You should really know how to get rid of bed bugs effectively and for good if you don’t want them from coming to your house – or your bed. Bed bugs may not carry diseases, but their bites are super annoying. The bites are itchy and they leave marks. And those marks need a very long time to disappear – around months.
Bedbugs Facts, Bites and Infestation
Bed bugs feed on blood – whether it is animals or humans. They generally feed at night when most creatures are sleeping, but on rare occasions when they can’t find food, it is possible that they may feed during the day. They may live in box springs, bed frames, and also mattresses because it enables them to have easy and direct access to their food. It is also possible that the bed bugs live in bed crevices or holes. They can travel or move to nearby rooms or areas where the food is plentiful. Bed bugs can live for a long time without meal but they will certainly die if they are dehydrated.
Bed Bug Infestation Early Signs
You should be aware of the infestation issue if you have these signs:
- You find dry blood in small numbers on your bed, on the sheet, and on the pillowcase. It is possible that you accidentally crush one of them while sleeping
- You always experience itchy welts on the open and exposed skin area. You probably think that it is the mosquitoes, but even after you have used the mosquitoes spray, the itchy welts keep happening – and you don’t even see signs of dead mosquitoes or whatsoever.
- The itchy welts may happen within closed perimeter – not scattered around loosely. In some cases, you may even experience itchy welts in line. It’s because the bugs like to bite and draw blood from close perimeter areas.
- The welts don’t go away after days. They are super itchy and the itch keeps going on and on. And they take forever to go away – it takes weeks and even months. Slowly, the welts are turning brown – which can affect the appearance of the skin
- When you perform further inspection around the bed, you see a large numbers of transparent-look alike skin with brown tiny stuff within the same area. Young bed bugs need to feed and then shed the skin to reach the growth stage. What you find is likely their shed of skin and also fecal matter. Yuck, gross!
Bed bugs are different from rats or flies or roaches in terms that they don’t carry any disease. They use their piercing mouth to suck the blood, but the bite itself is painless. However, the skin may be irritated from the bite, causing itchy sensation on the affected area. It looks like the swollen welt caused by mosquitoes, but they are actually different.
How to Prevent Bed Bugs in Apartment, Hotel, Hostel Or House?
The best way on how to get rid of bed bugs is to prevent it from happening on the first time. If you are often on the go, you need to check your belongings before unpacking. It would be a good idea to have bed bug sprays or insecticides on the porch so you can sterilize your items before getting into your homes. For items that can be washed right away, it would be a good idea to put them into the washer right away. For items that can’t be washed, make sure to put everything into a sealed plastic bag so you can treat them later.
It would also be a good idea to sterilize everything new, such as furniture or items that you have just bought. If you buy used furniture, such as sofas, tables, beds, and such things alike, make sure to sterilize them. If you aren’t sure about the quality of mattress that you have just bought, use a mattress cover with zippers.
Before sealing it off, throw in some Diatomaceous Earth powder or camphor, which will kill the bugs during the closure. It would be a good idea to have several mattress cover with zipper and also have DE or camphor supply at home.
It is a good idea not to bring home any discarded box springs, bed frames, upholstered furniture, or mattresses. You don’t know the reasons why they are discarded – and bringing home things whose condition is unknown is pretty risky. If you want to have inexpensive items, it’s best to buy them at the secondhand stores instead of getting the discarded ones. And always make sure to perform the sterilization process and procedure before taking the items home. Read Also: 6 Natural Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Performing the Check
In case you suspect that bed bugs infestation issue already happens, it would be better to deal with the issue as soon as possible. The problem with bed bug infestation is that you can’t expect knowing how to get rid of bed bugs in one day. Getting rid of them takes time, and it would be impossible to achieve it in one day. You will also need to perform a continuous check and inspection to make sure that they won’t return.
Prepare the Room
The first thing of how to get rid of bed bugs in a mattress is to clean out the entire area. Declutter it. If you have to remove items, cover them in plastic and try to seal it. It would prevent the bed bugs from escaping and being transferred to another room. Always cover everything in plastic. Yes, it requires extra work, but you don’t want a huge bed bug infestation happening all over your house.
Check for your bed, spring box, and bed frames. Cover them with plastic and take them outside where you can treat them later. If you don’t want to deal with the treatment, dispose them. But write Bed Bugs on them so no one would take them home. Infested garments, linens, and sheets must be washed immediately.
Use hot water for the washer. When you dry them, also use high temperature (above 120 degrees Fahrenheit is advisable). High heat will definitely kill the bugs. If you have garments that you can’t wash, you need to throw them away. Put them in plastic bags. Again, write Bed Bugs on the plastic. If there are soft toys, books, or stuffed animals have been infested with the bugs, put them in the sealed plastic bag and have vapor strips to kill them.
You want to make sure that the entire bedroom is being treated, including the folds, crevices, holes, and cracks. It is best to use different kinds of products to increase the chances of success. Besides the bed bug sprays, you can also use camphor and also Diatomaceous Earth. The powdery stuff is great for holes and cracks treatment. There are also some bed bug kits that can be sprinkled or sprayed on difficult areas – you should use them to cover the area thoroughly. Read: How to Tell if You Have Bed Bugs?
Careful and thorough treatment is one method on how to get rid of bed bugs effectively. Make sure to do the treatment one by one so you can focus and perform an overall treatment. For box springs and bed frames, use the flashlight to check every corner and every crack. There are special bed bug sprays to use. Make sure to spray everything and cover each surface with the sprays. For the mattress, spray it with the product until it is damp. Just leave everything outdoor so the bugs won’t get back to the house.
Once everything is dry (mattress, box spring, bed frame), you can use a special cover to encase them. Not only it will prevent possible re-infestation, but it will also make future treatment and inspection go easier. Before sealing it off with the cover, spray it again but not too much. And then throw in some insecticide dust before sealing it off. Insecticide dust is great because it can last up to months.
When you have to do further treatments, take the piece of the furniture outside again. Open the seal and then use a vacuum to clean the entire surface. Whether you want to spray it again or not is up to you. As long as you have used a sealed cover, then you won’t have to worry about anything because it already limits the activity of the bugs. But if you don’t use the sealed cover, then you may have to repeat the treatment again – up to two or three times more.
You can also consider a special steamer for bed bugs so you steam the box spring, bed frame, and mattress completely. This special steamer can also be used for other types of furniture, so you are making a good investment, really. Steaming is definitely one of the best methods on how to get rid of bedbugs for good. It is pretty safe when compared to insecticides since steaming won’t put you in a high health risk.
Not to mention that steaming can also kill the eggs, so you won’t have to worry about the new hatches. If you do have a steamer, do it before you cover the bed. This is super effective to deal with the pesky bugs.
Other Best Bed Bug Treatments
There are also other methods on how to get rid of bed bugs to try:
- If the infested items aren’t so many and aren’t huge in size, you can always have the hot or cold treatment. Put them in a tightly sealed bag (preferably black bags) and then put them outside, such as closed car or on your lawn. Just let them be for around a week. And then check the contents right on the spot – don’t do it inside. You should be able to see the dead bugs. You can also put the bag inside the freezer with -17 degrees Celsius or 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave the bag for 4 days, minimum. And then check. They should be dead.
- If you are using insecticides, you may want to use the plant-based products. They are safer than those containing chemical substances and they work pretty well with the bed bugs.
In the end, the decision to choose the best treatment in dealing with the bugs is totally up to you. To get the best outcome, combine several ways. Make sure that you try each method on how to get rid of bed bugs to get the best and the most satisfying result. Read: Does Alcohol Get Rid of Bed Bugs?