Three Products Tested To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs

Three Products Put to the Test

I hate bugs. I’m not a fan of any of them, whether they are helpful or harmful and I don’t really care if they contribute X to ecosystem Y. I just don’t like them. I do my best to leave them alone and hope they do the same. Should any bug be caught breaking the law near me, they have to be dealt with in an appropriate manner. Bed bugs sound especially horrifying to me due to their blood feeding and general gross behavior.

Some common bug crimes are loitering, flying in restricted airspace, theft, larceny and assault with a weapon (themselves). I can’t stand for these and enforce them as needed. This brings me to a new horror I discovered at a friends house. He called me up very concerned and convinced me to visit him. We walked into his garage where a shady looking couch was sitting on a tarp. “What’s this?” I asked with some hesitation. He told me about this great yard sale and this was his great find. No it wasn’t really the couch, it was what was inside the couch.

Bed Bugs.

Yes, my friend is a little strange. He likes bugs and vermin of all types and even has a collection of them. The bed bug had never been seen before so he was quite proud of this find. My role in all of this was disposal of the bugs and the couch. He didn’t want to dump it somewhere so these nasty things could spread and is too cheap to haul it to the dump. The answer was to just get rid of the bugs and keep the couch. To accomplish this we decided to use three different items to see what would happen. The first order of business was to set the tarp up in such a way that the bed bugs couldn’t escape so we conducted these tests on a couch set in the center of a massive blue tarp with the ends folded into “traps” that small bugs couldn’t escape. Here’s our results, enjoy them.

PRODUCT 1: HOME REMEDY – VINEGAR

For this test we used a clean spray bottle and straight vinegar. We sprayed the vinegar all over the couch, under it and between one of the three cushions then went out for a few hours. We came back, lifted the cushions up and inspected for bed bugs. It seems like the ones unlucky enough to get directly sprayed by the straight vinegar died. We lifted up the nearby cushion, however, and there were the rest of them. This is what we expected would happen, they’d just go to a non-sprayed part. Overall, this could work ok if you do full saturation repeatedly. Direct contact seemed to be most effective.

PRODUCT 2: BED DEFENSE

It just so happened my friend’s Father had some strange box in his garage. In this box was something he got on a whim called Bed Defense. We looked this up before taking it out of the box to make sure it wasn’t something full of chemicals and it seems like an all-natural product in a little shell that looks like an ant trap. You’re supposed to stick it between cushions to scare bugs away, not just bed bugs, most bugs. We stuck this between the middle cushion where most of the bed bugs ended up after the first test and left it there for 2 hours or so, this was about 24 hours after the first test.

We entered the garage and couldn’t smell anything at all. Even the vinegar smell was gone completely. Is this product an odor neutralizer or something? We lifted up the cushions…this is madness. NO bedbugs. What in the heck was going on here. We called up my friend’s wife to see if she slipped in and vacuumed them up or something. Nope. They seem to have vanished. We shook the little Bed Defense trap around and nothing fell out so they weren’t in there. It’s a mystery.

We found the bed bugs far away from the couch in the folds of the tarp. They really didn’t like what was in that plastic device. This product seems to really work, we were impressed. We removed it for 24 hours before starting with product 3.

Product 3: Black Flag Fogger Inside Tarp

Even though we were already sold on the Bed Defense thing, we still had the issue of LIVE bed bugs roaming on a tarp in the garage. We needed them gone and by this time my friend decided the couch was too risky to hold on to. What if there were eggs in it or something? We folded 4 sides of the tarp up into a pyramid with a nice gap after disassembling the couch as best we could. Cushions out of covers, bricks holding it off the ground, more bricks elevating the fluffy armrests from the frame. We tossed the fogger into the middle of the tarp so it landed right on the couch then clamped the sides at the top like a huge blue wonton.

We gave this 24 hours to really sink in. It was quite the smell throughout the garage but that was the smell of victory. The next day we unwrapped our tarp wonton and looked around the couch. We couldn’t really see anything moving but there were bed bugs here and there. They seemed dead to us. We re-wrapped the couch and took it to the dump. Just for safety’s sake my friend moved the Bed Defense into his house to keep bugs out while throwing two more foggers in the garage just in case some bugs managed to escape the controlled environment.

 

How To Get Rid Of Bedbugs In Clothes

The name bed bug may imply this critter is exclusively going to show up in your bed and bed area but more often than not, they’ll end up in your dirty clothes and transition from there to nearby fabrics. If your dirty clothes bucket is in your closet for example, they can easily skitter right into your folded towels, sheets, blankets or even shirts and pants. If you don’t use a particular shelf set aside for winter clothing, it could quickly become a home base of sorts. Bed bugs don’t like to travel far to feed on humans so this will usually only be an issue in a small space like a studio apartment or a small bedroom.

A good thing about this particular infestation is that it’s relatively easy to get rid of, if you’ve cleared your bed and they’ve just run to your clothing, you could potentially wipe them out fully. There’s a few great methods you can use to get bed bugs out of clothing and they are quite effective.

Bag and Bake

The most common method to get rid of any insects that have started hanging out in your clothes closet or drawers is to bag all the clothes up in a thick black garbage bag and leave it in the sun for a few days. This works best for your off-season clothes and things you don’t really need on a daily basis. If it’s the middle of winter this may not be terribly effective because the temperature you really want to hit is at least 120 degrees F. Use your judgment and if you know even in the sun it won’t get this hot, try something else.

Dryer Treatment

Not sunny where you live? No chance of getting your clothes to 120 or higher somehow? The dryer is a super effective way to wipe out any type of insect that’s taken up residence in anything made of cloth. It’s too bad you can’t stuff your whole bed into a dryer while you’re at it though some bed bug companies have devices that basically do this. Bag up all your clothing and one by one dump bags into the dryer on high for an hour. This does have the potential to ruin certain types of material so pay attention. Wool and silk probably shouldn’t go in the dryer for an hour and synthetics may not survive so you might want to bag those and set them aside.

The Bath

A lot of people forget a good source of hot water. The shower. If your hot water heater allows it, crank it up to 120 to 140 degrees for a few hours and toss your items in the bathtub with the plug in. The shower allows the hot water to basically saturate your clothing but DO NOT stick your arm in there. Throw items in one at a time and let them sit for a while. If they are infested, the bugs will die and either float to the top or disappear down the drain. DO NOT forget to return your hot water heater to default settings to prevent burns later on.

These are just some simple ways that most people have access to and can do on their own. This is by no means 100% effective at clearing your entire house so make sure to consult a professional exterminator.

How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Yourself

Bed bugs can be a real pain, literally, and you will want to take steps to get rid of them as quick as possible and keep them from coming back. Odds are you probably don’t even know where they came from in the first place but that doesn’t matter once you’ve woken up with bites.

The most basic and easiest solution is to simply throw your mattress and box spring away, conduct a thorough cleaning of your room with an emphasis on vacuuming and throw all your bedding in the washer and dryer on high heat.

If you don’t want to throw your items out and start fresh let’s try some other steps.

Eliminate Current Bed Bugs

This sounds easier than it is. You will need to create an environment bed bugs don’t like. This means high heat if possible, definitely use non-toxic sprays and remedies that chase them off and use repellents if you have some or can get them quickly. If you live somewhere warm, set your mattress and box spring in the sun and toss a black trash bag over them. If it’s over 90 degrees, under that bag should be extremely hot and kill them or chase them off. This may have to be done a few days in a row and you might want to just leave your stuff outside for a while to be sure. Make sure it’s elevated as well. Sawhorses are a good idea here.

Clean House

Naturally, once the main problem is outside or handled, it’s time to clean. Clean like you’ve never cleaned before. Every inch of floor needs to be swept and vacuumed a couple times over. You may consider using bug bombs but those usually aren’t necessary for this particular pest. Bed bugs mostly hang out in beds and furniture where bombs won’t reach anyway.

Use home remedies such as alcohol solutions on suspect areas where you see any bugs at all and get some repellent products asap. You can get little satchels of cedar oil and specialized “bed bug away” type products at some stores and they are easily found online.

Keep This Routine

In our busy life, it’s hard to keep up with a cleaning routine and unfortunately this will lead to unwanted guests in our house whether it’s flies, ants, bed bugs or worse. Stick to a good cleaning regimen even if it’s just deep cleaning once a week. This can save you a lot of heartache in the long run.

If you don’t have time to clean or know you don’t have the time to get rid of bed bugs yourself, just have a professional do it for you. They are usually very affordable and you can set up a good time to have them come in, inspect, treat and come back on a regular basis. This is the only 100% effective way to deal with any type of pest really.

How Long Does It Take To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs?

So you’ve ended up with a bed bug infestation and you need a timeframe on how long it’s going to be before you’re back to living a happy bug-free life. There are actually a lot of factors that can influence how long it takes to get rid of these pests once and for all.

There are obvious influences like house size, room size, number of bugs present and what type of treatment you decide to use. Let’s take a look at some factors that can give you a rough estimate on how long you’re looking at.

Property Size

Naturally, a studio apartment will take much less time to clear completely of bed bugs than a 48-unit motel. This also depends on the number of sleeping surfaces too so one studio apartment with 3 beds smashed into it will actually take longer to treat than a 48-unit motel with only one infested bed. It’s best to examine this problem by “infested sleeping areas” initially unless you or an exterminator discovers bugs roaming around under and around any bed or beds. Size won’t always mean a longer treatment time.

Infestation Level

If you have one bite in your house now and then you may have a very slight infestation in the bed or futon you or a guest are sleeping in right now. Getting rid of that sleeping surface ends the infestation usually. In extreme cases, an entire home can be infested from top to bottom and this is a problem when more people are living there than should be. Picture 20 people crammed into a 2 bedroom apartment for a few months. The conditions there are ripe for an infestation so bad bugs will actually be living in the walls and floorboards and migrating to nearby homes or apartment rooms. This is an extreme example but it CAN happen and if you’re a landlord, you might have seen similar things.

Exterminator Cooperation

Some people will happily allow an exterminator to come in and spray at various times when needed. Some might lock the door and leave an angry dog inside because they view it as a violation of personal space almost. People who don’t allow the exterminator to do their job or who don’t cooperate when you have a whole complex treat their bedding or wash/dry all their linens while treatment is happening can lead to the entire process being broken. In some cases one stubborn renter can make it near impossible for a full elimination to occur.

So, how long is it going to take? That’s a very hard question to answer and is best left for a true pest control expert. Tossing a bad mattress takes a couple minutes, clearing a huge infested apartment building could take weeks or months.

How To Prevent Bed Bugs Naturally

The best way to get rid of bed bugs is to NOT get them in the first place. Prevention is the best course of action for every type of insect out there. Don’t want ants and cockroaches? Keep your floor free of food, crumbs and things these bugs like to eat. With bed bugs, you certainly can’t keep your home free of YOU so you’ll have to find some other way to keep them under control.

Harsh chemicals can be a good solution but they carry all sorts of risks you probably don’t want to expose yourself, your family or your pets to. The obvious course of action here is to find and utilize all-natural preventative measures to keep bed bugs from ever becoming a nuisance in the first place.

Let’s take a look at some easy and cheap methods to prevent bed bugs naturally and effectively.

Careful Examination

The first thing you should do when buying used furniture, used clothing or used bedding is to give it a very thorough examination. People selling these items won’t usually ask what you’re doing if you check things out well and even if they ask, there’s nothing wrong with saying you’re checking for bugs. Yard sales are often outside anyway so you never know if some spiders or something have slipped into that couch you’re looking at.

Bedding really needs to be checked out. This includes comforters and also mattresses and box springs. Check for anything suspicious like little stains or rips. You may want to skip a mattress completely if it has a few tears and bed bugs are common in your area. It’s just a risky proposition.

Natural Repellents

What’s a natural repellent you ask? Well, they come in all shapes and sizes and some work better than you’d think. One of the most popular is simply cedar in a little pouch, cedar rings you put around your bed frame legs, cedar oil sprays and things like this. Bed bugs hate cedar. There are also variations using rose oil, tea tree oil and citronella as well. Some of these products can double as mini air fresheners and can keep that guest bedroom smelling nice even when nobody goes in there much at all. Not all smell strongly so you can stick these repellents everywhere you think you might need them and nobody will notice. Just pests.

Regular Home Check-Ups

If you’re a concerned home owner, apartment manager or hotel operator, why even bother with using items guests or tenants can steal, remove or render useless. Just save yourself the trouble and schedule regular bed bug treatments from a local pest control service. This is the most effective route you can possibly take anyway and you’ll be absolutely sure bed bugs never become a problem at all.

Bed bugs aren’t quite everywhere just yet but they are making a huge comeback all across the US and parts of the world. Don’t let these little pests get under your skin, prevent them from becoming an issue in the first place.