How to get rid of bed bugs
Adult bed bugs are small. Baby bed bugs are even smaller. Unlike most bugs that crawl around in your presence, bedbugs hideout like vampires and strike during the night. Only, unlike vampires, that present ‘nice’ facades of their true selves in order to trick their prey, bed bugs do not show themselves at all. They do not want you to see them. Period!
Bedbugs tend to remain in their hiding places until their prey falls asleep. Then they crawl out of hiding and attack their sleeping victims for at least ten minutes at a time. Bedbugs are able to get away with this behavior because they are very tiny and lightweight. In addition, they fill your skin with an anesthetic from their mouthparts to prevent causing immediate stings or itching. This may be one reason why hours and even days can pass before you know a bug has bitten you, although you may not immediately know what kind of bug bit you.
Once you find out one or more bed bugs have bitten you or a family member, in your home, you must make getting rid of bed bugs a primary concern. Herein lays many tips on how to get rid of bed bugs.
Search your home to uncover bedbug hideouts
In order to get rid of bed bugs, you must first find them.
Remove linen from beds and then thoroughly check all mattress and boxspring parts. This includes flipping mattresses and box springs over to examine their undersides.
Check all bed parts including head boards, frames, slats, and cubbies. Check everywhere from top to bottom and from side to side. In cases where lifting beds may not be possible, use bright flashlights to see into dark or shadowed areas.
When searching your home for bed bugs, you must search all rooms of the house. In addition to searching bedding, you must examine dressers, bureaus, chairs, couches, curtains, drapes, closets, carpeting, and molding. Also search newspaper and magazine piles sitting around collecting dust, laundry, and laundry baskets. Check damaged walls for cracks and holes, as well.
Scrape bedbugs out of cracks and crevices
Pry or scoop bedbugs from places such as windowsills, wall cracks, and closet doorjambs, by using narrow blunt shaped objects such as putty knives, table knives, or strong pieces of cardboard. Use a magnifying glass to see into hard to view places.
Use blow dryers for places you cannot reach
Use blow dryers to lure bedbugs out of hiding places. Blowing bed bugs consistently sometimes kills them, however, when you keep the heat over them for about thirty seconds to a minute. On the other hand, however when using blow dryers, keep gusts low so moving air does not blast bugs from one area to another.
Use sticky tape to trap bedbugs
Use sticky tape to lift bedbugs so that you can get rid of them. Strategically placing tape in areas in which you discover bedbugs could suffice to trap those you might miss because of their successful hiding abilities. You can tape bed legs to keep bed bugs from climbing up beds as well. Good tapes would be sticky tape used for trapping mice as well as sticky carpet tape.
Clean up bed bug waste materials
Rid your home of bedbug residue such as droppings by using hot soapy water to wash down furniture, walls, cracks, crevices, sheets, pillowcases, and the like. Wash and toss items such as pillows in the clothes dryer under high heat for twenty to thirty minutes. However, always check care instructions prior to washing and drying pillows to verify their washer and dryer safeness.
Suck bed bugs into vacuum cleaner
Use the vacuum cleaner to suck up bedbugs wherever you can. In addition to vacuuming bed bugs from carpets, use a vacuum cleaner to remove bedbugs from cracks and crevices found in chairs, sofas, mattresses, box springs, bed frames, closet doorjambs, base boards, and just about any place a vacuum can be rolled over or a vacuum hose can reach.
Prevent bed bugs from reentering mattress and boxspring
Encase mattresses and box springs in bedbug proof mattress covers after the bedding has been cleared for bedbug presence. When bedbugs are found on mattresses and box springs, however, get rid of the bugs prior to encasing the bedding.
As an alternative to mattress covers, you could use large sheets of plastic to wrap the mattress as well as the box spring. This would be similar to plastic used to wrap suitcases, at airports, before flying.
Plug holes to prevent bed bugs from hiding in the future
Keep bedbugs from reentering cracks and crevices by plugging the holes after eliminating the bed bugs.
Remove baseboards to eliminate bedbugs and then clean baseboards before replacing them. After replacing the boards, seal them tightly with caulk or strong baseboard glue.
If you find holes in walls, remove bedbugs, if any, from the holes and then fill the holes with plaster.
Reseal or remove loose wallpaper.
Throw out unneeded and replacable infested items
When getting rid of bed bugs, sometimes it becomes necessary to get rid of the items in which they nest. This must be a judgment call. Consider how bad the infestation, the likelihood of ridding all bedbugs from affected items, as well as replacement costs when making this decision. When choosing to toss out items, enclose them in plastic bags before setting them outside or throwing them in the trash. This is important because uncovered bedbugs that have a means of escape could run right back into your home.
Make sure all household members, including children, can identify bed bugs
When fighting to eliminate bedbugs from your home, everyone in the house or apartment should learn what bedbugs look like so they can kill them. In cases where children are too young to understand about killing bugs or are afraid to kill them, parents should teach them to let an older person know if they see bedbugs so the older person can eliminate the little buggers.