Bed bugs are on the rise again, and they can strike almost anywhere. The bugs are difficult to detect, but easily noticeable once they start munching on your flesh in your sleep. What’s more, they’re incredibly resilient and tough to kill. Download our DIY-Bed-Bug-Treatment-Checklist.
Follow these steps to get rid of an infestation.
- Wash all infestable material in the bed bug area. This includes bedding and clothing as well as cushiony objects like pillows and stuffed animals. Don’t forget rugs and curtains! Use plenty of laundry detergent, and dry them at the highest setting possible. A temperature of at least 120 degrees is required to ensure bed bug extermination. If you choose to take your articles to a dry cleaner, be sure to notify the business that your items may have bed bugs.
- Clean all of the infested area. Remember that bed bugs are tiny and can hide in the slightest cracks. Steam clean your carpet and clean all furniture by hand. Be sure to check behind wall fixtures like paintings or mirrors, and behind furniture that’s up against the wall. If you come across live bed bugs, a squirt of rubbing alcohol will take care of them quickly.
- Once your mattress has been stripped of all bedding, vacuum every part of it and scrub it with nontoxic cleaner. Then seal it in an airtight mattress bag until you’re sure any remaining bugs are dead.
- Apply pesticides to any crack and crevices in the wall or floorboards. Give special attention to the line where your floor meets the walls, especially if it’s carpeted. Remove the plates of electrical connections from your walls. This includes electric outlets, phone jacks, and light switches. Bug bugs will happily crawl into your wall through these openings. Apply pesticides to the inside of the wall opening, and replace the plates.
- Once you’ve eradicated the pests, you need to seal up your home against future invasions. Caulk up all cracks and seal any openings that will allow bed bugs (and other insects) access to your home.
If these steps don’t work, or if you have any confusion, remember that you can always contact a pest control expert. A professional will be able to take care of any infestation, large or small. They’ll also help you in securing your home and answer any questions you might have.