Having bed bugs in your home can be an extremely harrowing and traumatic experience, one that needs to be addressed immediately because it will not resolve itself of its own fruition. Rather, there are two main methods you need to learn about how to kill bed bugs, the first being after the fact and the second being proactive. While only one of these methods actually tells you how to kill bed bugs, the other takes the age old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure” into account and provides you an even easier way to exterminate bed bugs should you still contract them.
What Are Bed Bugs?
- Before you learn how to kill bed bugs, it’s important to keep the words of Sun Tzu in mind when he said, “Know thy enemy” in The Art of War: knowing all about bed bugs will help you learn how to kill bed bugs more efficiently.
- Bed bugs are small, flat, wingless insects known as Cimex lectularius of the Cimicidae family which feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals (called hematophagy). Only emerging from their hiding places at night, they feed on the blood of humans, leaving flea-like bites, bumps and welts on their sleeping victims who awaken as normal, but marked up and itchy.
- In essence, they are the true vampires of the world, hiding away during the daytime, only emerging under the cloak of darkness to feed on humans and then return to their dwellings unseen.
- But what’s worse is that unlike vampires, bed bugs can live for up to a year without feeding. This is why it’s essential that you learn how to kill bed bugs and prevent them from ever appearing (or returning) in the first place.
How To Kill Bed Bugs
- Because bed bugs are so elusive with their nocturnal patterns and intricate hiding spots, unless you have the time to comb through your house inch by inch with a magnifying glass and tweezers, you are going to need an alternative method that involves pesticides or other methods to get rid of bed bugs.
Calling A Professional
- The number one option for most, though expensive, is to hire a professional exterminator for bed bug eradication.
- Not only do the experts know exactly where to look, but they also offer you the guarantee that your bed bug problem will be resolved.
- When calling a professional to come exterminate bed bugs in your home, the most helpful thing you can do is remove excess clutter which provides more places for bedbugs to hide.
- This will help facilitate the inspection process as well as the extermination technique your professional thinks is best to utilize.
- Follow any instructions the company gives you prior to inspection e.g. moving furniture from walls, standing mattresses and box springs on their side or even just leaving everything “as is.”Also, be sure to inform your neighbors that you are getting an inspection since bed bugs can easily go between apartment units.
How To Kill Bed Bugs Without A Professional
- Of course, going it alone is another option you have when learning how to kill bed bugs.
- Although a little more work, this can save you money in the long run, though there is no guarantee that you will eradicate the pests completely on your own.
- Here are some great tips on how to kill bed bugs yourself when you see signs of bed bugs:
- Any bedding or garments such as sheets, clothing, etc. that are either infested or may be infested need to be bagged and washed at a minimum water temperature of 120 F as insecticides are not effective on them
- Alternatively, these garments and items can be placed in a clothing dryer and set on the highest heat level for between 10 and 20 minutes
- . For dry-clean only items, you can still put them in the dryer as long as they are not wet at all and then place them on a temperature no more than 160 F.
- It’s not advisable to have bed bug infested clothing dry cleaned because although it will kill the bedbugs, it could infest the dry-cleaner and that is counteractive to battling the bed bug epidemic.
- Imagine getting rid of your bed bugs only to have them vacation at your dry cleaners and then come back on your items a month or two later.
- If you cannot either wash or dry your items, place them in a plastic bag and put them outside in a hot, sunny area for a day or two. You want the temperature inside the bag to reach 120 F, so pack the bags loosely.
- Freezing also works, but takes many more days, possibly even a week. But, in the winter when sunny areas aren’t available, it still works.
- Turning up the heat in your house will not work. The bed bugs will still have places to hide which won’t reach the extreme temperatures needed to off them.