Prior to World War II, bed bugs were nearly eliminated in the US and other industrialized nations through the use of DDT. But because DDT is now outlawed,at time of publication, combined with increased resistance by bed bugs to common pesticide chemicals, increased international travel and other factors, they have become a destructive and problematic pest for residences and businesses. If you find that you have a bed bug infestation in your home, several natural options are available to you to remove it.
Bed Bugs Indoors
To understand how best to use natural control methods to remove a bed bug infestation, it is necessary to first understand where bed bugs are found in the home. As their name implies, bed bugs are commonly found in mattresses and box springs, bed sheets, underneath beds and behind headboards attached to walls. In addition to the bugs themselves, eggs, eggshells, feces and blood stains left by the bed bugs may be visible on these materials.
Natural Control Methods
While there are no effective organic or natural pesticide substances for bed bug control, there are numerous natural, non-chemical practices that have a pesticidal effect. Bed bugs can be suctioned up with a stick vacuum when observed. Mattress and pillow encasements can trap bed bugs that have taken up residence in your bed.
A short spin on a heated dryer cycle can heat bed clothes up to temperatures that are fatal to bed bugs, as can a cold treatment. Placing the posts of a bed in glass jars or coating them in petroleum jelly will render the bed posts too slick for the bed bugs to crawl up them and infest your bed.
The natural methods for removing a bed bug infestation that has already taken hold in your home; to permanently remove bed bugs requires additional steps to prevent future infestations. The most common cause of residential bed bug infestation is residents traveling abroad that bring the bed bugs into the home on their clothing and in their luggage.
If you see any signs of bed bug infestations in any place you are staying when traveling abroad, wash and heat dry all clothing and luggage thoroughly before entering the home. The same is true when purchasing new beds and bedding-related materials from stores.
The desire to avoid the use of chemical pesticides through natural removal methods is surely understandable, but serious infestations very often mean contacting professional exterminators. Heat treatments of entire rooms, whereby professionals heat up an entire room to a temperature fatal to bed bugs, is a natural control alternative that avoids potentially toxic chemical pesticides but one that a professional must apply.
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