Looking for how to get rid of bed bugs fast? Here are your answers.
Bed bug infestation is a problem no one would like to experience. Most times people have no idea how such pests invaded their homes.
However, one thing that is common to all is how to get rid of these pests as fast as possible. To make matters worse, bed bugs are nocturnal pests. This means that bed bugs can make your life a living hell as they bite to feed on blood.
A tremendous amount of itch results from this feeding behavior which keeps you awake.
We have written some of the effective ways to rid your homes of bed bugs. These strategies have proven effective and will help you keep your home free no matter the insect infestation level.
Stages of Bed Bug Development
bed bugs have 5 stages of development. Understanding these stages has proven to be very useful in getting rid of these pests.
During their lifespan (usually 5 to 6 months and even up to a year), all nymphs pass through these 5 stages before becoming adults. It is common knowledge that bed bugs like all insects have an exoskeleton. This exoskeleton is shed at the end of each stage.
Are they replaced with anything? Of course, they are replaced with new exoskeletons.
The First Stage
Here, the nymphs are considered immature and unable to start breeding. However, they will feed on blood as an adult bed bug would.
At this stage, nymphs are only 1.5 mm in length once they are hatched.
The Second Stage
At this stage of development, nymphs (immature bed bugs) grow to 2 mm. Apart from the growth; every other thing remains the same. This includes feeding.
Human blood serves as a primary source of food.
The Third Stage of Development
After attaining a particular level of growth (usually 2.5mm), nymphs shed their exoskeleton. The development stage is continuous especially when there is a steady source of food that your blood provides.
The Fourth Stage
Like other stages of development, bed bug nymphs will grow to an average size of 3mm long after molting. This steady development continues as long as they feed well.
The Fifth and Last Stage of Development
This is the last stage of bed bug development before it becomes fully mature enough to start breeding. At this stage, the average size of the nymph is 4.5mm long. It will normally take around 5 weeks after this stage for the nymph to turn into a fully mature adult.
Bed bugs have one of the longest lifespans among insect pests. This is a worrisome situation for anyone having a bed bug infestation problem.
You will have to find effective measures to get rid of these pests.
Do Bed Bugs Spread Disease?
Since bed bugs cause a lot of discomfort to humans, people wonder if they spread disease. If you have also asked this question before, it will interest you to know that they do not.
However, the itchy feeling caused by their bites can lead to excessive scratching. This can expose the skin to infections. This is as far as it goes for bed bug bites.
There is no gainsaying that having a bed bug infestation is something you do not wish to experience.
Identifying a Bed Bug Infestation
Getting rid of bed bugs starts by identifying an existing infestation. Most times, people confuse bed bug bites with flea or mosquito bites.
However, there is a clear difference if you know what to look out for. If you suspect such, inspect your skin in the morning.
If there are itchy red spots or blisters on your skin in which are distributed in a zigzag or straight-line patter, then you may be looking at a clear case of bed bug infestation/bites.
How Bed Bugs Find their Way into your Home
There are many ways bed bugs get into homes. These pests are likely to be found most in places with a lot of human traffic.
Such include commute, in hotel rooms, school campuses, used furniture, theaters, restaurants, Laundromats, hospitals, locker rooms, churches, motels, and many such locations. They latch onto your clothes and get carried about and eventually ending up in your home.
These are major sources of most bed bug infestations.
Bed Bug Hiding Spots
After identifying a bed bug bite, you have a clear case of infestation. However, knowing bed bug hideouts is of the utmost importance when it comes to getting rid of them. These pests are known to be quite evasive hence you need to be able to find one to confirm that you have an infestation problem.
Bed bugs can hide in a lot of places within your home.
Within your home, bed bugs will likely be found around the sitting and bedrooms. These are places you relax or sleep, hence they are perfect locations for feeding. If you have any clutter around your room(s), such present the perfect hiding spots for bed bugs. Clutter provides several hiding spots for bed bugs.
Such conditions are ideal for bed bugs to thrive and multiply thereby worsening an infestation.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in the House Permanently
There are several effective methods to get rid of bed bugs.
- calling in exterminators
- using traps like interceptors
- the use of steamers, bombs, sprays, freezing, and cryogenics
- using heat treatment and insect growth regulators
- homemade remedies and natural products
Pest control services may use any of these or a combination of the above insect extermination measures to obtain the desired result.
Let’s briefly explain some of the above-mentioned methods;
Calling a Bed Bug Exterminator
Exterminators play an important role in the provision of comprehensive pest control services. Many pest control companies will offer free inspection services and quotes to clients. Specialized treatment kits, as well as sniffing dogs, can be used for such purposes.
Based on the results of the inspection, an exterminator will recommend the best extermination method that fits the situation at hand.
As mentioned earlier, this may include fumigating for bed bugs or a combination of several other methods. The aim is to get the best results within an acceptable time frame.
The Use of Bed Bug Traps
Trapping is a great way to get rid of bed bugs with the least difficulty. Bed bugs are non-flying and do not hop.
Hence, once a host is located for feeding, they need to crawl all the way. This makes it easy to trap them. Bed bugs are attracted by warmth as well as carbon dioxide released when you sleep. Whenever one of these pests finds you, a pheromone is released to help the others locate where the feast is.
There are two main types of bed bug traps; passive and active traps.
1. Passive Bed Bug Traps
Because bed bugs will have to move from wherever they are to your bed to feed, your bedpost or legs are where to focus on. There are DIY traps as well as those you can easily purchase over the counter.
If you would want to try a DIY trap, Vaseline or any sticky substance can be used. This is applied to all four legs or posts of the bed.
Another type of trap is using double-sided tape on all four legs as well.
Whenever bed bugs try to climb up to feed or come down after feeding, they are trapped by the stickiness of the Vaseline/sticky substance as well as by the tape.
On the other hand, if you prefer buying a bed bug trap from the store, they cost an average of $25. A set or pack contains four of such traps. These are in the form of double cups with one inside another and are meant for each leg of your bed.
When bed bugs try to climb up your bed, they have to go through the traps. Both cups contain sticky substances. The one below traps bed bugs trying to climb up to feed while the one above traps those climbing down after feeding.
2. Active Bed Bug Traps
As the name implies, active traps will actively seek to get rid of bed bugs by attracting them using the same principle applies to humans. Your body emits heat/warmth as well as carbon dioxide during respiration. Active traps also emit the same in a bid to attract these pests.
The best part about using active bed bug traps is that even during your absence, it helps eliminate bed bugs.
bed bugs are tricked into believing that there is a source of food close by. When they climb into the trap, they suddenly slip down a slippery/smooth surface where they are unable to get out.
Active bed bug traps are more expensive and have a cost range of $50 to $450.
Steamers are used with a combination of several extermination methods. These are used with steam having a temperature of 140 ͦF. This is applied directly to the affected area and left to last up to 2 hours in a bid to kill off bed bugs and their eggs.
Pest control companies may use this bed bug extermination method alone or with a combination of other methods. These and several other extermination methods are effective ways to rid your home of all bed bugs.
Getting rid of bed bugs has been a major concern for most home and business owners. No method can be adjudged to be better than the other as each extermination method has its advantages as well as disadvantages.
Exterminating Bed Bugs From their Hideouts
Having discussed the general ways to get rid of bed bugs, how do you handle these pests in their hideouts? This is section will show you how to. But what are these hiding spots we are talking about?
Well, bed bugs will find your clothes, car, couches, carpets, mattresses, luggage, and furniture perfect hiding spots.
Therefore to have any success, we must discuss each of these.
How to Get Rid of Bed bugs from your Clothes
Bed bugs will always target clothing. This is one of the primary targets. Your existing bed bug problem may have resulted from direct contact with clothing on your commute. Others include infested hotel rooms or couches etc.
Whatever the case is, bed bugs will cling onto clothing and follow you wherever you go.
Having noticed this problem, immediate action is required. Your clothing will need to be treated. Now, there are several ways to do this. Laundry is the most common step. But, this must systematically be done. Rubbing alcohol is a great way to start.
First, to be extra-careful, all your clothing will need to be treated.
Rubbing alcohol should be sprayed on all clothing. You can also apply heat and cold treatment too. So, how do you do this? Certain items cannot be laundered. Hence for such, you may want to bag them and apply heat (at least 120F). This not only kills off bed bugs but also destroys their eggs.
The opposite can also be applied by dropping temperatures to subzero degrees. This action kills all bed bugs and eggs too. This method takes a long time though (at least 2 weeks).
How to Get Rid of Bed bugs from your Car
A wide range of treatments is necessary to take back control of your space. As long as you’re faced with a bed bug problem, chances are that your car is also infested.
As a result, effective treatment will need to be applied without which the problem will only persist.
The following steps should take care of the problem;
Bed bug inspection is necessary to ascertain if there’s an existing bed bug problem. Over time, people may have a buildup of clutter in their cars. This creates a perfect condition for bed bugs to thrive. So, to begin with, you’d need to carry out a thorough cleanup. But while doing so, your eyes should be on the lookout for certain tell-tale signs.
Such tell-tale signs include fecal matter as well as bloodstains. The use of tapes is ideal to easily identify the problem you’re faced with.
ii. Regularly Vacuum Your Car
Bed bugs are notorious for their sneaky reproductive and feeding activities. These pests find tight spots and cracks to hide in. Hence, to disrupt their breeding activities, you’d need to frequently vacuum your car.
This helps eliminate all forms of clutter in addition to making such an environment unfavorable.
iii. Use of Heat Treatment
This is one of the best ways to rid your car of bed bugs. Heat is applied via steaming to kill off these pests and their eggs. Having a piece of equipment that emits at least 200 degrees of high-pressure steam will get the job done.
iv. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth has been used with significant success. This treatment, when applied to bed bugs is highly effective in exterminating them.
It is also safe and non-toxic to humans and pets. DE is one of the numerous natural scents that repel bugs.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs from Couches
Managing a bed bug problem requires a comprehensive approach. In other words, there needs to be thorough cleanup and treatment covering all areas of your home. This includes your couch because this is where you spend a significant portion of your time at home.
Most couches have couch covers. These can easily be removed and treated. Hence after ascertaining the presence of bed bugs, such covers should be removed and treated. The treatment used here is similar to those applied to clothes.
Diatomaceous earth can be applied to the couches. This should be left for a day to achieve the best results. Afterward, you may proceed to vacuum such couches. This cleans up dead bed bugs as well as diatomaceous earth residue.
Cover your couches with bug-proof casings. This is quite an efficient method to keep bed bugs from returning. Of course, this is only used as a preventive measure after the treatment must have been successful.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs from Carpets
Carpets create a perfect breeding ground for bed bugs. Hence, to control the problem, immediate action is required. One such action is the use of diatomaceous earth. This has been mentioned several due to its effect in routing this pest and a variety of others.
Diatomaceous earth is an off-white powder that damages the exoskeletons of most insect pests. This also destroys their eggs. This treatment should be applied to all areas of your carpet. This should be left for a whole day and thoroughly vacuumed.
Steam cleaning is yet another effective measure.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs from Mattresses
The presence of bed bugs on your mattress can be the worst nightmare you’d experience. This is due to their nocturnal feeding activity with a focus on your blood. Essential oils are perfect for getting the job done.
Lavender oils are one of such treatments. A few drops should be applied around the corners of your bed frame. This acts as a strong repellent and drives them away.
The use of non-permeable mattress covers is also an effective way to contain the problem. You only need to cover your mattress to prevent bed bugs from spreading. This also denies them access to feeding. As a result, they eventually die-off from starvation.
Mattress covers and pillowcases will need to be washed as well. This is in addition to vacuuming the mattress.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs from Luggage
Having stayed in a bedbug-infested hotel, it’s only logical that your luggage is also infested. But not to worry as there are ways to eliminate the problem. The use of bed bug insecticides is one sure-fire way to get the job done. You should go for those with certain active ingredients such as pyrethrin.
Vacuuming your luggage is another way you can suck up bed bugs and their eggs. This should be carefully done as it helps to contain the problem.
Another way to get rid of bed bugs is by steam cleaning your luggage. But to be extra sure, you can expose such luggage to direct sunlight. This helps to kill off any lingering bed bugs.
Empty all luggage into a plastic bag. You should ensure there are no holes in the bag as the bugs may escape through such openings. This is done until you are ready to clean up. We recommend using hot water to kill all of these pests.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs from Furniture
Furniture is hiding spots for bed bugs. But you don’t need to throw away furniture due to infestation as there are ways to rid them of bed bugs. Pesticides are quite effective in fighting off bed bug infestation.
You’d find many of these in stores. However, such pesticides will give you great results when you follow the directions for use.
Furniture can also be encased in large plastic bags. Such plastic furniture bags are tightly sealed and left for a week or more. This succeeds in starving them.
Also, multiple methods may be combined depending on how severe the infestation is. After an inspection, a bed bug exterminator will recommend the best strategies to rid your home of bed bugs.