How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Bed Bug Control Guide
Bed bugs are just among the worst pests a person will ever have in a home. A bed bug infestation can cause a major headache. The bugs are difficult to exterminate, and they cause extra anxiety to a homeowner because they feed on human blood and seem to attack during sleep. This Guide to Bed Bugs Control article will focus on strategies, various treatments and costs to get rid of bed bugs.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. The bugs are oval-shaped and brownish in color with flat bodies. Once a bed bug feeds on blood, it tends to swell. Still, even a well-fed bed bug is small enough to hide in crevices and tiny spaces.
Severe reactions to bed bug bites are not common. Most people have no long-lasting reaction to the bites. However, the bites can cause itching and light swelling in humans. The following is a list of things you can do to treat the bites:
- Apply an ice pack or a cold cloth to your bites.
- Use calamine lotion or an over-the-counter anti-itch cream.
- Make a salve by mixing water and baking soda. Apply this mixture to the skin to relieve itching.
- Try not to scratch your bites. Scratching can irritate the skin or open the skin, which could increase your risk of developing an infection.
Bed Bug Removal Strategy
There are two strategies you can use to remove bed bugs. The first is to exterminate them using heat, a vacuum, a mattress cover, and chemicals. The other strategy involves making some changes to your home to allow a professional to exterminate.
Regardless of which extermination method you choose, you should begin by sealing cracks in your home using sealants. Vacuum floors, mattresses, curtains and any upholstered furniture to suck up bugs and their eggs. Be sure to throw out any vacuum cleaner bags after you’ve vacuumed.
Put the infested bags in the trash and tie it up. Take out the trash immediately. Wash your bed linens, curtains, and any clothing or other cloth items the bugs may have come in contact with hot water and dry them on a high dryer setting for at least thirty minutes.
Next, you may purchase chemicals over-the-counter to eliminate bed bugs. Popular chemicals include insect growth regulators that must be sprayed in ceilings, furniture and other places the bugs might inhabit. You could also purchase aerosol sprays to use on your furniture.
Insecticidal dust is a fine powder used to treat bed bugs. The bugs inhale the toxic powder, which is designed to instantly kill them. One setback is that the bugs must come in physical contact with the dust. The other drawback is that it can harm a human’s respiratory system, too.
Beware that failure to follow instructions on labels can result in making yourself ill. Not following label instructions could also result in a failure to exterminate bugs. If you decide to use a professional exterminator, they will be the ones to apply the right chemicals the right way. Ask the pest control company to explain which chemicals are used and to give you a list of possible hazards.
Preparing Your Home for Treatment
Before any chemicals are applied to your home, in preparation for the bed bug extermination:
- Eliminate clutter. This eliminates places where bugs can hide.
- Use caulk to seal any cracks in your home.
- Cover wall outlets with plastic or tape.
- Fix any loose wallpaper. Glue the paper tightly to eliminate the bugs’ hiding spaces.
Kill the Bugs
Before you buy chemicals, keep in mind that bed bugs have now developed resistance to certain chemicals. For instance, both bifenthrin and deltamethrin, two common chemicals, have become less effective in recent years due to the bugs’ resistance to them.
Chemicals known to successfully kill bed bugs are pyrethrins, desiccants, pyrethroids, pyrroles, and neonicotinoids. You can also use a hot box to kill bed bugs. Put blankets, shoes, and clothing into the box. Lethal temperatures will kill bugs on any items inserted into the box. However, beware of fire risks. Some items placed in the box might also be damaged by high temperatures.
Evaluation and Prevention
Even after you feel sure the bugs are gone, you should continue to monitor your home. Check your bed and other furniture for the bugs at least once per week. You can also purchase bug traps at your local hardware store or department store.
Do not buy secondhand upholstered furniture. This prevents you from carrying bed bugs into your home via furniture. If you travel, check your luggage for signs of the bugs before you bring it into your home. You should also look for signs of bed bugs in public places, like hotel rooms and laundries.
Costs to Remove Bed Bugs
If you decide to hire an exterminator, you may pay anywhere from $250 to $1,000 per room. However, the cost depends on several factors, including the following:
- The number of infested rooms
- The sizes of the infested rooms
- The severity of the infestation
Costs will also vary according to where you live and which pest control company you choose for bed bugs control. Ask around for quotes and compare prices to avail of the best offer.
Hiring a Professional vs. Do-It-Yourself
While you can exterminate bed bugs on your own using chemicals, you must be very careful with the pesticides you use. Some chemicals can harm people if not used properly. A professional will know which chemicals are best and how to properly apply them.
In short, bed bugs can be difficult to exterminate. However, if you eliminate clutter around your home and use a vacuum, you can find and kill the bugs and their eggs. Washing your bug-infested linens can also get rid of the bugs.
You could use chemicals, too, though they must be applied with care. A pest control company is the best option for many people for their bed bugs control. Such companies have experience and understand the best methods to use.