How U Get Rid Of Bed Bugs

Bedbugs

Bedbugs are small insects that often live on furniture or bedding. Their bites can be itchy, but do not usually cause other health problems.

Check if it’s bedbugs

Jeff March / Alamy Stock Photo

Bedbugs can hide in many places, including on bed frames, mattresses, clothing, furniture, behind pictures and under loose wallpaper.

Signs of bedbugs include:

  • bites – often on areas exposed while sleeping, like the face, neck and arms
  • spots of blood on your bedding – from the bites or from squashing a bedbug
  • small brown spots on bedding or furniture (bedbug poo)

Bedbug bites can be red and itchy. They’re often in a line or cluster.

Otto Pleska / Alamy Stock Photo

Some people have a reaction to the bites. They can be very itchy and there may be painful swelling.

How you can treat bedbug bites

Bedbug bites usually clear up on their own in a week or so.

Things you can do include:

  • putting something cool, like a clean, damp cloth, on the affected area to help with the itching and any swelling
  • keeping the affected area clean
  • not scratching the bites to avoid getting an infection

You can ask a pharmacist about:

  • using a mild steroid cream like hydrocortisone cream to ease bedbug bites (children under 10 and pregnant women should get advice from a doctor before using hydrocortisone cream)
  • antihistamines – these may help if the bites are very itchy and you’re unable to sleep

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:

  • the bites are still very painful, swollen or itchy after trying treatments from a pharmacist
  • the redness around the bites is spreading

You may have an infection and need treatment with antibiotics.

Coronavirus update: how to contact a GP

It’s still important to get help from a GP if you need it. To contact your GP surgery:

  • visit their website
  • use the NHS App
  • call them

How to get rid of bedbugs

contact your local council or pest control service – it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get rid of bedbugs yourself because they can be resistant to some insecticides

wash affected bedding and clothing – use a hot wash (60C) or tumble dry on a hot setting for at least 30 minutes

put affected clothing and bedding in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer (-16C) for 4 days (alternative to hot washing)

clean and vacuum regularly – bedbugs are found in both clean and dirty places, but regular cleaning will help you spot them early

do not keep clutter around your bed

do not bring secondhand furniture indoors without carefully checking it first

do not take luggage or clothing indoors without checking it carefully if you have come from somewhere where you know there were bedbugs

Page last reviewed: 21 January 2019
Next review due: 21 January 2022

US EPA

Bed Bugs

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.
  • If an extension agent or other expert says the pest is a bed bug, notify your landlord if you live in an apartment. The units near yours should be inspected.
    • Landlords may have a responsibilityExit to participate in treatment.
    • Check the housing codes and laws in your area.
    • Inspect all areas that may have bed bugs, plus surrounding living spaces, to find out the extent of infestation.
    • 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."
    • Have infested items picked up as soon as possible by the trash collection agency.
    • Don’t discard furniture if you can safely eliminate the bed bugs from it.
    • 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.
    • If needed,hire a pest management professional or use pesticidescarefully according to the label directions:
      • Look for EPA-registered pesticides that have bed bugs listed on the label.
      • Use foggers (bug bombs) only with extreme care and only if bed bugs are listed on the label. Improper use can harm your health or cause a fire or explosion. Foggers should not be your only method of bed bug control. The spray will not reach the cracks and crevices where bed bugs hide. See Should I Use a Fogger? for more information.
      • Carefully look for any evidence of bed bugsevery few days after you complete your initial cleanup and control processes.If you see bed bugs, either the initial cleanup missed some bugs or eggs have hatched. Retreatment may be needed.
      • Consider using different types of pesticides if repeated treatments are needed.Desiccants (chemicals that dry things out) can be particularly effectivein some situations since they work by drying out the bug (which means the bed bugs can’t develop resistance).
        • If using desiccants, be sure to use only products registered by EPA as a pesticide.
        • Do not use pool- or food-grade diatomaceous earth(made from the fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms). This type of diatomaceous earth can harm you when you breathe it in. The pesticide version uses a different size of diatoms, which reduces the hazard.
        • Desiccants can be very effective but may take several months to work.
        • 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

          • Red/RustyStains
          • BlackDots
          • EggShells
          • 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
          • Vacuum
          • 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.

          Prevention

          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.

          Sleep Well

          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.

          Bedbugs

          In this Article

          In this Article

          In this Article

          Bedbugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans. Adult bedbugs have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed. After feeding, however, their bodies swell and are a reddish color.

          Bedbugs do not fly, but they can move quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings. Female bedbugs may lay hundreds of eggs, each of which is about the size of a speck of dust, over a lifetime.

          Immature bedbugs, called nymphs, shed their skins five times before reaching maturity and require a meal of blood before each shedding. Under favorable conditions the bugs can develop fully in as little as a month and produce three or more generations per year.

          Although they are a nuisance, they are not thought to transmit diseases.

          Where Bed Bugs Hide

          Bedbugs may enter your home undetected through luggage, clothing, used beds and couches, and other items. Their flattened bodies make it possible for them to fit into tiny spaces, about the width of a credit card. Bedbugs do not have nests like ants or bees, but tend to live in groups in hiding places. Their initial hiding places are typically in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards where they have easy access to people to bite in the night.

          Over time, however, they may scatter through the bedroom, moving into any crevice or protected location. They may also spread to nearby rooms or apartments.

          Because bedbugs live solely on blood, having them in your home is not a sign of dirtiness. You are as likely to find them in immaculate homes and hotel rooms as in filthy ones.

          When Bedbugs Bite

          Bedbugs are active mainly at night and usually bite people while they are sleeping. They feed by piercing the skin and withdrawing blood through an elongated beak. The bugs feed from three to 10 minutes to become engorged and then crawl away unnoticed.

          Most bedbug bites are painless at first, but later turn into itchy welts. Unlike flea bites that are mainly around the ankles, bedbug bites are on any area of skin exposed while sleeping. Also, the bites do not have a red spot in the center like flea bites do.

          People who don’t realize they have a bedbug infestation may attribute the itching and welts to other causes, such as mosquitoes. To confirm bedbug bites, you must find and identify the bugs themselves.

          Continued

          Signs of Infestation

          If you wake up with itchy areas you didn’t have when you went to sleep, you may have bedbugs, particularly if you got a used bed or other used furniture around the time the bites started. Other signs that you have bedbugs include:

          • Blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases
          • Dark or rusty spots of bedbug excrement on sheets and mattresses, bed clothes, and walls
          • Bedbug fecal spots, egg shells, or shed skins in areas where bedbugs hide
          • An offensive, musty odor from the bugs’ scent glands

          If you suspect an infestation, remove all bedding and check it carefully for signs of the bugs or their excrement. Remove the dust cover over the bottom of the box springs and examine the seams in the wood framing. Peel back the fabric where it is stapled to the wood frame.

          Also, check the area around the bed, including inside books, telephones or radios, the edge of the carpet, and even in electrical outlets. Check your closet, because bedbugs can attach to clothing. If you are uncertain about signs of bedbugs, call an exterminator, who will know what to look for.

          If you find signs of infestation, begin steps to get rid of the bugs and prevent their return.

          Bedbug Treatments

          Getting rid of bedbugs begins with cleaning up the places where bedbugs live. This should include the following:

          • Clean bedding, linens, curtains, and clothing in hot water and dry them on the highest dryer setting. Place stuffed animals, shoes, and other items that can’t be washed in the dryer and run on high for 30 minutes.
          • Use a stiff brush to scrub mattress seams to remove bedbugs and their eggs before vacuuming.
          • Vacuum your bed and surrounding area frequently. After vacuuming, immediately place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag and place in garbage can outdoors.
          • Encase mattress and box springs with a tightly woven, zippered cover to keep bedbugs from entering or escaping. Bedbugs may live up to a year without feeding, so keep the cover on your mattress for at least a year to make sure all bugs in the mattress are dead.
          • Repair cracks in plaster and glue down peeling wallpaper to get rid of places bedbugs can hide.
          • Get rid of clutter around the bed.

          If your mattress is infested, you may want to get rid of it and get a new one, but take care to rid the rest of your home of bedbugs or they will infest your new mattress.

          Continued

          Bedbug Extermination

          While cleaning up infested areas will be helpful in controlling bedbugs, getting rid of them usually requires chemical treatments. Because treating your bed and bedroom with insecticides can be harmful, it is important to use products that can be used safely in bedrooms. Do not treat mattresses and bedding unless the label specifically says you can use them on bedding.

          Generally it is safest and most effective to hire an experienced pest control professional for bedbug extermination.

          Sources

          University of Kentucky College of Agriculture: "Bed Bugs."

          Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet: "Bed Bugs."

          The New York City Department of Heath and Mental Hygiene: "Stop Bed Bugs Safely."

          University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension Lancaster County: "Managing Bed Bugs."

          How to get rid of bed bugs – the signs that say you have them, and how to prevent them

          Bites, blood spots on the bed sheets, black spots on the mattress. these are all signs of a bed bug infestation

          • 14:15, 20 AUG 2018
          • Updated 16:15, 20 AUG 2018

          Ugh, the slow-dawning and horrifying realisation that you have bed bugs.

          The tiny bloodsucking creatures love to live in the crevices between bed frames and mattresses.

          Bedbugs feed exclusively on blood, crawling out from their hiding places at night to bite you. They aren’t thought to transmit diseases, though.

          Bedbugs tend to prefer fabric or wood over plastic and metal, and often hide near to where you sleep – for example, under the mattress or along the headboard.

          They can surprise you though – by hanging out away from the bed in other furniture, along the edges of carpets and even behind mirrors – or inside smoke alarms.

          Although difficult to get rid of, it’s not impossible. Here’s a guide to working out if you’ve got bed bugs, and how to treat the problem as soon as possible.

          How can I tell if I have bed bugs?

          The quicker you can act to treat the problem, the easier it will be, so look out for these seven signs:

          What do bed bugs look like?

          Bed bugs are nocturnal, but they prefer to feed on a deeply sleeping host, which for human beings is in the few hours before sunrise.

          These appear as itchy, red welts that can be flat on the skin or raised.

          The majority of bites will appear on the chest or back, neck, hands, feet or face. However, bed bugs can bite any area of exposed skin.

          The bites tend to appear in clusters as they crawl around testing areas multiple times to find the best source of blood. So the bites can show up in groups, rows or zig-zag lines.

          The bites may cause a rash or fluid-filled blisters. In more severe cases, they can become infected with bacteria if scratched – signs of infection include pain, increasing redness and swelling

          How do I treat bed bug bites?

          A mild steroid cream or antihistamine can help relieve itchy bites.

          You might need antibiotics for worse reactions – see your GP if you experience pain, redness, swelling or other signs of infection.

          Read More
          Related Articles

          Signs and symptoms of bed bugs

          1. Blood stains on bedding

          You’re not going to like this, but you do need to know about it: when you move in your sleep and squash a blood-filled bed bug that’s just fed, it’ll leave little blood smears on your sheets, duvet covers an pilowcases.

          Still, at least you’re getting closer to the truth.

          2. Bed bug poo stains

          These look like black felt tip marks on fabric. Usually found on the edges of mattresses, or on bedsheets.

          These stains are digested blood – the bed bugs’ fecal matter.

          Again, sorry. Rest assured, it sounds grim, but it isn’t dangerous.

          Wipe the stains with a wet rag – if they smear, you’ve got a positive sighting for bed bug faeces.

          3. Bed bug eggs and egg shells

          Female bed bugs can deposit one to five eggs a day, and may lay 200 to 500 eggs in a bed bug’s lifetime.

          Under normal room temperatures and with an adequate food supply, they can live for more than 300 days.

          This is why taking quick action to treat the problem is best.

          Bed bug eggs are translucent to pearly white in color and when first laid, are coated in a shiny film to help them stick to surfaces.

          Bed bug eggs are shaped like a grain of rice and very, very tiny – around 1mm. Still visible to the naked eye, but a magnifying glass helps.

          Empty shells will be less shiny and look flattened.

          They’re more likely to be find where the bed bugs are hiding, especially on rough wood or fabric surfaces.

          4. Bed bugs’ shed skin (or shells)

          Don’t let this spoil the classic cinema snack for you, but bed bug shells look like tiny, translucent popcorn kernels.

          After hatching, the bed bug starts life as a nymph. They look like adult bed bugs, except they’re smaller and lighter in colour.

          As they mature, they’ll shed their skin 5 times, once at each new stage of development.

          Look for the evidence in the usual bed bug hangout joints – box springs, mattresses, wooden furniture and framing, and so on.

          Read More
          Related Articles

          5. What do bed bugs look like?

          Spotting an adult bed bug going about its business in your home is one of the last ways you’ll become aware of an infestation, but it’s worth knowing what to look out for.

          They’re brown, oval and flat, ranging in size from 4.5mm to as long as 7 or 8 mm when fed – approximately the size of an apple seed. They turn a reddish color after feeding – because they’re then swollen with blood.

          6. The musty smell

          You’ll know it if you ever sniff it – and your instincts will tell you it’s not good.

          Bed bugs have glands that release pheromones when they’re disturbed, to warn the rest of the group.

          The odour is musty and repellent.

          Bad news: if you can smell them, you’ve got a severe infestation on your hands.

          Slightly better news: if only a trained bed bug sniffing dog can find it, might be catching the problem early. Hopefully.

          Read More

          How to get rid of bugs

          How to treat or kill bed bugs?

          David Cross, Head of Technical Training at Rentokil Pest Control, has the following tips for treating bed bug bites:

          “There are many natural remedies and ‘old wives tales’ on what you can use to help reduce the inflammation and itching associated with bed bug bites. Below are just a few of these you may want to try after washing your bites with soap and water, and then drying"

          1. Calamine lotion:This relieves itching and also helps to dry rashes and protect the skin
          2. Baking soda and water:Make a paste with baking soda and water, and apply it directly to the skin. Let it dry before wiping away with a cotton pad
          3. Toothpaste:The menthol contained in toothpaste is said to be a good anti-itch remedy. Apply a generous amount to the bite to soothe the burning sensation and relieve the itching
          4. Witch Hazel:This provides a mild anaesthetic effect that helps to calm the itching caused by bites
          5. Aloe Vera:Both “fresh” Aloe Vera or gel works well against insect bites. The active substances and amino acids present in Aloe Vera help relieve itching and burning sensations
          6. Lemon juice:This has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It is also a natural astringent. Lemon juice can help dry rashes and itchiness while reducing redness and swelling”

          Prevention and steps

          1. Strip your bed

          Apart from possibly leading to unpleasant skin reactions, the bed bug bites are also keeping the pests alive, as they feed on your blood.

          If they can’t feed, they can’t breed, keeping the infestation alive.

          Strip your bed of all sheets, pillowcases, and other bedding, and seal them in plastic garbage bags to keep bed bugs from escaping and infesting other parts of your home.

          Take the bags straight to the washing machine, and wash them using the hot water setting.

          Then, dry the bedding on high heat if their tags allow it. This heat treatment will kill any bed bugs or eggs hiding in your bedding.

          Use a vacuum cleaner to remove any bed bugs, shells, fecal droppings, or eggs that might be along the seams of your mattress, pillows, box spring, and along the cracks and crevices in the bed frame, headboard, and footboard.

          Follow up the vacuuming with a high-pressure steamer to kill bed bugs and eggs hidden deep within furniture.

          While the mattress and box spring are left to dry, spray down the joints of the bed frame, headboard, and footboard with a contact spray and residual spray.

          Once the mattress and box spring are dry, encase them in sealed bed bug encasements.

          2. Prevention

          Move your bed away from any other points of contact, like walls, nightstands, and other furniture.

          Tuck in or remove any hanging skirts or sheets, and remove any storage under the bed that is touching any part of the frame.

          The only thing your bed should be touching is the floor via its legs. Place bed bug interceptors under each leg – they look like cups that the bed bugs fall into when trying to climb up the legs of the bed.

          The cups will help you monitor how quickly the bed bug population in your home is dwindling as they lose access to feeding on your blood.

          If your bed has a solid base rather than legs, you’re best off throwing it out.

          3. Hunt and destroy all bed bugs in your home

          Clothes, books, and other personal belongings shouldn’t be left on the floor, as they make treatment more difficult and add hiding places for bed bugs.

          Seal them in garbage bags and store them in another room.

          Any clothing that was picked up from the floor or removed from dresser drawers should be dried on high heat for at least 45 minutes.

          Once treated, clothing that you don’t normally wear should be stored inside garbage bags outside of the infested room.

          Then, vacuum and steam along baseboards, window sills, and the edge of the carpet.

          Make sure you clean the vacuum and steam cleaners afterwards.

          A portable bed bug heater can be used to clean items that can’t be washed or vacuumed, such as books, shoes or luggage.

          You can also use bed bug sprays and powders to kill the pests in hard-to-reach areas.

          Powders can be left undisturbed to do their work, but sprays will need to be reapplied every two weeks for a few months.

          Read More
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          How do you get bed bugs?

          Bed bugs can be transported easily in luggage, clothing and furniture.

          Once in your home, they can quickly spread from room to room. They don’t jump or fly, but can crawl long distances.

          Top tips to prevent bed bug infestations:

          inspect your mattress and bed regularly for signs of an infestation, and get professional advice if you think you have bedbugs

          avoid buying second-hand mattresses and carefully inspect second-hand furniture before bringing it into your home

          keep your bedroom tidy and remove clutter

          Bedbugs aren’t attracted to dirt, so they’re not a sign of an unclean home, but clearing up any clutter will reduce the number of places they can hide.

          Once treated, they should be dead within a few weeks, depending on the severity of the infestation.

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