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How to Get Rid of Bedbugs

Aug 12, 2011

Although virtually invisible to the naked eye, bed bugs can wreak havoc in your home.  If you are looking for information about how to get rid of bed bugs, there is little doubt that you have already experienced the stress and headache that a bed bug infestation can bring.  Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to get rid of bed bugs, which is why you will likely want to seek the assistance of a professional pest control operator.  Nevertheless, there are some techniques you can try first to get rid of bed bugs, although some of these methods will be costly.

First, you will want to find the bed bugs and wash any infested items with hot water.  Mattresses, upholstery, and plush items that cannot be easily washed with hot water and detergent in your washing machine must be steam cleaned.  Bed bugs will die when exposed to temperatures above 50ᵒC and since steam cleaners release steam at 100ᵒC, they can be effective for killing bed bugs.  Alternatively, bed bugs can also be killed if they are exposed to temperatures below -20ᵒC, so you may be able to kill off bed bugs on small items by placing them in the freezer.  Keep in mind, bed bugs must be exposed to 4 full days at a consistent temperature below -20ᵒC for freezing to be an effective method.  Any items that cannot be cleaned using these methods should be thrown out.

Since bed bugs will attach to wood and fabric, and their eggs hold firmly to such surfaces, you will need to vacuum regularly using a stiff brush attachment.  Using a firm back-and-forth scraping motion you should vacuum mattresses, floors, upholstery, draperies, and all surfaces of your home.  Handheld vacuums and vacuums with a cloth bag, and vacuums with fabric hoses are not ideal because these items will become infested with bed bugs.  The best vacuums have a HEPA filter as they will collect insect and dust allergens.  When you have finished vacuuming, you should plug the vacuum hose with a wad of paper towel to prevent bed bugs from escaping.  In fact, it is also a good idea to let the vacuum run for a few moments to ensure that the bed bugs are sucked into the vacuum bag.  You will also need to wash all vacuum attachments with hot water and detergent.

Finally, you may find some commercially available bed bug pesticides that can help kill an infestation.  Before purchasing a pesticide, carefully read the label to ensure that it is the best product for your situation.  Never use pesticide treatments on people, pets, or bedding unless the label indicates that you can use it for these purposes.  In addition, never use pesticides on baby furniture, clothes, or toys.

As mentioned, bed bugs are particularly resilient and it is difficult to completely clear an infestation.  If you have been unsuccessful in your efforts to get rid of bed bugs, it is time to call a pest control professional.

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