After I wrote an article in February 2007 called Tempurpedic Mattresses, Mites or No Mites, I have been contacted by many readers to do a follow-up article.
In this article the readers want to know how they can rid their beds of these nasty little critters. So, here I am doing the follow-up that is in high demand.
Although I have never had to personally deal with these blood thirsty little critters, I was very interested in learning how to avoid ever getting them in my home.
Preventing them was never a thought I had. I must admit, until I did the article on the mattresses I thought bed bugs were a made up thing that we adults often said to our children before they went off to bed.
You know, “Don’t let the bed bugs bite!”
For the most part nobody thinks of bed bugs until they begin noticing little bites on their bodies. Typically noticed in the morning after an individual has slept in an infected area.
The funny thing about these little buggers is they actually do not confine themselves to the bed. They can frequently be found living in your couch or other seating area. There are several ways a household can become infected with bed bugs.
Just to name a few of the easier ways for these mini vampires to find their way into your home are through a seat at a movie theater.
Once a person that has bed bugs sits in a location the bugs can climb off of this host and sit patiently waiting for a new host to arrive and bring them home.
Yes, this also means if you have bed bugs in your home you may also have them in your car!
Bed bugs also enjoy zippers. Actually this is kind of intelligent of them. The zipper is an excellent hiding place if you really think about it.
How many of us actually inspect our zippers prior to getting dressed in the morning? I know I don’t. Another way you can bring bed bugs into your home is by traveling.
When you travel if your luggage is placed near someone’s luggage that has these bugs you can also wind up with them. This means you are pretty much at risk no matter where you are. Bus, train, plain, and boats.
Hotels are another way you might find that you have brought some extra souvenirs home from your vacation. Now if you really think about this it makes all the sense in the world.
How many people actually have slept in the bed that you have slept in? Can you honestly say that you feel the bed is cleaned properly every time a guest has left a hotel? I didn’t think so. Even the upper class hotels can house bed bugs.
Just a suggestion that can help you in eliminating the possibilities of bring in new guest to your home is after a vacation or travel experience you might want to keep your clothing in a plastic bag for a few days.
Tightly tie the bag to keep them from escaping. If it is warm in the area you live a great idea is to place your clothing in a black plastic bag outside in the sun for a day.
This will generally kill the little buggers before they ever reach the interior of your home. After the clothes have cooked for a little while, promptly wash them in hot water and then dry them in high heat. Bed bugs do not survive in extreme temperatures.
If you think it is too late for these preventative measures because you think they have already found their way into your home, you will now need to further investigate.
If you are waking up in the morning with little red bite marks on your body that you did not have when you went to sleep, it is time for you to take a look.
Lift a corner of your bed linens and roll them up into a ball. Just in case. Place the linens in your washer in hot water immediately. If you do not have a washer at your disposal place them all into a bag and seal it tightly.
The next step is to look at the seams of the mattress. Bed bugs enjoy these locations. Including the handle that is attached to your mattress that is used to aid in flipping the mattress or moving it.
These nifty little handles are sewn onto the mattress so it serves as an excellent hiding place. Look for little blackish colored specs of dirt like matter.
This is if you are infected with bed bugs there fecal matter. It is generally a dark color due to them feeding on your blood for survival.
Even if you do not see any evidence of these unwanted guests, it might be wise for you to vacuum your box spring and mattress completely and thoroughly.
The best way to do this is with a hose attachment to really get into all the nooks and crannies that a mattress has. Immediately vacuum your rugs in the room.
The next suggestion can be done even if you do not have any bed bugs, Take down your curtains pictures and remove all of the contents of your drawers and closet.
Begin washing in hot water. For the things that can not be washed you can dry clean them or place them into a bag. Bed bugs are very elusive little buggers.
They can and will hide anywhere they can. They somewhat remind me of cockroaches. I would strongly suggest that if you do find that you have bed bugs in your home that you steam clean as much as you can.
Your beds, carpets and upholstery. This may be a little costly but it can save you from further infestation. The high temperatures should effectively kill the bugs.
Bed bugs do not jump or fly. However, they can get around. They climb to higher levels and basically fall to the location that they want to be in.
That is why the pictures on the walls must come down as well as the curtains. If you have knick knacks on your walls, they should be placed in plastic bags as well.
Bed bugs prefer to hideout during the day and seem to become most active about an hour or so before dawn. If you want to find a live bug this is when you should start your search.
Again, look in the general are in which you sleep as well as the seems of the bed for those that may be full and heading for their favorite hiding spot.
Keep you linens from touching the floor if you have bed bugs. Because they are excellent climbers they can and will climb up and relocate to your bed again.
Some suggest that you place the legs of your bed into water so they will not be able to climb up. Placing some tape over the seams of the mattress has also been suggested in catching these little blood sucking jerks.
There are a few home treatments that you can use to rid your abode of bed bugs, although the best is hiring a professional exterminator.
Typically the exterminator will have a list of preparations you will need to do in order for the treatment to be successful.
You may also want to try some treatments on your own while you are waiting for the exterminator. One idea I found was directly spraying rubbing alcohol on the bed bugs.
This is said to immediately kill them However, if you do not see them this might not be all that effective for you.
There have also been some cases where a fruit and veggie mixture insecticide like a solution of canola oil and pyrethrums has proven to be effective as well as safe for family members and pets.
It is urged to contact a professional to remove the bed bugs from your home. Typically the exterminator will need to visit your home between 2 and 5 times in order to completely rid your home of these unwelcome guests.
Of course the severity of your infestation will be a factor in how quickly the problem is fixed. As well as how closely you listened to the expert when it came to the preparations you were asked to do prior to the visit.