Even the cleanest home can have bedbugs since they are often transported on luggage or people. These tiny, oval, black bugs are blood-sucking parasites that reside in a mattress and box springs, and they prey on the person who settles in for a good night's sleep. Often the first sign that you have a problem with bedbugs is waking up with small welts or bumps on your back, neck, arms and legs. If you treat infested fabric and wooden surfaces with Clorox to kill the bugs, it might save you a visit from the exterminator.
Things You'll Need
- Washing machine
- Vacuum cleaner
- Upholstery attachment
- Spray bottle
- Clorox bleach
Step 1: Inspect Wooden Furniture
Remove drawers and the contents from nightstands and dressers for easier cleaning. Check surfaces for infestation. Using the upholstery attachment, vacuum all surfaces.
Discard hard-to-clean contents from the drawers. Look behind switch-plate covers where bugs can hide. According to Purdue University extension service, bedbugs are incapable of chewing through sealed or hard surfaces.
Step 2: Bedding
Remove linens and blankets. Machine-wash them in hot water followed by a hot dryer for at least 20 minutes. The heat will help kill the bedbugs.
If your pillows can't be washed, discard them. Wash and dry all clothing in your closets using hot water and high heat. To treat items that can't be washed, place them in a plastic bag, squeeze out the air from the bag, and tie the top securely. Set it aside for 48 hours.
Step 3: The Bed
Remove the mattress and box springs and prop them against the wall. Vacuum thoroughly to remove bugs, feces and shed skins. Also vacuum the frame, slats, base board and headboard.
Empty the debris from your vacuum cleaner into a plastic bag outdoors. Tie the opening of the bag securely and discard it. This will prevent infesting other areas of your house.
Step 4: Mix Your Solution
Mix 1 part Clorox with 1 part water in the spray bottle. Clorox is a biocide, which means it can have a controlling effect on organisms. It can be effective for killing bedbugs on surfaces.
Clorox can be a skin irritant. If you have an allergy to chlorine bleach, substitute non-chlorinated bleach. Use caution when using Clorox near fabric as it removes color, leaving bleach marks on clothing and carpets.
Step 5: Disinfect
Spray all wooden surfaces with the Clorox solution. Continue by spraying your mattress and box springs. Allow everything to dry thoroughly before you reassemble your bed and furniture.
Don't spray the mattress or box springs so heavily that they become saturated; excess bleach can weaken fabric. If bedbugs have burrowed deeply within a mattress to lay eggs, spraying bleach won't be effective. This requires the help of professionals.
- Protective covers for mattresses and box springs are available.
- According to Purdue University extension, bedbugs are incapable of chewing through commercially available mattress and box spring covers that measure at least 0.08 mm thick.