You wake up in the morning covered in little red bites. Upon later inspection, you realize that those are bed bug bites. Don’t start panicking yet.
Bed bugs are difficult and annoying to get rid of but it’s not impossible. You just have to know all the little tricks on how to kill bed bugs. One good thing, heat can kill them.
The problem with using heat is that it can be dangerous. Although most household heaters won’t reach temperatures hot enough to kill bed bugs, you should never increase the temperature in your house to unhuman temperatures.
It’s important to know how to prevent bed bug infestations. If you are dealing with bed bugs, there are some simple things you can do in order to help your situation. Keep reading to learn what they are. Please remember that seeking professional help is the safest and most effective way to eradicate bed bugs.
1. Reduce the Number of Hiding Places Bed Bugs Have Access to
The thing about bed bugs is that they love clutter. The more things you have laying around your home, the more hiding spots they have access to. Reduce these hiding spots by doing a deep spring cleaning around the house at least once a year. Getting rid of unnecessary items, dusting and vacuuming thoroughly, and picking things up off the floor.
They also tend to hide in mattresses since that’s where their nightly meal likes to rest. You might not be able to completely stop them from getting on your bed but you can make it harder for them.
Cover your mattress and box spring with an encasement. It won’t be easy for them to get a foothold on the plastic cover.
Leave the encasement on for a year. This should be long enough for any bedbugs you trapped inside the cover to die off.
You can also buy traps that fit on each foot of your bed. These will stop any bed bugs from climbing up the bed frame legs to get to you. Moving your bed a few inches away from all objects will also get rid of any other points of entry the bed bugs may have.
2. Run Your Infested Sheets and Garments Through the Dryer
Bed bugs can’t take the heat. This means that you can slowly lower their numbers by washing and drying your clothes and bedding each week. Running them through a high heat cycle in your dryer should do the trick.
You can use the same method for your dry clean only clothes as long as they go into the dryer while they’re not wet. Be sure to use a gentle tumble setting when drying your fragile clothing.
The goal is to penetrate the fabric with a high enough temperature of heat to kill the bed bugs. If you feel you cannot safely do so, then don’t. Call an insured professional to provide the heat and keep an eye on your belongings during the treatment.
3. Cover Your Furniture and Place it Outside
Sadly, you can’t run your furniture through the dry cycle. That doesn’t mean that you can’t heat things up enough to kill the bugs. Wait for the sunniest, hottest day possible and drag your furniture out on your lawn.
Cover the furniture with plastic bags. Black bags are preferred because they absorb the most heat.
Leave your furniture out on the lawn for at least 24 hours. Please note that this is not a sure-fire method. If the furniture fails to get hot enough the bed bugs will remain.
4. Reduce Their Numbers
You can use a vacuum cleaner to suck up any visible bugs. Don’t use vacuuming as your only method for bed bug extermination, however. Vacuums are ineffective against serious infestations.
While you’ll reduce their numbers, it’s hard to get into every crack and surface of your home using the vacuum. The reason why you still want to vacuum at least once a week is that this method does become effective when paired with the other ones on this list.
Once you finish your weekly vacuuming, dump the contents into a plastic garbage bag and take it straight outside.
5. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is also known as bed bug dust. It is a useful mineral used to prevent and kill many different pests. Sprinkle a thin layer of it around your bed, furniture, and other problem areas in your home.
When the bugs crawl through it they’ll become dehydrated and die within a few hours at the most. Be sure that when you’re picking up your bag of diatomaceous earth you get the food-grade kind. Any other type is toxic and may make you sick.
6. Call in the Professionals
The options that we’ve listed will help keep a minor infestation at bay. They aren’t as effective if you have a huge outbreak or are unable to perform them on a regular basis. If this is the case for you, call in the professionals.
While you should never turn up the heat in your home to 120 degrees, a professional can. They have the equipment necessary to do it safely. Your family and pets will have to evacuate the premises for a bit but when you get back your house will be bug-free.
How to Kill Bed Bugs and Keep Them Away for Good
Knowing how to kill bed bugs is half the battle. While they can be dealt with, they are resilient. Sometimes the only way to get them all is by having a professional come in.
As long as you don’t have a large infestation some of the options on this list should do the trick. Hurry and try them out so you can have an itch-free house.
Did these DIY tips not stop your problem? Request a free quote for our bed bug removal services today.