What Can I Do If I Have Bed Bugs in My Home?

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Bed bugs are resilient and can survive even the most thorough treatment. If the eggs hatch, the infestation can resurface.

Before you start treatments, clean everything in the room, including the dressers, nightstands, and chairs. Seal up any small hiding spots with silicon caulk. Keep up with regular inspections to prevent recurrences.

Heat Treatment

A bed bug is a tiny bloodsucker that lives to bite and lay eggs. A single female can lay up to 500 eggs in her lifetime, so a bed bug infestation is a serious problem.

Thankfully, there are several ways to get rid of them, including pesticides and heat treatment by Pest Control Plus. However, before any of these methods can be effective, it’s important to prepare for treatment by removing and inspecting all furniture in the room as well as any boxes, storage containers or other items that might contain bed bugs.

Be sure to look in the cracks and crevices of drawers, dressers, nightstands, and other furniture pieces, as well as under cushions and inside loose wallpaper. If you find anything that looks suspicious, seal it in a plastic bag and bring it to your exterminator or an entomologist for identification.

If it turns out to be a bed bug, make sure to dispose of it properly as well, since it could spread the bugs to other areas of your home.

Be sure to also clear out clutter from the floor, including books, magazines, toys, and clothes. If you can’t wash them, throw them away or put them in the freezer (at least 0 degrees Fahrenheit) to kill the bugs and their eggs. Lastly, consider caulking the cracks around frames, floors, and moldings where daytime hiding places may be found.

Chemical Treatment

Once bed bugs settle into a home, it’s important to take steps to prevent them from spreading. This means washing your linens on hot water and running a dryer cycle with the highest heat setting, removing clutter near your bed, using covers designed to keep bed bugs out of mattresses and box springs, sealing cracks around baseboards and furniture, and vacuuming well in all rooms.

Foggers or bug bombs effectively kill bed bugs, but they can’t reach the small crevices where these pests hide. They also can be toxic if not used correctly, so it is best to let an exterminator handle this type of treatment.

Several chemicals can be used to kill bed bugs, including fipronil, bifenthrin, and pyrethroids (like permethrin). These are often combined into formulas that target the nervous system of insects, causing paralysis and death. They also can be less toxic to humans and pets if they are diluted properly.

Some manufacturers also use desiccants, such as pool or food-grade diatomaceous earth, to dry out the bug and their eggs. These products are typically less toxic than traditional insecticides, but it can take months for them to work. If you’re going to try them at home, be sure to only use a product that is registered by the Environmental Protection Agency as a pesticide.

Bed Bug Traps

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are insidious little creatures that can hide just about anywhere in your home. Even seemingly harmless things like drawers, furniture, and cracks in walls can harbor these insects. To minimize the likelihood of infestation, remove clutter from your home to reduce places where bed bugs can hide.

Vacuum your home, paying special attention to baseboards and other areas where bed bugs often hide. You can also use a vacuum that has been treated with a special dehydrating substance to kill the bugs. This can be a less expensive option than heat or chemical treatments.

Consider purchasing protective covers for mattresses and box springs that seal the surface. This will make it difficult for the bugs to get in and out, and it will also prevent nymphs from maturing and spreading from bed to bedroom.

You can also use interceptor traps to help prevent and catch bed bug nymphs in the early stages. These traps resemble large coffee cans and are available online or at most hardware stores. They can be placed under each leg of your bed to make it easier to spot surviving bugs. The traps must be emptied frequently, and you may need to continue using them for up to a year.

Finally, caulk any cracks found around the frames and moldings in your home to limit the amount of room for the bugs to hide. Also, remove animal nests or roosts that may be in your home to keep the pests away.

Inspection

Bed bugs are resilient creatures, and it can be difficult to wipe them out. Even professional treatment requires repeated treatments to eliminate them completely. Regular inspections can help identify and stop recurrence early.

Start with the bed area, examining the seams of the mattress and box spring as well as the furniture around your bed. Look for signs of droppings and reddish, swollen bodies. Be sure to check underneath all furniture as well as in drawers and cabinets.

If you have children, make sure to examine their rooms for signs of infestation as well. Bed bugs can also hide in stuffed animals, clothing, and toys. Don’t move infested items from an infested room to a clean one — this can spread the bugs. Caulk cracks in baseboards to eliminate hiding places.

Use traps to monitor the progress of your treatment. Sprinkle a little talcum powder in the bottom of each trap. This will keep the bed bugs from climbing out of the traps. If you have bed bug interceptors, place them under each leg of infested furniture and check them weekly.

A vacuum cleaner can be helpful in finding hidden insects and their eggs, as long as you vacuum up all the dirt and dead bugs and dispose of the bag. You can also use a residual insecticide spray or powder to cover all surfaces in the room where you suspect bed bugs are hiding.

Claire S. Allen
Claire S. Allen
Hi there! I'm Claire S. Allen, a vibrant Gemini who's as bold as my favorite color, red. I'm a fan of two cool things: strolling the streets in a red jacket and crafting articles that connect with readers. With my warm and friendly personality, Claire is sure to brighten up your day!
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