Do you often wake up with itchy red bumps and little black dots all over your bedsheets? Unfortunately, it sounds like you’re dealing with a bed bug infestation.
So now you wonder, is getting rid of bed bugs possible to do on your own? Or do you need to call professional pest control services to destroy them permanently?
Actually, either one of these options will work. However, if you do choose the DIY route, you need to follow the instructions below very carefully.
If you aren’t thorough enough, the bed bugs can come back. More importantly, there are safety precautions to consider as well.
But don’t worry. We’re going to walk you through the entire process so that there’s little room for error. Read on to learn everything you need to know about getting rid of bed bugs permanently.
How Do You Know That You Have Bed Bugs?
First of all, are you sure that it’s a bed bug infestation you’re dealing with? This is important because the method you use to destroy bed bugs is only effective against bed bugs. If you have fleas or some other pest, the following steps are just a big waste of your time.
If you see the carcasses of the pest in question, compare it to some images of bed bugs. You can look these up online.
Second, there are symptoms of bed bug bites that you can look for. Namely, your skin, especially on your arms, neck, and face, will be full of red, itchy bumps.
Finally, after feeding on your blood, bed bugs leave droppings on your bedding. These are small, black dots that look like marks from a ballpoint pen.
What Kills Bed Bugs?
There is only one effective weapon against bed bugs that will penetrate/destroy the whole nest: heat. Specifically, you need heat in excess of 115 degrees Fahrenheit. This will kill not only the live bed bugs but the eggs as well.
Will Heat Treatment Permanently Wipe Out the Bed Bugs?
The number one rule of pest control is that no method is ever guaranteed. There’s always a chance of some eggs being missed or the pests returning the same way they got there in the first place.
Still, yes, bed bug heat treatment should completely destroy your current infestation. You just need to make sure that you’re very thorough and that bed bugs have no way to reenter your home once irradiated. This being the case, though, you may save yourself some trouble by simply calling an exterminator now.
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs
So, now, the choice is yours. You can either call a professional pest control service or very carefully follow the steps below to deal with bed bugs yourself.
1. Seriously, Be Careful
Again, you’re dealing with high heat, here, and there are many inadvisable methods that will set your bed on fire. So, first of all, don’t attempt to heat your bed with a hairdryer, a portable heater, or any other source of dry heat.
You want to use steam heat. Steam will heat your bed to the proper temperature with no risk of starting a house fire.
2. Gather Your Supplies
Now, instead of the bad examples above, gather the proper tools. Namely, you want a high-heat dryer for clothes and bedding and a steam cleaner for your bed.
3. Wash/Dry Bedding and Clothes With High Heat
Now, remove all bedding from your bed: sheets, pillowcases, comforter/quilt—anything you can machine-wash. This includes pillows and foam mattress pads. If you can’t machine-wash these items, you’ll have to steam them or get rid of them.
Next, wash any pajamas that may be infested and anything that shares a drawer with these pajamas. Wash all these items in hot water if you can.
The next step is the most important. You must dry these items in the dryer under very high heat. The clothes/bedding should remain in high heat for at least 30 minutes after they’re fully dry.
4. Heat Treat/Get Rid of Everything Under Your Bed
Next, you need to deal with the area underneath your bed. Hopefully, you have nothing stored under there. In this case, you only need to steam the carpet.
If you do have items under your bed, they may be infested. Throw these items away if you can part with them (especially items that can melt, like candles). Otherwise, treat them with high heat.
Follow step 3 for any items that are machine-washable. For non-washable, non-meltable items, you’ll need a black trash bag and a hot day. Place the items in the bag, seal it up tight, then leave it in the hot sun for a few hours.
5. Steam Your Mattress
All that’s left now is to steam your mattress with the steam cleaner. Do this very slowly to make sure the heat penetrates all the way through the mattress. Don’t miss an inch, including the underside.
Get Rid of Bed Bugs With These Steps
Getting rid of bed bugs is 100% possible as long as you follow these steps properly. If you’re suffering with a bed bug problem, follow the steps above to irradicate them permanently. Also, if you know someone else with a bed bug infestation, please share this guide with them.
Aside from bed bugs, we have plenty of news and tips on other issues that can impact the health of your household, too. Read the latest on COVID-19, erectile dysfunction, and more on our Health blog.