Some chemicals can be too harsh to use as they pose many health risks. If you are thinking of using a product that is meant to rid of pests that may only be used outdoors, do not try to use it inside. There are many dangers to using chemicals when not used properly. Many people will skip the instructions or never read the label and end up causing harm to their health.
Acting as quickly as possible in response to discovering bed bugs in your home is important. Now, there are a lot of treatment options out there for bed bugs. The spectrum of choices range from natural remedies, that may only work under the light of a full moon, to harsh chemicals, that may destroy your chance of ever reducing your carbon footprint and your sense of smell. So before choosing a chemical method of treatment to kill the bed bugs, take on housekeeping tasks recommended by notable pest-control specialists, including Orkin, as part of your battle. Ideally, for best results, begin a bed bug treatment plan with the following physical remediation actions, prior to the application of chemicals.
Vacuum. Vacuuming mattresses, baseboard crevices, bedroom furniture; anywhere a bed bug may hide that your vacuum can reach is where you should vacuum. Don’t forget to tackle the underside of furniture! Now is the time to find out what that odd-looking crevice attachment on your vacuum is for. In addition to dust bunnies, vacuuming will suck up things your bed bugged-out eyes may miss, like tiny eggs or nymphs. After vacuuming, safely remove and dispose of the bag to prevent any creepy crawlies from re-emerging. Sucking up bed bugs in most vacuums is not suggested as these vacuums can become easily infested. Vacuums with a HEPA filter is recommended so that the dust does not go back into the air where some people with asthma or those with allergies may have difficulty breathing.
Bed bugs are known to be found in wood and fabrics and their eggs will stick to any surface once laid. Using the small nozzle of the vacuum can help you reach corners, crevices and tight spaces. Scraping motions work on a mattress, and the nozzle is useful for the seams and crevices. Check all over the mattress and the box spring for any signs of an infestation. Check your baseboards, behind fames and any area rugs or carpets. Check all of your furniture as well. These critters can be found hiding anywhere so it is important to check everywhere.
Keep the vacuum on the spot you see the bed bugs to ensure they get sucked into the bag. Wash all of the vacuum parts in hot water and detergent. Store your vacuum in a sealed plastic bag.
Tip: After dumping the dirt into the garbage, find a clear sealed bag and dump them inside. Make sure it is a white bag so you can clearly see the bed bugs. Throw it into a garbage bin and put the lid on.
- Bed bugs can be killed by high heats over 50C/122F; temperatures reached during a normal dryer cycle and sustained for a minimum of 30 minutes. Laundry can be an effective first line of defense for treating items that can safely withstand dryer temperatures. This includes clothing, linens, towels, soft toys, backpacks, etc. University of Minnesota recommends their in-resident students use the following laundry tips to prevent the spread of bed bugs:
- Sort your laundry into plastic bags before leaving the infested area.
- Launder your items at the highest temperature setting the fabric will allow.
- Fold laundry immediately after removing from the dryer.
- Store clean laundry in clean plastic bags until the infestation is eradicated.
Steam/Heat. For upholstered items, like sofa’s and chairs, steam can be an effective method to kill bed bugs and their eggs. “To effectively kill bed bugs, the surface temperature of the object being treated should be 160-180°F immediately after the steam brush has passed.” Bed bugs are killed at 50C/122F, so the extreme temperature of steam (100C) will knock them dead. But only if the hot steam reaches them. Be sure to move the steam cleaner slowly over the area of treatment to reach the bed bugs in any hidey-holes. And use caution, steam can cause serious burns. Steaming has been proven to be an effective alternative to killing bed bugs. Ensure you will be using a quality steamer for the job as this can contribute to the effectiveness. A commercial steamer of a 1-gallon minimum capacity is preferred. Refrain from using a carpet cleaner as they do not become hot enough to kill the bugs.
The purpose of steaming is using high temperatures to get rid of the unwanted critters. Steaming is effective because it can reach up to ¾” into fabric surfaces. Up to 3/8” will steam kill bed bugs into a gap.
Use a triangular nozzle with the steamer. The temperature must reach between 160-180º F. These temperatures are high enough that they will be able to eliminate the bed bugs. Increase or decrease the speed you are waving the wand depending on the temperature. Adjust the steamer with the switch to adapt to fabric so it does not become wet.
After completion, follow the instruction manual for cooling. Repeat this method a few times to ensure you have killed all of the bed bugs.
- Create a Safe Sleep Space. com has tips and procedures anyone can follow to create a safe sleep space. The importance of a bed bug free sleeping area will allow you to rest comfortably during the bed bug treatment time. Invest in encasements for your mattress and box spring; you don’t have to dispose of your current ones. Place bed bug interceptors under furniture legs to catch any critters trying to climb up. Essentially, you’re creating a protection zone against bed bugs.
- Spring clean! Utilize the bed bug cleaning time as an opportunity to re-vamp and re-organize your home. De-cluttering your space will help prevent future infestations because the bed bugs will have fewer places to hide. As you de-clutter, check each item for evidence of bed bugs and treat them accordingly.
- Ozone Generators. These machines produce ozone gas and are used to kill bed bugs, eliminate mould, and air pollution. Health Canada warns Canadians to NOT use ozone generators as they are unsafe and can cause many respiratory problems such as chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing, irritated eyes, nose, and throat.
Keeping up with the physical methods of bed bug remediation, until you’re confident the bed bugs have been evicted, will help keep them from returning. With bed bug infestations increasing in number in major cities across North America, including Chicago“, honing your detection and elimination skills will bring you long term peace of mind.
Here are the best ways to get rid of bed bugs without using chemicals:
1) Wash all of your bedding, fabrics, and clothes. This includes your pillows, blankets and even your curtains.
2) Ensure to vacuum everything with a powerful machine and buy a crevice tool to really get into those small spaces.
3) Steaming is a great way to kill bed bugs so why not try this method out. Since the temperatures reach 180 degrees Fahrenheit (82 degrees Celsius) the bed bugs will not survive the intensity of this heat.
4) Using Diatomaceous Earth is a popular option for getting rid of these critters. It can be messy but effective.
5) Try using Lavender. Bed bugs do not particularly like the smell of lavender and will avoid any area with it. If you spread it around the affected areas, they will not go back there for awhile.