It begins slowly, with a suspicious bite or a small rash, but before you know it, that itch becomes incessant. Many things could be to blame, but if you’ve recently stayed in a motel or purchased furniture off Craigslist, bed bugs are the likely culprit. Their presence has nothing to do with you being messy or unhygienic; bed bugs invade even the cleanest homes. After a few days of itching, you may feel frustrated, but all hope of a bed bug-free home is not lost. Give the following tools and techniques a try — and get ready to kiss your bed bug problem goodbye!
Inspect For Bed Bugs
If you’re worried that bed bugs have invaded your house or apartment, it is important to perform a thorough inspection — of your home and your own body — before you commence with a treatment system. Typically, bed bug bites can be found on the shoulders and arms, with the neck and back also occasionally targeted. Red welts, swelling, and itching are all common symptoms of bed bug bites. The insects themselves can be tough to spot, but you may see signs of them on your mattress, including fecal stains. These small stains typically have a rusty color. Tiny pale eggs measuring approximately one millimeter may also appear on your mattress or on other furniture.
If you notice any rust-colored spots on your mattress, be sure to promptly investigate them with the Bed Bug Blue Fecal Spot Detection Kit. With this kit, you can determine in less than five minutes if bed bugs are to blame for those ugly little spots. Use one of the provided cotton swabs to dab at a suspicious spot, and then apply Bed Bug Blue’s developer fluid. The fluid will turn blue for any bed bug marks left in the last two years. Keep in mind, however, that the results may not be accurate if you’ve recently wiped down the area with chemical cleaners.
Thoroughly Clean the Affected Area
Harsh chemicals are best avoided, but there are a variety of alternative solutions that can rid your home of bed bugs with a simple cleaning. Green Rest Easy manufactures multiple bed bug solutions, including spray bottles for both home and travel. Spray closets, dresser drawers, and, of course, the bed with this solution, which boasts a surprisingly pleasant aroma.
Kill the Bed Bugs With Heat
Heat is one of the most effective approaches to killing bed bugs. Furthermore, it is one of the most eco-friendly types of pest control. This is why so many people immediately throw their clothes in the dryer upon returning home from motels with suspected bed bug infestations. Unfortunately, this isn’t an option for your mattress, headboard, or other furniture. Your best bet is a steam cleaner, which will help you target larger items with deadly heat. The Vapor Clean Pro6 Steamer is a must-have; commonly used in hotels and other commercial settings, the steam cleaner’s nozzle reaches up to 270 degrees Fahrenheit. Its boiler heats up in less than five minutes but never runs out of steam, as the cleaner also has a dual reservoir supply. Nooks and crannies can easily be reached with the cleaner’s detachable hose.
Another option is the Vapamore MR-100 Dry Vapor Steamer, which targets not only bed bugs, but also dust mites, bacteria, mold, and mildew. The steam cleaner features a convenient detachable hose and a retractable power cord. Once you’ve gotten rid of those pesky bed bugs, you can continue to use your Vapamore for general household cleaning and sanitization.
Remove Bed Bugs From Clothing and Bedding
Bed bugs are not likely to survive a thorough heat treatment, but better safe than sorry is a wise adage to apply to your situation. To ensure that no bed bugs accidentally survive on your clothing or bedding, use the Bed Bug & Lice Unscented Natural Laundry Treatment. This hypoallergenic laundry treatment will get rid of bed bugs without irritating your skin or ruining your clothing in the dryer. Simply add one ounce to each load you wash. Afterwards, you can either throw your clothes in the dryer, or, if you prefer, hang them to air dry.
Use PackTite Bed Bug Heaters For Smaller Items
The dryer is a great solution for clothes and bedding, but this method is not advisable for smaller or more fragile possessions. Thankfully, a variety of products allow for on-the-spot bed bug treatment, completely free of chemicals. The PackTite SC Portable Bed Bug Heater is a great option both at home and on the road. Designed especially for business travelers, the convenient bed bug killer is easy to assemble and use, no matter the location. Once set up, it can be used to rid luggage, shoes, sleeping bags, toys, and other items of bed bugs and their eggs. Speed up the process with the larger PackTite Closet, which inflates to an impressive 40 X 36 inches.
Protect Your Mattress
Mattresses are expensive, and if you have one you like, the last thing you want is to ditch it due to the interference of bed bugs. With a bed bug mattress kit such as the Protect-A-Bed BugLock Protection Kit, you can trap bed bugs and hang on to your favorite mattress. The trapped bed bugs won’t be able to access other areas of your home, and eventually, they’ll die of starvation. In addition to killing off existing bed bugs, the Protect-A-Bed BugLock Protection Kit can reduce the potential for future bed bug infestations, simply by taking away their favorite place to hide and lay eggs. Protect-A-Bed provides a variety of protection kits, including one specifically designed for the twin XL beds commonly found in dorms and student apartments. If you have not already suffered a bed bug infestation, consider investing in one of these mattress kits as a precautionary measure.
If you suspect that bed bugs have entered your home, it is important to act fast, before the infestation grows worse — and before you accidentally pass these obnoxious pests to your neighbors, friends, and family members. Bed bug elimination can be surprisingly affordable — you just need the right tools and equipment. From steam cleaners to mattress protection kits, a variety of affordable and easy-to-use tools can help you rid your home of bed bugs, once and for all.