Once they infest your home, bed bugs can be the most challenging pest to get rid of. Though these insects are not known to spread diseases, their bites can be itchy and uncomfortable. So, how to get rid of bed bugs and the problems they bring about? We've put together everything you need to know about identifying bed bugs, how bed bugs get in the house, and how to control as well as prevent infestations.
Identify the Presence of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are the size of an apple seed and have a reddish-brown body that's oval and flat. With six legs and no wings, bed bugs have a musty smell and lay pinhead-sized white or yellow eggs.
As you learn how to get rid of bed bugs, you can look for signs of an infestation in the following places:
- Mattresses: bed bugs in the mattress will usually be found in the tufts, seams, or folds.
- Bed: check the headboard, bed sheet, linens, pillowcase, bed frame, and box springs for bed bugs paying close attention to where the box spring a mattress touches.
- Clothing: inspect your clothing and other personal belongings! Bed bugs can get anywhere.
- Furniture: check the couch, table, or chair, and surrounding areas in the bedroom like the carpet, or curtain.
- Luggage: always inspect the seam or zipper of your bags and luggage for bed bugs.
Implement Prevention Measures
Before we dive into how to get rid of bed bugs, you can prevent having to deal with these pests in the first place by:
- Checking used or secondhand clothing, upholstery, luggage, and personal items
- Learning how to caulk like a professional and sealing off potential bed bug entryways
- Bed bug infestations can be avoided by checking used furniture and luggage before bringing them into the house
- caulking gaps and crevices
- Using bed insect-proof covers for pillows and mattresses.
- Look for products that are marked as “bed bug resistant” when buying new furniture
- Checking your mattress and box spring frequently for any indications of bed bugs
- Getting in touch with a pest control specialist as soon as you spot any bed bug symptoms
You can keep bed bugs out of your mattress, box spring, and other components of your bed by taking the proper precautions.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
You can effectively get rid of bed bugs with chemical treatments, heat treatments, washing and drying clothes, bedding, and other fabric, or by vacuuming and sealing off any potential openings.
Pest control professionals and homeowners can use chemical treatments to kill bed bugs. How to get rid of bed bugs with these products? Depending on the extent of an infestation and where the bed bugs are located, there are pesticides and insecticides that are available as a spray, dust, or liquid.
Whichever chemical product is chosen, it's crucial to adhere to all manufacturer instructions and safety precautions. There are specific dosages and locations where chemical treatments should be applied for each product.
We also recommend the following best practices:
- Products should never be combined with other chemicals or used in a way other than what is advised on the label
- Chemicals should be kept out of the reach of children and animals
- Insecticides and pesticides should be used in well-ventilated products
You can reach out to a professional pest control expert to use chemical methods for you instead as well!
There are expert exterminators that use heat treatments to get rid of bed bugs as well. These professionals have special equipment that reaches temperatures up to 140°F (60°C) which can destroy bed bugs and their eggs in all hiding places.
How to get rid of bed bugs with this method? For example, a heat chamber can be used to disinfect and kill bed bugs from items like clothes, linens, and personal belongings. Your things are heated at a high temperature for a certain amount of time to eradicate bed bugs and insect eggs.
Wash and Dry Bedding and Clothing
Doing the laundry may seem like an obvious way to get rid of bed bugs but you have to make sure to use hot water and air to eliminate these pests. So, how to get rid of bed bugs with only this method? Washing clothes and other fabric, use the hot water cycle. Also, use the high heat setting when drying these items to kill adult bed bugs and their eggs.
It's also good practice to wash items that you haven't in a while like bags, suitcases, clothes, or bedding found near the infested area. Make sure to use a high-quality detergent for the job!
What is a vacuum cleaner and how to get rid of bed bugs well with this? This appliance can be used to suck up dirt, debris, and bed bugs from different surfaces. Use a powerful vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to physically remove deb bugs from the crevices and seams of your mattress, box, spring, furniture, and surrounding areas. After using your vacuum, quickly dispose of the bed bugs in the vacuum cleaner bag.
Sealing Off Entry Points
With bed bugs being able to enter your house through gaps in the window, holes in the roof, fissures in the door, or other openings, you need to seal off these potential entry points. Inspect your home and use weather stripping, caulking, door sweeps, and screens to keep these bugs out.
How to get rid of bed bugs effectively? Use one or a combination of these methods or consult a professional pest control specialist for a customized plan.
Bottom Line: How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
In conclusion, there are different ways to get rid of bed bugs. One can buy a chemical product like insecticides or pesticides, use a heat treatment, vacuum, wash and dry fabric like clothing or bed linens, or seal off entry points. To choose the best methods, do your research and reach out to a professional exterminator as needed.
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs FAQs
How to get rid of bed bugs?
How to get rid of bed bugs? We recommend getting rid of bed bugs by consulting a professional pest control expert, using heat treatments, chemical treatments, washing and drying clothes and linens, and sealing off all potential entry points.
How can I tell if I have bed bugs in my house?
You can tell you have bed bugs in the house if:
- There are live bugs on your clothes, bedding, pillowcases, mattress, box spring, luggage, or furniture
- You see fecal stains on your belongings
- You've woken up with red, itchy bites
- There are visible bed bug eggs in your home
Where do bed bugs lay their eggs and how do they look?
Bed bugs lay clusters of their tiny, pearly-white, pinhead-sized eggs on furniture like bed frames or mattresses so that they can easily get on exposed human skin and feed on your blood.
How are bed bug infestations handled by pest control experts?
Pest control experts typically use chemical dust and sprays or heat treatment that uses equipment that goes up to 140°F (60°C) to kill adult bed bugs and their eggs.
What should be considered when utilizing chemical dust and sprays to eradicate bed bugs?
When using chemical treatments to get rid of bed bug infestations, it's important to:
- Follow the instructions and warnings on the label
- Follow any additional safety precautions provided by the pest treatment specialist
- Keep the product of reach of kids and pets
- Keep the area of application well-ventilated
What are the benefits of using these items according to the directions on the label and exercising caution?
The label of chemical products includes crucial usage directions, including the recommended dosage, the areas where it should be applied, and the appropriate safety precautions to take.
How does bed bug elimination using heat therapy work?
Heat treatment, or using temperatures of up to 140°F (60°C) to kill bed bugs and their eggs, is risk-free. Pest control specialists can use equipment to kill bed bugs hiding in mattresses, box springs, furniture, or electrical outlets or individually disinfect your personal belongings.
Why is it crucial to wash and dry clothing and bedding in order to get rid of bed bugs?
It's important to wash and dry clothes and bedding to solve your bed bug problem because you can get rid of adult and bed bug eggs this way. Hot water combined with hot air from your washing machine and clothes dryer is an effective DIY way to protect your room and home from bed bugs.
What role do sealing and vacuuming have in preventing bed bugs from returning?
How to get rid of bed bugs with vacuuming and sealing? Aside from cleaning up trash, dust, clutter, and debris on the floor or your baseboards, vacuuming can physically trap and remove adult and bed bug eggs from your personal space. There are different attachments that make it easy to clean and vacuum the walls, headboard, furniture, box spring, mattress, luggage, clothes, curtain, or other things in your room. This approach is an effective bed bug management method because you can simply dispose of the bed bugs in a plastic bag afterward.
Sealing off gaps around your piping or door, cracks in the wall, fissures in the window, and holes in the roof are also one of the best practices you should keep in mind. Using door sweeps, window screens, caulking, and weather stripping are easy, effective ways to control pests.