Getting Rid of Bed Bugs – Tips and Advice
Bed bugs are among the most devastating of household pests, attaching themselves to almost anything and spreading from room to room with astonishing speed. Getting rid of bed bugs takes time, and if you follow our tips, you can may be able to avoid an infestation.
Treating Mattresses and Bedding
Mattresses are often the first areas to be infested. Cover all mattresses, pillows and comforters in the home with cotton or polyester covers specifically rated to block out bed bugs and bed bug eggs. This will contain existing infestations and protect un-infested areas.
Sheets and other loose bedding, including pillows, should be washed on the hottest possible settings. Eliminate fabric-covered bed frames, including padded headboards and footboards, and remove excess decorative fabrics like bed skirts. Vacuum around beds regularly, disposing of the vacuum bag after each use.
Keeping bed bugs away from un-infested areas can keep damage to a minimum. Certain essential oils are repulsive to bed bugs. Lavender and tea tree oil are two of the most potent. Add them to cleaning solutions you use around your home, and sprinkle a few drops in the corners of your bed frames. A 2% solution of essential oils in water can be sprayed directly on soft materials like couches and bedding. Adding essential oils will possibly aid in repelling them, however oils may stain where applied and have a fairly short residual life.
Getting rid of bed bugs involves reducing clutter. Untidy, cluttered areas are difficult to clean and give bed bugs places to hide. De-clutter extensively. As you sort through items, bag any infested items you don’t want to or can’t save and carefully seal the bags before discarding.
Steam and certain insecticides can help you reclaim some of your infested belongings, like furniture. You can rent a steam cleaner or hire professionals. Keep in mind that the surface must reach 120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure sterilization.
Vacuum daily, switching the bag or emptying the canister each time and sealing the vacuumed material carefully before discarding.
Professional intervention is almost always required for complete bed bug control and eradication. If you live in an apartment building, townhouse, duplex, or single family home, make sure you get your neighbors to sign on to your action plan. It can be the key to preventing re-infestation.
Diatomaceous Earth as a Bed Bug Treatment Option?
United Pest Solutions does not recommend using Diatomaceous Earth as a treatment option for Bed Bug infestations in your home. Many studies have been completed, two of which are referenced below, that show the potential dangers of this substance outweigh any benefits you may see from it.
Oregon State University Study Notes on Diatomaceous Earth –
“If breathed in, diatomaceous earth can irritate the nose and nasal passages. If an extremely large amount is inhaled, people may cough and have shortness of breath. On skin, it can cause irritation and dryness. Diatomaceous earth may also irritate the eyes, due to its abrasive nature. Any dust, including silica, can be irritating to the eyes.
When mice were forced to breathe diatomaceous earth for one hour each day for a year, there was an increase in lung cancers. A very small amount of crystalline diatomaceous earth may be found in pesticide products. Long-term inhalation of the crystalline form is associated with silicosis, chronic bronchitis, and other respiratory problems.”
From PCT Magazine, August 2014 –
“Results. Silica gel was substantially more effective than diatomaceous earth when bed bugs were exposed briefly to deposits. Almost all of the bugs (97.5 percent) died within 24 hours of walking over silica gel dusted carpet, while only 10 percent succumbed by then to diatomaceous earth .”