Exterminating bed bugs on their own is definitely one of the most difficult tasks every homeowner faces sooner or later. Bed bugs are some of the most resilient and most difficult pests to find, and they are quite different than, say, mice or rats. Finding and properly getting rid of them is not something you can do in a single afternoon.
Bed bugs are known to thrive in bed boards, furniture cracks, bed sheets, as well as picture frames. They can also be found in many hotels and motels, where they can pose a public health problem. These oval-shaped, blood-sucking insects can lay more than 500 eggs within their short lifespan. To deal with them quickly, every homeowner should learn and practice some simple ways to locate and exterminate bed bugs before a massive infestation occurs. Even though calling professional exterminators is usually the best option, before you open the wallet, you should first familiarize yourself with some steps on how to get rid of bed bugs.
Home Measures to Eliminate Bed Bugs
Before we continue with the steps, we would like to emphasize the importance of acting fast. Bed bugs can multiply at a staggering rate. Therefore, you need to act as soon as possible. You should spring into action the moment you suspect there is an infestation in your home. Each day spent without doing anything will make it much more difficult and costly to deal with these pests later on.
1. The first signs
For starters, make sure to keep an eye out for reddish brown stains on your bed sheets and mattresses. These stains can either be the blood of a bed bug, your blood or their fecal matter.
2. Look for them
Once you have spotted their signs, proceed by searching for their lairs around small spaces and the furniture, within 5 feet from your bed, during the day. Since bed bugs are nocturnal creatures, they can usually be found in these hiding places.
3. The luggage
Once you have located them and before you start with the cleaning, make sure not to put any luggage on the floor or the beds. Bed bugs are known to stick to traveling bags. Keeping your luggage bags away from your bed or the insects’ hiding areas will prevent them from escaping and infesting other areas of your home. Try to keep your luggage in separate places away from your bedroom.
4. Start with the cleaning
You will have to clean everything in your bedroom, not just your mattresses or bed sheets ( learn how to clean your beddings here). This means your furniture, clothes, curtains, and even some of your electronics. Aside from the furniture and the clothing, bed bugs can be found in cellphones and TVs, as well. When washing your clothing and bed sheets, make sure to use the highest temperature possible. To clean your electronic equipment, place them in your freezer for a short time. Extremely low temperatures will surely kill the insects.
5. Vacuum thoroughly
When you finish washing your clothes and bedding, make sure to let them dry on high heat, for at least a few hours, so as to kill every single insect. Next up, to finish the extermination process and clean your entire room, use a high power vacuum to clean your carpet, walls, and furniture. For the best results, try using a steam cleaner, as it will allow you to destroy bed bug eggs, as well. This way, you will prevent any infestations from happening in the future.