rise in the population of bed bugs in certain countries, there has been a corresponding increase in infestation as well. Though, it’s often difficult to eradicate this creatures (partly because of things like increase in resistance to insecticides; discussed above), it is not impossible either.