Is your home infested with the parasitic bed bugs? Or are you looking for ways on how you can exterminate them? Bed bug infestations have become quite common especially in residential homes, nearly matching cockroach or termite invasions. These insects are usually brought into your home on clothing, second-hand furniture, baggage or even laundry done in infested areas and they can pose serious health problems if not dealt with immediately. They bite and suck on human blood, causing itching, swelling or skin rashes.
Tips to completely remove bed bugs
1. Carry out inspection
The first step towards the removal and control of these harmful insects is to look for possible infestation areas in your home by conducting a detailed inspection. Though bed bugs normally thrive in areas where we sleep and spend a better part of the night, they may not always infest beds. In fact, the infestation may come from an armchair where your kids spend time watching TV late into the night, an old garment or a throw blanket. Locating the infested areas will help you to focus your efforts on the right place (s) for best results.
Common signs of bedbug activity include:
– Blood smears on the walls, beddings, curtains or other light-colored surfaces.
– Egg shells or cast skins.
– Fecal deposits that look like brown or dark black spots.
Check for infestation on mattresses, bed frames, headboards and box springs in the bedrooms, furniture such as chairs and sofas, walls with small cracks or crevices, the folds of curtains and drapes, and items attached to walls or ceilings like mirrors, electrical conduits, picture frames, smoke detectors and so on. You may also want to check the drawers and sections where the hardware for window finishing mounts to the wall.
2. Prepare the areas for treatment
To ensure the infested areas are thoroughly treated, you need to remove as much clutter as possible from the room(s) while being careful not to spread the infestation to other rooms when carrying items throughout your house. If the mattress or box spring is heavily infested, replace or cover them with bed bug proof covers. All Infested garments and bed sheets should be thoroughly washed and dried preferably in a dryer on high temperatures (the heat will kill the insects), or else discarded as they cannot be effectively treated with insecticides. If personal items such as soft toys, stuffed animals, soft blankets or books are infested, you might have to discard them.
3. Vacuum the infested areas
Thorough vacuuming of the floor & infested areas can help get rid of bed bugs. Scrape the end of the attachment repeatedly over seams, edges and tufts of beddings and mattresses, inside bed frames and the edges of wall-to-wall carpets. This will ensure that the insects and their eggs (which usually cling tightly to the surface) are eliminated. Avoid using a brush attachment since some eggs may remain alive in the vacuum bristles and then be transferred when cleaning other areas of the house. When done, carefully put the vacuum bag in a trash bag, seal and then dispose it.
In heavy infestations, you should remove clothing from dressers & chests before vacuuming. Use a vacuum crack and crevice tool to get rid of bed bugs in deep harbourage like under baseboards and carpet edges, inside furniture, from floor cracks and around switch plates (note that you might have to remove the plates first). Additionally, treat all hiding areas, cracks and crevices using the recommended products.
4. Retreat regularly
All infested rooms and areas should be retreated 2 to 3 times over the next two months from the first treatment to completely remove bed bugs. Treating over and over again will allow you to closely inspect these locations again and monitor any new bedbug activity, retreat the previously treated areas and treat new cracks or crevices that you might have passed over in the previous treatment .
Additionally, it can help eliminate any new bed bugs that will have hatched over the period after the last treatment. If you re-treat all infected areas regularly, you will be able to remove all the insects and their eggs and eventually have a bug free home!
When it comes to removing bed bugs, however, there no easy, fix-all solution. Complete removal requires patience and a carefully planned integrated approach. In cases of severe infestations, it may be wise to enlist the services of professional bed bug exterminators.