Bed bugs are a household nuisance that can invade a home in a short period of time. The bugs feed off of dead skin cells, making the bed a prime place for these creatures to gather, feeding off dead skin cells that collect on your bed sheets. Extermination services are available but often come with harsh chemical solutions that you may not want your home subjected to. In most instances, you can safely eliminate bed bugs in the home by following a thorough cleaning routine.
Wash all bedding that has been infested. Place all bedding into a trash bag, including sheets, pillows, blankets and comforters. Using a trash bag will prevent any bed bugs from falling into carpeting or other areas of the home while transporting to the washer. Carry to the washing machine, then wash in a hot water cycle. This will kill the majority of the bed bugs, but some may still be alive. Place the items in the dryer on a high heat setting, which will kill all bed bugs; none will be able to survive the high heat temperatures of the dryer. Discard the trash bag in a trash can outdoors.
Also wash any stuffed animals or similar items that are in or around the bed. For items that are not machine-washable, place in a garbage bag, tie tightly to create an airtight seal, and keep in the bag for one week. This will kill any bed bugs.
While the bedding is in the washing machine, it is time to thoroughly clean the room. Use a vacuum with a bag. This will trap the bed bugs inside of the bag, where they will be unable to escape. Vacuum the mattress, using a hose attachment to get into the cracks and seams of the mattress. Vacuum the underside of the mattress as well. After cleaning the mattress, vacuum the frame of the bed, along with all flooring in the room. Spray the entire area with disinfectant spray, which will kill any remaining bed bugs.
For heavily infested areas, purchase a mattress bag from your local exterminator. This bag will wrap snug around your mattress, and create an airtight seal that bed bugs will be unable to escape. After a few days, the bed bugs will die off.
Also check for any areas of the home that have small cracks or openings, which bed bugs can travel thorough. Caulk all cracks, holes, and small openings to prevent bed bugs from moving to other areas of the home.
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