It’s getting to that time of year again when we can all look forward to warmer weather, barbecues, going on vacation, spending time by the pool and BED BUGS! Yup, unfortunately as the weather gets warmer the bed bugs become more active so what can you do? Well, you could bring in exterminators or you could look to some home remedies for bed bugs.
Home remedies for bed bugs? Do they work?
The answer is yes, if carried out correctly they can be effective. It has to be said however, if you have a particularly large and wide spread infestation in your home you will need professional help.
What are the best home remedies for bed bugs when dealing with small/medium sized infestations?
Here are 6 bed bug remedies which you can use at home which won’t cost thousands of dollars but do work.
1. Launder EVERYTHING – Anything which may have come into contact with bed bugs so bed linen, clothing, soft furnishings, soft toys and so on should be laundered at as high temperatures as the fabrics involved will allow. Laundering will freshen and clean the items but it is the drying which is important for killing bed bug eggs etc. Therefore you should tumble dry your laundered items on a high setting. Air drying outside will not guarentee the same results even in the sun. Place all freshly laundered items in sealed plastic bags to prevent re-contamination
2. Wash and clean using disinfectant – this is particularly important in your laundry area once you are done. However, don’t forget work surfaces and kids toys etc. which cannot be laundered can have tiny cracks and and holes where bed bugs can hide out.
3. Get out the vacuum cleaner and Vacuum everything mattresses, box springs, headboards etc. (It makes life a lot simpler if you have completely de-cluttered the room first, disposing of any unwanted items in sealed plastic bags.) Use the tools on you vacuum to get into every nook and cranny. Don’t forget the underside of furniture, chairs, drawers, inside closets, soft toys which can’t be laundered as well as the more obscure places like inside alarm clocks, picture frames, just EVERYWHERE! Remember, you must empty and thoroughly clean your vacuum cleaner immediately you finish to prevent eggs hatching and bed bugs escaping to begin a whole new infestation in a different area of your home!
4. Bed bugs cannot with stand high temperatures so blasting them with a steam cleaner which can reach temperatures in excess of 120 oC will not only kill adult bugs but also nymphs and most importantly eggs. One thing to keep in mind if you are purchasing a steam cleaner is to make sure you get one which can reach high enough temperatures and which produces “dry vapor.” This is really important otherwise you will end up with a whole lot of soaking wet pieces of furniture which will take a long time to dry out and could end up leading to a mold or mildew problem.
It is essential that when working with a steam cleaner you carefully follow the manufacturers instructions and work slowly and methodically throughout the whole room ensuring that the tip of the steam cleaner is kept just above the surface for maximum heat. The steam pressure should not be too high otherwise it will merely blow the bugs away.
5. The use of insect crawling powder(Diatomaceous Earth) may also help in the longer term. This is fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton which under the microscope looks like tiny shards of glass. As an insect like a bed bug which has an exoskeleton wanders through a thin dusting of this on your floor etc. the powder works its way under the exoskeletal joints and cuts into their body causing them to dehydrate and die.
6. Organic Bed Bug Spray – with these you have to be really careful. Some are totally chemical free and pose no health risk to humans or household pets.
Others are chemical based and may possibly be harmful particularly to individuals with long term health issues like those with breathing problems. Always carefully read the manufacturers instructions before you begin and the use of a face mask and protective clothing may be advisable.
The problem with some bed bug sprays is that they only kill bed bugs on contact and have no residual effect. It is always best to check before you purchase any spray which type it is.
So, there you have six home remedies for bed bugs which do work. However, for experience what I would say is that used individually the success of these remedies may be limited but combining all of these can be really effective.