Bed bugs are so common that one in five Americans have experienced or know someone who has had an infestation. Most bed bug stories start with dragging them home unwittingly and dealing with constant biting. It’s actually hard to detect bed bugs if you’ve never encountered them first-hand.
They’re very small and they know precisely when to come out and feed. These suckers can detect breathing patterns! If you want to know the best way to get rid of bed bugs, you have to know thy enemy.
Refer to this guide if you have a sneaking suspicion that you may have brought some home. Follow these 7 steps to defeat bed bugs for good.
1. Know Thy Enemy
The first thing you’ll want to do is scan for signs of bed bug evidence. Usually, when you start to spot bed bugs in the daytime, things have gotten really bad. When their population has reached overcrowding, then the evidence is obvious.
To catch them early and save your bed from being a total loss, you’ll need to know what you’re looking for. Bed bugs themselves are small, round, brownish-red dots. They love hiding in the crevices of your bed.
Look at the seams first, that’s where they’ll hide on the top side. Otherwise, bed bugs prefer living behind the headboard, between bedposts, and underneath the mattress/boxspring. Bed bugs will leave a trail of black dots (droppings), sheddings, and small eggshells.
The biggest telltale sign is consistently getting bitten in a three-bite pattern. Bed bugs are fidgety eaters, so they will often bite, feast, move a little and repeat. This doesn’t happen every time, but often enough to recognize their pattern.
Bites are sometimes mistaken for ants, fleas, or mosquitos. Bed bug bites are notably smaller and generally cause less inflammation than others. They’ll often return to the same locations to feed.
2. Limit Their Reach
Once you’ve found their hideouts on your bed, it’s time to expand the search to nearby furniture, outlets, and electronics. Bed bugs will do some traveling to get their meal, as long as they get to stay hidden. If you can’t find any outside the bed, that’s a good sign.
Next, we’ll try to put a dent in their population by coordinating a clean-up and removal. You’ll need a vacuum with a plastic bag. Start vacuuming all the surrounding areas first.
Bed bugs will run pretty fast on flat surfaces. Your best strategy is to corral them into your bed. After you’re done vacuuming the perimeter, place contents in a plastic bag and toss it outside.
Finally, the last step in containing the infestation is to steam clean the carpets and bed. All linens and clothes that were in the room before cleanup need to get washed in hot water and dried at the highest setting. Anything that is small enough to pick up needs to go in bags for months with diatomaceous earth.
3. Heat Them Up
Cleaning up the surroundings in the room with bed bugs is only the first step. In order to kill bed bugs on the bed and prevent their escape, you need a comprehensive plan. Bed bugs are hard to kill, but they have many weaknesses.
Extreme temperatures will kill them. Anything above 115F or below 32F will kill them. The problem is that it’s hard to reach that core temperature over a large area. That’s why professional heat treatments are so much better than household solutions.
They can fill up the entire house with heat to kill all bedbugs. Using an infrared thermometer, they can prevent any cooler pockets to allow for an escape.
4. Keep Them Out
With professional extermination, your chances are good for eliminating all bed bugs. Nothing is guaranteed, however. A few could have escaped in the walls and survived to repopulate. This is why you need to follow-up with a strong defense.
For one, if your mattress wasn’t heavily populated by bed bugs, you’ll want to place it inside a bed bug-proof cover. The same goes for your box spring. Although, box springs aren’t expensive and it is more of a hassle to keep a cover clean when it is on the floor.
5. Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth
The best non-toxic barrier you can lay down in your home is diatomaceous earth. This substance is easy to find in Walmart, Home Depot, and online for bulk discount. The crystalline structure penetrates the hard shells of insects but is non-toxic to humans or pets.
For added protection, coat the inside of these covers with diatomaceous earth. Bed bugs can survive for a long time without a meal. In fact, you should check every week, thoroughly, for several months before even considering removing those bed bug covers.
It shouldn’t make a big difference in having to keep those covers on indefinitely if it means bed bug prevention. The covers eliminate those seams from the equation.
6. Avoid Hitchhikers
If you never want to have to deal with bed bugs, do a good job of protecting yourself from these hitchhikers. Bed bugs can come from a lot of different public gatherings, waiting for a meal. The most common places are the hotels and forms of public transportation.
Before you plop down in your hotel after a long flight, place your suitcases away from the bed. Ideally, you should keep your suitcases off the floor completely. The most paranoid will put luggage in the bathroom or bathtub.
You can buy plastic bags to keep your luggage sealed while they’re in the room. Always inspect the room, too, before bringing them inside. The five minutes you take to look under the mattress, around the headboards, and a quick flashlight underneath is worth the hassle.
7. Exterminators: The Best Way to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Ultimately, whether you have bed bugs or not, the idea of them crawling around will ruin your sleep. The best way to get rid of bed bugs completely is by leaving it to the professionals. DIY methods aren’t as effective and usually require multiple treatments.
You’ll save a lot of time and money going with Custom Bed Bug’s treatments. Right now, you can get a discount on bed bug mattress cases that you won’t find anywhere else. Get the job done right the first time by using Custom Bed Bug.