How to get rid of these nasty bugs
by Dollar Stretcher Contributors
Safe and Natural Pest Control
We moved recently and bought some used moving boxes. This was a big mistake. The boxes were carrying bedbugs and we didn't know it. Now we have an infestation in our home! No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to get rid of them. Can anyone tell me how to completely eliminate bedbugs from our new home?
It Will Take Time
It takes about a month or more to get rid of bedbugs with washing, vacuuming, heating, and poisoning. Diatomaceous earth is also sold at pool supply stores. Ask for it and they will give you the right stuff. Bed bugs are hard to kill as they are eating the skin cells left in the bed and linens. You can't kill them all at once as new eggs hatch every day. The library had a book that talked about the washing and heating up the mattresses and the room to high heat to kill the bugs and eggs. Put dry pillows in your dryer on high heat.
Karen (via Facebook)
Eliminating Bedbugs with High Heat
You can call a pest control company and have them attempt to chemically remove them. However, this sometimes does not work. The one thing that does work is having your house heated up so hot that they die. A pest control company can provide this service as well. You can call your local health department and see what they offer or suggest. My aunt had bedbugs, and according to her, the health department came out and got rid of them. I'm not sure about that, but it's worth a try. Be careful about having others in your home right now since they could get the bugs on them and take them home.
Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth Around
I have heard that diatomaceous earth sprinkled in and around furniture cushions and carpeting will kill them. Fortunately, I have not yet had to deal with them!
Often Forgotten Places Revealed
One thing that's very effective with killing bedbugs is heat. Get yourself a clothes steamer and steam everywhere you can with it. Repeat over and over again, every day, until they are completely eliminated. Don't forget your clothes too. You can always throw your clothes, bedding, etc. in the dryer and kill them also. Another area people forget is magazines and newspapers. They hide in them. Get rid of all of that stuff for a while.
When Eliminating Bedbugs, Be a Student of Their Life Cycle
The best way to get rid of bedbugs will be to study up on their life cycle. I suggest you plan a couple of hours away from home, pull your mattress and box springs apart, or stand them against a wall so the air can circulate. Leave your pillows where air can get to them. Wash the used sheets on hot. If possible, do the same with your other used linens, such as comforters, quilts and blankets.
Turn off all pilot lights and open flames, including gas stoves, gas heaters, etc. Set off a room (in all bedrooms) bug fogger and leave. When you return home in a couple of hours, open the house up and air it out by using fans (or ceiling fans) to circulate fresh air and remove the spray scent. Then close up the house and turn on heat. Use gas and pilots as usual.
Vacuum your mattress, box springs, bed frames, and floors. Look carefully to see if there are bugs (or black specs) anywhere else and vacuum them up. To be safe, I would discard the vacuum bag and apply a new one or spray the interior container with bug spray after emptying.
Depending on the life cycle of the bedbug, you might have to repeat this process in one to two weeks with major emphasis being on the beds and bedding. If the bugs are leaving bites on the family, treat the bites with over-the-counter products, such as hydrocortisone, Caladryl, and antibiotic creams or sprays (if signs of infection). If there's no improvement, consult your physician.
High Heat and Freezing Temperatures Do the Trick!
High heat and freezing temperatures kills bedbugs. You can throw fabric items into the dryer, and/or you can freeze small items. The bugs do not like the smell of cloves, so if you spray bedding with a water spray mixed with clove oil, they will be repelled. Peppermint oil may work also. Freezing and high heat is the way to kill them. There's no need for insecticides.
Exterminator Is Best When Eliminating Bedbugs
The only way to quickly and completely eliminate the pesky bedbugs is to have an exterminator come and do the heat treatment, but it's very costly. If you want to do it yourself, you can purchase the spray either from a hardware or exterminator. The first treatment you'll need to thoroughly check everything for signs of the bugs and treat all furniture. Wash dirty clothing in hot water, completely dry on highest setting, and bag it. Place all other clean clothing and anything else you can in the dryer for at least 20 minutes and bag as well. You will need to keep everything bagged up for three weeks, until after your second treatment. Vacuum and treat your entire house. We are so paranoid of getting them again from anyone that we continue to treat our house every three weeks.
Purchase ammonia and place it in squirt bottles. Spray the ammonia directly on them and anywhere they hide. It kills them instantly on contact. In a short time, the fumes evaporate and there is no odor left. I had a bedbug infestation in my bedroom. I sprayed ammonia everywhere I found them, and within a week, I never experienced any other problems with them.
Diligence Pays Off
Bag up everything you can. Take drawers out of dressers, wipe them down, and sprinkle corn starch everywhere. Wrap mattress and mattress pad in plastic (I found these at Walmart). Get a steamer and steam every nook and cranny including lampshades. Don't forget metal bed frames. Check behind pictures or any wall hangings. These things hide everywhere. It's really best to take everything off the wall for a while. If it's very cold where you are, open the windows and let the little buggers freeze. Put pillows in the dryer and also encase them in plastic when done. You have to be diligent and may have to steam more than once, but you can get rid of them. Unfortunately, I know.
Take the Next Step:
- Visit the TDS library for more on eliminating bedbugs.
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor.
Also in Home
- 5 ways your house can make you go broke
- 5 simple and affordable luxuries for your home
- 12 ways to lower heating bills
- Will my insurance spike if I rent out my basement?
- Why pay extra toward mortgage principal?
- 5 tips to sell a home before buying another
- 6 ways to stock your "man cave" for under $500
- 6 home projects that don't pay for themselves
- Should I refinance my home equity line?