Perseverance and determination is the key to get rid of bed bugs permanently and naturally. Bed bugs are pesky creatures that lay hundreds of eggs and disturb your much needed sleep. Therefore, simply treating your premises with a suitable bed bug removal treatment once or twice is not enough-you need to repeat the procedure at least 3-4 times and, additionally, also follow an integrated approach to ensure eliminating all of the bugs, their eggs and larvae. Here are some of the easiest ways to get rid of bed bugs permanently:
1. Know the signs of bed bug activity
The key to preventing bed bugs from spreading is being vigilant constantly. Make sure you know what bed bugs look like. Bed bugs are tiny brown insects that are smaller in size than an apple seed. You might also notice specific signs of bed bug activity such as brownish red or rust colored stains as well as a sickly sweet odor comparable to almonds, around your bed area. You might even see discarded shells of bed bugs around the edge of the mattress.
2. Vacuum the house thoroughly
Vacuum the house completely and not just the bedrooms where the bugs are typically found. Bed bugs tend to spread from room to room-so, you must try to limit their spread by quarantining all items in the room being treated. You can do so by encasing the mattresses using special mattress encasements and also seal clothes, books, toys and photo frames in special plastic bags.
3. Wash infested items in hot water
This is an easy way to get rid of bed bug eggs and larvae- you literally ‘boil’ the infested items in hot water. Wash all your clothes, linen, bed sheets, pillow covers in the washer-dryer operated at the highest heat setting. You can even dry washed items outdoors in the sun. The key is to raise the temperature of the infested items to 120 F since bed bugs cannot withstand this high temperature. You can even placed the bagged items inside a hot car in summers, but you need to be sure that the temperature inside is at least 120 F to kill all bugs and larvae.
4. Be careful when traveling
Bed bugs are increasingly common in metros in developed countries. You can unknowingly pick them up from trains, buses, airplanes and motels. Even swanky five star hotels are dealing with bed bugs. So, if you happen to be spending the night in one, you must avoid placing your luggage open on the bed or luggage rack. Instead, stow it away in the hotel’s bathtub since bed bugs avoid this area. You can also seal your luggage in plastic bags or trash bags, if needed. Also, if you happen to host guests at your house, make sure you clean up the guest room thoroughly after their departure.
5. Do not use bed bug bombs and pesticides
Bed bugs are resistant to pesticides, foggers and bombs. So this seemingly easy way to get rid of bed bugs may not work and might even harm your kids or pets. Do avoid use of chemicals sprays and powders too. If you feel the need, consult an exterminator company prior to their use.
6. Use diatomaceous earth powder
DE powder is safe and does not harm humans. However, it is best to keep children and pets away for the duration of treatment while using it as it can irritate the lungs. Apply the powder around furniture legs and sprinkle it liberally in headboards, inside box springs etc. The powder has sharp crystalline molecules which shred the bugs’ shell and insides and kills them instantly. This is an easy way to get rid of bed bugs naturally.
7. Trap the bugs
Bed bug traps are readily available in the market or you could even make one at home. Place the trap around the beds’ legs so the bugs get trapped inside it and are unable to come out. Traps use dry ice or CO2 which fools the bugs into mistaking it for humans.
8. Discard heavily infested items
The easiest way to get rid of bed bugs from mattress and clothes is to discard them. Bag the items and mark them as ‘Bed bug infested’ so other people will not pick them up.
9. Avoid picking up items at yard sales
Most victims of bed bug infestation pick up items from the roadside unknowingly. Avoid this at any cost to prevent the spread of bed bugs.
10. The integrated pest management approach
When it comes to getting rid of bed bugs permanently, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. You need to be ever vigilant and use multiple approaches to solve the problem. For example, you can opt to get your carpets and sofas cleaned by professional cleaners using steam vacuum cleaners but you must, additionally, use diatomaceous powder or borax all around the house. Also, vacuuming and washing of clothes in hot water are an important step in bed bug removal.
11. Repeat treatment every 3 weeks
Whichever method of bed bug eradication you use, make sure you repeat it every 2-3 weeks. This will help you get rid of the larvae and eggs that could have escaped in the initial round.
12. Do not forget to treat cracks and crevices
Bed bugs tend to hide in cracks and crevices of furniture, under the floor boards, inside carpets, in the lining of mattresses and sofas, on curtains, window sills, sockets or electrical outlets and so on. Do inspect these areas and seal all cracks with sealants or liberally sprinkle DE powder around them. This is an easy way to kill bed bugs hiding here.
At first glance, it might not seem easy to get rid of bed bugs using a DIY approach. However, by diligently using the above steps, and most importantly, by repeating the treatment every few weeks, you can ensure getting rid of all the bed bugs once and for all.