How To Treat Bed Bugs In India
Do-it-yourself Bed Bug Control
Can you get rid of bed bugs on your own?
Treating bed bugs is complex. Your likelihood of success depends on many factors, including:
- How many bed bugs you have;
- How much clutter is available for hiding places;
- Whether your neighbors have bedbugs; and
- Whether all residents of a house or building will participate.
Getting rid of bed bugs completely can take weeks to months, depending on the nature and extent of the infestation. To be successful, everyone will need to cooperate and do their part.
The following steps will help you begin:
You may have to follow these steps more than once to kill all the bugs and their eggs.
Identify the Problem
- Identify the pest:
- Collect a sample of the pest to show an extension agentExitor other insect expert.
- Extension agents can identify the pest at no cost to you. They are trained in pest control and know your local area.
Develop a Strategy
- Make a schedule for completing the steps below. Be sure to include any personal plans, such as vacations.
- Keep records through the whole process. Note the dates and exact locations where pests are found. This will help you track progress and better know where to target your work.
- Keep checking for at least a year after you’re done to make sure all the bed bugs are gone.
Keep the Infestation from Spreading
- Remove infested items. Place them in a sealed plastic bag and treat them. Learn more about treatment methods in the sections below.
- Items that cannot be treated should be placed in a sealed plastic bag and left there for up to a year to ensure any active bugs are dead.
- Empty the vacuum after each use. Seal the bag as tightly as possible and immediately throw it out in an outdoor trash container.
- Discard furniture responsibly if you can’t safely eliminate the bed bugs. Destroy it so someone else won’t be tempted to bring it into their home. For example:
- Rip covers and remove stuffing from furniture items.
- Use spray paint to mark furniture with "Bed Bugs."
Prepare for Treatment
Preparing for treatment is very important; it will make it easier to monitor for bed bugs that haven’t been eliminated. This preparation should be completed whether you are doing the treatment yourself or hiring a professional.
Kill the Bed Bugs
- Make sure the methods you select are safe, effective and legal. See What’s Legal, What’s Not.
- Considernon-chemical methodsof killing bed bugs. Some will be more useful than others depending on your situation. These and other methods can be helpful, but they might not get rid of the infestation entirely:
- Heat treatment:You can use a clothes dryer on high heat. You can also use black plastic bags in a hot, closed car in the sun, but success depends on your climate and other factors. Do-it-yourself heat treatments might not work. Professionals have access to more intensive and proven methods that can even treat whole houses with heat. You may also purchase a portable heat chamber, which is usually quite effective.
- Cold treatmentcan be successful in the home environment if the freezer is set to 0 o F. You must leave the items in a sealed bag in the freezer at that temperature for four days. Always use a thermometer to check the temperature, since home freezers are not always set to 0 o .
- Steam cleaners(wet or dry) can get into cracks and fabrics to treat carpets, baseboards, bed frames, and other furniture. The steam temperature must be at least 130 o F but should not have a forceful airflow, or it may cause bed bugs to scatter. Use a diffuser to prevent scattering.
Evaluate and Prevent
- Continue to inspect for bed bugs, at least every 7 days, in case any eggs remain. You can use interceptors, traps or other monitoring methods. Interceptors are placed under the legs of furniture to catch bed bugs and keep them from climbing the legs. Commercial and do-it-yourself interceptors are options.
- Continue to protect your home from bed bugs.
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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.
Top 10 Products for Bed Bug Treatment
What are the best bed bug products that really work? This is the most common question asked by users looking for DIY pest management options for treating bed bugs. Naturally, hiring professional exterminators is not only expensive; it is also a big hassle. Additionally, when there are great products for bed bugs available readily in the market, why not make use of them? In this guide, I will show you the top 10 bed bug remedies and products available today.
1. Bed Bug Sprays
Bed bug sprays are one of the top DIY bed bug remedies. They may be alcohol based, insecticide or Pyrethroid based or even herbal and 100% organic. Organic sprays having herbal ingredients are eco friendly. They are also low in toxicity and hence safer around kids and pets. However, they may work only through direct contact with the bed bug. Alcohol based sprays are slightly dangerous in that; they are highly flammable. Hence, care must be taken before spraying them. It is vital to remove all kinds of electric goods, heating coils etc before their use. Pyrethroid based bed bug products are more effective but they also tend to be more toxic and non-environment friendly. Care should be taken when using pyrethrin sprays around children and pets. Bed bug sprays can also be further distinguished into Liquid sprays and Aerosol sprays. Aerosol sprays leave behind a residual action which helps them remain active for days after spraying. Liquid insecticidal sprays generally work only through direct contact.
Click here to buy bed bug sprays on Amazon
2. Bed Bug Powders or Dust
Bed bug powders are considered better than most bed bug products since they have a mechanical action as opposed to the insecticidal action of bed bug sprays. Thus, the chance of bed bugs developing resistance to these powders is lowered greatly. Bed bug sprays and liquids are also usually ‘contact killers’ having no residual action. Bed bug powders, on the other hand, offer residual effect that lasts for weeks, even months. The bugs usually walk through the powder and its tiny molecular shards rip their insides. Bed bug powders consisting of organic food grade Diatomaceous Earth are also generally safe to be used around kids and pets. Not only are these effective as bed bug killers, they also take care of other household pests including fleas, ants, cockroaches etc.
Click here to buy bed bug powders on Amazon
3. Bed Bug Inceptors and Traps
Bed bug inceptors are easy-to-use bed bug remedies which are more effective in early stages of bed bug infestations. They consist of specially designed pesticide-free plastic cups that are coated with special non toxic talcum powders to prevent the bed bugs from crawling out of them. This helps trap the bugs effectively. Inceptors and bed bug traps are specially recommended for use near the bed and furniture to capture and kill bed bugs hiding in cracks and crevices around these areas. Good quality bed bug traps are flexible enough to fit around chairs, sofas, nightstands, dressers etc.
Click here to buy bed bug traps on Amazon
4. Bed Bug Luggage and Clothing Encasement
These bed bug products are of utmost importance to travelers looking to keep their belongings safe from bed bug infestations while staying in hotels and motels. Luggage and clothing encasements are also essential to protect washed laundry items in the home especially when the bed bug treatment is going on in the house. Bed bug clothes and luggage encasements should also be used when there is treatment going on in the neighboring households. These encasements will not prevent you from getting bitten by bed bugs, but they can reduce and prevent the likelihood of these pests coming inside your home or traveling from one room to other.
Click here to buy bed bug encasements on Amazon
5. Bed Bug Bombs and Foggers
Bed bug bombs and foggers also use aerosol propellants and insecticides. They contain pyrethrin which is released into the air as well as in all inaccessible areas where bugs hide during the day. It is important to know that aerosols are almost always flammable and can increase the risk of fire hazards. Still, if you feel bed bug bombs are the most suitable bed bug remedies for your particular needs, make sure you follow basic safety precautions to reduce the risk of fires and health hazards.
Click here to buy bed bug bombs on Amazon
6. Bed Bug Steamers
Looking for non toxic ways of getting rid of bed bugs? Then the steamers are perfect for you. They release dry vapors that help release dirt, bacteria, mold and also bed bugs. Light weight steamers can be used for treating headboards, box springs, curtains, wall art pieces etc. They can also help you get rid of dust mites and can be used safely on chairs, tables, beds, dressers etc to get rid of bed bugs, fleas and other household insects. Most steamers also come with handy clothing attachments to help you steam pillows, clothes, bed sheets, curtains, cushions, sofas etc. The jet tip of the steamers can give you easy access to bed frames, trims, molding, corners of beds and other detailed areas.
Click here to buy bed bug steamers on Amazon
7. Bed Bug Laundry Treatment
Many natural, biodegradable and chlorine free products can be used in the laundry to kill bed bugs from clothes and mattresses etc. You can use these products in the wash cycle without the use of dryers. The products are gentle enough to not stain or leave residual odor on clothes.
Click here to buy bed bug laundry treatment on Amazon
8. Herbal or Natural Bed Bug Products
Many herbal bed bug products are also available in the markets and they contain natural insecticides that work by shredding the insides of the bugs. These bed bug products work on direct contact but might also have residual action which can help you effectively kill bed bug nymphs, larvae, eggs as well as adults. They are safe for use on beds and near kids and pets.
Click here to buy natural bed bug products on Amazon
9. Bed Bug Heaters
Portable bed bug heaters are effective bed bug products that are suitable for large infestations typically in hotels, motels and larger residential units. Bed bug heaters consist of portable heating devices which can be placed in infested rooms where they heat the air up to nearly135 degrees while circulating it using high temperature fans. This helps kill all bed bugs, eggs and larvae hiding in cracks and crevices.
Click here to buy bed bug heaters on Amazon
10. Bed Bug Creams
Bed bug creams are gentle enough for baby’s skin yet effectively eliminate the pain and itchiness accompanying bed bug bites. Typically, bed bug creams contain hydrocortisone that helps soothe the inflammation and swelling. Carry bed bug creams with you when you are out camping or living in hotels and motels.
Click here to buy bed bug creams on Amazon
Read more about bed bug products or visit Amazon to find the products you need.
How to Deal with Bed Bugs when Travelling
Last updated: April 5, 2019 . Written by Laurence Norah
As a traveller, one thing that is certain is that you are going to be sleeping in many different places. With this comes risk, one of which is to wake up one morning covered in tracks of red bites – the possible mark of bed bug bites!
Of course, your initial thought may be that you’ve been the victim of a highly trained vicious mosquito squadron. But look a little closer – because you may have been the victim of something else entirely, something that is going to get fellow travellers all terribly excitable and probably freak you out too – the fearsomely savage and much feared bed bug.
In today’s post I’m going to share with you some knowledge on bed bugs that I picked up from my time spent working in hospitality, and particularly in a hostel in New Zealand, where a great deal of my time was taken up with activities relating to bed bugs and bed bug management. Which wasn’t on the initial job description.
As a result of that experience I have seen and squished far more bed bugs than any person ought to, and spent tremendous amounts of time peering into tiny cracks looking for the evidence of their presence.
Today I’m going to tell how to know if you’ve been nibbled on by bed bugs, how to look out for signs that you’re not sleeping alone, what to do if you’re bitten by bed bugs, how to get rid of bed bug bites, plus what you can do to deal with the bed bug issue. First though, let’s take a look at some facts about bed bugs.
Bed Bug Facts!
Bed bugs are actually pretty amazing little critters! Here are some quick facts for you:
- Bed bugs can survive for up to a year without food, particularly when it is cold. They can survive temperatures ranges down to around –32C and up to 45C. When it is cold, they go into a sort of hibernation, and pop out of it when it warms up.
- In the right conditions it takes one pregnant adult female six months to create an infestation of literally hundreds of thousands of bugs. She is bloody awesome at hiding in the meantime.
- When it gets warmer, bed bugs reproduce faster. This is why bed bug issues are often commonly associated with warmer countries. In higher temperatures, the reproductive cycle goes from 21 days down to as fast as 8 days.
- Bed bug sex is not a fun thing for the bed bug female. It involves carapace piercing in order to get the necessary fluids inside her. If I was a bed bug girl, I’d want to go bite someone, too.
- Bed bugs like other bed bugs. They secrete a pheromone that attracts more bed bugs. Sociable little chaps.
- Bed bugs are bigger than you might think, particularly in their adult stage, which they reach after five junior stages. And I thought one go at puberty was tough. They grow up to 0.5cm long, easily visible by the naked eye, in their adult stage at least.
- They are attracted to their victims by carbon dioxide and warmth, amongst other things.
- Bed bugs love travelling almost as much as you do. They or their eggs will happily hitch a ride in your clothes or on your backpack, and then hop off when they reach somewhere new and exciting with fresh fields of blood filled meat to suck on. This makes eradicating them a bit tricky in a well visited bed!
Which Countries Have Bed Bugs?
The reality is that pretty much every temperate to warm country will have bed bugs. So you’ll find bed bugs in Thailand, bed bugs in Australia, bed bugs in the USA – the list goes on. Basically every continent except Antarctica has bed bugs!
It’s also a worsening problem it seems as we are travelling more and more, and our climate seems to be providing warmer days. These two factors combine to produce the ideal conditions for bed bugs to spread, and for bed bugs to breed!
How to know if you’ve been bitten by bed bugs
People react to bed bug bites, like any other bites, in different ways. You may have been munched upon countless times, and have absolutely nothing to show for it, or you may come up in horrific pustules, blisters, or bumps that look just like mosquito bites. Diagnosis can be tricky! Additionally, for some reason, elderly people barely react at all.
The easiest way to tell though is the classic line pattern that the bed bug leaves behind. This will be a nice straight line of red bumps, that looks like something has methodically chewed you up. And that would be because somethinghasmethodically chewed you up!
Bed bug bite example
Often this will be a line of three bumps, sometimes more, depending on a variety of factors, including whether or not the bug was disturbed during the meal, or if the bug didn’t quite find what it was looking for on the first, second, third.. or.. well, you get the idea.
Bed bug bites can also take a while to appear after you’ve been bitten, sometimes up to a couple of weeks. Which makes working out what bit you and when fairly difficult. Very often, you will discount the bites as nothing more than mozzie bites, and move on with your life.
Bed bugs also tend to bite in areas that aren’t covered, however in tropical areas you’re not likely to be sleeping in much anyway. They also don’t usually target armpits or the back of your knees.
How to spot bed bugs in your hotel room or bed – the warning signs!
There is a bit of a misconception that for a place to have bed bugs, it needs to be dirty, or unkempt, or messy. This sadly isn’t the case – the hostel I worked in for example was absolutely fanatic about cleanliness and bed bug management, and we still had the odd bug.
Of course, if your chosen accommodation doesn’t care too much about basic things like cleanliness or tidiness, then you can be pretty damn sure that they aren’t that bothered about bed bugs either. So the two can be linked, even if one doesn’t cause the other.
So how to tell if you might not be sleeping alone? Here are some ways to spot bed bugs:
- Bed bugs are fairly shy and retiring creatures. They mostly come out at night. In the day time they like to hide, not too far away from their evening meal. Obvious places to look therefore include in your bed frame, and anywhere near the bed that harbours cracks that they can squeeze into. Curtain rails, skirting boards, door frames – even the heads of screws. You get the idea.
- Bed bugs secrete a black gooey substance. You might find this on the bed sheets after you have been bitten. You can also look for it on the bed frame. Lots of black goo around a hole or crack indicates the likely presence of our friends. If it is recent, you will be able to easily smear it with your fingers.
- Bed bugs have a distinctive aroma, which is how they attract other bed bugs. It’s a bit like the smell of a stink bug.
- Bed bugs have six different sizes, from the super tiny to the fairly large. So there are a variety of body shapes and sizes to look out for.
- Bed bugs are not excited by heat or excess amounts of carbon dioxide. If you think there are bed bugs in a hole, you could try breathing into it, or blowing a hair dryer into it on a low setting. This may force them out of hiding, or boil them in their shells. Whichever works for you. It may also distribute bed bug eggs all over the room.
- You may find blood stains on the bed after you’ve been bitten. However, you can get these with any bite, so it’s not a guarantee of bed bugs.
What to do if you think you’ve been bitten by bed bugs
If you think you have been bitten by bed bugs in a hotel or other accommodation, the first thing is not to panic. Whilst the bites can be itchy and annoying, bed bugs are not currently known to carry any actual diseases.
So in that sense, you are better off having been bitten by a bed bug than a mosquito.
Photo CDC/ Harvard University, Dr. Gary Alpert; Dr. Harold Harlan;
You should, of course, mention to your host that you think you have been bitten. There are two main reasons to do this:
- If the problem is with the place you are currently at, then they need to know so that they can do something about it
- If you were bitten somewhere else, there is a possibility that you have brought the eggs or bugs with you. They therefore need to keep an eye out for future problems. Be aware that they are unlikely to thank you for this.
When you inform your host, a variety of things will happen. It is very likely that, even if the accommodation believes itself to have bed bugs, it will deny this. Admitting to having bed bugs is akin to admitting you have the plague, due to the bad reputation these critters carry.
So unless you have the dead body to prove your case, don’t expect too much in the way of liability being admitted.
Additionally, as the bites can take so long to come up, the accommodation provider may actually have a point, in that you could have brought a problem into their previously clean environment. This is a great way to make you feel guilty and thus shut you up. After all, who is going to tell their friends that they may be a carrier of bed bugs?
What you should see, if they are at all bothered / professional / caring are some efforts by the accommodation provider to find any problems.
Where I worked, if someone seemed to have an issue, we would take their room apart, literally. Bed frames would be disassembled, and any bugs we found would be squished. We also used a heat gun to sterilise cracks in wood or metal. However, if we found bugs or eggs, this was never disclosed to guests.
How to Treat Bed Bug Bites
Treating bed bug bites is much the same as treating any other bites. The application of topical anti-histamine creams or ingestion of anti histamine is about the best you can do. A bite is a sign of an allergic reaction, and anti-histamine can help.
Try not to scratch the bites – your nails are dirty and this will lead to infection.
If you have reacted particularly badly, then get yourself down to the doctors where they may be able to help out with more powerful creams or pills.
Ultimately though, it’s going to be a waiting game where you’ll just have to wait for the bites to subside.
How to Prevent Bed Bugs
If you are travelling, as previously mentioned, it can be hard to prevent bed bugs as you are not in control of the situation.
However, you can stop yourself from taking bed bugs home, and take preventative measures in your home.
The first thing you’ll want to do when travelling is to get used to inspecting the accommodation you are staying in for bed bugs. If there are signs of bed bugs, you should ask for another room, or consider another property. If the room has bed bugs, it is very likely that some of these bugs might get into your luggage, and that you will take them home with you.
You also can take some preventative measures like spraying your luggage with one of the bed bug sprays mentioned further on in the post. You might also want to invest in a heating device which will heat your luggage up above a temperature which kills bed bugs, thus sanitizing your belongings.
For your home, we would suggest investing in mattress covers for your beds. This stops bed bugs getting into the mattress, which is one of the most common places for them to hide. It also means you don’t need to discard of your mattress if you do get bed bugs, which can be costly if you have a nice mattress. See here for another well reviewed mattress protector.
The main thing to consider is how bed bugs might get into your property. The most common ways are for you to bring them back from a trip in your luggage, or for guests to bring them when they visit. Mattress covers can help in guest rooms, and careful inspection of your guests room after they leave is also a wise idea.
Another common vector for bed bugs is through furniture. We would advise against buying second hand furniture for this reason, as it can be very hard to tell if it is home to bed bugs.
There are a range of other products to help you deal with bed bugs in the home. These include electronic ultrasonic repelling devices, bed bug traps for your bed legs, and diatomaceous earth, which is a non-toxic substance that kills insects.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
The bad news about bed bugs is that in a well visited environment like a hostel or hotel, it is pretty much impossible to eradicate bed bugs.
This is because even if you were able to find and kill every last egg, nymph and adult from the premises, all it takes is one new arrival with a pregnant adult female to turn up, and the problem starts all over again. In a warm climate where the bugs can breed quickly, the problem is only going to be worse.
In such an environment, the best that can be done is to try to manage and stay on top of the problem. Regular inspections of sleeping areas, blocking up inviting cracks and the occasional use of some sort of anti-bed bug chemicals are the best that can be done so that the issue stays small – akin to a few mosquitoes flying in through a window at night, rather than spiralling out of control into a serious infestation.
Speaking of chemicals, another problem arises. The most effective chemicals for properly killing off the whole bed bug lifecycle are also not exactly human friendly. Fumigating a room is actually therefore more hazardous to human health than a few bites is ever going to be – and in fact more people have probably died from reactions to the anti bed bug chemicals than from actual bed bug bites. However, there are some non-toxic options, one of which I have listed below.
Products to help you deal with Bed Bugs
There are some products you can get to help stop that most nightmare of all situations – taking the bed bugs from your travels to your home, as well as other sprays for killing bugs generally.
- EcoRaider is one of the better natural options for killing bed bugs. This is available from the manufacturer, and also on eBay here. In a study by the US Entomological Society of America, this was the only natural bed-bug killing product that effectively killed both bed bug nymphs and bed bug eggs
- The other recommended product from the above study is this Bed Bug Spray by Bed Bug Patrol, available on Amazon. This was also successful against bed bugs. It’s also highly rated by commentators, as well as being both organic and non-toxic.
- This is another well rated natural product available on Amazon
- Electronic repellers like this work by emitting ultrasonic sounds to deter a range of insects, including bed bugs
- There are a wealth of other options also available from both Amazon.com and UK.
- This Travel Sized Luggage Spray by Bed Bug Patrol on Amazon.com is designed to help protect you from bringing the bed bugs back from your travels – possibly the worst outcome of any bed bug encounter!
If you do have a problem in your home, it is likely that you will have to call in professionals to fully clean out your house. They will use all sorts of nasty chemicals, and you will probably have to move out for a while. That is the only way to really sort out the problem once and for all.
And that is that for bed bugs! If you’ve got any comments, questions or experiences to share from your travels, including horrific photos, don’t be afraid to share them below! Otherwise happy travels, and remember, sleep tight.. don’t let the bed bugs bite!
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About the authors
Laurence and Jessica Norah are the British-American travel blogging couple behind photography & adventure travel blog Finding the Universe and luxury / couples travel blog Independent Travel Cats.
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There are 9 comments on this post
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Does regular bug spray kill them? I’ve gotten bit in Sarajevo and no clue where to find bed bug spray for my luggage.
As far as I know, no it doesn’t. They are tough critters to kill!
I have read all sorts of post about bedbugs and none of them say anything about bedbugs being in your vehicle so my question is if you Go to someone’s house for a couple hours that has bedbugs and then get in your vehicle are you and your vehicle contaminated
Laurence Norah says
It’s hard to answer this. Bedbugs are more likely to be transported on luggage rather than people, so if you don’t take anything into the house, it is unlikely they will jump on you and then into your car and then on into your house. And as there isn’t a source of food in the car, it’s not an attractive place to live for them either. So I would say that the chances are low, but not impossible of course.
Thank you for telling a blog about dealing with bed bug as traveler. It is very much a serious issue. The information provided is very relevant.
Laurence Norah says
Great tips on how to clean a room with suspected bugs – would love some recommendations for those who have been bitten in hotels and are now fearful of bringing them home! I am covered in bed bug bites after backpacking through South America and now am terrified I will introduce them to my own bed and have no idea what to do!
Laurence Norah says
So the only thing that really works is heat – bugs can’t handle temperatures higher than 117F – 122F. So your best option is to wash everything you can (clothes, bag etc..) at a high heat. If you have items you can’t heat to that temperature, the safest option is to throw them out 🙁
Bed bugs are a significant problem in India and around the world. They are easily spread and difficult to treat resulting in a rapid growth in the number of bed bug outbreaks. The key to beating this problem is to raise awareness of what to look for and to ensure bed bugs are dealt with quickly once discovered.
Impact of bed bugs
Bed bugs feed on the blood of humans and other mammals. While it is possible for bedbugs to transmit disease, in India it is very rare. Instead, the primary concern is the irritation and distress caused by bed bug bites.
Bed bug bites do not hurt. It is the itchiness that results from the body’s reaction to them that causes discomfort. Treating the bites soothes the irritation, but it can still be very distressing when there are multiple bites as is often the case with bedbugs. Multiple bites and contact with bedbugs can also lead to an itchy rash or eczema. Consult a pharmacist for advice and treatment if this occurs.
Signs of bed bugs
Know what to look for
Rentokil PCI bed bug treatment
Find out more about our bed bug control treatments.
Pest control costs
Pricing factors that make up your quote
Identifying bed bugs
Adult Bed bugs are 5mm long. Before feeding they are a flattened oval shape and light brown, but become rounder and darker after feeding.
They come out at night and are attracted to the warmth of our bodies and carbon dioxide in our breath. They are usually found in bedrooms and hide in cracks and crevices during the daytime.
The most common shelter of Bed bugs is in the seams of mattresses, in crevices in the bed frame, behind furniture surrounding the bed (especially the headboard) or where the wall meets the floor. A more established infestation is associated with dark or black staining of the mattress from Bed bug excreta. An established infestation will also be associated with an unpleasant scent secreted by bed bugs.
Sources of bed bugs infestation
Bed bugs usually enter a property by being carried on clothing or inside furniture. The most common places for Bed bug infestations are hotels, cinemas, lodges, auditoriums, and overnight buses.
Bed bugs often get introduced into homes with second-hand furniture. Bed bugs or their eggs get into clothing or suitcases and are then transported home. If there are any signs of Bed bugs when staying at a hotel, particularly being bitten when sleeping or seeing blood spots on sheets, take great care in bringing your personal belongings home. Consult with hotel management to assess the risk – it may be necessary to launder, fumigate or treat clothes to ensure they are safe. The same applies in transferring furniture. Rentokil PCI can treat furniture for Bed bugs before bringing it into your home if there may be a risk.