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Bedbugs are insects that feed on live animals and human bodies. They can be found anywhere, whether a home or a hotel. Bed bugs cannot fly, but they can move anywhere undetected due to their tiny size. They also get transported from other places to your home due to their flat bodies which hardly would require any space to fit themselves in.
Female bedbugs are known to lay hundreds of eggs during their lifetime. Each of these eggs is the size of a small dust particle and cannot be seen easily with a naked eye. Owing to their small size, it is very much necessary to correctly detect whether your house is infested with bedbugs or not. Based on the level of infestation, the further treatments to get rid of bedbugs can be decided.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs at Home
Bedbugs are usually active throughout the night, while you are asleep. They draw blood from the body with a sharp and elongated beak. Each feed lasts from minimum 3 minutes to 10 minutes. Once they have finished their feed, they crawl away to their hiding places unnoticed. Bedbug bites are usually painless in the beginning but later turn into itchy shin irritants. Usually, it is difficult to attribute the red bites to bedbugs and is often mistaken to be mosquito bites. You have to check yourself to confirm the presence of bedbugs in the house.
Bedbugs leave a lot of tell-tale signs on the mattress or the area around them. Check for black dots, which are most likely bug excrement, or eggshells that are pale yellow in colour and only 1 mm in size. You may also see rusty stains or even living bugs. In this article, we will talk about how to kill the bedbugs and how to get rid of the bedbugs with home remedies.
Before you start on your mission of getting rid of these tiny bugs, make sure that you clean your rooms as much as possible. A clutter-free house helps in reducing the hiding places for bedbugs. Check for infestation on your garments. If the signs of infestation are positive, put them all into the laundry for a good wash. Remember to check the labels of the garments and if they need to be dry cleaned, give them to the dry cleaner. Let them know of the infestation so that they clean the clothes well. Check for crevices and cracks and clean them. Fill these holes up as soon as possible to prevent the bedbugs from hiding in them again. Below, we bring you some simple home remedies to get rid of bedbugs immediately:
Apart from its use in the kitchen, vinegar can also be used to kill bedbugs. However, it is important to remember that though vinegar can kill bedbugs by destroying their nervous system, it cannot kill their eggs. Apply white distilled vinegar on the edges of the things that show signs of infestation and then spray vinegar liberally on the bedbugs. That way, they will not be able to scurry away and escape from the vinegar sprays.
2. Diatomaceous Earth
This is considered to be most effective in treating bedbug infestations. If you are looking to kill the bedbugs easily and economically, diatomaceous earth is the best option. Although it takes quite a while to start working, it is known to kill approximately 90% of the bedbugs.
3. Baking Soda
One of the best-known home remedies for bedbugs is baking soda or sodium bicarbonate. By spraying baking soda on to the infected area you can get rid of the bed bugs. Baking soda can dehydrate the skin of bedbugs killing them instantly. But this solution would take a lot of time to give results and will be expensive also. You would need loads of powder for sprinkling. Every time you sprinkle the powder you will have to vacuum and clean the rooms to get rid of the dead bugs.
4. Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is a solvent that is used in killing insects by dissolving their cells. This can be used successfully to treat the infestation of bedbugs. The skin of the bedbugs dries if it comes in contact with rubbing alcohol thus causing them to die. Rubbing alcohol does not stain garments or your furniture. Nevertheless, it would be good to test it in a small area before you start the treatment.
A generous sprinkling of the borax powder on your mattress or furniture or the cracks in the walls can rid your house of the bedbug infestation. You can also add some borax powder to your washing machine so that the bedbugs are completely eradicated from your home.
6. Essential Oils
Essential oils can keep these creepy crawly bugs away. They are easy to make, and can even be carried along with you in small amounts when you are travelling. Lavender, thyme, peppermint, eucalyptus, and tea tree are some of the oils that you can use to keep away bedbugs from biting you. If they are sprayed regularly over the bug-infested areas, they can help in killing the bedbugs. An added advantage is that they will leave your bed smelling gorgeous!
Other Remedies to Remove Bed Bugs from Home
Apart from home remedies, there are some other options that you can consider to get rid of bedbugs. Here’s what you can do.
1. Vacuum Your Bed
Get some ziploc bags. Vacuum your mattress thoroughly. Next Ziploc your mattress and leave the bags for a week. This way neither will the bedbugs be able to go out nor will any new bugs come in. They will starve and die.
2. Mattress-safe Encasement
You can get various types of mattress encasements in the market that come with a hook to trap the bedbugs already sitting in the mattress. They are usually bug certified. Keeping these encasements on for a year can help you get rid of the bedbugs from your mattress very efficiently.
Another alternative treatment for bedbugs is stickers. These are paper pads with glue on them. They lure the bedbugs to come out from their hiding places, and while crawling on these papers, their legs get stuck rendering them immobile.
4. Insecticidal Sprays
You can use various sprays that are available in the supermarkets to get rid of these insects. Be sure to read the label of the insecticide before you buy them. Some brands offer biodegradable bedbug spray as well.
Many houses are now opting for this relatively new method of steam cleaning the upholstery and furniture to get rid of bedbugs. This is a non-toxic and healthy alternative to chemical treatments which can be harmful especially when you have children and pets at home. Bedbug steamers not only clean the house and help in getting rid of the bedbugs, but they also help in eliminating deadly viruses, germs and bacteria.
Unlike mosquitoes, bedbugs do not transmit any diseases. However, the bites are often itchy and can get infected if they are scratched. Many of us wonder that bedbugs appear if the house is unclean. Do not worry. An unclean house is not the reason for bedbugs to invade it. They come from various sources like our travels, in cardboard boxes, used furnishings. If you need to buy used upholstery or furniture, check them thoroughly for any signs of bedbugs. If bedbugs are already present in this furniture, you will risk carrying them to your house and spread the infestation.
Always remember to keep your home clutter-free as bedbugs hide in those places and lay eggs. If you notice any crevices or cracks in your encasings or the walls, be proactive enough to clean them up and fill them immediately before bedbugs make it there. If you have been staying away from home for quite some days, ensure to check your house before you enter for any bedbug infestation signs.
If the bedbug problem gets out of hand and you think that you may not be able to eliminate all the bedbugs, it would be wise to discard the furniture or the mattress and invest in a new one. However, make your house bedbug-free first before bringing in the new furniture, else the new ones will also get infected. Try out the different remedies that are mentioned in this article. If you still see that the infestation keeps coming back, consult an exterminator in this field. They are usually experts in detecting the level of infestation of bedbugs in your house and can devise a strategy to get rid of them, and also prevent your house from recurrent bedbug attacks.