7 Effective Home Remedies For Bed Bugs (GET RID OF THEM FAST!)
Bed bugs are small – around 5mm in size – so they are visible to the human eye, but only just. They’re oval-shaped, flat and rusty-brown in colour. Unlike other bugs, they cannot jump nor fly.
They crawl out of their dark crevices at night to feed on blood which results in those infamous bed bug bites. Although they won’t spread any disease, they can be uncomfortable and some people will experience a reaction to bites.
Females can lay up to 250 eggs during their lifetime of about two to four months. Eggs are laid in cracks and crevices and are oval and white in colour.
What causes bed bugs?
Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs don’t have anything to do with dirt – so an extra shower a day won’t keep them at bay!
bed bugs feed on blood, anywhere with animals or humans is, technically, an ideal place for them to set up camp. Bed bugs move from place to place after feeding, and can hide in anything from bedsheets to your t-shirt,
Signs of bed bugs
Besides actually catching them crawling across your sheets, there are several other signs of bed bugs to look out for, including:
Bites on skin
Small, black spots on your bedsheets (bug faeces)
Bed bug shells (they shed their skin much like snakes)
A musty smell in your bedroom
Blood spots (could occur if you unintentionally squish a bug in your sleep)
Preparing for a bed bugs treatment
Despite their name, bed bugs don’t solely reside in your sheets – they could be hiding in cardboard boxes under the bed or on clothes in your laundry basket.
Before you try to treat bed bugs, you need to get rid of as much clutter as possible. Replace cardboard boxes for plastic boxes, put all your clothes in sealed bin liners and do the same with soft furnishings of any kind.
Deep clean items that could be infested
Everything that could have bed bugs must be cleaned thoroughly. This means heat treating clothing and sheets in a tumble dryer, or placing them in the freezer overnight before laundering as normal, both of which will kill bed bugs.
Any furniture in your bedroom should also be examined for evidence of bed bugs and cleaned as necessary. Curtains should be removed and cleaned professionally, and the whole room should be vacuumed thoroughly.
It’s extremely important to keep all cleaned items in sealed plastic bags. The vacuum bag should also be removed after use, placed in a sealed plastic bag, and disposed of.
What’s hiding under your sheets?
Bed bugs are so-called because they bite at night. Although they don’t always live in the mattress, they often do. Moving your bed away from the wall, furniture and anything else will make infestation anywhere else less likely.
Vacuum the area
The last step before you start treatment is to completely vacuum on, in and around the affected area.
Vacuum your bed thoroughly, not only concentrating on the mattress but the headboard and slats too.
Once all that’s done, you’ll be ready to treat your bed bugs using these home remedies.
Home remedies for bed bugs
A professional, bed bug infestation treatment is the most reliable way of guaranteeing the full extermination of your bed bugs. If you’d prefer to try a DIY treatment before shedding out any cash, give the following home remedies a go.
1. Starve the bed bugs
If you don’t mind taking the slow and steady route, starving your bed bugs is another option.
First and foremost, it’s important to vacuum your bed thoroughly. Next, you’ll need to get hold of some Ziploc bags for your mattress and leave them on for around a week – this will prevent any bugs from getting out and feeding, thus causing them to starve to death.
2. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth is often considered the most effective of all the natural bed bug treatments, killing more than 90% of bed bugs.
It’s also cheap and easy to use – its powdered form means it can be sprinkled into even the smallest of cracks and crevices. The downside? It takes up to 10 days to work.
To use, apply 100% Diatomaceous Earth onto the affected area and leave for a few days. You should slowly start to see dead bed bugs, which you can vacuum away. Repeat the process several times, until all bed bugs appear to have been eradicated.
3. Bicarbonate of soda
Here’s another reason why it’s always handy to have a pot of baking soda in the home – it can kill bed bugs.
Sprinkling bicarbonate of soda onto areas affected by bed bugs is thought to physically dehydrate their skin, whilst others suggest it’s abrasive enough to cut them.
It’s cheap, it works, so what’s the downside? Treating bed bugs with baking soda is timely – you’ll need to repeat the process of sprinkling and vacuuming regularly in order to banish them. This in turn, means you’re going to need a lot of powder, making this home remedy more expensive that it may originally seem.
4. Tea tree essential oils