Have you ever spent a night at a cheap bed & breakfast, only to be kept awake the whole time by itchy bites? Or that time at grandma’s house when you had to snooze in your sleeping bag because something wouldn’t stop biting you at night? Did you realize where the bites were coming from? Yes, they were bed bugs. These little creatures that are often microscopic to the naked eye can make life a living hell. If you have experienced itchy bites when lying in bed, or have actually seen bed bugs in the crevices and seams of your mattress, then it is a problem that you will have to fix. Otherwise, you can go months with these pesky little creatures ruining your sleep.
A lot of people tend to think that bed bugs are a result of an unclean home. But despite keeping your house spanking clean all the time you may be surprised to find bed bugs in your mattress or other upholstered furniture. Bed bugs are quite a nuisance. If your couches, cushions and upholstered furniture have bed bugs in them, it is repulsive enough to keep guests and visitors away from your house. Most importantly, it can make sleeping a nightmare.
This is why the moment you realize your bed or mattress could have bed bugs; you should take the right measures to get rid of the problem. The longer you let the bedbugs remain the more they are going to spread.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are parasitic creatures, often microscopic to the naked eye. They are cold bed bugs because they live and breed in soft, upholstered surfaces, like mattresses cushions carpets, etc. Unlike dust mites, it is not normal for bed bugs to be present in houses. Dust mites are practically unavoidable and are present virtually everywhere. But bed bugs are not present in every place, which means it is not normal to have them around. If you know you have bed bugs in your house, you should not put up with the nuisance.
Bed bugs are normally found in beddings and mattresses because that is where they can find humans and pets to feed on. They also live in these surfaces and rapidly multiply. Bed bugs can also be found in other areas such as hard to reach crevices, nooks and crannies, under carpets, and even clothing.
The worst thing about bedbugs is that they can enter your home from just one contaminated item, such as an infested piece of clothing. It does not matter how clean your house is; if even one-bed bug enters the place, it will not take long at all to multiply into thousands. If you sleep in a bed bug infestation hotel room or travel on a train or a cruise, the bedbugs you pick up from there can infest your house in a matter of days. Second-hand pieces of furniture can also bring bed bugs into your house.
Because they are parasites, bed bugs are very strong. They can also penetrate through the walls of your house; so if there is a bed bug infestation in your neighbor’s house, your apartment or house will also be affected. Bed bugs usually feed on the blood of humans and other animals, but they can go months without needing to feed, making it hard to eradicate them. A crowded neighborhood or a place with too many humans living in close proximity also leads to bed bugs infestation.
Bed bugs do not spread diseases, but their bites are itchy and uncomfortable. Bed bug bites can also cause skin rashes.
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs – Step-by-Step Instructions
If your bed has been infested by bed bugs, your best solution would be to call pest control and take care of the problem. But if you want to do it yourself, fan following the next few steps should make the job easier:
Step 1: Strip your bed off the sheets and remove all pillowcases and covers. Do not leave them lying around because that will lead to contamination. Put these items in a garbage bag and tightly steal them while taking them to the washer. Wash them thoroughly in hot water.
Step 2: Do not attempt to do anything with the pillows. Simply throw them out. Next, thoroughly vacuum the mattress, making sure to get the seams, crevices and other nooks and corners where bed bugs hide. Do not empty the vacuum cleaner bag inside the house. Empty it outside the house and thoroughly clean the vacuum container to make sure no bed bug can make its way back to the house.
Step 3: For the maximum peace of mind it is wise to throw out the mattress and buy a new one. This will make sure that there are no bed bugs remaining in the house and also spare you the trouble of cleaning the entire mattress and then bug proofing it. A mattress with a removable cover is the best choice because the mattress becomes easier to clean. A removable cover also prevents the bed bugs from entering the mattress. However, if you do not want to purchase a new mattress, then read on for the next steps.
Step 4: To bug proof your bed, put your mattress in a bed bug proof cover. These highly specialized mattress protectors cover the entire mattress with a special material that the bugs are unable to bite through. This removable cover has a zipper that closes so snug that not even one bug can make its way through it. You have to keep on this cover for at least a year to make sure that all the bugs and the eggs have died.
Step 5: Do not forget to kill any bed bugs on the bed frame, cracks, and joints of the bed. If using pesticide, be careful with it and use it according to the instructions on the label. Push the bed away from the wall and encase the feet of the bed in bed bug interceptor cups. These cups have pesticide in them that kill any bug that attempts to climb up the bed. Make sure the sheets, bed skirt or covers don’t touch the floor. Vacuum the floor to remove all traces of bugs.
Eradicating bedbugs is a daunting task. If all else fails, it’s time to call pest control.