How to get rid of bed bugs? You can get rid of bedbugs. You may have to try a few different chemical & non-chemical approaches if you have an infestation.
What Are Bedbugs?
Bed bugs are insects from the genus Cimex that feed on human blood, usually at night. Their bites can result in a number of health impacts including skin rashes, psychological effects, and allergic symptoms.
Bedbugs measure just 5 millimeters across—smaller than a pencil eraser. These bugs are smart, tough, and they reproduce quickly. Bedbugs know where to hide to avoid detection, they can live for months between meals, and a healthy female can lay 500 eggs in her lifetime.
No surprise that these tiny bloodsuckers can wreak a lot of havoc in your home. If they get into bed with you, they can leave red, itchy welts all over your body.
Fortunately, you can get rid of bedbugs. Be patient as removing bedbugs often takes some time and effort. You may have to try a few different chemical and non-chemical approaches, especially if you have a large infestation.
Certain factors can make bedbugs harder to remove. You may have a tougher time ridding your home of them if you have a lot of clutter, or you travel often and bring new bedbugs home in your luggage.
If you can’t rid your home on your own, you may have to call in a professional exterminator. Read on for a step-by-step guide on getting rid of bedbugs.
How To Get Ricd Of Bedbugs Fast
Step 1: Identify all infested areas
If you’ve got bedbugs, you want to find them early before they start to reproduce. It’s much easier—and cheaper—to treat a small infestation than a big one. Yet smaller infestations can be harder to detect.
Search for bedbugs yourself, or hire a professional to do an inspection. Some inspectors use specially trained dogs to hunt down bedbugs by scent.
Bedbugs’ small, narrow bodies enable them to squeeze into tiny spots—like the seams of a mattress or couch, and the folds of curtains.
Also, look for them in places like these:
- near the tags of the mattress and box spring
- in cracks in the bed frame and headboard
- in baseboards
- between couch cushions
- in furniture joints
- inside electrical outlets
- under loose wallpaper
- underneath paintings and posters on the walls
- in the seam where the wallpaper and ceiling meet
Use a flashlight and magnifying glass to go over all of these areas.
You can spot bedbugs by these signs:
- live bedbugs, which are reddish and about ¼-inch long
- dark spots about the size of a period—these are bedbug droppings
- reddish stains on your mattress from bugs that have been crushed
- small, pale yellow eggs, eggshells, and yellowish skins that young bedbugs shed
Once you find a bedbug, put it in a sealed jar along with 1 teaspoon of rubbing alcohol. Other types of bugs can look a lot like bedbugs. If you’re not sure what type of bug you’ve found, bring it to an exterminator or entomologist to identify.
Step 2: Contain the infestation
Once you know you have bedbugs, you need to keep them contained so you can get rid of them. A quick and easy way to trap bedbugs is with your vacuum. Run the vacuum over any possible hiding places.
This includes your:
- electronics (like TVs)
Seal up the vacuumed contents into a plastic bag and throw it away. Then thoroughly clean out the vacuum.
Seal up all your linens and affected clothes in plastic bags until you can wash them. Then put them on the highest possible temperature setting in the washer and dryer. If an item can’t be washed, put it in the dryer for 30 minutes at the highest heat setting.
Anything that can’t be treated in the washer and dryer, place in a plastic bag. Leave it there for a few months, if possible, to make sure all the bugs die. If you can’t clean furniture, throw it away. Tear it up first and spray paint the words “bedbugs” on it so no one else tries to take it home.
Step 3: Prep for bedbug treatment
Before you start treating your home, do a little prep work to maximize your odds of success. Make sure all your linens, carpets, drapes, clothing, and other hiding places have been cleaned or thrown out (see Step 2).
Next, get rid of bedbug hiding places. Pick up books, magazines, clothes, and anything else that’s lying on your floor and under your bed. Throw out whatever you can. Don’t move items from an infested room to a clean one—you could spread the bugs.
Seal up any open areas. Glue down loose wallpaper. Caulk cracks in furniture and around baseboards. Tape up open electrical outlets. Finally, move your bed at least 6 inches away from the wall so bedbugs can’t climb on.
Step 4: Kill the bedbugs
Step 5: Monitor the affected areas
Bedbugs can take some time to wipe out. Before you can trust that your treatment has worked, you need proof that the bugs have moved on. Check the infested areas about once every seven days for signs of activity.
To make surviving bedbugs easier to spot, place bedbug interceptors under each leg of the bed. These devices will trap bedbugs before they can climb up into your bed. You may need to keep checking the interceptors for a full year.
Step 6: Retreat as needed
Bedbugs are hardy creatures. Just when you think you’ve wiped them out, you might spot them again. You may have to try a few different treatment methods to control the infestation. And if they still don’t go away, you’ll want to call in a professional exterminator.
Step 7: Get the pros involved
If you can’t wipe out bedbugs on your own, it’s time to get the pros involved. Pest control companies have the advantage of using chemicals and other treatments that aren’t available to you. They have insecticides that both kill bugs on contact and that stay inside furniture and cracks to kill bedbugs in the long-term.
Pest control companies can also use whole room heat treatments. They bring in special equipment that heats up the room to a temperature of between 135 and 145 degrees Fahrenheit—high enough to kill bedbugs.
Before the pest control company arrives, they should give you instructions for prepping your home. Follow their directions carefully and you’ll have the best chance of wiping out the bugs.
Professional treatments take two to three visits to start working. After each treatment, you may have to stay out of the treated rooms for a few hours until the insecticides have dried.
Step 8: Keep the bedbugs out
Once the bedbugs are gone, you’ll want to make sure they stay gone for good.
- Clear up any clutter. Don’t leave papers, magazines, clothes, or other items on the floor.
- Cover your mattress and box spring with a bedbug cover and zip it up all the way.
- Vacuum and wash bedding, furniture, curtains, and carpets often.
- Seal cracks around light sockets, baseboards, and electrical outlets so bedbugs can’t sneak in.
- Check for bedbugs in hotel rooms when you travel to avoid bringing them home with you.
Home Cleaning Methods
You can first try to remove bedbugs without chemicals. These bugs are pretty easy to kill with high heat, 115°F (46°C), or intense cold, 32°F(less than 0°C
Here are a few ways to treat bedbugs using these methods:
- Wash bedding and clothes in hot water for 30 minutes. Then put them in a dryer on the highest heat setting for 30 minutes.
- Use a steamer on mattresses, couches, and other places where bedbugs hide.
- Pack up infested items in black bags and leave them outside on a hot day (95 degrees) or in a closed car. In cooler temperatures, it can take two to five months to kill sealed-up bugs.
- Put bags containing bedbugs in the freezer at 0°F (-17°C). Use a thermometer to check the temperature. Leave them in there for at least four days.
Once you’ve cleaned all visible bedbugs, make the area inhospitable for their friends. Place bedbug-proof covers over your mattress and box spring. Zip these covers up all the way. Bugs that are trapped inside will die, and new bugs won’t be able to get in.
If these methods don’t wipe out all the bugs, you may need to try an insecticide.
Non-Chemical And Chemical treatments
Insecticides can help rid your home of bedbugs. Look for products that are EPA-registered, and specifically marked for “bedbugs.”
Here are a few types of insecticides you can try:
- Pyrethrins and pyrethroids are the most common chemicals used to kill bedbugs. Yet some bedbugs have become resistant to them.
- Pyrroles like chlorfenapyr kill bedbugs by disrupting their cells.
- Neonicotinoids are man-made versions of nicotine. They damage the bugs’ nervous system. This type of chemical works on bedbugs that have become resistant to other pesticides.
- Dessicants are substances that destroy the bugs’ protective outer coating. Without this coating, the bugs dry out and die. Two examples of desiccants are silica aerogel (Tri-Die and CimeXa) and diatomaceous earth. The advantage of desiccants is that bedbugs can’t become resistant to them, but they work slowly. These products can take a few months to kill off all the bugs.
- Foggers or bug bombs kill bedbugs, but they can’t get into cracks and crevices where these bugs hide. They can also be toxic to humans if you use them incorrectly. Read the label carefully. Leave the room before you set off a fogger.
- Plant oil-based products like EcoRaider and Bed Bug Patrol are less toxic than chemical insecticides, and they work well against bedbugs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How to get rid of bedbug bites?
You should see a dermatologist for treatment if you have:
- Many bites
- Skin infection (bites feel tender or ooze discharge, such as pus)
- An allergic skin reaction (skin red and swollen or hives)
Your dermatologist may prescribe the following to treat bed bug bites:
- Allergic reaction. Some people may require an injection of an antihistamine, corticosteroid, or epinephrine (adrenaline) for a severe allergic reaction.
- Infection. An infection may require an antibiotic. If the infection is mild, your dermatologist may recommend an antiseptic medication that you can buy without a prescription. Your dermatologist will tell you which one to use. Your dermatologist also may recommend an antiseptic to prevent a skin infection.
- Itch. A prescription antihistamine pill or liquid can help. You also can apply a corticosteroid to the bites. Your dermatologist will tell you which is best for you.
If you do not have any signs of an infection or a serious reaction, you can often treat the bites at home.
To treat bed bug bites:
- Wash the bites with soap and water. This will help prevent skin infection and help reduce itchiness.
- If the itch of the bites, apply a corticosteroid cream to the bites. You can get a weak form of this medicine without a prescription at your local drugstore. Stronger corticosteroids require a prescription.
Bed bug bites usually heal and go away within a week or two.
2. How to get rid of bedbugs permanently?
Dealing with a bed bug infestation is incredibly stressful and unnerving. Your home is supposed to be your sanctuary, and now it’s infested with uninvited visitors who bite. Although these critters are flat and tiny, they aren’t harmless. They will take over your home if left unaddressed and continue to feed on your blood at night. If you want to get rid of bed bugs for good, you need to be proactive about treatment and prevention. Ultimately, calling a pest control service in Barrie is the best way to eradicate an infestation. But, there are also some things you can do to effectively ban bed bugs from your home permanently.
1. Watch For The First Signs Of Infestation – You may not know you have bed bugs until they’ve started feasting on you. Do you have bites anywhere on your body? Bed bug bites are usually raised, red bumps that follow a zigzag pattern. They can be itchy, develop blisters, or they may not feel like anything at all. Another sign of bed bugs is rust-colored excrement spots on your bedding. This is actually from your blood after they’ve bitten you and digested the blood.
In severe cases, bed bugs can give off a musky odor. If you notice a strange smell in your bedroom or any other room, investigate for other signs of bed bugs. Many different types of pests will give off a scent, so be prepared for other infestation problems other than bed bugs.
2. Wash All Your Fabrics – Once you’ve found signs of bed bugs in your home, it’s time to get to work. Heat is an effective killer of bed bugs, so start washing your belongings in hot water. Bed bugs removal from clothes, bedding, towels, pet beds, and stuffed animals is crucial. Anything that’s made from fabric should be put in the washing machine at high heat. Then, dry them in your dryer at the highest heat level possible.
For items you don’t want to put in the washing machine, like shoes, you can still put them in the dryer for 30 minutes. Getting rid of an infestation could disrupt your daily life for a few days as you clean all your belongings.
3. Deep Clean Your Mattress – What about the scene of the crime, your mattress? While bed bugs aren’t restricted to beds only, they are commonplace to find them. Start by using a stiff brush to scrub at the seams of your mattress. This will make their eggs and shells come loose. Then, vacuum every side of the mattress — top, bottom, and all sides.
Keep in mind, your vacuum could now be infested by the bugs and their eggs. When you’re done with it, place it in a sealed plastic bag and put it outside the house. Leave it out there for a few days so that the bugs suffocate. Use a similar method on your mattress- place it in a tight bedbug-proof mattress case. Keep it sealed shut for at least one year.
4. Fill In-Wall Cracks – Tiny cracks in the plaster of your walls are excellent hiding spots for bed bugs. They might build their nests in those cracks or in places with lifting wallpaper. Do a thorough inspection of your home’s walls. Go from room to room, assessing the walls for damage and areas bed bugs could be hiding. Use wallpaper glue to seal down lifting edges or remove the paper altogether. Fill in all wall cracks, no matter how small, with plaster or caulk.
5. Declutter Your Home – There’s a misconception that only filthy, poorly maintained homes get bed bugs. This isn’t true. Even homes in affluent neighborhoods with great housekeeping can still get infestations. Wherever clutter exists, so can bed bugs. So, do an intense decluttering of your home.
Dry, cool areas make perfect environments for bed bugs to breed. Go through the boxes under your bed and in your closet to get rid of what you don’t need. Declutter books, magazines, clothes, and kitchen supplies. At the end of the process, you should know where every belonging is and when it was cleaned last.
6. Seal What Can’t Be Cleaned – What about the items that can’t go in the washer or dryer, like tables and chairs? These items need to be sealed off in plastic cases. If bed bugs are hiding in their cracks or corners, sealing them for up to a year can kill them.
For some items, you might be better off simply getting rid of them. For example, thick lazy-boy chairs that you don’t want to pay to get cleaned professionally. If you decide to put these items on the side of the road for pickup, make sure you label them as “bed bugs” or “broken,” so an unsuspecting neighbor doesn’t assume they’re free pieces of furniture.
7.Steam Clean Often – Steamers are a great tool for maintaining a bed bug-free home. The heat of the steam can kill bed bugs and their eggs. Take your steamer and slowly spray each room with it. Pay extra attention to the baseboards, closet shelves, window trim, and even the carpet. Make sure the steamer is set to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit and use a low setting for the airflow. Too much airflow might cause the bed bugs to scatter and, thus, survive.
8. Find a Pest Control Service in Barrie – All these DIY bed bugs pest control treatments can work, but they aren’t as effective as a professional service’s methods. Look for pest control services in Barrie that have many years of experience as well as plenty of good reviews.
Ask for their bed bugs control price. They should be thorough in their inspection and realistic on the outcomes of their service. Often, a second treatment is needed after the first to ensure the infestation is truly eradicated. To get rid of an infestation permanently, you need to stay on top of preventative measures.
3. How to get rid of bed bugs in clothes?
Washing and drying with hot water, dry cleaning, and heat treating will kill bed bugs in bedding, draperies, pillows, cushions, area rugs, and other household textiles, too. Just make sure that the heat penetrates all the layers of the items you’re cleaning.
4. How to get rid of bed bugs in car?
You should approach inspecting your car for bed bugs the same way you would your room:
- Remove all trash and clutter where bed bugs can hide.
- Conduct a thorough visual inspection, looking for bed bugs along seams in your car seats, under the seats, in the glove compartment and the console.
- Look for the signs of bed bugs, such as dark spots and bloodstains. Shed exoskeleton may also be visible.
- Use double-sided tape to check the area around your seats, floor mats, and rugs. Press the tape into all crevices. Pull it back and inspect it to see if any bed bugs are present. Young bed bugs may be hard to see, so look closely.
If you do find signs of infestation, don’t despair. There are safe and effective ways to deal with this type of bed bug problem.
Clean your car thoroughly
- Remove and shampoo all floor mats, rugs, and any seat covers and leave them out in the sun to dry.
- Vacuum the entire car. Pay attention to the cracks, crevices, and dark places where bed bugs hide. If your regular handheld vacuum is not up to the task, try using a more powerful HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) model.
- Steam clean your car’s interior or have it professionally done.