Nightmares are awful but there is something nastier and more irky, responsible for sleepless nights; the tiny creatures that come out of their hideouts and attack you while you are asleep. If you have recently started waking up to unexplained red swollen spots arranged in clusters, irritation, and itching, you’ve been bitten by bed bugs.
How to Kill Bed Bugs – Jump right in
What are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are oval-shaped, flat, rusty brown colored small insects that feed on human and animal blood. They mostly reside in dark crevices and soft spaces so the mattress makes a perfect haven for these tiny bloodsuckers hence the name; bed bugs.
How to Detect Bed Bugs?
Every enemy leaves a trail so do bed bugs. If you know how to detect them it will become easier for you to get rid of them. Here are a few signs of the bed bugs to look out for:
- Bites on the skin: Bites of bed bugs usually appear in the form of clusters and are itchy. They cause discomfort but do not require medical attention.
- Black Spots on Bed Covers: Those who eat also excrete so do bed bugs. Finding small black spots on bed covers is a signal that bed bugs are feasting and excreting around.
- Blood Spots: If you notice rusty looking spots on your bed cover or clothes, it’s either your blood or blood of the bug that got smashed.
- Shells: You might find ivory-colored specks on your bed. These can be eggshells of bed bugs or the skin shed by bugs (yes, they do shed their skins like snakes)
- Nasty Smell: Bed bugs can be detected by a distinctive nasty smell. If your room smells musty; you should look out for bed bugs.
6 Effective DIY Home Remedies
Bed bug infestation is common in warm climates but they can be found anywhere. No matter how impossible it may seem to get rid of them, there are some very effective DIY home remedies to treat bed bug infestation. Here are a few of them
Essential oils have proven to be very effective in the treatment of bed bugs. Being natural, they are harmless but should be used with care especially in kid’s bedrooms and people with allergies.
Tee tree oil, neem oil, peppermint oil, lemongrass, oil, eucalyptus oil, lavender, thyme, clove, and lemon essential oils work wonder because of their distinctive odors and insect-killing properties. A solution can be prepared by mixing 30 drops of any oil with water in a spray bottle. Spray this solution on curtains, furniture, rugs, bed linens and any other place where they can breed. Read our guide on diffuser and essential oils here
Baking soda has several uses besides baking. From treating heartburn to whitening teeth and using it as a deodorant to soothing itches and sunburns, baking soda has proved to be a miraculous product.
Baking soda can also be used to treat bed bugs. Put 1 cup of water in a spray bottle and add a tablespoon of baking soda, a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger. Shake the bottle well and spray the mixture around the house. It not only kills the bugs and their eggs but also works as a deodorant.
Silica gel is found in tiny packets mostly in shoe boxes to absorb moisture. It is very effective for killing bed bugs as well. Grind the silica gel beads and sprinkle them on infected areas.
Use it with care if you have kids or pets around the house as it is hazardous on direct exposure and inhalation.
This naturally occurring element can kill 90% of the bed bugs has found to be the most effective in disinfecting the house. It kills by dehydrating the bugs. Sprinkle it in creaks and creases and leave it for a few days to get the best results.
The pungent smell of vinegar and acidic nature helps kill bed bugs very effectively. Vinegar works by damaging the nervous system of bugs.
Borax not only kills bed bugs but also helps prevent them from germinating again.
It can be used to wash infected bed linens and clothing to get rid of bugs once and for all.
How to Repel Bed Bugs
You can prepare simple mixtures with easily available ingredients to repel bed bugs.
- Mint Leaves: Aromatic mint has several benefits including repelling bed bugs. Crush fresh or dried mint leaves and sprinkle them on the places where bed bugs reside.You can also put crushed leaves in a fabric pouch and put it close to bug hives.
- Indian Lilac: Either crush Indian lilac leaves and sprinkle them on infected areas or boil them in water for around ten minutes and spray the mixture on bed linens, curtains, sofas and on creaks and crevices to keep bed bugs at bay. Taking bath with this water will also help sooth infection caused by bed bugs.
- Black Walnut Tea: The black walnut tea has insect repelling properties. Used tea bags of black walnut tea can be placed around bug hideouts including creaks and corners.
How to Prevent Bed Bugs
Once you have gotten rid of these dreadful creatures, now is the time to make them go permanently. A few preventive measures will help keep the bugs away for good.
- Wash your bed linens, curtains, and clothing regularly with hot water and disinfectants.
- Vacuum clean the home regularly especially the corners, creaks and crevices with high power dirt sucking machines.
- While buying second-hand furniture, check for traces of bugs.
- Remove clutter as it is the main hideout of bed bugs. No clutter no bugs.
- Make permanent changes like replace cardboard boxes with plastic boxes, use sealed bin liners, store clean items in zip lock bags and move your furniture away from the walls.
- Discard affected items to avoid further infestation.
Getting rid of bed bugs is easy if they are caught earlier. We hope these effective DIY home remedies will help you disinfect your house and enjoy trouble-free sleep in no time.