Bed bugs have been irritating humans for many years but in the past few decades, they have met their end through the pesticide DDT. After wiping out mass of their population DDT was banned and since then, bed bugs problem have reduced. However recently, the problem of bed bugs has arrived again. Luckily bed bugs don’t spread disease and there are ways to contain them unlike mosquitoes.
Bed bugs are quite challenging pests to kill as one cannot be spraying bottles of insect killer over the place where they sleep. Moreover they are known for hiding well and reproducing quickly. Treating the problem of bed bugs often requires various stages of treatment. One can choose to call pest control or one can even do it yourself. Few factors which will define your success are:
Extent of Infestation
Infected neighbouring areas
To achieve 100 percent removal of infestation, it can takes days, week or even months, before starting one should make a plan and lay out all the steps.
Ways to Remove Bed Bugs at Home
Identifying the problem: One needs to identify and locate the infested areas. The areas may not be just your bed, but other spaces in the living room. If you want to use a pest control, you must collect a sample to show the agent. That will help them to serve you in a much better manner.
Develop a strategy: If you are planning to kill them yourself, you must develop a strategy. If required do not hesitate to take professional help.
Avoid the infestation from spreading: items removed from the room, should be isolated so that the bugs die. Always remember to vacuum clean the room after the treatment.
Killing The Bed Bugs
Always remember that the methods you choose to remove the bed bugs are safe, legal and effective. Do not do something which is illegal for which you may be arrested.
If you are doing it first time always consider a non chemical method to do it. If the infestation is huge and you need to use pesticides or chemicals, it is recommended that you call a professional
Heat treatment: You can do this using a clothes dries or a hair dryer. If the infestation isn’t much, blow hot air over the bed especially in the nooks and corner. This will either kill them or make them come out. Once they come out, you can use an insect spray and kill them. Another way of hot treatment is to take out the bed mattress and put it under the sun for few days. This method will certainly help you to get those annoying and dangerous bed bugs out of the mattress.
Cold treatment: Cold treatment is easy in western countries but in Asian countries like Singapore and Malaysia it can be a bit problematic. What you have to do it set the freezer to 0 degree F and put the items inside it for a few hours or maybe a few days. The extreme cold temperature will kill the bed bugs. Always check the temperature.
Using steam cleaners. This is also a type of heat treatment. The steam can penetrate between the cracks of the mattress or furniture like bed frames and kill the insects. The temperature should be set at 130 degree F. The airflow should not be forceful as you will make the bed bugs fly all over which is not going to solve our purpose.
The above mentioned methods will help in reducing the bed bugs. One may have to repeat the treatments as these are not chemicals and may only make the bugs dormant.
One can also use few chemicals and pesticides to kill them, but make sure they are safe to use. There are a few chemicals which can only be used by professional pest controllers.
While buying pesticides look for EPA registered pesticides. Make sure bed bug is listed on the label.
One can use a fogger with the pesticide but remember that they cannot be the only option as they don’t reach out to the cracks in the furniture’s where the bugs hide.
After doing all the possible methods, one should look closely for evidence of bed bugs. If you still find them it means that you have missed them initially or there were eggs which have hatched. Removing and killing eggs are not easy. They will require retreatment.
If you are going for retreatment make sure to use a stronger pesticide or which can have different modes of action. This is because the bugs develop a resistance to the earlier used ones.
Desiccants also known as drying agents also work in some situations. The good part is the bugs cannot get a resistance towards it. Use desiccants which are pesticide grade. Do not use the food grade desiccants as they are dangerous. They are very effective, but they take a lot of time. Sometimes many months.
A very effective method is creating a kill chamber for your other goods which were in the room. All the books, shoes, clocks, magazines, bed covers, pen stands etc all need to be packed up and thrown out. The flat surfaces can be wiped with a disinfectant or alcohol but there are items which have small corners where the bugs can be hidden. One can use penetrating fumes for such corners but it is a bit risky. Built a big chamber out of a storage bin and wrap a pesticide strip around it. Dump all your items in it and keep it sealed for a few days. You can use Nuvan strips inside it.
After all the treatments, you need to still keep checking every week for the bugs. If you are still getting bites, consider doing the treatment again as there may be some eggs which have not been killed. Also if the problem is persisting for a few months, it is better to call professional help for killing bed bugs. Remember never to catch bugs from hotels and other guest which come into your house. It is a challenging task to do.