Bed bugs are a nuisance and getting a handle on them quickly is essential!
If you find little red bug bites on your skin, they might be a sign that you have a beg bug infestation, so here is what you do to detect, treat and prevent them from coming back.
Bed bugs can be eradicated by isolating them in soft furnishings, then using extreme heat or cold to kill them. Washing machines or freezers are effective for killing these pests off. Being vigilant of bug bites and regularly inspecting luggage after travel will help reduce renewed cases of bed bugs.
As there is a little more to it than that, we’ll discuss how to spot bedbugs, treat your home for them, prevent future infestations, and more in the following article!
What are bed bugs and what do they want from me?
Bed bugs are small insects that feed on human blood. They’re called bed bugs because they tend to hang out in the dark, hiding close to where people sleep – beds, couches, and recliners!
Bed bugs like warmth, just as we do but also darkness: during the day they hide in cracks and crevices around your home, coming out at night to feed on you while you’re sleeping.
So, why are these pests in your home?
Bed bugs are brought into your home by people. When you travel to different places, these little hitchhikers can come with you and then hide in clothing or another soft furnishing such as the comforters of your bed.
These pests can also be transported within furniture you’ve moved from one place to another. They can also be picked up from hotels, where they have been passed around from traveler to traveler. This normally happens when they get into your clothing and then into your luggage.
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How to spot a bed bug
So, you may be reading this because you have an inkling that you have already got bed bugs in your home, but you aren’t 100% sure yet. Well, how do you know whether or not you have bed bugs?
The easiest way to spot a bug is by looking at the red bites on your skin. These are the tell-tale signs of bedbugs feeding off your blood while you sleep! Other indicators are seeing the actual bugs, small black spots, or dark-reddish brown blood stains on your bedding.
Bugs tend to congregate around beds and couches because this is where they can easily access their victims. As they like the dark most of all, you will more easily spot them by looking underneath your bed and other bedroom furniture. Of course, you can also scan these areas at night when they are most active and catch them in the act.
However, bedbugs can be found anywhere in the home. As the infestation intensifies, you may find that these pests migrate throughout your home. This means you need to act as quickly as you can when you discover them in your house.
Treating your home for bed bugs
Using chemicals (the extreme approach)
Once you are sure that you really do have a bed bug infestation, it’s time for you to act. Using store-bought chemicals to kill these pests can be very effective. However, the downside is that it might not be safe for your family or pets. In addition, you may also have a bit of trouble finding where exactly they are hiding within your home!
Here are a few insecticides you can try:
- The most common pesticides used to get rid of bedbugs are pyrethrins and pyrethroids. Some bedbugs have become resistant to them though.
- Chlorfenapyr, a pyrrole derivative, causes the death of bedbugs by causing disruptions in their cell walls.
- Neonicotinoids are nicotine-like pesticides that have been developed by humans. They impair the insects’ nervous systems. This pesticide is useful against bedbugs that have outlived other pesticides.
- Dessicants are chemicals that destroy the bugs’ protective outer layer. Without this shell, the pests would shrivel and die. Silica aerogel (Tri-Die and CimeXa) and diatomaceous earth are two examples of desiccants. Dessicants have the advantage of resistance to bedbugs; however.
- Bedbugs can’t be killed by foggers or bug bombs because they hide in cracks and crevices. They’re also hazardous to humans if dispersed incorrectly. Read the label carefully before using them. Before setting off a bug bomb, leave the room.
- Eco-friendly alternatives such as Plant Raider and Bed Bug Patrol are less dangerous to humans and the environment than chemical pesticides.
Using natural treatments (the cheapest approach)
A better and safer option is to use natural remedies. These are all safe for humans, pets, and the environment. They may not be as powerful as chemical solutions but they definitely can do a lot of damage!
There are three ways to get rid of bed bugs without using chemicals. These pests can be killed with high heat, 115°F (46 °C) or intense cold- 32°F(less than 0 degree Celsius).
Here are some recommended products to use:
– Wash all your bedding and clothes in hot water for 30 minutes then put them through the dryer on a high setting; use steamer on mattresses or other places where these bloodsuckers lurk
– pack up those dirty laundry bags with infected articles which need treatment ASAP (and don’t forget about putting them outside if possible), bagging everything else as well so there are no hiding spots left inside
– Seal up any cracks around doorframes/windowsills because those pesky critters can crawl right back into reopened spaces once cool temperatures arrive again during fall months too.
– Put bags containing the bed bugs in the freezer at 0°F (-17 °C). Use an accurate thermometer to check on their progress and be sure they stay there for four days or more before removing from cold storage.
Using the pros (the last but best approach)
The best method, really though, is to call a professional pest control company. This way you won’t have to worry about how to treat your home and can instead focus on getting rid of these pesky bugs.
Preventing future infestations of bed bugs
Having bed bugs is unpleasant, to say the least, and it would be terrible if after getting rid of the first wave of uninvited pests you were hit with another. Preventing pest infestations is essential for any homeowner.
Some tips for how to do this include:
– After traveling, ensure that you wash and dry your clothing at a high temperature. This will kill any bugs or eggs that may have gotten into them.
– Vacuum regularly so as to remove any potential hiding places for these pests.
– Ensure all cracks and crevices are patched up with caulk, this is particularly important in your bedroom, master bathroom and anywhere you are likely to bring in bed bugs unwittingly.
Another way that bed bugs can get into your home is from furniture and other items who bring into it.
Make sure you inspect anything before bringing it into your home. If there is any sign of bed bugs, don’t bring them in! When in doubt, give any second-hand item a good clean and perhaps leave it in your yard or garage before introducing it into your bedroom.
The importance of getting rid of clutter in your bedroom
Bed bugs love to hide and lay eggs in dark, warm, and cozy spots. They like to nest between the mattress and box spring of a bed. Bed bugs also linger under the couch cushions, rugs around furniture, on clothes in closets, or behind curtains on windows.
– You may find your bed bug population is more prevalent if clutter such as newspapers on your floor, old clothes hanging up on your bedroom door, or piles of boxes making it hard for you to reach certain areas of your home that provide ideal hiding spots for these pests.
If we clean our bedrooms there isn’t any room for them! For some people, this is more difficult than others and they might need some help from a professional cleaner.
When doing this there are some things you need to be wary of, make sure the cleaner uses eco-certified products. Your cleaner should also know how to prevent bed bugs from coming back into your home after they have left by using a special vacuum that sucks but doesn’t spit out debris.
If nothing works and you are still having problems with these pests then just call a local pest control company.
Get rid of old clothes, shoes, and books that might be harboring the pesky pests
Pests infesting your home is a terrible feeling, and it’s best to get rid of any suspect items immediately. These opportunistic pests hunker down in tight spaces like beds, area rugs, couches, and even stuffed animals (they’re attracted to warmth!), meaning nests can grow anywhere inside the home.
If they are infested throw them away rather than taking the risk of trying to clean them. This is particularly true of larger items that aren’t easy to throw in a washing machine such as drapes and sofas.
You can get these bigger items professionally cleaned, but ask for a quote first and then consider if it might just be time for a replacement or an upgrade instead.
Once you have confirmed there aren’t any pests in your house, thoroughly inspect all clothing and other second-hand materials before bringing them into use so as to avoid such happenings in the future!
So, if you can effectively treat your soft furnishings, you may be better off getting rid of them wholesale and starting fresh in a bug-free home.
Bed bugs are a very real problem for many people. Getting rid of bedbugs can be difficult, but it is worth the effort if you want to keep your home pest-free and healthy.
If you think that you might have an infestation in your house or workplace then call a professional pest control service for real peace of mind. They will come out and inspect the area for any signs of infestation, provide recommendations on how best to deal with this issue from an exterminator perspective, and put together a plan tailored just for you!