Tips for Preventing and
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs

The battle against bed bugs seems never ending. Yet, getting rid of bed bugs is possible by following these tips.

getting rid of bed bug

Bed bugs continue to be a real problem in the U.S. They aren’t a health risk, but bed bugs bite humans and leave the skin sore and itchy.

There are ways to reduce the risk of a bed bug invasion and to effectively treat infestations. Yet, the methods and procedures must be followed regularly so an infestation won’t happen again.

Once bed bugs have established themselves, some kind of action has to be taken. There are treatment techniques that individuals can use and others that need to be done by a professional.



Prevention

If you see bugs, make sure you know what kind they are. Adult bed bugs measure about ¼ inches to 3/8 inches, are long and brownish colored with a very flat oval body. The young nymphs are smaller and lighter in color. It’s a myth that bed bugs aren’t visible to the human eye. They are as thin as a credit card and can slip into the tiniest places to hide.

Usually the discovery of bed bugs is made after you find evidence of bites on your skin. If your bed is infested, check carefully behind the headboard, inside plastic corners of the box springs, and around seams of the box spring.

Wash and dry all bedding at a high temperature of 113 degrees for at least one hour – this should kill the bed bugs. Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann, entomologist at Cornell University, recommends purchasing encasement to cover box springs and mattresses.

Dispose of clutter in and around the infested areas. These pests love nice, cozy places to hide. Clean all remaining items. Vacuuming often will get rid of some of the bugs.

After coming home from a trip, check for bed bugs on your clothes and suitcases. Remember not to put your clothing or suitcases on a bed or couch. Take your clothes out of your suitcase and put directly into a washing machine and wash in hot water.

Keep a written record of the locations of pest infestation and the dates of treatment.

DIY treatments

  • Cleaning, vacuuming and getting rid of clutter are ways to combat bed bugs without professional help. Unfortunately, there’s always some left and they begin to reproduce.
  • Try treating clusters of bugs with a hot blow dryer or a steam cleaner.
  • There are some natural sprays, but they haven’t proved their effectiveness yet.
  • Over-the-counter pesticides are available, but there are health hazards involved. Read labels carefully.

Professional pest treatments

If bed bugs have invaded most of your home, a professional treatment is the only alternative. However, the cost can be at least $2,000 for a 2,000 square-foot house.

Check with several professionals about the cost per room and for square footage. Ask about the products and techniques they use. They usually use several different treatments together. These include heat, freezing and pesticides. One of the most effective methods is heating a sealed room up to 113 degrees. This kills the pests, but it is expensive.

Bed bugs are resilient and are resistant to pesticides. Care must be taken to follow through on these tips to help prevent and effectively treat bed bug infestations.

This article on getting rid of bed bugs was written by Ava Summer.


Related Information

More about Bed Bugs

Sleep Resources


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