When it comes to bed bugs, treating or bombing your home with regular bug spray may not be enough to eradicate the pests, nor is it safe for your family and pets. You need to take safer, more effective measures to fight the bugs in your home, especially if they invade your family's bedrooms. Bed bugs can spread throughout your home if you attempt to remove contaminated bedding, bed frames, and other items from your sleeping quarters. Learn why you have bed bugs and how you can get rid of the pests safely.
Why Do You Have Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs can seemingly come out of nowhere when they invade your home. However, bed bugs can enter your home if you pick them up when you travel and stay in an infected place, such as a motel or lodge. Because the pests are tiny, they can easily hitchhike and hide in the folds, niches, and pockets of your clothing, shoes, and suitcases. It's also possible for your children to bring bed bugs home from daycare and school.
The pests are known to hide in box springs, headboards, footboards, wall sockets, windowsills, and many other locations in bedrooms. The insects can also survive in piles of dirty laundry and unwashed bedding, as well as inside and behind baseboards and wallpaper.
Bed bugs consume blood for nourishment, including human and animal blood. The pests emerge from their hiding places in your bed to feed. You might notice reddish welts on your legs, arms, and other exposed body parts. Your coverlets, sheets, and night clothing may also have blood stains and feces on them.
Although bed bug bites aren't poisonous or infected with diseases, the injuries can become irritated and itchy. To fight your pest problem successfully, you need to confine and eradicate the bugs.
How Do You Overcome Bed Bugs?
The first thing you might do is wash and dry the curtains, clothing, and bedding in each contaminated room. Place your items in large plastic bags to contain any bugs hiding in them. You can wash the items in hot water, then dry them for 20 to 60 minutes to kill the eggs and adult bed bugs. Be sure to keep the temperatures of the washer and dryer at 120 degrees Fahrenheit for the best results.
You should place the clean items in new, sealed bags, then store them in a place away from the contaminated rooms. You can return the items to the rooms once you get rid of the bed bugs. Also, discard the contaminated bags in the trash away from your home.
To eliminate the pests hiding in your mattresses and box springs, cover them with encasements, which you can find online or at a large retail store. The encasements should completely cover the mattresses to trap the pests. Bed bugs can live as long as 10 months before they die, so the encasements will help ensure that the pests don't leave their confinement until they do.
You can wrap your headboards, footboards, and rails in plastic and place them outdoors in the sun to kill the pests hiding in them. It may take a few days for the sun's heat to destroy the adults and eggs, so keep this mind before you do it. If placing your items in the sun isn't an option, contact a bed bug exterminator and have them treat the rest of your belongings and home.
A bed bug exterminator will generally use products recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency to treat your pest problem. Although you can purchase and use many of the products yourself, it's safer to allow a professional pest control company do it for you. Some chemicals may still be harmful or ineffective if used incorrectly.
After your home is bug free, monitor your items regularly for signs of bed bugs. If the pests return, click here for more info on how an exterminator can help.