A bed bug is the bane of many homeowners. These tiny bugs are tiny in size, with a flat and brownish-looking appearance. Because of their size and a propensity to conceal themselves in furniture, carpets, bedroom clutter, and other household nooks, these bugs have become a massive problem in many world regions. Also, they can hide in luggage, making it easier for them to spread to many areas. A well-fed female bed bug (Cimex lectularius) can produce around 2 to 5 eggs daily; This amounts to about 500 eggs over her lifetime. This fecundity is terrible news for people because it means bedbugs, bed bug can be incredibly adept at mass infestation, even from a single female bed bug.
Several things can indicate a possible bed bug infestation. Notably, they feed on human blood and can also feed on animal blood like dogs and cats. There is usually a burning and itchy sensation on the skin in areas bitten by bed bugs. The bite marks are usually red and swollen. Second, you can see the brown-black coloration of the mattress or bed cover areas where the bed bugs have resided.
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs
It can be challenging to eliminate bed bugs permanently. However, killing their colonies and doing regular maintenance will lower them. To get rid of them, follow these steps:
1) Identify the Infested Areas
Bed bugs are very prolific at multiplying quickly’ This means that any efforts to eliminate them have to start with finding out where they reproduce and proliferate. Identify all the possible areas where the bed bugs could be hiding. The most common areas include:
The bed. Inspect the cracks between the bed frame and the headboard
The joint of furniture like couches and tables
The edges and seams of your mattress
The cushions of sofa sets. Inspect the spaces between the cushions and along their seams
Be thorough in your inspection. Use a flashlight to enable you to see all the cracks and hidden spaces of these items.
2) Contain the Bed Bugs
Containment is essential when dealing with bed bugs. Given how quickly they can spread, it is always advisable to localize them. Your vacuum cleaner comes in handy here. Use it to suck the bed bugs, especially the live ones and their visible eggs. Vacuum thoroughly inside your dresser, the joints of furniture, the seams of mattresses, couches, and cushions. Remember that vacuum cleaning is only effective in getting rid of the live ones. The hidden eggs will still cause infestation later on if not dealt with.
After this, wash all clothes and textiles affected by the bed bugs using hot water. You can also use a high-heat setting if you prefer a dryer. Steam cleaning can also work for surfaces that you can’t wash.
3) Kill the Bed Bugs
Here are ways to eradicate the bed bugs as it is vital to do so:
i) Use an insecticide
Pyrethrins and pyrethroids are effective insecticides that kill bed bugs. Because of their fast-acting characteristics and low toxicity are ideal to use if you want things to get back to normal quickly. However, some bed bugs do not respond to the above insecticides. In such cases, switch to other types like neonicotinoids. These are derived from nicotine and should get the job done. While these insecticides can kill bed bugs, they contain harsh chemicals that some people would rather avoid.
ii) Use a desiccant
A desiccant is a substance that absorbs moisture from its surrounding, thereby maintaining a moisture-free zone. As a bed bug killer, it compromises the structural integrity of the bed bug’s protective coating. Without the coating, the bed bug dies. Silica-aerogel is one popular desiccant. You don’t have to worry about the bed bugs developing resistance against a desiccant. The only drawback is that you may have to apply them more regularly than insecticides.
iii) Use Temperature
Good, old-fashioned extreme temperatures are very effective at killing bed bugs. Get boiling water, preferably one that’s been boiled. Gather all the textile materials like clothes that have been infested with bed bugs. Wash them in hot water for at least half an hour. After that, use a dryer set at the highest temperature setting. Keep the clothes in the dryer for at least 30 minutes. Alternatively, subzero temperatures can also kill bed bugs. Collect all infested garments and put them in the freezer for about 4 days at zero degrees Celsius; This ensures that all the bed bugs and their eggs are dead. The drawback is that these extreme temperatures can damage some textile materials.
iv) Use Steam
Steam is very effective at killing bed bugs. Use the steamer on the couch and mattresses where the bugs are likely to hide.
Getting rid of bed bugs requires vigilance. Even after killing them using the above methods, you must monitor for re-infestation. Of course, you can hire a professional exterminator if you don’t want the hassle involved.