It’s time to discover the fastest ways to get rid of bed bugs. Finding a bed bug infestation in your home or hotel room is always distressing. If you’re traveling, you don’t want to bring the bugs home with you. However, it’s rare to bring bed bugs into your house on your luggage.
Used furniture is the most common source of a bed bug infestation. Always scrutinize second-hand items before bringing them home with you. There are numerous approaches to treating a bed bug problem. Follow these tips and tricks to kill bed bugs fast and prevent future infestation.
If you detect the problem early enough, getting rid of bed bugs doesn’t have to be a long battle. Before calling the exterminator or using harsh chemical-based products, consider using one of our DIY pest control systems to get rid of bed bugs. However, if you have a severe infestation, you may need to use commercial pesticides or hire a professional.
- Signs of Bed Bug Problems
- Identify a Bed Bug Infestation with a DIY Bed Bug Trap
- Take Steps to Prepare Your Home for Bed Bug Treatment
- Where Do Bed Bugs Hide?
What to Do if You Find a Bed Bug Infestation
If you catch them early enough, it’s possible to stop a bed bug infestation quickly. You might find comfort in knowing that, according to entomologist Richard Pollock, Ph.D., less than 10% of insects that people identify as bed bugs genuinely are.
If you think your house has a bed bug problem, bring a sample of the pests to your local extension office or another insect expert for identification. How big are bed bugs? You must look very closely to find the actual bug, as they are quite tiny.
Signs of Bed Bug Problems
There is one sure way to tell if you have bed bugs. The first sign of a bed bug problem, and often the best way to detect bed bugs, is typically when you notice bed bug bites, commonly on the face, neck, hands, and arms. They are red, puffy, slightly smaller than mosquito bites, and usually have a red dot in the center.
Other signs of bed bugs include dark spots on your sheets from blood and excrement left behind by the insects and a musty odor from their scent glands.
Identify a Bed Bug Infestation with a DIY Bed Bug Trap
Homemade bed bug traps are not sufficient for eliminating an infestation. They are, however, a useful system for identifying and monitoring a bed bug infestation. Since bed bugs are primarily active at night, they are often challenging to find for identification.
Follow this helpful recipe to make a bed bug trap with sugar and yeast. Use a combination of sugar, yeast, and water to lure bed bugs out, identify them, and find out where to concentrate your efforts.
Mix sugar and yeast in a medium-sized bowl, then add the warm water. Set aside and allow the mixture to bubble as the yeast activates.
Cut off the top from a plastic bottle just above the label. Wrap the bottle with a paper towel to give the insects something to grip as they climb the sides and hold in place with tape.
Leave a little overlap at the top to fold over the edge of the bottle. The slippery sides of the bottle act as interceptors so the bed bugs climb in but aren’t able to get back out.
Pour about an inch of sugar into the bottle and add about three inches of the yeast/sugar solution. Place the bottle top upside down in the opening, so the cut edges are even.
Bed bugs are attracted to carbon dioxide, which the yeast emits as it consumes the sugar. They cannot climb back out of the plastic bottle and become trapped inside.
Take Steps to Prepare Your Home for Bed Bug Treatment
If you find a bed bug infestation, act fast with one of the appropriate ways to get rid of bed bugs quickly. It’s crucial to identify all the infested areas and eliminate as much clutter as possible to reduce their hiding places.
Follow these steps to prepare your space for treatment, whether you’re using a DIY method or hiring an exterminator.
Bed Bug Treatment Home Preparation
Inspect all potentially infested areas for signs of bed bugs to determine the extent of the problem. How fast do bed bugs spread from room to room?
Prevent the infestation from spreading by removing all infested items like pillows, bedding, mattress cover, clothing, shoes, or stuffed animals.
Seal them in a plastic bag and treat these items using the strategies listed below. If you can’t safely treat any items, seal in them a plastic bag for up to a year or discard them in an outdoor garbage container.
Carefully inspect all the furniture in the infested room for signs of bed bugs. If possible, use the treatment procedures here. If you aren’t able to safely treat the furniture, contact your local garbage collection service to remove it as soon as possible.
Thoroughly vacuum all floors, carpets, and furniture to eliminate as many bed bugs as possible. Clean the vacuum cleaner after each use and dispose of the vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag in an outdoor garbage container.
It’s helpful to keep records of where and when you see bed bugs to track your progress through the treatment process and know where to concentrate your efforts.
Where Do Bed Bugs Hide?
Bed bugs are adept at hiding in cracks and crevices of walls and baseboards in addition to linens and furniture. It’s helpful to know where to look when searching for signs of bed bugs.
Fastest Ways to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Your Home
After your initial preparations, develop a strategy for eliminating the infestation. If your bed bug problem isn’t too severe, there are numerous home remedies for bed bug treatment, from DIY approaches to commercially available insecticides.
If the infestation is extensive, you’re probably better off contacting an exterminator.
Best Insecticides for Bed Bugs
There are a wide variety of insecticide treatments for getting rid of bed bugs fast. When using insecticide, always make sure to purchase EPA approved products labeled for use on bed bugs.
Follow the instructions carefully and use protective equipment like gloves, goggles, and a respirator mask as directed.
Neem oil is available for purchase in most stores and online and it’s easy to make your own neem essential oil bed bug spray recipe to eliminate the pests in your home.
DIY Methods for Instant Bed Bug Killer
Before you reach for chemicals or call the exterminator, consider using one of these DIY recipes for instant bed bug killer. Catch the infestation before it spreads very far to avoid using a potentially toxic insecticide in your home.
Because bed bugs are so efficient at hiding and are mainly active at night, it’s sometimes difficult to eliminate the infestation in one go. For this reason, it’s best to use a variety of treatment techniques for bed bug eradication.
Kill Bed Bugs Fast with High Heat
A recent study at Purdue University found that, at a temperature of 113°F, it takes around 30 minutes to kill bed bugs. The higher the temperature, the faster the bed bugs die.
If done correctly, heat treatment works to eliminate a bed bug infestation. High heat is one of the quickest ways to kill bed bugs and is effective at all stages of their life cycle.
Does washing clothes kill bed bugs? Use your clothes washer and dryer on the highest heat setting to treat infested items. Use a steamer to heat treat items like furniture, mattresses, bed frames, baseboards, and carpets, or construct a DIY hot box to treat things that aren’t machine washable.
Washer/Dryer Heat Treatment
Place the items in the washing machine, use your regular detergent, and run the hottest cycle. Run the items in the clothes dryer on the highest heat setting for at least 30 minutes. The hot water, detergent, and hot air in the dryer will kill bed bugs and their eggs.
Steamer Heat Treatment
Use a clothes steamer to treat items infested with bed bugs. The steamer can be used wet or dry. Apply the steam to crevices of baseboards, carpets, and all parts of beds, including the headboard, box spring, bed frame, and the fabric of your furniture and mattress.
The steam should be at least 130°F to kill bed bugs. Most steam cleaners reach temperatures of up to 245°F. Make sure the airflow is gentle enough not to cause the bed bugs to scatter.
Wrap the outside of the bin in a layer of plastic or bubble wrap for insulation. Create a hole in the lid of the bin and insert a wide tube and seal with tape. This tube is how you heat the container. Place potentially infested items inside the compartment.
After replacing the lid, check for any cracks or gaps and seal those with tape or plastic wrap. Place a small fan heater at the open end of the tube. Heat the bin’s contents for at least 90 minutes so that you make sure to kill all of the bed bugs.
Kill Bed Bugs in the Freezer
Another practice for treating infested items is by sealing them in a plastic bag and freezing them. Leave the articles in the freezer for at least four days at a temperature consistently below 0°F.
Use Diatomaceous Earth to Kill Bed Bugs
Diatomaceous Earth (DE), a natural desiccant insecticide, is a white, powdery substance containing silica. When insects move through the powder, it clings to their bodies and wears away their shell’s protective outer coating, causing them to dehydrate and die.
Diatomaceous Earth effectiveness is greatest when bed bugs are exposed to it consistently over an extended period. This is sometimes difficult to achieve in a home setting where the bed bugs have numerous hiding places.
It works best as a supplemental treatment for the worst-infested rooms where visible bed bug activity occurs. Be sure to wear a mask to avoid inhaling the dust.
You can also try Borax for bed bugs. Again, this should be a treatment used in conjunction with another method.
Kill Bed Bugs Fast with Rubbing Alcohol
Use rubbing alcohol as an instant bed bug killer. It must have at least a 70% alcohol content to be effective, but 90% is best.
Use safety gear like goggles and a respirator, as highly concentrated rubbing alcohol can be harmful to your health. Rubbing alcohol only kills bed bugs through direct contact.
Trap Bed Bugs with a Mattress Encasement
A mattress encasement is efficient at trapping bed bugs and keeping them from spreading to new locations. Well-designed encasements completely seal the mattress and box spring.
It’s crucial to make sure that there are no gaps or holes in the encasement. Seal infested beds in an encasement for up to a year to ensure complete elimination.
While having a bed bug infestation is frustrating, there are plenty of pest control programs to quickly kill bed bugs. Because they reproduce quickly and are so good at hiding, it’s best to use multiple tactics against bed bugs.
How long can bed bugs live without food? Unfortunately, they can live from three weeks to more than a year without eating, so getting rid of them is critical.
Frequent vacuuming, washing, and drying your laundry on the hottest setting, and using a mattress encasement on every bed in your house helps immensely with bed bug control.
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