Did you wake up this morning with itchy bumps all over you that weren’t there last night? If so, you may have bed bugs. Although they are quite harmless to your health, the discomfort they cause means you have no choice but to do everything possible to get rid of them.
All About Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are ¼ to ½ inch in size and look a little like small beetles or ticks due to their flat backs. They can’t fly so they are found crawling around in public places like hotel rooms, retail stores, public transport, movie theaters and elsewhere. They can end up in your home by sneaking into your luggage and/or jumping onto your clothing without you having a clue.
Bed bugs are difficult to see because they hide during the day, only coming out at night. Once they get inside your home, they’ll hide in the box springs and mattresses of beds, under the floorboards and in scattered piles of clothing. They can live without a host for up to a year and their preferred hosts are humans. However, they can be found in your pets’ beds too because they also feed on animals.
Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation
The first sign of a bed bug infestation is usually when you wake up in the morning with a ton of pink itchy bites all over your body. Since bed bugs are nocturnal, you won’t see them during the day. You will also likely see a lot of tiny blood spots all over your bed sheets.
Bed bugs also leave their waste behind, but these spots are usually very small. If you have light colored sheets, you might see tiny rust or brownish-colored specks or droppings. This is another sign that your bed is infested with bed bugs.
DIY Home Remedies for Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are very adept at hiding and it’s nearly impossible to see their eggs because they’re no larger than a pin point. This is why it’s so hard to get rid of them yourself, but it can be done. You just need to be patient and extremely persistent.
Clean Thoroughly & Remove Clutter
Start by thoroughly cleaning the area where you suspect an infestation. If you’re targeting your mattress, get rid of any clutter under and around your bed.
Wash Everything in Hot water
Strip your bed of every piece of bedding and wash everything in hot, soapy water. If there were any pieces of clothing on or near your bed, wash those too. Curtains, stuffed animals and other soft toys, as well as shoes should also be washed or at least placed in the dryer for ten minutes on high heat.
This is the only way you’re going to get rid of the eggs.
Once you’ve done all that, get the vacuum out so you can thoroughly vacuum your mattress, box springs and the entire area around your bed. Then, immediately remove the vacuum bag and dispose of it in a trash can outside away from the house.
Seal Your Mattress & Box Springs in Plastic
You may also want to buy zipper-sealed mattress and box spring covers as an added measure. This can help keep any remaining bed bugs from escaping.
Bed bug infestations are extremely hard to prevent. Stray bed bugs are so prevalent, they can easily grab onto you anywhere. To lower your chances of them getting into your suitcase, keep it in a sealable plastic bag wherever you go, even on overnight visits in someone’s home. Also, carefully inspect any used furniture before buying and bringing it home.
Bed bugs are one of the most extremely difficult general household pests to get rid of on your own. If you’ve done everything suggested above and you’re still plagued with the problem, call a professional pest control service.