How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are back in a big way from the days around World War II, when DDT was legal and intercontinental travel was hard. Bed bugs were nearly wiped out in developed countries by DDT. Unfortunately, many bird species were nearly wiped out because of DDT and so it was banned. Now that it’s easier to travel to any country in the world, Americans are bringing back home tiny hitch hikers.
Waiting and hoping that bed bugs will go away is not a good option. Despite some claims from “natural” products, there is no such thing as a bed bug repellant. Bed bugs breed rapidly. It only takes ten days for eggs to hatch after they are laid. Baby bed bugs go through a few molts in five or six weeks before they become breeding adults.
How Not to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
How bad have bed bugs become in the United States? In November of 2015, a Detroit woman accidently set fire to her apartment in a vain attempt to eliminate a bed bug infestation. Although it is still unknown if she got rid of all the bed bugs in her apartment, the fire very effectively eliminated her apartment and 47 others.
You also do not want to use any over the counter insecticide products for bed bugs, even if the product claims to kill bed bugs. The product is lying. Insecticide has to get in contact with the bed bug in order to kill it. However, bed bugs simply hide in tiny cracks and crevices all over your home so the insecticide never comes into contact with them. When the fumes clear, the bugs come back out of hiding.
Contact a Professional Pest Management Company
The only effective way to get rid of bed bugs is by hiring an exterminator experienced in killing bed bugs. The exterminators will be able to penetrate the cracks where bed bugs hide with their equipment. Plan on having at least two treatments for your home so that any bed bugs missed the first time around can be eliminated.
Perhaps you live in a condo or row home and the neighbors have become infested with bed bugs. It’s best to get your home inspected, since bed bugs can travel the short distance from the infected home to your home. Although they no longer fly (they still have vestigial wings) they can easily hitch a lift on your neighbor’s clothing, bags or purses.
Preparing for the Exterminators
If you are serious about how to get rid of bed bugs as quickly as possible, you will need to work with your exterminator. You and your family will need to go through extensive preparations before the exterminators arrive with their equipment. If you neglect these steps, you will only waste the exterminator fees. You will need to:
- Pull all furniture a few inches away from the walls so the exterminators can get to baseboards and walls.
- Tidy up all loose items and get rid of trash. Although bed bugs are not attracted to dirty homes, messy homes give bed bugs more places to hide.
- Wash all clothes, linens, small pillows, washable stuffed animals and curtains in hot water
- Place all cleaned items in sealable plastic bags so bed bugs cannot get in
- If anything like coats needs dry-cleaning, get them dry-cleaned and placed in garment bags.
- Vacuum floors and furniture. Immediately discard the bags in the outdoor trash so bed bugs do not crawl back out of the vacuum.
- Vacuum bare mattresses and box springs. You may have to trash your mattress and/or box spring if they have many tears or rips. Ask your exterminator if the mattresses can be saved.
- Wash all floors that cannot be vacuumed.
- Scrub all suitcases with a hard brush and hot, soapy water if they cannot be dry cleaned.
Place cleaned items in plastic bags.
You can only get rid of bed bugs by getting your whole home treated at least twice. You must undertake the extensive preparations before the exterminators arrive in order to win your war against bed bugs. It may look like a lot of work to get rid of bed bugs but the work will be worth it so you and your family can sleep safely.