A lot of people as the question: ‘how do you get rid of bed bugs?’, because they can be notoriously hard to get rid of. The most popular way is to hire a professional pest control company to do the job. If the DIY approach is more your thing, read on to discover the best bed bugs treatment, including what products to buy and what to expect.
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs: Identify Which Rooms Are Infected
The quicker you get onto the infestation, the easier it will be to eradicate. The bugs will spread between rooms in your house if they’re left untreated. They’ll latch onto clothes and crawl through cracks, looking for more food. Begin by identify who has been bitten and treating their bedrooms first. Bed bugs inhabit rooms where people sleep, but this can include the lounge room if members of your household sometimes sleep in the lounge.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Flats
It’s important to inform your building manager or landlord, and your neighbours if you find bed bugs in a flat, terrace, or semi-detached home. It’s easy for the bed bugs to go around between dwellings, so getting rid of them will need to be a collective effort.
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs: Treating a Room
Once the infested rooms are identified, you’ll need to tackle them methodically. Bed bugs hide in crevices and small cracks, and it can be even harder to find their eggs. Try following these basic steps to eradicate bed bugs from a bedroom:
- Strip and treat all bedding – This means not only the doonas, pillowcases, bed skirts and sheets, but also the mattresses and pillow themselves. Step 7 details how to treat washable items.
- Vacuum the mattress and bed springs – You’ll need to vacuum all surfaces thoroughly and use the vacuum extensions to get right into the crevices. After vacuuming, you’ll need to throw the vacuum bag out so that the bed bugs don’t make their way back.
- Use insecticide to treat the mattress and bed springs – The best insecticides are a spray or a dust like Diatomaceous Earth (DE) dust or low-toxicity contact spray. ‘Bug bombs’ don’t tend to reach all the crevices bed bugs will hide out in. Make sure that you cover all surfaces and tiny crevices with the insecticide to prevent the spread of the bugs. Also, read the product labels carefully and take all necessary safety precautions – and be sure to test the product on a small area before continuing.
- Encase the mattress and bedsprings – Pick up a good set of bed-bug-proof encasements, which are fabric sacks that zip around your mattress and bed springs. They’re designed specifically to stop any stray bed bugs from getting out and feeding. These are essential tools in the process of getting rid of bed bugs.
- Treat the bed frame and headboard – You’ll need to vacuum all surfaces and then apply plenty of insecticide.
- Isolate the bed with interceptor cups – Bed bug interceptors are platforms or cups that you place under the feet of your bed frame so that it doesn’t touch the floor. They prevent bed bugs from climbing up and down the bed. You’ll also need to make sure the bed isn’t touching any curtains or walls to stop them from migrating completely.
- Get rid of all of the non-furniture items from the room and treat them separately. On top of your bedding and pillows, all curtains, toys, clothes, books, and personal items will all need to be treated. Washable items should be dry-cleaned – and make sure you tell the dry cleaner about the infestation. Otherwise, they can be machine washed in hot water with a laundry detergent like Omo Ultimate Powder, followed by a 30-minute tumble dry. Make sure you follow all of the garment tag guidelines and the label on the detergent so that you don’t damage the fabrics. You could also place items into sealed plastic bags so that the bed bugs can’t feed. You’ll need to isolate them for 2-4 months in order to kill the bugs. Place the bag in direct sunlight for several days in order to kill all stages of bed bug life – or place them in the freezer for 8-10 hours. You can use hot, soapy water and antibacterial spray, or rubbing alcohol on toys with hard surfaces.
- Treat the rest of the room systematically – Vacuum all of your furniture, floors, and surfaces, then apply insecticide like you did on the bed frame and headboard.
By following the above steps, you’ll have a good chance of getting rid of bed bugs at home. Just remember to read the label of any pesticides and follow the instructions carefully to make sure that you’re applying it safely and effectively. You can save a lot of money using the DIY approach compared to hiring a professional, but you’ll need to be patient and diligent to make sure all of the bed bugs have been effectively eliminated from your home.