Thinking about bed bugs alone will make the skin crawl. Although they are common, a lot of people do not know the natural remedies for bed bugs. The essential home remedies will help you banish bed bugs from your surroundings if you apply them right. Everything that will help you get rid of these little critters will be shared here.
This post will provide you with the following information:
- What are bed bugs?
- What causes bed bugs?
- Signs of bed bugs
- Getting ready for a bed bugs treatment
- Natural remedies for bed bugs
What Are Bed Bugs?
A bit of the biology of bed bugs is probably the first thing you need to know. Bed bugs are small creatures with a size of around 5mm. They are visible to the human eye, but only barely. They are oval, rusty-brown, and flat. Unlike other bugs, bed bugs cannot fly or jump.
They crawl out of their dark crevices each night to feed on blood, leading to those infamous bed bug bites. Even though bed bug bites won’t spread any disease, they can be pretty uncomfortable, and some people will experience a reaction to the bites.
Female bed bugs can lay about 250 eggs in their lifetime of around two to four months. Their eggs are laid in cracks and crevices. The eggs are white and oval.
What Causes Bed Bugs?
Before you learn the natural remedies for bed bugs, it is vital to understand the cause of these annoying critters.
As opposed to popular beliefs, bed bugs do not have anything to do with dirt. So getting an extra shower will not keep bed bugs from sucking your blood. Bed bugs set up camp anywhere there are animals or humans, generally places where they can feed on blood. However, after feeding, they move from place to place, and they are capable of hiding in anything from your bedsheets to your T-shirt. If you sleep anywhere infested with bed bugs, there is the tendency of you carrying them home in your clothes without even knowing, causing your home to likely bear the brunt of it.
Signs of Bed Bugs
Besides the fact that you can catch bed bugs crawling across your sheets and other clothing, there are other signs of the presence of these critters to look out for. These are the signs of bedbug presence in the house:
- Blood spot (this could happen if you squish a bug in your sleep without knowing)
- A musty smell in your bedroom
- Shells of bed bugs (like snakes, bed bugs also shed their skin)
- Small, back spot on your clothes or bedsheets (these are most likely bug feces)
- Bites on skin
If any of the above checks out in your list, then your home is most likely infested with bed bugs. You will have to consider the natural remedies for bed bugs that will soon be discussed in this article.
Getting Ready for a Bed Bugs Treatment
1. Remove clutter
That they are called bed bugs does not mean that these tiny creatures solely reside on the bed, or in your bedsheets, for that matter. They can be hiding on the clothes in your laundry or cardboard boxes under your bed.
Before you attempt to treat bed bugs, you must first get rid of as much clutter as possible. Instead of cardboard boxes, make use of plastic containers. Put all your clothes in sealed bin liners, and do the same thing with soft furnishing of any kind.
2. Deep clean items that are prone to infestation
Clean thoroughly everything that could have bed bugs. This means heat-treating sheets and clothing in a tumble dryer or placing them in the freezer for at least five days before laundering as usual. These two processes will kill bed bugs.
It would be best to also examine any furniture in your bedroom for any sign of bed bugs. And if you find any, you should clean as necessary. Next, remove curtains and professionally clean them. The last step is to vacuum the entire room thoroughly.
It is imperative to put all cleaned items in sealed plastic bags. Ensure that you also remove the vacuum bags after use. In doing this, place the vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag and carefully dispose of it.
3. Make your bed an island
Bed bugs got their names not because they reside on the bed but because they bite at night. Although these bed bugs do not permanently live in the mattress, they stay more in the mattress than in every other place. You can reduce their infestation by moving your bed away from the furniture and wall.
4. Vacuum the area
The last step before you begin treatment is to vacuum the affected area(s) completely. Thoroughly clean your bed. Do not place all your concentration on only the mattress alone but also consider the slats and headboard – basically, anywhere they can hide in.
Once all these have been achieved, and you are confident that you do not have any bedbugs in your home or surrounding anymore, then you can proceed to the treatment stage with natural remedies for bed bugs. If you go ahead to treat bed bugs without first getting rid of the infestation, you might just be wasting your time.
Natural Remedies for Bed Bugs
The most reliable way to guarantee the complete extermination of bed bugs is a professional bed bug infestation treatment. However, before wasting any cash on other methods, you should first try the do-it-yourself approach. First, consider the following natural remedies for bed bugs:
- Diatomaceous Earth
- Bicarbonate of Soda
- Tea Tree Essential Oils
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Extreme Heat or Extreme Cold
Starving the bed bugs is one of the ways of getting rid of them. Before you commence, it is vital that you thoroughly vacuum your bed. After this, you will need to make use of some Ziploc bags for your mattress and allow them to be there for about a week – this will make sure that no bug gets out and begins to feed, thus making them starve to death.
2. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth is often known as one of the most effective natural remedies for bed bugs. Diatomaceous Earth is capable of killing more than 90% of bed bugs. It is also significantly cheap and easy to use. It is available in powdered form and can be sprinkled into the smallest of crevices and cracks. But the slight disadvantage of Diatomaceous Earth is that it can take up to ten days before it begins to work.
Apply Diatomaceous Earth onto the areas where you believe the bed bugs reside and leave it there for a few days. You will begin to see dead bed bugs around the floor and the areas you applied the Diatomaceous Earth. Then you can vacuum them away. Apply Diatomaceous Earth several times onto the sites until you are sure that you have completely eradicated all the bed bugs.
3. Bicarbonate of Soda
Sprinkling bicarbonate of soda onto places affected by bed bugs will physically dehydrate the skin of the annoying little creatures. Some even believe that the bicarbonate of soda is abrasive enough to cut them. For an effective result, you need to repeat the process a couple of times to banish them. Bicarbonate of soda is one of the most effective natural remedies for bed bugs.
4. Tea Tree Essential Oils
Tea tree is a popular home remedy for several medical conditions, especially those that relate to pests. However, when it comes to tackling the infestation of bed bugs, tea tree oil kills them and masks the human smells that often attract them. You can purchase this natural remedy from any of your local stores; it is a very cheap solution to an infestation.
Dilute 20 drops of natural, pure tea tree oil with 200ml of water and spray it on the areas you know the bugs are hiding.
The pungent smell of vinegar is enough to banish bed bugs from your home. Most of us have vinegar in our homes, so it is an ideal emergency for home remedies. However, you must know that even though vinegar is strong enough to kill bed bugs, it will not affect their eggs.
To use, saturate the edges of the areas you think the bed bugs are hiding (such as around and underneath the furniture) with white distilled vinegar. You can also kill the pests by spraying the vinegar directly on them. This way, even when they try to flee, they will not escape the vinegar.
Borax is another easy and quick way to get rid of bed bugs. By generously sprinkling Borax on the mattress, you will be suffocating the bugs, thus leading to their deaths. Borax is very effective in washing affected items. You can add some Borax to your washing machine to ensure that those bugs are gone for good when you are doing your laundry.
7. Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is a solvent used in killing insects by dissolving their cells. You can successfully use rubbing alcohol to get rid of bed bug infestation. As soon as the bed bug comes in contact with rubbing alcohol, its skin dries up, and it dies almost immediately. Rubbing alcohol is such an effective home remedy that it does not stain your furniture or garments. However, it would be wise to first test its use in a small area before starting the complete treatment.
Stickers are also very effective in getting rid of bed bugs. They lure the bed bugs to come out of their hiding, and so while they are crawling on these stickers, their legs become stuck and unable to move.
9. Extreme Heat or Extreme Cold
Wash cloth items on the hottest water setting
This process will easily and immediately kill off bed bugs hiding in your sheets and clothes. Wash your stuffed animals, clothes, bedding, and soft items in the washing machine in the hottest setting possible. The heat can go as high as 140º+ Fahrenheit.
Freeze non-washable items
If there is anything that you cannot put in the washing machine, then you should put it in a plastic bag and toss it in the freezer. Allow the item to remain there for at least a day before removing and shaking them out to remove dead, frozen bed bugs and eggs.
For items that are too big for either the washing machine or the freezer (such as furniture or mattresses), you can make use of a steam cleaner on the hottest setting too. It can be above 140º Fahrenheit. Run the steam cleaner over the upholstery and bed several times. While doing this, make sure you pay careful attention to those nooks and crannies you know bed bugs can hide.
10. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide, when sprayed on bed bugs, can kill the pest on contact. Even though hydrogen peroxide may not be as powerful as isopropyl alcohol, it is strong enough to kill bed bugs. However, one downside to it is that it stains surfaces because it is a bleaching agent.
If the problems of bed bugs get out of your control and you are scared you will not be able to eliminate them, it is very advisable to discard the mattress or furniture and get new ones. You can also toss the sheets and clothing you think might also be infested. Lastly, ensure that your home is free from bed bugs before bringing in new furniture and clothes; else, they will also get infected. Try out all the different natural remedies for bed bugs mentioned in this article to get the best and absolute results.
The information contained in this post is for educational purposes only. Always consult your primary care doctor before using the remedies that are provided. The information is provided by The Hidden Cures and while we do timely, in-depth research on the information that we provide to you, everything stated may not be up to date or accurate from the time it was written.