Bedbugs measure just 5 millimeters across, which is smaller than a pencil eraser. These bugs are smart and tough, and they reproduce quickly. Bedbugs know where to hide to avoid detection and can live for months between meals. A female can lay 500 eggs in her lifetime.
Its no surprise that these tiny bloodsuckers can cause a lot of trouble in your home. If they get into bed with you, they can leave red, itchy welts all over your body.
You can get rid of bedbugs. Try to be patient, as removing bedbugs often takes some time and effort. You may have to try a few different chemical and nonchemical approaches, especially if you have a large infestation.
Certain factors can make bedbugs harder to remove. You may have a tougher time ridding your home of them if you have a lot of clutter or you travel often and bring new bedbugs home in your luggage.
If you cannot get rid of them on your own, you may have to call in a professional exterminator. Read on for a step-by-step guide on getting rid of bedbugs.
If youve got bedbugs, you want to find them early before they start to reproduce. Its much easier and cheaper to treat a small infestation than a big one. But smaller infestations can be harder to detect.
Search for bedbugs yourself or hire a professional to do an inspection. Some inspectors use specially trained dogs to hunt down bedbugs by scent.
Bedbugs small and narrow bodies enable them to squeeze into tiny spots, like the seams of a mattress or couch and the folds of curtains.
Also, look for them:
Use a flashlight and magnifying glass to go over all of these areas.
You can spot signs of bedbugs by the following:
Once you find a bedbug, put it in a sealed jar along with 1 teaspoon of rubbing alcohol. Other types of bugs can look a lot like bedbugs. If youre not sure what type of bug youve found, bring it to an exterminator or entomologist to identify.
Once you know you have bedbugs, you need to keep them contained so you can get rid of them. A quick and easy way to trap bedbugs is with your vacuum. Run the vacuum over any possible hiding places.
This includes your:
Seal up the vacuumed contents into a plastic bag and throw it away. Then thoroughly clean out the vacuum.
Seal up all your linens and affected clothes in plastic bags until you can wash them. Then put them on the highest possible temperature setting in a washer and dryer. If an item cannot be washed, put it in the dryer for 30 minutes at the highest heat setting.
Anything that cannot be treated in the washer and dryer should be placed in a plastic bag. Leave it there for a few months, if possible, to make sure all the bugs die.
If you cannot clean furniture, throw it away. Tear it up first and spray paint the word bedbugs on it so no one else tries to take it home.
Before you start treating your home, do a little prep work to maximize your odds of success. Make sure all your linens, carpets, drapes, clothing, and other hiding places have been cleaned or thrown out (see step 2).
Next, get rid of bedbug hiding places:
Seal up any open areas:
Finally, move your bed at least 6 inches away from the wall so bedbugs cannot climb on.
You can first try to remove bedbugs without chemicals. These bugs are pretty easy to kill with high heat at 115F (46.11C) or intense cold at 32F (0C).
Here are a few ways to treat bedbugs using these methods:
Once youve cleaned all visible bedbugs, make the area inhospitable for the rest of them. Place bedbug-proof covers over your mattress and box spring. Zip these covers up all the way. Bugs that are trapped inside will die, and new bugs will not be able to get in.
If these methods do not wipe out all the bugs, you may need to try an insecticide.
Insecticides can help rid your home of bedbugs. Look for products that are registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and are specifically marked for use on bedbugs.
Here are a few types of insecticides you can try:
Bedbugs can take some time to wipe out. Before you can ensure that your treatment has worked, you need proof that the bugs have moved on. Check the infested areas about once every 7 days for signs of activity.
To make surviving bedbugs easier to spot, place bedbug interceptors under each leg of the bed. These devices will trap bedbugs before they can climb up into your bed. You may need to keep checking the interceptors for a full year.
Bedbugs are hardy creatures. Just when you think youve wiped them out, you might spot them again. You may have to try a few different treatment methods to control the infestation. And if they still do not go away, youll want to call in a professional exterminator.
If you cannot wipe out bedbugs on your own, its time to get the pros involved.
Pest control companies have the advantage of using chemicals and other treatments that are not available to you. They have insecticides that both kill bugs on contact and that stay inside furniture and cracks to kill bedbugs in the long term.
Pest control companies can also use whole room heat treatments. They bring in special equipment that heats up the room to a temperature between 135 and 145F (57.22 and 62.78C) high enough to kill bedbugs.
Before the pest control company arrives, they should give you instructions for prepping your home. Follow their directions carefully and youll have the best chance of wiping out the bugs.
Professional treatments take two to three visits to start working. After each treatment, you may have to stay out of the treated rooms for a few hours until the insecticides have dried.
Keep reading: Whats the difference between flea bites and bedbug bites?
Once the bedbugs are gone, youll want to make sure they stay gone for good:
See more here:
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