An educational guide to help you get rid of unwanted Bed Bugs.
How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs
Anyone who has ever had to deal with bed bugs knows that these pests can be incredibly problematic to get rid of and spread very easily. Bed bugs are small, brownish, and oval in shape, appearing similar in size to an apple seed. They are flat normally but become reddish and swell after feeding. The good news is that bed bugs don’t transmit disease. Despite this, they are still very much a nuisance and their bites leave annoying, sometimes itchy, red dots.
How You Know You Have Bed Bugs
It is impossible to get rid of bed bugs if you don’t know that you have these pests in your home. The biggest indication that these pests have taken up residence in your home is developing a rash that looks like a bunch of mosquito bites, but smaller, typically appearing just at night. While mosquito bites stay in one spot, bed bug bites spread out; they may also burn or tingle like a mosquito bite. You may also spot the bugs themselves or their excrement, which looks like dried blood.
Find The Bed Bugs
Before you can get rid of the bed bugs, you need to figure out where in your home they are. If they are in one room, they are likely in other rooms as well, so you will need to thoroughly inspect the place. They are likely to enter the home via clothes, luggage, or used furniture. After that, they typically hide in the mattress, headboard, box spring, or bed frame where they are undetected but have easy access to the human blood they need.
Unfortunately, bed bugs will only be limited to these locations initially, quickly spreading. You should check for them in and treat everything nearby, including items stored underneath the bed, dressers, nightstands, and upholstered furniture.
Clean Your Clothing, Bedding, And Other Items
If you have bed bugs, start by stripping your bed of all the linens and bedding. You will also need to wash your clothing and curtains that may be infested. All off these items should be washed in hot water and then dried on the highest setting. Items that can’t safely go in the washing machine should at least go through the dryer on high for a half hour.
Clean The Mattress And Surrounding Areas
Cleaning the mattress, box springs, and surrounding area is a bit more complicated since you can’t just throw them in the washing machine. Start by scrubbing the mattress seams with a stiff brush; this will get rid of bed bugs and eggs. Then, vacuum the entire bed as well as the surrounding area. Empty your vacuum cleaner right away, putting the disposable bag inside a plastic bag and outside. You can also treat upholstered furniture and mattresses with steam via a cheap device found at your local store. To prevent the bed bugs from coming back and resolve the problem, invest in a zippered cover for the box spring and mattress that is tightly woven. This will prevent the bed bugs from going in or out.
Because bed bugs can live for a year without feeding and may be inside these items, you will need to leave the covers in place for a year or more. Many people with bed bugs choose to just buy a new mattress instead of dealing with getting rid of the bed bugs in the old one. If you do this, just be sure there are no bed bugs in your home as they will quickly infest your new mattress.
If you do throw out infested items, make sure that they are unusable or clearly labeled as having bed bugs. Otherwise, it is likely that someone will see them sitting by the curb and decide to take it, getting their own bed bug problem.
Use An Insecticide
In most cases, you will need to use an insecticide as well as the measures mentioned above to completely get rid of the bed bugs. Always choose the chemical treatment carefully and know whether you need to stay out of the room after applying it. Keep in mind that only certain chemical treatments can be used to treat the bedding and mattresses as well.
Get Professional Help
When it comes time to take care of the chemical element of bed bug removal, you should ideally hire a professional. They will know which chemical treatments are safe to use in bedrooms, let alone on bedding. Additionally, their expert eyes can spot the bed bugs more easily than you, letting you feel confident that all the pests are gone. Although it is possible to get rid of bed bugs by yourself, the average person is unlikely to succeed. Remember that leaving a single bed bug behind can lead to a return of the infestation. Because of this, it is best to hire a professional to take care of it from the start.
We are the Pest Education Network, a non-profit organization that focuses on wildlife and pest removal education. Our approach utilizes Integrated Pest Management, a strategy advocating prevention and humane methods.