“Help! I can’t get rid of these bed bugs!”
Many homeowners these days deal with bed bug problems. A few years back, bed bugs weren’t very threatening. In fact, there were little to no news about these vampiric bugs. Today, with the frequency of domestic and international travel, bed bugs now hop from bed to bed or bed to luggage.
Once these blood sucking bugs get inside your luggage, you could bring them with you to your home. Thus, it’s now so very easy for these insects to go from one state to another, and even from one country to another.
Bed bugs are from an insect family known as Cimicidae. Adults are flat and brownish. But after feeding, they become rounder and bigger. Bugs that have that brown-reddish glow are the ones that have just fed on blood to their hearts’ content, and they could be as big as apple seeds. Nymphs, on the other hand, are paler or more golden in color.
Why Eliminate Bed Bugs?
One reason why people hate bed bugs is that they feed on blood. So, a bug will bite and suck your blood until it is full. The bite of the bed bug is not painful because it releases an anesthetic. It also injects an anticoagulant so that blood won’t clot easily.
Beg bug bites are not medical emergencies as these are just, more or less, itchy or irritating. But bites could be dangerous to a person who is very sensitive to foreign elements. People who experience breathing difficulties, fainting and other serious symptoms after being bitten by bed bugs should be brought to a hospital right away.
Effective Methods Used against Bed Bugs
1. Heat or Steam
Bed bugs die when exposed to intense heat. So, one way of killing these critters is by steaming an infested bed or any item, like a sofa, cushion, or even clothing. The heat will kill adults, nymphs, as well as eggs. For clothes, the most effective way is to wash clothes and put them in the dryer. A temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended. Furthermore, it is best to use heat or steam first because high temperatures may affect the effectiveness of other treatments.
2. Plastic or Zippered Mattress Covers
A mattress overrun with bed bugs can be tightly wrapped in a plastic or zippered cover so as to suffocate the critters. Keep in mind that mattress covers must be left on for a long time, maybe a year or more. The reason for this is that adult bugs that have just fed could subsist for a year or more without feeding again.
3. Diatomaceous Earth
DE is a fine powder that is often used in filtering materials. It is not toxic to humans and pets. However, it is harmful to bed bugs because it sticks to the harder outer layer of these insects, causing their covers to crack and break down. This then causes dehydration and death.
You should be careful when using DE because the powder can be inhaled. Once inhaled, particles can easily stick to the lungs. So, always use gloves and a mask when applying DE.
To apply, sprinkle DE on the surface and lightly pat to encourage the fine powder to get into the mattress. As mentioned, use protective gear. Then, dust some DE on the bed frame, the corners of the mattress and frame, as well as carpets, and other furniture.