You can clean your abode in the best possible way, ensure that rugs are vacuumed, windows are clear, and bathrooms are simply flawless. You can get the best disinfectant available in the market. In short, all seems well on the housekeeping front. Now, one day you begin with observing a red mark on your skin, and when you explore, you find out that you have been sharing your room with bed bugs. Disheartening, isn’t it? But worry no more; HomeRemedyNation brings you the collection of simple and effective home remedies to get rid of the bugs as we explore together the issue in depth.
Who are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are tiny and flat insects without wings. Having reddish-brown color, they are a one-quarter inch in length. They form their homes on the beds at the locations such as mattress seams, box springs, bed frames, and headboards. In addition to this, you can also locate them in the cracks and crevices of the walls, floors, and furniture. They tend to hide themselves during the day and appear out at night. They are known for their rapid crawling and cannot fly or jump (1).
Types of Bed Bugs
Mainly, two types of bed bugs have received worldwide attention, the common bed bugs and the tropical bed bug. The species known as common bed bug is comparatively more prevalent against the tropical species, which can rarely be located. You can only find the latter species in extremely warm temperatures in the United States, equatorial Africa, and some parts of the Australian subcontinent unless they are transported. On the other hand, common bed bugs are globally prevalent.
- Common Bed Bug
Scientifically known as Cimex lectularius Linnaeus, common bed bug is one of the species of bed bugs, which can be found across the globe. It has been one of the nastiest pests for the human throughout the history. Owing to the high population of bed bugs, the England and Europe governments had to employ bed bug control experts throughout the places to control them. They generally prefer human blood for attaining nutrition. However, they can also feed on other hosts in the absence of humans. The traditional methods of controlling these pests involve usage of Sulphur.
Fables suggest that the era between the 1960s to late 1990s saw a great decline in the population of these pests from entire western nations. However, soon in the year 2005, the infestation grew like wildfire. A wide array of insects resembles the bed bugs leading to great confusion, even among the experts. Common bed bugs are generally flat and oval if they have not been fed of lately and grow to become 3/16” long adults. In every stage of their lives, be it youngest, or nymphal stage, or smaller and early stage, they are not visible to the naked eyes. Eggs are very small in size (Approximately 1/32” long), and remain very close to the surfaces making them pretty difficult to find.
- Tropical Bed Bug
The most common species that come under the tropical bed bugs is Cimex hemipterus. This species of the bed bug is generally found in the Tropics. The species is further sub-divided into regional species, but since they are very small regarding population, they are not discussed and receive very less global mentions. The biology and habitats of both the species, that is, common bed bugs and tropical bed bugs, is very much similar. Tropical bed bugs can be located in the areas other than tropics, given that there are very rare chances. It requires expert vision to observe the tropical bed bugs.
The specimens are collected and observed, to distinguish the species of bed bugs that have infested the area. The maximum probability is that it would be a common bed bug. However, the presence of tropical bed bugs is also observed. The biggest difference in their appearance comes in the form of their eyes. The bed bugs have a rounded prothorax portion around the eyes. While for the tropical bed bugs, this portion is squared off and much deeper near the eyes.
There are other types of bed bugs or the insects that are categorized under the family of Cimicidae and Cimex genus. These include European Swallow Bugs that feed on various species of the birds. They intend to damage the entire building to enter the houses and find human hosts to feed on, in case they face unavailability of the humans.
Another category of the bed bugs, that is, Eastern Bed bug are one of the commonly found insects that can be located in the attics or the places where bats can be easily found. They are known as the bat bugs and closely resemble the bed bugs. They do not attack the humans in any case or never infest the buildings. Another bug, known as chimney bugs nests in the homes of namesake bugs and intend to feed on the humans as well.
Their Growth Cycle
The bed bugs which are in the adult or nymphal stages of their lives fulfill their nutritional requirement from the blood or warm-blooded hosts, which are generally humans. Nevertheless, they can also fulfill the requirements from the mammals and birds in the absence of a human host. Mating is carried out through the process known as ‘traumatic insemination.’
This method involves male penetrating the females’ abdominal wall with the external genitalia and inseminates into her body cavity. Female bed bugs lay about five eggs every day throughout their life in the location they are residing. This may include mattress seams, crevices in box springs, spaces beneath the baseboards, etc. Eggs take about 4-12 days to develop into the first instar nymph and need a blood meal to develop into the next stage of their lifecycle.
The bug progresses through five nymphal stages and needs a blood meal to attain the next stage. The fifth stage is considered the final stage, that is, the adult one. The younger bugs resemble the adults even though they lack wing buds. Whatever be the stage, each bug requires about 5-10 minutes to intake the blood meal that they need. The adults acquire blood meals several times in a day, given the source of nutrition is available. An adult bug can survive for 6-12 months and are capable of sustaining even without feeding for a long duration of time (2).
What do they do?
Bed bugs are constantly on a hunt to locate warm-blooded animals, more commonly at night, while the hosts have retired to bed. They feed on the blood of these animals and inject a very small amount of their saliva in the skin of the host. Prolonged exposure to the bed bug bites for many weeks may cause people to develop allergic reactions to the saliva, which gradually worsen over a period. The skin lesions, hence developed, appear similar to the ones that occur due to the bite of other insects like mosquitoes and fleas (3).
How Bed Bugs Adversely Affect Human Health?
Bed bugs are counted among the public health pests. Even though they are not known to be associated with the transmission of particular diseases, they might be a reason behind a wide array of health-related issues like physical and mental wellbeing, and economic consequences. Some of the issues have been listed here for you (4):
- Allergic reactions to the bed bug bites which can be mild or severe, depending upon the exposure. That is, it can be either no reaction at all, or might lead to the formation of a small bite mark. In rare cases, it might also lead to anaphylaxis, which severely affects the entire body.
- Secondary skin infections from the bite allergies such as impetigo, ecthyma, and lymphangitis.
- It might also affect the mental well-being of the people living in the infested homes. Anxiety, insomnia, and systemic reactions are some of the problems that have frequently been reported.
How Long do Bed Bugs Live Without a Host?
It has been observed that the first instar bed bugs are capable of surviving for an average of 20 days at a temperature of 73˚F, without a host. On the other hand, the fifth instar and adult bed bugs can survive for an average of 70 days at the same temperature. In the cases where the temperature drops as low as 50 Degrees Fahrenheit or even lower, the adults are good enough to survive for 450 days. The adult bed bugs can survive longer than the nymphs without gaining nutrition. The time duration varies according to the temperature they are exposed. The colder temperature enables the bed bugs to hibernate into a state of torpor, or deep sleep, which in turn augments their lifespan (5).
What are the Signs of Bed Bug Infestation?
Infestation detected on time is better than the delayed one that is recognized once the damage has been done. Early detection not only ensures less damage, but also takes less time and efforts to be tackled, and of course is less costly. Signs and symptoms of bed bug infestation are hard to detect from naked eyes. Here are the nine signs that can help you detect if you are affected by the bed bug infestation:
- Red and Itchy Bite Marks
People, almost every time, remain unaware unless the bed bugs have left their mark of presence. These signs are in the form of flat, red welts of zigzag lines or small clusters. It can also be in straight rows. Even though they do not spread any diseases, these marks can be irritating as they tend to itch. Once you scratch them, it gets more irritating owing to the bleeding an infection. The exposed parts of the body such as arms, shoulders, feet, etc. are more prone to the bug bites. Also, it has been observed that they generally bite on the area around the ankles.
- Uncomfortable Nights
As we shared, bed bugs are most active at nights, and the reason is easy availability of the host. This makes the person vulnerable to the bed bug bites, and hence uncomfortable nights.
- Observe the Bed Close
Of course, bed is the place where they would like to hide. Hence, closely observe the bed and associated area for the presence of bed bugs. Even if they are not visible, they will leave behind the marks that speak for their existence. For example, blood stains resembling small rust spots present near the corners and edges of the bed. Bed bugs also shed their skin, or the molts, many a time during the growth phase. Thus, you can also observe for the presence of oval brown exoskeletons during the inspection.
Another one of the common symptoms of bed bug infestation is the strong, unpleasant, and musty odor similar to the wet towel smell. This is mainly because of bed bugs secret pheromones. These pheromones smell strong when accumulated in large number. So, in case you observe a smell similar to an old locker room in your vicinity, do not delay the inspection.
How to Inspect for Bed Bug Presence?
A detailed inspection of the area is important to analyze the gravity of the situation and hence propose the best remedial measures. The adult bed bugs can hide at any space, even as thin as a paper, let alone be the young bed bugs which are even smaller. During an inspection, move gradually and avoid disturbing the hiding bed bugs. In case you disturb them, they will end up scattering, making the problem worse. If the infestation is low, the bed bugs will generally be found along the sleeping area. Items away from it pose less vulnerability to the infestation. Set the priority of the areas in the descending order of their vulnerability, and then from the scale of infestation.
The tools you require while conducting the inspection include:
- Magnifying glass
- Strong flashlight
- Plastic zip-lock bags for collecting specimens
- A probe to check in the narrow areas
- Pyrethrin or compressed air for removing the bed bugs from the cracks and crevices
- Screwdriver for removing the bolted appliances
- Other tools for dismantling the furniture
- Alcohol, glass cleaning wipes or baby wipes to ensure that the stains are bed bug droppings.
- Cotton balls to check the stains in crevices
You can also make use of the sticky traps that can trap the bed bugs present under the bed.
The general stages of the inspection cater to following points one by one.
- Inspect Furniture and Room
Strip the mattresses and the box springs. Closely observe the corners and seams of the bed. You can make use of the magnifying glasses or the flashlights to look for the rust-shaded, reddish-brown bloodstains or small brown ovular structures.
Once you have checked the bed thoroughly, proceed to inspect the entire room. Observe for the padded things like chairs, couches, curtains, and carpet edges. Check behind the dressers and within them, beneath the bed, and behind the headboards. You need to observe the presence of red bloodstains or left behind the skin of the nasty creatures known as bed bugs.
- Open the Closet
Bed bugs often tend to cling on to the clothing. Primarily, this is how they carry themselves from one place to another and easily invade various places rapidly. Hence, make sure to check your closets for their presence. Bed bugs on the clothes directly imply bed bugs at other places also.
The detailed steps of performing the inspection are as follows:
- Inspection of Bed
Bed happens to be the place that is most vulnerable to bed bug infestation. This is mainly because the hosts are easily available here. The infestation that progresses to the other parts of the room and hence the building. The first step for perfect inspection is the bed.
- Inspection of Mattress
- Check the top and bottom seams, and along the sides of the piping material and the edges.
- If you have covered your mattress with plastic, check in the seams and rips in the material.
- Inspect for the presence between the mattress and the box spring, platform or frame.
- Check beneath the mattress handles, along and within the air holes.
- Check inside the material folding and under the buttons
- In case you suspect something for bed bug droppings, run through it using alcohol or baby wipes. If the spots dissolve into the reddish brown color, it might indicate the presence of bed bug droppings and hence the bed bug.
- Inspecting Box Spring
We need to closely observe the space between the box spring and the bed to check the location that connects box spring with bed frame. Ensure to lift slowly to ensure that you do not scatter the bed bugs.
- Check the top of box spring and inside the folds of material.
- Check along the area where the material is tacked to the frame.
- Turn the box spring over and get rid of the thin layer of cloth under the side.
- Observe closely everywhere around the furniture staples, tacks and also below it.
- Get a flashlight, a hand lens, and a tool, which can be used to check along the crevices, to check the space between the box spring frame parts.
- You can also use some double-sided tapes or carpet tapes under the furniture to trap the wondering bed bugs.
- You can also try using an agent that acts as a flushing tool to find out the bed bugs that have been hiding. The flushing tool will help you chase them and hence analyze the infestation.
- Inspection of Bed Frame and Head Board
The area including wooden bed frames and the headboards offer perfect hiding spots to the bed bugs, as compared to metal bed frames. However, this does not guarantee that metal beds pose any lesser chances of infestation. You need to check them as well for the presence of bed bugs in the crevices, or along the areas where mattress metal contact is formed.
- Start by visually inspecting the joints of the frame where the parts meet or contact. Follow this by using a crevice tool to inspect within the crevices.
- Turn the frame over and observe closely under it.
- Check the screws and the nail holes for the presence of the bed bugs within them.
- Pull the bed slightly apart to check between various parts.
- Dismantle the headboard from the bed and look closely for the bed bugs along the joints and the wall behind it.
- The wicker furniture offers ample of space to the bed bugs for hiding. Hence, if you own one, you can also consider replacing furniture in this case.
- Inspecting other Furniture and Storage Areas
Begin by inspecting the furniture near the sleeping area including the night stands. As the population grows, bed bugs start moving to other places to find a home. This makes the furniture close to the bed a potent solution for them. The infestation then spreads across the room similarly.
- Check the empty drawers and shelves of the furniture near the bed.
- Pull out the drawers and carefully observe every corner of the same along with the underside. You can use the crevice tool for checking the metallic drawer guides.
- Use a plastic bag to keep the items that need to be inspected and cleaned. For example, place the things like lamps, remote controls, alarm clocks, and radios into the plastic bags for further inspection. In case you find the infestation in the areas where these items rest, this needs further and careful inspection.
- Observe the gaps between the shelves and bookcase frames using the tools meant for checking the crevices.
- Turn over the entire furniture and check for the presence of bed bugs beneath them.
- Ensure not to leave behind the screws and the nail holes that provide great hiding space to the bed bugs.
- Follow the same inspection procedure for the other plastic and metallic furniture.
- The inspection of off-style chairs should be done by turning them over and closely observing the areas under seams, specifically around the areas where fabric and frame connect.
- The soft and cushiony furniture offer a perfect home to the bed bugs, even though the hosts are on it or not. This furniture also makes the inspection difficult owing to a great number of hiding spots. Hence, begin by inspecting the pillows and cushions, specifically around the areas like folds and zippers.
- Carefully observe the area under the legs of the chairs and the couches.
- Turn over the furniture and remove the thin cloth on the back of them.
- Carefully observe the areas close to the staples and the ones where the material is stapled to the frame.
- Inspecting the Room, on a Whole
Once the infestation begins, the bed bugs are likely to spread across the room, including the walls, moldings, and rugs.
- Carefully observe the moldings or joints between the floors. Also, pay attention to the wall that is closest to the bed.
- Use a specific crevice checking tools to inspect the area behind moldings. This tool will also draw the bed bugs out if used sweeping motion upward.
- Hold back the edges of wall-to-wall carpets and observe the signs of the presence of bed bugs.
- Carefully observe the tack strips of the carpets and look beneath the edges of area rugs.
- Remove the electrical switches and outlets along with the phone jack plates using a screwdriver, to inspect beneath them.
- Check carefully everything hanging on the walls, be it a framed art or pictures. Observe for the signs of infestations close by followed by dismantling the frame and observing it.
- Check under the loose wallpapers and the areas from where the paint is peeling off.
- Take down the curtain rods and observe them along with the area beneath the hardware on the walls.
- Check the wardrobe/ closets, bathroom, and other wooden frames, besides the hinges and boreholes for the latch on each door.
- Inspection of Some distinct locations
Bed bugs might surprise you by hiding at some unusual locations, in huge or moderate numbers. In case, you are affected by severe infestation, you must carefully inspect these locations as well. The areas generally include:
- Remote controls, specifically the battery compartment
- Telephones, cell phones, and cordless phones
- Lamps and alarm clocks
- Computers and other electronic devices
- Cardboard boxes in the wardrobes and beneath the beds
- Children’s toys and stuffed animals
- Jewelry boxes
- Brick walls and other textured ceilings
- Books, magazines, newspapers, and files
- Within the hollow doors
- Ceiling lights, fixtures, and smoke detectors
- Heating units, air conditioners, and duct systems
Various types of essential oils serve as an amazing remedy to drive the bed bugs out of your building in no time. The application of these wonderful ingredients has been backed by science. Here are some of the amazing ones that you can consider to opt. Let us know how to apply them.
How to Apply Essential Oils for Bed Bugs Treatment?
Essential oils can be applied using various methods. You just need to choose one that fulfills your objective without much effort. Here are some of the most followed ways:
(Method 1) Essential Oil Spray: Take a container and fill it with some water. Now keep it on the flame and heat it so that it turns lukewarm. Once ready, transfer it to the spray bottle. Add some drops of the chosen essential oil to this spray bottle. Shake the bottle vigorously so that the contents mix well forming a uniform solution. You can use this spray to sprinkle at the infested spots. You can also prepare this essential oil spray by mixing various oils.
(Method 2): Dip some cotton balls in the essential oil. Place these soaked cotton balls strategically on various locations to deter the bed bugs.
(Method 3): Grab a paintbrush and dip it in the essential oil of your choice. Now, apply the essential oil directly to the infested areas.
List of Essential Oils for Bed Bug Control
1. Cold Pressed Neem Essential Oil
The ingredient that helps you get rid of the bed bugs in no time is cold pressed neem essential oil. It can be considered as a naturally occurring pesticide found in the seeds of the neem tree. Yellow to brown in color, it has a bitter taste and an odor similar to garlic or sulfur. Enriched with a wide array of nutrients, it is also a great essential oil that can be used to combat skin ailments and enhance natural skin texture owing to rich antioxidant constituents. You can find it as an ingredient in various soaps, hair products, cosmetics, hand cream and pet shampoos. Azadirachtin is the most active compound found in neem essential oil and is responsible for its striking insecticidal properties.
Why does it Work?
The cold-pressed neem essential oil is considered as a green pesticide for use against the bed bugs. It is known to contain the compounds that have insecticidal properties that make it perfect for the application as a remedy to combat the bed bugs. Scientific experiments indicate that it adversely affects the bed bugs and helps you destroy the adults, nymphs, as well as the eggs, thus providing to a comprehensive solution that does not pose any threat to your life (6, 7).
2. Cedar Essential Oil
Cedar essential oil can also be effectively employed to kill the bed bugs (8). The essential oil of cedar is obtained by the steam distillation of wood pieces of cedar wood tree. It is a plant, which belongs to the cold regions and can be located at higher altitudes. Compounds like alpha cedrene, beta cedrene, cedrol, widdrol, thujopsene, and a group of sesquiterpenes, which enable it to exhibit terrific therapeutic properties besides many other including insecticidal activities. It is used throughout the world to cure a wide array of ailments like acne, stimulate metabolism, tighten muscles, flush out toxins and a lot more.
Why does it Work?
Once the cedar essential oil is applied against the bed bugs, it starts by giving out a magnificent aroma. This aroma overwhelms the breathing system of bed bugs that eventually face difficulty with breathing. This, in turn, causes them to die after some time. It also has a blocking action on their tiny bodies, which makes it difficult for them to continue breathing.
3. Lemongrass Essential Oil
This is one of the amazing citrusy seasoning used in the Thai dishes and is found in the shape of fibrous stalks. The essential oil of lemongrass finds its uses in the aromatherapy and is a rapid relief agent for the muscle pain. Besides this, it is also used to kill the bacteria, repel the insect, and combat body aches, and aids an efficient digestive system.
It is also applied as a flavoring agent in the diverse range of soups and teas while adding the sweet aroma to the cosmetics, soaps, and deodorants prepared at home. It is a rich source of various compounds that exhibit strong insecticidal activities against the bed bugs as well. Thus, if you are one wondering how to kill the bed bugs, you can effectively use the lemongrass essential oil and yield unbelievable benefits.
Why does it Work?
According to studies and experiments, lemongrass essential oil comprises the compounds that are capable of killing the bed bugs in no time. It is known through clinical studies that this essential oil is very high in the geraniol and citral compounds. On exposure to these compounds, the bed bugs die due to high insecticidal activity. Hence, this is one of the methods that help you obtain significant results in lesser time and efforts (9).
4. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint is obtained as a cross-pollination of water mint and spearmint. It is indigenous to the lands of Europe and is known for its herbal properties. It is applied as a time-tested remedy for a wide array of ailments and enjoys strong scientific backup for the same. This is the reason that the peppermint essential oil is available in varied forms like capsules and tablets.
Not only the traditional and Ayurvedic medical practitioners, but the modern doctors also prescribe the use of peppermint essential oil for curing a wide array of ailments. It is also used as a flavoring agent. Enriched with a wide collection of minerals such as manganese, iron, magnesium, calcium, folate, potassium, and copper along with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, and vitamin C, this essential oil is widely known for its high nutrient value.
Why does it Work?
Multiple scientific studies and experiments have backed the application of peppermint essential oils. Not only it’s a potential anti-bed bug treatment, but it also helps the user to deter other insects. This is primarily because it is enriched in the compounds that exhibit excellent pesticidal properties (10).
5. Spearmint Essential Oil
Known widely for its therapeutic properties like antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cephalic, emmenagogue, restorative, and stimulant action, spearmint essential oil is obtained as a result of steam distillation of flowering tops spearmint plant. It mainly comprises the compounds like alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, carvone, cineole, caryophyllene, linalool, limonene, menthol, and myrcene.
Its aroma resembles that of the peppermint and can be used interchangeably. It offers a great range of medicinal uses like augmenting of wound healing, relieve spasms, eliminate infections, carminative applications, stress relief, menstruation regulation, stimulant action, and many others.
Why does it Work?
Various scientific experiments support the fact that spearmint essential oil can be used as a pest repellant against a wide array of insects. These high pesticidal properties are attributed to the presence of a wide array of compounds that exhibit these actions. This is how spearmint essential oil can inhibit the bed bug population from growing and kills the existing ones (11).
6. Patula Essential Oil
Known to be a storehouse of a wide range of properties, the essential oil of T. Patula or Marigold is popular for its antibiotics, antimicrobial, antiparasitic, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, disinfectant, insecticide, and sedative properties. The plant is also known with various others names like Khaki Bush and Mexican Marigold. This herbal plant is native to Africa and is transported to various parts of the world including America, Europe, and Australia. It is scientifically known as Tagetes Minuta and is one of the excellent insect repellants known in nature.
The essential oil of Tagetes is obtained by the steam distillation of its leaves, stem, stalk, and flowers. Due to the rich aromatic fragrance, it is used for aromatherapy. The main compounds that are found in this oil are limonene, ocimene, targetone, and valeric acid. Besides this amazing range of benefits, the essential oil of T. Patula can help you get rid of the annoying pests like mosquitoes, fleas, lice, bed bugs, and many others. Not only this, it helps to neutralize the effects of their bites and stings as well, thus serving a major purpose.
Why does it Work?
In an attempt to find alternatives to non-organic pesticides, T. Patula essential oil was tested for its efficacy. The essential oil was transferred to a paper and then introduced to the target bugs, that is, common bed bugs. The results concluded that the essential oil of T. Patula had potent toxicity against the common bed bugs. The application leads to a hundred percent mortality rate in very less time. The main compounds of T. Patula essential oil that contributed to this impressive action were α-terpinolene, limonene, piperitenone, and piperitone that exhibited terrific insecticidal properties against the bed bugs. This essential oil also posed no toxicity against the humans and thus served with a safe and effective insecticide (12).
7. Soybean Essential Oil
Soybean has received a time-proven reputation when it comes to health benefits. It ranges from heart health, minimizing bad cholesterol, boosting immunity, reducing cognitive disorders, osteoporosis prevention, and growth enhancement to boosting eye and skin health. It is a vegetable oil that is extracted from the soybeans (or Glycine max). It is indigenous to East Asia and is categorized as a legume.
It is highly valued for the presence of a rich amount of fatty acids and plant sterols besides high vitamins and mineral content. People consume it owing to its benefits regarding cholesterol control, enhancing bone health, vision improvement, skin care, and a lot more. You can also use this oil if you are looking for environment-friendly alternatives to the inorganic or synthesized insecticides against the bed bugs.
Why does it Work?
Clinical studies propose that the compounds that make up soybean essential oil are associated with a wide array of benefits. This range of outstanding advantages also includes its application as a potent bed bug treatment. It was studied during one of such experiments, that soybean essential oil is an excellent bed bug exterminator which kills the bed bugs when the pests are exposed to it. What makes it more amazing is its zero probability for the harm to the humans and other beneficial flora present nearby (13).
8. Orange Essential Oil
The essential oil of orange is obtained by the cold compression of the orange peels. The essential oil comes loaded with compounds like alpha-pinene, citronellol, geraniol, sabinene, myrcene, limonene, linalool, and neral, serves the humans with a wide array of applications starting from the health-promoting to insecticidal properties.
It is loaded with a wide array of benefits like anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antispasmodic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, carminative, diuretic, tonic, sedative, and a cholagogic action. You can use for treating spasms, sedative effects, relieve inflammation, prevent infections, relieve depression, stimulate urination, and a lot many like these. Orange essential oil can also provide a substitute for the conventional bug exterminators. You can use it in your home without considering the various risks that chemical insecticides bring with them.
Why does it work?
An experiment was conducted to test various essential oils for their activities against the bed bugs. The results of this experiment established that the orange essential contains various compounds that offer profound benefits in terms of bed bug treatments. More precisely, it is a contact kill remedy and is excellent for killing the drywood termites. In other words, once the bed bugs come in contact with the orange essential oil, the compounds of this oil have pesticidal actions on them. It serves as a green remedy to solve the problem and does not harm the beneficial flora around (14).
9. Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary or Rosmarinus officinalis is one of the culinary herbs whose leaves are a prominent part of many delicacies. It belongs to the mint family along with basil, lavender, myrtle, and sage. It is popularly used for its pharmacological and cosmetic effects for applications like digestion booster, hair care, oral care, skin care, immunity booster, a painkiller and a lot more. The herb is also known to be an effective cure to the people suffering from the problems associated with circulation stimulation, high amount of toxins, bacterial infections, and premature aging. Besides this, experimental studies also suggest that rosemary essential oil resulted in a hundred percent bed bug mortality on the application.
Why does it work?
Rosemary essential oil is not just an excellent bed bug exterminator but also helps you deter them in the long run, thus making it the most valuable remedy here. It also offers the potential to destroy the bed bug eggs as well. It has been stated that the taste of this essential oil is one of the things that bed bugs hate the most. Hence, once they come in contact, they get irritated by the taste and hence leave the area they are causing the infestation to (15).
10. Thyme Essential Oil
Enriched with numerous properties such as antispasmodic, antirheumatic, antiseptic, bactericidal, bechic, cardiac, carminative, cicatrizant, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, hypertensive, insecticide, stimulant, tonic, and vermifuge actions, Thyme is a herb that has been used as a herbal treatment for a wide array of diseases. Scientifically known as Thymus vulgaris, it is generally used as a spicing agent and condiment. The thyme essential oil is derived from the fresh flowers and leaves through the process of steam distillation. The major compounds that make up the essential oil include alpha-thujone, alpha-pinene, camphene, beta-pinene, para-cymene, alpha-terpinene, linalool, borneol, beta-caryophyllene, thymol, and carvacrol.
Why does it work?
While conducting a scientific research to observe the effectivity of certain essential oils against the various pests, it was concluded that the compounds present in thyme essential oil could do wonders in this regard. These compounds are thymol and carvacrol, the chief constituents that make up the thyme essential oil and offer multiple benefits regarding bed bug repellant and exterminator. It aids easy beg bug killing while posing zero probability for the harm to the humans and other beneficial flora present nearby (16). Thus, you can use this essential oil for its bed bug killing properties.
11. Canola Essential Oil
Canola essential oil or rapeseed essential oil is derived from the seeds of the rapeseed plant. The essential oil has been greatly criticized for its high uric acid content and hence the debate whether it is good or bad has been continuing since long. It is, therefore, avoided for the consumption. You can find its application in the candles, soaps, lipsticks, lubricants, inks, biofuels, and a great range of insecticides.
Why it Works?
Canola oil is another wonderful remedy that has been scientifically proven for killing the bed bugs and preventing them from infesting the furniture. It is a potential solution for the bed bugs because it has a growth retarding action on the bed bugs. In other words, it inhibits them from hatching and thus growing in number (17). This is the reason that it happens to be a part of multiple herbal formulas for killing the bed bugs.
12. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Derived from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree, the eucalyptus essential oil is another remedial measure that you can employ to get rid of the bed bugs in no time. The plant from which this essential oil is obtained is native to the regions of Australia, Tasmania and islands found close by. The major compounds that make up this essential oil include Eucalyptol, or 1, 8-cineole and empower most of its properties ranging from the therapeutic to insecticidal. It is widely known for its immune boosting properties, besides its ability to treat respiratory problems, cough, seasonal allergies, infections of various kinds, decrease pain and inflammation, headaches, wound treatments, and a lot more.
Why it Works?
The essential oil of eucalyptus is highly rich in the compound known as 1, 8- cineole or eucalyptol. This compound, when exposed to the bed bugs, disrupts their nervous system, thus giving them a hard time or making it difficult for them to survive for a long period (18, 19, 20). Not only this, it also offers amazing benefits in retarding the growth of the eggs, thus limiting their population.
13. Citronella Essential Oil
Citronella essential oil is an essential oil obtained from the leaves and stems of various lemongrass species. This grass mainly grows in the areas of some Asian countries and some of the South Pacific islands. It bears a rich lemon-type of aroma. It is widely known for its therapeutic uses and is an effective insect repellant that is used by many people to deter the insects while ensuring no harm to the health of beneficial flora. The health benefits of citronella essential oil include antibacterial, antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, deodorant, diaphoretic, diuretic, stomachic, tonic, and vermifuge properties.
Citronella essential oil is rich in various beneficial compounds that come handy to not only promote the health but also repel and kill the pests that generally bother us, including bed bugs. These compounds mainly include citronellal, geraniol, geranyl acetate, and limonene. Of these, the compounds citronellal and geraniol are found in the highest composition. Citronella essential oil is also used for in perfumery industry owing to its great aromatic nature.
Why it Works?
An experiment to test the efficacy of citronella essential oil against the bugs was conducted. Being the major compounds, the activities of the citronellal, Geraniol, and limonene were especially observed. It was concluded that the essential oil was pretty effective against the kissing bugs, which are the bigger and meaner relatives of the bed bugs. The compound limonene exhibited strongest activities against the bugs while the other two exhibited slightly lesser. The conclusion also stated that citronella essential oil was more effective when applied as a topical treatment rather than as vapors (21).
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
14. Silicone Oil
Silicone oil is the liquid polymerized siloxane that has organic side chains. It is known for its odorless and non-flammable nature. It offers excellent thermal stability owing to its lubricating properties and is used in a diverse range of industries such as the medical industry, automotive industry, and aerospace industry. Silicone oil is also used as an ingredient in the pharmaceutical creams for providing relief against burns and dermatitis. This cream also facilitates anti-clotting action. Silicone oil also delivers outstanding results in the cases of gas formation in the human digestive system due to which it is added to the anti-flatulent medicines and remedies.
Why it Works?
An experiment was conducted to test the efficacy of various oils against the bed bugs and check if they can replace the synthetic alternatives with the safer ones. Every oil was applied to the bed bug infested parts. It was concluded that only 18 essential oils along with the silicone oil, and paraffin oil proved to be an effective bug repellant. It was also observed that the effectivity of silicone oil was more than the one obtained by the application of essential oils. It resulted in a 92% bug mortality after 24 hours (22).
How to Apply?
Now that we have proved that this is an effective bed bug exterminator, you can apply it using a very simple method. All you have to do is, grab a spray bottle and fill it with water. Once done, add some silicone oil to it. Shake the ingredients thoroughly to mix well. After this, use the silicone oil spray hence prepared on the areas infested with the bed bugs to see the results. You can repeat the treatment for a few days to ensure rapid effects.
15. Paraffin Oil
The liquid paraffin oil is one of the types of oil that is extracted from multiple sources including whales, coal, and crude oil. It finds a variety of uses in the medicals, industries, cosmetics, and science. It is used by the physical therapists to warm up the body parts such as hands to prepare them for the sessions. Besides being used to protect the unstable substances, it is also used for lighting the lamps and lanterns. Paraffin oil is also used as a chemical ingredient in the medicines including the topical creams, moisturizers, salves, balms, and laxatives. Not only this, but it can also prove effective for the ones wondering what kills bed bugs.
Why it Works?
Various studies establish the reputation of paraffin oil as a potent remedy against the bed bug infestation. One such study aimed at finding the safe alternatives for tradition bed bug pesticides was conducted to analyze 18 essential oils. Sample from each essential oil was applied to areas affected by bed bug infestation. Of these, paraffin oil was among the ones that exhibited amazing action to kill the bed bugs. It thus established that paraffin oil could be used as a safer alternative to the bed bug control measures (23).
16. Sweet Flag
Sweet flag is indigenous to China and the Himalayas. It is a perennial herb with the light brown outer formation. It was initially transported to Europe for cleaning the drinking water, but its therapeutic value helped it earn the reputation of a medicinal herb. The rhizome of the herb smell similar to lemon and is distilled in the aromatic oils used for treating stomach disorders. It is also used to flavor the wine or to manufacture jams in various countries. It is also well known for its insecticidal properties and hence can be used effectively if you are the one wondering how to get rid of bed bugs fast (24).
Why it Works?
The scientific studies suggest that the sweet flag is rich in the pyrethrin compound. This compound exhibits strong insect repellency. Besides this, other compounds such as shyobunone and isoshyobunone also exhibited strong insect repellency (25). The effectivity of sweet flag against the bed bugs can also be attributed to the strong aroma. This aromatic essence attacks the bed bugs and drives them out of the infested sites.
How to Apply?
Simply grab the calamus packet from the nearest store and spray it according to the instructions printed on it. This will help you eliminate not only the bed bugs, but also drive out other insects or pests that are bothering you of late. The remedy remains effective for a longer period.
17. Bean Leaves
Well, a delicious part of wonderful dishes, bean leaves are one of the ingredients that serve us with numerous amazing nutrients and helps us get the required amount of them. Highly loaded with the lutin content, beans supply your body with the compounds that are required to maintain healthy vision or eyes. It is rich in the vitamins including vitamin A, C, B, and B2. Whether you have blood sugar, kidney stones, constipation, hemorrhoids, or urinary tract infections, beans have it all to provide you with a sigh of relief. It is also a good source of iron and calcium. Besides this extraordinary set of applications, beans also prove it amazing when it comes to the killing bed bugs.
Why it Works?
Bean leaves offer outstanding entrapment of the bed bugs and have received worldwide acclamation for the same. According to research, the people who spread kidney bean leaves around their bed at night experienced quick relief through the remedy. Once active, bed bugs start wandering around their comfort zones to look out for something to feed on. They were ripped to the kidney beans leaves spread around and could not escape. These leaves were then collected and burnt to kill the bed bugs (26, 27, 28).
How to Apply?
Simply get some fresh kidney bean leaves. Spread them around the floor and the areas infested by the bed bugs. In the morning, you will find numerous bugs hanged onto the leaves. You can then burn the leaves. Repeat the remedy several times in a weak to ensure that the entire population of bed bug is removed.
18. Diatomaceous Earth
Another important helper for Diatomaceous Earth or D.E. is also known as diatomite or kieselguhr. It is a soft sedimentary rock that exists in nature and can be easily powdered into a fine white to off-white colored substance. This rock is composed of fossilized remains of diatoms, which is a category of hard-shelled protest (chrysophytes). It is commonly used in explosives and for filtration. Besides many other uses, it is a time-tested remedy to get rid of a wide array of insects and pests. Its crystalline formation and abrasive nature mainly contribute to its efficacy as an insecticide. It can serve as an effective and safe remedy to get rid of the termites while ensuring safety to human life.
Why it Works?
Diatomaceous Earth is one of the Desiccants. Technically speaking, a desiccant is a hygroscopic substance that induces or sustains a state of dryness to the parts it is applied to. It is generally used to remove the humidity which forms the reason of destruction for the products that are sensitive to moisture. These actions also prove beneficial to kill the bed bugs. Once the bed bugs are exposed to the diatomaceous earth, it absorbs the moisture from their outer coating. This absorption causes their body to gradually destroy due to dehydration and eventually they will die. The best part of using desiccants is that while bed bugs gradually become resistant to other pesticides, it is not possible with the desiccants (29).
However, the application of desiccants should be done very carefully. You must ensure to use the products that have been registered by EPA and are specifically approved for application against the bed bugs. This is because they pose inhalation risk and hence should be only applied to the areas such as cracks, crevices, etc. (30).
How to Apply?
Apply hundred percent pure diatomaceous earth powder around the infested area. Allow it to show the effects for some time before applying vacuum cleaner to remove the dead bed bugs. The compound takes about ten days to kill the bed bug population completely but provides as high as a 90% mortality rate. Even though this remedy is safe; if you are using food grade product, you need to take precautions while administering. It is primarily because, the tiny pieces, when inhaled, adversely affect the lungs owing to the sharp edges. Repeat the process once again after cleaning with the vacuum to ensure high effectivity.
Boric Acid or Hydrogen Borate is also known as boracic acid, orthoboric acid or Acidum boricum. It is one of the weak, monobasic Lewis acid of boron. Existing on the form of colorless crystals or white-colored powder, it is often used for its antiseptic, insecticidal, flame retarding, and neutron absorbing value and easily dissolves in the water. Thanks to its pesticidal properties, it can be employed in the household as an effective treatment to get your home rid of the pests. This is the reason it is generally used as a wood preservative to protect it against the termites, beetles, and some decay fungi.
Why it Works?
Boric acid is also one of the desiccants. As mentioned above, they too work by destroying the waxy, protective outer coating on a bed bug. Once this coating is destroyed, the bed bugs will slowly dehydrate and die. Desiccants are a valuable tool in bed bug control. Because desiccants work through a physical mode of action, the bed bugs cannot become resistant to desiccants as they can to pesticides with other modes of action. Also, they have a long-lasting effect and do not disturb normal bed bug activities (31).
When using desiccants to control bed bugs, it is critical to use those that are registered by EPA and labeled for bed bug control. Desiccants that are intended for other uses, such as food-grade or use in swimming pools, pose an increased inhalation risk to people. Use of desiccants is limited to cracks, and crevices use only to reduce inhalation risk (32).
How to Apply?
Take some water in a container. Add some boric acid powder to it and mix well until it dissolves completely. Once ready with a uniform solution, use a paintbrush to spread it evenly on the infested areas. You can also opt for spraying or painting the infested areas with the products that contain boric acid. This formula also works wonders for the ones wondering how to get bed bugs out of the carpet as you can sprinkle it over the surface and then collect the bed bugs through the vacuum cleaner.
You can also sprinkle it on the infested areas. Once done, the sharp edges of the powder with killing the bed bugs. You can then use a vacuum cleaner to collect the dead insects and throw them out. This is one of the simplest remedies to get rid of the bed bugs.
Another effective method for getting rid of the bed bugs is the application of heat treatment. Heat is an outstanding bed bug killer. You can avail a variety of choices available in the market that enable to carry out the treatment in an efficient manner. For instance, infested clothes and beddings can be treated using a hot dryer. For the suitcases and the household items, you can prefer using portable heat chambers. You can also use a do-it-yourself heat chamber that can get you rid of the infestation in the furniture and large household items (33).
Why it Works?
The heat treatment is a scientifically recommended method to kill the nasty bed bugs in your homes. It offers a nontoxic alternative to the conventional insecticides and is capable of killing the bed bugs regardless of the life stage they are in. According to the recent researches, the thermal death points of the bed bugs (or the temperatures that kill bed bugs) and their eggs are 113 degrees Fahrenheit, given that they remain exposed for at least ninety minutes. It was also proved that the duration of this remedy could be decreased by increasing the temperature. That is, if the temperature rises to 118 degrees Fahrenheit, the bed bugs will die within 20 minutes. The rapid supply of heat increases the mortality, and you are free of the bed bugs within very less time (34).
How to Apply?
The various equipment that can lend you a helping hand to kill the bed bugs includes clothes dryer, portable heating devices, and many similar ones. You can apply these heat treatments by using the clothes dryer to overcome infestation in the household items like clothes, toys, books, etc. A portable heating device can be used for the items like bag packs, clothing, sleeping bags, tools, books, CDs, shoes, purses, and pillows. Heat chambers can also be used as a replacement for other appliances and are counted as the cheapest among them(35).
You can use this method of bed bug removal if you are ready to spare a little bit higher amount of money and obtain rapid results. However, this method is meant to overcome the infestation already present and does not safeguard your home for long. In other words, it does not guarantee to protect the home against the infestation further.
How about attacking pests with the parasites that feed on them? Exactly what we are going to do now. Beauveria bassiana is a fungus that grows naturally in the soil. It is a parasite for various species of insects and other such organisms like arthropods that develop muscardine in them. It can be thus categorized under entomopathogenic fungi. Owing to this characteristic, it is utilized as a biological insecticide for a wide collection of pests including bed bugs, thrips, whiteflies, aphids, and beetles. Beauveria bassiana has very rare chances of posing any threat to human life, hence increasing its points as a safe alternative to the chemical treatments.
Why does it work?
An experiment conducted by some scientists prove that Beauveria bassiana can be used for getting beneficial results when it comes to the treatment of bed bugs. Some spore of the fungi were applied to the areas highly infested by the bed bugs. It was observed that a duration of three to five days yielded highly significant mortality rate, which was as high as 90 to 95%. However, it was also observed that this method of bed bug removal posed certain challenges as well. These challenges were in the form of slow effects and problem in identifying the areas that are infested (36, 37).
How to Apply?
The spores of this fungus are directly applied to the infested area. Once it is exposed to the body of bed bugs, it gradually grows. The conditions such as moist environment favor them and help them multiply their growth by manifolds. This remedy takes three to five days to show complete effects. You must ensure to carry out the activity in the absence of sunlight as the presence of it acts as a growth-limiting factor for the fungus. This can be one of the most effective treatments if you are willing to allow some time to show the effects. It not only ensures the end to bed bug infestation but also caters to freedom from other insects and pests as well, thus proving itself as an ultimate bed bug treatment.
This is probably the cheapest bed bug solution, which has been scientifically recommended for the application. Simply grab a spray bottle and fill it with lukewarm water. Add some liquid dishwasher to it and shake well to form a uniform solution. Once done, you can use this spray to kill the bed bugs and destroy their eggs in order to get rid of them.
Some Myths about Bed Bugs Treatment
While looking for some effective solutions that cater to the bed bugs problem, we have come across some that people claim to have worked for them. However, those solutions are not backed by science. Here are some such myths, along with the frequently asked questions regarding bed bugs.
- Question: Does alcohol kill bed bugs?
Myth: Alcohol works wonder for getting rid of bed bugs.
Reality: Alcohol treatment is only prescribed for professional applications. It is also a noticed trend that some people generally use, as well as suggest alcohol to those wondering how to get rid of bed bugs yourself. The scientific studies strongly state against it. It has been noticed that the usage of alcohol lead to severe damages to the furniture and sometimes, even cause fire (38, 39). The answer to “does rubbing alcohol kill bed bugs” is no different.
- Question: Will bleach kill bed bugs?
Myth: Bleach has the potential to solve the bed bug problem.
Reality: Bleach is suggested as one of the great remedies to get your home rid of bed bugs. At least, what many of the websites claim. However, the application should be avoided as it has risk hazards associated with it (40).
- Question: Will ammonia kill bed bugs?
Myth: Ammonia is one of the greatest treatments for getting rid of the bed bugs.
Reality: No doubt, multiple websites claim that ammonia offers great effects when it comes to treating the bed bug infested areas. This is, however, against the scientific claims that disregard this application owing to the risk of fire (41).
- Question: Does baking soda work for bed bugs?
Myth: Baking soda makes one of the best solutions to the bed bug problems.
Reality: Baking soda is not a professionally recommended method to get rid of bed bugs. Under no circumstances should the people use this as an application for treating bed bugs (42).
- Questions: Can we use isopropyl alcohol to kill bed bugs?
Myth: Isopropyl alcohol can help you achieve superb results when you want to get a relief from bed bug infestation.
Reality: The myth is actually a half-truth. Isopropyl really is a potent solution if you are looking for best bed bug killer. However, the word “safe” is what causes it to become a myth. The application of isopropyl alcohol has led to numerous fire hazards in the buildings they have been implemented in. It also fails to keep the bed bugs away, which is another major issue (43).
- Does Lysol spray deliver results or kill the bed bugs?
Answer: Lysol spray is a potent solution if you are looking for solutions that cater to how to treat bed bugs. It has been one of the scientifically recommended remedies and can be carried in case you are traveling, which adds to its value as a bed bug removal measure. However, the problem is, it only works if you apply it directly to the bed bugs. That is, it does not help you to repel them. Also, they only work in the liquid form. In other words, the effect of Lysol spray will sustain only if it is not solid, once dried or evaporated, it will not have any effect, not as a repellant, neither as a bed bug killer.
- How can you prevent the bed bugs from biting you?
Answer: When you begin the fight against the bed bugs and try for one of the remedial measures, you also need to protect yourself from being a host to their nutritional requirements. Not only does it lead to that uneasy and irritating feeling, but might also lead to serious skin allergies. To safeguard yourself from their bites, you can opt for applying some insect repellent essential oils, soaps, etc. before sleeping. The best one in this regard would be neem oil, which has proven benefits in this regard. It also keeps you safe from other insects and pests, thus saving you a lot of time and money.
- Can I use Tea Tree Oil against Bed Bugs?
Myth: Tea Tree Oil is an amazing solution against bed bugs.
Answer: Many sites claim the efficacy of Tea Tree Oil as an effective solution for the ones wondering how to kill bed bugs. However, no scientific study backs the application. In addition, multiple pieces of research claim that the tea tree oil tends to have allergic reactions on the human skin that comes in contact with it. This proves that in case you apply it on the mattress as a bed bug remedy, it might get in contact with your skin, and deepen the problem.
How to know if bed bugs are gone?
No matter how tiny they appear to be, bed bugs do not leave so easily. You need to ensure that they have left. Even if they have left, there are manifold chances of you going to be affected by the problem in near future as well. This assurance can only be done by following a thorough inspection after applying the remedial measures. You can appoint a professional firm for the same or follow the steps mentioned before carefully.
Precautions to take while applying Bed Bugs Treatment
Stopping further infestation is as important as getting rid of it. In case the infestation reaches to other sides of the building, it not only becomes really difficult to get rid of it but also adds up to the cost of treatment measures. Here are some of the points that you can keep in mind (44).
- Check for their presence – Ensure that they are really bed bugs and not one of the pests that looks like them such as fleas, ticks, etc. Check for the characteristics that distinguish bed bugs. You can compare the pictures that are available on the internet. Optionally, you can always go for professional help that lets you identify them quickly.
- Do not panic – No matter how difficult it is to keep bed bugs away or get rid of them, it is not an impossible thing to do. Do not go on discarding the infested items assuming they are not useful anymore. Bed bugs can be cleared off from them with the application of perfect techniques, and the furniture can be saved. Not only discarding the stuff is expensive, but it also paves ways for the bed bug infestation to spread to other buildings and homes increasing the problem even more.
- Identify Correct Treatments and Remedial Measures – Do not immediately go looking out for your bed bug spray. Regardless of if you kill the bed bugs or not, you will definitely have them spreading elsewhere due to lack of strategy. Be comprehensive with your methodology. Inspect the rooms properly to analyze the gravity of problems and then list out the solutions that you can opt for. These solutions either can be an organic way to get rid of bed bugs or may be an integrated pest management program. Think wisely and decide for yourself.
- Cut Down on the Number of Hiding Places by Reducing the Clutter – A cluttered home provides a perfect habitat to the bed bugs. It gives them ample spaces to hide and then come out at the precise times to bother you more. In addition, it makes it difficult for you to find them and employ the treatment measures. Therefore, if you have bed bugs residing in your mattress, opt for some special bed bug covers or encasements on the mattress and the box springs. This ensures that the bed bugs do not reach you while you are asleep. Use this encasement for at least a year even after the treatment has been done. Ensure to buy the products which have been lab tested for protection against the bed bugs and have a material strong enough to protect you for a year without the problems of wear and tear.
- Wash and Heat-dry the Bed Sheets, Blankets, Bedspreads, and any other Clothing that Touches the Floor, Regularly – This would help you remove the hiding bed bugs and their eggs in the laundry containers, thanks to the heat. The method would not only keep the count of bed bugs under control limits but also ensure that the infestation does not worsen to an uncontrollable level.
- DIY Freezing May Not Always Work for Bed Bug Control – While freezing is a potent solution for killing the bed bugs, it is worth noting that it only works in the cases where the temperatures remain low for a long time. This makes home freezers incapable of killing the bed bugs. Use a thermometer to check the temperature and compare it to the desired value. You can also opt for placing the things outside in the freezing temperatures; however, the results of this remedy are affected by various factors. Therefore, the method is not always reliable and might cause you to waste your time instead.
- Heat Treatment for Bed Bugs should be Done Carefully – Simply raising the indoor temperature using a thermostat or space heaters do not get the job done. You need the special equipment and very high temperatures to ensure that the remedy is effective and successful. You can also try using black plastic bags and enclose the infested items in them. Keep them in the sun after that to ensure that the items gain high temperature. Bed bugs will die if their body temperature reaches 45°C (113°F). In case you want to employ this remedy within the rooms or in enclosed spaces, you need to ensure even higher temperatures for killing the bed bugs, regardless of where they are hiding. This might also cause fire hazards leading to a grave situation. Hence, be careful while applying the heat treatment.
- Do not Circulate the Bed Bugs to other Buildings – Bed bugs love traveling and this is how they discover new places. If you happen to throw the infested furniture or the mattress, etc. in the places, they are not supposed to be, it might cause others in your locality to have them. Moreover, someone might accidentally pick them up and carry those homes along with the bed bugs. Hence, if you are not willing to avoid throwing them away, ensure that you destroy them in some way.
- The equation is simple: Reduce the Bed Bugs to Reduce Bed Bug Bites – Yes, of course, we have measures that can help us manifolds to prevent the bed bugs from biting us. However, they do not serve in the long run. Therefore, vacuum the rugs, floors, upholstered furniture, bed frames, under beds, around the beds, and all the cracks as well as crevices very carefully throughout the room. Also, change the bags every time after vacuuming so that none of the bed bugs can have a safe escape. Ensure that you do not discard the bags directly, instead seal them in the plastic bags, and throw them outside in a garbage bin.
- Turn to Professional, whenever you feel the Need be – Yes, home remedies for bed bugs are great, but it is not wise to keep on trying them without visible results. In case, you feel the problem is worsening rather than improving, immediately call an expert. Trying on random methods without any gain will only make it more difficult for you and deepens the problem.
How to Prevent Bed Bugs
Because, “prevention is better than cure”, here we have compiled a list of precautionary measures that you can follow in order to keep the bed bugs at bay.
- Ensure to vacuum the suitcases after coming back from the vacations.
- Regularly take a look at the sheets to observe the signs of blood spots.
- Carry large plastic trash bags to cover your suitcases during the hotel stays.
- Use flashlights to observe the signs of infestations closely.
- Avoid buying second-hand furniture. These specifically include mattresses and box springs. In case it is unavoidable, examine them thoroughly for the signs of bed bug infestation. You can also opt for carrying out the infestation through a professional help to analyze their condition to ensure you do not miss out anything.
- Inspect the areas where pests sleep regularly for the signs indicating the presence of bed bugs.
- Regularly inspect areas where pets sleep for signs of bed bugs.
Tips for Preventing Bed Bugs Infestation
- Regularly clean entire area including the workspace, hallways, lobbies, kitchens, stores, and the washroom using a vacuum cleaner. The bed bugs are also found in the electrical sockets, surge protectors, and behind the picture frames.
- Ensure to limit the clutter. The piled up things provide the best home to the bed bugs and offers them perfect hiding space.
- When unpacking an item or receiving any shipments, examine the items and packages carefully to ensure that they have not been affected by the bed bug infestation, before bringing them to use.
- The people whose homes have bed bug infestations are potent sources for the bed bugs to travel. Please keep a check to avoid visiting places if your place is affected by the infestation.
- In case you observe bed bug infestation or any signs related to it (even if you do not see bed bugs), ensure to get your premises inspected by professionals. This would help you eliminate the chances on time. Do not forget to perform the follow-up inspections.
- Before trying any particular attire, make sure to examine it for the signs of bed bugs. Do not blindly buy any clothing. This is because if you happen to choose the clothes from a pile that has been undisturbed for a long time, there are chances of them having bed bugs hiding within.
- The bed bugs can easily hide behind the mirrors or within the cracks and crevices. The other areas include wall sockets. Hence, keep a check on these areas.
- If you have purchased clothes and got them home, ensure to immediately soak them in hot water or steam/dry clean the delicate ones to kill the bed bugs.
- Ensure to enclose your belongings and suitcases in the plastic bags to keep them covered from the bed bugs. This ensures that they do not home into them while you are not observing and hence do not reach your buildings while you return from a trip.
- After a trip, consider washing your clothes regardless of the fact that they have been worn or not. Prefer using hot water as it has the potential to kill the bed bugs and their eggs.
- Have a complete check of the school bags once the kids return from the school, specifically if you have had some sort of traveling like school picnics, etc. Ensure that the clothes and other washable belongings are steam dried or washed in the hot water to kill the bed bugs present in it.
- If you opt for installing second-hand furniture, examine them very well to investigate for the bed bugs issue. In case you suspect of the presence of any pests including the bed bugs, do not, in any case, purchase it.
- If your child is old enough to understand the signs of bed bugs, explain them and help them take precautionary measures to avoid the bed bugs.
In case you find bed bug infestation, call for professional services without wasting any time.
Take Home Message
Bed bugs are one of those nasty creatures whose infestation may not bring with them serious health issues but poses a wide array of problems when it comes to our comfort and lifestyle. After all, who would love having sleepless nights and then wake up to nothing but ugly looking marks on the skin? Any such conditions should be addressed as soon as they have been observed. The method to take care should be strategic enough to end the problems from the roots, and not just the present conditions.
Our small guide to the bed bugs will help you understand the problem in detail and also introduce you to some of the pitfalls that people generally encounter through the solution application. You can choose one of the effective home remedies and get desired results to liberate yourself from the bed bug infestation. Cheers!!
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