What to do if you have bed bugs? The answers are here!

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what to do if you have bed bugs

If you find that you have bedbugs, don’t panic! There is no need to fret over what to do if you have bed bugs because there are solutions available. Much as having bed bugs around can be a nightmare; there is no need to panic because the right method(s) will soon get rid of them! Bed bugs may be able to live for over 300 days when food (blood) is available, but they can be killed in an instant or a matter of days-depending on the method used to kill them.  They may be able to lay over 200 eggs thus making their multiplication scary, but one contact method and they will be wiped out in large numbers.

What to do if you have bed bugs?

What to do if you have bed bugs?

ADHWHN SEM of a bedbug (Cimex lectularius) on wool fabric.

So what methods are we talking about? Well, depending on how you wish to kill bed bugs, there are numerous methods to choose from. You can decide to go the natural way, or you can make use of harsh chemicals.

Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs are not only found in filthy rooms; they can even make themselves at home in an immaculate home-as long as there is blood (human or pet) for feeding!

Let’s have a look at things you can do if you realize you have a bed bug infestation:

  • You can wash your beddings and clothes at very high temperatures to kill them.
  • Make use of steam to get rid of the pesky creatures.
  • Seal up hiding places such as cracks and crevices around your home.
  • You can vacuum areas around your home, office or car to get rid of most of the bed bugs.
  • You can make use of chemicals-although this method should be reserved for the professionals.
  • If push comes to shove, then you can get rid of bed bug infested items around your home or office.

How do you get bed bugs?

How do you get bed bugs? Much as most people assume that bed bugs can only be found in filthy places, this is not the case. These annoying creatures can be found in some places-clean or not- as long as people and some animals are around. Bed bugs will comfortably make themselves at home in some places such as homes, offices, hotels or even public transportation.  Considering their size, however, you may be forgiven for living blissfully with no knowledge that you have a bed bug problem. The adult bed bug is i/4 an inch long and remains in its flat oval shape until it feeds on blood. The eggs, on the other hand, are so tiny that you will need the help of a magnifying glass to identify them.

Luckily, however, there are a few tell-tale signs that will help you understand whether or not you have a bed bug problem. These include:

  • Blood stains on your bedding.
  • Itchy blisters on your body that normally form a line.
  • Excrement on your bed sheets, mattress or wall.
  • Egg shells, shed skin or fecal spots in a given area.

Once you are certain that you have a bed bug infestation, you may ask, ‘how can I get rid of bed bugs?’ There are some natural and artificial methods to get rid of bed bugs. Some are efficient in the sense that they kill bed bugs on contact while others may require your patience before you can notice positive results. Regardless of your method of choice, however, the bed bugs do have to be taken care of if you are to live a safe, healthy and bed-bug free life!

What to do if you find a bed bug?

Don’t panic, only join numerous people searching for answers to the question, ‘how to get rid of bed bugs at home?’ So, what to do if you have bed bugs?

Go natural

You can make use of one of the natural methods listed below to fight bed bugs in your home

  • Thoroughly vacuum areas where you have seen the bed bugs or think the bed bugs are hiding. Vacuuming can be an excellent natural method to get rid of bed bugs as long as it is done right. You need to make use of the right attachments on your vacuum and thoroughly vacuum a given area such as your carpet. You can use this method in addition to another such as sprinkling diatomaceous earth powder in order to get rid of as many of the creatures as possible.
  • Using steam to kill the bed bugs in a given room or on a given item of cloth. Care must be taken however while steaming. Be sure to remove items from a given room that may be damaged by the steam. If you intend on steaming the entire room, you need to ensure that there are no outlets for the steam otherwise you will not have achieved much. Be sure to seal any window or door openings to stop steam from escaping.
  • Use hot temperatures to kill bed bugs. Bed bugs will die on contact with heat which is why it is a popular natural way to get rid of bed bugs. As long as hot temperatures of between 117°F and 122°F, bed bugs will be a thing of the past. You can place your bedding or clothes in the washing machine and set it to medium or high heat for at least 30 minutes. This should get rid of both the adult bed bugs and their eggs, if available.
  • Freeze items that are infested with bed bugs. Although this method does work, it requires plenty of patience since bed bugs will not instantly die when frozen. You may be looking at a few hours if not days for the bed bugs to die. Freezing may also not be an ideal method of choice since it limits the number of size of items to be frozen. It does also restrict the type of items to be frozen. For example, you cannot freeze your bed bug infested books-unless you don’t want them anymore.
  • Make use of powerful oils such as lavender, tea tree or peppermint. If you learn the art of spraying essential oils such as lavender and tea tree oil in hiding places such as cracks and crevices, then you can say goodbye to bed bugs! This is because these creatures simply can’t stand the smell of such oils.
  • Sprinkle diatomaceous earth in areas infested by bed bugs. This powder does kill bed bugs on contact. It works in such a way that it eats away at the oily outer part of the creature thereby dehydrating and killing it.
  • You can also protect your bed from bed bugs by making use of encased mattress. You can also sprinkle diatomaceous earth powder or anyone of the essential oils mentioned above around your bed to deter the bed bugs from gaining access to your body. This will, in turn, starve them and cause them to look elsewhere for blood.  If you have pets, then you should launder their bedding in hot water as well.

Don’t go natural

Care must be taken when using methods that are not natural in getting rid of bedbugs. Where necessary, it is better to seek the help of a professional.

  • Make use of pesticides that are indicated to kill bed bugs.
  • Make use of harsh chemicals to get rid of bedbugs. If you want immediate relief from bed bugs them, you can make use of pyrethrins or pyrethroids. Both are a class of chemicals that are specifically intended for use in hiding places for bed bugs

If you notice that you have bed bugs then there are a few things you can do:

  • You can contact a professional to help get rid of the creatures. The reason why it is important to consider hiring a professional is that you may use chemicals that fail to kill the bed bugs but cause harm to you and your family.
  • If you are unable to hire a professional then you can make use of anyone of the natural or not-so-natural methods listed above. Be careful though as a wrong application may worsen matters. Also, it may negatively affect your health and that of your family.

How do you know you have bedbugs?

Finding out that you have bed bugs may not be so easy unless you have a keen observation. This is because even their bites can be easily mistaken for other creatures such as mosquitoes. To find out whether or not you have bed bugs then you have to inspect a given area thoroughly. During your inspection, if you come across fecal spots, tiny blood stains or shed skin then you might have a bedbug problem.

To further help with your investigation, it is a good idea to understand how these creatures look like. An adult bed bug that has not yet had its fill of blood takes on a flat, oval shape. It does have six legs and two antennae and is about a ¼ inch long. Regarding color, it will take on a mahogany color when not fed and a reddish-brown color after feeding. If you happen across bed bug nymphs, then their color should be nearly colorless.

How to tell if you have bed bug bites?

Considering that bed bug bites can be easily confused with some other bugs such as mosquitoes, not many people understand them. Also, considering the different effects that bed bugs may have on various human skin, it may be difficult to identify their bites. It is not uncommon to confuse a mosquito bite for a bedbug for example. As a general rule, however, bed bug bites level itchy red welts on the human skin. The welts will in most cases be in a particular line.

How they spread

Bed bugs simply love hitching a ride from one place to another. This is why you may leave home bed-bug-free and visit a given place only to come back with bed bugs! This is why it is important to immediately clean your clothes as soon as you get back from your travels. Ideally, you should thoroughly vacuum your suitcases when you get back home.  You should also wash your clothes in high temperatures to kill any lingering bed bugs.

When there is not food (blood) for the bed bugs to feed on, then they will travel to other places. Also, bed bugs can also be spread through infested furniture being brought into the home.

Where they hide

Considering their size, bed bugs just love to hide in tiny, hard-to-reach places. Such places are normally dark which makes it impossible for you to immediately realize that you have bed bugs until it’s too late! Bed bugs can be found almost anywhere in your home-as long as there is a blood-bearing host nearby. You will find them in your suitcases, behind your baseboards, in cracks and crevices around your home or your mattress. Bed bugs especially love making themselves at home in the mattress or by the bed simply because they get quick access to your blood as you sleep!

They can also hide in wallpaper, picture frames, in mattress box springs and rare instances – your car!

Much as one method may work wonders in getting rid of bed bugs, there are instances where you may have to use more than one method if you are to successfully get rid of bed bugs. No matter your method of choice, however, you should take into account your health and that of your family.

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