Bed bugs are some of the most difficult pests to get rid of in the home. Despite their small size, bedbugs can become a nightmare when they invade the home. When they bite, they can cause irritation and inflamed welts all over the body. Although bed bugs are not disease carriers, you'll want to avoid getting bitten, as it only produces more itchiness and skin irritation.
In order to get a good night's sleep, take the following steps to eliminate bed bugs from your home:
Step 1: Find the Source
The first step to getting rid of bed bugs is to find out where they are coming from. This may seem like a daunting task because they are small and difficult to spot, but there are some clues you can use to head in the right direction.
First, look for shedding underneath mattresses, bedding, in dresser drawers, and along wooden surfaces. You may also notice tiny spots of dried blood in the area where bed bugs were killed or run into droppings they have left behind. It may help to use a magnifying glass while inspecting these areas.
Adult bed bugs are reddish-brown, have an oval shape and are about a quarter inch in size. Because they are also flat, bed bugs can creep into shallow crevices, cracks, tight spaces between furniture and the wall, or underneath it. These are the perfect places to lay their eggs.
Step 2: Elimination
Once you figure out where the bed bugs are living, it's time to eliminate them.
- Start by getting rid of furniture and other items that bed bugs have infested.
- Old furniture purchased from antique shops that haven't been properly cleaned are susceptible to infestations. Used mattresses should also be thrown out to stop attracting bed bugs.
- Clean the entire house top to bottom, corner to corner. Dust and polish wooden furniture, steam clean carpets and rugs, clean out the vents where moisture builds.
- Wash everything! All rugs, bedding, curtains and other fabrics should be washed with hot water or dry cleaned. Use a dryer with the highest heat settings for 10-30 minutes.
- Use caulk, silicone or a similar sealant to fill any cracks or crevices in furniture and along baseboards. Pay close attention to the bed frame, headboard, footboard, nightstands, and other furniture in the bedroom, particularly those placed against walls.
- Cover the mattress with a plastic sheet. Bed bugs have a difficult time piercing through plastic, which will help keep them from biting and from laying eggs in the area. However, it's probably best to get rid of the mattress altogether and purchase a new one.
Step 3: Prevention
There are several ways to prevent bed bugs from infesting your home, but the main rule of thumb is to keep your home clean at all times. Constant clutter and dust build-up not only attracts bed bugs, but other pests as well.
Once you take the steps mentioned above in elimination, most bed bugs problems should go away and more importantly, stay away.
If these don't work and the problem only continues to expand, contact a pest exterminator. They can help you find a solution that works more permanently with longer-lasting results in getting rid of and preventing bed bugs from taking over your home.