No matter how clean your home or hotel is, you can still struggle with bed bug infestation. These are small pesky insects that feed off the blood, sweat and carbon dioxide of human and animal bodies. While cleaning your bed sheets frequently may reduce their concentration, there are some particular tried and tested home remedies that come in handy in their complete eradication.
1. Extreme Cold or Extreme Hot
Bed bugs are sensitive to changes in temperature, but cannot be eliminated by simply putting infested items out on sunny days or turning on the heater during winter. However, you can use freezing or high temperatures creatively to kill the bugs. Wash your bedding under the hottest water setting in your washing machine.
You can set the hottest possible temperature of about 140 degrees F. You can also freeze items that cannot be tossed in the washing machine. Put them into a plastic bag and lock them up in the freezer for at least 24 hours. The other option would be steam cleaning. For your larger items, such as the bed, furniture and mattress, use a steam cleaner set under the highest temperature. Run it over the items severally, being careful to pay more attention to the crannies and nooks. These are the areas bed bugs tend to hide.
Borax, when used well can be a highly effective pest control mechanism. It works by suffocating and killing them. How should you do it?
• Set your bed aside away from the wall and remove all the bedding
• Over your mattress, sprinkle a generous amount of the borax and leave it to sit for 24 hours
• Saturate the borax-filled mattress with water using a spray bottle to suffocate them
• Wash your bedding with a mixture of hot water and borax to get rid of any bed bug present in them
3. Diatomaceous Earth
This is a natural non-toxic substance that can be safely used to kill bed bugs and prevent them from moving from one room to another. Diatomaceous earth is a type of sand that tends to feel extremely sharp and rough for the bugs. Given that their exoskeletons are weak, crawling over it tears them apart.
To use it, you only need to sprinkle it around the affected areas and leave it to sit for 24-48 hours. After this period, vacuum your space to get rid of the dead bugs. Note; food-grade diatomaceous earth lacks enough amounts of arsenic and cannot, therefore, eradicate them effectively. Although it is a naturally occurring substance, it can be poisonous to humans and pets when ingested.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil can be a highly effective anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial remedy for insects, including bed bugs. It can be used to repel and kill the bugs. The recommended method for using the extract to eliminate bed bugs is by diluting 20 drops of the oil and spraying the bedding. Given that it is not toxic when inhaled, you can use as much as you need. While, tea tree oil cannot kill the bugs on contact, it acts as a strong deterrent, masking the smell of sweat, which tends to attract them.
5. Baking Soda
Baking soda has strong absorbing powders, which are believed to cause dehydration in bed bugs and kill them. The bugs have an oil protection layer that protects them from dehydration. Using baking soda, in that case, can remove the layer and cause dehydration. Some also say that when bed bugs consume baking soda, they explode.
This is because the chemical reacts with the body of the bug generating high amounts of gas, thereby, causing the explosion. Another explanation to the effectiveness of baking soda is the fact that it is highly abrasive and can quickly open up fatal wounds on the bed bug’s underbelly. With the wound, the bug then bleeds, suffers infections, becomes dehydrated and ultimately dies.
Undiluted bleach, when applied directly on the bed bugs kills them by oxidizing their outer shell. Given that it is an extremely harsh chemical, use it as a contact spray for it to be effective. Note, however, it stains, so avoid using it on your furniture, the wall, your clothes and sheets.
Bed bugs can get to your house or hotel through many avenues, and is never a reflection of your housekeeping thoroughness. If using the more natural home remedies to eradicate the insects makes you feel any better, take advantage of these pointers. Feel free also, to get more pest control ideas here.