Exterminating bed bugs is no easy task because these blood sucking pests hide out in all sorts of obscure places. One thing is for certain it is essential that you begin exterminating bed bugs as soon as you identify a bed bug infestation in your home.
If you spot the infestation before it spreads and gets out of control you should be able to deal with them yourself. However, if the bed bugs are large in numbers and widespread your only option may be to hire an exterminator. Remember these thing can breed quickly and whilst you may think you have done a good job exterminating the bed bugs there could well be a new batch of eggs ready to hatch.
So let’s start at the beginning and work through how you should go about exterminating bed bugs.
Identifying Bed Bugs
You will firstly have to be sure that bed bugs are the problem. Usually the first sign is wakening in the morning to discover a red itchy rash or welts on exposed parts of your body – typically the arms, legs,face etc. Other signs include blood spots on bedding where a bug may have been crushed in the night, dark faecal matter left by the bugs – if you wipe these small marks with a damp rag they will smear if it is faecal matter. You may even come across bed bug skins which have been shed as the bug matures.
Go hunting! Bed bugs will hide out in all kinds of places – clocks, light switches, smoke alarms, cracks and crevices in walls and floors, inside furniture, in the box spring of your bed, in the creases and folds of your mattress. It takes time but this part of the process of exterminating bed bugs is vital. Before you can eradicate them successfully you must find where they are concentrated.
Exterminating Bed Bugs!
Do not be under any illusions, exterminating bed bugs can be a long drawn out process so be prepared to do battle.
There are many products available for this task however a lot of these are extremely toxic and not advisable especially if you have children or pets in the house. If real heavy duty chemical treatment is required call in the professionals – you may even have to leave your home while the treatment is applied. Fear not there are other methods!
Begin by clearing away any clutter making sure that it is all placed in plastic bags and sealed in the room where the infestation is. This should prevent other areas of the house being infected. Bed bugs will hide in magazines, books etc. so if possible get rid of them.
Using a vacuum cleaner systematically vacuum the whole room – the best place to start is with the mattress, pay particular attention around buttons, handles and labels as well as in creases and along seams. Don’t forget to vacuum in drawers, closets, curtains and soft furnishings, chairs and so on – cover every area. I should also mention that clothing should be placed in sealed plastic bags and taken to be laundered at as high a temperature as possible or placed in a tumble dryer on a high heat for around ten minutes. Don’t forget those obscure places like electrical sockets, lamp shades, smoke alarms, clocks etc. Dispose of the contents of your vacuum cleaner in a sealed plastic bag immediately.
If there are any cracks or crevices in wall or floors now is the time to have them repaired.
The next stage to exterminating bed bugs which I would recommend you carry out though it is not entirely essential is to steam clean the room. Vacuuming should have gotten rid of bed bug eggs, nymphs and possibly some adult bugs but by carrying out a steam clean using the same systematic method you should kill any remaining bugs at all stages of development. The advantage which using steam has over chemicals is that it will kill eggs which many chemicals cannot permeate allowing them to go on to hatch.
If however you decide you want to use a spray there are quite a few natural, organic ones available for example Eco Friendly Living and Kleen Free Naturally. However, I have found Bed Bug Patrol’s Bed Bug Killer Spray to be the most effective at exterminating bed bugs.
On paper the whole process of exterminating bed bugs seems simple and straight forward – the reality it is very different. You may have to invest a lot of time and effort repeating this process over and over before you can finally declare your home a bed bug free zone!