How to Find and Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Your Home
So, Bed Bugs Really Do Exist?
How many times have you told your children, "Good night, sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite?" I'll bet you never REALLY expected them to be a problem and probably doubted that they even existed. However, I recently read a report on CNN saying that bed bugs are making a comeback. Won't that be fun?
Here's how you can get rid of those nasty little critters should you find that they have invaded your home.
What a Bed Bug Looks Like
Where Bed Bugs Can Be Found
- The first thing you have to do is find the bedbugs. The photographs used within this article makes a bedbug look about the size of an ugly roach, but they are actually quite small in size, so although they can be seen by the naked eye, it's probably best to go on your hunt using a magnifying glass. Check every place in your home where people sit for long periods of time, or sleep.
- Also, you will need a good flashlight or you stand to miss them entirely. A grown bed bug is brown to reddish-brown, oval-shaped, flattened, and about a quarter to a half-inch in length. You won't find these little devils with just a casual glance...be prepared to do some serious inspection because their flat body allows them to hide in some pretty good locations.
Great Video on Bedbugs by National Geographic
They Are Not Always Found in a BedClick thumbnail to view full-size
- Once you find that you have a bed bug problem, you will need to clean, clean, clean, and, then, clean some more. Wash all of the bedding in extremely hot water to kill the bed bugs, but before returning the bedding to your bed, vacuum the entire area.
- After vacuuming the area, make sure to take the vacuum cleaner bag out immediately and dispose of it. If not, they will just crawl right out and back onto your bed.
Run...Don't Walk, and Buy a Steam Cleaner!
- The next step might require you to spend a little bit of money, but it is well worth the expense. Get yourself a ! I believe in the power of steam and use it to clean almost everything. The steam will kill the bugs and you won't be smelling insecticides while you are dreaming of exotic beaches. You can't steam clean a bed too much, so steam it until your arm is simply too tired to continue. STEAM CLEANER
- Turn the mattress and box springs over and steam clean beneath it, over it, around it and through it if possible. The more you steam, the cleaner your bed will be, so don't be shy. The very thought of one of these bed bugs continuing to live in my home just makes me crazy!
Don't forget your children's rooms and your pet's bed. They, too, deserve to sleep tight and not have the bed bugs bite. I use a steam cleaner on my carpet and drapes as well. Pesky little bugs can't compete with those strong bursts of hot steam, so don't be afraid to steam clean drawers, closets, and other surfaces.
Keep Those Dreadful Bed Bugs Away!
Repeat the above steps every week or so, then every month or so to keep the bed bugs away for good. If you kill all the bed bugs in your home, don't think that more won't come to visit because they travel on clothes, bedding, and even stuffed animals (which you should also steam clean) and they are just waiting to hitch a ride to your clean house. So, continue to keep it clean for your family.
Bed Bug Colony
Tips and Precautions
- It is best to clean EVERYTHING in a room where bed bugs are found. Vacuum and steam clean even the dresser drawers if you find an infestation.
- Use a brush to brush up the eggs and infestation so that you can see them.
- Steam, steam, steam, then steam some more!
- There are websites that suggest insecticides, but if you clean with steam, and clean often enough, you should not need those smelly chemicals. Personally, I prefer to do without them.
Adult Bed Bug, Cimex Lectularius
Bed Bug Extermination Checklist
- Free Bed Bug Extermination Checklist
A superbly-written article by a volunteer with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) who is also a member of the Medical Reserve Corps.