Today, there are literally hundreds of products available on the market that claim to rid your home of bed bugs to help you regain control over your sleep and your life. The fact is: there is no silver bullet when it comes to ridding your home of bed bugs. A product might advertise itself as being the best one on the market in treating bed bug infestations at fraction of the cost charged by professional exterminators. However; one must think, if that were the case, why do these professionals have such expensive equipment, or undergo hours of training for combating such household pests? The answer is that: bed bug remedies that work most effectively include an integrated pest control approach. In fact; fighting bed bugs is just like trying to lose weight and maintaining it. You cannot slip off the bandwagon as that would simply bring all the weight back. The same is true in case of ridding a home off bed bugs: you need constant vigilance and monitoring along with regular cleaning, de-cluttering and vacuuming to ensure that your home remains safe from bed bugs for good. So which are the effective and the not-so-effective home remedies for combating bed bugs?
First let us discuss bed bug remedies that do not work!
Bed bugs home remedies that do not work
When you are trying to lose weight, you could buy hundreds of over-the-counter miraculous pills, teas or herbal supplements. But all your efforts would be lost if you also do not exercise and eat healthy simultaneously. The same is the case with bed bug home remedies. You might buy the most expensive product on the market but if you do not use them right, you could end up wasting money or even setting your home on fire! What’s more, some products may be downright toxic to children and pets. Many bed bug products and home remedies have been banned by the EPA.
Certain OTC bed bug Sprays-The right way of using EPA approved bed bug sprays, for example, is to spray the bug directly. Now, this is hard to do when you are sleepy at 3 am when a bug has bitten you and you are all groggy and upset. Many people actually end up spraying themselves or their loved ones. This has been known to give rise to acute toxicity. Some sprays are also inflammable and many a victim of bed bug has reportedly set a home or a car on fire when using them.
Some people also like to fog their rooms every night to kill bed bugs. Bed bug foggers are now proven to be rather ineffective as they simply push the bugs deeper inside their hiding places where they lay waiting until it is time to feed.
Then there are people who go to extents like wearing garlic necklaces thinking it will repel bugs. This is so not true.
Some homeowners also pour buckets of kerosene around their mattresses in order to repel the bugs. This is a terrible thing to do and the smell itself is enough to drive one crazy.
Use of geckos to get rid of bed bugs! Yes, this has been done- a woman actually believed that a bunch of lizards would help kill all the bugs and that it would be a greener solution for her bug problem.
So which home remedies for bed bugs do work?
Cleaning– The cleaner your home is, the lesser the number of hiding places for bugs. This means you should vacuum all rooms regularly and also caulk and seal cracks and crevices in walls, headboards, loose footboards etc. This should be done regularly.
Washing– You must regularly wash all infested clothing in hot water and bleach where applicable.
Isolating– Isolating infested items by sealing them in plastic bags can help restrict the bugs to one area. Next, you could spray these bed bug infested items as long as they can withstand the chemical sprays. Place the bags outside in a garage, or the yard or simply discard them by marking them as infested. Some people have seen good results by freezing items like books, jewelry etc.
Steaming– This is not a home remedy to get rid of bed bugs and is best left to professionals. Steamers help blast the eggs and larvae and can get the bugs hiding inside hard-to-access areas.
Diatomaceous earth powder– This organic food grade powder can be sprinkled all over the rugs, carpets, window sills, bed corners, mattresses, box springs etc. The powder is made of very sharp molecular structures that can literally tear the innards of the bugs. However; it needs to come in close contact with the bugs’ bodies.
Encasements– Mattress encasements are really useful in restricting the movement of bugs. They help trap the bugs inside and the ones on the outside cannot go in. This can help you curb the bed bug populations.
Interceptors and pit fall traps– You can isolate the beds in all rooms and place DIY bed bug traps made using dry ice. Alternatively, many commercially available traps are also available and they are quite effective in protecting your beds from bed bugs.
Certain Sprays– Barring the alcohol and soap based sprays, some commercially available sprays are quite effective in stopping bed bugs but they need to come in contact with the bed bugs bodies. Some examples include Pyrethrin based sprays. Note that sprays need to be continually used since once they dry up, they become ineffective.
These are some of the effective and non effective bed bug home remedies and you must continually monitor your premises to ensure that the chosen treatment is working as expected.
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