Bed bugs have become an increasing epidemic in cities across the U.S and Canada. One reason for this increase is how easy it is for them to enter your home unnoticed. They can hide in your luggage after travel, latch on to your clothes as you go about your day, or enter on that second hand couch you just bought. Once they enter your home the reproduction begins, which if gone unnoticed can lead to an infestation.
The problem is that bed bugs are very small and difficult to detect and even more difficult to exterminate without professional assistance. Over time, more and more bed bugs will reside in your home until you begin to notice little bite marks covering your body. The good news is there are plenty of professional services and home remedies you can use to get rid of bed bugs once they enter your home. Depending on you infestation level, a number of different treatment options can be used which can range from free to fairly expensive. If you believe you have a bed bug infestation, try using these treatments to help you sleep in peace once again.
Home remedies can work if the infestation is small, but the probability of killing all bed bugs in a home without professional assistance is very small. By hiring a professional bed bug exterminator, you can ensure that all hiding places will be checked and that the proper extermination treatment is used to allow for the highest success of extermination. Some of the most common professional treatments include using heat and chemicals, or a combination of the two.
Bed bugs cannot survive in extreme heat. This has led many professional bed bug exterminators to use a controlled heat treatment to rid bugs of an infested home. Using a special machine, an exterminator will heat a home to 140 F for up to three hours, constantly monitoring the home to ensure the heat stays at the right temperature for the proper duration of time. Once the home is heated, bed bugs will either die or flee the premises.
Exterminators often use most common professional treatments as well. Using pesticides in a controlled environment, exterminators can kill bed bugs that hide in deep crevices in your home. Since bed bugs are notorious at being great hiders, this will ensure that even the pests you don’t see get terminated as well. Exterminators will usually use both chemical and non-chemical solutions together to rid a home of bed bugs. This process
is known as
integrated pest management and can be very effective in eliminating all bed bugs safely from a home.
If you notice a few bed bugs in your home and want to try to exterminate bed bugs on your own you may consider trying home remedies first. These treatments can be effective if there is only a small amount of bed bugs in your home, but they are not full proof and only work on small infestations.
Bed bugs can’t survive in high heat, so washing infested clothes in hot water can be effective. Make sure the water temperature is at least 120 F as they can survive in temperatures below that. Once washed, place the clothes on a high heat dry cycle to kill off any remaining bed bugs.
Like washing in high heat, placing clothes in a black garbage bag in the sun can kill bed bugs as well due to the high temperature. Make sure to leave the bag in the sun for a few days and check the central temperature to ensure it is hot enough for all bed bugs to be terminated. To ensure high levels of heat are maintained within the bag, make sure the opening is sealed with duct tape.
Like extreme heat, bed bugs are also vulnerable to extreme cold. Leave infected clothes in a freezer that is below 32 F for a few days to kill the bed bugs. Be sure to check contaminated clothes after removal to ensure all bd bugs are dead.
Thoroughly vacuuming your home can also help rid bed bugs, but be sure to get all cracks and crevices. This will help remove any lingering bed bugs in your home after other treatments are performed, but remember that this is not full-proof and finding all bed bugs hidden in your house is very difficult with a vacuum alone.
This might seem a little odd, but using bean leaves to capture bed bugs is believed to actually work. Bean leaves have tiny hooks on their surface that capture bed bugs who crawl on them. By placing bean leaves in infected areas, you will see a great decrease in the bed bug population in your home.
About the Author:
Daniel Mackie, owner of GreenLeaf Pest Control, is a Toronto pest control expert well-known as an industry go-to guy, an innovator of safe, effective pest control solutions, and is a regular guest on HGTV. Mackie, along with business partner Sandy Costa, were the first pest control professionals in Canada to use detection dogs and thermal remediation for the successful eradication of bed bugs. In his free time, he is an avid gardener.