Ways & How

How to Kill Bed Bugs

How to Kill Bed Bugs

One unforeseen result of cheap travel and improved mobility is the need to know how to kill bed bugs. Steep competition in the travel industry has driven airfare costs down, promoted tourism, and enabled people to move around more easily than at any other time in history. This has unexpectedly brought people into places where bedbugs abound: hotels (especially cheap ones); public seating; commercial establishments; etc. Anywhere humans congregate, bed bugs can infest. Once you get into contact with bed bugs and unwittingly bring some into your home, you are in for a fight. So you had better be prepared. The usual way you learn that there are bed bugs in your home is when you are bitten. You will see large, itchy, red bumps on your skin. The bed bugs themselves are flattened, wingless, reddish-brown insects. They hide in soft furnishings in the home, primarily in beds (hence the name), but may also be found in couches, throw pillows, drapes, suitcases, and closets, if the conditions are right. They like to be close to their source of food. Once you or a family member has been bitten, you know you are playing host to unwelcome guests.

Here are ways to get rid of bed bugs.

    1. Clean up thoroughly. Clear the room of clutter, which is a favorite hiding place for bed bugs.

    2. Put moth balls in a vacuum bag in preparation for a lot of vacuuming.

    3. Wash and dry any item that can be laundered at the hottest temperature to kill the bed bugs and their eggs. Items that cannot be washed – toys, books, etc. – must be inspected carefully to make sure no bed bugs are hiding in them. Vacuum them thoroughly and then put them in a garbage bag and quarantine them away from living quarters for a day or two before bringing them back into the house.

    4. Remove bed linens and drapes. Shake them as little as possible so the bed bugs don’t drop to the floor and escape. Immediately put the linens in plastic bags, and then dump them into the washing machine without allowing them to come into contact with anything else. Wash and dry them at the highest temperature possible. High heat kills bed bugs.

    5. Before putting clean linens onto the bed, inspect it thoroughly: check the headboards, the underside of the bed, the frame, the area under the mattress, and the mattress itself. Give nearby furnishings a thorough look-over as well, particularly those that have fabric parts. Vacuum everything, paying careful attention to cracks and crevices.

    6. You can mix one part alcohol and one part water in a spray bottle and spray the mixture all over the floor, baseboards, furniture, etc., but be careful lest you ruin paint jobs or specially-treated surfaces. Alternatively, you can generously sprinkle baking soda all over, especially on fabric furnishings, and in cracks, crevices, holes and other possible hiding places. Allow it to sit for half a day, if possible, and then vacuum thoroughly.

    7. When you’re done, take the vacuum outside the house, remove the vacuum bag, seal it tightly, and dispose of it.

    8. Repeat the process regularly, say three times a week for two to three months, until you’re absolutely sure the problem is gone. Bed bugs multiply so quickly and hide so well that you won’t likely stop the infestation with a single treatment. But consistent treatment may finally kill those that you missed the first, second, or third time around.

Dealing with bed bugs can be difficult and takes a long time. You have to be quick, and determined to fight it, or the infestation will easily get out of hand. In this case, you may need to call in a professional. If you’re quick, you may be able to stop the problem before it gets too bad by following the above recommendations on how to kill bed bugs.


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