Bed bugs are certainly a pain when it comes to enjoying a good night of sleep. Not only it is difficult to find where the bugs come from (it could be from a vintage piece of furniture you bought at a flea market, but they could also have travelled with you coming home from a holiday), it is also quite hard to eliminate them in the most effective way. Once the house is infested, the price to pay to get professionally rid of those horrible hitchhikers is at least a thousand dollars between replacing bedding and items of clothing, as well as furniture, while it is easy to take a quick look at your mattress and sheets to early detect an infestation and prevent the damage. Furthermore, keep in mind controlling your evil roommates can take patience, since they are so biologically resilient they can go on for months without being fed. Although there are chemical means to control bed bugs, we are focusing on the basis- the simplest, effective ways to do it yourself.
1. Check your furniture before purchasing it
Although bed bugs easily dwell among secondhand furniture, it is best to check it even if it is brand new- some evident signs of infestation are stains on chairs, mattress, sofas, curtains, especially among seams and joints. If the vintage furniture comes in light colored fabric, it is easy to detect an infestation, while if not, you ought to get rid of it for your safety.
2. Be careful when washing items of clothing in shared facilities
If you have to do it, keep an eye on hygiene when using a shared washing machine. When it has a dryer, make good use of it, since high temperatures can kill bacteria and infestations. In such occasions, use one or more plastic bags for transportation.
3. Steam clean
Cleaning is a fundamental part of preventing and even getting rid of bed bugs proliferation. In particular, doing it frequently is the most important step towards eliminating any chance of the bugs’ hitchhiking, since they cannot withstand the heat. A steam cleaner is the best tool to use in this case, as it delivers temperatures so high that even any hidden, infested place, such as furniture cracks, becomes safe again.
Not only decluttering is therapeutic- it is also a great step towards having a best control of your house’s hiding spots, where the bed bugs usually go unnoticed for several months. Once you scheduled a few hours to tidy up, start pulling everything inside closet and drawers and, if you can’t find a purpose for an object, donate it or throw it into the trash can.
5. Hotel room inspection
Of course, hotel rooms can be dangerous places- before getting a bed bug bite, a mosquito bite lookalike that can however actually go as far as bleeding, check your new bed, nightstand and furniture. If you see stains or brown dots, you should ask the receptionist to change room immediately.
6. Be careful what you put on your bed
Everything that has been outside should never be put on your bed as a rule of thumb. This includes coats, school backpacks, library and secondhand books, pillows from other rooms, even those big headphones you go everywhere with- functional, but certainly not clean.
7. Use bed bug powders
Powders can be a good, long-lasting solution to prevent an infestation after you have carefully cleaned and decluttered your home. You can find them easily in stores, they don’t harm humans and pets in any ways, but rather act dehydrating bed bugs through their shell. Where to apply the powder? Behind every piece of furniture and pictures or mirrors, but also inside cracks and holes.
8. Know when not to go DIY
The DIY philosophy of life is useful in many occasions, often saving you money and time. However, in this particular circumstance a homemade treatment can worsen the situation. Call a professional who will guide you through all the steps of the disinfestation, making the bed bugs go away once and for all with dedicated chemicals. While waiting for the process to happen, consider replacing your bedding or sleeping somewhere else for a few days.