Killing Bed Bugs


Basics

Killing bed bugs can be a tricky business, and if you have bed bugs, well, I’m sure you want to know how to kill bedbugs as soon as possible. We’ll tell you the most effective ways of killing bed bugs and give you our top treatment product recommendation.

In order to kill bedbugs, of course, first you have to find them. That can be trickier than you might think. Bed bugs are very tiny, with adults being only a quarter or an inch long. They don’t like the light and spend most of their time hiding in dark crevices, like the crevices along mattresses. They can be difficult to see.



Bed bugs are not only confined to bed. They can infest other furniture, including soft furniture like couches and even hard furniture like dresser drawers. They can also infest carpeting, where they can often be found along the baseboards. In order to kill bedbugs effectively, you need to identify all of their hiding places and treat the entire area.

Prevention

Bed bugs may enter your home on used furniture, so inspect used furniture carefully before bringing it home. If you find any signs of bugs, either treat the furniture before bringing it home or just buy other furniture instead.

If you spend the night somewhere that is infested with bed bugs, you may bring them home with you in your clothing or luggage. It’s recommended that you inspect the bed in hotel rooms before sleeping there. If you do find signs of bugs, ask for another room on the other side of the hotel.

If you realize too late that you’ve spent the night with bed bugs, seal your clothing in plastic bags until you can wash it, then wash it in the hottest water the fabrics will allow. If you can’t machine wash your suitcase, then wash it by hand before bringing it into your house.

Treatment

Killing bed bugs can be a tricky business. The problem most people have with killing bed bugs is that they don’t treat the entire area. They miss some of the bugs, and then the area quickly becomes infested again.

To begin treating your home for bed bugs, do a careful inspection, including all the areas described above. Don’t limit your attention to the bed. Bed bugs live in other areas, as well.

Wash all of your bed linens in hot water. If there are curtains near your bed, wash those, as well. If you find signs of bed bugs in any of your dresser drawers, wash all of the clothing in the hottest water the fabrics will allow.

Vacuum the surface of your mattress with a strong vacuum. Use the crevice tool to get into all the little crevices. Use the crevice tool to vacuum the bed frame, as well. Vacuum the carpet, and use the crevice tool to get along the baseboards. If you find any signs of bed bugs in any of your dresser drawers, use the crevice tool to vacuum those, as well.

Then you’ll need to use some sort of bed bug treatment product. Traditional bed bug treatments usually contain permethrins and/or pyrethrins. These chemicals kill bedbugs effectively, but they may be hazardous to your health. If you apply them yourself, you should wear gloves, long sleeves, long pants, and a facemask. Contact with your skin can cause severe irritation, and breathing them in may cause nausea or vomiting. Long-term exposure to these chemicals can cause even more serious problems. Long-term exposure has been linked to liver damage and cancer. Fortunately, there are safer alternatives.

Recommended Products

When To See Your Doctor

Bed bug bites do not usually require medical attention. They should go away in a few days without any treatment. If they are very itchy, you can use an anti-itch cream available over the counter in any pharmacy. If you have bites that don’t go away, or if you think your bites might be infected, see your doctor for treatment.



More about killing bed bugs on our how to treat bed bugs page

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