Bed bug bites severity is based on the person it bite. Some do not find any difference but for some others the infection ranges from itching to swollen or infected skin.
To get rid of bed bug, we need to take some important steps. We have many homemade remedies to eradicate them from home. If the number increases, we can see bed bugs in our bags or even in cloths. So it is important to get rid of them as quick as possible.
Characteristics of bed bugs
- Bed bugs are too small and they can hide and adjust into extremely tiny spaces which makes finding them itself a difficult process.
- Although we find, it is not easy to catch them because they move fast and reproduction of the female is about 200-500 eggs in its life span.
- But bed bugs do not have wings and they cannot fly.
- Next important issue is that starvation is easy for being bed bugs, they can live up to 550 days without eating but they search for blood.
- Even the bedbugs have resistance to insecticides.
- Bed bugs live in dark and they are not happy with sun.
- Bed bugs have flattened body to make them move in tiny areas very easily.
All this characters of bed bugs help their population.
By keeping clean atmosphere at home, we can avoid bed bugs finding dusty place to hide.
Methods to get rid of bed bugs
- We have to check for bed bugs in our mattress and bed covers as often process.
- Vacuuming with mini Vacuum that can reach tiny spaces that cannot be reached
- Vacuuming carpets three times a week and the vacuumed bags have to be removed and cleaned far away from home.
- Used luggages can be cleaned before bringing it to a bedroom.
- We can call professionals to clean our home and make it bug free. Sealing all the holes in the home and pasting wallpaper with the glue helps professionals are good in this process.
- We can heat the bedding using dryer at 120 degree temperature to sterilize the bedding from bed bugs. We can even dry our beds in hot son in a sunny day.
- We can use insecticides after cleaning to stop its new arrivals.
- We can use ordinary torch lights to find them. Professionals use pyrethrum flushing unit to find the bed bugs.
- While vacuuming, we can use stiff brush to remove bed bugs with stubborn legs from different kinds of fabric.
- We can also use steam blowers on our bedding to kill the bugs fast. Bed bugs cannot withstand temperature above 50 degrees.
- We can wash our clothes, bed sheets, bedding clothes with warm water and we can use drier to remove bed bugs. If necessary we can wash the whole load twice.
- Discard affected beds and clothes.
- We can grind the crystal silica gel and spread all around in bedroom, even near the bed. The silica gel gets stick to their body and dehydrate them.
Precautions to be followed to get rid of bed bugs
- We can avoid purchasing second hand beds from market.
- If we are a frequent traveller, we can put our clothes and other materials in a washing machine and use hot dryer before entering home to avoid bringing bugs from outside the home.
- We can through away our old mattress and beds and get a new one instead going for a expensive cleaning treatment.
- We can use a double sided tape in the legs of the bed to ensure that bed bugs are trapped when they invade in a clean bed.
- Better to cover beds with plastic or zip lock covers to avoid infection
- When we see black spots in our bed it is a sign of bedbugs presence in our bed using anti bed bug covers, safeguard our beds.
- We must check for bed bugs in sofas, upholstered chairs, night stands, dresses and edges of curtains,wall carpets also.
Treating and controlling bedbugs
Tea-tree oil spray
Clean the house for bed bugs and wash all bedding and clothing with some drops of tea tree oil added. Vacuuming and washing all the bedding, spray some tea tree oil with 18oz of water add 18 drops of tea tree oil and spray it all over the home, carpets, beds and furniture.
Desiccants (drying agents)
We can use these desiccants as a drying agent to kill bed bugs. We can use food grade diatomaceous earth to dehydrate bugs and kill them.we spread some of them inside home as it is nontoxic and does not harm our health.
Ozone generators are machines that produce ozone gas which can kill bed bugs and can get rid of air pollution but they are not safe. They can cause respiratory problems like coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, irritation of eyes, nose and throat.
Pyrethrins and pyrethroids
Pesticides used commonly. Pyrethrins derived from chrysanthemum flowers and pyrethroids are synthetic equivalent. Older generation bed bug created resistance to this chemicals so some times using this may not completely help eliminating bed bugs.
Insect growth regulators (IGRs)
The pesticides like methoprene,hydroprene act on the insects biting for blood. Before they take effect make blood unattractive option for them.
The pesticide used against bed bug some insects have resistance to it also like bendiocarb and propoxur.
The pesticide include imidacloprid has an effect on bedbugs, they cannot residue.
Treating bed bug bites
1. Ice pack
We can use ice packs since cold temperature from ice can help numb the nerve endings. The itching sensation caused by bed bugs bites is cured
Wrap a few ice cubes in a thin towel. Place it on the affected area. Remove it after 10-15 minutes. Repeat the process as needed.
2. Baking soda
Using baking soda or sodium bicarbonate helps neutralise acidic chemicals. They control itching caused by bed bugs acting as an anti inflammatory agent. It also helps reduce swelling and redness.
Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 3 teaspoons of water. Apply the mixture generously on the affected area. Wait for 10 minutes before rinsing. If there is a discomfort reapply after 30-45 minutes.
3. Lemon juice
Lemon juice acts as a natural astringent. The juice has anti inflammatory and antibacterial properties which helps in reduce redness, swelling and also prevent itching.
We can dip the lemon juice in cotton ball. Place it on the bed bug bites. let it air dry, rinse the affected area. Repeat the process for few times a day. It is better not to go in sun after this treatment for few hours there may be a chance for sunburn.
4. Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel is a liquid astringent. It can be bought from drug store. They are used as facial cleanser. It contains tannins that have mild anaesthetic effect which help reduce itching caused by bed bug bites.
Soak a cotton balls in witch hazel solution. Place the cottons on the affected area for 10 minutes. Repeat as many number of times as needed.
Aloe vera gel has a active compounds and amino acids which reduces the effect of itching and burning caused by bed bugs and other insects. The gel also keeps the skin moisturized.
Collect aloe vera leaf. Wash them. Slit it open. Scoop the gel and apply them on the skin where bed bugs bites. We can use the gel massage often by storing the remaining gel in refrigerator.
The acetic acid content with anti inflammatory properties reduces the itching and burning and gives effective remedy for bed bug bites. We can also use white vinegar.
We can apply raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar or white vinegar on the affected area. Allow them to dry and wash skin using water. If we have problem, reapply after few hours and repeat the process.