“Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite!” The common refrain means very little for most people nowadays. However, bed bugs are far from eradicated. Unfortunately, the little pests still hang around in mattresses, furniture and even clothing. And once they’ve made a comfy home somewhere, they’re none too fond of the idea of packing up and leaving. Their favorite pastime is nibbling on their unwilling hosts during the night.
Today, we’re exploring some do-it-yourself options for treating bed bugs. These are NOT a substitution for bringing in a pest control expert to treat the infestation. Rather, they are steps to take in conjunction with the professional pest treatment.
1) Transform Into A Cleaning Machine
Unfortunately, once bed bugs are in a home, they get into anything and everything. Unless every scrap of cloth in the apartment is washed, they’re likely posed for a big comeback.
First, vacuum everything. While actively battling an infestation, vacuum everyday or every other day. Do this during the entire treatment period and for a week afterward. Is it kind of a pain in the butt and time consuming? Yes. Is it worth it to get rid of bed bugs? Absolutely.
Unfortunately, there are some places that a vacuum won’t reach. For the nooks and crannies of furniture, use a steam cleaner. Bed bugs only have the ability to survive up to 140o Fahrenheit. The hot steam kills fully mature bugs as well as their eggs. Steaming should be done regularly, but less often than vacuuming to avoid damaging furniture. Many experts recommend weekly.
Finally, in the quest in clean the world, wash everything in the house made of cloth. Sheets are the most important thing, but clothes are also essential. Don’t forget and blankets that have been on the bed and all of the house linens. Cloth items that seem non-essential, such as animal beds and curtains also need to be washed. The heat from the washer water and the hot air from the dryer will help eliminate colonies. Vacuum out the washer and dryer after every load.
2) A Hair Dryer, A Handy Emergency Tool
The hair dryer is not a permanent solution. However, it is perfect for those 2 a.m. moments when you wake up covered in little bites. Only to stumble into the conclusion that you have bed bugs.
Take the hair dryer and hold it close to the mattress and pillows. Turn the heat on that baby as high as it can go. Track slowly around the edges of the mattress and then carefully cover the middle as well. A quick blow dry for each pillow, and it is possible to get at least a decent sleep that night.
Like the steam cleaning and heat from the laundry process, the hair dryer’s heat kills live insects and bugs. Again, this is only an emergency measure designed to get someone through the night until they contact a pest control expert.
Come Back Next Week
For more tips on how to fight off the dreaded bed bug.