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How To Get Rid Of Bedbugs At Home

Updated on September 4, 2012

How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs At Home

While these persistent and minute pests were considered all but wiped out in much of the western world (but still very much prevalent in less industrialized areas), recently they have begun to settle once more into everyday households.

As you may already know, getting rid of bed bugs is an important hygienic measure, and will help prevent the notorious and often painful welts and rashes that they can cause. On a positive note, while bed bugs carry certain blood-borne diseases, there is no evidence to support the theory that they are responsible for passing them to humans.

In this article I will outline an efficient step-by-step process to remove bed bugs at home, without having to pay an exterminator an exorbitant amount of money. On with the show!

Bed bug nymph
Bed bug nymph | Source

Bed Bug Facts

  • Bed bugs can survive up to around a year without feeding, making them an incredibly persistent pest problem!
  • Bed bugs can vary between 1.5mm to 4.5mm during their multiple stages of growth.
  • Bed bugs are usually active solely at night (which unfortunately makes it a fantastic time for you to address the problem).

Signs And Symptoms

Bed bugs feed on humans by piercing our flesh and drawing blood. Usually after a day or two after having been bitten welts and swelling can occur, which are classic signs of a bed bug infestation. To solidify your case for a bed bug problem, look out for more tell-tale signs:

  • A line of bites in a row (occasionally also in a small cluster).
  • Dark fecal spots and remains on bed-sheets or carpets (or wherever else the little bleeders are inhabiting).
  • A questionable smell (to put it mildly).

Other signs that can lead you to both the cause and source of the problem will involve a little makeshift house-detective work:

  • Check crevices and other small secluded areas for traces of their fecal stains or skins.
  • If your house is a constant to-and-fro, remember that while it can seem that bed bug infestations literally appear out of thin air, it is likely that the pests "got a lift" from someone or something.

Looky Here!

Here's what fecal stains look like on a mattress.
Here's what fecal stains look like on a mattress. | Source

Steps To Get Rid Of Them

Once you're sure that it is in fact a bed bug infestation and not some other pest, and that the infestation is still active (finding skin and fecal matter may indicate a pest infestation), it's time to take firm, decisive steps.

  1. While it is an immense hassle, you will need to remove all bedding and furniture from the room in question. Every crevice, hole, nook and cranny will have to be evaluated. Once you've nailed the source of the infection(s), you can proceed.
  2. Vacuum the entire room. From top to bottom and side-to-side (and back again).
  3. Caulk any cracks in wood with a caulk gun.
  4. Toss the victimized mattress. If you balk at the idea, try to dry clean it at high temperature instead.
  5. Empty out your now stockpiled furniture.
  6. For those of you on the war-path, fill a spray can with rubbing alcohol and douse them. It will kill them en masse, on the spot.
  7. Steam-press them out of their holes.

This process will have to be repeated a few times, and will involve a great deal of patience. Simply put -- do not expect the infestation to vanish overnight (although the severity of the threat will be greatly diminished in only a single passing).

Conclusion

If all else fails, hiring a professional exterminator will help you make relatively swift work of the parasites (but bear in mind that the steps taken will be similar to those I have outlined).

I hope this article has been of use to you, and please feel absolutely free to use the comments section below to get in touch with me! I wish you the best of luck with your soon-to-be-over pest problem!

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      springgirl970 4 years ago

      this is by far best site i have seen concerning these "lil" critters.I am not sure if these are in our home or not,i haven found a colony which im sure does not matter.although i have something!can anyone tell me what the consistency of the eggs are and if they can leave a kind of rubbery /glossy circular mostly black (about the size of half of beebee) attached to a surface? thanks

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      Kuralai 4 years ago

      my friend had begudbs becuase his cousin from brazil brought them when he viisited i slept over his house and in the morning found 4 or 5 bites on me. After i went home and took my clothes of at the door put them in a bag and then took a shower. *just in case* then when i went to bedi began to feel itch spots everywhere. But i don't know if it's because i have them or if its just me thinking about it. This had caused me to lose sleep the whole week. i havnt noticed any bites after i slept over.

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      Selin 4 years ago

      It sounds like you are just gteitng started, but your blog looks great. You have spent a lot of time working on it and it is orginized very nicely. I am enjoying reading your posts.Good show.

    • profile image

      Claudette Williams 5 years ago from Worcester, MA & Dayton,Ohio

      Bed bugs require extermination on a professional level. Everything must be bagged. Any furniture that is badly infested needs to be thrown away. The house or apartment needs to be treated; items must stay in bags or sealed containers for at least three days to a week after extermination. Then resume to be put back in it's rightful place if the exterminator finds there is no more sign of bed bugs.

      The matresses should be covered with plastic matress covers , furniture should be sprayed with amonia to help keep bed bugs away and then covered with tight furniture cover. Steam clean clothes after you have rewashedand them in hot water and return to dresser draws and ect...

      Amonia helps get rid of bed bugs and I've used it in the past and it works. If you have them real bad you need a professional exteminator. feel free to try the amonia on the couch, carpet, and spray it in the air.

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