Everyone knows the shock of seeing a creepy, crawly bug where it doesn’t belong: anywhere in the house.
But what about bugs by the hundreds that are difficult to see? That’s the stuff of horror movies.
And the last place you want to deal with tiny bugs is in your bed–the place where you should feel safest and most at ease.
The idea of a bed bug is every bit as horrid as the reality of a bed bug. Medical News Today describes them as “nest parasites.” The description on that same site is enough to make anyone’s skin crawl: “small wingless insects that feed exclusively on the blood of warm-blooded animals.”
Not everyone reacts to the bite of a bed bug, so using bites as an indicator of an infestation isn’t reliable. In addition to that, bed bug bites look and feel similar to the bites of other bugs or even eczema.
The Environmental Protection Agency advises to look for evidence in your bedding.
They say you’ll see “Rusty or reddish stains on bed sheets or mattresses caused by bed bugs being crushed.”
You may also see tiny dots–their excrement–or even pale, yellow wisps of their molted skin.
Bed Bug Control
So what should you do? Attack!
Since these nasty creatures are where you sleep, or–God forbid–where your children sleep, you’re not going to want to use harsh chemicals.
Here are five natural remedies to attempt your own bed bug control.
1. Try to isolate the area to prevent the bugs from spreading to more living spaces. Once you know they’re in a particular area do NOT let anyone sleep there, and do NOT allow any items to go in or out.
2. Suffocate them.
Anything soft that is potentially infested should be sealed in a plastic bag–sealed as in, don’t let any air into the bag. This method is difficult because there’s no good way to gauge when it’s worked and how long the process will take.
3. Vacuum like mad. Vacuum every inch of the room: all the furniture, soft or hard, the floor, rugs, curtains, all the bedding, the mattress, pillows, toys, and clothing.
As soon as you’ve finished vacuuming, and without leaving the room, remove the vacuum bag and seal it in a garbage bag. Take it to a dumpster immediately.
4. Baking soda and cayenne pepper.
Baking soda absorbs moisture and has some antimicrobial properties. Sprinkle it everywhere you’ve seen evidence of bed bugs. Vacuum it every few days and reapply.
Mix one teaspoon of each: cayenne pepper, oregano, and grated ginger. Home Remedy Hacks suggests that if you boil this mixture, then spray the infused water over the infested areas, the bed bugs will flee.
5. If your freezer is set to below zero degrees Fahrenheit, you might be able to kill bugs on smaller items with the cold. If not, try super-heating items in your dryer for long periods of time.
If you’re fighting bed bugs in summer or you live in a climate that is hot year-round, seal items in a bag and put them in your car for several hours.
When all else fails
Be prepared to call it quits and seek professional help if bed bug control isn’t achieved quickly in your home. It won’t be that you have failed, it’s simply that bed bugs are extremely difficult to eliminate.
Call a professional for help before the situation is out of control.