Bed bugs are perhaps the most feared pest infestation ever. They are small, elusive insects that are reddish-brown in colour and around the size of a grain of rice.
The bugs have six legs, no wings, two prominent black eyes, ridges across their shell, and a small beak apparatus at the end of the mouth for piercing skin and extracting blood meals.
These insects do not live outdoors, in fact, the pests spend their entire lives inside homes and go to great lengths to prevent being seen out in the open and discovered.
Bed bugs are primarily nocturnal and prefer dark areas where humans sleep since this allows the pests to come out and feed on human blood while the host is asleep. However, bed bugs can adapt and will mimic their host’s sleeping patterns.
For those who have checked their home and found multiple signs including the bed bugs themselves, it’s time to begin treatment methods in order to remove bed bugs.
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The experts at Shield Pest Control said: “While these are effective home remedies, you may also wish to call for professional help to securely process the extermination of your bed bug infestation.”
Step one: Identify the areas infested by bed bugs
Households will want to know what areas the bed bugs are found in. To do this, thoroughly check all areas of the home for infested items. This will include but is not limited to: seams of the mattress, beneath sofa cushions, in the joints of furniture, underneath loose wallpaper, behind bed frames, and in electrical outlets.
Once you know where bed bugs hide and have identified the infested areas and determined the seriousness of the situation, move on to the next step.
Step two: Contain the bugs
Bed bug control can be tough as they are fast-moving and spread quickly so it’s important to contain them in the areas you have identified the bed bug infestation. The experts said: “The most effective way to do this is to use a vacuum cleaner to thoroughly clean the mattress, light sockets, carpets, dressers, and other places you’ve found the bed bugs to be in.
“Once you’re sure you’ve vacuumed the infested items then it’s time to contain the bugs in a sealed bag and throw it away once they are trapped inside.
“You must then kill any remaining bugs on affected linen and clothes. We advise you to wash bedding at a high temperature or with very hot water for the best impact.”
Households can also use steam to wash bedding and other furniture that cannot be put in a washing machine. While this is a good method to “kill live bedbugs”, it is not effective to remove an entire infestation. So to kill bed bugs permanently, you will want to contact a pest control professional.
Step three: Kill the bed bugs
Killing bed bugs can be done using natural remedies, according to the experts. One of the first methods is temperature control as the pros claimed that this will help “eliminate an infestation”.
The experts continued: “Making sure to wash and dry fabrics for at least 30 minutes at hot temperatures is an effective home remedy to kill bugs right away.” Steaming affected items at a hot temperature will also have a positive effect and help get rid of bed bugs.
Alternatively, households can use a colder method by putting the infected materials in a plastic bag and then putting that in the freezer for at least four days at below zero degrees.
Step four: Monitor future bed bugs
To prevent bed bugs from “returning and quickly spreading” out throughout the home again, households should evaluate the effectiveness of their treatment. They should start by checking all of the areas they treated at least every seven days for signs of activity. Bed bugs hide very well and can be difficult to spot.
The experts noted that it’s possible that the treatment that was tried wasn’t 100 percent effective so to stop them from returning to beds, they said: “You may want to place bed bug interceptors under each leg of the bed.”
For those who find that they have tried multiple treatments but the bed bug infestations, unfortunately, keep returning, it would be advisable to contact pest controllers to manage a serious infestation.