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Because bed bugs are not something that you want to have in your comfy home, we have created a step by step guide that you can follow in order to get rid of them once and for all.
Present vs. past
As you probably know, bed bugs used to be a common public health pest all over the world. Ever since the 20th century, people have managed to create ways to get rid of them.
Yet, one issue that the use of chemical substances against bugs has created is that these insects have developed a strong resistance to common insecticides. Because of this, getting rid of bed bugs today can be quite a hassle, as they can be rather persistent. Still, there are ways to make sure that they won’t bother you anymore.
Are you dealing with an infestation?
The first thing that you have to do before you start using insecticides, is to make sure that you are actually dealing with a bedbug infestation. The main sign that might indicate that this is the case is the presence of bites on your body.
These bites often resemble those made by mosquitoes. The difference between the two is that bedbug bites come in the form of lines and that they are accompanied by a feeling of burning, which is not common in the case of mosquito bites.
Also, you should inspect your bed and search for the bugs themselves. It is worth keeping in mind that these pests also leave behind spots of dried blood and excrements. The smell of dried blood is also a telltale sign that should not be neglected.
Although they are called bed bugs, you should not let this name fool you. As the experts argue, these insects can be found all over the place, including under school desks, in hospitals, libraries and on restaurant benches.
Because they cling easily to fabrics, chances are that you can unwillingly transport them into your home. They can also stick to carpets, and they can hide inside electronics and furniture.
Although the common belief is that bed bugs are only present in dirty houses and in poor neighborhoods, this is only a stereotype. Bed bug infestations are also common in affluent communities. This happens because wealthy people often travel a lot and, thus, they catch the bugs from trains and airports.
Find the culprits!
Once you have concluded that your home has been infested, it is time to find the culprits. The experts recommend that you start by actually dismantling the beds in your home and that you examine all their parts, including the frames and any crevices.
Because these bugs are difficult to get rid of, it is advisable that you throw away your mattress if you notice that it has been infested. If you do not want to discard your comfy mattress, there is an alternative that you can try, as there are bug proof mattress covers that you can use.
Once installed, these covers trap the bugs inside and kill them by starving them to death. However, although this option might seem convenient, keep in mind that starving bed bugs is a task that requires quite a lot of time. In fact, some studies have shown that they can live no less than 400 days before they starve to death.
Additionally, it is worth saying that this sort of bugs also live among the items that you have stored underneath your bed.
Next, it is time to empty your dressers and nightstands. Take the time to examine all the items inside them. You should also inspect the woodwork underneath them as bugs often hide in cracks.
Any sofas and all your upholstered chairs should also be checked thoroughly. People who have had to deal with bed bugs recently also recommend that you check other places such as along the edge of walls and in the cracks of wood molding. When conducting your inspection, you might want to use a flashlight so that you can spot the intruders easier.
Treating the infestation
When it comes to treating an infestation, there are numerous steps that you have to take. At first, you should bag all of the infested items and you should launder them at a minimum temperature of 122°F.
You can wrap items that cannot be machine-washed in plastic, and you can leave them in the scorching sun for a few days. Because bugs are also non-resistant to cold temperatures, it might also help to leave certain items in the cold for at least two weeks.
All articles made of linen should be washed on hot and they should be tumble dried on hot. Because stream can also kill bugs, you should also iron them if possible. To help those dealing with a bed bug infestation, some cleaning centers also provide their customers with bed bug laundry services.
If you own items that cannot be discarded or washed, it is recommended that you spray them with a special solution and that you seal them in plastic bags for a couple of months.
To get rid of the bugs, vacuuming your home is a must, as this will help you get rid of eggs and bugs from all the surfaces in your home, including the walls. Once you finish vacuuming, make sure that you dispose of the contents of the vacuum in an appropriate manner.
If you own a vacuum that features a HEPA filter, this task should not be that complicated. Additionally, if you notice any cracks or loosened wallpaper, this is the moment to use glues to repair them.
Generally, it is recommended that you use special insecticides, mostly pyrethroids, to get rid of infestations. These substances have to be applied inside cracks and crevices. You should refrain from using aerosol pesticide sprays as this will only cause the bugs to scatter and set up home in other parts of your house.
If the bugs are still present in your home after two weeks, it is time to re-apply the insecticide. This will most likely be the case as you will not be able to find all the places where the eggs are hidden from the start.
Still, if you dread the idea of having to deal with bed bugs, you can always choose the easy way out and call the exterminators. As expected, they will be able to help you eliminate these pests easily and efficiently.
In the future, if you do not want to have to deal with these unwanted guests, it is advisable that you avoid buying second-hand bedding, beds, and furniture.
Also, be sure to examine the headboards and the beds regularly, so that you can identify the signs of a new infestation immediately. This tip is particularly important to follow if you happen to travel often.
If you follow these recommendations, we are certain that you will successfully manage to get rid of the bugs that have taken over your home!