What Kills Bed Bugs?
It is a fact that killing bed bugs in your home is not an easy task because of the simple fact they are capable of hiding out in the tiniest of cracks and crevices. This means that actually getting to them with a treatment which kills bed bugs can be extremely difficult. There are numerous chemicals which have been designed to kill bed bugs, however the problem with these can be two fold.
1. They can be harmful to human health
2. In many cases our vampire friends have built up resistance to them making them far less effective. So, what kills bed bugs naturally but is harmless to humans and still effective?
There are a number of things you can try such as;
Crawling insect dust: Provided you purchase the food grade product this is completely harmless and a dusting can be placed in areas of your home which have low traffic flow.
This product works by penetrating the joints of the bugs exoskeleton body, eventually causing them to dehydrate and die. The problem with this treatments is that whilst it is effective it can take a number of weeks to kill off an infestation as it will only work when the bugs come into direct contact.
Mattress Encasements: These can be used to trap bed bugs which are living on or inside your mattress. However, as an adult bed bug can survive up to a year without feeding this too could be a long process. I would advise that you treat your mattress, box spring and pillows first using steam or some other treatment for bed bugs and then use bed bug proof encasements as more of a preventative measure.
Bed Bug Traps: These can also be very useful – the best ones are the “cup” shaped ones which the feet of your bed or any other piece of furniture in close proximity to it can be placed.
Place crawling insect dust inside the cup (talcum powder will do the same job) and When the bed bugs try to crawl up to reach their next meal they will fall in and become trapped inside the cup and the crawling insect dust will kill them.
Whilst this will kill some bed bugs traps will not take care of a significant infestation unless it is used in conjunction with treatments. Traps are however an excellent method of monitoring the success or failure of other treatments. What else kills bed bugs?
HEAT: This has to be one of the best weapons you can have in any battle against bed bugs and there are more than one heat treatment which will kill bed bugs.
Tumble dryer: The first step in any treatment for bed bugs is to launder all bed linen and clothing from the infested room. Laundering at high temperatures will clean and freshen the items but it is the tumble drying which will ensure that bed bugs including their eggs are totally eliminated. Even items which cannot be laundered should if possible be placed in a tumble drier on a high setting for around 10 – 15 minutes.
Heat Treatment Device: This is basically a heated box – the brand name which comes to mind is PackTite or you can construct one yourself you will find instructions on various websites. This could not be simpler, place items which you suspect may contain bed bugs or bed bug eggs inside this may be books, shoes – lots of items which perhaps cannot be put in a tumble dryer. Allow the temperature to reach at least 120 oC and leave for a number of hours to “cook.”
The type of steam cleaner you use is very important. You need one which will reach temperatures in excess of 120 oC and which produced “dry” vapor. Dry vapor will ensure that you don’t end up with an additional problem of black mold or mildew by not making mattresses etc. excessively wet. It is also important that you can control the pressure at which the steam is released – too much and you will simply blow the bugs to another part of the room.
The steam cleaner head should be moved across items just above the surface to ensure the temperature is kept constant. If the head is too high above the surface the temperature of the steam will be greatly reduced making it less effective.
What is the best answer I can give to the question what kills bed bugs? Use of all the methods above i.e. crawling insect dust, encasements, bed bug traps, heat and even organic, residual bed bug sprays in conjunction with each other. It will take time and the whole process may have to be repeated more than once but you CAN kill bed bugs in your home using these methods.