Isn’t it the worst when you are trying to get a good night’s sleep only to end up waking in the middle of the night with constant itching and irritation on the skin? Yeah, so bed bugs are a menace, especially when they continue to infest and spread in rapid numbers. However, how to get rid of bed bugs is the question.
Some people opt for professional help right away since finding bed bug infestation is extremely challenging. However, if you don’t want to jump the big guns straight away, there are a few other alternative ways that you can consider looking into.
Here, we will discuss everything there is to know about bed bugs and how to get rid of the infestation the right way.
Also read: 10 Best Ways to Get Rid of Cockroaches
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bedbugs are small, oval brownish insects that are parasitic and live off animals and humans’ blood. Although they don’t have any wings to fly, these apple seed-sized insects have faster mobility across the walls and floors. Not only are they smart, but they are also tough and mutant and can live a lot longer in your home than you’d generally expect.
Bedbugs generally measure 5 mm across and have the potential to breed and multiply rapidly. A healthy female bedbug can lay up to 500 eggs during its lifetime. Since they are parasitic, they are often found infesting in the beds and mattresses, trying to feed off humans. This can lead to soreness, itching, and redness on the skin.
However, the good news amidst all this is that you can get rid of bedbugs with proper steps. All you need to do is be patient throughout the process and not rush into things. There is a range of chemical and non-chemical methods that have proven to be quite beneficial.
What are the Signs of Infestation of Bed Bugs?
Even if you have just one bed bug lying around the house, it can potentially multiply before you even know it. So, being cautious is key in this respect. You need to ensure that you take all the right measures to get rid of these pesky insects from your home to keep your health in the best condition.
One of the alarming signs of bed bugs is waking up with redness and itching on the skin that wasn’t there the night before. If this continues to happen, the chances are that you need to find an alternative immediately.
Some of the other signs of a possible infestation include:
- Bloodstains on the sheets and pillows on your bed
- Visible dark and rusty spots of the excrement of the bugs
- Eggshells and shed skin on the infested areas
- The musty odor from the bug’s scent glands
If you see any of the above signs, you always start by inspecting your bed. Take everything off and check for signs of those bugs. You might also want to check the bed and the wooden seams around it to see any remnant eggs, skin, or excrement around.
Aside from the bed, you can also check the other closed furniture pieces in the bedroom, including the closet and bedside table. If the infestation has taken a turn for the worse, you will eventually find the source and be able to get rid of it for good.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs?
Now that we have a basic idea about bed bugs and their signs of infestation, we discuss how to get rid of them for good. Keep in mind that the following methods might not be effective if the infestation is out of hand. In such cases, you might have to call a professional exterminator.
Here’s what you can do to start with:
1. Identify the Sites of Infestation
The first and likely the most important step in getting rid of bed bugs is to find the primary source of infestation. Sometimes it can be on the bedding and sometimes in other places. If you are constantly experiencing itching and redness after a day’s work, your source of infestation is likely around the most commonly visited sites in your home.
Start with your bedroom because that is the most common site of infestation. You can check around the bed, the closet, and the remaining furniture around. Also, if you have a carpet, try deep cleaning that too since that could be infested.
If you are having a hard time finding them, get hold of a flashlight and a magnifying glass because that can enhance the overall visibility and make it easier for you to find these little parasites. Once you get hold of a few bed bugs during your search, you can seal them in a bottle of rubbing alcohol to kill them.
2. Clean and Wash
Now that you might have found the original site of the infestation, the next thing to do is go out of your way to clean the places where the infestation is the maximum. If it’s on your bed, you can always pull down the pillowcases, bed sheets, and the other bedding and throw them in the washer and let them dry in the sun for some hours for some good measure.
Try washing all the bedding in hot water for better results. Also, if you have stuffed animals and other delicate items, run them in the washer separately to ensure that you don’t end up damaging them.
Once you are done cleaning and washing the bedding, the next best thing to do is to get your hands on the bed frame and the remaining furniture. You can always rub them down with some rubbing alcohol or other wood-friendly chemical solutions to ensure that the bugs don’t return.
3. Use a Vacuum
While it is tough to get rid of every single bed bug off the furniture, a vacuum can help with that. However, since bed bugs are extremely small in size, you need to pick up the smallest attachment of the vacuum to catch them into the dirtbag.
Make sure that if you are vacuuming furniture pieces like the sofa, you need to get into the pleats and folds of them to get rid of them for good. However, if you use an aerosol product on the furniture before you vacuum, use a product that won’t affect and damage the upholstery.
However, once you have vacuumed, you need to be extra careful with the dirtbag and how you dispose of it. It is always best to take everything into a plastic bag and then seal it off and throw it away in the trash. Once done, you need to thoroughly clean the vacuum to ensure there are no remnant bugs inside of them.
4. Try Chemical Treatments
If the simple vacuuming and washing don’t work, your next best option is to try out the different chemical treatment options available in the market. However, you need to be careful if you have children and a pet at home.
Chemicals like Pyrethrins and pyrethroids are the two most chemical agents that have impacts on bed bugs. Aside from these, pyrroles and neonicotinoids also work pretty well. If none of the above works, you can switch to desiccants that destroy the protective outer coating on the bug’s body.
5. Try a Professional Exterminator
If none of the general options work, it is always best that you call a professional exterminator to help you out. Not only do they assure 100% success rates in getting rid of the current infestation, but they also ensure that you wouldn’t have to worry about future infestations anymore.
If you have been wondering how to get rid of bed bugs, this guide should answer all your queries. However, be mindful of the level of infestation and the methods you are using. Sometimes, it is best to simply get professional help instead of beating around the bush. So, if you cannot get rid of them using the DIY methods, get an exterminator to do the job for you.
Also read: How to Get Rid of Gnats?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you Beat Bed Bugs on Your Own?
If the infestation is controlled and not very widespread, the chances are that you can get rid of the bed bugs on your own using chemical repellents. However, if the infestation is beyond control, you might need to consult a professional to help you out.
Are Bed Bug Bites Fatal for Humans?
Bed bugs are parasitic, meaning that they feed off of human and animal blood. While the bites might not be fatal, there are risks of diseases and skin complaints that you might have to worry about, especially if you have skin disorders or sensitive skin.
Can Baking Soda Kill Bed Bugs?
Although not the most potent option, baking soda is helpful to an extent. You can wash your bedding with baking soda for the best results.