Bed bugs are tiny, parasitic insects that belong to the Cimicidae family. They can easily squeeze into the smallest of spaces due to their flattened bodies. Folds or seams of mattresses, bed frames, box springs, and cracks or crevices in the walls are some of the most common hiding places of these blood-sucking insects.
Signs of an Infestation
Bed bugs are tiny which is why spotting them can be a difficult task. However, there are certain signs that hint towards a bed bug infestation. Blood smears or rust-colored spots, molted exoskeletons, or dried excrement on the bed sheets are some of the common signs of an infestation. Though bed bugs are not considered to be transmitters of disease, their bite can cause the skin to become itchy. Scratching over the site of bite can also put the affected individual at a risk of developing a secondary infection. Some people may develop a mild or severe allergic reaction to bed bug bites. Bed bugs are active at night. They crawl out of their hiding places at night for getting a blood meal. They are attracted to the body’s warmth and the carbon dioxide that is exhaled by us at night.
Eliminating Bed Bugs
The task of eliminating these parasitic insects will be easier if the signs of an infestation are identified at an early stage. The first step is to find out the exact place of infestation. While home remedies can be followed for eliminating them, certain precautionary measures must also be followed to prevent an infestation in the future. If you find spots on the bed sheets, mattresses, and pillow cases, you may follow these measures.
Clean Bed Linens
Wash the bed sheets, cushions, pillow covers, rugs, and comforters in very hot water. It will certainly help kill bed bugs. Since bed bugs may find a way into the pillow covers or seams of mattresses, it would be a good idea to seal them with a zipped cover.
Vacuum Clean It!
Thoroughly vacuum or steam clean the mattresses. Run the vacuum over the areas that are most likely to get infested by bugs. Make sure that you vacuum under the bed. Clean the bed stands, foot mats, and carpets. Look in every nook and corner.
How to Treat Furniture
If you are planning to buy used furniture or rent furniture, inspect it thoroughly for bed bugs. Don’t bring infested items to your home. Cover the legs of the furniture with duct tape, with the sticky surface facing outward.
Keep your home clean. Reducing clutter will certainly help to minimize the chances of bed bug infestation. Remove unnecessary items from the bedrooms.
When You Spot Bed Bugs’ Eggs
If you spot bed bugs or their eggs on your furniture, use a piece of duct tape to lift them. Place them in a plastic bag. Seal the bag and dispose it off as soon as possible.
Using Bleach and Alcohol
Wash the floors with a bleaching agent. It may help kill bed bugs. You can also spray rubbing alcohol over their hiding places.
Treat the Exoskeleton of Bed Bugs
You can make use of food grade diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth is an abrasive powder. It damages the covering over the exoskeleton of bed bugs, thereby dehydrating them.
Treat the Wall Cracks
Since these blood-sucking insects can hide in cracks and crevices in the walls, it would be best to seal the cracks with caulk.
On Returning From the Hotel
If you stayed in a hotel, motel, or a dwelling that was infested, bed bugs may find a way to your home via your luggage. So, place the luggage in the sun for a couple of hours. You can also expose it to high temperature steam.
Bed Bug Bites
Bed bug bites could cause itchy bumps or rashes. If you think that your home may be infested, you can follow certain precautionary measures.
~Bed bugs bite on the exposed areas of the skin. So, wear nightclothes that cover as much skin as possible.
~Apply a generous amount of petroleum jelly to your exposed body parts before going to bed.
~If you get bitten, clean the affected area with an antibacterial soap and warm water to prevent an infection.
~Apply a generous amount of calamine lotion to soothe the area and reduce the inflammation and itching.
~These remedies may work if the symptoms are mild. However, it would be best to seek medical help in case of an allergic reaction.
Do seek assistance from professional pest control service providers in case of a severe infestation. Preventing a bed bug infestation is as essential as getting rid of them. Make use of the aforementioned home remedies and keep your home, furniture, and upholstery clean to avoid an infestation in future.