Bed bugs are annoying house pests that can be eliminated using few of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) approved pesticides. However, a better alternative to such chemicals is the natural bed bug treatment, since it focuses more on prevention of bed bugs and is least toxic to humans.
Before we understand the steps and products involved in natural bed bug treatment, let us first consider a few statistics related to bed bugs.
- In the United States, bed bugs are known to be present in nearly 15 of the major cities including New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit.
- Bed bugs can survive for up to one year without food; however, they try to obtain a blood meal every 5 to 10 days. The nymphs especially require a lot of blood for developing into an adult.
- Detecting bed bugs is difficult owing to their small size. Bed bug droppings, bites and odor are your best bet for determining whether you have an infestation.
- Nearly 95 % of pest control companies in the US have had to deal with major bed bug infestations in the past few years. This number is up by 25% as compared to 2000.
- A lot of products available in the market claim to kill bed bugs. There are nearly 361 products approved by the EPA for this job.
- Ending a bed bug outbreak is not easy. Experts recommend disposing off every object (mattresses, bed sheets, other bed clothing, upholstery etc) that has been infested by bed bugs.
- The best bet for natural bed bug treatment is prevention. Chemicals alone do not stop bed bugs and are also likely to be toxic to pets and humans.
Steps for natural bed bug treatment
The most effective natural bed bug treatment includes an integrated pest management program that consists of sanitation, prevention and application of natural bed bug repellents.
- Start by removing all of the bedding, sheets, mattresses and either disposing them off or washing them in extremely hot water. Do not reuse these until you first perform the de-infestation/sanitization process of the natural bed bug treatment.
- Vacuum the entire house including all fabric objects like soft toys, computer/table covers, curtains, fabric sofas, carpets and other drapes. Make sure to use the vacuum in nooks and corners, cracks and openings. If possible, seal all the cracks using caulking material.
- If you are using a bag-based vacuum cleaner, throw away the bags. You can also seal the bags with tapes for a couple of days so that bugs die of starvation. Alternatively you can dust the bags with diatomaceous earth bed bug powders to kill the bugs that are caught.
- Now you need to clean the entire home. You can use biodegradable cleaner sprays for this purpose since they are safer around kids and pets. Make sure you spray down every piece of furniture, light fixtures, wall outlets etc.
- Once the cleaning process is completed, you can reuse your washed pillows, sheets etc.
- Repeat this natural bed bug treatment program once every two weeks.
Bed bugs are a great hassle; one that is difficult to get rid of either with chemicals or natural products. That being said, the natural bed bug treatment at least ensures safety to humans as well as our planet.