Although bed bugs typically only live for two to four months, female bed bugs can lay up to 250 eggs in that time. That means that one pregnant bed bug can create a massive, self-sustaining population inside your home before you even realize that they’re there.
Bed bugs are drawn to dark, damp spaces where they can hide and reproduce between feedings. If necessary, you can get rid of some of their hideouts, like box springs and mattresses.
However, what do you do if bed bugs get into your carpeting?
Read on to learn how to get rid of bed bugs in your carpet in five easy steps.
Step 1: Move and Protect Your Furniture
The first step is to move all of your furniture out of the affected area. However, because you don’t know if these pieces of furniture also have bed bugs in them, make sure that you’re careful about where you take them. If possible, bring them into the yard where the bed bugs won’t be able to infest more rooms in your home.
In addition, you’re going to want to take preventative measures to keep any remaining bed bugs from climbing up into the furniture. You can use carpet tape or heavy-duty double-sided tape to get this done.
Wrap the tape around the legs of your furniture about an inch from the ground. That way, any bed bugs that try to get up from the ground and into the furniture will get stuck and die. Whether or not you find bed bugs on the tape, replace it every few days.
Step 2: Wash or Bag Area Rugs
If you have any removable rugs, go ahead and deal with those first. Because they can be lifted off the ground, they’re easier to tackle.
If your area rugs are small and machine washable, the best thing to do is throw them in the wash. However, note that for the best results, you’re going to want to dry them on the highest setting. Heat is one of the best ways to kill bed bugs and their eggs.
What should you do if your rug is not machine washable or you don’t feel comfortable putting it in the dryer? Grab a few trash bags or other plastic bags that are large enough to hold your rug in.
Bag the rug once and tie it tightly. Then, throw that bag in another bag and seal that one up, as well. Now, go ahead and throw the bundle into the hottest room in the house and leave it there for several months.
Step 3: Steam the Carpet
Next, it’s time to steam the carpet. As we mentioned earlier, bed bugs don’t react well to high temperatures. You’re going to want to buy or rent a steamer that can get to temperatures of 118 degrees or higher, as this is the temperature at which bed bugs will die.
Take your steamer and move it inch by inch over the carpet. Make sure to spend at least a few minutes steaming each individual section, as the steam will not kill bed bugs upon contact. For better results, bring the steamer to its highest possible temperature.
Remember that when handling steam, you need to be careful. Never point the steamer at your own body while it is running. Always turn the steamer off before putting the nozzle down.
Step 4: Add Borax Powder or Diatomaceous Earth
After you’ve steamed the entire carpet, it’s time to get scientific. Borax and diatomaceous earth are both products that can break down a bed bug’s exoskeleton. Sprinkling one of these products on your carpet can help kill off some more of those persistent critters.
When you’re using either of these products, make sure that you read the instructions and the warning label. Both are irritants and you don’t want to get them on your skin, in your eyes, or in your nose or mouth. Make sure that pets and children have cleared the area before you apply these products.
Once you have sprinkled borax powder or diatomaceous earth across the entire carpet, leave it for at least 3.5 hours.
Step 5: Vacuum
If you’ve seen the list of supplies we recommend to build your own bed bug kit, you know that you’re going to need a vacuum with a bag. This is because you need to be able to dispose of the bag as soon as you have completed vacuuming your carpet. That means that Dyson, Bissell, and other bag-free vacuums are out of the question!
Go over your carpet multiple times with the vacuum. Use any hose attachments you have to vacuum in tight spots and near the baseboards.
Once you feel certain that you have gone over every inch of your carpet multiple times, it’s time to dispose of the bag. Take it outside and remove it before placing it into a garbage bag. Then, tie the garbage bag so that it is sealed shut.
Any time you are throwing away materials that you used to remove bed bugs from your home, throw them away outside in a sealed outdoor garbage can.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Your Carpet the Easy Way: Skip the DIY Methods
Truth be told, these five steps are simple but may need to be repeated several times. If you want to know how to get rid of bed bugs but don’t want to go to the hassle of following our five steps, there is another way.
Custom Bed Bug is here to help residents in Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Portland with any bed bug problems. To get started, contact us! We’re happy to answer any questions you may have, provide solutions, or give you a free quote before we set to work!