If you wake up one morning with itchy bites on your body, you may have bed bugs. Bed bugs are small insects that feed on animal blood. They are active at night and most people do not even realize they are being bitten as they sleep. During the day, bed bugs hide near the location that people sleep. They hide in tiny crevices in headboards, box springs, mattresses and bed frames. Although bed bugs have not proven to pose any substantial health risks to humans, you can eliminate them so you can rest comfortably.
Things You'll Need
- Sealed plastic bags
- Stiff scrub brush
- Vacuum cleaner with hose attachment
- Steam cleaner
- Natural bed bug spray
- Mattress encasement
Place bedding and clothing that's infested or may be infested into a plastic bag. Wash the items in water with a minimum temperature of 120 degrees. You can also place clothes, shoes, toys, stuffed animals, purses and similar items in the clothes dryer and dry them on medium-high heat for about 20 minutes. This will kill the bed bugs and can be done with or without washing the items. Transfer the items from the infested room to the laundry area in a sealed plastic bag.
Clean infested rooms thoroughly. Scrub infested areas with a stiff scrub brush to loosen eggs. Remove clutter from the room by placing it in sealed plastic bags for cleaning.
Vacuum targeted infestation areas of the room or home. General vacuuming and housecleaning will not suffice as you're not likely to reach the crevices where bed bugs hide. Scrape the end of the vacuum suction wand over the infested areas to effectively remove bed bugs. Be sure to target the fabric folds on beds and couches, baseboards, carpet edges, inside dresser drawers and bed rails. Turn furniture over to inspect and clean all possible hiding spots. Place the vacuum debris into a sealed garbage bag and remove from the home. Steam clean all carpets and rugs in the infested area.
Spray all infested areas or potentially infested areas with a natural bed bug spray that is free from pesticides and insecticides. Pesticides and insecticides are not safe to be used in areas where you sleep. Bed Bug Powder and Avenger Organics Bed Bug Killer are just a couple of the many chemical-free bed bug killers. Be sure to spray all around the bed, baseboards, inside and around drawers, closets, doors and door frames, molding, around windows and furniture. Although you are using a natural product, read the safety precautions to see if it is safe to spray directly onto a mattress or bedding.
Place a mattress encasement over the mattress in the infested room. This is more than simply a mattress cover. It zips up to seal up the mattress. This will prevent bed bugs from leaving or entering the mattress. Any bed bugs in the mattress will eventually die inside.
Caulk any cracks around baseboards or moldings to prevent further infestation. Caulk any exterior cracks or crevices of the home where bats, birds or rodents may be entering. Such creatures are ideal hosts for bed bugs.
Tips & Warnings
- Enlist the help of a professional exterminator if the bed bug problem is severe. He will be able to tell you which items you may need to discard, areas of the home that need to be sealed and how to prevent future infestations. He can also spray for bed bugs if you would rather not do it yourself.
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