According to a study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology, two insecticides that were commonly used to kill bed bugs are becoming less effective. Over the past ten years, there has been a reappearance of bed bugs in the United States and people are finding it difficult to rid their homes of the pest that is famous for causing itchy red marks.
Fortunately, all is not lost if you are getting bed bug bites from a bed bug infestation. There are some do-it-yourself methods that can help you get rid of this pest. However, it’s important to note that every treatment takes time to work.
For you to determine the best way to get rid of bed bugs, you need to first identify them as well as any signs of infestation.
Identifying Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are reddish brown in color and are the size of an apple seed. They appear reddish and swollen after feeding. Also, bed bugs only feed on blood and prefer to be active at night when the host is fast asleep. It’s been shown that bed bugs can survive for up to a year under cool conditions, even without anything to eat.
You can find bed bugs and their eggs in picture frames, electrical outlet plates, sheets, mattress seams, furniture, and behind the baseboards. In some cases, they can be found in hotels where they can travel from one’s belongings or visitor’s luggage.
Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation
This is the first way to note that you may have a bed bug infestation.
Bed bugs grow and shed their skins which they then leave behind. If you notice some case skins, this indicates their presence.
Black or Brown Defecation
Once bed bugs feed, they return to their cocoon where they defecate. If it’s a porous surface, you will notice brown or black strains.
Red welts on the skin could signal bed bug bites and a bed bug infestation.
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs have the tendency to hide in cluster. One of the best ideas for bed bug control and to get rid of them permanently is to remove any items such as blankets, electronics, and stuffed animals that are not needed in the room and maybe place them in a plastic bag. Bag them in plastic to avoid transferring bed bugs and their eggs to other areas of your home.
Wash any Infested Linens and Garments
Infested bed sheets and garments cannot be treated with an insecticide. You need to launder them in hot water. Alternatively, you could use a clothes dryer to heat the items for several minutes.
Disassemble Bed Frames and Remove Dresser Drawers
Disassembling bed frames in an infested area exposes the bed bug hiding sites. You need to check these areas for any signs of infestation. If you notice that your mattress is infested, consider getting an encasement that can prevent the bed bugs from entering or leaving. What’s more, you can keep the encasement on for up to a year.
Bed bugs also like to hide in dresser drawers. Make sure that you inspect and clean these areas.
Thoroughly Clean the Infested Areas
After identifying the potential areas that may be infested, it’s time to now clean the area to dislodge eggs. Use a vacuum hose attachment to clean through the crevices or cracks on baseboard and furniture along the walls.
Using a powerful vacuum cleaner (or steam cleaner if you have one), extensively vacuum bed seams, bed stands, and along baseboards. The right cleaning removes any particles from crevices and cracks which further leads to insecticide penetration. Ensure that you scrape off the infested area to get rid of these bugs and other pesky insects. Avoid using bristle attachments as they may transfer the bed bugs from one place to the other. Place the vacuum cleaner bags in an outdoor trash can.
Caulk and Seal All Holes
Caulk and seal any entrances where wires and pipes penetrate the flow and walls. Fill the cracks around molding and baseboards to reduce hiding areas.
Consider Using Pesticides
Pesticides are helpful in getting rid of bed bugs. Nevertheless, it’s critical to know that pesticides alone will not entirely eliminate the bed bugs. Carefully read the instructions on the pesticide to ensure that you’re using it in the right way. Avoid using pesticides on toys, playpens, or on baby cribs. Use only certified pesticides. Also, stay away from homemade pesticides. Although they may seem harmless, the ingredients used could be harmful to you and your family’s health.
Call in Professional Help
Depending on your level of infestation, you may have to use professional and experienced exterminators. Professional companies have the expertise, training, and the right equipment to help you get rid of bed bugs. Furthermore, they have eco-friendly control methods that will not cause you any harm.
A pest control expert comes and inspects your home for any signs of infestations. Bed bugs are difficult to find, but a professional is trained to notice any potential hiding places. The exterminators examine the entire room including linens, rugs, bed, and furniture and will use the right tools to check crevices and cracks.
Once the inspection has been carried out, the trained expert will determine the next course of action including coming up with a treatment plan based on the severity of the infestation. A qualified pest control expert uses the best available tools to address the cause and treat the problem. The treatment targets bed bugs and the larvae to prevent them from maturing into disease carrying bugs.
In addition, the expert will perform a follow-up visit to assess the effectiveness of the bed bug treatment that was performed. Furthermore, you will get advice on how to prevent further infestation as well as a maintenance approach for your home.
Choosing the right pest control company is essential. Check to see how they address your health and safety concerns. Remember that there’s no one solution fits all when it comes to treatments and services. Go for someone you can easily voice your concerns and ask questions. A company that has competent pest controllers that exercise a duty of care is important.
Getting rid of bed bugs requires time, effort, and the right products. Clean every area you consider a hiding spot. Consider the services of a professional pest control company to handle this problem in no time.