Bed bugs are a major problem. The second you realize that insect on your couch is one, or you see brown spots or bites, is a moment of dread. There are a lot of pesticides and other products they say are safe for home use, but you are weary. Professional extermination is expensive. Are there any other alternatives? The answer is yes and here are a few of them.
A vacuum cleaner is perhaps one the most effective home remedies for bed bugs. If you have vacuum cleaner attachments, you can reach into crevices and in the seams of couches, chairs, and mattresses. These are good for corners and other hard to reach areas too. Additional attachments can be used on tables, ceilings, computers, and other areas possibly infested.
A vacuum is not a cure-all solution. Strong suction can get a lot of the insects that don’t have a good grip on the surface. If you’re not careful, however, improper use can actually cause the pests to spread.
When using a vacuum cleaner, be sure to remove the vacuum bag and seal it. Place it a heavy duty plastic bag and seal that one as well. Throw it away immediately. If the device has no bag, discard all contents in a sealed plastic bag and wash the interior or removable container if there is one. Filters need to be removed, replaced, washed, frozen, or thrown away.
Shirts, blankets, sheets, and other clothing or items that were in contact with infected areas can be washed in hot water. Water over 120°F will kill the insects. A thorough washing will eliminate them from any garments. If you have one, an extremely hot dryer will work as well and can be used on clothing, toys, rugs, and accessories such as backpacks. Heat is one of the best home remedies for bed bugs there are.
Steam is very mobile and spreads heat across an entire room and into any hiding spot. Insects and eggs hidden deep inside mattresses may not be otherwise accessible. If you have a means to blast hot steam in the room, it will kill all the insects and their eggs so there will be no more infestation.
If you properly encase mattresses and pillows, it does two things. This makes it hard for bed bugs to get there in the first place. If they do, then the encasement will trap the insects so they can’t get out, bite you, and spread.
Other Home Remedies for Bed Bugs
- Lavender Oil. A natural product often used to freshen up the room, lavender is also an effective bed bug repellent. The insects are repulsed by the smell and taste of this herb. You can find it in just about any health food store. Add concentrated liquid to cloth and place them around the perimeter of your bed. It can also be applied to your floor and bed frame.
- Isopropyl Alcohol. People use rubbing alcohols as disinfectants for bites on their skin. Also try spraying it where you see bed bugs. It will help to clean these areas and disinfect them as well.
- Tea Tree Oil. The strong smell of this oil is too much for bed bugs. Spray it around your bed and wherever else you see these insects, and it will keep them away.
- Diatomaceous Earth. Consisting of microscopic algae fossils, this soil-like substance is jagged and cuts right through the bed bugs. They subsequently bleed out and die. It’s therefore impossible for them to attack you or spread any further.
Also, common disinfectants are useful once you’ve eliminated the bed bugs. These should be applied to surfaces when you wipe them down. Removing excrement, bloody spots, and eggs is sanitary and further reduces the chances of re-infestation. Wipe down everything to make sure it’s clean. It gives you peace of mind too because there’s less worry about tracking around whatever dirt is left behind.
There are home remedies for dealing with bed bugs. Many are common items found in stores. Some are very effective and save you time and money by avoiding more expensive, invasive techniques.
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