The mere thought of bed bugs causes many people to panic. Once they’ve been infested, residents are often left feeling hopeless and wondering what to do. Today, there are many treatments for exterminating bed bugs. The exact approach depends on the scope of the problem. Small infestations are certainly easier to manage while larger ones will require the most aggressive action.
Once you see bed bugs, act quickly but not too precariously. Sleeping somewhere else in the house will only spread the bugs if some happen to be on you. They’re great at latching on and going for a ride. Also, don’t start by throwing away furniture. Moving beds, couches, and tables around can spread them around and, when discarded, can easily begin new infestations elsewhere. It makes bed bugs extermination all that much harder.
Read up on bed bug behavior. This will help to know where to look, such as in dark, sheltered places. You can actually identify the magnitude of the problem on your own. Check under the mattress, in cracks and crevices, in carpets, on walls, and more.
Don’t procrastinate because eggs can hatch in as little as six days and females lay them wherever they wander to. All you need is one pregnant female to start an infestation. On the flip side, males or young bed bugs cannot reproduce on their own, so if you see one it’s not always the end of the world.
Among the more controversial bed bugs extermination methods, pesticides have varying levels of effectiveness and can leave residue. Suitable ventilation is needed. Some pesticides are known to cause allergic reactions or even serious health risks, so most people would rather not use them on their mattresses.
Such compounds are commonly used nonetheless. There are many downsides, such as resistance of bed bugs to pyrethroid pesticides and dispersal of insects from treated areas. They simply move on to other areas that are safer for them, in the process infesting other rooms or adjacent apartments. There are many store-bought pesticide products. Consult with a professional if you are considering going this route.
Sucking up bed bugs is a good way to get rid of them. Vacuuming does come with some drawbacks. Alone, it can’t reach bed bugs hidden inside something, so is usually not the only treatment conducted at a given time. Also, you must dispose of the vacuum bag immediately or the bugs can crawl out and you’ll be right back where you started.
Heat treatment has become a common bed bugs extermination technique. Many pest control companies offer steam treatment with temperatures as high as 170°F. Mattresses, box springs, bed frames, carpets, curtains, and other items must be treated repeatedly and thoroughly. Even more effective are building heat treatments that raise ambient room temperatures to lethal levels for bed bugs, at about 113°F. This is a job for the professionals.
You can conduct heat treatment yourself. Clothes dryers can be used for clothing and blankets if they’re infested. Wash them in hot water first, with detergent, and use a high heat setting. This is good for individual items but does not usually take care of larger infestations.
Exposure to temperatures of 3°F or colder for at least an hour can kill bed bugs. In some cases, however, they develop tolerance to cold, but freezing can kill bugs and their eggs. You must be sure the freezer can maintain the proper temperature. Sometimes you can put small infested items in a home freezer but more professional equipment may be needed.
Diatomaceous Earth or silica gel can be applied to infested areas, and damage bed bugs’ exoskeletons which dehydrates them. Organic materials such as bean leaves and essential oils are used as well. You can also use bed posts that create a barrier between the floor and the bed, and seal cracks with rubber caulking to prevent them from crawling through.
Combine Your Strategies
Bed bugs extermination techniques must often be combined to be most effective. The best bet is to find bed bugs early or prevent their entry altogether. If you have had an infestation in the past, always be on the lookout for more.
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