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Critical procedures must be followed in bed bug removal and many “do it yourselfers” quickly learn that just spraying chemicals won’t work. It’s the very reason why bed bugs have grown increasingly resistant to pesticides. By nature, these bugs are very difficult to get rid of once an area of a home has been infested because they reproduce quickly, and they can survive for up to 1 year without a meal. Since they have flat bodies, it is easy for them to hide in cracks or crevices, and in mattresses, linens, behind baseboards, or inside furniture. Also they tend to come out at night, because they like to feed on sleeping victims. They have been known to travel through walls along plumbing or electrical wiring and invade other apartments in multiunit dwellings.
Do-It-Yourself methods of Bed Bug removal are not often successful
Most people approach a bed bug infestation the same was as they have been condition to deal with ants or roaches. They clean the area, removing the food source and then they spray the room around the perimeter. This won’t work with bed bugs because YOU are the food source! And as long as you occupy the space in question, you always will be a source of fresh blood.
DIY Sprays Are Harmful
Studies have shown an increase in illnesses, attributed to chemicals used on bed bugs. These cases were from people treating their bed bugs themselves with inappropriate pesticides or having an unlicensed person conduct the treatment. It is very easy to buy a can of bug spray, but quite laborious to remove all bed bugs from a dwelling. When it comes to bed bug removal, the Do It Yourself (DIY) people can create a threat to their own safety with indiscriminate bug spray use. The key to proper bed bug control and removal is preparation. No signal method of pest control will work without the removal of clutter, and the containment of infested items.
If You Are Still Willing To Try It Yourself – Here’s How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Getting rid of bed bugs yourself, using off the shelf products is going to take some determination and persistence. While not impossible, most people run into trouble because they don’t patiently follow any methodical procedures. These are the key steps to DIY bed bug extermination:
- Apply Treatments
Here is the Full Procedure that should be followed if you are going to have any real chance at bed bug removal using DIY Sprays, and Powders.
1- Identify & Confirm Bed Bugs
The first step in any pest control scenario is to properly identify the pest. Take a look at the pictures on this page or go to Google Images, and look for more. Generally bed bugs have the following characteristics:
- ¼ inch In Length
- Flat Bodies
- Full Antennae
- Small Eyes
- Oval in Shape
- Rusty Red Color
Once bed bugs have been confirmed move on to the next step.
2-Inspect The Infested Area
What you are trying to do is to locate the most heavily infested area of your dwelling. It may be around the beds, but it may also be a couch, or a throw blanket. Typically bed bugs will infest the areas near where you spend most of your time sleeping. This heavily infested area will be the place that you will need to focus the most of your attention for the best extermination results.
- Look for the following signs of activity: blood, or fecal smears, live bugs on mattresses, walls, curtains, under area rugs, inside furniture, even a clock on your night stand could serve as a hiding spot for bed bugs. Look for egg shells and cast skins.
- Look at the bed frame, the headboard, and box spring. Look at anything attached to the wall or ceiling such as lamp fixtures, picture frames, electrical conduits, smoke detectors, mirrors, etc.
- Look at the curtains, blinds, and the mounting hardware. Pay attention to the folds of drapes and curtains. Check the undersides of sofas and chairs; look at the wooden framework, and look within upholstered seams of pillows, and chairs.
- On furniture you will need to remove drawers from the dressers and nightstands so that you can inspect all cracks and crevices.
3- Mechanical Removal / Physical Control Methods
Mechanical bed bug removal is not likely to solve all your bed bug problems but it is a required first steps in a conventional treatment plan. When this approach is combined with properly applied chemical pesticides, you can achieve bed bug control.
Vacuum: Vacuum every inch of the infested area. Bed Bug eggs are slightly sticky when they are laid so they cling to surfaces. You may have to vacuum repeatedly with a scraping motion. Don’t use a brush attachment as the eggs may cling to the bristles and transfer to a new location. After vacuuming, remove and discard the bag immediately outside. Note that some of the eggs may have survived the suction and still remain in the hose. If possible store the vacuum or at least the hose outside. The hose itself can be cleared of any eggs wrapping it in a dark plastic bag and placing in the hot summer sun for a day. It can also be steamed, just be careful as some vacuum hoses will house wires for the brush heads.
Steamers: Since temperatures of 120 degrees are lethal to bed bugs, a steamer will kill both bug and eggs. There are steamers specifically designed for this type of work. Just follow the directions and don’t use on surfaces that will be damaged by the high heat such as finished wood.
Washer & Dryer: Bed linens, & clothing should be laundered. All the bed bugs and eggs will be killed in a hot dryer. Other items that can be treated in the dryer alone include soft toys, small rugs, backpacks, and footwear.
Disposal: The easiest way to remove an infested item is to dispose of it, just make sure to wrap it before removal so that you don’t disperse eggs or bugs on the way to an outside garbage can or dumpster.
Mattress Encasements: By placing a sturdy cover over your old mattress and box spring, you can encase them. This prevents an infestation from growing and bed bugs that happen to be inside the cover become entombed and will eventually die.
Eliminate Bug Shelters: If you can remove clutter including, nearby books, piles of clothing, papers, boxes, and even nearby nightstands, it will help. When safe harborages are limited, the bed bugs will have to travel a greater distances to access their victims and return to a shelter. This will expose them to more pesticides as they travel and it will help control them. You can also restrict them using caulk or other sealants to close off cracks, crevices, gaps around plumbing and ductwork, and other entry points near floors, walls, and ceilings. This way they won’t come in or escape out to adjoining areas and re-infest your area at a later time.
4- Pesticide Application
To reach a good level of control, it will be necessary to use 1 or more forms of pesticide in your bug removal efforts. Just be sure to treat all surrounding areas to the infestation, in addition to the source itself This includes wall voids between infested rooms. Also, read all the instructions and don’t over apply pesticide as an alternative to doing the mechanical removal reviewed above. There 2 types of insecticides to consider, dusts for cracks and crevices, and liquids or aerosols for larger areas. Again follow all directions and don’t over apply pesticide, as pesticides can be hazardous to health and life.
5- Follow Up & Repeat
Most likely, you will see a significant improvement and reduction of bugs after following steps 1 to 4 of this treatment protocol. However, complete bed bug elimination takes, persistence and time. You will need to be patient and persistent and continue to follow steps #2 through #4 every 2 weeks until all signs of infestation disappear completely.
As a final warning, do not exceed the dosage instructions on any pesticide. The reasons are for health and safety and secondly they are generally ineffective unless proper, and continued maintenance is carried out. So You Are Risking A Lot For little benefit.