Bed bugs can make it feel like you are living your worst nightmare. They can cause pain and illness, but they can be taken care of. Once you take care of those pesky bed bugs, you can sleep easily in bed.
Signs of bed bugs
The first step to getting rid of bed bugs is ensuring that bed bugs are your problem. The main sign of bed bugs is finding many itchy spots on your body in places you leave exposed while you sleep. The spots are similar to mosquito bites.
Signs of the bugs themselves include dark rusty colored spots caused by crushed bugs or bed bug droppings. Yellow skins or egg shells also show bed bug eggs and young bugs. There is a chance you can spot the bugs themselves. They are a reddish color and 1/4-inch long.
If you suspect you have bed bugs, you should look for these signs in bed bug hiding places, such as crevices in your mattress, box spring, bed frame, and headboard.
There are several ways to get rid of bed bugs. Some treatments are more effective than others, and you should keep up with treatments and signs of bed bugs even after the initial treatment. You can hire a professional or try some other medicines on your own.
One of the most effective ways to get rid of bed bugs is to hire an extermination company to take care of them. If you have bed bugs in the New England area, you should hire a Boston Exterminator.
An exterminator can help you identify whether or not your problem is bed bugs and how to solve the problem. Make sure to prepare for their arrival so there’s zero chance they don’t succeed in ridding your house of these unwanted pests. Since they are trained professionals, they will likely solve the problem, and you will be less likely to have a repeat outbreak soon after.
Exterminators will usually treat breakouts through chemical treatments and insecticides. Some commonly used insecticides are Pyrethrins, Pyrroles, Neonicotinoids, and Desiccants. All of these chemical treatments work differently. Some are more effective than others depending on your type of bed bug and infestation level.
Another chemical treatment is to use a bug bomb which can cover an ample space, but these are not as effective at getting into the small crevices the bugs can hide.
You can also spread Diatomaceous Earth on and around the areas bed bugs may have infested as it kills crawling insects on contact.
Bed bugs can't survive temperatures over 115°F (46.11°C). This means you can eliminate bed bugs by exposing them to heat. You can wash your exposed bedding and clothes in hot water and then put them in a dryer on the highest heat setting for 30 minutes.
Another way to expose them to heat is to pack the infected clothing and linens into black trash bags and store them in a hot car. The car needs to be very hot and should be left alone for at least three days.
One of the last ways to heat treat bed bugs is to use a steam cleaner on your infected furniture like your mattress and couch. You can use the steamer in any other place where bed bugs hide.
Cold treatments can also be used on bed bugs because they cannot survive past 0°F (-17.78°C). To use this method, you can put infected items in a sealed bag and stick them in your freezer.
Bed bug traps
One way to treat bed bugs, best used with other methods, is a bed bug trap. These can be homemade from old Tupperware and Talcum powder and placed under furniture legs. This prevents the bed bugs from climbing up onto the furniture.
You can also buy traps to help get rid of the bugs.
Clean the infected areas
Once you have gone through your desired treatment, you will want to ensure all the infected areas are adequately cleaned. Wash all linens in hot water, and if these items can be put in a dryer, dry them at a high temperature.
You will also want to scrub your couch and mattress with a stiff brush to loosen any hidden bugs, dead skin, or eggs. After cleaning the furniture, vacuum well to ensure you get rid of any remaining bed bugs, skins, and eggs.
If you cannot clean or disinfect anything affected by the outbreak, get rid of it. Make sure to find ways to ward dumpster divers off. For couches you need to get rid of, it is a good idea to ruin the couch by taking out stuffing in the cushions.
Continue monitoring these areas and keeping them clean for weeks after. Look for signs of another outbreak.
Prevent future outbreaks
Now that you've gotten rid of the outbreak, you will want to prevent future bed bug issues in your home. One of the best ways to prevent outbreaks is to catch signs of bed bugs early.
Look over your bed regularly for red spots, yellow shells, skins, and bugs. You should also clean your mattress and other furniture regularly to help avoid and catch issues early.
Repairing holes in walls and wallpaper where bed bugs can hide is an excellent way to ward off any future problems. Getting rid of clutter around your bed will also eliminate bed bug-hiding places.
When staying in a hotel or sleeping anywhere other than your home, be vigilant about looking for bed bugs and wash all your belongings quickly after coming home. Avoid second-hand furniture, thoroughly clean it and give it a good look over for bed bug signs before taking it home.
Bed bugs are never an issue you want to deal with. Luckily, there are many ways to treat them if they become a problem. Pest control companies are there to save the day because fully eradicating bed bugs after a large infestation can be tiring, stressful, and costly. Prevention is always the best approach, but if you find yourself in a position where you think you might have bed bugs, this guide can help you get rid of them at first sight.