Bugs

How to Get Rid of Bedbugs

About Bedbugs

First, here’s the good news: bedbugs do not cause or spread disease. The bad news? They’re no fun, and they are returning to the USA with a vengeance.

These little guys were actually pretty common in America until the middle of the 20th Century. That’s when the infamous pesticide, DDT, came into widespread use throughout the country for killing mosquitoes and other pests, among them, only incidentally, bedbugs.

The bed site biters virtually disappeared. And so did DDT, banned because it killed off more critters – such as fish and song birds – than the kind of insects we wished would become extinct. One of those was the bedbug. And we thought it had become extinct, at least where our fair shores were concerned. Worldwide, its numbers are doubling each year, and now it’s returning to the US, probably in the clothing and possessions of immigrants and travelers returning from countries where the bugs were not eradicated.

The largest recent infestation has been in New York City, a major port of entry (and where apartments, the very best places for bedbugs to proliferate, dominate the housing scene). But they are slowly on the move throughout the land.

Some theorize that the bugs are thriving because they tend to avoid the gel-type insecticide dispensers that are replacing the liquid insecticides that had been more effective in their control but are now, like DDT, outlawed.

Here’s what they look like: They’re little brown bugs, 4 mm. long, with black stripes, shaped like an oval, and flatter than your average beetle. That’s what enables them to so easily evade detection by hiding in cracks like those in floorboards.

Here’s what they do: They feed on the blood of animals and humans. Their prime feeding times coincide with human bedtimes, thus they normally attack when you’re asleep in your bed. A bug sticks one little tube into your skin and pumps in saliva that thins your blood and anesthetizes you so as not to disturb your sleep as it sticks another tube into you to suck out the thinned blood. It can gorge itself in the space of 15 minutes such that it may swell to three times its size. And it will return again and again, even though the greedy little fiend can live for a year without eating.

Here’s why they’re nasty: By the time enough of those fellows have bitten you over a long enough period, you could well develop an allergy to them. Unless your doctor gives you an antihistamine, corticosteroid, or oral antibiotic, the itching can be a real irritant, and the red welts unsightly. Particularly in children, secondary impetigo may develop, and suffering enough bedbug bites an infant can be rendered anemic.

Getting Rid of Bedbugs

What you need to do to rid yourself of them, according to the Harvard School of Public Health and other sources:

If you are finding mysterious bites, particularly around your waist, search your house. Find live bedbugs, trap them as specimens, and have them examined by an entomologist. He or she will confirm whether your problem is a bedbug infestation (and is not, for example, fleas). You will have best luck at night finding the little creepy crawlies by using a flashlight.

If you have confirmed that bedbugs are your problem:

  • Reduce clutter to eliminate hiding places for the bugs.
  • Thoroughly clean house using a high-powered vacuum cleaner and a stiff brush to remove bugs from cracks in the floor.
  • Dismantle beds to find hiding places.
  • You don’t have to dispose of your bed or bedding. Wash the bedding. Seal up mattresses and box springs by taping any holes or other places where bugs could exit a hiding place. Wrap the mattresses and box springs in heavy plastic covers and seal them. Dumping mattresses on the street could result in making the problem worse by spreading it to others.
  • To keep bugs from traveling from the floor, up your bed, and to your sleeping corpus, set the bed frame legs in containers of mineral oil and do not let covers touch the floor.
  • Caulk and seal all holes and cracks around pipes, electrical outlets, and around baseboards and cove moldings.
  • If you are a tenant, work with your landlord to solve the problem. If you are a homeowner, you might consider calling a licensed pest control operator.
  • There are a number of products and kits you can purchase to treat the problem. Some involve chemical pesticides, others depend upon organic means of control, such as insecticidal dusts that tear away the bug’s protective coating, causing it to die. These products can be found on the Web.
  • If you suspect you have had a bedbug encounter during a trip out of the country, it’s possible you have transported the little fellows or their eggs in your luggage. Leaving your luggage in a closed car for several hours in a hot summer sun should kill the pests off. Meanwhile, it’s a good idea to have clothing professionally laundered in a commercial bug-killing solution immediately upon your return, preferably before you bring the clothing home. Inspect, vacuum, and scrub your empty suitcase with a stiff brush to remove any eggs.

 

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About the author

Nicole Harding

14 Comments

  • I watched a pro Do It At A friends House. Then I Did The Same Thing.
    Product Suspend SC + Sprayer Got Suspend SC On Line
    Spray Product Around All The Bottoms Of Every Wall And Trim Bottom Of Bed Etc… Along All The Border Trim Between Floor + Wall..

    Wa La No More Bed Bugs…

    Also Good Product Is DELTA DUST!!!

    DO NOT LIVE IN LARGE APARTMENT BUILDINGS!!!

  • Cold Kills Bed Bugs…
    cold treated if it is winter, (adult and nymph bed bugs die at 32°F (0°C) in a few hours, although eggs may survive for 30 to 60 days at 32°F to 48°F (0°C to 9°C), Leave Bedding Etc Outside In Cold!!!

    Go Away + Leave Heat Off In House. So House Goes Below Freezing.

    Overnight And They Are Eraticated(Dead). They Cannot Survive cold

    Temps. Neither Can Their Larva!!! Colder The Better!!!

    Of Course Empty Water Pipes Etc In House So They Dont Freeze!!!

  • I sell a product withd-trans Allerthin that is a flushing agent and provides a residual kill up to 8 weeks against bedbugs and other crawling insects. It does not stain and has very low odor. Let me know if I can help you. Just send me an email and put bedbugs in the subject line.

  • Use demand CS and gentrol. Gentrol stops the bedbugs from reproducing and Demand CS should be used in all cracks and crevices. Also Delta dust for the inside of the box spring or around electrical sockets. Sterifab can be used to spray mattress surfaces and furniture surfaces. I bought all the products listed ant http://www.pestcontrolamerica.com. Most do it yourself stores on the internet carry the same stuff the professionals use. Hiring a Pro can cost hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars.

  • Avoid DIY! My experience is that you can end up making the problem worse. You need to have your whole apartment sprayed down by a professional several times over the course of a few months. Shop around for a pest control professional that specializes, most cities have one. Don’t trust anyone that says they can get rid of them in 1 spray. My guy had me pay of flat fee of $350 but that included a visit every month for a YEAR! Leave the bedbug killing to the professionals. If you try to spray yourself you could harm your pets, yourself or risk spreading them from room to room if you don’t spray thoroughly.

    AlSO: This is crucial: sleep in the infested bed. I know it sounds awful, but if you switch to the couch, they will follow you and then you will have 2 infested rooms instead of 1. The smaller infestation the better.

  • Bed bugs are a pest and really hard to handle..

    I once had a bed bug problem too.. So I called the professional to come out and get rid of my bed bug problems. They had stated that bed bugs do not go away in just one treatment it usually takes 3-4 different treatments so they had recommend several different products that i could purchase online and use to treat the bed bugs.

    One of the products I found that was very useful is call Steri- Fab you spray it almost anywhere mattress, clothes and even carpets. Also using natural products such as rest easy is a good idea too, taking these types of product when your traveling so that you don’t bring them back with you. Also getting box spring and mattress encasements is a good idea it not only helps eliminate but help prevent them. If you try to cover your mattress and box spring with plastic the bed bugs will just chew right through it. Spraying the mattress and putting dust into the holes in the sides of the mattress before covering the infested mattress is a good idea.

    I was able to find a lot of products and info at this site they have a reasonable price to why don’t you check it out…
    http://www.pestmall.com

  • I am a pro that has performed several hundred bed bug treatments and I can tell you that it is NOT necessary to do multiple treatments. We stop them with 1 treatment about 75% of the time. A second treatment is only required if you miss something on the first try. The only reason it is believed that more than one treatment is required is because you have to allow 3-4 weeks for all of the eggs to hatch and many people don’t want to wait that long. Nothing in the world will make it work faster. It is a matter of trial and error. Most of the time a good technician can find and treat all of the harborages in your home on the first trip. If he misses one or two of them he will need to come back. If he hits all of them he won’t need to come back. It’s just that simple.

  • We had a problem a while ago now and we were convinced it was bed bugs! We searched and searched and eventually discovered it was actually fleas jumping on at night for a feed. If you scratch a flea bite enough in your sleep it will bleed onto the sheets and look like bed bugs are about!

  • My son started itching first, then my husband, then me. I looked at my sons’ bed and there they were. BED-BUGS!. So what we did was vacuumed them up and the places they hide. I sprayed everything with Raid. They died instantly. There is a product you can order online or by telephone. The site is called: Amerimax.com The telephone# is: 1-800-800-0100. The product is called: Bed Bugs 2 Spray. It kills on contact and keeps killing for up to 4 months. You can spray it anywhere. You can also travel with it. Only $10.00 Dollars.

  • Oh, I am so afraid of Bee Bugs.. That bee bug in the picture is so big.. I think, It has been taken with zoom feature.. Well, there is not a single bee bug in our house.. We keep our house clean.. Thanks for sharing.

    Regards,
    John

  • I watched a pro Do It At A friends House. Then I Did The Same Thing.
    Product Suspend SC + Sprayer Got Suspend SC On Line

  • Thanks for the tips, there was some info on the news last night about using some sort of tape. But I missed it, anyone know what they were talking about?

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