How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs: 20 Solutions, Best Life
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs the Easiest Way Possible
- 1 How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs the Easiest Way Possible
- 2 Bed Bugs: Pest Control and Exterminat or Information
- 3 Your One-Stop Shop for Bed Bug Facts, Prevention, Tips, and More
- 4 Finding a Bed Bug Exterminator
- 5 How to Spot and Get Rid of Common Household Pests in Hotels
- 6 Common Hotel Pests
- 7 Tips for Bed Bugs in the Office
- 8 Follow These Steps to Avoid a Bed Bug Infestation
- 9 A bed bug infestation is a challenge to get rid of. Avoid the headache by following these tips.
- 10 Identify the Problem Early On
- 11 Know What Bed Bug Bites Look Like
- 12 Prepare for Travel with Vacuum-Sealed Bags
- 13 Check Your Pet’s Bed
- 14 Cover Electrical Outlets
- 15 Set Traps
- 16 Seal Cracks and Fix Tears
- 17 Investigate Secondhand Purchases
- 18 Protect Your Mattress
- 19 Isolate Your Home
Don’t let the bedbugs bite—or even enter your home in the first place.
«Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite» was once little more than a folksy saying parents told their children before putting them to bed at night. Today, it’s more of a warning, and if you’re wondering how to get rid of bed bugs, it might be something you wish yourself before you go to sleep.
According to a review of research conducted at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, bed bug infestations have been steadily on the rise since 2004, while researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine found that bed bug complaints increased nearly 25 percent between 2000 and 2006 alone.
And while most people think of bed bugs as primarily a nuisance, their damage extends well beyond the nasty bites they inflict and the infested rooms and infested areas they take over. In addition to the thousands of dollars it can take to get rid of them, research suggests that bed bug infestations can have serious psychological consequences both during periods of infestation and after.
So, whether you’re worried about these pests taking up residence in your home or have already spotted one creeping around, read on to discover these genius ways to eliminate bed bugs forever. And when you want to keep your whole house spotless, give the 20 Genius House-Cleaning Tricks That Will Blow Your Mind a whirl.
The first step toward reducing your bed bug risk or finding out where they’re hiding in an infested area is to keep your house as clean and clutter-free as possible. Keeping things organized and keeping piles of laundry, mail, or other junk from piling up around your home will give bed bugs fewer places to hide and make them easier to spot if they do sneak in.
Make it harder for bed bugs to take up residence in your home by getting encasements for your mattress, box spring, and pillows. These zippered, pillowcase-like protectors can act as a bed bug deterrent, and may help you preserve your pricey bed, even if your home does become infested. Just make sure your encasements don’t have any holes in them and the zippers meet so that no bugs can sneak their way in. And when you want to make your whole house safer, start by identifying the 50 Deadliest Items in Your Home!
When you bring new clothes home from the store, whenever possible, wash them and dry them on high heat before putting them away. The dryer’s high heat can kill off bed bugs in your clothes and costs significantly less than fumigating your home. Don’t know how to get started? This Is the Best Way to Load a Washing Machine.
While bed bugs are small enough to creep in through virtually any tiny hole, ensuring that your doors are properly sealed, especially if you live in an apartment building, can also help keep the pests out. Getting solid plastic adhesive-backed draft stoppers for the bottom of your doors can help eliminate one point of entry, potentially keeping your home a little safer from these pests. And for more great at-home tips, here are 20 Genius Ways to Make Chores More Fun.
Considering that bed bugs are smaller than your average apple seed, they can take up residence almost anywhere. If you have gaps in your baseboards, around windows or outlets, or have cracks in your walls, seal them up with silicone caulk and you’ll eliminate one place bed bugs could be hiding out.
Public laundromats may be a necessary evil, but they can also contribute to the spread of bed bugs. Before you use the facilities at your local laundromat, make sure you’ve checked them out thoroughly using a flashlight or your phone to make sure there aren’t any creepy-crawlies left over from the previous users.
Want to coax any existing bed bugs in your home out of their hiding spots? Your hair dryer can help. Using a hair dryer on a low setting, aim the heat at your baseboards or any other places you suspect bed bugs could be lurking and they might just make an appearance. And for more DIY tips, This Is How to Make Your Own Home Dusting Spray!
While vacuuming likely won’t be enough to entirely eliminate a bed bug infestation, it can help reduce the number of bed bugs breeding in your home. Vacuum any areas of your home or any furniture that might be harboring bed bugs and make sure to throw away your vacuum’s bag in two layers of trash bags afterward, sealing each tightly and throwing them in an outdoor trash can. For bagless vacuums, empty the vacuum outdoors using the same procedure and thoroughly clean the inside afterward, disposing of any paper towels you used to clean it with outside, as well.
Getting rid of bed bugs doesn’t always mean harsh chemical fumigation. In fact, silica gel, that stuff you find in tiny packets with new shoes and certain food items, is an effective bed bug desiccant, according to research published in the journal Insects.
The best way to prevent a full-blown bed bug infestation is to catch these critters in their early stages in your home. Fortunately, there are numerous bed bug detection kits that you can purchase that will alert you to any pests lurking in your home long before a whole-home detox becomes your only option.
Want to make sure you’re not accidentally bringing bed bugs back into your home? Try transporting your laundry in a sealed plastic bag, like a vacuum-sealable storage bag, to and from the laundromat so that these critters don’t get into your laundry and hitchhike home with you. Plastic bags can also help protect your clothes from becoming a place for bed bugs to camp out if you do end up with an infestation in your home.
Hotels are often cited as a major source of bed bug transfer, so when you return home from vacation, make sure you’re not putting those clothes that were just in your hotel closet back into your own one. When you return home from vacation, make sure to run all of your clothes through the dryer on a high heat cycle before putting them away and thoroughly inspect your suitcase to make sure you haven’t picked up any stowaways.
Store-bought bed bug devices aren’t the only ones that work. In fact, researchers at Rutgers University have discovered an effective way to attract and contain bed bugs using dry ice. Want to make your own? Check out how.
A little steam can go a long way when it comes to getting rid of bed bugs. According to researchers from Virginia Tech’s Entomology Department, steam is an effective way of coaxing bed bugs from their hiding spots and, at high enough temperatures, can kill them off, too.
Think only harsh chemical treatments can kill off bed bugs? Think again. Researchers at the University of Sydney and Westmead Hospital found that diatomaceous earth, which can be found online or at virtually any health food store, can effectively kill bed bugs, too.
Before you spread all of your possessions on the bed at your hotel, make sure you’ve given the room a once-over. Inspect the seams of the mattress, check inside the drawers of nightstands and dressers, and check under couch cushions and along their seams for rust-colored dots or black spots, both indicators that bed bugs have been there.
Keep bed bugs from hitching a ride with you after your travels by using hard-sided luggage with overlapping zippers. While zippers on cloth luggage tend to gap slightly, hard-sided luggage makes it more difficult for bed bugs to gain entry and come home with you.
If you’ve already got bed bugs in your home, a heating chamber may help you eradicate some of them. These devices, which can be purchased online, can help eradicate bed bugs from contaminated items in your home before a full-blown infestation hits.
While many people assume that natural bed bug treatments can’t be effective, that’s hardly the case. In fact, research from the Entomological Society of America found that two essential oil-based products, Bed Bug Patrol and EcoRaider, killed 90 percent of bed bugs in a trial.
When in doubt, call in the pros. An exterminator can help you assess your infestation, help you figure out which, if any, items in your home can’t be salvaged, and will be able to get rid of any pests better than you would be able to alone. And for more ways to keep your house safe, check out the 15 Best Ways to Protect Your Home!
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Bed Bugs: Pest Control and Exterminat or Information
Your One-Stop Shop for Bed Bug Facts, Prevention, Tips, and More
Bed bugs are a major pest control concern and their populations have dramatically risen over the last decade. A bed bug infestation must be dealt with quickly and efficiently. If you’re looking for expert advice from bed bug exterminators, you’ve come to the right place.
Bed bugs are more common than you think. A recent bed bugs pest control survey, conducted by the National Pest Management Association and the University of Kentucky, found that bed bug infestations in the United States continue at high rates, with 97 percent of respondents having treated for bed bugs in the past year. That number is significantly higher than 15 years ago, when only 25 percent of pest control professionals reported treating for bed bugs. Needless to say, bed bug exterminators are busier than ever.
Understandably, the continued rise in bed bug populations has many people concerned , making bed bug pest control all the more necessary . Th e rising bed bug numbers is what drove us to create our comprehensive All Things Bed Bugs section. Our goal is to provide homeowners with all the bed bug-related information the y need, and to make it easy for you to find a bed bug pest control professional in your area.
Learn all about bed bugs — from bed bug basics to prevention tips. All Things Bed Bugs is your resource for bed bug information, best practices for handling an infestation, frequently asked questions, finding a bed bug exterminat or , and more.
Finding a Bed Bug Exterminator
Bed bug control is not a do-it-yourself job. Once they take up residence, these elusive pests can be extremely difficult to get rid of. Furthermore, you’ll want to ensure that all the bed bugs are eliminated in order to avoid a return infestation. This is why it is key to hire a professional, experienced bed bug exterminator. If you suspect or discover a bed bug infestation, contact a licensed pest control professional to effectively handle the situation. You can use our Zip Code Locator to find a qualified professional right in your area.
Click on the callouts on the right for more information on bed bugs.
History of Bed Bugs
Learn about the history of bed bugs and the factors that lead to their resurgence.
How to Spot and Get Rid of Common Household Pests in Hotels
Running a business in the hospitality industry is a tough task, and when pests are added to the equation, it can get even more challenging and costly.
Like it or not, pests are a common problem among many U.S. hotels and the problem is only getting worse with the proliferation of bed bugs in many parts of the country. In a 2015 survey of pest control companies conducted by the National Pest Management Association and the University of Kentucky, hotels ranked third as the most common location for a bed bug infestation.
Apart from causing both minor and major deterioration to a property, the mere presence of pests can deliver a devastating blow to a hotel’s reputation. It is imperative that hotels take the necessary steps to prevent these pests before they become a problem. Below are the most common hotel pests and actionable tips to prevent infestations for each.
Common Hotel Pests
Mice, rats, cockroaches, flies, and bed bugs are among the most common hotel pests. Accessibility to food, frequent turnover of travelers, and inadequate preventative measures create an environment where hotels are at an increased risk of attracting infestations. Below are ways to detect each of these pests early on and a few tips to control an infestation should one occur on a hotel’s premises.
Rats and mice are not just household pests. They also like to check into hotels and lurk in the shadows and corners of the establishment, particularly in places with easy access to food stores. Rodents are capable of significant property damage as they gnaw through electrical equipment and fixtures or damage walls. Aside from property concerns, rodent infestations pose a serious threat to human health in the form of various diseases such as Toxoplasmosis, Lyme, Leptospirosis, and Salmonellosis. Furthermore, rats can carry a number of other known pests such as mites, lice, fleas, and ticks into a hotel.
The most important tip for rodents (or any other pest, for that matter) is to train cleaning staff on how to spot the early signs of an infestation. A hotel’s cleaning crew spends the most time in each room. If they spot something suspicious, there should be a predefined system in place where management can be quickly informed and take appropriate action.
Thankfully, rats and mice leave obvious evidence of their presence. They’ll leave behind droppings, urine stains, and smudge marks around rooms and hallways. When everyone else is fast asleep, rats and mice tend to be more active in the walls, producing gnawing and squeaking sounds.
Rodent Control Tips
If these signs appear, hotel management should secure food stores in the kitchen, hotel restaurant, and the food storage area. Seal off all possible points that could lead into the hotel such as cracks, vents, screens, and windows. Make sure that all food stocks are kept in airtight containers and that these are checked from time to time. Check the hotel surroundings for garbage or other foodstuff that could be attracting the rodents.
While a few snap traps might work for smaller infestations, larger infestations will require a more robust approach. Before contacting an exterminator, take note of all verified sightings and actions taken against the rodents prior to calling. Rely on professionals to use rodenticides, as these can be dangerous, especially if they’re placed in areas with guest access.
Cockroaches and Flies
The mere sight of a single fly hovering in a dining area or a cockroach crawling on a wall can severely damage a guest’s impression of the property. Flies are attracted to food odors while cockroaches are drawn to decaying matter and food. These insects can easily get into an establishment by hitching a ride on infested luggage or through small cracks or openings.
Since they feed on decaying matter and live on filth, cockroaches and flies carry viruses and microorganisms that can cause serious diseases. Cockroaches are carriers of bacteria like E. Coli, Listeria, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus. Flies on the other hand, can be carriers of fungi, parasitic worms, and cholera.
Detecting Cockroaches and Flies
Both flies and cockroaches are capable of multiplying rapidly over a short period of time. A single insect is all it takes to start a pest infestation. Therefore, it is important to appropriately train the hotel’s cleaning crew to spot possible red flags of cockroach or fly infestation.
Flies are much easier to detect compared to cockroaches. Flies will congregate where there is food or garbage such as kitchen and dining areas, while cockroaches are better at hiding and coming out during the nighttime to find scraps of food. During the daytime, cockroaches usually hide inside cracks, crevices, and underneath furniture.
The key to spotting cockroaches is to pay special attention to the dark and damp areas of a hotel’s kitchens and bathrooms (e.g., underneath sinks and refrigerators). Black secretion stains and droppings that resemble coffee grounds are signs of roaches.
Preventing Cockroach and Fly Infestations
Cockroaches and flies need to be eliminated as soon as possible to maintain a pleasant living environment for guests. Management should continuously train the cleaning staff to identify key signs of an infestation. Other best practices include: discarding food leftovers, cleaning up spills and peelings in the kitchen or dining areas, and properly covering trash bins. Using airtight containers is also a good way to deny cockroaches access to food.
UV light traps are the most commonly employed solutions for eliminating flies inside commercial establishments. Place traps in areas where flies are visible most of the time and along windows.
Cockroaches can be eliminated in various ways. The most common methods include aerosol sprays and bait stations. Consult an exterminator prior to taking any action as untrained pest control can make an infestation worse.
As a preventative measure, lay down cockroach traps underneath refrigerators as a method to monitor any active infestations. Most are inexpensive and can help catch an infestation before it has the chance to expand. Lay a few traps around the hotel’s kitchen and check them weekly.
Due to increased traveling and less effective pesticides, bed bugs infestations have soared in recent years. Various tools such as the Bed Bug Registry have been created for the sole purpose of reporting bed bugs found in apartments and hotels, which makes preventative measures even more critical in maintaining a property’s reputation.
While the CDC maintains that bed bugs do not pose a serious threat to human health, as they do not transmit disease, the severity of their bites can vary from person to person as well as cause secondary infections if the bites are not cleaned and taken care of. Bed bugs count on humans for their daily dose of blood meals, which means that they can only survive in the presence of a human host.
Early Detection of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs can lay up to 12 eggs a day which makes it imperative to detect their presence in the earliest possible stage of infestation. Adult bed bugs are quite small but are visible to the naked eye. They grow to just about 5 to 7 mm in size and are usually found in beds, blankets, pillows, luggage, and furniture. Traces of blood spots on sheets, black (fecal) marks, and shed bug skin are common signs. Apart from the mattresses, bed bugs usually lurk in cracks in walls, outlet wall plates, and tables or chairs near the bed.
Training cleaners to spot signs of a bed bug infestation is critical to early detection and removal.
Bed Bug Control Tips
When it comes to bed bug removal, the only solution is to consult an exterminator. Bed bug removal is a very delicate procedure only made worse by the fact that hotels make it very easy for bed bugs to spread quickly onto new hosts in adjacent rooms. If a guest brings bed bugs into a hotel and doesn’t leave with them, the bed bugs will begin looking for a new host somewhere else. This is how bed bugs spread.
To resolve a bed bug infestation, pest control companies deploy sophisticated equipment, which allows them to superheat a room to at least 131° Fahrenheit/55° Celsius—hot enough to kill adult bugs and their eggs.
As a preventative measure, hotel owners should use mattress and box spring encasements to protect beds from infestations. These can save hotels thousands of dollars in disposing of infested mattresses and make the bed bug removal process slightly easier.
About the Author
Shane Dutka is the founder of Pest Strategies, a website resource providing guides and articles on pest removal best practices.
Tips for Bed Bugs in the Office
Although bed bugs are typically thought to be a household pest, they can hitchhike with people to their places of employment. In fact, a 2015 Bugs Without Borders survey by NPMA found that 45% of pest control professionals have encountered bed bugs in office buildings. Here are the NPMA’s tips to prevent bringing bed bugs home from the workplace:
- Vacuum and clean all areas — including offices, hallways, lobbies, kitchens, storefronts and public bathrooms on a daily basis.
- Regularly inspect all areas of business for signs of bed bugs infestations at work. Pay close attention to the seams of furniture and upholstery for telltale brownish or reddish spots. Also beware that these pests have been known to inhabit electrical sockets, surge protectors and behind picture frames. Vigilance by all employees is key!
- Eliminate clutter as best as possible — especially in storage areas as this provides excellent hiding spots for bed bugs in the office.
- When unpacking new inventory or receiving shipments, carefully inspect all items and packaging for signs of bed bugs before bringing them into your business.
- Encourage employees to report suspicions of bed bug activity immediately, and always contact a pest professional to investigate each claim.
- Have a policy in place for employees who may suspect a bed bug infestation at home. Many times, employees unknowingly bring these bed bugs into the office. By having an open dialogue and official policy on these pest infestations, you may be able to help remove any concern of honest reporting.
- If a bed bug infestation is found, work with a professional pest control company to treat the infestation and perform follow-up inspections.
Check out our other tips for preventing bed bugs in different settings:
History of Bed Bugs
Learn about the history of bed bugs and the factors that lead to their resurgence.
Bed Bug Biology
Learn about the biology of bed bugs — from their shape and size to their life cycle and feeding habits.
Location of Bed Bugs
Wondering where bed bugs are found? Discover common bed bug habitats and infestation regions.
Signs of Bed Bugs
Learn about the common signs of bed bugs — from bites on the skin to spots on the mattress to sticky eggs.
Bed Bug Facts and Stats
Read bed bug facts and statistics compiled by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).
Follow These Steps to Avoid a Bed Bug Infestation
A bed bug infestation is a challenge to get rid of. Avoid the headache by following these tips.
Identify the Problem Early On
As much as you want your home to be safe, clean and sound all the time, cracks and attacks are bound to happen, whether it’s a crack in the ceiling or an attack from a pest. Avoiding an infestation means knowing what to look for.
Before you can do anything about preventing a bed bug infestation, you’ll need to identify what the pest looks like, and where it likes to hide. Bed bugs have small, flat, oval-shaped bodies, are wingless and brown in color. They hide in mattresses, bed frames, bedding, furniture, carpets, baseboards and bedroom clutter. If you already have a bed bug infestation in your home, follow this guide for how to get rid of it.
Know What Bed Bug Bites Look Like
Identifying what a bed bug bite looks like will help you to pinpoint the problem before things get out of control and turn into a full-blown infestation. Bites are usually small red marks found on the hands, arms, face and neck. They typically appear in rows and can be itchy. Bed bugs aren’t the only pests that can harm your home and health. Cockroaches can too! Here’s how to get rid of them.
Prepare for Travel with Vacuum-Sealed Bags
Taking your clothing from one home to another, or one country to another, opens up the opportunity for other people’s homes or belongings to come in contact with yours in a hotel, on a plane—anywhere. This increases your chances of bringing bed bugs home with you when your travels are over. By storing your clothing in airtight vacuum bags when traveling, you make it less accessible for pests to crawl into your things and eventually make their way into your home. It’s also a good idea to store seasonal clothes in vacuum-sealed bags.
Check Your Pet’s Bed
Bed bugs love warmth, and your pet, much like your bed, is the perfect place for bed bugs to sit back, relax and lay some eggs. A good way to keep the pests at bay is to regularly inspect where your pet sleeps. You should also wash your pet’s bedding frequently, and regularly vacuum the areas where they hang out. If you need some pet cleaning help, check out these ingenious tips.
Cover Electrical Outlets
Power outlets may look small through your eyes, but for pests like bed bugs, they’re the perfect hideout, and escape route when need be. Keeping bugs out of your outlets ensures they don’t infest the walls. If your electrical outlets need to be replaced, here’s what you need to know.
Setting traps not only ensures bed bugs are stopped in their tracks, but it helps you to constantly monitor your room. Place the traps under the feet of the bed frame, so the bugs can’t make their way up into your mattress. If you’re having more of a mouse problem than a bed bug concern, check out the best way to set a mouse trap.
Seal Cracks and Fix Tears
Whether it’s tears in windows or screens, or cracks on the outside or inside of your home, get them fixed! Any opening that can fit a business card is the perfect hideout for a bed bug. Be sure to check out these 11 clever tricks for repairing your walls and ceilings.
Investigate Secondhand Purchases
Clothing from a thrift store or a beautiful second-hard dresser, and especially bed frames and couches, can be homes for bed bugs. (Don’t even consider buying a used mattress unless you are 100-percent sure you know where it came from and you know it is clean and has no bugs.) It’s important to thoroughly check all second-hand purchases to ensure there are no signs of a bed bug infestation. Speaking of thrifting, here are 10 things you should never buy at the thrift store.
Protect Your Mattress
Protecting your mattress is important for its longevity. Protects it from wear and tear, the oils of your skin, spills, and of course, bed bugs. Use a protective cover that encases the mattress and box spring. In case you didn’t know, there are lots of things in your home, including your mattress, that you should be cleaning on a regular basis.
Isolate Your Home
If you live in a duplex, condo or apartment, it’s important to isolate your unit as much as possible. Installing door sweeps on the bottom of doors and sealing cracks and crevices around baseboards, light sockets, etc. can help keep out bugs. Make sure to get the building manager’s approval before doing these projects. Want more pest control info? Check out these 11 strategies for DIY pest control.