Bed bugs feed off a person’s or animal’s blood on exposed skin areas while they sleep. Though they don’t cause disease or other health problems, the bites feel itchy and can be painful.
So as soon as you notice straight or zigzag red marks or welts on your skin, it’s essential to act immediately to prevent further bed bug bites and infestation.
1) Identify infested places
Bed bugs grow and multiply at a fast rate. Thus, you have to inspect the area where you first spotted them and if they have spread to other rooms or spaces.
Start with the mattress seams and box springs because that’s the main part of the bed they hide in. And then explore any gaps or cracks in your bed as they may be lurking there as well.
If you suspect the bed bugs are in your carpet, they should be right at the seams or sides where the carpet meets the wall. In furniture like sofa beds and office chairs, the likely hiding places are in-between the cushions, their seams or joints.
To see the bed bugs clearly, you’d have to use a flashlight—they are small, oval, and brownish. In addition, pay attention to their tiny dark or rust-coloured droppings and tiny light yellow eggs.
2) Brush off and vacuum the bed bugs
Afterwards, take out the vacuum bag, put it in a plastic bag, and throw it away in a garbage bin outside of your house.
Also, target the nearby furniture of where the bed bugs were. This includes the nightstand, closet, gaming chair, rugs, among other places.
However, this method is surface-deep only, as other bugs or eggs may have been left behind. When the eggs hatch into larvae and grow into adults, they will stay and multiply, as they always do.
3) Exterminate the bed bugs
There are plenty of ways you can wipe out all bed bugs in your house. There are safe, natural methods, as well as chemically potent ways to do this.
In this guide, we will only focus on the natural procedures because these is safer for everyone, especially your children and pets.
- Temperature – Extreme heat and cold are bed bugs’ greatest enemies. We already discussed destroying them through heat in the last step, which is done by washing and drying them in the hottest setting.
Now, the other one is by freezing them. You simply have to place the affected fabric with the bed bugs in the freezer that’s set to at least -18 ℃ and leave them there for four days to kill them.
- Steam – This is a safe yet powerful and effective way of taking care of bed bugs. But you’ll need a steamer for this in which to neutralize the bed bugs.
Another con of this method is that it can damage the fabric or furniture onto which you’ve used the steamer.
- Mattress Trapping – For this, you would need to buy a bed-bug-proof cover to wrap and zip around your mattress. This prevents new bed bugs from entering and settling in your bed and kills the ones inside at the same time.
That said, the dead bed bugs would remain under your bed and you would have to take the cover out, throw it outside the house, and clean the entire mattress and box spring.
4) Monitor the infected areas
After you’ve done the methods we mentioned above to remove the lingering bed bugs, you should check your mattress and surrounding furniture for them once a week for a few months.
If, after that period, you’ve found no bed bugs creeping underneath, then it’s safe to say your home is free of them. Otherwise, repeat steps one to four again until they’re completely gone.
5) Call a bed bug specialist
Having said that, we suggest calling a bed bug specialist if the pest problem has remained or has become very serious.
First, they will diagnose the severity of the bed bug issue, draw a plan to remove the bed bugs altogether, and take action so that you and your family won’t get bed bug bites and feel safe and comfortable at home.