How Do I Get Rid Of Bed Bugs?
Are you asking about how to get rid of bed bugs? We look at what are bedbugs, where do bed bugs hide and what attracts bed bugs to your home?
What Are Bedbugs?
Bedbugs are pests of a small, brownish, oval appearance that typically survive on the blood meal of humans and animals. Adult bedbugs naturally have flat bodies that look like apple seeds, yet their bodies swell and become slightly reddish once they have been fed.
These insects cannot fly, yet move fast across walls, floors and ceilings, and they multiply quickly, with female bugs laying hundreds of eggs the size of a dust speck.
Immature bedbugs are often referred to as nymphs or younglings; they shed their skins approximately five times before they reach adulthood and require feeding before every shedding process.
These bugs develop fully in under a month, especially in favourable conditions, producing around three or more generations of bedbugs yearly. Whilst they cannot transmit diseases across infested spaces, they are a severe nuisance and can cause nasty bites and bumps.
Where Do Bedbugs Hide?
Bedbugs can enter your household or property undetected through clothing, couches, bedside tables, used beds and luggage. Their flattened bodies allow them to fit into small living spaces the width of a credit card.
Bedbugs don’t have nests as bees or ants do; they generally live in hiding places in groups, like bed frames, headboards and box springs, where they can easily access people and blood.
What Attracts Bedbugs To Your Home?
Many like to believe bedbugs prefer dirty conditions; however, they aren’t attracted to filth, which is a common misconception. They are not drawn to decay or dirt; they thrive in various environments as long as they have access to blood, as that is what they survive on.
Ticks and mosquitoes are blood-eating insects, yet they cannot fly or live on their human or animal hosts; they typically hide close to their food source, waiting to bite and feed. They are highly adaptable, from cushions to sofas or carpets, so you must take numerous measures for thorough bedbug control.
What Are The Signs Of A Bedbug Infestation In Your Home?
Bedbugs are tiny bugs no bigger than the tip of a pen, so they can be incredibly tricky to spot, especially when there are few. If you have suspicions that your home or property has active bedbug infestations, be sure to look out for the following signs:
- Black droppings on seams or entire mattresses
- Shredded skins
- Itchy welts, bedbug bites or bumps on your body after you rise from bed in the morning
- Little blood stains on pillowcases or sheets
- A musty odour that many describe as similar to a locker room smell.
Can You Get Rid Of Bedbugs On Your Own?
Identify All Infested Areas
For those who suspect they might have bedbugs, you must find them as early as possible before they multiply the bedbug population and reproduce, or contact a pest control company to do so for you. Treating a small infestation is much cheaper and more straightforward than one a far larger; however, more minor infestations are much more challenging to detect.
We highly recommend hiring a pest management professional to conduct a high-quality, quick inspection, as inspectors are experienced in detecting infested areas. Many utilise specially trained dogs to identify their scents and control bedbugs. Bedbugs can squeeze their narrow and small bodies into tiny places of your home or property, such as couches, mattresses or curtain folds.
Other areas to pay attention to include:
- In Baseboards
- Inside cracks of headboards and bedframes
- Near tags of box springs and mattresses
- In between couch cushions
- Inside electrical outlets
- Under loose or peeling wallpaper
- Used furniture joints
- The seam of ceilings and wallpaper
Pest control companies understand that it helps to know what they look like and the signs of their presence when searching, so get out a magnifying glass and flashlight and see if you can spot the following:
- Live bedbugs are approximately 1/4 inch long and a reddish colour.
- You’ll find reddish stains on your mattress from a variety of crushed bugs
- You may uncover pale yellow bedbug eggs, shells or yellowish skins that have been shed from smaller young bedbugs.
Contain The Infestation
Once you’ve recognised that your home or property building has a bedbug problem, you must do all you can to ensure they are contained in your environment so that you can rid them.
A straightforward and quick way to trap bedbugs inside your vacuum, as it keeps them locked inside and is a heated environment. We recommend running your vacuum and stiff brush over your bedsheets, dresser drawers, carpets, various electronics like TVs, and other possible hiding places about your home or property.
Ensure you successfully seal the contents of your vacuum into a plastic vacuum bag, either with a ziplock or tied into a knot tightly, and throw it away in a faraway bin.
Afterwards, we encourage you to clean your vacuum to the best of your ability. Pest control experts would advise you to seal all bed linens and any clothes that have been affected inside tightened plastic bags until you can wash them thoroughly at the highest temperature settings of your washer and dryer applications.
If you cannot wash your items, perhaps due to a faulty washing machine or because you’re waiting to complete the last wash, we recommend placing all infested items inside your dryer for around 30 minutes on its highest setting, as room heat treatments are perfect for killing bedbugs. Anything unable to be treated so be put inside sealed plastic bags and left in hot or freezing temperatures for a few weeks or months to ensure all the bedbugs die.
It is unfortunate and costly, but all furniture you cannot clean should be thrown away, torn up and spraypainted with the word “bedbugs” onto it so that no one takes it home or the homeless don’t attempt to sleep on it.
Prep For Bedbug Treatment
Before you begin performing various spot treatments about your household or property, we recommend doing some prep work beforehand as this is guaranteed to maximise the success rate of ridding the bedbugs. You want to ensure all carpets, linens, clothing, drapes, pillowcases, and other hiding and living places are thoroughly cleaned or thrown out of the home or property.
Next, you want to go through every room in your house or property and get rid of all the hiding places: Pick up any magazines, clothes and books, or other items that are lying around on the floor or your bed. We recommend throwing out as much as you can. You must keep any items from infested rooms away from other treated rooms like guest rooms or hotel rooms, especially those you have previously cleaned, as the bedbugs could spread this way.
After that, you must seal up any open areas:
- Tape up electrical outlets to prevent bedbug infestations, ensuring they cannot hide inside.
- Caulk any cracks in your furniture or those around baseboards.
- Glue down loose wallpaper as they can crawl inside and fester.
- Lastly, we recommend moving your bed approximately 6 inches from the wall to prevent bedbugs from climbing onto your bed and infesting your sheets and pillows.
Kill The Bedbugs
Finally, the last step to eliminate bedbugs from your household or property. We encourage you to begin by attempting to remove bedbugs without utilising any harsh chemicals; you want to avoid doing so until you physically cannot. Bedbugs are some of the easiest insects to kill, especially when using a high heat of around 46.11 degrees Celsius or freezing cold temperatures of around 0 degrees Celsius.
There are several ways and methods to treat and tackle harmful bedbugs; here are the following:
You can start by washing your clothes and bedding for approximately 30 minutes in hot water. Ensure that you do so in a separate wash from your normal one. Afterwards, place them in a dryer device or on a drying rack to the highest possible setting for around 30 minutes, which should help kill them.
Next, we recommend using a high-quality steamer on your couches, mattresses, dining chairs, pillows and any other soft material furnishings where bedbugs tend to hide. The heat and humidity from the steamer or DIY bedbug treatment can be enough to kill them. Another thing you can do is pack up any infested items into black bags, leaving them outside or in a closed car on a hot day, preferably when temperatures reach around 35 degrees Celsius or higher
If the weather is hot enough, you can use see-through bags; black bags are ideal for attracting and enhancing heat levels. Sealed-up items infested with bugs can take at least 2-5 months to die during cooler temperatures. To quicken the process, we recommend placing clear bags with your infested items inside the freezer at temperatures of around -17.78 degrees Celsius.
We encourage you to use a thermometer to thoroughly check the temperature, as temperatures any higher may cause the process to take longer. It will typically take approximately 4 days for your bedbugs to die. After visible bedbugs have been cleaned or died, strive to make your household as inhabitable for bedbugs as possible to kill the rest of them.
To do so, we recommend placing bedbug-proof covers over any pillows, box springs and mattresses, zipping them to cover them entirely. Trapped bugs cannot feed adequately and will always die. If you’re still struggling, invest in a high-quality insecticide. Contact us today, and our professional pest control specialists will provide you with the best product or rubbing alcohol recommendations.
Do you have a problem with bed bugs in Milton Keynes? If you need assistance to prevent bed bug pests in your home or business, please reach out to our professional team today.