Bed Bugs - the bane to your sound sleep! After a tiring day, all you need is a sound sleep to recharge! But it is when you fall asleep, these Bed Bugs stay awake and come out from hiding. They viciously bite you over and over again and you won’t even know a single thing! It’s because of the fact that as they suck your blood, they are releasing a powerful but temporary painkiller into your body that numbs the pain. You’ll feel it only when you get up in the morning!
What are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are tiny insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. They are active at night, while in the day, they are excellent at hiding in dark, soft places and crevices. With very flattened bodies, they can easily slip through nearly invisible cracks and crevices. They prefer Mattresses to live in, hence the name Bed Bug. They are hard to spot with the naked eye but their bites, are itchy and uncomfortable even though harmless.
Bed Bug infestations
Bed Bugs infestations are found more in warm climates but they have the capacity to settle anywhere. And once they’ve settled in your mattress or on your furniture, it’s really a tough job to get them gone! The tiny critters can come in from the outside or you may pick them up during travels to hotels, friends’ houses or even from buying used clothes or furniture. Or, they can come in if your neighbor with a shared wall starts repulsing them with chemicals setting off noxious fumes. Bed Bugs seek out a safe haven in your home!
Signs of Bed Bug infestations
- Bites on your Skin
As Bed Bugs like to travel up your arm or leg, taking continuous bites, they get arranged in a straight line which is the most apparent sign! They often show up in groups.
- Red/Rusty Stains on Bedsheets
This is your blood, to be precise from your bites, or it could occur when Bed Bugs getting squashed under you after their feast.
- Black Dots
If you see black dots and stains on bedsheets, it is a sure sign of Bed Bug infestation. These black dots are made up of the combination of fecal matter and the skin they shed as they grow from babies to adults.
- Egg Shells
Watch out for tiny specks of ivory material on your bed, in your furniture or on the carpet which is actually eggs of the tiny critters.
- Living Bugs
These bugs may roam around from time to time. Only if you look closely, you may be able to spot them. After feeding, they’ll be bigger, redder, and easier to see.
How to tackle the Bed Bug menace?
It’s good news that we’ve got effective home remedies for bed bugs so that you’ll be free of them forever! Taking a natural approach to get rid of Bed Bugs is good. With home remedies, you can take action right away without going for professional help which can cost you high bucks! Plus, you get to avoid the toxic chemicals used to address the problem. Most of our home remedies are already there in your house!
A strong vacuum cleaner with a powerful hose attachment can suck out those Bed Bug babies. Vacuum often on the mattress, bedding, and soft furniture like sofas and cushy chairs while battling an infestation. Start vacuuming elevated surfaces and slowly make your way downward. Give special attention to the carpet, floors and any cracks in the walls or floorboards. Check electrical appliances like fans and even your laptop for signs of an infestation. After a thorough vacuuming, dispose of the bag as far as possible away from your home.
- Steam Cleaning
Steam cleaning in temperatures exceeding 140 degrees Fahrenheit can kill the bedbugs and eggs. But try to adhere to the steam cleaner’s instructions carefully to avoid damaging your furniture.
- Washing all Clothes and Bedding
Hot water washing and tumble dry everything that’s been exposed to Bed Bugs. The deadly combination of hot water and dryer heat will help to kill off the whole colony of Bugs.
- Silica Gel
The Silica Gel little packets you find in food products and shoeboxes to keep the contents dry could also help kill off insects. Powder up the beads and spread the powder around the infested areas. But be careful if you have pets or little kids as direct exposure and silica inhalation is harmful. You can opt for baking soda instead as it has a similar effect.
- Spraying Alcohol
Pour Alcohol in a spray bottle and spritz the mattresses and bedclothes. Alcohol will kill bugs on contact.
- Hair Dryer
Blast your hairdryer over the Bug infested areas to get an immediate effect. The heat will kill the bugs instantly.
- Stiff Brush
Brushing with a stiff brush along the mattress seams will dislodge any clinging bed bugs and eggs that resist the vacuum cleaner suction effect.
- Double-sided Tape
Wrap double-sided tape along the circumference of the bedposts. Any bugs trying to climb up into bed with you will get stuck at the base itself. Make sure your blankets are not dragging across the floor as some bugs will just find a path on to your bed!
- Baking Soda
Spreading Baking Soda in whichever place you find bugs, including cracks and crevices, has a great effect. It immediately kills bugs. Ensure to vacuum and reapply every few days.
Herbal Remedies for Bed Bugs
- Tea Tree Oil
A fresh-smelling essential oil with antimicrobial properties, Tea Tree Oil can double up as a cleaning agent in your home. The oil kills bacteria and fungi and neutralizes viruses on contact. Bed Bugs get suffocated by the Tea Tree Oil. Spray diluted Tea Tree oil around the house. 20 drops of oil in a spray bottle filled with water is good enough!
A bed bug feels nauseous to the smell of lavender. They can even die! You can wash items with lavender soap or spray diluted essential oil or try spreading leaves over affected areas.
- Peppermint Leaves
Peppermint has the same effect as lavender oil and leaves. Utilize the same way to get rid of bugs, but don’t forget to regularly vacuum up old leaves and replace them with fresh ones until the infestation is gone.
- Black Walnut Tea
A natural insect repellent variety of Tea! Place your used tea bags and put them in areas that are bug-infested in every nook, cranny, and corner.
- Sweet Flag
The Sweet Flag plant found in wetlands is also an effective insect repellent. You can get the herbal version in a packet which you can mix into a solution and spray around the house.
- Bean Leaves
Bean leaves have been found to work against the critters like a kind of natural flypaper to trap insects like bed bugs. The microscopic hairs on the leaves worked to both entangle and impale the limbs of bed bugs. Just these leaves on the floor of any room with bed bugs and see the effect.
- Indian Lilac
Indian Lilac leaves have a similar effect to other plant-based, herbal remedies. Simply crush the leaves and spread them about. You can boil the leaves, strain the solution and add it to your bathwater. It repels the bed bugs from your body!
You can also spray the solutions in the closet, clothes on Sofas and in and around the house to tackle bed bug infestations. Spray the solution in closets, on sofas, and around the home to repel these critters.
Burning thyme wards off bed bugs? Repeat the process every few days until they’re gone. You can also tie a stick of thyme with a cloth, and then burn it near infested areas, the bugs will exit fast.
- Mint Leaves
If you place crushed Mint leaves around entry points, it will deter bed bugs from coming into your home. Mint leaves are also safe to use in your closet and directly on your mattress.
Lemongrass kills Bed Bugs. The acid levels in Lemongrass oil kills the bugs and their eggs. The insects hate the smell and the oil serves as a repellent too.
Cloves and clove oil can also act like Lemongrass Oil. Clove oil can be put on mattresses and pillows to ward off Bed Bugs.
An extract of Chrysanthemums, Pyrethrum also works as a natural killer by attacking the nervous system of Bed Bugs.
- Cayenne Pepper
Mixing Cayenne Pepper with other natural items like Ginger and Oregano oil works to kill a bed bug on contact. Mix one teaspoon each of all three items. Strain the ingredients and add to a spray bottle filled with water. Spray to kill the bugs.
From this list of home remedies to kill the Bed Bugs, some of them kill the insects directly on contact, while others repel them. It is always better to try these first before you start using chemical treatment.