Have a Bed Bug Infestation? Here’s What to Do
Rid Yourself of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs often creep in unnoticed. By the time you begin to get suspicious, chances are you already have a full-on infestation. Some of the common signs of bed bugs include waking up with itchy spots in different parts of your body, blood stains on sheets or pillowcases, brown stains on sheets from the bed bugs and eggshells, and shed skins around the bed and walls.
Although they are not able to fly, bed bugs move quite fast and are able to multiply rapidly once they settle in an area. The following tips can come in handy when dealing with this problem.
First, you will need to clean all your clothes and bedding. Bed bugs are mostly found in the areas where we spend the most time, therefore there is where you should start. After cleaning your bedding, place them in the dryer and run it on the highest setting for about 30 minutes. You may also place items such as stuffed animals in the dryer as well.
This will kill off any surviving bed bugs and larvae from those items. Ironing your clothes before wearing them is also highly recommended.
Second, you will need to clean the house with a vacuum cleaner. The job has to be thorough to make sure you get all the bed bugs. Before you begin, you should use a hard brush to scrub off hard-to-reach surfaces to make any bed bugs and larvae easy to vacuum.
Pay special attention to areas like corners of the walls, corners of the bed and your mattress seams because these are the places bed bugs often reside. After the process is complete, seal the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag and dispose of it appropriately.
Third, get rid of any clutter around the house. Having too much clutter creates an opportunity for bed bugs to hide and reproduce. This makes it difficult to maintain cleanliness and keep the bedbugs at bay. Reducing clutter will reduce the number of places the bugs can hide, which reduces the chance of an infestation.
Next, you will need to cover your mattress in plastic or in a tightly woven case. Bedbugs are known to live up to a year without feeding; therefore it is hard to tell if you got them all or not. The case should stay on for more than a year to make sure any remaining bedbugs die a natural death.
Bed Bug Treatments
Bed bug treatments are the next steps you should take when dealing with an infestation. There are a wide range of bed bug treatments you can find at local stores. Most of these treatments contain chemical components that come in either liquid or powder form and are designed to kill the bugs.
If you have children and pets around the house, you should probably seek professional advice before using these treatments. Some of them may be harmful; therefore safety precautions have to be taken beforehand.
Bed bugs have a knack for hiding out in cracks and crevices as well. You may have eliminated the ones on your bedding, only for the infestation to reoccur because of the ones in the cracks. The most permanent solution would be to seal them off completely, but that is a process that would need time that you may not have.
If that is the case, it would be better to vacuum all the cracks and crevices around the house and then spray the area with insecticides. Vacuuming will enable you to get rid of any dirt as well as loosely hanging bugs and the insecticide will kill whatever is left in there.
Call an Exterminator
When dealing with bed bugs, the severity of the infestation will dictate the kind of method you should use to eliminate them. When dealing with a mild infestation, the steps mentioned above should be sufficient to stop it. However, if you have gone through all the steps and are not seeing any tangible results, it is time to call an exterminator.
Exterminators have technical skills and experience in this field, therefore they will be in a position to provide an assessment of the infestation and give recommendations on how to deal with the problem. If you choose to call an exterminator, be sure to get the best in the area to get value for your money.
Bed bugs can make life a nightmare and possibly make you paranoid about sleeping in your bed and sitting on your couch. Before it gets to this, it is advisable to take measures to stop them from spreading. The main problem is the speed at which they move and multiply, therefore you will need to act on it with haste.
A majority of the tips mentioned can also be used before an infestation to reduce the chances of such an occurrence.