How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Quickly May 4, 2016

You are sleeping peacefully in your comfortable bed. Suddenly, you have an uncontrollable itch on your neck and back. By morning, these itchy spots on your body have swollen up and developed rashes around them. While observing these rashes, you notice a pattern – there are two or three bites in a sequence. And you realize the culprit behind these bites – bed bugs!

What Are Bed Bugs?

These are small, flat, and rusty colored insects that are around one-fourth of an inch long. They live in mattresses, small gaps and crevices in walls and floors, and in linens and headboards. They are nocturnal animals and feed on blood during the night. A female bed bug lays 200 to 400 eggs in its lifetime. Even though bed bugs do not transmit any infectious diseases, they are one of the most annoying house pests and can be difficult to get rid of (1, 2).

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Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?

When you visit a place that is already infested with bed bugs, it is likely that these bugs will cling onto your clothes, bags, suitcases, or any material they can hold on to. These notorious pests can easily move from their current home to new one and cause an outbreak. Be it a house, a hospital, or a hotel, they can show up anywhere.

Signs Of Bed Bugs

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These bugs thrive in mattresses, box springs, linens, couches, and other nooks and corners of your bed frame.

One of the first signs of a bed bug infestation are the itchy bumps you notice on your body when you wake up.

  • They bite your skin to feed on your blood, and this causes itchy bumps and rashes in most people.
  • The bites are multiple in number, usually two to three, and are in a straight line.
  • You might also notice small brown spots in the places they dwell in, which is the fecal matter of these bugs.
  • There might be random rusty-red spots on your bed linen and clothes that might have been formed when a bed bug was squished to death.
  • In the case of an extreme infestation, a sweet and musty odor emanates from the infested area.

Keep an eye out for their potential hiding places like the mattress seams, under the mattress, behind the headboards, in crevices along the bed and couch, and under the carpet edges. They can also be present behind wall hangings, loose wallpaper, and any cracks in the wall.

Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs

Here are some simple and natural methods you can use to get rid of these annoying pests in your home

Remove Bed Bugs By Using These Simple Methods

  1. Applying Heat
  2. Vacuuming
  3. Rubbing Alcohol
  4. Scented Dryer Sheets
  5. Disposal Of Infested Furnishings
  6. Sealing Cracks And Crevices
  7. Clean And Disinfect
  8. Essential Oils
  9. Kidney Bean Leaves
  10. Diatomaceous Earth

1. Applying Heat

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Scientists have proved that bed bugs die when exposed to high temperatures that lie in the range of 45-48oC (113-118oF). This makes heat an excellent way to get rid of a bed bug infestation. For small household items like clothes, toys, bedding, linens, and shoes, you can simply toss them in a household clothes dryer. Set the temperature on high, and let the heat work its magic in killing these pests. An exposure of 30-40 minutes to high temperatures is recommended to get higher mortality rates for bed bugs (3).

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2. Vacuuming

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When the number of bed bugs is not that high, vacuuming can be an easy and effective technique to eliminate them from your house. Thoroughly vacuum all corners of the room, edges of the bed frames, mattresses, box springs, on the top and bottom of the carpets, and any crevices and cracks. The vacuum bag must be disposed of carefully so that no bed bugs escape and spread to other rooms. Also, check the vacuum brush and filters for any bugs or eggs, and clean them properly.

Vacuuming should be done every day until you completely get rid of bed bugs.

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3. Rubbing Alcohol

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You Will Need

  • 90% rubbing alcohol
  • A spray bottle

What You Have To Do

Pour the alcohol into the bottle. Spray this in the areas where bed bug infestation is likely.

When You Need To Do This

Do this daily till all the bed bugs desiccate and die.

How This Works

Undiluted alcohol dissolves the cells of the bugs and also acts a desiccant (4). The bed bugs dry up, curl, and die.

Caution

Make sure to not spray any alcohol near an open flame or hot surface. Time your breathing with the spritz to avoid inhaling any of the alcohol.

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4. Scented Dryer Sheets

Another easy method to keep bed bugs at bay is to put scented dryer sheets in between the mattress and bed linens, inside pillow cases, and also on the box spring. The fragrance of these sheets is repulsive to bed bugs and will keep them away from your bed. You can place these sheets under the carpets and under the cushions on the couch to repel the bed bugs from the living area in your house.

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5. Disposal Of Infested Furnishings

When the infestation has become too much to deal with, it is advisable to dispose of the infested furnishings. Seal them tightly in a plastic bag and throw them away. Be careful that the bags do not have any openings from where the bugs can escape.

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6. Sealing Cracks And Crevices

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Bed bugs love to hide in small nooks and cracks that they can find in baseboards, bed frames, shelves, and even on walls. Seal all these cracks and crevices with the help of plaster or caulk properly. This will ensure that no bed bugs remain alive anywhere in the house.

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7. Clean And Disinfect

Another effective method to get rid of bed bugs would be to reduce the clutter around the house. This will reduce the hiding and breeding grounds for these bugs. Remove any unnecessary items that may be lying around. Dispose them or keep them in clean storage units until you get have gotten rid of the bed bugs completely.

Disinfect all surfaces with hot soapy water to remove any dead bugs and nymphs, eggs, bloodstains, and bug feces. All the items that can be washed should be washed in very hot water (140oF) and also dried at high temperatures (5). Once washed, store these items in sealable plastic bags. You can use alcohol to disinfect surfaces. In combination with the heat, vacuuming, and alcohol treatment, cleaning and disinfecting are also important.

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8. Essential Oils

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What You Need

  • A few drops of essential oil
  • A bottle of water
  • A spray bottle

What You Have To Do

  1. Add the essential oil to the water in the spray bottle and spray on mattresses, bed frames, shelves, and any place where you think bed bugs can be present.
  1. There are many essential oils that you can use. You can also mix two or three oils together for added benefits. The best essential oils to get rid of bed bugs are tea tree oil, cedar oil, orange oil, lavender oil, rosemary oil, and eucalyptus oil.

When You Need To Do This

Spray around the house daily.

Why This Works

Essential oils block the respiratory openings on the body of the bed bugs, and this suffocates them to death. Cedar oil and orange oil kill the insects on contact (6, 7).

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9. Kidney Bean Leaves

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What You Need

Kidney bean leaves

What You Have To Do

  1. Spread the leaves on the floor of your bed bug infested room and leave them there for a day.
  2. The bed bugs will get trapped on the leaves.

When You Need To Do This

Lay the leaves in the morning and leave them in there for 24 hours.

Why This Works

The kidney bean leaves have microscopic trichomes (hooked hairs) on their surfaces. When the bed bugs crawl on these leaves, they get trapped in these trichomes (8). Once trapped, they can easily be killed and disposed of.

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10. Diatomaceous Earth

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What You Need

Diatomaceous earth

What You Have To Do

  1. Spread a layer of this rock powder on all surfaces in the bed bug infested room.
  2. Leave this for a day or two.

When You Need To Do This

Most bed bugs should be killed by a one-time application. You can repeat this method if required.

Why This Works

Diatomaceous earth is a type of soft sedimentary rock and is an excellent natural method to kill bed bugs. When the bed bugs walk on this powder, it leaves a residue on their exoskeleton and blocks their respiration. As a result, the bugs start dehydrating and die (9).

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Some Tips To Help You Get Rid Of Bed Bugs

Apart from using the above listed natural methods, certain other measures also need to be taken to eliminate bed bugs from your house completely. Start with the bug infested room.

  • Isolate the bed in order to establish a ‘bed bug-free zone’. Place climb-up traps under the bed legs to make it difficult for the bugs to access the floor and spread out further.
  • Wash and dry all linen thoroughly and on high heat.
  • Vacuum every nook and corner, and clean with alcohol.
  • Replace the bedding and other linen.

Proceed room by room and continue this process. Use simple and natural methods in combination with these for a thorough and effective removal of bed bugs from your house. Harsh chemicals will have toxic side effects on you and your family. It is always better to use natural remedies and be safe.

Do you have any other foolproof methods to get rid of bed bugs? Do let us know in the comments section below.