Pest Away Tips

11 Effective Ways to Eliminate Bed Bugs for Good

Bed bugs are one of the most common pests that infest homes and hotels. These insects are tiny and flat, and they can easily get into cracks and crevices in furniture, bedding, and walls.

Once an infestation takes hold, it can be incredibly difficult to get rid of. That’s why prevention is key.

Preventing a Bed Bug Infestation

The first step in preventing a bed bug infestation is to be aware of the signs. Bed bugs are nocturnal, so they are most active at night.

They feed on human blood, so if you wake up with itchy, red bites, that’s a pretty good indication that you have bed bugs. Here are some tips for preventing a bed bug infestation:

1.

Cover Your Mattress

Encasing your mattress and box spring in bed bug-proof covers can help to prevent an infestation. These covers should be left on for at least a year to ensure that any bed bugs trapped inside die.

2. Keep Your Home Clutter-Free

The less clutter you have in your home, the easier it is to spot bed bugs.

Clutter also provides more hiding places for bed bugs, so it’s best to keep your home as tidy as possible. 3.

Inspect Second-Hand Furniture

If you’re buying second-hand furniture, make sure to inspect it thoroughly for bed bugs before bringing it into your home. Look for live bugs, eggs, and fecal matter.

4. Be Careful When Travelling

Bed bugs can hitchhike on your luggage and clothing, so it’s important to be careful when travelling.

Inspect hotel rooms for bed bugs before bringing your luggage in, and keep your luggage on a luggage rack or in the bathroom, away from the bed.

DIY Bed Bug Treatments

If you do have a bed bug infestation, you might be tempted to try and get rid of it yourself. While there are plenty of DIY treatments available, it’s important to understand their limitations.

Some of the most common DIY treatments for bed bugs include:

1. Steam Cleaning

Bed bugs are sensitive to heat, so steam cleaning can be an effective way to kill them.

However, steam cleaning is not always effective at getting rid of bed bugs, as it can be difficult to get the steam into cracks and crevices where bed bugs hide. 2.

Vacuuming

Vacuuming can be a good way to remove bed bugs and their eggs from your home. However, vacuuming will not kill bed bugs, and it’s important to dispose of the vacuum bag carefully to avoid spreading bed bugs to other areas of your home.

3. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a powder made from fossilized algae.

It can be an effective way to kill bed bugs by dehydrating them. However, diatomaceous earth is not always effective at getting rid of bed bugs, and it needs to be reapplied regularly.

4. Essential Oils

Essential oils like lavender, peppermint, and tea tree oil are often touted as natural remedies for bed bugs.

While these oils can repel bed bugs, they are not effective at getting rid of an infestation. The limitations of DIY treatments mean that it’s often best to call in a professional pest control company to deal with a bed bug infestation.

These companies have access to specialized equipment and products that are more effective at getting rid of bed bugs than DIY treatments.

Conclusion

Bed bugs are a common problem, but they can be prevented. The key is to be aware of the signs of a bed bug infestation and to take steps to prevent one from occurring.

If you do have an infestation, DIY treatments can be effective, but it’s important to understand their limitations. Calling in a professional pest control company is often the best way to get rid of bed bugs for good.

3) Take Your Infested Bedding to the Laundry Room

One of the most common places to find bed bugs is in your bedding. If you suspect that your bedding is infested with bed bugs, it’s important to take the proper steps to clean it and prevent the spread of the infestation.

Identifying Bed Bug Infested Bedding

The first step in cleaning bed bug infested bedding is to identify it. Look for any signs of bed bugs, including live bugs, shed skins, or fecal matter.

You should also be aware of any signs of bites on your body when you wake up in the morning.

Washing and Drying Infested Bedding

Once you’ve identified the infested bedding, it’s time to wash and dry it. Here are the steps you should follow:

1.

Remove the bedding from your bed and place it in a plastic bag. Make sure to seal the bag tightly to prevent any bed bugs from escaping.

2. Take the bag to the laundry room and empty it directly into the washing machine.

3. Wash the bedding in hot water.

Bed bugs are sensitive to heat, so washing your bedding in hot water can kill them. Make sure to use a high temperature setting on your washing machine, ideally above 60C or 140F.

4. Dry the bedding on high heat.

Once you’ve washed the bedding, it’s important to dry it on high heat to ensure that any remaining bed bugs are killed. Ideally, your dryer should be set to above 60C or 140F as well.

5. Store the bedding in a sealed bag.

Once the bedding is dry, store it in a sealed plastic bag to prevent any new infestations.

4) Vacuum and Seal

Another useful way to control bed bugs is to vacuum and seal infected areas. Vacuuming can help to remove bed bugs and their eggs from your home and contain the infestation to specific areas.

Using a Vacuum with Disposable Bags

If you are going to use a vacuum cleaner to remove and contain bed bugs, it’s important to use a vacuum cleaner with disposable bags. This will prevent the bed bugs and their eggs from escaping and spreading to other areas of your home.

Vacuuming Thoroughly to Contain Infestation

When vacuuming, it’s important to be thorough and cover all areas where bed bugs might be hiding. Pay special attention to cracks and crevices, around furniture legs, and on walls and baseboards.

Make sure to vacuum both sides of your mattress and box spring, as well as any upholstered furniture.

Disposing of Vacuum Bag Properly

Once you’ve finished vacuuming, it’s important to dispose of the vacuum bag properly. Bed bugs and their eggs can survive in the bag, so it’s crucial to seal it tightly and dispose of it in an outdoor trash bin.

Alternatively, you can place the vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag and freeze it for at least three days to kill any remaining bed bugs and their eggs.

Conclusion

Bed bug infestations can be stubborn and difficult to get rid of, but the right techniques can help to control and prevent them. By properly cleaning and sealing infested bedding, vacuuming and containing infested areas, and calling in a professional pest control company, you can successfully eliminate bed bugs from your home.

5) Isolate the Bed

Isolating your bed from the rest of your room is an effective way to control bed bug infestations. By using bed risers or frame cups, you can lift your bed off the floor and prevent bed bugs from crawling onto it.

Lifting the Bed Off the Floor

Lifting your bed off the floor is a simple way to isolate it from the rest of your room. You can use bed risers, which are small pieces of furniture that can be placed under each leg of your bed to raise it off the floor.

Bed risers are typically made of plastic, wood, or metal.

Using Bed Bug Frame Cups

Another method to isolate your bed from the rest of your room is to use bed bug frame cups. These cups are placed under each leg of your bed frame and are designed to trap bed bugs.

Bed bugs can’t climb smooth surfaces, so the cups prevent them from crawling up onto your bed. Bed bug frame cups are typically made of plastic or metal and can be purchased online or at home improvement stores.

6) Treat Your Mattress

Cleaning and treating your mattress and box spring is a crucial step in controlling a bed bug infestation. Here are the steps you should follow:

Cleaning and Vacuuming the Mattress and Box Spring

Begin by removing all bedding from your mattress and box spring. Use a stiff brush to scrub the seams and surface of the mattress and box spring to dislodge any bed bugs and their eggs.

After scrubbing the surfaces, vacuum the mattress and box spring thoroughly. Use a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to trap tiny bed bug particles.

Encasing the Mattress and Box Spring in Zippered Protectors

Once you’ve cleaned and vacuumed the mattress and box spring, it’s important to encase them in zippered protectors. These protectors are designed to trap any remaining bed bugs inside and prevent new infestations.

Make sure to purchase protectors that are specifically designed for bed bugs, as these will be made of thick, durable materials that bed bugs can’t bite through.

Conclusion

Bed bugs are a common problem that can be difficult to get rid of. However, by isolating your bed, cleaning and treating your mattress and box spring, and calling in a professional pest control company, you can successfully eliminate bed bugs from your home.

Remember to be vigilant and take preventive measures to minimize the risk of future bed bug infestations.

7) Wipe Down Furniture

Bed bugs can hide in all kinds of furniture, including chairs, sofas, and dressers. If you suspect that your furniture is infested with bed bugs, it’s important to take the proper steps to clean it.

Cleaning Furniture Surfaces and Joints with Vacuum

The first step in cleaning infested furniture is to vacuum every surface. Make sure to use a vacuum cleaner with a crevice tool to clean joints and tight spaces.

Pay attention to the seams and edges of the furniture, as bed bugs often hide in these areas.

Disposing of Vacuum Bag Properly

Once you’ve finished vacuuming, it’s important to dispose of the vacuum bag properly. Bed bugs and their eggs can survive in the bag, so it’s crucial to seal it tightly and dispose of it in an outdoor trash bin.

Alternatively, you can place the vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag and freeze it for at least three days to kill any remaining bed bugs and their eggs.

8) Isolate Your Luggage

If you’ve been traveling and suspect that your luggage may be infested with bed bugs, it’s important to take the proper steps to prevent the spread of the infestation.

Unpacking Luggage Outdoors or in the Garage

The first step is to unpack your luggage outdoors or in the garage. This prevents any bed bugs in your luggage from crawling onto your bed or furniture.

Washing Clothes Immediately

Once you’ve unpacked your luggage, it’s important to wash all of your clothes immediately. Bed bugs can hide in clothing, so washing your clothes in hot water can kill any bed bugs and their eggs that may be present.

Vacuum Sealing Luggage to Kill Bed Bugs

To prevent your luggage from becoming infested with bed bugs in the future, you can vacuum seal it. This involves placing your luggage in a vacuum-sealed bag and using a vacuum cleaner to remove all of the air from the bag.

This creates an airtight seal that kills any bed bugs and their eggs that may be present.

Conclusion

Bed bug infestations can be frustrating and difficult to get rid of, but by taking the proper steps to clean and isolate infested items, you can successfully eliminate bed bugs from your home. Remember to be vigilant and take preventive measures to minimize the risk of future bed bug infestations.

9) Heat & Freezing for Bed Bug Removal

Bed bugs are highly sensitive to extreme temperatures. They cannot survive in temperatures above 120F or below 32F.

As a result, heat treatments and freezing can be effective methods for getting rid of bed bugs.

Using Heat Treatments

Heat treatments involve raising the temperature in an infested area to a level that is lethal to bed bugs. There are two main methods for heat treatments:

1.

Steam Treatment: This involves using a professional-grade steam cleaner to treat infested areas. The steam cleaner heats up the area to a temperature that is lethal to bed bugs.

2. Heat Chamber Treatment: This involves placing infested items in a heated chamber for a set period of time.

The temperature is raised to a level that is lethal to bed bugs, killing them and their eggs.

Using Freezing

Freezing bed bugs can also be an effective method for getting rid of them. This involves exposing the infested items to temperatures below freezing for a set period of time.

There are two main methods for freezing:

1. Cryonite Treatment: This involves using a machine that sprays liquid CO2 onto infested items, freezing the bed bugs and their eggs.

2. Freezing Items: This involves exposing infested items to temperatures below freezing for a set period of time.

You can put infested items, such as clothing or bedding, in the freezer for several days to kill bed bugs.

10) Spread Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural and environmentally friendly solution for getting rid of bed bugs. It is a fine powder made from the fossilized remains of algae.

Using Diatomaceous Earth as an Environmentally Friendly Solution

Diatomaceous earth can be spread in areas where bed bugs are known to hide, such as in cracks and crevices, around bed frames, and under furniture. When bed bugs come into contact with the powder, it effectively dehydrates them, causing them to die.

Following Proper Instructions and Using Care

When using diatomaceous earth, it’s important to follow the instructions carefully and use caution. The powder can be irritating to the lungs and eyes if inhaled, so it’s important to wear protective gear, such as a face mask and goggles.

It’s also important to apply diatomaceous earth in a way that prevents it from becoming airborne. You can use a bulb duster to puff the powder into cracks and crevices, or sprinkle it directly onto infested areas.

Conclusion

Bed bug infestations can be stubborn and difficult to get rid of, but by using a combination of methods, such as heat treatments, freezing, and diatomaceous earth, you can successfully eliminate bed bugs from your home. Remember to take preventative measures to minimize the risk of future bed bug infestations, such as isolating your bed, vacuuming regularly, and inspecting second-hand furniture.

11) Dust Mites vs. Bed Bugs

Many people often confuse dust mites with bed bugs, but the two are quite different in terms of what they look like and the harm they can cause.

Differences between Bed Bugs and Dust Mites

Bed bugs are reddish-brown, flat, and oval-shaped insects that feed on human and animal blood. They are often found in mattresses, box springs, and other furniture near sleeping areas.

Dust mites are microscopic creatures that feed on human skin flakes. They are often found in bedding, carpets, and upholstered furniture.

While both pests can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions, bed bugs can transmit diseases, while dust mites do not.

Ways to Control Dust Mites

To control dust mites, you can take the following steps:

1. Wash bedding: Wash bedding in hot water at least once a week to kill dust mites and remove skin flakes

2.

Cover mattresses and pillows: Use allergen-proof covers on your mattress and pillows to prevent dust mites from entering

3. Reduce clutter: Eliminate clutter in your home that can trap dust and skin flakes

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