Bed bugs are small parasitic insects that feed on the blood (yikes) of animals and humans. That’s already a big hint right there on why you want to get rid of bed bugs as soon as you see one.
They have brown bodies that turn a reddish color once they start feeding. Most bed bugs you would encounter are the size of an apple seed. Unfortunately, due to the flatness of their bodies, they are able to crawl into all sorts of tiny spaces. This adds to the difficult of identifying any bed bug problems you may have at home or in the workplace.
Unlike other pests, bed bugs are not attracted to places by cleanliness. The cleanest and dirtiest homes can have the same bed bug infestation problems. Why? Because bed bugs feed on blood, not food scraps. These insects are most active at night. Hence, you’ll hear that many people complain about bed bug bites when they wake up in the morning.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
One way to speed up the pest identifying process is to use a bed bug detector. These tools will help you detect bed bugs using lures. Once you have identified all the infestation spots, you are ready to tackle the problem and send the bugs away.
1. Bed Bug Traps
There are some effective bed bug traps you can purchase to aid the process. For example, this particular trap can be placed underneath the legs of the bed. The purpose of this trap is to prevent bed bugs from climbing up to the bed.
2. Diatomaceous earth
This works well for a number of pests like bed bugs, fleas, and ants. The natural powder can help kill bed bugs by dehydrating them. Diatomaceous earth has properties that absorbs the fat and oils from insects. Apply the powder around the infested area, and soon enough, you may see some dead bed bugs that’ll need to be vacuumed away.
3. Discard or Clean Infested Objects
One important step is to clean the household goods that are hosting the bed bugs. If this involves bedding then pick off and kill as many bed bugs as you can then clean the bedding in hot water and dry them with the highest dryer setting. If there are bed bugs along the mattress seam then use a stiff brush to scrub the seams and dislodge the bugs and their eggs. Follow that up with a good vacuuming session around the room. Make sure you leave no stones unturned.
4. Run a Commercial Steamer
If you have carpet flooring then it may help to run a commercial steamer. There are many companies out there that rent out these steamers. You’ll want to get a commercial one because they can deliver the temperature needed to eradicate any bed bugs roaming the surface of the fabric floor. Steamers may also help you kill bed bugs that are in crevices and cracks.
5. Spray Tea Tree Oil Solution
This is a hit or miss and could depend on how feisty the bed bugs you are dealing with are. Dilute 20 drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle then take aim at the bed bugs. Please note that tea tree oil can be toxic if consumed so take precautions when you use this method, especially if you have children or pets at home.
6. Lavender Oil Spray
An alternative to tea tree oil is lavender oil. Make a lavender oil solution (one recommendation is 30-40 drops of oil to 1.5 ounces of water) then spray it towards the infested areas. Lavender oil won’t kill bed bugs but it could help keep them at bay.