Eliminate Bed Bugs Naturally

Bedbugs are parasitical insects as small as an apple seed, that live on the blood of animals and humans. They come out at night and often live in mattresses and box springs which is how they got their name. They do not fly, have six legs, and can move quickly. They are a nuisance, but they do not spread disease and are not necssarily a sign of poor housekeeping. There has been a 25% increase in the number of hotels and other lodgings reporting bed bug infestations, and they can even be picked up at the office, at restaurants and movie theaters!

How can I tell if I have bed bugs?

  • Small, raised red and itchy bumps on the skin that appeared over night.
  • Blood stains on your sheets and pillowcases
  • Small, dark rusty looking spots on the edges of sheets, mattresses and walls.
  • Egg shells or shed nymph skins in the corners of beds and walls.
  • An offensive and musty odor.

 

 

Can I prevent a bed bug infestation?

  • Getting bed bugs is not necessarily a sign of poor housekeeping. Because of their growing prevalence in everything from offices to movie theaters and hotel rooms, it’s perfectly possible for an immaculate home to house a bed bug infestation. Prevention and swift elimination is key to keeping them from getting a foothold in your home.
  • Remove all clothing when you return from an outing and immediately wash it on the hottest cycle your washer offers.
  • Leave luggage outside when you return from a vacation, and unpack all your clothing into a garbage bag. Carry this garbage bag into your home and wash the clothes immediately on the hottest setting. Discard the bag in an outside trashcan.
  • Never place clothing worn some place where you could get bed bugs on your bed unwashed.
  • Don’t buy mattresses or box springs second hand. Bed bugs can hide in tiny spaces and be missed in these used items.

 

How can I eliminate bed bugs from my home?

  • Keep a bottle rubbing alcohol by the bed to spray them with at night. Rubbing alcohol kills them immediately.
  • If the itching is intolerable rub the spots with witch hazel.

Eliminating bed bugs is a multi-step process that you must repeat every 10 days for about 30 days. This eliminates adults, nymphs and eggs completely from your house.

  1. Begin by gathering your bed linens and clothing and washing them in your washing machine on the hottest setting your washer has to offer. Sanitize your laundry room, then seal all freshly laundered clothes and sheets in plastic bags to prevent them from being recontaminted while you work.
  2. If an item cannot be washed, dry it in a tumble dryer on the highest setting for at least ten minutes.
  3. Throw away your pillows.
  4. Check your mattress for signs of infestation. Turn over your box spring, peel away the gauze and check the wood seams. If you see signs of infestation consider throwing these items away. It is hard to eliminate bed bugs from a mattress or box spring.
  5. Pull apart your dressers and anything with drawers and inspect for signs of bed bugs.
  6. Vacuum EVERYTHING in your bedroom. The mattress and box spring if you’re keeping them, the walls, dressers, computers, fans, alarm clocks, smoke alarms… vacuum EVERYTHING. Remember, a bed bug is as small as an apple seed and can fit in tiny spaces.
  7. Immediately discard in an outside trashcan the vacuum bag and filters. Spray the hose and insides of your vacuum with alcohol. Repeat this every time you clean for bed bugs.
  8. Any fabric items, chairs, mattress, box spring, stuffed animals, etc., that you are keeping should be wrapped up in plastic and sealed closed. They should remain this way for a year to completely kill off the bed bugs through starvation. The plastic should be at least 3mil thick.
  9. Clean EVERYTHING you vacuumed with a dry steam cleaner that reaches at least 200 degrees. Bed bugs will run from this, don’t let them escape.
  10. Go through the room and caulk any cracks or holes in your walls.
  11. Sprinkle your carpets and mattress with diatomaceous earth or silica gel from a silica gel pack. These will adhere to the bed bugs and dehydrate them until they are dead.
  12. Repeat every 10 days for 30 days.
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