Bed bugs are incredibly common but have only been steady in the United States for about 20 years. However, that doesn’t mean their presence is appreciated as many people call on professionals to exterminate bugs every year!
Did you know that there are ways to eliminate bed bugs naturally without the use of harmful chemicals? This may take a little extra work, but it can be done and is a safer route.
Keep reading to learn more about how to get rid of bed bugs naturally.
What Are Bed Bugs?
The last thing you want to think about is your bed crawling with bugs, but unfortunately, it does happen.
Bed bugs are considered pests that live in the crevices of your mattress. They “hitch” a ride on luggage, clothing, laundry, and other items that come into your home. Bed bugs thrive on human or animal blood and so the mattress is a convenient home for them.
They are oval-shaped with flat bodies, though they swell after a feeding. Adults are brown colored, while nymphs are colorless. Though they have six legs and an antenna, they cannot fly.
How Do You Know You Have Bed Bugs?
There are a few signs that you might have a bed bug infestation.
First of all, you can see adult bed bugs because of their color and size, though the nymphs may be harder to see because of their appearance. You may see their skin, brown or blood spots on your mattress, and even eggs. Fecal matter may appear as small black spots as well.
Because bed bugs feed off human blood, you may notice bite marks on your arms, legs, or other parts of your body. However, this doesn’t mean that you have a bed bug infestation, but you should be on the lookout for other signs to conclude an infestation is present.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally
Most chemicals designed to exterminate bed bugs work well, but not everyone chooses to use them. Opting for natural methods is completely acceptable and understandable.
There are a few reasons why you may want to use natural remedies for bed bugs, such as allergies, the dangers of chemicals for young children or pets, and more.
If you’d rather use a natural bed bug treatment, here are some tips to get you started.
1. Clean and Declutter
Before you start trying to get rid of bed bugs, you need to clean your space. Bed bugs are notorious travelers and may spread once they make a home in your mattress. Getting rid of objects or items you no longer want or need will make treating the infestation easier.
Vacuuming your mattress is one of the best ways to eliminate bed bugs. The vacuum will suck up any bed bugs, alive or dead, that are making themselves comfortable. Vacuum large areas on the mattress and in rooms, but use a crevice tool to get in hard-to-reach places.
Don’t just vacuum your mattress, but vacuum bed sheets, clothing, drapes, upholstery, and anything in the room where the infestation might be. Be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag immediately to prevent further bugs. If you don’t have a vacuum bag, dispose of the debris in the trash, tie it up, and take it outside.
3. Hot Water and Steam
Remove all the bedsheets, clothing, and so forth and put them in the washing machine and dryer. The heat from the water and the dryer will kill any additional bugs.
In addition to washing everything, steam your mattress to give it a blast of extra heat. Make sure your steam is over 200 degrees Fahrenheit in order to kill bugs.
4. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth is a sand-like substance that kills bugs when they come in contact with it. To use diatomaceous earth, sprinkle an amount on your mattress and let it sit for up to two days or even a week depending on your infestation. This gives it time for the bugs to find it and die.
Once the two days are up, vacuum up the diatomaceous earth along with any dead bugs. Even though this is considered a natural treatment, keep your pets and children off your mattress because it is toxic if ingested, and wear gloves and protective gear when handling.
5. Essential Oils
Some people believe that essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil ward off bed bugs. This may be true because bugs do not like the smell of certain scents.
To use essential oils you can combine them with a few drops of the desired oil in a spray bottle with water. Spray all over the affected area. Bed bugs may not die, but they might leave the mattress or upholstery.
You can also add essential oils to cotton balls and place them around the mattress to discourage bugs from breeding or add a few drops to your laundry. Keep tea tree oil away from pets because it’s toxic.
6. Throw Out Furniture
In the event that you cannot get rid of bed bugs, you’ll need to throw out your furniture or mattress. Unfortunately, you need to do this safely so people who are hauling it away do not transfer the infestation.
Put a sign on the items you’re getting rid of so people know they’re infested. Contact your city or county to have them disposed of properly.
Using Bed Bug Remedies
When you understand how to get rid of bed bugs naturally, you feel empowered to take your home back. However, the best way to get rid of bed bugs for good is to hire a professional. They know the best treatments and ensure that bed bugs are completely eliminated.
What steps do you need to take to prevent a bed bug infestation?
Is your bed bug problem too big for you? We can help! Our team of professionals is here to assist, so contact us today with any questions you have about bed bugs.