Major infestations can occur quite fast, as the female bed bug can lay up to 200 eggs in less than a year. You should immediately begin to seek out their hiding places to avoid a major infestation. It's important to begin by noting that sanitary problems within ones' own household is not the primary reason for bed bug infestation. It is common for bed bugs to invade a home when birds or mammals nest on or near a house. Typically, the bed bug enters through an opened window. |
There are several ways to completely eliminate bed bugs and control the possibility of re-infestation with common, store-bought products, diligence and lifestyle modifications. Bed bugs are very hard to get rid of and sometimes only a professional can help. There are some home remedies to try first before calling a professional.
To begin ridding yourself of the determined little vampires, you'll need supplies. A canister vacuum with a hose attachment is very helpful. You will also need very large clear bags for delicate bedding, decorative pillows, throw rugs, area rugs, etc. Mattress bags are a must as well as the purchase of two rolls of strong poly tape. The bags and tape can be found reasonably priced at www.uhaul.com or your local moving supply store. Add to your arsenal two rubber tub mats, a bright flashlight, and some very hot water.
Carefully strip your bed of the comforter/bedspread and the flat sheet. Take note of the condition of the fitted sheet in full light. Are there tiny spots that resemble blood? Make a mental note and remove the flat sheet. If your bedroom is dimly lit, get a flashlight and begin to gently and carefully run your finger along the seams of the mattress. Once you've completed the circumference of the mattress, remove it from the top of the foundation and check the seams of the foundation. Look for signs of molts - white, brown, or clear shed skin - or more dark specks. The reddish-brown dots are fecal spots. These, along with the molted skins, are a clear sign the bed bugs have fed more than once and are growing through the nymphal stages.
You may or may not find any insects up to this point. If you do, pick them up and smash them between your fingers or vacuum them into the canister. Try not to smear the bed bug on the fabric of your bed as there is a very distinct, sickeningly sweet odor to its contents.
Once you've checked the top of the foundation or box spring, stand it up on one end and check the bottom. If there are any openings or holes on the bottom of your box spring, it's very like the bed bugs harbor in the darkest corners of the wood. Don't panic and do not attempt to kill all of them at once. They will scatter and crawl away into deeper, darker corners of your sleeping area, which will increase your extermination efforts.
Carefully position the box spring to vacuum along the crevices of its innards. Be thorough - you are not only attempting to pick up the adult bugs and any nymphs, but eggs, as well. Once you've cleaned the box spring, go back to the mattress and vacuum along the seams and folds. Place the bedcover and any bedding accessories in comforter bags and seal completely with poly tape. Cover the mattress and the box spring with the clear, plastic mattress bags. If possible, pour hot water into the vacuum canister to drown the bedbug and kill the eggs. Empty the vacuum canister and rinse attachment with hot water. Otherwise, empty the canister into a plastic bag, seal, and discard.
Bed bugs can live several months without feeding, so be sure to follow up with your method of elimination by dusting or spraying after laundering clothes and cleaning your home thoroughly. Two to three follow-up applications every 90 days should eliminate the toughest mild bed bug infestation.
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