Bed bugs live in cracks and crevices in furniture, floors, walls and, of course, beds. (They like the warmth.) They are flightless, so they rely on modern transportation to infect new regions. In the 1990s, they began reinfesting the United States after a long hiatus since the 1950s. Bed bug bites usually do not convey viruses to humans and so are mostly harmless but do cause skin irritations. In babies, they can cause iron depletion. The general strategy of eradicating them is exposure to extreme heat or cold, such as steam cleaning, a hair dryer, or through the use of an iron.
Things You'll Need
- Steam iron
- Diatomaceous earth (optional)
Set your iron on the highest temperature setting, and on "Steam." The iron should be filled with water for enough steam to penetrate to where all the bugs live.
Iron the mattress, using quick motions to prevent them from escaping deeper into the mattress before dying.
Iron the pillows and any crevices around the mattress.
Repeat the ironing procedure about once a month, since bed bugs can live months in hiding without a meal. A steam cleaning is even more effective. Use a hair dryer can be used for crevices. Make sure to wash sheets in hot water.
Tips & Warnings
- Some experts believe that bed bugs do not live in mattresses during the daytime (see link in References). Follow up with diatomaceous earth, which cuts the insect and makes it bleed to death. Since bed bugs are wingless, they must climb bed legs to get to the mattress. Place the bed's legs in cups with diatomaceous earth inside.
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