Getting rid of bed bugs from carpets can be a tricky matter; you need to do it right to ensure that you are actually removing the bugs and not just spreading them to other areas of your home. In this guide, we will give you a detailed account of how to get rid of bed bugs in carpets.
How to get rid of bed bugs in carpets the right way
Before we tell you the right way of getting rid of bed bugs in carpets, you must also educate yourself about what the wrong methods are:
- Never sweep or wipe a floor having bed bugs. This will only spread their eggs and larvae over a larger area. The key is to ‘lift and remove’ them which can only be achieved with thorough vacuuming.
Here are the steps to bed bug removal from rugs and carpets:
- If you haven’t already, start by clearing the floor off things. This includes pet feeding bowls, toys, footwear, books etc.
- Remove and seal area rugs in plastic bags. Sealing will help trap the bugs so they are restricted to the bag. You can now heat treat the bag or take the rugs outside to a public Laundromat for washing. Clean and wash the rugs on the highest setting of the washer and dryers.
- At home, you could use a carpet shampoo from wall to wall. If needed, get the carpets steam cleaned by professionals.
- You can use diatomaceous earth powder or Borax powder to treat the carpets and rugs. Let the powder remain on the carpets for 3-4 hours. Both powders have a mechanical killing action in that; their sharp glass like molecular structure literally rips the exoskeleton of the bugs and dehydrates them from the inside. Ensure using food grade Diatomaceous earth powder as it is safer around pets and kids. Do not let Borax get in contact with pets or children as it can be irritating to the skin.
- Next, you must vacuum the entire house to remove bed bugs from the carpet. The thing to remember here is to only Use a vacuum cleaner with a bag. This way, you can dispose off the bag outside. If you use a bag-less vacuum cleaner, it will be a hassle emptying it outdoors.
- When you start vacuuming, ensure that you first vacuum some of the applied DE powder. This way; the bed bugs that are picked by the vacuum get mixed with the powder for further killing action.
- After you have finished vacuuming one room, take the entire vacuum cleaner outside your home and dust it out. Remove the bag and if it is filled with bugs, seal it and discard it. Even if a single bed bug escapes, it is going to come back right into your home, multiply and give rise to a large infestation. Hence, it is very important to follow these precautions when getting rid of bed bugs in carpets.
Heat treating carpets and area rugs to get rid of bed bugs
Compared to carpets, it is easier to get rid of bed bugs in area rugs. You can use the dryer on the hottest setting and toss the rug inside to kill bed bugs in all stages. Some rugs have a hard lining on their back- this sometimes makes it inconvenient to wash them in residential washers/dryers. Hence, the only solution is to take it to the professional cleaners or public Laundromats. This is a convenient method of getting rid of bed bugs from area rugs. For carpets, you can use a steamer on them. This can help eliminate eggs and larvae as well as most adult bugs.
Getting rid of bed bugs from bare floors
To get rid of bed bugs from bare floors, we recommend using diatomaceous earth and/or Borax powder along with vacuuming. This can help you get rid of bed bug and can also eliminate fleas, ticks and other parasites.You must apply the DE powder at least 4-5 hours before vacuuming. This way; the powder actually comes in contact with the bug’s body.
- Start by removing or pulling furniture away from walls. Liberally sprinkle the powder underneath and behind these items. Cover large portions of the floor for effective bug killing action.
- Keep pets and kids away during treatment. Though organic food grade diatomaceous earth powder is safe if inhaled or ingested, you must follow some basic safety rules like using a mask to cover the nose or washing hands frequently etc at least for the duration of the treatment.
- Now vacuum the house completely. Include getting the bugs under cracks and crevices as well as beneath the tiles and loose floor boards. You must use attachments that come with your vacuum to get the most of this bed bug removal treatment.
Cleaning wall-to-wall carpets
As stated before, you need to use DE powder with vacuuming to clean wall to wall carpets.
- Spread the powder from wall to wall and if needed, use a pesticide duster for the job.
- It is best to use a mask and gloves when applying the powder as the tiny particles can be inhaled leading to breathing issues or allergies etc.
- Be very thorough when applying the powder and also when vacuuming. Remember: you must ensure getting all eggs and larvae-even if a single one escapes, it can lead to re-infestation.
- Follow up the vacuuming with wall to wall carpet shampooing. This step is a precautionary step to get the bugs that may be left behind by the vacuum.
Apart from these steps to get rid of bed bugs in carpets, you must also clean behind wall art, paintings, picture frames etc. You can heat treat these items and also quickly vacuum the frames and objects. You might also want to run your curtains and drapes through the laundry provided their fabric allows it. We hope this guide helps you get rid of bed bugs in carpets.