Having trouble sleeping at night? Do you have rashes or red and itchy bumps on your skin? If yes, there are chances that your bed is infested with bed bugs. How do you know your bed is infested? If your bed is infested, how can you protect yourself from bed bugs? Are you wondering how to get rid of bed bugs? Are you thinking where you should start?
Without a doubt, bed bugs are emerging as a menace every day. It is a problem that is growing rapidly as humans are their host. Many people believe that the only reason for bed bug infestation is dirt and filth; however, this is just a misconception. There are several other reasons as well.
When it comes to getting rid of bed bugs, you need to be thorough and persistent. There are numerous ways to get rid of the bed bugs. You can eliminate bed bugs using natural methods, but it depends on the stage of the infestation. In the case of extreme infestation, some of the ways might not work effectively. So, you might have to use insecticides or chemicals to remove the bed bugs.
Are worried which products you should use? What is the right way to get rid of bed bugs? Don’t worry, we are here to help you. From detection to prevention, we have highlighted the steps you should follow to eliminate bed bugs.
Continue reading further to know how to get rid of bed bugs.
- What are Bed Bugs?
- How Do You Get Bed Bugs?
- Hiding Places of Bed Bugs
- Signs of Bed Bug Infestation
- How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs?
- Home Remedies for Controlling Bed Bugs Infestation
- Household Items You Might Need for Terminating Bed Bugs- Myths Busted
- Chemicals You Can Use in Your Home
- Things to Consider When Buying Chemicals
- Things You Should Not Do
- Final Words
What are Bed Bugs?
For those who don’t know, bed bugs are brownish small insects. They survive on the blood of humans and animals. An adult bed bug has the size of an apple seed with a flat body. After drinking the blood, they have red color and their bodies swell.
The bed bugs don’t have wings, so this means they cannot fly. However, they are fast and can move quickly on the ceiling, walls, floors. A female bed bug can lay thousands of eggs. The size of the eggs is the same as a speck of dust.
The immature bed bugs are known as nymphs. Before reaching the adult stage, they shed their skins 5 times and require a blood meal before shedding. When it comes to growing, the bed bugs can grow fully in a month and produce several generations in just a year. This is the reason why they are a nuisance and should be eliminated as soon as possible.
You have to keep in mind that the only purpose of bed bugs is to breed and feed. These bugs will choose any place to nest, lay eggs, and create a colony. Are you wondering how bed bugs find their source of food? The bed bugs are attracted to body heat, warm and dark areas, and carbon dioxide.
How Do You Get Bed Bugs?
The bed bugs are hitchhikers, they can get a ride anywhere and at any time. This is one of the most frequently asked questions. There are plenty of ways through which you can get bed bugs. It is surprising to know how you are exposed to bed bugs on a daily basis. Here are some of the spots where there can be bed bugs.
*Hotels and motels
Hence, these are some places where you should look for bed bugs closely. If you have discovered bed bugs, you can read on to know the guide to know how to get rid of bed bugs.
Hiding Places of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs like to hide in warm and dark places. This is the reason why you can find bed bugs in tight cracks and crevices. The bed bugs can come to your home through used couches, bed, clothing, luggage, and many other things. Since they have flat bodies, they can easily fit into small places. The bed bugs don’t have nests like bees or ants. Still, they live in groups. The most common hiding places for bed bugs are:
With the passage of time, the bed bugs scatter throughout the room. These bugs can not only move to crevices but to apartments and rooms nearby.
Signs of Bed Bug Infestation
There are several signs through which you can know you have bed bugs.
*One of the most common signs is waking up with itchy and red bump that was not there when you went to bed.
*Another sign of bed bugs us rusty or dark spots of the excrement of bed bugs on the sheet, mattress, walls, or bed clothes.
*There might be stains of blood on your pillowcase or sheet.
*A musty and terrible smell coming from the bugs’ scent glands.
*Bed bugs leave eggshells, fecal spots or even shed their skin in their hiding places.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs?
Many people rely on professionals to get rid of bed bugs. No doubt they will help in eliminating the bed bugs from your room, it might cost you an arm and a leg. Why should you waste your money when you can do it yourself at a fraction of the cost? With this guide on how to get rid of bed bugs, you can terminate bed bugs quickly and in a hassle-free manner.
The first step is to check or detect the infestation. Though bed bug bites are uncomfortable, it will not spread any disease. So, how do you know it is a bed bug bite? Well, the symptoms of bite might lead to wheals or lesions on the skin that can expand up to 5 cm. Mostly, the bites happen overnight when your bed is infested.
The most common hiding places for bed bugs are near the piping. The bed bugs live within 8 feet of where people sleep. The signs of bed bug infestation include dark spots from feces and different life stages.
Moreover, you have to remove all the beddings to check for signs of bed bugs. It is advised to remove the dust cover from the box spring, pay attention to the seams in the wood framing. You must even look around your bed. Some other places to look for bed bugs are inside of telephones, books, and radios. You must look at the edge of the carpet and in the outlets. Don’t forget checking in your closets as bed bugs can attach themselves to clothes.
Bed Frame and Headboard
You must remove the mattress and the box frame to look for bed bugs. It is better to use a flashlight to inspect every hiding place. Keep in mind, bed bugs can easily fit into places where a business card fit in.
Checking the Box Spring and Mattress
The first thing you need to check is the mattress. Keep in mind you don’t have to do it quickly; you must be thorough. It is advised to look closely at the tufts and seams near the edges. You should flip the mattress to inspect the bottom. If there are any rips in the fabric, pay special attention to it.
It is recommended to inspect the fabric on the bottom of the box spring. You can use a flashlight to ensure there are no bed bugs inside the box spring.
The bed bugs can crawl on the walls as well. This is why it is advised to inspect the wall carefully. You should remove the wall hangings and electrical switch plates to inspect properly. Additionally, you have to look under the tack strips, behind the baseboards, and into the cracks in seams and plaster.
You will have to check other furniture because the bed bugs can spread throughout the room. This is why you have to remove all the cushions from nearby furniture. It will be better to take out all the drawers. You will have to inspect all the things in an infested area carefully and thoroughly.
Once you have discovered bed bugs, you need to start the extermination process.
In order to make the termination process of bed bugs easy, you should clean the room and reduce the clutter. You will have to make sure you have removed all personal items from the room like soft toys, electronics, blankets, and other items. A crucial thing to keep in mind is that any item that is infested with bed bugs can transfer them to different rooms. This is why it is advised to place them in a separate plastic bag.
Strip the Bed
You should start the bed bugs eliminating process by removing all the bedding from the bed. The goal is to isolate the bed, so you must remove everything.
- Take off the bed linen and add it to a plastic bag. This is to make sure the bed bugs will not spread to other areas.
- Then, you must take the bedding directly to the washing machine and wash it in hot water. You can even add other infested items to make sure they are free of infestation.
- After that, you must dry the bedding at a high temperature. This will ensure there are no bed bugs and eggs hiding in the sheets or covers.
- Don’t reuse the plastic bag, you should immediately dispose of it. For discarding the plastic bag, you must seal the bag properly and then dispose of the plastic bag.
Once your bedding in the washing machine, you can remove the mattress and box springs. With the help of a vacuum, you can get rid of the bed bugs, shells, eggs, and fecal droppings present in the folds of your bed.
Though you can use a regular vacuum, there are special vacuums made for getting rid of bed bugs. You can use any type of vacuum you like. It is advised not to use bristle attachment as bed bugs can get attached to it and spread to other areas.
To make sure there are no bed bugs left, you must use a steamer. This is because a steamer is capable of penetrating deep into the surface of the mattress, bed frame, box spring, and footboard. It is important to use the cloth attachment as it will limit the moisture released. You should steam slowly all over the mattress, box spring, and bed frame. Special attention should be paid to seam and folds. After that, you should let it dry.
Use Contact Spray and Residual Spray
For the joints on the bed frame, headboard, and footboard, you contact spray. This is useful for killing the bed bugs quickly and evaporating instantly. There will be no residual protection. You can even use a residual spray to make sure there is no residue and your bed is free of bed bugs.
After the spray, let them dry. Without wasting any time, use encasements to protect your mattress and box spring. This will prevent the bed bugs from entering your mattress and damaging it. In addition, it will limit the places where they can hide.
Usually, the encasements have zippered sheets that make it easy to get it on and off the mattress. Thanks to the encasements, you can easily spot bed bug infestation and keep your new mattress safe.
Preventing Bed Bugs from Coming Back
As mentioned above, the bed bugs can be found anywhere in the room, you have to ensure the bed bugs don’t come back. For this, you have to make your bed every morning. It is imperative to ensure that your bedding is properly tucked in. This is to eliminate any possible point of contact. Since the bed bugs cannot fly or jump, they will have to climb onto an object.
Furthermore, you can remove any unnecessary pillows from the bed and storage under the bed. You have to keep in mind that you must move your bed away from the wall. The bed bugs can even climb up the legs of the beds. This is why you should place interceptors under each leg. It will prevent the bed bugs from reaching on your bed. Thanks to the interceptors, you can even monitor the population of the bed bugs and eliminate them.
Cleaning Your Room and Other Furniture
It is imperative for you to start with vacuuming the deep cracker and crevices along the windowsills, baseboards, and furniture. After that, you should follow the same thing using a steamer. There are different types of steamers; some come with different steam setting. High power steam for deep penetration into the wall and upholstered furniture while low steam for direct surface steaming.
Adding Powders and Spray on Cracks and Crevices
First, use contact sprays for killing the bugs quickly and providing long-lasting protection. Make sure you spray the areas where bed bugs might be hiding such as near the baseboard, behind cushions of upholstered furniture, pull out drawers, and nightstand. Avoid over spraying the contact spray and don’t spray on everything.
Then use residual sprays, these sprays are effective for a longer time period. So, ensure you spray into the crevices and cracks in the room, corners of the upholstered furniture, and edges of the carpet.
You can use powder for places where you can’t use sprays like under appliances, door frames, cracks and crevices, and even in the electrical outlets.
Eliminating Bed Bugs Using Baking Soda
Are you wondering how to get rid of bed bugs using baking soda? This method will help in eliminating bed bugs from your house, but it will require you to repeat the process several times for it to be effective.
The things you will need are baking soda and vacuum. All you have to do is take baking soda and spread it evenly throughout the surface of the room. You have to make sure everything is covered in baking soda, from every wall to corners and doorways. Then, you will have to leave the baking soda for a week.
After that, you have to vacuum the baking soda. Keep in mind, you will have to repeat this process again for almost a year. This is a time-consuming process for getting rid of bed bugs.
Home Remedies for Controlling Bed Bugs Infestation
There are plenty of ways to get rid of bed bugs including thorough cleaning, heat treatment, and pesticides. If you don’t want to use these methods, you can always use these home remedies that will help in solving the bed bug problem.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree oil is considered as a miracle oil because it is useful for several things. This oil has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that will help you eradicate fungi, viruses, and bacteria. The tea tree oil is effective for cleaning your house.
All you have to do is mix the oil with warm water and spray it on the walls, carpets, mattress, and furniture. You can spray tea tree oil when doing your laundry and spray it to infested areas for repelling bed bugs. It is advised to drop a few drops on your suitcases or bags. This will help in keeping the bed bugs away from you.
Lavender is known for providing a soothing and pleasant scent. Not everyone knows that lavender is a great ingredient that will help in repelling the bed bugs. It will nauseate the bugs, eventually, killing them. You can use it in any form such as powder, soap, oil, or fresh lavender.
It is suggested to mix lavender oil with rosemary and eucalyptus oil and water. You can use this repellent spray for eliminating bed bugs from your room. The best thing is that it will enhance the appeal of your house and keep you safe from bed bugs.
These packets can be found in the packaging of various products that will ensure to keep moisture away. You can place the silica gel packets in the infested area. The bed bugs will stick to it and will be dehydrated. Keep in mind, you should inhale the silica gel. It will be better to use it carefully when there are kids or pets in your home.
Scented Dryer Sheets
The scented dryer sheets are perfect for deterring bed bugs. When you place these sheets on the top of your bed, it will prevent it from getting infested by bed bugs.
Home-made Bed Bug Repellent
Making bed bug repellent is extremely easy and simple as you might have all the ingredients in your kitchen.
*Ground ginger- 1 teaspoon
*Water- 1 teaspoon
*Cayenne pepper- 1 teaspoon
*Oregano oil- 1 teaspoon
Mix all these ingredients to make bug repellent. You can spray it where the bugs are entering from. The strong smell of these ingredients will repel the bugs and keep them away from your bed. Spray the mixture every day to prevent the bed bugs from entering your house.
This is also known as Sweet flag. It is an effective home remedy that will help in getting rid of bed bugs. this is because calamus has excellent anti-microbial properties along with the aromatic smell. The combination is perfect for repelling bugs.
Here is how you can use it.
*You have to follow the instruction on the packet and make a mixture.
*Add solution in a spraying bottle.
*Apply the mixture to the infested area. A good thing about this solution is that it can be used for getting rid of other insects as well.
This is a chemical free powder that you can use to get rid of bed bugs. You can use it all over your house; spread it under your bed and fill all the cracks and crevices. Let it sit there for several days; within 10 days, the bugs will be dehydrated. After 10 days, you should vacuum the powder and throw out the vacuum bag. It is advised to use this powder again until all the bed bugs are terminated.
If you are thinking about how to get rid of bed bugs, then you are at the right place. Indian Lilac is an effective and useful ingredient to kill the bed bugs. Thanks to the smell and antimicrobial properties, you can easily exterminate the bugs.
There are two methods for using Indian lilac. You can take a handful of Indian Lilac leaves and crush them. Place it all around your house and especially in the hiding areas of the bugs.
Another method is by boiling the leaves in water for a few minutes. Then, strain the water and pour it in a spray bottle. You can spray it in the hiding places of the bed bugs or even take a baht with it. This will keep the bed bugs away from you and will also treat the bed bug bites.
Another great way to get rid of bed bugs is through heat. Bed bugs cannot thrive in high temperatures; if you want to eliminate bed bugs, you should apply at least 180 degrees of heat. You can use a steamer to eradicate bugs from the mattress, sofas, chairs, carpets, and other items. The steamer will penetrate deep into the surface and kill the bed bugs and eggs.
Eliminate Bed Bugs Using Cold
The bed bugs cannot survive in cold temperature. If you cannot get rid of bed bugs through heat, you can use cold temperatures. This might not work for every item, but you can place some items in the freezer. It is recommended to keep them at 0 degrees for at least 4 days. This will ensure the bed bugs are dead.
The black walnut is an herb that is a wonderful natural insecticide. This will help in repelling the bed bugs efficiently and effectively. All you have to do is place the black walnut tea bags in the infested area. it has antifungal and antibacterial properties; it will ensure the bed bugs run away. With the help of the insecticidal properties, the bed bugs will be killed.
Additionally, you can even use it with other herbs. Follow this recipe to make bags of bed bug repellent at will keep the bugs away from your bed. The strong aroma of this mixture will keep the bugs away.
*Mint- 1 teaspoon
*Lavender- 1 teaspoon
*Sweet flag- 2 teaspoons
*Thyme- 3 teaspoons
*Black walnut- 3 teaspoons
*Add all the ingredients and mix them together.
*Place the mixture in the cotton bags.
*Distribute the cotton bags in the infested areas.
According to researchers at the University of Kentucky and the University of California, bean leaves are good for getting rid of bed bugs. All you have to do is place the bean leaves in the affected area. The bean leaves have trachoma, microscopic hooked hairs. The trachoma will trap the bed bugs by piercing their feet, making it difficult for the bed bugs to move. This eventually, kills them.
Thanks to the strong smell of the lemongrass, it is capable of getting rid of bugs. A great thing about lemongrass is that it will not only kill the adult bugs, but it will also kill the eggs. This will increase the acidic condition of the bugs that will result in killing them. You can use it anywhere in your house and eliminate the bed bugs without any hassles.
One of the herbs that are available in every house is thyme. It has antimicrobial properties that will help in repelling bed bugs. There are different ways to use this herb. You can make small packets of thyme using net bags. Then, place these net bags everywhere around the house. It is advised to have thyme packets under your mattress and in closets, drawers, and dark warm places.
For this to be effective, you should change the packages after every 3 to 4 days. After a few days, you will notice there are no bed bugs in your house.
The mint leaves are good for providing a soothing scent. This scent will help in keeping the bugs away from your home. You can use some dried mint leaves and sprinkle them everywhere in your house, especially near the base of your bed. It will be better to make a mint package and place them in between the linen and mattress. In addition, keep your pillow safe by having the packet under your pillow.
This is an extract that can be obtained from dried flowers of Chrysanthemum, C, and coccineum. This will help in getting a natural insecticide that is effective for killing the bud bugs. It works by directly attacking the nervous system of the critters. This will poison them and soon the bugs will die. An amazing thing about this ingredient is that it is not dangerous for humans and pets. Moreover, you can even use this extract with canola oil.
Many people consider Beauveria bassiana as an herb, but it is actually a fungus. This is a parasite that is capable of eliminating insects; hence, it is a good natural insecticide. This parasite will take at least 3 to 4 days to kill the bed bugs. It is capable of decreasing the mobility, feeding ability, and fecundity of the bugs. The only problem is that it is difficult to acquire.
The clove oil has an overpowering smell that the bugs cannot bear. It has an acidic condition that will kill the bugs. Add a few drops of clove oil on your sofa, mattress, chair,and any other infested areas. This will enable you to get rid of bed bugs.
Household Items You Might Need for Terminating Bed Bugs- Myths Busted
When you are looking for how to get rid of bed bugs, you might come across many ways to eliminate bugs using household items. Many people use these items to eradicate the problem. It is normal to use household items to eradicate bed bug infestation. Well, the problem is that you don’t know whether these are effective or not. Here are some of the items that are used widely by people for getting rid of infestation but are not effective.
One of the most common items suggested is rubbing alcohol diluted in water. The reason why this item is recommended is that alcohol is capable of killing the bed bugs when they come in contact with it. Alcohol will evaporate afterward without leaving any horrible smell.
However, alcohol is not considered as very effective when it comes to killing bed bugs. It was found that through this method only 40 to 60% of adult bed bugs are eliminated. It doesn’t have any impact on eggs and doesn’t have a long-lasting residual effect.
It is better to use contact sprays and residual sprays for eliminating bed bugs more effectively.
There are many essential oils that can be used to kill bed bugs. Mostly, the mixture of essential oils consists of oils like lavender, cedarwood or clove. For many centuries, the essential oils have been used for killing bed bugs. However, the essential oils will only kill the bed bugs that don’t have any source of the meal.
The bugs that are sprayed with essential oil and have access to food source are likely to stay alive. Are you thinking why people tend to use the essential oils to get rid of bed bugs? The reason is that it is considered as a natural and chemical-free way.
In recent times, the pesticide sprays like contact sprays are regulated by EPA for making sure they are safe for indoor use. Instructions or guidelines on how to get rid of bed bugs using the sprays are also mentioned.
Another most commonly suggested method for eliminating bed bugs is using double-sided tape. It is suggested to use the tape on the legs of your bed to prevent the bed bugs from climbing. Unfortunately, this is not effective. Instead, you should use inceptors for preventing the bed bugs from climbing the bed.
Iron or Hair Dryer
Bed bugs cannot survive in high temperatures; this is why many people advise using hair dryer or iron. So, when direct heat is applied to the bed bugs, it will kill them. It is true the bed bugs will die when exposed to 180 degrees of heat.
Nonetheless, these items are not suitable for killing the bed bugs. The clothes iron can reach the desired temperature level, but heat cannot penetrate deep into the surface. Another challenge you might face is that you can only iron clothes and sheets. You cannot use an iron to kill bed bugs hidden in the cracks and crevices or furniture.
On the other hand, hair dryer might be easy to use for killing bed bugs. However, the highest temperature it can reach is 150 degrees. This can kill the bed bugs only if you give direct heat on the infested area for a couple of minutes.
You can kill bugs with heat, but it is all about using the proper tools. A steamer is a wonderful equipment for killing bed bugs. It can penetrate deep into the surface and can reach tight spots.
Chemicals You Can Use in Your Home
The market is filled with different types of chemicals. You can easily get chemicals from an online store or a hardware store. Not all the chemicals are suitable for indoor use. This is the reason why you should get a product that is approved by EPA. It is recommended to follow the instructions carefully.
Here are some of the chemicals that you can use.
*Biochemicals- like cold-pressed neem oil
*Neonicotinoids- a synthetic type of nicotine that has an impact on the nervous system of bugs
*Pyrroles- chlorfenapyr is the only chemical registered in the US
*Pyrethroids and pyrethrins- derived from the chrysanthemum flower
*Insect growth regulators
*Desiccants- diatomaceous earth and boric acid
Things to Consider When Buying Chemicals
You have to focus on various factors when buying chemicals for home use. Following are the things you need to consider:
*The label should clearly mention it is for bed bugs
*The product must be EPA registered
*Instructions on how to use must be mentioned clearly
*Make sure you don’t get bug bombs or total release foggers
*Don’t get chemicals that have a flushing effect. This can lead to spreading the infestation.
Things You Should Not Do
If your room is infested with bed bugs, there are a plethora of things you should not do.
*You should not panic
*Avoid using insecticides or pesticides spray without a plan
*Don’t use products that are EPA registered.
*Never use products that are used for agricultural or garden pesticides. It is advised not to use any home-made pesticides. This is because they can be dangerous and ineffective that will worsen the problem.
*Only use products that have an English label.
*Avoid using kerosene, rubbing alcohol, or gasoline. These things can start a fire.
*Don’t place the infested items in a plastic bag under direct sun. This will not be enough to get rid of the bed bugs.
*It is advised not to move your things from one room to another as it will spread bed bugs.
*Never apply pesticides on your body as these are dangerous.
Bed bug infestation is becoming extremely common in the US again. This is because bug infestation is challenging to control as they are difficult to spot and can escape pesticides easily. It is advised to use encasements to protect your mattress and yourself from bed bugs. Declutter your room and follow the proper eliminating steps to make sure there are no bed bugs and eggs. Follow these steps and create a safe haven for yourself where bed bugs can’t reach you.
*How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in 4 Easy Steps- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcpoy8kiePY
*How to Kill Bed Bugs With Baking Soda Mixture- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CdL2x3k3FU
*How to Kill Bed Bugs With Household Items- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjZxUk8heZA
*Where to check for bed bugs- https://www.flick-anticimex.co.nz/blog/7-places-to-find-bed-bugs/
*How to get rid of bed bugs- https://stoppestinfo.com/199-the-complete-guide-to-killing-bed-bugs.html
*How to spot and how to get rid of bed bugs- https://www.rentokil.ie/blog/bed-bug-bites-what-you-need-to-know-3/
*Main Places where you can find bed bugs- https://www.thebedbuginspectors.com/where-do-bed-bugs-come-from/main-places-to-find-bed-bugs/
*Hiding Places of bed bugs- https://wecleanbedbugs.ca/bed-bugs-faqs/
*Signs of bed bugs- https://www.thebedbuginspectors.com/5-signs-of-bed-bugs/
*Prevention of bed bugs- https://www.catseyepest.com/blog/17-tips-prevent-bed-bug-infestation
*Add spray and powder- https://www.quotemykaam.com/blog/bed-bugs-prevention-tips-for-travellers/