Every year, the number of cases of bed bug infestations continues to rise. In Australia, the majority of these reported cases happen in hotels, gyms, and other areas where there is a high and recurring turnover of people, especially those coming from other countries. When you regularly frequent these areas or travel overseas, you can unknowingly take these pests home. If you are not aware of their presence and allow them to continue living in your home, you will soon have a serious bed bug infestation.
To know if you are harbouring these annoying pests and to get rid of bed bugs effectively, follow these tips below:
Inspect your home regularly.
Bed bugs make their homes in cracks and crevices, luggage, boxes, and of course, in beds. If you suspect you already have an infestation, regularly check your bed sheets, mattress (including underneath), bed frames, and the box-spring seams for bugs. Bed bugs are flat and oval-shaped with red or brown bodies. They are roughly the size of an apple seed. Also, be on the lookout for bed bug eggs, exoskeletons (or their casings), and their droppings which are dark, rust-coloured spots.
Vacuum the areas where the bed bugs are.
Vacuum the mattress, box spring, bed frame, baseboards, furniture, rugs and carpeting, around heating units, and inside drawers. Use the stiff brush attachment for this task. To remove the bedbugs, eggs, and casing, follow a back-and-forth scraping motion on the item’s surface. Do the same when vacuuming seams and crevices but instead of a brush, use a nozzle.
To make sure all bedbugs have been sucked into the bag, let the vacuum run for a bit. Next, dispose of the vacuum bag in a sealed clear plastic bag and make sure you place this in a rubbish bin with a lid. Once done with the task, wash all the vacuum attachments in hot water and detergent to get rid of any bed bugs or debris that may have been left behind in these items.
Heat your home or the infested areas.
High temperature is effective in killing bed bugs. You can heat infested furniture or the room to a high temperature (at least more than a hundred degrees) to get rid of these pests. To kill bed bugs hiding in cracks, crevices, and other hard-to-reach areas, use a hand-held steamer.
Use a pesticide or insecticide alternative.
If you want to use a pesticide, choose one that is EPA-registered. Also, make sure bed bugs are listed on the pesticide’s label.
Most of the time, the spray doesn’t reach the cracks and crevices where bed bugs hide. In such instances, you can use alternatives such as boric acid, silica gel, and diatomaceous earth. By placing these substances in the area, the bed bugs’ outer coatings will be damaged and they will eventually dry out and die. However, make sure your kids and pets do not see and accidentally ingest these items since they are toxic.
Throw away heavily infested furniture and other items.
In case you can’t get the bed bugs out of your furniture, cabinets, bed frames, mattresses, and stuffed toys, discard these items in a responsible manner. To prevent someone else from salvaging these items, place a label that says they have bed bugs.
Get help from experts.
Lastly, if you have a bed bug infestation that doesn’t seem to be going away, call in the pros. Pest control experts can pinpoint where the areas of infestations are and help you determine the best treatment or insecticide to use.
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