Get Rid of Bedbugs Once and For All!
Discover how to get rid of bed bugs at home effectively. Get rid of bed bugs at home permanently. Learn how to prevent a re-infestation by these tiny parasites from ever occurring again.
“Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” is not an appropriate lullaby to kiss the kids goodnight anymore, since these parasites have made a dramatic come back as recently as the mid 90’s after they were almost completely eradicated in the 40’s. At the time DDT was legally used to exterminate cockroaches and many other pests and soon after vacuum cleaners were introduced.
Bed bugs had been confined to developing countries for the time being, but recently they spread across the developed world due to a number of factors like neglect in favor of other pest treatments, resistance to insecticides, ineffective treatment methods and traveling. Bed bugs are opportunistic parasites that will gladly hitch hike in a suitcase and follow their hosts to infest new countries and their inhabitants, hence their success.
Inspecting For Bugs
Bed Bugs are also difficult to spot at first, not until the human host has already been bitten and decided to inspect his/her surrounding to find the culprit do most people even realize what is happening. Bed bugs are oval shaped and flat for easier access to crevices and nooks, usually hiding in the tufts and seams of bedding, head rests, buttons, head boards, edges of carpets and anywhere near where the host sleeps like skirting boards, bed side tables and inside chests of drawers.
They have an ability to infiltrate under wall paper, bed frame hollows, smoke detectors and generally anywhere near their source of food big enough to hide them.
Apart from human transport, bed bugs can be also carried with birds and bats and once established they congregate near their source of food. Apart from red bite rushes anywhere on the body, clues of their presence are their molting outer skeleton shells, tiny fecal droppings and eggs.
Bed bug are attracted to their victims by carbon monoxide and heat and will congregate near them but will also wander around to other rooms in search of food sources. Their flat oval shape makes them adapted for hiding in crevices, staying there in daytime to crawl out at night to feed on their hosts.
Once you’ve completed your own home inspection and their presence has been established, you can start the 2 phase elimination process described below or find out how to get rid of bed bugs at home naturally.
Phase 1 – Remove, Clean, Tidy Up, Vacuum Thoroughly!
This phase is very important in order to remove as many nymphs, eggs and organic debris as possible.
Remove all personal items including laptops, phones, teddy bears, cushions, pillows, blankets. Then vacuum them thoroughly and seal them in plastic bags for few days to check for missed bugs or newly hatched eggs.
Empty dressers, bed side tables and chest of drawers, move them from their place and deep vacuum corners and the inside of cabinets with a nozzle. Go to your sofa and mattress, remove them and vacuum with special attention to seams, tufts, skirts and under the cushions.
Check the box springs for infestation. If there is one, you may have to dispose of the mattress. Dismantle the bed frame and check in the hollow of the metal frame or between the component edges if it is a wooden frame. Vacuum and vacuum again.
Empty your wardrobe and clean it as for the chest of drawers. Since garments cannot be treated with insecticides, machine wash them at a temperature higher than 120*F because adults, nymphs and eggs are all killed within minutes above this temperature. Repeat the process for curtains.
Once you cleaned all the individual parts of the room, furniture,mattresses, textiles, fabrics and upholstery, you can move onto the rest of the room. Vacuum the carpet religiously especially along skirting boards, along the frame of furniture, rails, corners, wall cracks and all visible surfaces and crevices where the parasites may be hiding.
Do the same in all of the rooms of your house that has carpeting or fabrics like your living room. Bedbugs don’t just live in the bedroom.
Next, seal cracks in walls and wall paper with plaster, silicone or acrylic filler to prevent future infestations. In order to expose more bed bugs from their hiding places, you may want to use a flashlight. Finally, remove the vacuum bag and seal it is a plastic bag before disposal. Thorough cleaning and vacuuming is the foundation key to get rid of bed bugs at home.
Phase 2 – Life Cycle And Treatments
The life cycle of bed bugs lasts up to 1 year and is divided in 6 stages. Only the last stage is the adult reproductive stage, while the others are immature stages that start with the egg stage followed by a nymph stage with 3 successive molts before the adult stage.
Adults are 4/5 mm long and all bed bugs stages are surprisingly resistant to low and high temperatures. They can survive many days in temperatures below 0* but will die if the temperature is higher than 47 Celsius or 120 F, so anything short of prolonged freezing temperatures or heat won’t kill them.
The treatments available focus on breaking the bug life cycle and are targeted at all life cycle stages repeatedly, either by killing them directly or by interfering with IGR ( Insect Growth Regulator). It’s too bad they weren’t more like a mosquito and you could just use one of the best bug zappers on them 🙁
Chemical treatments like sprays or dust should be applied at least 3 times 10 days apart to be sure of success. In fact, bed bugs feed sparingly few weeks apart, so re-treatment is necessary for complete elimination. Unlike with fleas where foggers are successful, with bed bugs such treatment produce the opposite effect, the bugs will scatter around making it even more difficult to exterminate them.
Pyrethroid, Malathion and Dichlorvos are commonly used for mattresses, sofas, cushions and upholstery, cabinets and chests with particular attention to seams and tufts, However, some bed bug populations have developed a phenomenal resistance to these agents and there is growing concern as to how to find a more effective way to kill them.
Another solution may be an IGR (Insect Growth Regulator) based treatment.
There are also mattress cases on the market that completely seal the mattress and prevent any escape from it. They must be kept for 1 year or so to make sure to break the whole life cycle of the bed bugs by starving them and stop the infestation spreading. If the infestation is severe, you may need to dispose of the mattress, but If it is not too advanced, you may decide to use sprays and dusts to kill the unwanted guests.
Prevention After The Infestation
There is a sound and chemical free way of dealing with bed bugs. If you have already experienced the trauma of an infestation you are already in a better position NOT to underestimate the resilience and adaptability of this successful bug. Wherever and whenever you travel, be wary of where you sleep and of your luggage. Here below there is a prevention check list to help you understand howto get rid of bed bugs in Pheonix or wherever, even at home and the trauma and disruption that these tiny creatures can do to your life.
- Always check your hotel mattress and headboards when traveling
- Do not drop your luggage on the floor but keep it off it
- Keep a vigilant eye on public transport seats
- Check for bugs in new furniture delivered from warehouses
- Avoid buying second hand furniture or bedding
- Carry a mini flash light to inspect the bed area
- Back home from a trip, inspect your luggage and vacuum clean it
- You may want to use a pocket spray can for mattresses and luggage when traveling
- Use a sticky bed bug trap
Getting Rid of BedBugs Through Cleaning
- Vacuum the furnishings, including mattress, box spring, headboard, couch and other possible infested areas such as wooden doors and floors every other day.
- When you are cleaning the furniture, dismantle the bed frames and other furniture so that you can be sure that you can get to all of the bugs when cleaning.
- You should also dry-scrub the mattress and carpets with a stiff brush to dislodge any bedbugs and their eggs that may not have been suctioned with the vacuum.
- When you’ve finished vacuuming, immediately remove the bag from the vacuum cleaner, seal it in a plastic bag and take it out to the trash can.
- Bedbugs sometimes hide in wood piles, paper trash bins, and other areas with debris around your house, so it’s a good idea to go around the house and remove any of these possible housing sites.
- Remove any unnecessary clutter from around the house and keep it tidy. This will reduce their hiding spaces and increase the effectiveness of the cleaning process, making getting rid of bedbugs a lot easier.
- Sometimes, it is a good idea to throw away mattress or box springs that are heavily infested with bedbugs.
- An alternative to throwing away mattresses that may still be in good condition is to get a bed bug proof mattress encasement, which helps protect the mattress from infestation.
Kill Bed Bugs Using Heat
Like many living pests, you can also get rid of bedbugs and their eggs by using heat. Most bedbugs can be killed at temperatures of 97°F to 99°F, but you get better results if you heat things up to 120°F.
Here are some ways on how you can kill bedbugs with heat:
- To get rid of bedbugs, wash your bedding and clothing in hot water and then drying them in the dryer with the hot setting.
- The same dryer can also be used to kill bedbugs that might be hiding in toys, stuffed animals, shoes, backpacks and other items. Place the items in the dryer and then set for 10 to 20 minutes on a medium to high heat setting.
- For large item like luggage, try PackTite, a portable electronic heat treatment device guaranteed to kill bed bugs in all its life stages. (above 120°F)
- Similarly, you can also take items that you suspect have bedbugs and place them into a black garbage bag, leaving them outside in direct sunlight for 2 to 3 days.
- You can also shop for a bed bug steamer or regular steam cleaner to kill bedbugs. They are quite effective in getting rid of bedbugs, however it is advisable to use one that has dry vapor steam when steaming your mattresses otherwise you may end up with other problems such as mold or mildew growing, as well as dust mites allergies.
Getting Rid of BedBugs With Chemicals
Another way to get rid of bedbugs is to use inorganic agents like silica Aerogel or Diatomaceous Earth which dehydrates and kills the bedbugs.
There are also aerosol sprays that can be used for bedbug removal. Among the more popular brands includes Bedlam Insecticide and STERI-FAB bed bug spray which effectively get rid of bedbugs with lasting residual performance.
Exterminate BedBugs With Professional Exterminators
Getting rid of bedbugs will unquestionably be a long-winded and demanding task. If you feel that you do not have the time or the energy to execute the extermination well on your own, it is advisable to hire a bed bug exterminator who have invested in the knowledge, training and equipment to do the job well and guarantee the success of the extermination operation.