Nighty night! don’t let the bedbugs bite, whoops!! Too late! Well, before these creepy-crawlies have you tearing your full house and bed apart, let’s take a step back and see what these bedbugs are really all about.
How do you know if you have bedbugs or not?
If you wake up in the morning and you’ve got some nasty bites, there’s a good possibility. Look for one in box springs, mattresses, furniture, clothing, bed boards, and even wallpaper. If an apple seed sized, oval-shaped creature desperately tries to run away as fas as it could, that’s a bed bug.
Why these creatures from hell are in my room?
Because we are their menu, they feed on our blood. Bedbugs are tiny, about the size of apple seeds especially if they had a meal the previous night. And why they are called bedbugs? Well, they love to live with us in bed and snuggle with us all night long. Unlike mosquitoes, however, they can’t fly so they have to hit your way into our bedroom.
Does cleaning help?
The answer is a big NO. Bed bugs don’t care if your house is clean or dirty, all they want is a warm human to sleep with. You can come across them even in hospital wards where cleaning is always a priority.
What about starving them to death?
That’s not a good idea, not because it’s cruel but because you can’t do that. Bedbugs can go months and months without a meal. In fact, research has shown that an adult bedbug can survive for up to 5 months without a single meal.
Getting rid of bedbugs
Getting rid of bedbug infestation needs a whole new approach, a complete strategy depending upon the extent of the infestation and other factors. The treatment should go through the following steps:
- Define the problem, extent of the infestation.
- Prepare the ground.
- Start the treatment.
- Take measures to prevent another infestation.
Define the problem, extent of the infestation
- Make sure they really are bedbugs.
- Inspect the areas and identify the extent of the infestation. See if you can find them in good numbers around the house. If your house is badly infested you may find them in bunches and groups inside furniture cracks, wooden boxes and places I mentioned in the beginning.
- Living in an apartment? Tell your landlord to inspect other apartments in the building.
Prepare the ground
- First thing first, declutter your home. Clutter means more habitat for bedbugs. You can do this by removing items not in use anymore, this includes old magazines, useless clothing, furniture, and utensils.
- While you declutter, make sure you don’t spread the pests.
- Put all the clothes, bed sheets and pillows for a deep washing. Once done, put them inside plastic bags.
- Seal any open areas. Close cracks in furniture, glue down open wallpaper. Open electronic outlets also need to be tapped up.
- Remove everything from the room to be treated. By everything, I literally mean everything with an exception to heavy household items like beds and closets.
- Move your bed away from the wall. This will stop bedbugs from climbing over.
Start the treatment
First, make sure that you are ready to do all the things mentioned above. If you think you are not ready, stop reading more and call the squad. If you are ready to go on your own, great! Take the war against bedbugs as a challenge and aim at victory.
If you have come across a post discussing bedbug treatment previously, you might have noted that people talk about two different methods to eradicate the pests-Chemical and Non-chemical. Whether you go chemical or not, the whole process is complicated and needs both time and energy. So, in order not see a bedbug again after the treatment, in fact, for your worst nightmare, I recommend you do as I did at my home_combining both. And why not, why give even an iota of a chance to failure after all that hard work, right!
Start the crackdown
- Choose your first room for the treatment.
- Thoroughly vacuum all the places including any gaps, cracks left, closets, all the furniture, electronics and anything you can.
- Empty your vacuum cleaner in a plastic bag, seal it and place it in the deep freezer for a day, throw it away later.
- Place your vacuum cleaner inside a plastic bag.
Once the room is thoroughly cleaned, vacuumed and any visible bedbugs are hunted down, you are ready to go ahead and start the chemical treatment.
- Harris Home Insect Killer: Odorless, works for weeks, registered with the Environmental Protection Agency for its safety in homes around children and pets.
- Ortho home defense: Comes with a battery operated wand. Kills bedbugs and eggs on contact. The spray doesn’t stain clothes.
- Pyrethrins and pyrethroids: Commonly used but some bedbugs seem to have developed resistance against them.
Please get the instructions on how to use the chemical from the manufacturer. It’s always a good practice to seal off the room after spraying the chemical for at least 3 days. Repeat the same treatment with other rooms.
Finally, Use bedbug proof covers (often called encasements) for your mattresses, pillows, and boxspring.
Make sure that the covers come with zippers so that any bedbugs trapped inside eventually die.
Wish you best of luck in your fight against the creatures from hell! Share your experience in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to spread the word for the good of others.