Bed bugs are everyone’s worst bedroom nightmare. Infestations of bed bugs spread easily from house to house, bringing discomfort and revulsion wherever they go. If your home has a bed bug infestation, you need to act now. Here are 5 tips from the EPA to help you get rid of bed bugs.
- Learn How To Identify And Find Bed Bugs
Proper identification is essential to exterminating bed bugs. It is not always obvious when a home has a bed bug infestation. Identifying bed bugs before they get out of hand makes bed bug control much easier.
Bed bugs are about the width of a credit card. They go through several stages, from egg to nymph to adult. Adult bed bugs are brown in color while the nymphs are a whitish yellow when fed and translucent the rest of the time.
Bed bugs usually cluster out of sight. Look for signs near the seam of mattresses and in cracks on bed frames. Couches and chairs also shelter bed bugs in the seams, and they are known to lurk beneath wallpaper, in electrical outlets, around door frames, and in corners of the ceiling.
Other signs of bed bugs include bites, rusty stains on mattresses, dark spots from bed bug excrement, and shed nymph skins.
- Use Integrated Pest Management
Bed bugs are notoriously hard to get rid of. This is because they reproduce quickly and their eggs have grown resistant to pest control techniques over the years. An integrated pest management approach is the most effective way of treating bed bugs, as it draws on information about bed bugs and their habits to target them with appropriate pesticides and management techniques.
There are chemical and non-chemical approaches to dealing with bed bugs. Usually, a combination of the two is necessary to eradicate the infestation.
- Try Non-Chemical Treatments
There are several non-chemical home treatment options to help remove bed bugs:
- Heating articles or rooms at 120 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 90 minutes kills bed bugs at all life stages.
- Temperatures below 0 degrees Fahrenheit also kill bed bugs after four continuous days. Check the setting on your freezer to make sure it is cold enough.
- Mattress and box spring bed bug coverings trap bed bugs in the mattress and prevent them from escaping and spreading.
- Use monitoring devices to make sure all the bed bugs are dead.
- Use The Right Pesticides For Bed Bugs
There are over 300 bed bug pesticides approved by the EPA to aid you in your fight against infestation. Many of these are available to consumers as well as pest removal services.
Pesticides are powerful agents that affect beg bugs in a variety of ways. They can also harm you and your pets. Be sure to follow instructions or consult with a professional before applying a pesticide to your home.
Keep in mind that bed bug removal only works when all of the affected areas are treated. For multi-family homes or apartment buildings, this means that every infested space requires attention. If your neighbors are not on board, your infestation is destined to return.
- Decide Between DIY Or Professional Bed Bug Removal
It is tempting to take care of problems ourselves. While it is certainly possible to eradicate bed bugs without professional help, there are a few things to consider.
Reliable pest removal professionals have a large arsenal of products and experience to throw at your infestation. If one product fails, they have another. Experts are better able to spot an infestation than you, and can come up with a plan that keeps you and your family safe.
Treating a bed bug infestation yourself is sometimes more economical than hiring a professional service. For very small infestations, a DIY approach is practical. Just keep in mind that failure to stop the infestation can lead to a much larger problem.
Prevention Is The Best Cure
Once you get rid of your bed bugs, take preventative steps. Use mattress and box spring covers. Be wary of used furniture and bedding. Most importantly, keep your eyes peeled for the warning signs to prevent another outbreak.
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