How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Naturally In India
25 Bed Bug Natural Home Remedies and DIY Treatment
When you fall asleep, these critters come out from hiding and viciously attack you. They bite you over and over again. They’re courteous, though. The hollow tubes they use to pierce your skin and suck your blood contain a powerful but temporary painkiller, so you won’t feel their handiwork until the morning.
We’re talking about bedbugs, and these guys don’t discriminate. Fortunately, we’ve got more than two dozen effectivehome remedies for your bed bugsso that you can say goodbye to them (hopefully) forever.
Though they’re known for calling warm climates home, they can settle anywhere. And once they’ve set up shop in your mattress or on your furniture, it’s a battle of wills to get them gone.
You may be interested in taking a natural approach for these reasons:
- It’s low-cost (maybe even free).
- You can act right away instead of having to schedule an appointment with an exterminator.
- You avoid the toxic chemicals that an exterminator uses when they address the problem.
Most of our solutions utilize things you’ve already got in the house, but if you do need to go out and purchase something, it will be relatively inexpensive.
Get rid of bed bugs
Getting rid of bed bugs is a difficult fight. More so, if the infestation spreads across all the rooms in the house. Bed bugs not only travel easily via luggage, clothing, bedding and furniture but also multiply in a matter of days.
However, no treatment is required for bedbug bites. If itching is severe, topical steroid creams may be used for symptom relief. Secondary bacterial infections that develop over heavily scratched areas may require antibiotics. Unhygienic conditions boost the growth and spread of bed bugs in the house. Go for regular pest control. It should be done preferably twice a month depending upon the infestation. Bedding and garments which are prone to infestation need to be bagged and laundered at 120 F minimum, because these items cannot be treated with insecticides.
The Top 10 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally
If you notice that you have small itchy spots, red rashes or blisters when you wake up, it could be a sign that you have bed bugs. These tiny little pests can infest the seams of your mattress, bed frames, box springs, and headboards. It can be a challenge to get rid of bed bugs because they are hard to detect and they multiply rapidly. Bed bugs should be destroyed as quickly as possible because they can infest other areas of your home and cause a major problem.
Actually, bed bugs are not a sign that you have a dirty home, but they can be brought into your house through luggage, used furniture and beds, clothing and other household items.
Fortunately, there are many ways to naturally get rid of bed bugs. Bed bugs can’t survive extreme hot or cold temperatures, so, methods like steam cleaning, hot washes, and drying on a high heat are natural home remedies to eliminate bed bugs from clothing and bedding. Placing small items in the freezer is another way to kill bed bugs.
For larger areas, you can make your own natural bed bug sprays from tea tree oil, lavender oil, or eradicate bed bugs by sprinkling diatomaceous earth powder in crevices that bed bugs like to inhabit.
Before we look at the best home remedies to eliminate bed bugs naturally, let’s look at the symptoms of bed bugs and the problems these tiny insects can cause.
The Problems Bed Bugs Cause
Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and gorge on the blood of humans and animals. Although bed bugs don’t spread disease or cause infections, they cause a lot of personal discomfort.
Bedbugs can also quickly infest beds, couches, furniture and are difficult to find and kill because they like to hide in dark cracks, crevices, and gaps.
Dr. Carol DerSarkissian onWebMDsays that bed bugs reach adult maturity within a month and can produce 3 or 4 generations a year. 1
According to theNational Pest Management Association(NPMA), the problem of getting rid of bed bugs and bed bug control is growing every year. A survey carried by the NPMA found there is a resurgence of bed bug infestations in hotels, movie theaters, public transportation, and even medical facilities. 2
Signs and Symptoms of Bed Bugs
There is no doubt about it – bed bugs are a nuisance and exterminating these tiny pests should be a top priority. One of the first symptoms that you may have a bed bug infestation is bites on your skin. These bites can appear anywhere on your body that the bed bug can crawl to. According to theNational Health Servicein the United Kingdom, some of the other symptoms of bed bug bites are: 3
- itchy red bumps on the skin
- a red itchy bed bug rash
- fluid-filled blisters or welts
- a skin infection caused by scratching the itchy skin and allowing bacteria to enter the wound
There will also be some signs around your bed that indicate you need to think about some effective methods of bed bug control. For example, with a flashlight, you may discover the tiny bugs in seams around the edge of the mattress or in the bed joints or spring box. You may also notice dark or red spots on your bedding or mattress. This is their dried feces or blood from a killed bed bug.
What are the best ways of getting rid of bed bugs from your bed, mattress, headboard, couches, or anywhere else that they might be living? Here are some of the best tried and tested bed bug natural remedies.
If you have bed bug bites, make sure to read my article about the best natural ways to get rid of bed bug bites.
Here are some of the best home remedies to get rid of bed bugs:
10 Best Natural Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Find the bed bug Infestation
One of the first steps to completely eliminate all traces of bed bugs from your home is to find all the infested areas. Bed bugs are usually found in bedrooms but they can inhabit any room in the home where people and pets sleep.
TheUS Environmental Protection Agencyrecommends carefully checking the seams of mattresses and other soft furnishings in your home. Examine the spaces between cushions, your mattress and bed frame and any other possible hiding place in your bedroom. Don’t forget to check drawer joints, behind loose wallpaper, and even in electrical appliances. 4
Any space the thickness of a credit card is a potential home for bed bugs.
Use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of bed bug naturally
Using a vacuum cleaner to suck up the bed bugs is a very effective and simple method to eradicate bed bugs from your bedroom.
A vacuum cleaner is a common household item so you can use it right now to kill bed bugs. To make sure and get rid of any eggs around the seams of your mattress, use a stiff brush to loosen any bed bug eggs from the material.
Bed bugs can be hiding everywhere, so you’ll need to vacuum all chairs and other soft furnishings, carpets, box springs, and mattresses and even curtains.
Regarding bed bug control, the journalClinical Microbiology Reviewssays that vacuuming can quickly get rid of a large number of bed bugs and their eggs. When using a vacuum cleaner to control bed bug infestations, it’s essential to use a disposable bag. As soon as you have vacuumed the infested area, remove and seal the bag before disposing of it. 5
Freeze items to kill bed bugs
Kill bed bugs in smaller items by placing them in a freezer. Although bed bugs can’t withstand freezing temperatures, they can live for up to a year in a cool room without any food sources.
To naturally kill the bedbugs you need to place infested items in a freezer that has a temperature below 1°F (-17°C) for at least 2 hours. 5
Hot steam kills bed bug
Hot steam is a great home remedy to destroy bed bugs and their eggs without damaging the environment.
The hot steam method for bed bug eradication can get rid of bed bugs from small crevices and cracks. The steam can also penetrate through the mattress lining and eradicate bug infestations inside the mattress.
Scientists have found that bed bugs are quickly killed when exposed to temperatures above 140°F (60°C). 5
So, if you have a steam cleaner, you can use it to exterminate bed bugs quickly without using harmful chemicals.
To kill bed bugs fast on your own using steam do the following:
- Thoroughly vacuum all the areas you plan to steam.
- Use the steamer on all surfaces where you see bed bugs and areas where you think bed bugs may be hiding to completely get rid of them.
- After using the steamer, the fabric may be damp, but it should not be wet. If the fabric is too wet decrease the amount of steam produced by the steamer.
- After you are finished, use a fan in the area to circulate air to help dry the items you have steamed.
- Repeat the steaming procedure a couple of times until all the bed bugs are completely gone.
You need to be aware that steaming will only kill bed bugs that are exposed to the heat, so any bed bugs that do not come into contact with the steam will survive.
What is the best type of steamer for bed bug eradication?
The general recommendation is to use a powerful and heavy duty steamer with a large water tank, preferably with a steam volume control. Small steamers may not be effective in eliminating bedbugs. Small steamers require constant refilling and may cover less surface area so they can be less effective in eliminating bed bugs. They may also not get hot enough to eliminate bedbugs on and around the mattress.
Hot wash bedding and clothing
You can also get rid of bed bugs from infected clothing and other fabric items by placing them in the washing machine and wash them at a temperature of over 60°C.
Hot washing is probably one of the easiest and fastest natural ways to kill off bed bugs from clothing and other items using a common household item.
Use a hot dryer
After putting infested items of clothing or bed linen through a hot wash, you should dry the items in a dryer set to a hot setting. This will make doubly sure that the bed linen is sterilized from bed bugs.
Dr. Carol DerSarkissian onWebMDrecommends the hot wash and hot dryer method to de-infest fabric items like curtains, bedding, shoes, and stuffed toy animals from bed bugs. 1
You could also use a hair dryer together with your vacuum cleaner to drive bed bugs out of crevices. Set the hair dryer to the hottest setting and direct into the crack. The hot air will kill the bed bugs and also force them out. Any bug not killed by the hair dryer can be sucked up with the vacuum cleaner.
Encase mattresses and pillows
Another natural way to prevent bed bugs from biting you during the night and stop them infesting other parts of your home is to encase mattresses and pillows.
Encasements for mattresses, spring boxes, and pillows are tightly woven covers that prevent bed bugs from entering or escaping. The encasements should be kept on for at least a year to ensure that all the bed bugs die naturally.
TheNational Pesticide Information Centerrecommends using encasements to protect your bed from bed bug infestations. In addition to encasing your bed items, they also recommend placing bed bug traps (such as this one) under your bed legs to stop bed bugs crawling up. 6
Other Natural Home Remedies to Eradicate Bed Bugs
While the above home remedies are excellent ways to eliminate bed bugs from your home, it is also necessary to treat areas with natural insecticides to kill bed bugs and eggs in hard to reach places. Here are some natural insecticides that you can make yourself to get rid of bed bugs.
Tea tree oil bed bug spray
The insecticidal properties of tea tree oil make it a great natural treatment to get rid of bed bug infestation. You can use the homemade tea tree spray to kill off bed bugs in hard to reach places, like cracks, crevices, and furniture joints.
A study from 2014 found that a tea tree oil solution is an effective and natural insect repellent and also acts as an insecticide. 7
To make a natural insecticide with tea tree oil, put 20 drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle filled with water and shake well. Spray liberal amounts of the natural insecticide in all areas where you think bed bugs are living. Use the tea tree oil bed bug spray daily until all the signs of bed bugs have disappeared completely. Remember to shake the natural spray well before each application.
Tea tree oil is also a great natural remedy to cure any skin itching caused by bed bugs.
Lavender oil pesticide spray
Similar to tea tree oil, lavender essential oil can be used to make an effective natural DIY pesticide spray to kill bed bugs.
The insect-repellent properties of lavender oil are toxic for bed bugs but completely safe to use around the home.
One study into the effect of essential oils and their use for insect and bug control found that a combination of lavender oil and peppermint oil effectively kills off insects. 8 Lavender oil also helps to destroy insect eggs and larvae as well as repelling bed bugs. Peppermint oil also has a strong repellent action. 8
To make a natural bed bug spray, add 10-15 drops lavender essential oil and 10-15 drops peppermint oil to a spray bottle filled with water. Use the natural spray to treat areas infested with bed bugs. Use the natural pesticide spray daily until you no longer have any signs of bed bug infestation. Shake well before each application.
There are many other effective sprays to eliminate these nasty critters – read about them in my article about the best bed bug sprays to kill bed bugs fast.
Diatomaceous earth (DE) for bed bug control
Diatomaceous earth powder helps to kill off bed bugs by causing them to dehydrate because it destroys their outer protective membrane. Some people also call it bed bug powder. Because vacuum cleaners may not remove all bed bugs in deep crevices, diatomaceous earth powder is an excellent way to control bed bugs and prevent further infestation.
A study into the use of diatomaceous earth in bed bug eradication found that it is a safe, non-toxic way to rid your home of bed bugs. Even though diatomaceous earth (DE) is slow acting, the study found that this was an advantage. This is because the bed bugs transfer the powder to other bugs and help to distribute the natural insecticide to their habitats. The study found that within 4 days, 80% of all the bed bugs had been killed. Complete eradication was achieved in 12 days. 5
To naturally eliminate a bed bug infestation with diatomaceous earth, dust the bed bug powder around all areas where bed bugs may be hiding. Repeat the process every 3 days for 2 weeks to ensure complete removal of all the bed bugs.
Make sure to usefood gradediatomaceous earth (here is one example), as it is safe to use around the home and it’s an effective home treatment for killing bed bugs and fleas.
Home Remedies for Killing Bed Bugs – Commonly Asked Questions
Can baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) kill bed bugs?
Some people suggest that baking soda is an effective natural bed bug killer as it can dehydrate them or possibly even poison these tiny little pests.
However there is no indication showing that baking soda can eliminate bed bugs. In fact, baking soda doesn’t absorb much fluids so it will not dehydrate the bed bugs.
Baking soda actually breaks down in water quite easily, so its ability to absorb thick, viscous fluids like the wax on a bed bug’s shell is questionable. In addition, bed bugs don’t eat dry items in their environment such as sodium bicarbonate so it cannot poison them.
Can salt eliminate a bed bug infestation?
Salt has been used for decades to kill pests, such as slugs and snails by absorbing fluids from their body and causing them to dehydrate.
Some people believe that salt can eliminate bed bugs in the same way it kills slugs and snails. However there is a very strong anecdotal reference that this doesn’t work.
Does boric acid kill bed bugs?
Boric acid, can be used as a natural pesticide to kill roaches, eliminate ants, and eradicate termites but it needs to be ingested by the pest. Bed bugs have piercing and sucking mouth parts, and they do not ingest material other than blood from living hosts. Hence, there’s no way to get boric acid into the bed bugs’ stomach to kill them.
Does vitamin B1 (Thiamine) repel bed bugs?
Thiamin has been reported to be a mosquito repellent but there is no strong scientific evidence to support the fact that vitamin B1 helps in repelling bed bugs.
What is the best way to kill bed bugs naturally?
The best way to completely eliminate bed bugs for good is to use the following methods together:
- Vacuum all areas where bed bugs can be found.
- After vacuuming, use hot steam to naturally kill the remaining bed bugs instantly.
- Hot wash infected clothing and all fabric items.
- Use hot dryer for items that cannot be washed.
- Encase mattresses and pillows to prevent bed bugs from biting you.
- Use natural remedies such as diatomaceous earth and tea tree oil to exterminate bed bugs in hard to reach places.
How to Prevent Bed Bug Infestations
The best way to make sure that you never have any bed bug bites is to prevent bed bugs from infesting your home in the first place. Here are some top bed bug prevention tips:
- If you notice blood spots or dark marks on your bedding, immediately check all areas of your bed, mattress, and bedding for bed bugs.
- After returning from vacation, thoroughly vacuum your luggage.
- When staying in hotel rooms, take a flashlight with you to inspect the bed frame and mattress for tell-tale signs of bed bugs.
- Before bringing in second-hand furniture, beds, or mattresses to your home, thoroughly examine the items to make sure there are no bugs hiding in corners, joints, and seams.
- If you notice any bed bugs, eliminate them using theseeffective bed bug spraysto get rid of them for good.
Read my other related articles:
13 Responses toThe Top 10 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally
NEEM can TOTALLY Destroy BEDBUGS!
The blood-sucking BEDBUGS are spreading fast all over the world in places of human habitations. They have become a great nuisance, as It is very difficult to eradicate them with the commonly used method of spraying insecticides. Their bites can cause severe itching, sleeplessness, irritability, depression, anemia and other related problems.
Even by using different types of insecticides regularly, I had failed again and again to remove all the BEDBUGS from my room. In desperation, I started using NEEM soap and NEEM detergents to wash my bedsheets, pillow covers, blankets, mosquito net, and also to wash my clothes like the shirts, pants, underwears, banians, nightdresses, caps, socks, handkerchiefs, towels, napkins, etc. Only after I did that, the BEDBUGS DISAPPEARED totally within a few days!
I was astonished to find such an easy solution in such a short period. So, it is NOT surprising why the Hindus worship the NEEM TREE as a GODDESS!
We can use NEEM SPRAYS to kill and repel bedbugs, mosquitoes, mites, lice, fleas, ticks, cockroaches, ants, flies, etc. Washing our clothes with NEEM soap and NEEM detergents repels these insects.
Even if we choose to wash our clothes with other soaps and detergents, we can just dip the clothes in NEEM WATER for some time, then squeeze them and hang them for drying.
BATHING with NEEM soap and using NEEM creams and NEEM lotions too can help our bodies to repel bedbugs, mosquitoes, mites and lice, and to prevent diseases like ANEMIA, MALARIA, DENGUE, CHIKUNGUNYA, SCABIES, etc.
Let us launch a worldwide campaign against bedbugs, mosquitoes, mites, lice and other insect pests by sending many messages like this one to all our contacts.
Home Remedies for Bed Bugs
You take care of your house. You vacuum the rugs, clean the windows, and keep the bathrooms spotless. Guests visit, and they feel like a cleaning service makes daily trips to your house. Now imagine one morning you wake up to find that you have tiny bite marks on your body. Upon further inspection, you realize that there are small bugs in your bed. That’s right. Bed bugs.
What do you do?
Your first instinct might be to think that your house isn’t clean enough, but that may not be the case. Rest assured, bed bugs can come from several different places and are rarely a reflection of housekeeping skills. Here are some home remedies for bed bugs.
How Do People Get Bed Bugs?
Like most bugs, bed bugs come from outside the house. If you live in an apartment or any other shared living situation and have a bed bug infestation, it could be that they came from an adjoining apartment through cracks in the floors and walls.
Pesticide foggers like bug bombs don’t get rid of bed bugs, but instead, displace them– they go searching for a new home. For that reason, you want to avoid using bug bombs to deal with the infestation. I
f it makes you feel any better, if you live in a shared housing situation, it’s possible that your infestation is the result of one of your neighbors bug-bombing an infestation.
Introducingused furnitureto your house is another way bed bugs find their way inside. Be wary of used furniture, especially upholstery. Check and treat any pieces of furniture carefully before bringing them into the house. Check used clothing and books as well.
Even if it’s brand new, pay close attention to any furniture that has beenstored or transported in the back of a truck.
Finally, if you stay somewhere with bed bugs, they can also hitch a ride on you, your family, or your guests, either via your clothing or in your luggage.
How to Detect Bed Bugs
Bites on your skinare the first sign of a bed bug infestation. If you have unexplained bug bites, especially first thing in the morning, you might want to start checking around for other signs of an infestation.
Check your mattress for the visual signs of bed bugs. If you have them, you may see red or rust-colored stains, indicating crushed bed bugs.
Signs of Bed Bugs
- Tiny,Living Bugs
You might also see tiny black dots, which are bed bug excrement, and egg shells (around 1mm, a pale yellow color) resulting from the bed bugs reproducing. Finally, you may see the bugs themselves walking around.
Make sure you check every surface down to the box spring, and anything surrounding the bed as well. Check curtains, baseboards, behind wallpaper and even under the carpet. Bed bugs prefer fabric and wood to plastic and metal, so check any wooden furniture as well.
If you suspect you have bed bugs, call a professional exterminator to confirm it for you.
Bed Bugs and Your Health
Bed bugs bite because they live on blood, either human or animal blood. They feed on your blood for about ten minutes, then swell and turn red. Their bites are painless but can become itchy, but unlike mosquitos, they are harmless and do not transmit diseases.
However, if you scratch the bites, you can cause an infection. One characteristic of bed bug bites?
They are numerous, and they have a tendency to appear in straight rows. If you seemultiple bites arranged in a straight line, there’s a good chance you’re looking at bed bug bites.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
The best way to get rid of a bed bug infestation is tocall an exterminator. They’ve dealt with bed bugs before and know how to do a thorough enough job to keep them from returning. An exterminator is your best bet, just to make sure you take care of the problem completely.
However, there are some things you can do at home to get rid of bed bugs and to supplement a professional.
Treating an Infestation
Usehot waterto wash all clothes, linens and anything fabric that may have contacted the bugs. Heat will kill anything hiding in your linens. Use a dryer to dry everything as well, because a dryer will hit the bugs with a double dose of heat.
Just make sure you pay attention to the tags on the fabric, as your linens may be dry clean only. Dry cleaning can also kill bed bugs, but make sure you inform the dry cleaner of the possible infestation.
Treating an Infestation
- WashAll Clothes, Fabric and Bedding With Hot Water
- SteamYour Mattress and Box Spring
Once you’ve given your bedding the heat treatment, follow up by vacuuming all areas of the infested room(s).Vacuuming will remove any bugs from the nooks and cranniesin which they may be hiding.
Use a brush to loosen all bugs and eggs. Make sure you clean out your vacuum thoroughly afterward and dispose of any vacuum bags outside of the house. Use a steamer on things like your mattress and box spring. Steam will take care of remaining eggs.
Finally,coveryour mattress, box spring, and pillow in a completely closed bug-proof cover. Sealing up your bedding with a cover ensures that anything left will not be able to escape or feed and will eventually starve. Starvation can take up to a year, however.
Whether you’re looking to prevent bed bugs from re-infesting a room or looking to avoid one before it happens, there are a couple of things you can do. Start by making sure that your house isspotless.
Messy rooms and improperly stored items create a lot of places for bed bugs to hide, so the less attractive your home to bed bugs, the less likely you are to experience an infestation.
Preventing an Infestation
- Clean Your House
- Prevent Bed Bugs From Climbing Your Bed
- Make a Habit of Cleaning
- Inspect New Items for Bed Bugs
Remove bridgesfrom the floor to the bed. Keep bed bugs out of bed by keeping blankets from dragging the floor, and don’t use the bed as storage for anything.
Bed bug interceptors are relatively inexpensive and are placed under the feet of the bed, preventing bed bugs from reaching the legs and climbing to the bedding. Consider using them. Finally,prevention is ongoing. Clean often, checking for signs of a recurrence.
The earlier you catch bed bugs, the easier they are to clean out. Inspect all used items that you introduce to the house. When staying in a new place, check that bed for bugs. When returning from a trip, clean everything you took, including your luggage.
Home Remedies for Bed Bugs
The best ways to get rid of bed bugs are pesticides, heat treatment, and thorough cleaning, but there are a few home remedies that might help.
- Silica gel(the packets included in various products to ensure dryness) ground up and applied to affected areas will stick to the bugs and dehydrate them. Be very careful to avoid inhaling the silica gel, and it is probably best to avoid using it if you have pets or kids. Baking soda can also work for the same purpose.
- Tea tree oilin your laundry and sprayed in affected areas will repel bed bugs, as well as lavender oil. Mix lavender oil with eucalyptus and rosemary oils and water to make a repellent spray.
- Sprayingrubbing alcohol can kill some bugs on contact.
- Scented dryer sheetstend to deter bed bugs. Placing a layer of them on your bed may keep them from visiting you.
- Double-sided tape.Much like bed bug interceptors, double-sided tape prevents bed bugs from reaching your bed in the first place. Apply the tape to the underside of your bed near the legs and the bugs will get stuck on it. Just be sure to keep your blankets from touching the ground, or some of the bugs will be able to reach the bedding.
Bed Bug Removal Recipe
- Cayenne Pepper– 1 Tsp
- Ground Ginger– 1 Tsp
- Oregano Oil– 1 Tsp
- Water– 1 Tsp
You might have ingredients for this simple homemade bed bug repellent right in your kitchen. The strong smells of cayenne, ginger, and oregano repel bed bugs and other insects, too. If you know where the bed bugs are entering the room, use a mixture of cayenne pepper, ginger, and oregano oil to keep them away.
Mix the ingredients in water, strain it, and use a spray bottle to apply the solution at entry points. Make spraying a regular habit, and you’ll prevent the bugs from entering. To keep other insects from getting into your home, spray doorways and windowsills.
If you have bed bugs or are just worried about preventing an infestation, rest easy — there are plenty ofnatural bed bug repellentsand ways to kill bed bugs available.
Bed bugs can happen to anyone and even if you keep a tidy home, random variables, like your neighbor setting off a bug bomb next door, mean that an infestation can happen anytime.
In this article, you learned how to detect bed bugs, as well as a few home remedies for bed bugs, including how to repel bed bugs naturally.
Do you have a friend struggling with a bed bug infestation? Use the buttons below to share to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
12 Easy Ways To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Permanently (FAQ Included)
Perseverance and determination is the key to get rid of bed bugs permanently. 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 forever, by following a few simple steps and taking advantage of some effective natural home remedies.
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 and pillow covers in the washer-dryer operated at the highest heat setting. You can also dry the 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 high temperatures. You can even place the bagged items inside a hot car during the summer, 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. Try natural home remedies before bed bug bombs and pesticides
Bed bugs are often resistant to pesticides, foggers or bombs. So this seemingly easy way to get rid of bed bugs may not work and might even harm your kids or pets, so try to avoid the use of chemical sprays and powders too and use home remedies to kill bed bugs naturally instead. If you feel the infestation has gotten out of hand, contact an exterminator company.
6. Use diatomaceous earth powder – the natural bed bug killer
DE powder is safe and does not harm humans. However, it is best to keep children and pets away for the duration of the 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. You can also use diatomaceous earth to kill fleas.
7. Trap them to detect an infestation and remove bed bugs from your home
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. Then remove the bed bugs from your home. 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 that have infested mattresses and clothes and seem almost impossible to kill, is to simply discard the items. Bag them and mark them as ‘Bed bug infested’ so other people do not pick them up.
9. Avoid picking up items at yard sales
Many victims of bed bug infestations pick up items from yard sales or at 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 professionals using steam vacuum cleaners, but you must also use diatomaceous powder or borax for bed bugs all around the house. Also, vacuuming and washing clothes in hot water are equally important steps 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. Just keep trying because eventually this will help you get rid of the larvae and eggs that could initially have escaped.
12. Do not forget to treat cracks and crevices to kill all bed bugs
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 natural bed bug killer gets all the bugs that are trying to hide from you.
How to get rid of bed bugs permanently
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 make sure you get rid of them permanently. By taking preventative precautions afterwards, like keeping your home squeaky clean at all times, the bed bugs will stay away from your home forever.
Bed Bug FAQ
Before you start killing bed bugs, we have answered some of the most common bed bug questions.
What happens when a bed bug bites you and how fast do the bites or rashes appear?
When bed bugs bite you, they inject saliva into your skin. Many people will develop a rash from it. Some people can develop this rash anywhere from a few hours to days later. Rashes tend to develop if the bites are scratched often.
What do bed bug bites look like and how long do they last?
Bed bug bites look similar to flea bites. They are red and slightly raised. Bed bug bites often occur in rows. It’s not uncommon to have three or four bites right next to each other. These bites can last for a couple of weeks. If you scratch them, it can take longer for them to go away.
Why do bed bug bites itch and do they spread when scratched?
Bed bug bites itch because of the puncture to the skin. They become irritated and itch. This may cause you to scratch the bite. Fortunately, bed bug bites can’t be spread from scratching. However, they can become infected. This can cause them to get worse and scar.
How do you treat bed bug bites and scars and what can you do to prevent them?
You can treat bed bug bites by washing them with soap and water. This will cleanse the area and make them itch less. You can also apply a hydrocortisone cream. This over-the-counter-medication can greatly reduce how much your bed bug bites itch. It’s best to try not to scratch bed bug bites. Scratching them can cause them to scar. This scarring may be irreversible.
What is a bed bug, how long can they live and what does it mean if you find a dead one?
A bed bug is a wingless insect that ingests blood as its food source. It feeds off of a host, such as a human. Bed bugs can live over five months without having a blood meal. If able to feed consistently, bed bugs can live over a year. If you find a dead bed bug, you may have live ones present. You need to consult an exterminator to inspect your home for live bed bugs.
What does bed bugs look like, how many legs do they have and how big are they?
With an oval-shape and a reddish-brown color, bed bugs are rather small. They are about the size of an apple seed, and adults tend to be about 0.18 inches long. Bed bugs have six legs and body hair.
What does bed bug feces look like and what should you do if you find it?
The feces of a bed bug often appears in dark clusters. It can be black or rust colored. It may look like dots from a marker. If you find what looks like bed bug feces, you need to inspect the area thoroughly to see if you do in fact have a bed bug infestation.
What do bed bug eggs look like and how long do they take to hatch?
A bed bug egg looks similar to a grain of rice. It is white, and you will usually see several of them clustered together. They are sticky and about 0.1 inches long. Female bed bugs can lay up to five eggs each day. It takes about 10 days for these eggs to hatch.
How do you get rid of bed bug eggs and what temperature kills them?
Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to get rid of bed bug eggs. Hot water can kill them. It needs to be at least 113°F for the eggs to die. However, you will have to expose them to this temperature for at least 90 minutes. It will only take about 20 minutes to kill them if the water temperature is 118°F or higher. If you find bed bugs eggs on an item that is small enough to fit in your bath-tub, fill the tub with hot water. Then, let the item soak for the appropriate amount of time. You should use a thermometer to make sure that the water is hot enough to kill the bed bug eggs.
How do you know how bad a bed bug infestation is?
It’s very difficult to treat a bad bed bug infestation on your own. If you see a lot of feces or live bed bugs crawling around, the infestation is bad. During a bad infestation, it’s not uncommon to see them on the walls, in bed frames or curtains. Because female bed bugs can lay up to five eggs a day, a bed bug infestation can go from mild to bad very quickly.
How much does bed bug treatment cost and when should you contact a professional?
The cost to have your home treated for bed bugs will depend on a number of factors. The severity of the infestation and the location of your home will influence the cost. Many bed bug treatments cost under $400. Before your home is treated, your exterminator will go over the costs with you.
What to do after bed bug treatment and when can you return home?
After you’ve had your home treated for bed bugs, you should wash your linens. This will ensure that you aren’t using bedding that has had chemicals put on them. In many cases, you can return to your home about five hours after it has been treated for bed bugs. Your exterminator will let you know when it’s safe to go back inside.
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About Jacob Olesen
Jacob Olesen is the founder of easyWays. One of his goals is to get more out of life with minimal effort, and he built this site to share his experience through practical, actionable and powerful guides. So, are you ready to start living life the easy way? Read More…