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If you notice that you have small itchy spots, red rashes or blisters when you wake up, it could be a sign that you have bed bugs. These tiny little pests can infest the seams of your mattress, bed frames, box springs, and headboards. It can be a challenge to get rid of bed bugs because they are hard to detect and they multiply rapidly. Bed bugs should be destroyed as quickly as possible because they can infest other areas of your home and cause a major problem.
Actually, bed bugs are not a sign that you have a dirty home, but they can be brought into your house through luggage, used furniture and beds, clothing and other household items.
Fortunately, there are many ways to naturally get rid of bed bugs. Bed bugs cant survive extreme hot or cold temperatures, so, methods like steam cleaning, hot washes, and drying on a high heat are natural home remedies to eliminate bed bugs from clothing and bedding. Placing small items in the freezer is another way to kill bed bugs.
For larger areas, you can make your own natural bed bug sprays from tea tree oil, lavender oil, or eradicate bed bugs by sprinkling diatomaceous earth powder in crevices that bed bugs like to inhabit.
Before we look at the best home remedies to eliminate bed bugs naturally, lets look at the symptoms of bed bugs and the problems these tiny insects can cause.
Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and gorge on the blood of humans and animals. Although bed bugs dont spread disease or cause infections, they cause a lot of personal discomfort.
Bedbugs can also quickly infest beds, couches, furniture and are difficult to find and kill because they like to hide in dark cracks, crevices, and gaps.
Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD says that bed bugs reach adult maturity within a month and can produce 3 or 4 generations a year.1
According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), the problem of getting rid of bed bugs and bed bug control is growing every year. A survey carried by the NPMA found there is a resurgence of bed bug infestations in hotels, movie theaters, public transportation, and even medical facilities.2
There is no doubt about it bed bugs are a nuisance and exterminating these tiny pests should be a top priority. One of the first symptoms that you may have a bed bug infestation is bites on your skin. These bites can appear anywhere on your body that the bed bug can crawl to. According to the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, some of the other symptoms of bed bug bites are:3
For other symptoms (including images), read the article: What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like (And How To Get Rid of Them Faster).
There will also be some signs around your bed that indicate you need to think about some effective methods of bed bug control. For example, with a flashlight, you may discover the tiny bugs in seams around the edge of the mattress or in the bed joints or spring box. You may also notice dark or red spots on your bedding or mattress. This is their dried feces or blood from a killed bed bug.
What are the best ways of getting rid of bed bugs from your bed, mattress, headboard, couches, or anywhere else that they might be living? Here are some of the best tried and tested bed bug natural remedies.
If you have bed bug bites, make sure to read my article about the best natural ways to get rid of bed bug bites.
Here are some of the best home remedies to get rid of bed bugs:
One of the first steps to completely eliminate all traces of bed bugs from your home is to find all the infested areas. Bed bugs are usually found in bedrooms but they can inhabit any room in the home where people and pets sleep.
The US Environmental Protection Agency recommends carefully checking the seams of mattresses and other soft furnishings in your home. Examine the spaces between cushions, your mattress and bed frame and any other possible hiding place in your bedroom. Dont forget to check drawer joints, behind loose wallpaper, and even in electrical appliances.4
Any space the thickness of a credit card is a potential home for bed bugs.
Using a vacuum cleaner to suck up the bed bugs is a very effective and simple method to eradicate bed bugs from your bedroom.
A vacuum cleaner is a common household item so you can use it right now to kill bed bugs. To make sure and get rid of any eggs around the seams of your mattress, use a stiff brush to loosen any bed bug eggs from the material.
Bed bugs can be hiding everywhere, so youll need to vacuum all chairs and other soft furnishings, carpets, box springs, and mattresses and even curtains.
Regarding bed bug control, the journal Clinical Microbiology Reviews says that vacuuming can quickly get rid of a large number of bed bugs and their eggs. When using a vacuum cleaner to control bed bug infestations, its essential to use a disposable bag. As soon as you have vacuumed the infested area, remove and seal the bag before disposing of it.5
Kill bed bugs in smaller items by placing them in a freezer. Although bed bugs cant withstand freezing temperatures, they can live for up to a year in a cool room without any food sources.
To naturally kill the bedbugs you need to place infested items in a freezer that has a temperature below 1F (-17C) for at least 2 hours.5
Hot steam is a great home remedy to destroy bed bugs and their eggs without damaging the environment.
The hot steam method for bed bug eradication can get rid of bed bugs from small crevices and cracks. The steam can also penetrate through the mattress lining and eradicate bug infestations inside the mattress.
Scientists have found that bed bugs are quickly killed when exposed to temperatures above 140F (60C).5
So, if you have a steam cleaner, you can use it to exterminate bed bugs quickly without using harmful chemicals.
To kill bed bugs fast on your own using steam do the following:
You need to be aware that steaming will only kill bed bugs that are exposed to the heat, so any bed bugs that do not come into contact with the steam will survive.
The general recommendation is to use a powerful and heavy duty steamer with a large water tank, preferably with a steam volume control. Small steamers may not be effective in eliminating bedbugs. Small steamers require constant refilling and may cover less surface area so they can be less effective in eliminating bed bugs. They may also not get hot enough to eliminate bedbugs on and around the mattress.
You can also get rid of bed bugs from infected clothing and other fabric items by placing them in the washing machine and wash them at a temperature of over 60C.
Hot washing is probably one of the easiest and fastest natural ways to kill off bed bugs from clothing and other items using a common household item.
After putting infested items of clothing or bed linen through a hot wash, you should dry the items in a dryer set to a hot setting. This will make doubly sure that the bed linen is sterilized from bed bugs.
Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD recommends the hot wash and hot dryer method to de-infest fabric items like curtains, bedding, shoes, and stuffed toy animals from bed bugs.1
You could also use a hair dryer together with your vacuum cleaner to drive bed bugs out of crevices. Set the hair dryer to the hottest setting and direct into the crack. The hot air will kill the bed bugs and also force them out. Any bug not killed by the hair dryer can be sucked up with the vacuum cleaner.
Another natural way to prevent bed bugs from biting you during the night and stop them infesting other parts of your home is to encase mattresses and pillows.
Encasements for mattresses, spring boxes, and pillows are tightly woven covers that prevent bed bugs from entering or escaping. The encasements should be kept on for at least a year to ensure that all the bed bugs die naturally.
The National Pesticide Information Center recommends using encasements to protect your bed from bed bug infestations. In addition to encasing your bed items, they also recommend placing bed bug traps (such as this one) under your bed legs to stop bed bugs crawling up.6
While the above home remedies are excellent ways to eliminate bed bugs from your home, it is also necessary to treat areas with natural insecticides to kill bed bugs and eggs in hard to reach places. Here are some natural insecticides that you can make yourself to get rid of bed bugs.
The insecticidal properties of tea tree oil make it a great natural treatment to get rid of bed bug infestation. You can use the homemade tea tree spray to kill off bed bugs in hard to reach places, like cracks, crevices, and furniture joints.
A study from 2014 found that a tea tree oil solution is an effective and natural insect repellent and also acts as an insecticide.7
To make a natural insecticide with tea tree oil, put 20 drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle filled with water and shake well. Spray liberal amounts of the natural insecticide in all areas where you think bed bugs are living. Use the tea tree oil bed bug spray daily until all the signs of bed bugs have disappeared completely. Remember to shake the natural spray well before each application.
Tea tree oil is also a great natural remedy to cure any skin itching caused by bed bugs.
Similar to tea tree oil, lavender essential oil can be used to make an effective natural DIY pesticide spray to kill bed bugs.
The insect-repellent properties of lavender oil are toxic for bed bugs but completely safe to use around the home.
One study into the effect of essential oils and their use for insect and bug control found that a combination of lavender oil and peppermint oil effectively kills off insects.8 Lavender oil also helps to destroy insect eggs and larvae as well as repelling bed bugs. Peppermint oil also has a strong repellent action. 8
To make a natural bed bug spray, add 10-15 drops lavender essential oil and 10-15 drops peppermint oil to a spray bottle filled with water. Use the natural spray to treat areas infested with bed bugs. Use the natural pesticide spray daily until you no longer have any signs of bed bug infestation. Shake well before each application.
There are many other effective sprays to eliminate these nasty critters read about them in my article about the best bed bug sprays to kill bed bugs fast.
Diatomaceous earth is a natural and safe insecticide to eliminate bed bugs.
Diatomaceous earth powder helps to kill off bed bugs by causing them to dehydrate because it destroys their outer protective membrane. Some people also call it bed bug powder. Because vacuum cleaners may not remove all bed bugs in deep crevices, diatomaceous earth powder is an excellent way to control bed bugs and prevent further infestation.
A study into the use of diatomaceous earth in bed bug eradication found that it is a safe, non-toxic way to rid your home of bed bugs. Even though diatomaceous earth (DE) is slow acting, the study found that this was an advantage. This is because the bed bugs transfer the powder to other bugs and help to distribute the natural insecticide to their habitats. The study found that within 4 days, 80% of all the bed bugs had been killed. Complete eradication was achieved in 12 days.5
To naturally eliminate a bed bug infestation with diatomaceous earth, dust the bed bug powder around all areas where bed bugs may be hiding. Repeat the process every 3 days for 2 weeks to ensure complete removal of all the bed bugs.
Make sure to use food grade diatomaceousearth (here is one example), as it is safe to use around the home and its an effective home treatment for killing bed bugs and fleas.
Some people suggest that baking soda is an effective natural bed bug killer as it can dehydrate them or possibly even poison these tiny little pests.
However there is no indication showing that baking soda can eliminate bed bugs. In fact, baking soda doesnt absorb much fluids so it will not dehydrate the bed bugs.
Baking soda actually breaks down in water quite easily, so its ability to absorb thick, viscous fluids like the wax on a bed bugs shell is questionable. In addition, bed bugs dont eat dry items in their environment such as sodium bicarbonate so it cannot poison them.
Salt has been used for decades to kill pests, such as slugs and snails by absorbing fluids from their body and causing them to dehydrate.
Some people believe that salt can eliminate bed bugs in the same way it kills slugs and snails. However there is a very strong anecdotal reference that this doesnt work.
Boric acid, can be used as a natural pesticide to kill roaches, eliminate ants, and eradicate termites but it needs to be ingested by the pest. Bed bugs have piercing and sucking mouth parts, and they do not ingest material other than blood from living hosts. Hence, theres no way to get boric acid into the bed bugs stomach to kill them.
Thiamin has been reported to be a mosquito repellent but there is no strong scientific evidence to support the fact that vitamin B1 helps in repelling bed bugs.
The best way to completely eliminate bed bugs for good is to use the following methods together:
The best way to make sure that you never have any bed bug bites is to prevent bed bugs from infesting your home in the first place. Here are some top bed bug prevention tips:
Recommended reading: How to Quickly Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites
Read my other related articles:
1. How to Naturally Get Rid of Fleas From Your Home, Garden and Pets2. What Do Flea Bites on Humans Look Like?3. How to Get Rid of Wasps Naturally4. How to Get Rid of Flies Naturally5. How to Get Rid of Ants Cheaply and Naturally6. Palmetto Bug: What it is and How to Get Rid of It Quickly7. 8. How to Get Rid of Frogs The Best Natural Ways8. How to Get Rid of Spiders Naturally9. 10 Natural Ways to Repel Mosquitoes10. How to Keep Snakes Away: Effective Snake Repellents
When you notice little red bumps on your skin, its natural to wonder where they came from.
While some insect bites are more obvious than others
(think mosquitos or ticks).
Most of the time bite marks look very similar between different insects.
Here we are going to talk about 3 ways to tell the difference between bed bugs and fleas.
To begin, we will need to establish what bed bug bites look like.
Bed bug bites are known to appear as clusters of reddish-brown welts around the area of the bite.
On average, bed bugs bites start to itch within 2 3 hours after being bitten.
Both of those traits are similar with flea bites.
Knowing where the bulk of bite marks are on your body is a good indicator of whats biting you. Bed bugs will usually target the upper torso, while fleas target the lower extremities like the legs.
Because bed bugs, as the name suggests, often make their nests in or around bedding material like sheets and mattresses.
Since they often nest toward the head of the bed, bed bugs will gravitate toward the upper torso and the arms when they feed.
(Though a bed bug mattress protector could fix that).
Fleas, meanwhile, tend to target the legs.
This is because
Your legs are typically within leaping distance for fleas. They cant fly, so fleas find hosts to feed off of by jumping.
Unlike bed bugs, fleas can jump an average height of 13 inches.
Secondly, fleas rarely target humans but will feed on them if they need a new food source.
As most pet owners can attest, fleas are more at home on dogs or cats.
This is because animals are lower to the ground than us and are easier to access.
We sometimes get bitten because migratory fleas will wind up jumping from the backs of our furry friends and onto our lower limbs.
Size and color are important factors in determining any kind of insect bite. And while the differences may seem minor at first glance, there are several clues to help distinguish a flea bite from a bed bug bite.
Flea bites are smaller and usually appear bright red in color. These bites are so closely grouped together that they might even form patterns across your skin.
Bed bug bites are slightly larger, and while they still look like reddish welts, theyre not as bright red as flea bites.
Bed bug bites dont make up any complex patterns. Instead, theyre grouped together in a line or zigzag.
The feeding habits of these bugs can make a world of difference in identifying what bit you.
As mentioned earlier, bed bugs are nocturnal creatures. During the day, they gather together in secluded hiding places.
Since bed bugs rarely venture out during the day, chances are they wont seek out a meal.
In contrast, fleas dont follow a set schedule: they feed whenever they want to feed, and they travel whenever they want to travel.
Youll know right away if youre dealing with fleas because youll see them crawling along your body during the day.
(A bed bug is not likely to do that).
Aside from the coloration, there are a few shared traits between flea bites and bed bug bites. These often relate to the symptoms that accompany each bite.
Both types of bites will start to itch not long after youve been bitten.
But why dont you feel yourself being bitten in the moment?
During a feeding session, bed bugs and fleas inject saliva into the bloodstream. Their saliva contains anticoagulants to keep the blood from clotting, and antihistamines to prevent any immediate itching.
This allows them to drink human blood without incident. Once the antihistamines wear off, thats when the itching sensation begins as your body tries to fight off the other bacteria carried in the saliva.
Unfortunately, bites from both creatures can be potentially dangerous.
This is because both bed bug bites and flea bites have a chance of severe infection.
This usually occurs from excessive scratching that creates an open wound on the skin.While scratching bite marks might temporarily relieve the itching, it also keeps the wounds open and spreads lingering bacteria.
Another thing thats harmful is if you have insect-related allergies and severe reactions to insect bites. If you ever develop an allergic reaction you should seek medical attention immediately.
Flea bites will typically heal on their own within a week.
To speed up the process or alleviate symptoms, here is what you can try:
Antihistamines come in 2 forms:
Lotions: Skin lotions, like aloe vera gel and calamine lotion, can also relieve itchiness. Their cooling properties reduce swelling and inflammation, while the minerals and vitamins found in them moisturize the skin and promote healing.
Home Remedies: There are plenty of home remedies you can use to treat flea bites. Cold compresses and liquid astringents, such as witch hazel or apple cider vinegar, are 2 commonly used home treatments.
Like flea bites, bed bug bites will naturally heal after 1-2 weeks. The treatment methods for bed bug bites are also the same as the aforementioned treatments for flea bites.
Whether youre using antibiotic treatments or simple home remedies, routine treatment is an important part of the healing process.
Not only do the above treatments help your bodys immune system, they also reduce the severity of the symptoms associated with bug bites.
Reducing the effects of the symptoms means youre less likely to experience skin irritation, which reduces the risk of infection or other harmful symptoms.
Fleas and bed bugs arent the only biting insects out there. Ticks and mosquitos also view humans as a source of food and bite us to drink our blood.
Spiders, meanwhile, will only bite humans in self-defense: even then, a spiders fangs are too small to penetrate human skin.
Most spiders also lack venom strong enough to do any serious harm to humans: the most notable exceptions are black widows and brown recluses, who both have more potent venom and can be hard to get rid of.
After an insect bites you, youll notice swelling and redness around the area of the bite.
In some cases, youll see an open wound where the skin was broken. Spiders bites, for instance, will consist of 2 small puncture wounds in your skin.
Some bug bites will take on a distinct pattern. As mentioned earlier, flea bites and bed bug bites may appear in clusters or in zig-zag patterns. Ticks will leave behind a bullseye shape, with a large ring surrounding the actual bite.
skin irritation is another common symptom, as your immune system begins the process of eradicating the foreign bacteria injected by insects.
In addition to fleas and bed bugs, mosquitos also inject antihistamines and anticoagulants into the bloodstream to stave off itching and clotting while they drink.
If left untreated, bug bites will heal on their own. However, repeated itching or aggravation of the wounds can lead to serious infections; this is why scratching bug bites isnt recommended by health experts.
Both bed bugs and fleas can become a huge problem if not dealt with quickly.
The key similarities and differences between fleas and bed bugs are highlighted in the below table.
Bed Bug Bites vs. Flea Bites
If you were injured by a pest infestation in a hotel, apartment, or other location, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Submit your information for a free case evaluation today!
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Mold can grow inside or outside of your home and requires damp, wet conditions. Mold spores are similar to pollen in that they travel through the air and degrade the air quality in your home and can cause allergy symptoms and other major health disorders. Mold inside your home creates a major health and safety problem for you and your family.
Damages from termites can progress undetected in exposed wood because oftentimes the outer surface of the wood can be left intact. Signs of a termite infestation most often takes the eye of a trained termite control specialist. If you suspect your home or business has termites dont delay contacting Ameri Care Services for a termite inspection.
Ameri Care Services specializes in all types of basement and crawl space moisture problems. We have the products and experience no matter your problem to find the best solution to solve your crawl space issues. Call the professionals at Ameri Care Services for a FREE estimate!
If you have bed bugs then call the professionals at Ameri Care Service to schedule your bed bug inspection today! Call or email us today if you live in the Nashville, Murfreesboro, Mt. Juliet or Franklin area.