Have you been waking up recently with red, itchy marks all over your body, but you aren’t able to find the culprit? It’s a high possibility that your bedroom has been infested by one of the most notorious and problematic insects of all.
Bed bugs may not be fatal for humans, but they are one of the most difficult pests to get rid of. Human beings are a prime target for these insects, as we sleep for elongated periods of time and are full of blood capillaries – their main food of choice. On top of this, our rooms are often filled with multiple small spaces, which offer plenty of areas the bugs can remain undetected while continuing to have access to their food source.
When bed bugs arrive in your home it’s important to take quick and effective action to ensure they don’t reproduce and spread, making them even more difficult to get rid of.
Here’s a step by step process on how to get rid of bed bugs and make sure that they don’t return:
Find Their Hiding Places:
Bed bugs are not just incredibly small but they also are flat, allowing them to slip in places that you wouldn’t necessarily think of looking. In fact, these tiny insects can even slip into places no bigger a business card.
Therefore, it’s important to carefully inspect all areas of a room when trying to find them. This includes dismantling furniture and checking for colonies in the corners and folds of the bed frame.
If you can’t find them there, give your mattress a thorough inspection. Even small tears will be big enough for bed bugs to climb into and make their home. Shining a strong light through the mattress will allow you to see bed bugs inside, as their bodies will show up as small black marks.
You should also pull out your drawers and check for any cracks in the walls or floorboards, or around light sockets and power plugs.
Another place these perpetrators will live is in your carpet or rugs, as it provides darkness, warmth and camouflage. To check here, lift up the carpet and shine a light along the underside.
Remember, bed bugs can be found in each of the above simultaneously if they’ve had the chance to spread. This is why it’s important to thoroughly inspect your room and home, even when you have uncovered one infested spot.
Prepare Your Room for Extermination:
Once you’ve found the bugs prepare the space for extermination. This is necessary because these tenacious insects will seek any opportunity to survive, including clinging onto your clothes or other materials in your room. If you don’t adequately prepare the room, there is a high chance that the bed bug population will regenerate in a couple of weeks and take you back soon to square one.
To prepare, remove the smaller items from your room and pack them into plastic bags, including such things as clothes, paintings, decor and more. Seal these packs tightly to make sure that if bed bugs are present they can’t escape. Mattresses also need to be covered in plastic sheets and packed away.
Following this, bring the heavier furniture such as bed frames and cupboards into the center of the room away from the walls. This way, bed bugs running away from the extermination will be more noticeable, allowing you to kill them easily.
Finally, seal your room, shut by plastering your windows and doors with thick sheets of newspaper, at least four stacked together. While you are sealing your room, fill any cracks and crevices with cement or sealant. These bugs are resilient, so don’t provide them with a single escape route.
Exterminating All Bugs In One Go:
Once you have prepared your room it’s time to get rid of the bugs. Complete all of the following steps for a bed bug free room:
- Get a brush with hard bristles and scrub all cracks, crevices, seams and folds. Even if the bed bugs are not present, their eggs can be nestled in these areas. Be as forceful as possible to ensure no eggs remain.
- Put your mattress and clothes through a thorough wash. Make sure this is a hot water wash as at times bed bugs will live through this process. Bed bugs can’t survive anything above a temperature of 120F/50C.
- Spray your whole room with pesticides – not just the affected areas. This step must be done while wearing a gas mask and suitable protection. Leave the room as soon as you have sprayed the pesticides as some ingredients can be harmful to humans when inhaled or in direct contact with skin.
- Once you’ve completed these steps on your own, hire the services of a bed bugs specialist. This is an important precautionary measure as these pests can survive even the most thorough clean. An expert will be able to make sure absolutely no bugs remain and will eliminate the chances of the local bed bug population returning in coming years.
Knowing how to get rid of unwanted pests is good, but it’s even better to prevent them from spreading in the first place. You can prevent bed bugs making their home in your space through small acts such as washing your clothes in a hot wash right after returning from a holiday, or being careful about what you are transporting from unfamiliar locations.
It is also a good practice to maintain the structure of your home. Any cracks, holes or gaps should be filled immediately, and a regular deep clean can ensure your home is always free of bugs.