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Category Archives: Bed Bug Home Remedies
How do you know that you are being attacked by bed bugs? Though bed bugs are tiny and feed on you during the night when you are asleep, they leave behind a lot of tell-tale-signs on the mattress or the area around them. When you get bitten by a bed bug, you will notice reddish spots on your skin. You can also check for black dots, which can either be bug excrement or blood from a dead bug. They leave behind unsightly rusty stains on the bed coverings, and you can also check for live bugs. If none of these seems to work and you still wake up with bites on your skin, you can contact a Bed Bug Exterminator San Jose to help you examine your house for bed bug infestation.
You may choose to get rid of the bed bugs using simple but effective home remedies. However, before you embark on the mission to remove bed bugs from your house, you need to ensure that you thoroughly clean your rooms. Vacuum clean the carpets and couches, mattresses and remove clutter from your house. Clean the surface and inspect the crevices and cracks and seal them immediately.
Some simple but effective home remedies that can help you deal with bed bug menace include; vinegar, baking soda, diatomaceous earth, rubbing alcohol, and essential oils.
Vinegar kills bed bugs by destroying their nervous system because it is a strong acetic acid. All you need to do is take some white vinegar, apply it to bed bug-infested surfaces, and then spray liberally and directly on the bed bugs. It is important to note that though vinegar will kill the bed bugs, it does not kill the eggs and, therefore, is not sufficient to eradicate a bed bug infestation wholly. Its effects are considered short term and limited.
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is not just useful in your kitchen but is also one of the best-known home remedies for bedbugs. It is believed that baking soda kills bed bugs by absorbing the surface fluids on the waxy layer of the bugs shell, causing them to dehydrate. It is also thought that baking soda cuts into the bed bugs shell, causing internal bleeding. Just sprinkle some baking soda on your mattress and the affected areas, let it sit for an hour and a half before you vacuum it.
Diatomaceous earth has been used for millennia as pesticides. It is considered to be the most effective home remedy for treating bed bug infestations. It is readily available, is natural, non-toxic, and it is relatively cheaper than other known pesticides. It is cited as an effective, reduced-risk solution for bed bug management. Diatomaceous earth abrades the waxy outer coating of bed bugs, which causes moisture to be removed from the bugs leading to their imminent death. Though diatomaceous earth takes some time before it starts to work, it eliminates up to 90% of the bedbugs and prevents them from moving freely in your house.
Rubbing alcohol is known as isopropyl alcohol, is said to kill bed bugs by dissolving their cells. Direct contact with rubbing alcohol causes the skin of the bed bug to dry, which leads to its death. Though it is effective in killing bed bugs with their eggs, it can be hard to apply in cracks and crevices where bed bugs crawl and hide. Rubbing alcohol does not stain your fabric or furniture, but you need to test it in a small area before starting the treatment.
Essential oils such as; clove oil, lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, thyme, and peppermint are great ways to deter bed bugs from sucking your blood. Regular spraying over bed bug-infested areas can kill them and prevent them from spreading. Peppermint has a strong scent and high menthol content that effectively repels bed bugs. All you need to do is mix your choice essential oil with some bit of distilled water and spray it on the bed bug-infested area. The lovely scent in essential oils also leaves your bed smelling nice.
Home remedies remain effective only when you continue to maintain a clean house and remove clutter. It can be harder to eliminate bed bugs if you often travel because you may bring new bugs home. Ensure that your travel luggage is thoroughly examined, cleaned, and treated to remove the possible presence of bed bugs. To maintain a bedbug-free house, you can enlist a professional bed bug exterminator to examine your house annually.
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5 Home Remedies For Dealing With Bed Bug Menace For Good ...
These are pestering bugs which feed off our blood. Bed bugs can be killed with many bug killing substances and chemicals. However, they can be costly and certainly not environment friendly. Many of them contain chemicals which are toxic to humans or pets. So, one can make use of simple home remedies to trap or kill bed bugs or drive them away. Bed bugs seem so innocent when you see one of them crawling away. They are so small and seem harmless, except for their bites. However, if you happen to see their magnified image using a microscope, they look so monstrous. Bed bugs are notorious creatures. They actually feed on our blood, which is disgusting and unhealthy. Bug extermination teams take a lot of money, and perhaps that is the last resort. There are numerous natural techniques to completely get rid of bed bugs. Lets fight those bugs back.
The signs of bed bugs can be seen through their bites on the skin. These bites are red, slightly inflamed but very itchy. They tend to be in a straight line. Too many bed bites may also lead to a more severe inflammation.
Home remedies for bed bugs ( to kill them naturally or drive them away )
This is the easiest way to kill bed bugs that cling to sheets, covers and mattresses. If there is some upholstery which can be washed or dried, then one can heat treat it too. Bed bugs cant tolerate heat treatment and the eggs also get destroyed. After washing, always iron the sheets. It makes sure that the bed bug eggs are killed. What is the minimum cutoff temperature at which bed bugs are completely killed ? Well, the temperature should be minimum 120 degrees F. So, set your dryer at 120 F and let it stay for 4 hours. Large cloth items, furniture and upholstery can be heated in sunlight, if it is warm enough. It should take many days sitting in the sun for it to work, about 4 days. After that time, inspect the items for signs of bed bugs, their eggs and their fecal matter. When you are convinced that bed bugs have gone, take the items back in.
Lavender is a nice insect repellent with a wonderful smell that most of us like. Lavender flowers can be kept near the bedside. While washing all the clothes and items in the house, use lavender oil in the water used for cleaning. It leaves a residue of lavender scent on the clothes. This smell can go on for 3 to 4 days and repel bed bugs. Although, it wont kill them. Place lavender flowers or lavender scented oil near crevices and other warm and humid areas of the house, cause that is where they thrive. This drives the bed bugs out from those places and also keeps them away from beds and furniture.
Eucalyptus oil and tea tree oil can also be used to repel these insects, just like lavender oil. They are not as effective, but they work too. 
It is a popular insect repellent which is effective at driving away the bed bugs. Try this on the clothes and spray it in different crevices and other locations of the house. It might make the bed bugs to move out without a fight.
Aggressively clean every location in the house with a vacuum cleaner. The high suction force will take in all the bed bugs. But, do not just dispose the bag close by. They can return back to the house. Instead dispose them of in a far off location. A single vacuuming event takes out more than 90 % of bed bugs and eggs. If you dismantle furniture components , place them in sun and then vacuum clean them, it can take out almost 100 % of the bed bugs. So, if you want to be efficient at vacuuming, then dismantle the furniture and covers and then do it. It is a simple yet highly effective way to get rid of bed bugs. Then use a natural insect repellant to keep them away, like citronella.
Make lather from soap and apply it on the bed and in places where bugs may reside. This can eliminate the bed bugs quickly. Make a rich, smooth lather and apply it thickly on the bed and fill it in crevices and nooks. Within a few minutes, you can see bed bugs and other insects crawl out and even die. This may not look good but it works.
This is a wonderful earth material for getting rid of most insects and pests, like fleas and bed bugs. You can easily get food grade diatomaceous earth at a nearby store.
If the weather is cold, then allow natural cool breeze to flow in the house. Then, use fans to direct this cool air to bed bug infested areas. They cant stand the high velocity flow of a cooler air which they are unable to bear. Bed bugs have to move away. This way, one can force them out of the house. If the temperature of air is on or below freezing ( 0 degree C or 32 degree F ), then this air itself can kill the bed bugs. However, this is not a viable option as it takes about 3 4 days to kill all the bed bugs. Some sources however suggest that bed bugs are much more resistant and can withstand well below freezing temperatures. 
The leaves of kidney bean plant have fine pointed hair which pierce and may even kill bed bugs. These leaves can be sprayed in their path to stop them in their tracks.Kidney bean leaves have been identified in recent studies to be highly effective in killing bed bugs. Just spray kidney bean leaves all along the house, as it is quite inexpensive. Then wait for 2 days and most of the bed bugs should be killed by now. All you have left to do is to clean the house off bed bug eggs and their wastes.
In a spray bottle, fill water with little garlic juice. Spray it all around the house. This home remedy forces bed bugs to leave their hiding and flee out. Wait for 2 hours and then start mopping them up with vacuum cleaner. Garlic has a disgusting smell, but it works against bed bugs.
It has been noted by some people that using cinnamon as powder keeps bed bugs away. Spray it in your mattress seams and bed bugs wouldnt come to the bed. This works instantaneously, so you can get a good nights sleep today itself, no matter how badly infested your house or apartment is. Using these home remedies, one can easily get rid of bed bugs and keep them away using natural repellents.
This is a nice and cost effective home remedy for bed bugs. Get some silica gel packets. Open them up and crush them finer. Then place these inside corners and crevices of the house or apartment. Silica gel sticks to their bodies and dehydrates them to death.
When things go out of control, and bed bugs come by large numbers, it is time to take matters in your hands and show them who is the boss. This bed bugs treatment is 100 % effective, as it is you who is doing it.
This operation takes about 2 hours if you do swiftly, but with this, you kill all bed bugs. Once you learn to spot bed bugs out, it becomes childs play to kill them.
If you have a pet dog, then he or she can be trained to sniff out bed bugs hiding spots. Bed bugs leave a characteristic smell which is somewhat like rotting fruit, especially raspberries. Dogs are excellent at remembering a smell and finding out other places which smell the same. This is how it can be accomplished. Take your dog to a place where there are enough bed bugs, like on the bed. Point them to the dog and ask him or her to smell it. Then, keeping him or her tied, move about the house. Ask the dog to sniff walls, corners and crevices. With some practice, the dog would do it and identify places infested with bugs. You give him or her a reward, like a bone or chicken leg and then vacuum up those places. If after repeated training, you dog doesnt learn, call a specialist dog. There are teams who keep such trained dogs who are able to sniff out almost any given smell. As a last option, you can call an bed bug extermination squad. Ask them what chemicals they will use and ask for their safety chart. Chemicals are highly toxic, so make sure they are approved by a regulatory agency, like EPA.
Well, you can bust the bed bugs every once in a while, but they can keep coming back. It is important to know where do they come from. Bed bugs almost always come from two things luggage or clothes. So, if you have been out, bed bugs can cling to your clothes or luggage and then they enter the house. They can also come from parcels or shipment that you get or buy online. So, you need to inspect your clothes and whatever new comes into the house. This keeps the bed bugs away.
These pests bite us and feed on our blood. This triggers an inflammatory response by the immune system and the area swells up as a bite. Bed bugs bites are not painful but very itchy. To relieve the itching, try these home remedies. 1. Wash Them In ACV Apple Cider Vinegar is a simple remedy that works on bed bug bites. And it is pretty safe. Dilute ACV in bathtub and immerse yourself in it. Cool water feels better. 2. Use a Banana Peel The inside of a banana peel should be held close to the bites for 5 minutes. This alleviates the itching. 3.Other Remedies You can also use the following things on bed bug bites
Some people may have an allergy to bed bugs and in them, these bites would look more inflamed, swollen and more itchy. In that case, it should be evaluated by a doctor.
1. Ability of essential oil candles to repel biting insects in high and low biting pressure environments.Mller GC, Junnila A, Kravchenko VD, Revay EE, Butler J, Orlova OB, Weiss RW, Schlein Y 2. Cold tolerance of bed bugs and practical recommendations for control.Olson JF, Eaton M2, Kells SA2, Morin V3, Wang C
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14 Effective Home Remedies For Bed Bugs : Get Rid Of Them ...
If you are one of the thousands of people who are unlucky enough to have to deal with an outbreak of bed bugs, dont be in despair. Although it may be difficult to eliminate bed bugs completely, it is not impossible. In fact, before reaching for strong chemical pesticides, try some home remedies to get rid of bed bugs.
In this article, we will explore:
Extermination of bed bugs requires comprehensive controls. Before starting the treatments, you need to prepare the area to make sure bed bugs dont have many places to hide.
Contrary to popular beliefs, bed bugs do not just hide in your bed, but also anywhere near your bed, including your clothes, cardboard boxes and cracks in the wall. If you have a lot of clutter in your home, it just means more places for bed bugs to hide. That means you will have a harder time locating the pests and killing them. Therefore, start by throwing all your dirty clothes in the laundry, taking out all clutter from beneath the bed and, if possible, patching up cracks in the walls and floors.
Throw your dirty clothes, bedding, mattress, pillowcases, stuffed toys and any other things that can be washed in hot water into the washer. Make the water very hot; bed bugs cannot survive in hot temperatures, and the water will also drown them. Colored fabrics that cannot be washed in hot temperatures should be tumble-dried on hot settings.
There are a lot of clothes and stuff that cannot be washed in hot temperatures. For those, you can use a steam cleaner. A steam cleaner on high heat is quite effective in getting rid of bed bugs as neither the biting insects nor their eggs can stand temperatures above 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The great thing about steam cleaners is that the steam comes out with some pressure, allowing it to penetrate deep into the bedding, sofa cushions, and cracks and crevices. Make sure that you use dry steam rather than wet steam as the moisture may ruin the fabric and wooden surfaces.
Vacuuming, in and around the infested area, is extremely important. Take your vacuum cleaner up to your mattress and vacuum it to suck out the bed bugs and their eggs from their hiding places. Vacuum under and around the bed, on the walls, particularly the place where the wall meets the floor, over cracks and crevices, in your closet and on all upholstered surfaces. If your room has a carpet, vacuum it thoroughly as well, as bed bugs often lay their eggs on the edges. Once you are done vacuuming, through away the vacuum bag away from your home, as it may contain live bugs or their eggs.
Encase your mattress, pillows, box springs and comforters in tight encasements made of tough fabric, which do not allow bed bugs to get to your skin. Sealing up your bedding means any bed bugs left inside will not be able to get out and gain access to you. This means that they will eventually starve to death. Depending on the temperature, bed bugs can go without a bloodmeal for 20 to 400 days, so keep your bedding encased for at least a year.
A lot of bed bugs often make their homes in your bed. Therefore, move your bed away from the walls, bed stand, or other furniture that your bed may be touching so that the pests do not crawl onto them and start spreading. Do not let your blankets dangle on to the floor; otherwise, bed bugs will be able to climb up and down from it. For added protection, place bed bug interceptors underneath each foot of the bed so that they trap any bug trying to make its way into or out of the bed.
Before you start looking for a professional exterminator, here are a few natural bed bug home remedies that you should consider first.
The fossilized remains of microalgae, diatomaceous earth is proven to kill 90% of a bed bug infestation. The great thing about it is that it is chemical free. The substance is an abrasive potent desiccant and kills bed bugs by splitting their exoskeleton and dehydrating them from the inside.
To use, apply 100% diatomaceous earth on areas where you suspect bed bug activities. If you have pets and small children, opt for food-grade diatomaceous earth. Although the substance may take over a week to kill bed bugs, it has quite a hard mortality rate. Since its marketed as a fine powder, you can inject it inside cracks and crevices as well that are not easy to get into.
Even though food-grade diatomaceous earth is non-toxic and can even be eaten theoretically, we advise you not to do so. Do not inhale it, as it is extremely drying and is composed of tiny crystals that can damage your lungs.
After a few weeks, vacuum up the powder, reapply it and repeat for a few weeks until all the bed bugs are gone.
Like diatomaceous earth, silica gel is also made of silicon and is a dehydrating agent. However, it is not abrasive but has an amorphous and porous form. You may have noticed tiny packets marked as desiccant inside shoe boxes and some food products that contain silica gel. To use them to treat bed bugs, grind the silica gel beads into a fine powder and spread them around areas which have bed bugs. However, like diatomaceous earth, you need to be careful, as inhalation of silica gel can be harmful.
Soda bicarbonate is used to rise or cakes at home, but it also has another great use: eradicating bed bugs. Baking soda works by sucking out the moisture and oil shield from the insects chitin and ultimately killing the bed bugs. Sprinkle a light layer of baking soda in affected areas. After one week has passed, vacuum the area and re-sprinkle it. It may take you weeks to eliminate bed bugs with baking soda, and you will need large quantities of it as the remedy will need to be repeated, so the cost may be slightly prohibitive. Still, it is a very safe and fairly effective way to get rid of these pests.
A salt of boric acid, this substance is a very effective cleaner due to its antibacterial properties. Borax is also used to clean out eyes as well as get rid of bed bugs. The substance works by destroying the bed bugs digestive system after they eat it. However, since bed bugs prefer bloodmeal over any other type of food, it is almost impossible for them to eat it. However, it can be used as a deterrent. Apply a liberal amount of Borax on the seams and the bed of the legs. You can also dissolve it in water and spray the solution on these places. Even if it doesnt kill the bed bugs, it will prevent them from going where the powder is.
Similar to bed bug interceptors, double-sided tapes can trap bed bugs making their way to and from the bed. Apply the tapes around or beneath the legs of your bed and other furniture so that any crawling insect ends up getting stuck on the adhesive. Keep your sheet, blankets, and bedding from touching the ground as a few bed bugs may crawl over to reach your bedding.
Another popular bed bug home remedy option is to use rubbing alcohol. Pour some alcohol into a spray bottle and spray it all around the affected area. Rubbing alcohol is a solvent and can dissolve the protective layer of chitin on bed bug shells, effectively drying them out on contact.
There are several home remedies for bed bugs with vinegar. Vinegar is a strong-smelling acid and can be used to kill and repel bed bugs. It is also used in cooking, so most of us usually have a bottle of it in our home, make it one of the most convenient bed bug killing home remedy. Vinegar kills these pests by damaging their nervous system; however, it cannot destroy the eggs.
To treat bed bugs with vinegar, saturate the edges of your bedding and furniture with the distilled white vinegar and spray directly on bed bugs. That way, if the pests try to flee, they will be met with a parameter of vinegar, which wont let them cross.
Tea tree oil is a potent antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal and antiviral essential oil. Tea tree oil not just prevents and treats pathogen-related infections but is also a great remedy for destroying small infestations of bed bugs and preventing re-infestation. It also works as a wonderful cleaning agent and helps in masking human smells that attract bed bugs. It is also quite inexpensive.
To eliminate a minor outbreak, dilute about 20 drops of pure tea tree oil into 200ml of water and spray onto places where you have observed bed bug activity, including your bedding, sofas, furniture, curtains, and cabinets. The oil works by suffocating the bed bugs. In its undiluted form, it is naturally more effective; however, it may then not be safe to use around pets and children as it is quite potent.
You can use a blend of cayenne pepper, ginger, and oregano to create a bed bug fighting spray right at home. The hot spiciness of the ginger and pepper, as well as the potent smell of oregano oil, are an effective repellant against bed bugs.
To make it, take one part cayenne pepper, one part ginger, one part oregano essential oil and one part water and bring the mixture to boil for about 7 minutes. Strain the solution, put it in a spray bottle and spritz it around areas with bug activities. You may need to repeat the process a few times until all bed bugs are gone.
The oils in peppermint leaves serve as an effective bed bug repellant. Crush a cup of dry mint leaves and then sprinkle the shreds into corners where bed bugs have been seen. If the infestation is wide-spread, you may need more than one cup. You may have to repeat the process. To do that, simply vacuum up the old peppermint leaves and replace them with new ones, until all the bed bugs have disappeared.
Using lavender oil is one of the best home remedies for bed bug sprays. Although lavender instills calmness and relaxation, it is also a great way to repel and kill bed bugs. In fact, lavender oil has been reported to be sued for centuries to protect clothes and linens from insects like moths and silverfish.
Black walnut tea is a natural bed bug home remedy. Like tea tree oil, it has antifungal, antibacterial and insecticidal properties. It is also a great herbal tree. All you need to do is to take used black walnut tea bags and place them in affected areas, in cracks and crevices, mattresses, beddings and furniture, to get rid of the insects and their eggs.
You can also sprinkle the dried tea leaves in infested areas rather than use tea bags. Alternatively, you can make a herbal sachet by mixing three parts black walnut tea, 3 parts thyme, 2 parts sweet flag, 1 part lavender, and 1 part mint. The aroma of the mixture will help in repelling bed bugs.
This tall plant grows on the edges of rivers, lake, marshes, and wetlands. You can also find a herbal mixture in packets from the market. This herb has microbial properties and an aroma, combined which can be effective repealing bed bugs and other insects. You can make a solution of the sweet flag and spray it on affected area as a natural remedy for bed bugs.
This is a traditional Balkan method to trap insects. Take some bean leaves and spread them on the surfaces where there is bed bug activity. The leaves have microscopic hooked hair which can entangle bed bug legs and impale them. Create a barrier with these bean leaves; bed bugs will either be repelled or those foolish enough to walk into the trap, will be killed.
The leaves of the Indian lilac have a repelling effect like other plant-based remedies. Crush the leaves and spread them around the affected area. Alternatively, you can boil the leaves and put the strained solution in your bath water to prevent bed bugs from snacking on you. You can also spray Indian lilac oil around your bedding and furniture to get rid of bed bugs.
Burning thyme near the infested areas can help get rid of bed bugs, though it may take a few days. Thyme has insecticidal properties and can be used in a variety of ways to fight off bed bugs. You can also take fresh thyme leaves and place them around your bed and furniture in net bags to keep away insects. Replace with fresh thyme every three days.
Lemongrass essential oil actually kills bed bugs rather than just repelling them. The high acidity in lemongrass can kill the bed bugs and their eggs and also serve as a repellant. It doubles as a room freshener because of its tangy, citrusy smell.
Beauveria Bassiana is a parasitic fungus which likes to feed on insects like bed bugs. When the microscopic seeds come in contact with insects bodies, they penetrate the cuticle and grow inside the shell. The insect soon becomes immobile, unable to feed and infertile. It also dies within three to five days.
A derivative of the brightly-colored chrysanthemum flower, this substance produces refined pyrethrins, a natural insect killer that throws bed bugs nervous system into overdrive, paralyzes them and kills them. This substance is extremely effective against bed bugs; however, some strains have developed resistant to pyrethrins. To circumvent this issue, it is suggested that pyrethrums and pyrethrins be used in conjunction with other natural products like silica gel and diatomaceous earth, which enhances effectiveness.
Although bed bugs are not known to spread any fatal diseases, their bites can be very irritating and may lead to secondary infections. If you have itchy and red bites on your body, wash the area with soap and water and use the following home remedies:
Applying an ice pack to a bed bug bite can help relieve swelling and itchiness. Apply some ice cubes wrapped in a thin towel to the bite for 10 minutes. You can reapply the ice pack throughout the day.
Since baking soda is alkaline, it can help neutralize the acid in bed bug bites. Make a thick paste of baking soda by adding water to it and apply on the affected area to reduce swelling and pain.
Cinnamon has analgesic, antibacterial and inflammatory properties that make it a great natural remedy for bed bug bites. Ground the spice with some water and apply it to the bite; this will seal the area, preventing infection and healing the inflammation. Repeat throughout the day.
Using calamine lotion is one of the best home remedies for bed bug bites. The lotion has a cooling effect on the bite, acts as a skin protector, reduces inflammation and alleviates pain. The main active ingredient is zinc oxide which is used to treat several types of rashes, including mosquito bites and chicken pox.
Raw apple cider vinegar is a potent antimicrobial, which you can apply to bed bug bites. This will prevent infection, get rid of redness and pain and promote healing.
Toothpaste contains menthol which is an astringent and cooling agent. Placing some toothpaste on bed bug bites can almost instantaneously relive you of itchiness and bring down redness and swelling. In fact, it is used to soothe burns in Asian countries.
Witch hazel also has anti-inflammatory and astringent properties which can soothe irritated skin caused by bed bug bites. It is also believed to treat varicose veins without surgery.
If your bites turn into blisters, feel tender, ooze discharge or exhibit symptoms of an allergic reaction, you should see a dermatologist for treatment.
Aloe vera gel has medicinal soothing and antiseptic properties that make it one of the best natural home remedies for bed bug bites. Take an aloe vera leaf, remove the spines on its side and split it down length-wise to take the top and bottom layer apart. Scoop out the aloe vera gel and place it on the bite.
A: Bed bug bites are red and inflamed in the form of welts. You may see a darker spot in the middle from where the bed bug has fed. The welts are usually in a straight or zigzag line, often on the parts of the body which makes contact with the bed.
A: Severe allergic reactions, like anaphylactic shock, from bed bug bites are extremely rare, although people who have been bitten by the bug often report of hives, itchy welts and itchy bumps which may increase risks of infection when scratched. These welts may persist for weeks, but this is quite common.
A: Yes, they all work, though some may perform better than the others. Some bed bugs home remedies are effective in killing these insects while others just repel them. The effectiveness of home remedies also depends on the size of the infestation.
A: Although all bed bug home remedies are fairly effective, they work best when combined with each other. For example, you can sprinkle diatomaceous earth or Borax on affected areas to kill biting adults. You can soak yourself in an Indian lilac bath to prevent the remaining bugs from biting you. To prevent re-infestation, you can place thyme, sweet flag and black walnut tea sachets around your bed and cracks and crevices.
A: One of the best home remedies to get rid of bed bugs is to use heat, either by laundering fabric in hot water or using a steamer or blow-dryer. You can also sprinkle diatomaceous earth or silica gel on the mattress that can dry out the eggs. You can then vacuum them up and throw the vacuum bag away from the house.
A: Unfortunately, no. Bed bugs are very resilient and can come back any time they sense your sleeping place is not well-protected. To be on the safe side, repeat the application of home remedies every few weeks. Also keep your furniture, bed, floors, and walls well-vacuumed and place natural repellants in these areas to keep these pests away.
Bed bugs are parasites that belong to the cimicid family. They are small, oval, brownish insects that feed exclusively on blood. While there are quite a few parasites of the cimicid family that feeds on animal blood, the cimex lectularius, the common bedbug, is the famous one as it prefers feeding on human blood. While an adult bed bug has a flat body, and looks pretty much like an apple seed, after feeding, its body swells and also turns a reddish color. Bed bugs usually feed on their hosts quite unnoticed.
Though bed bugs are believed to be more active during the night, they are not nocturnal creatures. A female bedbug can lay hundreds of eggs in its lifetime. These eggs are usually the size of a speck of dust and can be brought into your house along with adults, via luggage, used furniture, used beds, clothing, etc. Bed bugs cannot fly. However, they can move quite quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings.
While some adverse health conditions may be caused as a result of bed bug bites, like skin rashes, allergic symptoms, and even psychological problems, bed bugs are unknown to transmit any disease pathogens.
One of the most evident signs of bed bug infestation is finding itchy areas on your body when you wake up after a sleep. These itchy areas may also present as small red bumps. Small blood stains on your sheets or pillow cases, bed bug excrement on the bed and bed linen or walls, egg shells or shed skins in areas where bed bugs usually hide, and sometimes even a musty odor from the bugs scent glands are some other giveaways to a bed bug infestation.
Since bed bugs have flattened bodies, it makes it easy for them to hide in the tiniest of spaces, like mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards. Though bed bugs do not have nests, they tend to live in groups. Over time, they tend to scatter through the bedroom, moving into any crevice or protected location, and even to adjoining rooms.
If you suspect that you may have a bed bug infestation, remove all bedding and dust covers and blankets, box springs etc. and check it carefully for signs of the bugs or their excrement. You must also check the area around the bed, including inside books, telephones, radios, carpet edges, and even electrical outlets.
Once you have identified a bed bug infestation in your house, it is understandable that you want to jump right in and eliminate them. But this will be a long, drawn-out battle, and there is nothing like patience and preparation to win it.
Getting rid of bedbugs begins with cleaning up the places where bedbugs live. Now, this is not an easy task as it includes washing and drying bedding, linens, curtains, clothing, etc. in hot water and then meticulously checking that it is indeed bed-bug free. The cleaning up process also calls for some heavy-duty vacuuming. The entire house, furniture, linens, furnishings etc. need to be regularly vacuumed. After each vacuuming session, ensure you remove the vacuum cleaner bag into another plastic bag and place it in the garbage bin outside the house.
Another way to get rid of these bugs is to freeze them. Although bed bugs can live for up to a year in a cool room, they cannot withstand freezing temperatures. Freezing infested items for at least two hours at -17C should kill them off.
Like cold, steam too can help get rid of bed bugs. Steam can penetrate mattress linings, crevices and cracks effectively and efficiently. Steam cleaning infested items and rooms at about 140F (60C) can destroy bugs as well as their eggs without damaging the surroundings.
You can also try out some natural insecticides to get rid of the bed bugs and their eggs. In this regard, plant essential oils have gained importance as a significant natural source of pesticides. They represent a market estimated at $700 million. The total production of essential oils in the world is estimated to be around 45000 tons. Most essential oils affect the inner cell membranes of insects, causing cytotoxic effects. It is this property that proves beneficial when tackling any kind of bug or insect infestation. And while the essential oils are toxic to the bugs, they are safe for humans. Here we look at some essential oil based natural insecticides as well as some other less harmful repellents to help get rid of bed bugs.
Studies show that tea tree oil is an effective insecticidal. The essential oil of tea tree effectively disrupts the permeability barrier of cell membrane structures, thus resulting in the loss of chemiosmotic control and fatality. It is this membrane-damaging property of tea tree oil that makes it an effective natural insecticide in fighting bed bugs. You can use the homemade spray in hard-to-reach places, like cracks, crevices, and furniture joints.
To Use: To make a natural insecticide with tea tree oil, mix two teaspoons of tea tree oil with 50 ml of water. Pour it into a spray bottle and shake well. Spray liberal amounts of the natural insecticide in all areas where you think bed bugs are living. Use this application daily until all the signs of bed bugs have disappeared. Remember to shake well before each application.
Like tea tree oil, lavender essential oil can also be used as an effective natural insecticide to kill bed bugs. Lavender oil is also believed to destroy bed bug eggs as well. It is also said that it is the smell of lavender that kills the bugs. However, the oil probably acts as a cytotoxin and thus kills the bed bugs.
To Use: To make a spray, mix 1015 drops of lavender oil with 50 ml water. Shake well, pour into a spray bottle and use in areas where the infestation is seen. You can also use lavender soap or powder as a spray. Another method is to place fresh lavender leaves or flowers in and around the infested areas to get rid of the bed bugs.
A combination of lavender oil and peppermint oil was also found to be highly beneficial in exterminating bed bugs.
To Use: Add 1015 drops of lavender essential oil and 1015 drops of peppermint oil into a spray bottle. Fill it with water. Then shake well and spray in affected areas.
Citronella, or lemongrass as it is more commonly known, is another essential oil that can repel and kill bed bugs as well as its eggs. Citronella oil is believed to increase the acidic condition within the bugs, thus effectively eliminating it. Like lavender, the smell of citronella is also believed to help get rid of bed bugs.
To Use: Add 10 drops of citronella oil to a small bowl of water. Pour it into a spray bottle, shake thoroughly, and spray in affected areas to get best results.
The evergreen, mighty trees of the eucalyptus can be seen in most places across the world. The essential oil found in its foliage is widely used in food, pharmaceuticals, perfumes, etc. It is also used extensively as an insect repellent. Eucalyptus is believed to exhibit ovicidal activity, as well as insect repellency against bacteria, fungi, insects, weeds, nematodes, and mites.
To Use: To make the spray, take two ounces of water, 1.5 ounces of witch hazel or vodka and 30 drops of eucalyptus essential oil. Pour all this into a spray bottle and shake well to mix it. Then spray the solution on the affected areas. Repeat the spraying every two hours of so.
Orange oil contains d-limonene which is classified as an insecticide. This is a nerve toxin which kills the bugs and insects within minutes of contact.
To Use: Make a spray solution by mixing 1 cup of compost tea, 1 ounce of blackstrap molasses and 2 ounces of orange essential oil in 4 liters of water. Mix all this together well and spray in the affected areas.
For generations, neem oil has been used for various medicinal and insecticidal properties. The tree, the leaf, the seeds are all used for medicinal purposes with beneficial results. Studies show that neem oil, especially cold pressed neem oil, has high toxicity, and antifeedancy and can repel a number of pests. It was also shown to have high larval growth inhibition properties.
To Use: To make a spray solution, add 1 ounce of concentrated neem essential oil to 4 ounces of water. Add teaspoon of soap in order to emulsify the solution. Mix it well. Then spray and wipe down beds, sheets, walls, crevices and all other potential bed bug hiding places. Do this three times a day for the first three days. Then shift to treating your home every alternate day for a total of 18 days.
Sweet flag or acorus calamus, is an uncommon, semi-aquatic, perennial plant found in Eurasia and the Americas. Valued for its rhizome and fragrant oils, this plant has been used medicinally as well as for its insecticidal properties, since time immemorial. Recent studies have also revealed that the sweet plant possesses antifungal and antibacterial properties. The antimicrobial property makes the sweet flag effective against bed bugs.
To Use: To make a spray, boil 100 grams of sweet flag and 50 grams of turmeric powder in one liter of water. Boil this for an hour. Then keep the solution in a closed container for 24 hours. The next day, filter and dilute the solution in 10 times the water. Transfer to a spray bottle and spray lavishly in affected areas and its surroundings.
Did you just think folk lore when you read the word kidney beans? Well, push that thought aside. Studies have shown that the leaves have microscopic hairs called trichomes on its surface that entangle the bugs onto it, literally stopping them in their tracks. Unlike a Velcro effect, the trichomes actually get hooked onto bugs legs, trapping them.
To Use: Scatter kidney bean leaves all over the house, especially in infested areas. You can also place the leaves under mattresses. You can either wait for a couple of days before getting rid of these leaves or opt to use fresh leaves every day for a few days. Since the bugs are stuck on the leaves, getting rid of the leaves will ensure the bugs never return.
Thyme oil or thymol concentrate are effective bed bug repellents. They are also shown to be effective deterrents for egg laying by mites.
To Use: You can tie a thyme stick with a cotton cloth and burn it near the infested area, or in the infested room. Alternatively, place thyme leaves in net bags and place them in and around the infested areas. Remember to replace these bags with fresh leaves every third day. Continue the process for up to a month to ensure all bed bugs have been killed.
Like most other essential oils, clove oil too possesses insecticidal and insect repellent properties. It is believed that the acidic pH of cloves, as well as its pungent smell, disturbs the survival of the bugs, thus destroying them.
To Use: Mix 1 teaspoon clove essential oil with 1 cup water. Pour into a spray bottle, shake well, and spray in affected areas.
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a non-toxic insecticide that is used for the protection of stored products and to control pests in the home and garden. It is a natural product that harms neither the earth nor people. It can be conveniently used in any space, even crevices on walls and other inaccessible regions. DE comes as a fine crystalline powder. Fine for the human eye, but the crystals trap and tear up the bed bugs.
To Use: Spray or sprinkle food grade DE on the bed, the floor, the crevices, and other areas where bugs are likely to hide. Let it stay for up to three days. After three days, vacuum or broom up the entire house. Some other products that work effectively against bed bugs are baking powder and boric powder. While boric powder is toxic, baking powder is harmless for humans.
Also, remember that most essential oils should be effective in getting rid of bed bugs. This is because, as mentioned, the oils function as cytotoxins, destroying the membranes of the bugs. So, go ahead, get started on ridding your home and hearth of those pesky blood suckers.
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.
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11 Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Naturally
Itchy skin doesn't always require a run to the drugstore. Home remedies for itchy skin can help you quit scratching too.
Generally speaking, the key to soothing an itch is getting rid of whats causing it in the first place, says Melanie Grossman, M.D., a New York City-based board-certified dermatologist, whether that means treating your apartment for bed bugs (ugh), stripping off that irritating wool sweater, or getting treatment for an underlying condition (of which there are many).
Just remember: While itching is usually easy to treat (thank you, moisturizer!), if you try a couple of home remedies for itchy skin and youre still scratching, see a dermatologist, says Alix J. Charles, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).
Youll want to rule out a skin condition like psoriasis or eczemaor complications from pregnancy or diabetes. And if you have blisters, sores, or ulcers, head for help sooner rather than later.
Find relief ASAP with these dermatologist-approved home remedies:
This one is simple: If youre itchy, changing your clothes can make a big difference. Heat, irritating fabrics (scratchy leggings), and detergent or fabric softener clinging to your clothes can cause or worsen itchy skin, says Dr. Grossman. Letting your skin breathe can reduce the intensity of that must-scratch feeling.
A hot shower isnt always a cure-all: Heat and water exposure dial up the itch factor from mosquito bites, peeling sunburn, and dry skin alike by further drying out your skin, making it feel worse in the long-run.
A cold compress, on the other hand? The cold (and the anti-inflammatory benefits that come with it) can help relieve an itch. Aim for 10- to 15-minute icing sessions until your itch is resolved, suggests Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Entire Dermatology.
A short-term solution for bug bites: Press an ice cube to your most bothersome hot spots, suggests Dr. Grossman.
Think about it: Do you ever moisturize? Many people dont, says Dr. Charles. If your skin is dry, itchy, and perhaps even a bit scaly-looking, it might just be super parched (which, yep, triggers an itch). Lather up every day with a body lotion or moisturizer free of additives, fragrances, and perfumes, per the AAD. (We love CeraVes Itch Relief Moisturizing Lotion, which is free of steroids and fragrances.)
Pro tip: Keep some in a jar in your fridge and put it on for a one-two punch of coolness and moisture, suggests board-certified dermatologist Lauren Ploch, M.D., fellow of the AAD.
Over-the-counter lotions, gels, and creams with ingredients like menthol, camphor, calamine, and aloe vera make for great natural remedies to spot-treat itchy skin, says Dr. Charles.
If youre dealing with milder itchy skin issues like bug bites, a rash from poison ivy, or peeling sunburn, all of the above ingredients can help soothe your skin and relieve the need to scratch, which can actually aggravate the irritated area and increase your risk of infection.
Sure, an oatmeal soak is far less luxurious than a steamy bubble bath, but it might help soothe your itchy skin, says Dr. Kanchanapoomi Levin.
Colloidal oatmeal (a.k.a. finely-ground oats) has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities that can rehydrate your skin and dial down the intensity of an itch, per a small study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology.
Not a fan of baths? Colloidal oatmeal is also available in a number of OTC creams and lotions, like Aveenos Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion.
CeraVe Itch Relief Moisturizing Lotion
Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatment with Colloidal Oatmeal
Allegra Adult 24 Hour Allergy Tablets
Cortizone 10 Maximum Strength Anti-Itch Ointment
When your body comes into contact with any number of irritants (think: allergens, plants like poison ivy and oak, or insect bites), it reacts by releasing histamine, a compound that results in hives, rashes, and itchy skin.
In this case, taking an antihistamine can be a great way to treat your itchy skin at home, says Dr. Grossman. For mild to moderate cases (as in, you dont have full-body hives or other symptoms like trouble breathing), try an OTC medication like Allegra or Zyrtec, suggests Dr. Kanchanapoomi Levin.
Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream can help the itch that comes along with many common skin conditions, says Dr. Charles. Look for an anti-itch cream with at least 1% hydrocortisone to calm a must-scratch sensation, like this one from Cortizone 10.
Just note: If a week passes and youre still itching, stop using the cream and make an appointment with a dermatologist for a proper ID and treatment, per the National Institutes of Health.
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