A good day often starts with a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get the rest that you need when you’re constantly dealing with itchy bedding and allergies caused by bed bugs.
Just like with most insects, many people with homes infested by bed bugs want to find the quickest and most efficient way to get rid of these pests immediately. Unfortunately, bed bugs are known for being notoriously difficult to remove once they’ve infiltrated your home.
Sometimes, the only way to overcome a bedbug problem once and for all is to get rid of all your bedding and start again. However, the following five steps could improve your chances of effective removal.
1. Wash Everything Immediately
As soon as you know that you have bed bugs, the first thing you need to do is gather up anything that might have been exposed to the infestation. This includes your bedding, sheets, pillowcases, curtains, blinds and even any rugs around the bed. Throw everything you can into the washing machine (high heat is usually best in this case) and wash any other significant items separately.
Once your clean items come out of the dryer, make sure that you keep them far away from the infected room so that the bed bugs don’t have a chance to spread again.
2. Get Vacuuming
With all your bedding and fabrics out of the bedroom, grab a vacuum cleaner and start getting into every corner you can. Remember, you can vacuum the mattress and the various components of your bedframe using the accessories that come with your hoover.
You’ll need a powerful cleaner for this purpose, so make sure you’ve got something that really gets down deep into fabrics. It’s also a good idea to go to work with a crevice tool so that you can remove eggs and leftover larvae from any difficult-to-reach hiding places.
3. Try Steam
If you’ve got a steam cleaner, once your vacuuming session is over, plug the machine in and get to work. Steam is great for killing bed bugs in various stages of their life cycle, from egg through to fully-grown bugs. However, you’ll need to spend a lot of time covering all areas of your bedroom that might have been exposed to these tiny insects, so expect to use up a lot of your day.
Keep in mind that a wet and dry vacuum cleaner isn’t the same as a steam cleaner. You need something that uses incredibly high heat to kill bed bugs. A standard carpet cleaner won’t do.
4. Use Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is a common solution for killing a wide range of different pests – although it can be quite messy. The substance basically poisons the adult bugs in your home and kills them off so that by the time you hoover again, you should be picking up any of the insects that you’ve already missed.
Before you start spreading this substance around your home, make sure that you move as much clutter out of the way as possible, including furniture that hasn’t been infested. You’ll be able to reduce the risk of bugs hiding somewhere, only to come back later.
5. Try Tea Tree and Lavender
Finally, bed bugs hate the scent of tea tree oil and lavender, so much so that they won’t come anywhere near these substances most of the time, for fear of the scent. After you’re done with your cleaning spree, grab some tea tree oil or lavender oil and wipe around the bed frame with it.
Coating your bedroom in the right essential oils should prevent bugs from coming back if any managed to escape your treatment plan.
What if They Come Back?
Getting rid of bed bugs isn’t easy. These pests are incredibly small and resilient. Even if you just miss a few during your cleaning session, there’s a chance that they could come back in full force later on. If you start to notice signs of bed bugs again after you’ve finished your DIY treatment, the best thing you can do is seek the help of a professional exterminator.
Bed bug experts will have specialist tools and cleaning systems that they can use to remove any lingering traces of bugs from your home.
For more great family tips to help you in the home, check out the other blogs on Cyber Parent.