Killing pests: How to get rid of bed bugs

How to rid of bed bugs after they infestate your home.

There is an age-old joke that goes like this: “Sleep tight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite.” While this little rhyme is supposed to be humorous, there is certainly nothing actually funny about bed bugs.

There are three truths in that rhyme: One, the little creatures actually do live in a person’s bed.

They hide in cracks in the floor or in furniture or in mattresses. Anywhere they can find cover from the daylight. Two, they actually do wait until nighttime to come out and attack you in bed. And three, bed bugs do indeed bite. They are bloodsucking bugs. Their bite can leave a large, swollen red spot on your skin. The spots might very well itch too.

How to get rid of bed bugs

Do I Have Bed Bugs?

Not all of the creepy, crawly creatures that you might find in your bed are bed bugs. Bed bugs can grow to be about a 1/4 of an inch long. They have a flat, oval shaped body with six legs. They start out being a light tan color. Then, after they have fed upon a person’s blood, they turn almost black in color.

How Did I Get Them?

It is really unknown why bed bugs infest a certain bed or bedroom. There are fifteen species of bed bugs that live in North American alone. The larva can be brought into a home from other locations, such as from an infested hotel room. The female bed bug is responsible for laying the eggs that starts new generations of the creatures.

And, Most Importantly, How Do I Get Rid of Them?

The first step in ridding your home of bed bugs is to strip all of the beds of sheets, pillow cases, blankets, and pads. Wash these items in hot water with chlorine bleach. The hot water and the bleach will kill any bed bugs or larva that may be in the bedding.

The second step is to thoroughly vacuum the mattress and box springs. Lift each piece up and vacuum both the top and the bottom, as well as the sides, thoroughly. Next, remove the mattresses and box springs from the bed frame. Steam-clean each piece.

The third step is to vacuum the frame of the bed. Don’t forget to clean off any bed slats. Then, vacuum the floor area around the bed thoroughly. Make sure that you reach into cracks and crevices where bed bugs might be hiding. Vacuum the walls too, especially if the walls are covered with wallpaper. Bed bugs can hide or lay their larva in loose wallpaper. They can also hide in baseboards.

The fourth step is to inspect the rest of the bedroom. Open up drawers, cupboards, and closets. Look for small black or tan bugs. Check the draperies, curtains, blinds, et cetera. As another old saying goes, “Leave no stone unturned.” Search the entire bedroom from top to bottom for signs of bed bug infestation.

Finally, the last step for getting rid of bed bugs is to purchase a good insecticide. There are liquids, as well as powders, on the market today that are specifically for this purpose. Before you use the insecticide, be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions. Follow them for the best results. The cleaning, in collaboration with the insecticide application, should rid your home of bed bugs.

If, however, you are still bothered with bed bugs, you may want to call a professional exterminator. He can provide a home inspection and offer professional advice, as well as his professional services.

Finally, rest assured that you and your family can once again, “Sleep tight without the fear of bed bug bites.”

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