4 Tips For DIY Bed Bug Control
Bed bugs are one of the most stubborn household pests to get rid of. But while many people choose to hire an exterminator to deal with a bed bug problem, there are a few steps you can try on your own before calling on a professional. Here are four tips for DIY bed bug control.
Learn to Identify an Infestation
Before you can begin removing bed bugs, you need to do some investigation to determine the extent of the problem. One of the most obvious indicators that bed bugs are present are reddish-brown spots on the mattress and bedding. These can be caused by the bugs getting crushed as you move in your sleep, or they can be stains from the bugs' excrement.
While you would expect to find bed bugs in mattresses and bedding most of the time, they actually like to hide in dark cracks in the bed frame or headboard during the day. To check these cracks for bedbugs, you can run a credit card through them and shine a flashlight on the card. If there is an infestation, you will see many sleeping bed bugs being pushed out by the card.
Bag Small Items With Vapor Pesticide
When you are ready to attack your bed bug problem, the first thing you should do is clear out as much clutter as possible in the rooms where you have found signs of bedbugs. Stuffed animals, bedding, and other items with fabric that could be hiding bed bugs should first be bagged in resealable plastic bags.
There are many vapor pesticide products that you can use to exterminate bed bugs on bagged items. They are usually sold in strip form with a tab that you remove to release the vapor. Place one opened strip in each bag and leave the bag sealed for a few days to thoroughly remove bed bugs from the bagged item.
Vacuum and Encase Your Mattress
Now that you have smaller items out of the way, it is time to treat your bed bug problem at the source. Use a vacuum hose attachment to vacuum every inch of your mattress and box-spring. Take extra time on seams and other crevices so that you don't miss any hard-to-see pests.
It is important to know that vacuuming bed bugs is very unlikely to kill them. This means that you will have to take care when emptying or removing the bag from your vacuum cleaner. If your vacuum has removable bags, simply place the bag inside another sealable plastic bag and dispose of it.
Vacuums without bags should be emptied into a sealable plastic bag, and then the plastic dirt container should be removed and washed with hot water. It is recommended that you sack and take out your trash as soon as you empty your vacuum as an extra precaution to prevent bugs from escaping back into your home.
As a final step, you should encase both your mattress and box-spring in bed bug encasements to kill any bed bugs that were missed while vacuuming and repel bed bugs from returning in the future.
Spray Eggs With Pesticide
Even if you successfully remove all the adult bed bugs from your mattress and box-spring, your bed bug problem could spring up again in the future. Bed bugs will often lay their eggs in bed frames and headboards, in the same racks that they like to sleep in during the day.
It can be difficult to remove bed bug eggs using a vacuum, so the best option is usually to spray down your headboard and bed frame with aerosolized pesticide that is labeled for bed bug removal. This will kill many of the eggs, and the residual chemicals will kill any bed bugs that hatch as soon as they emerge.
Using these tips, you have a good chance of destroying all but the most severe bed bug infestations on your own. If you continue to notice bed bug bites after you have attempted DIY bed bug control, it is a good idea to contact a professional exterminator, such as those at A-Alert Exterminating Service Inc.