How can you get rid of bed bugs yourself?
What are the best natural bed bug home remedies that work?
Do homemade bed bug sprays work?
Bed bugs need an integrated pest management approach without which they cannot be eliminated completely. If you have tried using chemical foggers or homemade bed bug sprays, understand that most do nothing to bed bugs and only expose you and your family members to harmful toxins. They also drive the bed bugs deeper into the cracks and crevices. You cannot freeze bed bugs unless you can bring down the room temperature to minus 17 degrees for at least 2-3 hours. So what can you do to get rid of bed bugs yourself? In this article, we will study the complete diy bed bug removal procedure and also see what works and does not work when using bed bug natural remedies:
Step by step DIY bed bug removal procedure
Are natural bed bug sprays effective?
Many products like Cedarcide® claim to kill bed bugs naturally and non-toxically. However, you have to spray the bugs directly with these products. Since bed bugs are most active at night, in the dark, you will need to sacrifice a good night’s rest in order to kill them with aforementioned natural bed bug remedies. And even if you do so, you will most likely not be able to get all of the bed bugs. Remember that a single female bed bug can lay 100s of eggs in her lifetime; so you will have to spray each and every bug, despite which new populations will continue to rise.
Mattress and pillow encasements are the best approach if you wish to go the diy bed bug removal route. You need to ensure that your bedding and mattress is free from the bugs first. Bedding can be washed in hot water and dried in the hottest drier setting. The good news is that this method gets all bed bug stages and is the best approach for killing bed bug eggs. Make sure the washer temperature is 140 deg F and that you tumble dry the washed linen at 104 F. Adult and nymph stages usually drown when you soak the bedding in laundry detergent but this method does not kill the eggs. You must therefore protect your washed and dried bedding using mattress encasements which trap the bed bugs so they cannot reproduce, or feed.
De-bug the bed
Check the beds thoroughly, especially the seams, box springs and cracks in headboards where the bugs hide. If you do find evidence of bed bugs, vacuum the space completely. Once you have vacuumed the entire house, seal the plastic bags in the vacuum and discard them outdoors in the trash. Inspect all dark and dingy corners with a flashlight and use pressurized air to make bed bugs to come out. If you see bed bugs inside box springs, you do not need to use chemical bed bug spray; rather you can go for diatomaceous earth powder or silica gel. These are the best home remedies to get rid of bed bugs. Once you have done this step, use zippered mattress and box spring encasements to isolate and barricade the living bugs. Encasements will prevent bugs from coming out to feed and reproduce.
To get relief from biting
In order to get some relief from bed bug bites, you will need to set sticky traps on the bed legs. Many commercially available sticky traps are effective in preventing bed bugs from climbing on the bed. You must isolate the bed from the walls so the bed bugs cannot crawl on the bed through those. You can also make slippery barrier on the bed legs by smearing petroleum jelly or cornstarch powder. Both options are messy. You can also apply diatomaceous earth powder to the bed legs or place the legs in bowls of water to prevent bed bugs from climbing. You can also buy commercially available bed bug interceptor plastic cups that can enable you to catch dead bed bug bodies. To get relief from old bed bug bites, apply some soothing Aloe vera gel, or peppermint oil or calendula to stop the itch. A paste of baking powder and water can also relieve itchiness and swelling.
Use Diatomaceous earth in cracks and crevices
Next, you must use DE powder or silica gel inside cracks in the floorboards, walls, and furniture and bed head board. Lift the carpet seams and add a small amount of DE underneath. Do not use too much DE as it can contaminate your air. While DE is the least toxic method of killing bed bugs naturally, it can be harmful to human lungs. SO make sure you use a mask when using the powder. You can always use it liberally in out of the way places where it will not be disturbed. Always use food grade organic DE with low crystalline silica. You can use pest pistols to disperse the DE powder inside cracks.
You can get professional steam cleaners to treat your apartment, If needed, invest in a quality steam cleaner (they start at $250 USD) to get rid of bed bugs in pillows, beds, carpets, couches etc.
Recap of how to get rid of bed bugs yourself
- Vacuum the house thoroughly.
- Limit the bed bugs to one room of the house by sleeping in the same bedroom even though it is infected. If you move to another room, the bugs will only follow you there and spread the infestation.
- Wash and launder all bedding, linen and sheets. Use the hottest settings possible.
- Trap existing bed bugs inside mattresses by using encasements. These help seal the bugs inside them and prevent them from feeding. Keep on using encasements for at least one year, so all trapped bugs die off from hunger.
- Sprinkle a thick layer of diatomaceous powder under the beds, furniture and carpets. Make sure the dust is not disturbed. Use a mask to protect your lungs from the dust. Let the dust remain on the infested areas for 3-4 days. Then vacuum completely. Repeat application.
Using these steps, you can get rid of bed bugs yourself. Make sure you remain vigilant and watch out for tell-tale signs of bed bug activity to prevent recurrence.
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