If you’ve found bedbugs in your home, your mind is probably racing with questions and concerns. How do you get rid of bedbugs? Do you have to use deadly poisons? Will you have to leave your home during treatment? Is it even possible to entirely rid your home of bedbugs? The first thing to do is relax. Many people eliminate their own bedbug problems without ever leaving home or using a single toxic spray.
It takes time and effort to completely eliminate bedbugs, though. They are experts at hiding, and they multiply quickly. Additionally, during the egg stage they are nearly invincible. For this reason, getting rid of bedbugs is not a one-weekend project. Eliminating bedbugs takes work and persistence, but you can do it – with these tips from our friends over at Tansu.net, providers of high-end eco-friendly wooden bed frames.
Stopping the Spread
It’s important to keep the infestation as contained as possible. Remove vacuum cleaner bags after vacuuming, then immediately seal and discard the bags in an outside container. Do not move furniture from the infested area to other rooms. Clothing should be washed, dried, and sealed in plastic bags before being replaced in drawers or closets. Collectibles and anything else that cannot be washed should be sealed in plastic bags until any bedbugs inside die naturally. The amount of time recommended varies, but to be safe you can date the bags and leave them sealed for an entire year. Consider throwing out any furniture that is past its prime or can be easily replaced, but carefully mark any discarded furniture to prevent anyone from salvaging it.
Eliminating the Bedbugs
There is a lot of misinformation about bedbugs floating around. You will read and hear many myths about bedbug control techniques. Some of the most effective bedbug treatments are very simple, however. Among these are carefully controlled heat treatment, cold treatment, eliminating clutter, aggressive vacuuming, caulking, and steam cleaning.
Your home dryer is a powerful weapon against bedbugs that hide in clothing, throw pillows, bedding, and cloth toys. First, launder washable items in hot water, then place the items in the dryer on high. Remove the items from the dryer and immediately seal them in plastic bags. If you can’t wash it, seal it in black plastic bags and leave them in a closed car on a hot day or on a sunny patio or roof. Leave the bags in the hot environment for as long as you can so that the heat can penetrate to the deepest parts of the contents.
If you have a deep freezer, you can kill bedbugs with cold. This method won’t work using your refrigerator’s freezer, however. It doesn’t get cold enough. Set your deep freezer to zero and leave items inside for at least four days.
Clutter creates ideal hiding spots for bedbugs, so seal and discard as many items as you can. Remember that washing, heating, or freezing may kill the bedbugs lurking in your pillows or your child’s stuffed bunny, but it won’t eliminate the dead insects from these items. If you have a bad infestation, consider discarding most items that can’t be washed. Even if you only have a few bugs, you can reduce the chance of reinfestation by getting rid of anything you don’t really need. Sort through books, decorations, and seasonal items. Throw away unneeded things and seal and store whatever can’t be treated with heat or cold.
Vacuum every inch of infested rooms. Move furniture and vacuum all surfaces, including creases, crevices, cracks, tufts, and areas beneath cushions. Vacuum all sides of your mattresses. Use a crevice tool to vacuum cracks at the baseboard, ceiling moldings, and outlets.
Seal Cracks and Crevices
Use ordinary painter’s caulk to seal the cracks at the top and bottom of your baseboard. Do the same to any other trim. Seal around outlet and switch covers. Examine your walls and fill all nail holes, openings around pipes, or gaps around cable cords. Use wood filler to give the same treatment to your wooden bedframes and hardwood floor. This will eliminate some of the bedbugs’ favorite places to hide and lay eggs.
Your household steam cleaner is your best weapon against bedbugs. Start in one corner of the infested area and steam the entire room, including all furnishings and mattresses. Pay special attention to areas near baseboards and around beds.
This is the most crucial step in your bedbug elimination plan. Each night, carefully inspect for bedbugs, shells, and the telltale bloodstains bedbugs leave behind. If you find any evidence that the insects have returned, simply repeat the steps outlined above. Even if you don’t find any evidence of live bugs, repeat the vacuuming and steam cleaning steps weekly for several months after the initial treatment. This will catch newly hatched insects before they have a chance to breed. Don’t be surprised if you find a few bedbugs here and there for a couple of months. Just keep on following the steps listed above, and you will be totally bedbug free in a few months.