Bed bugs are no doubt the most unwanted guests inside anyone's bedroom.
The problem however, is that they can easily infiltrate your bed chamber uninvited and wreak havoc upon your sleep.
Another challenge for homeowners is that bed bugs are masters of hiding and they can be pretty stubborn to get rid of.
Nevertheless, it doesn't necessarily mean that you can't banish them from your home without the help of a seasoned professional.
This guide will shine a light on your deepest and darkest bed bug nightmare through natural solutions that can help knock out bed bug populations inside your property for good.
Why Is Vacuuming Always The First Step?
Start your do-it-yourself bed bug eradication program with your good ol' vacuum cleaner. Although the equipment is not 100% effective in getting rid of the entire bed bug population, vacuuming is still great in sucking out bed bugs of different life stages.
Basically, there are tons of vacuum cleaners available in the market. However, not all of them are cut out for eliminating or capturing bed bugs. Therefore, it is critical to know the features you need to secure for a dependable bed bag vacuum cleaner.
First and foremost, your vacuum cleaner needs to have a crevice tool to help you capture bugs hiding within hard to reach corners. Secure a crevice tool that is long and flexible for a better maneuver. Seal the nozzle with a tape to make sure that bed bugs won't escape.
Secondly, your vacuum cleaner needs to be geared with a HEPA filter. Unlike ordinary vacuum filters, HEPA filters prevent bed bugs from escaping.
There are also vacuum cleaners that come equipped with a steamer that can produce up to 210 degrees of heat. Jet of steam is an effective way of killing bed bugs as well as dust mites as your equipment sucks them away for good.
Portability is another essential feature to consider for an ideal bed bag vacuum cleaner. This helps you clean the bedroom and all other areas of your home faster and more efficiently.
As soon as you're done with the task, immediately remove the bag and seal it up with a tape. If you are using a bagless cleaner, simply empty the canister into a trash bag and seal immediately. Get rid of the trash bag outdoors.
Wash the filter and other removable parts of the vacuum cleaner. Electrical components however need only to be wiped clean.
How Should You Take Care Of Your Laundry?
As mentioned earlier, vacuuming bed bug infested areas of your home will never be enough. Whether you like it or not, you will have to do some wash time in the laundry room afterwards.
But the whole process will be quite different compared to washing normal clothes. Bear in mind that bed bugs can easily slip past your watch and infect other uninfected areas of your home if you will not be very careful with taking care of your laundry.
First and foremost, you will have to sort out your clothes, blankets, pillow and mattress covers accordingly and place them inside sealed plastic bags. Before moving the bags out of the infected area and straight to the laundry room, you must conduct a thorough visual inspection to make sure that not a single bed bug will be creeping out of the bags.
Unload your laundry from the bags directly to your washing machine. Dispose of the bags immediately. Wash your clothes in the highest heat setting appropriate for the fabric.
Is Diatomaceous Earth Effective?
Diatomaceous earth is one of the most popular natural killer for various types of crawling insects. D.E. is primarily composed of fossilized remains of diatoms which is high in silica. These are crumbled into fine powder and comes in food grade type.
Food grade diatomaceous earth is the only natural bed bug solution that you can eat. Microscopically, D.E. damages the exoskeleton of bed bugs and other crawling insects which prevents them from hanging onto important moisture - eventually leading to dehydration.
In using D.E., simply sprinkle an ample amount on places frequented by bed bugs. The downside of this solution is that positive results are visible only after a few days of application.
Is Tea Tree Oil Advisable Against Bed Bugs?
This option must be regarded with careful consideration and extra precaution. Bear in mind that undiluted tea tree oil is harmful to humans.
In safely using tea tree oil, mix ten to about twenty drops of it with water in a spray bottle. Tea tree oil solution works both as a contact insecticide and as a repellent.
As a contact insecticide, tea tree oil penetrates into the exoskeleton of the bed bugs eventually suffocating them. It also gives off a strong scent which helps repel bed bugs as well as other types of crawling insects such as ants, fleas, and spiders.
The use of tea tree oil can also be extended with your laundry. Simply add a few drops of the extract into the mix with your preferred laundry detergent. You can do this with your dog's bedding as well as yours.
To Heat Or To Freeze?
Bed bugs die when exposed to extremely high temperature, approximately 122 degrees Fahrenheit and above. On the other hand, they also can't withstand freezing.
For total bed bug control on severe infestations, heat treatment is a popular non-chemical option. You can do this on your own or with the help of a professional bed bug exterminator.
For less serious infestations, you can do the heat treatment on your own with a portable heat treatment device. You can either buy one which usually costs around $50,000 or rent a unit which is a smarter or practical move.
However, bear in mind that it is only advisable to do the heat treatment on your own if you have enough knowledge as well as experience in operating the device.
The following video will give you tips initiating the heat treatment on your own.
For severe bed bug infestations, it is ideal to hire a professional bed bug exterminator to initiate the heat treatment. Depending on the severity of the infestation, the entire treatment process can last for several hours.
The total cost in acquiring heat treatment solution directly depends on the size and structure of one's home. But basically, the average cost for such treatment runs around $1,200.
On the other hand, freezing is an alternative solution if you have bedroom fabrics that can't undergo heat treatment. Simply secure the fabric in sealed plastic bag to make sure that not a single bed bug is given the opportunity to escape. Set your freezer at maximum and leave the sealed bag inside for at least 4 days.