- Eliminating Pests
Best Way To Kill Bed Bugs
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Good night, sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite! Unfortunately, Bed bugs have been biting us for thousands of years. They were once nearly eliminated in the mid 1900s using an insecticide called DDT. DDT has since been banned in the United States and linked to many adverse health effects on humans. Today, we are facing a significant bed bug resurgence with some major cities declaring the problem an epidemic. That leaves us with one important question: What is the best way to kill bed bugs?
Are bed bugs dangerous?
First off, let's talk about whether or not these vile insects actually are actually dangerous. While they can contract many diseases, researches do not believe they are capable of transmitting them. Bites can cause a number of adverse health effects. This list includes severe itching, skin rashes, allergic reactions and psychological stress. In a few rare and severe cases bites have been known to cause breathing problems. Needless to say, an infestation is very stressful. It will flip your life upside down. Learning how to get rid of bed bugs is an important lesson that our generation needs to brush up on fast.
Best Treatment Plan For Killing Bed Bugs
Using an integrated pest management (IPM) plan is the best way to kill bed bugs and their eggs. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Integrated pest management is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. It uses comprehensive information along with the proper pest removal methods to kill bed bugs while causing the least amount on danger to humans, pets and the environment.
What is the proper IPM plan for removing bed bugs?
Inspect for infestations in all the hiding places listed below. This process can be made easier by using a UV flashlight or a bed bug detection tool with UV light and magnifying glass.
• Mattress and box spring seams, crevices and folds.
• Bed frame cracks and crevices
• Furniture cushions
• Carpet edges (the edge up against the wall)
• Bed skirts, curtains or any other fabrics in the area
• Dresser drawers
• Door and window casings
• Electrical switch plates
• Loose wallpaper,
• behind paintings and picture frame
• Drywall cracks
• Electronics such as telephones and alarm clocks
Heat Treatments for Bedding and Fabrics
Remove all bedding, bed skirts, curtains, clothes and any other fabric in the area. Seal it tightly in a plastic bag and run all of it through the washer and dryer on high heat. The best way to kill bed bugs is with heat. Temperatures starting around 115 degress will start to kill them. The higher them temperature, the faster they will die.
Vacuum all of the areas above while brushing and scraping vigorously. This will help to kill some of the bed bugs as well as get rid of their droppings and eggs. It will not get rid of the entire infestation but it is an important part of our IPM treatment plan.
Protection and Prevention
Put something around the feet of your bed posts to prevent entry into your bed. This will get you some much needed sleep and help to control the infestation. There are saucers available that you can fill with a liquid to trap any insects trying to crawl up the bed posts. Another option is to use a mattress and box spring encasement.
Bed Bug Elimination and Sanitation
If you own a steam cleaner, you apply heat treatments with the steam. You should move at a rate of about 12 inches every 30 seconds to ensure each area reaches the proper killing temperatures. Using a steamer is a fantastic way to kill bed bugs. Just check to make sure the steamer you use is capable of reaching temperatures aroud 150 degrees.
If you do not have access to a steamer, you can use 91% rubbing alcohol. Put it in a spray bottle and use it to sanitize infested areas. Alcohol's effectiveness on killing bed bugs is debatable. You will not get an extremely high kill rate but it will help to control the infestation. Even if it doesn't kill a single bug, I like to use it for its sanitizing benefits.
Another Removal Option
Again, if you don't have access to a steam cleaner, you'll want to use something in conjunction with the alcohol. A great product for that is powder called diatomaceous earth. It is also the most affordable option. You can get a 7 ounce bottle for around $8 dollars.
If you want to spend a little big more and bring out the big guns, I recommend using Cyfluthrin. Cyfluthrin is an insecticide, so you'll need to decide if you want to kill them naturally or with chemicals. It all depends on the severity of your infestation. Cyfluthrin is much less toxic than other chemicals and is very effective for killing bed bugs. A bottle costs about $35 dollars.
The bottom line - Don't give up!
Give time to which ever solution you choose to use. Getting rid of bed bugs is a very difficult process but with patience and persistence you can do it yourself.
Is this your first experience with bed bugs?
© 2014 Chipp Marshal