Bed bugs can be found anywhere, both indoors as well as in nature. Bed bugs are drawn to the blood and warmth common to humans as well as animals. In general bed bugs don’t have a preference as long as they have a warm place to stay and a source of blood to feed on.
Because of their small size bed bugs can easily hitch a ride on birds, animals or human clothing and luggage. Before you even realize you have a bed bug bite, you can have an infestation all over your home. Ignore the problem of bed bugs will not make them go away, however knowing what kills bed bugs can help you get a jump start on eliminating them from your home.
Killing Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are sneaky creatures that unexpectedly come into your home and lay eggs in hidden locations and bite you while you sleep. Although spotting them is difficult you will be pleased to learn that there are several effective methods for killing bed bugs.
Many of the methods to get rid of bed bugs can be easily found in your home and local home improvement stores. Use one or more of these tips to kill bed bugs in your home.
Perhaps the most well know way to kill bed bugs is by using heat. Direct heat aimed at the bed bugs or eggs—for a minimum of 30 seconds—will kill them on the spot and prevent the eggs from hatching.
For items that can be washed, place them on a high heat setting of at least 120° F. Some recommend heat as high as 140° F but when in doubt just set the water temperature to “hot”. When clothes have been cycled in the wash, dry them on high heat. Run through dryer on high heat for 2 cycles.
Direct heat from a hair dryer aimed at the bed bugs or their eggs will kill them. Remember to keep the dryer on high heat and aimed at them for at least 30 seconds.
Bed bugs cannot survive without oxygen, they need it the same us humans. Depriving them of oxygen kills bed bugs relatively quickly. This is why most bed bug treatment plans involve placing infected items in plastic bags or large encasements.
After you have cleaned items, placing them in an oxygen free environment will kill off any remaining bed bugs. Use encasements or air tight plastic bags or containers.
Insecticides in dust, powder or spray form can help kill bed bugs in any area of the home. The question when using insecticides is, do I call a pro or do it myself?
Using a licensed pest control agent can ensure that you get an effective treatment plan that kills bed bugs and their eggs. However hiring a professional requires a significant amount of money that includes follow up visits without any guarantee.
There are insecticides you can purchase anywhere bug repellent is sold, however finding exactly what you need to get rid of bed bugs can take some time. Insecticides intended for ants, mosquitoes or cockroaches will not work; it must be specifically for bed bugs.
We know that heat is a good method of killing bed bugs but a lesser known form of heat that works as well is steam. A steam vacuum is a great way to kill bed bugs taking up residence on hard to wash items such as curtains, couch skirts and corners.
A steam vacuum is a great heat alternative to kill bed bugs when you don’t want to damage certain materials. This is especially true of fine fabrics such as lace or silk; you can get rid of the bed bug infestation without damaging the fabric.
If you don’t own a steam vacuum they can be rented from home improvement stores.
Permethrin is a commonly used household pesticide often found in bed bug sprays, dusts and powders. If you’re looking for a chemical treatment plan to get rid of bed bugs, make sure the products you choose contain this ingredient.
Permethrin is related to pyrethrum an organic compound which is known to repel arthropods. This chemical is relatively safe and has a lower evaporation rate than other chemicals found in bed bug repellent. Using this chemical to kill bed bugs requires that you spray all the rooms on the same day so there is no “safe zone” for the bed bugs to flee to.
Don’t wait until you have everything you need to tackle a bed bug problem. Start with what you have on hand and then create a plan to get rid of bed bugs for good!