The DIY bedbug help treatments we suggest should only be done if you suspect bedbugs (perhaps you have been bitten or have been traveling, or someone who has been traveling is visiting or if you have actually found a few). A full-on invasion of bedbugs will require the services of a Licensed Pest Control Operator.
In a previous article, we pointed out reasons why there has been such a widespread return of bedbugs, where they hide, what they do, what you can do to avoid them, what to do in case you find bedbugs in your home or office, etc. That article can be found here.
Our current article, DIY Bedbug Help presents you with some steps you can do yourself if you suspect the beginnings of a possible bedbug infestation.
Since bedbugs must feed off human and animal blood to live, they are most likely to be found in places that will bring them closer to their hosts, especially at night or in the early dawn. Mattresses, bedding and other furniture, etc., are fair game.
Lately, though, bedbugs have actually been found
in offices, in cubicles, break rooms, and filing cabinets, even behind pictures
on walls and in electrical sockets!
Bug behavior experts have also warned that since bedbugs are attracted to the odor of sleeping humans, dirty clothing may possibly attract them as well. Leaving soiled clothing on the floor or in an open suitcase or gym bag in a bedbug-infested area may be one way they are able to travel so far and wide. They could come home from the office in a computer bag or lunch bag as well.
First and foremost, bedbug infestations are not related to an environment’s cleanliness. But it is definitely easier to control if an area is clean and free of clutter.
Also important is that they do not carry or transmit any known diseases. Some people are not not even affected by their bites, while others can possibly be allergic. It is certainly disgusting, though, to think insects are feeding on your blood while you are fast asleep!
Bedbugs were actually almost completely eliminated in the mid-20th century due to the use of insecticides that are now banned. This is the main reason for their return in such great numbers.
DIY Bedbug Help can offer you certain steps to take if you find some bedbugs, as well as ways you can minimize your risk of having bedbugs enter your home. These suggestions may give you more peace of mind when you travel by airplane, stay in a hotel, or buy used furniture or bedding or when you are expecting that international traveler as a guest in your home.
First, please make sure you actually have been invaded by
bedbugs. It is easy to mistake their bites for mosquito bites. Learn to
recognize what to look for. If possible, rule out other sources such as fleas, mites, and mosquitoes.
The bugs themselves can be seen by the naked eye. They are about ½” long, oval-shaped, flat, and wingless. They can also range in color from almost white to brown and will turn a rusty red color after feeding.
You must also look for bloodstains, black spots, and
possibly the shed skins of bedbugs. It is important as well to understand that
finding these items does not necessarily mean you have an active infestation.
Try to capture some live bugs. You can stick double-sided carpet tape around the edges of your mattress and leave it there for a few days.
The bug bites are usually in a line but can be welts as well. As mentioned above, not all people are affected by bedbug bites. Those who are not allergic may never know they were bitten because the bedbugs will first inject anesthetics so you don’t feel them biting and anticoagulants so they can feed continuously for up to 10 minutes at a time.
Here are some DIY bedbug help suggestions:
BEDBUG INTERCEPTORS: Place these under the legs of furniture to trap the bugs. These can be found in many varieties online or on Amazon.com.
For more types of traps and monitors, check out the video below for more information:
BEDDING: Wash in hot water for 30 minutes and dry on high heat for at least 30-45 minutes. The high heat will kill all the bedbugs as well as the eggs.
CARPETS & RUGS: A good and careful vacuuming of all areas followed by professional steam-cleaning, if possible, is highly recommended. Be aware that the bedbugs and eggs can remain alive in the vacuum so the bag must be carefully disposed of.
CLOTHING: If the clothing can be washed, wash in hot water for 30 minutes and dry with high heat for at least 30-45 minutes. Have all other clothes professionally dry cleaned.
CRACKS & CREVICES: If possible, seal all cracks and crevices with caulk and patch any plaster where bedbugs could be expected to hide.
ESSENTIAL OILS: It is possible that essential oils such as cedar oil and orange oil may kill the bugs on contact. The oils can block the respiratory openings on the bodies of the bugs, which will suffocate them. A few drops of essential oil in water may do the trick. Tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus, and rosemary, separately or combined, may also be useful.
FURNITURE: Vacuum, with a crevice tool, all cracks in wood floors and doors where the bugs could find a hiding place and then have the furniture professionally steam-cleaned.
ITEMS BROUGHT INTO THE HOME FROM GARAGE SALES, THRIFT SHOPS, ETC.: Make sure to inspect and clean well before using.
MATTRESSES & BOX SPRINGS: If possible, get rid of infected mattresses and box springs. If this is not possible, cover them with a plastic mattress bag. This will trap the bedbugs. If they cannot escape, they will eventually die because they must feed. This may take as much as 6 months to a year or longer.
ODDS & ENDS: In warm climates, place items such as jewelry boxes stuffed animals, and pillows into a dark plastic bag and leave them outside in the sun for several days. If this is not a good solution, putting the items in a freezer set at 0 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 10 hours or longer could do the job.