Bed bugs are tiny insects that have a flat body and oval shape. The size of an adult one is one-fourth of an inch, while the larva is of the size of a rice grain. They live in the dark cracks and crevices of our homes and feed themselves on the warm blood of humans and pets. They come out in the open when we sleep at night and suck blood from our body. The bites cause irritation, and if they are badly scratched then it can lead to other skin infections. Those people who are curious to know how to kill bed bugs at home, I would like to warn them at the very beginning that it is a tough task, and you have to invest a lot of time and effort before you can see satisfying results.
In this section, we are going to discuss the home remedies for this problem. You should start the treatment as soon as you detect the presence of the bugs. You have to repeat each of the following methods several times before you can successfully eliminate an infestation from your home.
The mattresses need to be vacuum cleaned thoroughly everyday till you have gotten rid of the bugs completely. Use a vacuum cleaner with an attachment that can reach into crevices which are usually difficult to reach out, like stands, headboards, seams, etc. Once you are done, throw out the vacuum cleaner bag after packing it up in a plastic bag. Then seal up the mattress inside an encasement. It encloses the mattress and thus the bugs that are entrapped are unable to get any food and starved to death. You have to keep the mattresses in this condition for many months because the bugs can stay alive without any food for as long as a year.
Wash all the infested bedding and clothing with hot water (with a minimum temperature of 120°F ) and then dry it under the heat of the sun. If the clothes can be dry cleaned only then heat them for about half an hour in a clothes dryer for the same effect. Bed bugs can succumb to an extremely low temperature as well provided they are under the cold condition for around two weeks. For this, you have to stuff all the affected linen and garments in a plastic bag and seal it up well. Then place it inside the freezer. After two weeks, take them out and wash them as usual in a washing machine.
The rugs and the carpets need to be cleaned using a steam cleaner. The heat generated by the steam cleaner will kill the insects as well as their eggs. Commercial steam cleaners are available on rent basis. If you cannot get a steam cleaner, then place them in hot and sunny outdoor for a day or two. Pack them in plastic bags before you put them under the sun. When the temperature of the bags will go beyond 120°F, the bugs will die. You can use these two techniques on the fabrics and the furniture as well.
Spray pesticides into the cracks of the walls and the floors. Read the instructions given on the label before using them. Do not try to use them in mattress or any such things that will come in direct contact with your body. If you are looking for a natural remedy, then the answer is diatomaceous earth. It is a non toxic substance that can kill bed bugs. It is available in the form of dust. You have to spread it all across the perimeter of the infested room. When the bugs pass through the dust, they cover their body with it. As a result, the powder absorbs the lipids from the waxy outer layer of their body and cause them to get dehydrated and finally die.
If all these measures fail to make any difference, then it's time to call a good pest control professional. This could be a costly option and requires several hours of treatment. Before the arrival of the professional, move the furniture to make them less cluttered, fill up the cracks and crevices on the walls and floors, and thoroughly clean the house once.