How to Get Rid of Bed-Bugs & Enjoy a Good Night’s Sleep
Are you looking for reliable information on how to get rid of bed-bugs? If yes, this blog post is just for you. By the time you finish reading this post, you would have learned everything you needed to know about:
- why bed bugs are more than nuisance
- how to identify bed bugs
- how to read signs of bed bugs infestation
- how to get rid of bed-bugs in a mattress
- how to remove bed bugs naturally
- when to seek professional help
- how to prevent a new bed bug infestation
Let’s dig deep into this then…
- 1 Things You Must Know Before You Learn How to Get Rid of Bed-Bugs
- 2 Bed Bugs: What Are They & How to Get Rid of Them
- 3 How to Get Rid of Bed-Bugs in a Mattress Naturally
- 4 How to Get Rid of Bed-Bugs with Natural Products
- 5 How Much Does It Cost to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Things You Must Know Before You Learn How to Get Rid of Bed-Bugs
Bed bugs are not just nuisance. They are many times worse than that. Bed bugs are dangerous and you should never take them lightly.
Of course, unlike fleas, they don’t spread disease, but that doesn’t mean they can’t cause harm. These little pesky creatures feed on humans, as well as animals like cats, dogs, and other pets.
Bed bugs bite us to draw blood, which is their food. And, obviously, we come off worse in this exchange. Bed bugs bites, while initially painless, can cause itching—and that is where the real danger lies.
If you scratch the site of bed bug bite, infection may occur. Scratching can lead to breaks or openings in the skins, which bacteria might use as a gateway to enter your body.
Some People might also experience an allergic reaction to bed bug bites. If you are one of those, bed bugs are all the more dangerous for you.
The allergic reaction might be mild or serious. Symptoms of mild allergic reaction are skin reddening, itching, and irritation. Oral Medication is usually not required to treat a mild allergic reaction. However, in case of severe allergic reaction, you might be recommended to use oral antihistamines or corticosteroids.
Mattresses are the favorite hiding place of bed bugs and they are usually active at night. So, if your mattress is infested with bed bugs, you will have a hard time sleeping.
To cut a long story short, bed bugs are not harmless. Get rid of them as soon as possible if they are present in your home.
But to kill the enemy, you must first learn to identify it.
Bed Bugs: What Are They & How to Get Rid of Them
Bed bugs have flat, small, oval-shaped bodies. These creatures are wingless, but adult bed bugs do have wing pads, which are vestiges of wings. However, these wing pads don’t develop into proper wings. Adult bed bugs are brownish in color, but their bodies look reddish after feeding.
Common signs of a bed bug infestation are as follows:
- Bed bug bites – You might be dealing with a bed bug infestation if you have small reddish welts in small clusters or zizag lines on your skin, especially if these welts are present on your shoulders, arms, and legs. While fleas usually bite around the ankle, bed bugs are not that choosy! They will bite wherever they get a chance to bite. As when you sleep, shoulders, arms and legs are more likely to be exposed, that’s where bed bug bites predominantly appear.
- Poor sleep at night – Are you unable to sleep properly at night and you can’t attribute this to any specific reason? If yes, your mattress might be infested with bed bugs, which are active at night, with their peak activity time being just before dawn.
- Rusty or reddish stains on the bed sheet – A tell-tale sign of bed bug infestation is appearance of rusty or reddish stains on the bed sheet in the morning, caused when you unknowingly crush these pesky, little creatures with your body weight while sleeping.
- Live bed bugs – If you see them, obviously, you don’t need further proof! Act quickly because bed bugs breed rather fast and, anyway, spotting of live bed bugs usually mean the infestation is not small. Surely, you wouldn’t want the problem to turn into a catastrophe by delaying taking action.
How to Get Rid of Bed-Bugs in a Mattress Naturally
Bed bugs love to hide along the mattress piping and that’s why bed bugs bites are common when the mattress is infected.
As said above, when the mattress is infected, sooner or later, you will see rusty or reddish stains on the bed sheet. You might also find dark spotting (bed bugs feces) on the sheet.
While a bed bug infestation can be brought under control, there are certain challenges which you should expect to face. These are:
- Bed bugs are becoming more and more resistant to insecticides which are in the market at present
- There are not many effective insecticides available
- Detecting bed bugs is not easy, chiefly because they are so good at hiding out-of-the-way places
Steps you need to control bed bugs
- The first step to control a bed bug infestation is to make your mattress bug-free. To do so, strip your bed linen into a plastic case or bag (this will prevent bugs from spreading), wash it in hot water for half-an-hour or more, and then dry it at a high temperature for half-an-hour.
- Mark any furniture left for disposable as infested with bugs or place it where others won’t be able to use it.
- Vacuum cleaning, experts believe, is a suitable final way to remove any left-over bed bugs, as well as eggs.
- Next, you should isolate your bed and monitor bugs in traps. To do this, perform these two steps.
- Use moat-style traps to isolate your bed and intercept bugs when they come out of their hiding place and try to reach the host to bite him or her. You can find such “interceptor” devices in the market.
- Next, encase both the mattress and the box spring in a fabric which doesn’t allow trapped bed bugs to leave and new bed bugs to enter. This is known as “encasement”. You can find zippered sheets in the market for this purpose. Typically, these sheets cost less than replacement sheets. You shouldn’t remove encasement for 12 months at the least.
The advantage of using an encasement is two-fold. It removes the most favorite hiding area of bed bugs and makes it much easier to identify them, which in turn helps keep the new mattress bug-free.
How to Get Rid of Bed-Bugs with Natural Products
If you are looking for organic way to get rid of bed bugs, use natural products like lavender essential oil and cedar oil. Another effective natural method, as discussed before, is laundering.
Each of these 3 methods is discussed here, and you use one or more of these to make your home bug-free.
You can kill bed bugs, irrespective of which stage of their life cycle they’re in, by exposing then for 60 minutes or longer to a temperature of 45 degree Celsius. Exposing bugs to a temperature higher than 60 degree Celsius will kill them rapidly.
You can also directly apply steam to kill bed bugs, so can contained or whole-room heat treatments. However, the last two treatments are less effective, because there’s always a risk of infestation spreading to areas which are cooler or where heat can’t be reached.
Lavender essential oil
While we, at least most of us, love lavender’s smell, bed bugs abhor it. It is possible to exterminate bugs by using lavender oil in moderation.
Using lavender essential oil to kill bed bugs is rather easy. You can use lavender oil in many ways as a bug-remover. The easiest, and perhaps the most effective, method is to apply undiluted lavender everywhere.
Sprinkle a few drops of lavender on your bed, curtains, and corners of your bed and other places. The additional benefit of using lavender is that it helps you relax and sleep better.
Another common method is to make a lavender spray, and then use it on your clothes, curtains, carpets, furniture, and bedsheet. To make a powerful lavender spray, add one teaspoon of lavender oil to one cup of lavender hydrosol (Alternatively, you can use water.). Thoroughly shake the spray bottle and then spray the solution wherever you suspect bed bugs are hiding.
You can also apply steam to kill bed bugs. The main advantage of using steam is that it kills not only bed bugs but also their eggs. However, note that you should use lavender hydrosol, not lavender essential oil, for this purpose. This is because lavender essential oil might damage your steamer. So add 4-5 teaspoons of lavender hydrosol to your steamer and apply steam on the bedsheet, carpets, curtains, furniture, and cushions.
Cedar essential oil
What lavender essential oil can do, cedar oil can do equally well, if not better. You can use cedar essential pretty much the same way as lavender essential oil.
To make a potent bug-killing spray, mix one teaspoon of cedar essential oil with one cup of water. For steaming, you can use cedar essential oil directly. Unlike lavender essential oil, cedar oil doesn’t cause harm to your steamer.
How Much Does It Cost to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
If the organic way to get rid of bed bugs fails to give desired results, you can seek professional help. While you might feel tempted to use bed foggers, finding bed foggers that work is a task in itself.
Because bed bugs hide in voids and crevices where bed foggers usually can’t reach, they mostly prove ineffective in terminating bed bugs. Therefore, it is a much better idea to go professional route.
You can search for professional bug removing service online and pick someone with a good track record. The cost involved usually varies from provider to provider, depending on factors like provider’s experience, severity of infestation, and the products used for removing infestation.
It might be a good idea to get a quote up front to avoid any nasty surprises later on. As a matter of fact many top removing services offer clients a free quote.
Exact steps involved, just like cost, may also be different from provider to provider. With that said, most common steps involved are as follows:
- Checking the site to confirm infestation by looking for signs of infestation (Some providers also use specially-trained dogs for sniffing out bed bug scent to confirm infestation)
- Identifying areas that need treatments
- Applying non-chemical products and/or chemical products (insecticides) to kill bed bugs
- Reviewing the progress of the treatment
- Finally, advising the homeowner about preventive measures
The last step is extremely important. All the effort and money that you’ve put in removing bed bug infestation will go down the drain if you aren’t careful enough to prevent a new infestation.
What to do to prevent a new infestation occurs?
If a new infestation occurs, you will be back to square one and have to repeat the steps again. And that would be not fun, right?
So, keep in mind the following steps to prevent a new infestation after you’ve exterminated the bed bug population inside your home.
- While traveling, book hotels which have a reputation of providing bug-free room. You can get information about the quality of the rooms at a hotel by doing an online research
- While online research on a hotel before booking a room is advisable, you shouldn’t rely solely on online reviews, because situation might have changed since those reviews were posted. Therefore, conduct a thorough inspection of your hotel room before opening the luggage.
- Before wearing any used clothing, launder it to ensure it is bug-free.
- Thoroughly vacuum any second-hand furniture that you buy to remove any bugs present in it. However, avoid purchasing second-hand mattress altogether. This is because it is not easy identify bed bug infestation inside a mattress, or for that matter, remove the bed bug population, if present.