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Bed bugs would probably be the last creatures you want to be around while you sack out at night. Anyhow, these uninvited little guests hardly seem to care about your permission. Once they get to creep into your bed, they would only tend to multiply and create further chaos.
We understand that bed bugs are annoying and can be a real pain (considering that your regular roach spray won't help you out this time). But, the good news is that it is not impossible to beat these tiny monsters!
In this guide, we have discussed how to get rid of bed bugs in detail. Keep on reading to know what they look like on a mattress, where they hide, and how to wipe them out permanently.
Bed bugs are small, oval-shaped, flat-bodied insects that reproduce like crazy (females can lay up to 500 eggs). These reddish-brown bugs are somewhere between 5-7 millimeters in length — almost the size of an apple seed. Like most other insects, they possess six legs and an unpleasant odor.
Thankfully, these unattractive little guys cannot fly, even though they have wings. However, you may spot an adult bug crawling rapidly over your bed frame, mattress, floor, or ceiling since adults are visible to the naked eye.
The weirdest part is that bed bugs do not breed in filthy places as you might expect them to. Instead, they survive for months as long as they have access to that one thing – Your blood. That's right. These bloodsuckers live solely on human or animal blood. They'd show up during nighttime while you are asleep to have their meals and leave as nothing happened!
Owing to their flat-and-narrow bodies, bed bugs can squeeze and make their way into the tiniest of spaces. They tend to live in groups with their friends inside every nook and corner they come across.
You will most likely find them hiding in the cracks of your bed frame, seams of your mattress, folds of your curtains, inside box springs, joints of bedside tables, between couch cushions, beneath loose wallpapers, in baseboards, in carpet seams, or other crevices in your home.
Bed bugs may bum a ride off with you and enter your home by hiding in your luggage, clothing, or other stuff you carry while travelling. That's why they are known to be excellent hitchhikers. So, beware of them next time you return home after staying in a hotel or someone else's place.
When you suspect the presence of bed bugs in a bed, remember that it wouldn't just be the bed. Your mattress, bedding, sheets, and pillows - everything would have been invaded by those miniature devils.
To take proper measures on time, you need to sift through your mattress. As you do that, you may come across tiny dark specks. Being extremely small in size, that is just what bed bugs look like on a mattress.
You might want to toss the mattress as you look for them. But unfortunately, getting bed bugs out of a mattress is not that easy. You would need a magnifying device to spot any molted exoskeleton, droppings, or the living and dead bugs themselves.
Just because you noticed a strange bug on your bed doesn't necessarily mean you have got bed bugs. It is still better to check and confirm their existence as soon as you sense something fishy. That way, you may be able to detect an infestation in its early stages and thus prevent it from booming.
Keep an eye out for the following below-mentioned signs of bed bugs to check if you have them around:
From the seams of the wooden framework of your bed to all the top sheets and stuffed animals, you will have to scrutinize everything. Use a flashlight to check carefully for any of the above-listed signs. You can pick up the specimens or their remains with a piece of packing tape or lint roller and place them in a ziplock to show to a pest control operator.
If you do observe some of the signs mentioned above, we're afraid that bed bugs may have captured your bedroom for real!
However, you're not alone. According to a survey in 2011, one out of five people in America have either had a bed bug infestation or know someone who has dealt with the same.
You ought to know that a bed bug infestation is not analogous to the regular influx of ants or termites. To be very honest, getting rid of them is not a piece of cake. These are the most problematic pests to root out. Nonetheless, it's fortunately not impossible to beat them, as we said already.
Following is a step-by-step DIY process to effectively do away with bed bugs in your mattress:
(Note - In case the infestation is a severe one, we recommend you to contact professional exterminators as soon as possible)
First things first - You have to wash almost everything you can see on or around your bed. It includes all the bedcovers, pillowcases, linens, and curtains. Clean your mattress thoroughly and wash your pillows as well. Since certain insecticides can damage the mattress covers, soaking them in hot water would be a much better option. High heat can potentially kill the bugs. But, make sure to read the clothes label beforehand for any restrictions.
All the non-washable objects (like stuffed animals, shoes, etc.) can be placed in the dryer to whirl for about half an hour. Do not use your regular laundry basket to carry the clothes or other items, as you may end up dispersing the bugs all around. Instead, put them in a sealed trash bag while moving.
Pick a used, stiff brush to scrub the creases and seams of your mattress in and out. Use the hose instead of the brush attachment to avoid bugs from hiding in the bristles. The hose will help remove bed bugs or their eggs so that vacuuming them gets simpler. Now, vacuum your entire bedroom and contain the live bugs.
Once this step is taken care of, place the vacuum cleaner bag in a sealed plastic bag to dump it outdoors. Clean the container and repeat the process several times.
An insecticide is undoubtedly the best way to get rid of bed bugs since it is highly efficient when killing live bugs. However, not all insecticides are safe for your mattresses, which is why you must carefully buy the one that's specifically meant for them. All you need to do is spray it over them on the spot.
Be sure that you don't spray too much of these over your sleeping area or do not use the site for some time, as they contain hazardous chemicals. Also, make sure that you wear gloves while doing so.
One of the most effective ways to kill bed bugs is – High temperature. That is why using a steamer over your mattresses can assist you in the process. So, if you do have a steamer that can reach up to 120 degrees, you're good to go!
Now, encase your mattress and box-spring in a tightly woven, bed-bug-proof cover to make sure no more bugs can enter and the ones trapped within die eventually. Once zipped from all sides, it gets practically impossible for the bugs to escape. Although, this would help only get rid of bed bugs in your mattress and not from your bed frame or other places.
Eliminating bed bugs from your home is not a one-day job. You will have to regularly check the infestation site for signs of activity and ensure that your treatment is working. It can even take certain weeks for you to wipe the bugs out wholly.
You may also place bed bug interceptors under the legs of your bed to trap the leftover bugs and prevent them from climbing onto your bed. Retreat the affected areas from time to time to see better results.
However small their sizes may be, eradicating bed bugs from your house is a 'big' deal for sure. With that being the case, it is advisable to take a few preventative measures so that you do not give way to a full-blown attack of bed bugs unknowingly.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Pick up all the magazines, newspapers, clothes, and other items off the floor so that bed bugs do not get to hide in them. Also, make sure to clean up your dresser drawers, closets, or nightstands regularly.
You may use caulk to seal all the cracks around furniture, light sockets, baseboards, or electrical outlets. It will prevent the bugs from sneaking in.
If you travel often, you need to be extra careful so that you don't bring new bugs every time you go out or stay in a hotel. Keep your suitcase on a suitcase stand instead of the floor while you're in the hotel. Also, do not forget to wash all your clothing in warm water after returning home.
Use a specialized cover for your mattresses and box springs that can be zipped up all the way. This will ensure that bed bugs do not make their way inside by any means.
Start vacuuming your mattresses, furniture, carpets, and other textiles more frequently to detect the presence of bed bugs (if any) before they multiply.
If you have recently encountered a bed bug infestation at your home, we know exactly how you feel about it. Bed bugs are certainly no joke, given that these little beasts can turn your life upside down in just a matter of weeks!
Nevertheless, you can follow the simple steps mentioned in this guide to control the ongoing invasion at your home. If you still don't see results, consider getting the pros involved right away.