Bed bugs are nasty and I would imagine that it would be anybody’s worst nightmare to find out that their bed is infested with them.
And a handful of people have had to face that very real predicament. It’s not the end of the world, though. You may feel a little dirty and you may develop an annoying itch from bed bug bites, but that’s about it.
There are a few ways to get rid of them and this article is going to go into detail about how you can eradicate these pests from your life.
But first, let’s figure out what we are going up against here.
What is a bed bug?
Bed bugs are tiny insects without wings that grow to at most a fifth of an inch. You may be able to see the fully grown ones on your bed, which is a nasty sight to behold, but many will evade your vision due to being too small for the naked eye to see.
They are shaped like an oval and a reddish brown color. Ever seen a tick before? That is roughly what a bed bug looks like.
These suckers have been pestering people and animals all over the globe for many millennia with no signs of going away any time soon.
Thankfully, getting bit by bed bugs won’t cause you to get sick, unlike mosquitoes who can carry diseases like malaria. The CDC even ruled that bed bug and their bites do not threaten our health.
Beware: Even though they are called bed bugs that doesn’t mean they can only be found on your bed.
These little pests can hitch a ride onto anything. You can end up infesting your house with bed bugs if you bring just a few home from a nasty hotel.
How to eradicate bed bugs?
You can go the obvious route and call an exterminator. But let’s face it, exterminators are not cheap and I don’t think you want a bunch of nasty chemicals being sprayed into your room and around your bed especially.
And much like bacteria adapting a resistance to our best antibiotics, bed bugs have adapted resistances to these chemicals as well – rendering them a costly, inconvenient, and ineffective option.
Let’s dive into this practical and effective way to take out those tiny monsters.
1. Thoroughly check your bed.
This involves looking at every nook and cranny on and in your bed. It is going to take some time so make sure to plan ahead and also make sure to bring a flashlight and magnifying glass. Bed bugs are tiny after all.
A good place to start looking is on your mattress and in your bed frame, as these are the most common places where bed bugs reside.
Some signs of bed bug presence include little reddish brown smudges on your mattress – this is the fecal matter of bed bugs (eww!). It strongly resembles dried blood so if you were bleeding recently and find these smudges, it could be that.
If you don’t find any bed bugs or their eggs with the magnifying glass, skip the next 8 steps and go right to number 9. It’s important, trust me!
2. Kill any bugs that you find
Remember when you would try to step on ants that you’d see scurrying across the sidewalk as a kid? Channel that inner bug murderer and go all out on any bed bugs and eggs that you actually find on and around your bed.
It doesn’t matter how you do it, so be creative and make a game out of it if you really want to. Just get rid of them.
3. Do the laundry!
Once you’ve finished your bed bug killing spree, it’s time to do the laundry. Throw all of your sheets, blankets, pillows (and pillow cases!), and anything else that can be washed that was on and around your bed in the washing machine.
Make sure to put them in a hot cycle as the high temperatures will eradicate any bugs and their eggs that are still lingering on your bedding.
4. Freeze anything that you can’t throw in the washing machine.
Anything on your bed that is unable to be washed can be put in a bag and allowed to frost in your freezer. Super low temps will eradicate bed bugs and bed bug eggs just as well as hot temps.
5. Suck up any leftovers with a vacuum.
This may sound like a step you can just blow off, but I strongly urge against that. You may have gotten most of the bed bugs and bed bugs eggs with the previous steps, but you should vacuum up the rest very thoroughly so that none are left.
Vacuum your entire bed, including the mattress, all nooks and crannies, and your carpet or floor under and around it with the strongest suction setting.
Unfortunately, you won’t get all of them on the first try, so make sure to vacuum thoroughly every day and throw away the bag right away.
6. Give oils a chance.
A few essential oils, such as cedar oil, orange oil, and tea tree oil have proven to be very effective in killing bed bugs on direct contact.
How can you weaponize these oils? Easy, put them in a spray bottle and dilute them with some water and then spray all around your bed.
7. Sprinkle some silica.
This is a substance that even those expensive exterminators use and no, bed bugs haven’t adapted a resistance to it.
It’s still just as effective as ever. How do you use it? Just buy some and sprinkle it around your mattress, bed frame, and floor.
You’ll want to wear a mask though and make sure to clean up any remaining silica before you go to bed. You don’t want to breath it in.
8. Make your bed!
Bed bugs don’t care how messy or clean your bed is, but keeping your bed nice and tidy will reduce the number the places they have to elude your vision. You will easily be able to identify and eliminate them if you have a nice made bed.
9. Some preventative measures.
This is the step that those who have and don’t have bed bugs should both follow. This will be the costliest step to follow, but it certainly pays off in the long run.
You’ll want to purchase bedding covers and casings that are bed bug proofed. These will keep your bed and your life bed bug-free.
Another preventative measure you can take is to fill all of those nooks and crannies that the bed bugs could slip into and hide in. To do this, just pick up some sealant and fill in those cracks and crevices.
The final (and cheapest) measure you can take is to buy some bed bug traps and put them under the legs of your bed and any bed you buy in the future.
This measure will be the most effective in eliminating the problem before it actually becomes a problem.
Bed bug Review Summary
As you can see, getting bed bugs isn’t the end of the world and doesn’t mean you’ll have to shovel out a bunch of money to get rid of them.
If you follow these steps correctly, your bed bug problem will be solved without burning a hole in your wallet.
Of course, no plan is perfect and if your problem persists, you may have to call an exterminator. But that’s only if you have a really bad infestation. Good luck!