If you are reading this there is a good chance that you have been acquainted with the home owner’s worst enemy – bed bugs. Having lived in an apartment that was infested with bed bugs for over a month, I can honestly say that I know what you are going through. The first thing you should know before starting any treatment system for bed bugs is it pays to be thorough and consistent.
A common mistake that a lot of people make when getting rid of bed bugs is declaring victory too soon. It is quite common for people to assume that their bed bug problem is gone if they don’t spot them after a quick cleaning. Getting rid of a bed bug infestation will require a number of measures to ensure that they are properly exterminated.
A bed bug is a small parasitic insect that lives on the blood of warm blooded animals. Over the past thousands of years bed bugs have been around causing skin rashes, allergic symptoms and psychological effects to people who have been bit. There are around eight different types of these bugs that are generally brown in color and measure up to eight millimeters long.
Because of the small size of these bugs, they can hide in a number of different areas in the home. They can be located in bed mattresses, bed frames, carpeting, laundry, linen, and even furniture. These bugs are extremely difficult to find because they only come out during the night when they are feeding. If you are doing a basic search through your bed, there is a good chance you won’t spot them. They hide in small crevices and hard-to-find areas of a home that are difficult to locate.
With the introduction of insecticides in the 1940s, the bed bug population was largely reduced in most modern countries. However, since the increased amount of travel due to globalization, there has been a major resurgence in bed bugs around the world. The problem with these insects is they can easily go from a hotel room to your luggage. Once these bugs are in your luggage they can go everywhere you travel. This is one of the leading causes of homes becoming infested with bed bugs.
Bed Bug Inspections
Most people who experienced bed bugs for the first time often go into a state of denial. I remember getting bit for over 3 weeks before I decided I wasn’t having allergic reactions and there weren’t mosquitoes in my room. Once I realized I had a problem with the bed bugs, I was able to quickly find a solution.
Anyone who suspects they may have bed bugs in their home needs to do an immediate inspection of the whole house. Although bed bugs are commonly found in bedrooms, they can often live in couches and other furniture that is frequently used by house members. In fact, sometimes people get bed bugs from guests who end up visiting their home and transporting them from their clothes.
Inspecting your mattress and your bed frame are the first two areas that you need to look at. Using a flashlight can often help make it easier to locate these bugs around the home. Flip your mattress over and do a thorough inspection of the seams of the mattress underneath. Physically put your fingers in the under folds and fold them over. This will ensure that you don’t have any part of the mattress that they bed bugs can hide in. You may also want to look at possible holes you might have in the mattress.
Once you have finished thoroughly looking through your bed frame and mattress, you can then start looking at other areas in your room. Carpets are a common place that these bugs can hide in. The area of the carpet that you will want to inspect for bed bugs is the corners of the carpet that are connecting with the wall. Using a flashlight, inspect the corners of your carpet and make sure you don’t spot any small bugs that are running up and down.
Continue this inspection of all upholstered furniture or crevices that the bugs are likely to hide in. If you are able to identify bed bugs in a specific area, continue to inspect other areas to ensure you eliminate them from your entire house. If you aren’t able to completely eliminate the bed bugs, they will return.
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs
The two things that are good at killing bed bugs are heat and cold. Washing all of your clothes in hot water will eliminate any of these bugs that are in your laundry. Make sure you thorough wash all of your sheets and linen and keep them away from your room until you eliminate the bugs. Placing all of your laundry in sealed plastic bags and keeping them outside can ensure that they don’t infested.
Although it can be quite a pain to wash all of your clothes and bed linen, it is something that you must do. Doing all of your laundry is especially important if you have recently visited a hotel that you suspect might have bed bugs. A common misconception that people have is that high end hotels don’t have infestations. Although you are less likely to contract these bugs while staying in a high end hotel, it is still a possibility.
If you have a deep freezer you can also put your entire luggage in the freezer over night. By placing clothes and luggage in the deep freeze it can work to kill any bed bugs that you might have living in your stuff. This is a method that a lot of hostels use when treating backpackers who have been infested with bed bugs.
The first thing that you should do if you spot a bed bug is immediately use a nozzle attachment for your vacuum to suck up all the bedbugs and eggs that they produce. While this method might not get rid of all of the bed bugs in your home, it is a good place to start. Focus on vacuuming all of the crevices in your mattress, bed frame, carpets and other parts of the home that can be infected.
Vacuuming up all of the areas that are infected can help reduce the problem by getting rid of a number of the bugs that are currently living in your home. Repeat this process for a few consecutive days to ensure you are able to physically eliminate as many bed bugs and their eggs as possible. If you have vacuumed for a few days and you still experience these insects you will want to look at other methods that are available.
Steam Cleaning Treatments
A common tool that professional exterminators use to eliminate these bugs is steam cleaning. If you have a steam cleaner available you will want to use it on every surface that you possibly can. The steam will directly kill the bed bugs once they have impact. This treatment method will require you to know all of the areas of the home that are infected with these bugs.
People often prefer using these treatment methods over insecticides because they are safe. Because you are not using any chemicals in your home you can be sure that you won’t have any problems with pets or small children. Furniture that is upholstered will need to be properly steamed cleaned in the home.
The major issue with steam cleaning is you need to target every area that is infested. Just like vacuum cleaning, if you miss an area of your home, the bed bugs will return later on. It is essential for you to identify and eliminate all of the bugs that you have in your home.
Insecticide Treatments Options
Another treatment that you can use to eliminate bed bugs is insecticides. There are a number of over the counter products that you can use to kill a number of insects. The key to any type of chemical spray is to follow the instructions.
Every product that you purchase will have instructions that will tell you how it works. Always ensure that you pay close attention to these directions to ensure you can properly eliminate your bug problem. Before using a product you will want to do some research into the ingredients of the product. Avoid using any type of product that is harmful if you have any young children or pets in the house.
The one thing that the above treatments all have in common is FINDING the bed bugs. If you aren’t able to locate the bugs in the first place, no treatment option will work for you. People who don’t feel confident in their own abilities to locate these bugs need to seek professional help.
These bugs are extremely stubborn and persistent when it comes to elimination. If you have tried some of the other treatment options to no avail, you need to consider looking for a professional treatment. Depending on the exterminator you use, they may use a combination of the above suggested treatment options.
One type of treatment that has been introduced as a bed bug treatment option is the ThermaPure treatment system. This unique system uses heat to exterminate bed bugs that are living in a home. This means you don’t have to worry about finding all of the bed bugs to kill them. The ThermaPure system can elevate the temperature of your home to up to 140 degrees. This options is great for people who have a large infestation of bugs in their home. It is also a safe alternative for people who don’t want to use any type of spray or insecticides in their home.
The downside to the ThermaPure treatment options is it can be quite expensive. Because the whole house needs to be completely sealed off and pumped full of heat, you can expect to pay upwards of a few thousand dollars for your treatment.
One of the best ways to avoid bed bugs is to avoid them in the first place. Taking the proper steps to prevent these bugs from entering your home in the first place, will save you a lot of sleepless nights. Using the following steps can help ensure that you don’t have to deal with a future bed bug problem.
Step 1 – Always be wary of any second hand furniture, bedding, or beds that you receive. Although someone might be thinking they are doing a good deed by giving you free furniture, they could be passing on these deadly bugs. Always inspect every piece of furniture that you buy from top down. Looking through all the crevices and ensure that you don’t transport these critters into your home.
Step 2 – Be especially careful when you are traveling. One of the most common places to contract these bed bugs are hotels that have a high turnaround of people. If you are staying in an all inclusive resort in Mexico, you don’t know who stayed in that room before you. Take the steps to elevate your luggage above the ground when you are staying in your hotel room to ensure you don’t have these bugs climb aboard.
Step 3 – Be on the lookout for any possibility of contracting these bed bugs. If you invite a friend over who has been down on his luck and living on the streets, there is a possibility they could be carrying a number of bugs. Always ensure that you are smart when it comes to people entering your home.
Learning how to get rid of bed bugs is not difficult if you know where to start looking. The key to bed bugs is to avoid them in the first place. Taking the proper steps to ensure that your luggage doesn’t get contaminated with these bugs can save you a lot of time in the future. Always ensure that you focus on trying to find a solution that can work for your needs.