Remember when you were little and your parents would tell you to sleep tight and not let the “bed bugs bite?” You may have thought bed bugs were some imaginary storybook pests, but the truth is, bed bugs are all too real, and extremely hard to get rid of once you have them in your home. Let’s take a look at how to eradicate bed bugs and keep them where they belong; in a childhood rhyme.
Do I Have Bed Bugs?
So, how do you know if you have bed bugs? Well, bed bugs do bite, and the bites are red and itchy. If you see red welts on your skin that are very itchy, and you’re spotting them after you wake up in the morning, chances are you have bed bugs. The bites can look like blotchy, rashy spots on the skin. Since it’s hard to see bed bugs with the naked eye, you may not be able to identify them by sight. Sometimes there’s a telltale smell that accompanies bed bugs, which smells a little like rotten fruit. You may also see small brown spots on your sheets, pillows, and bedding.
Though bed bugs are typically found in your bed, it’s also common to see the bugs in the rest of your home, burrowing into furniture such as couches or chairs. If you carry bed bugs on your body, you may even transfer the bugs to your car, making it even harder for you to get rid of them. The key to eradicating bed bugs is early detection. Strike fast and strike hard, because getting rid of them can be extremely hard and very time consuming, as well as simply frustrating.
Does Borax Kill Bed Bugs?
Borax is an effective treatment for bed bugs. It works to suffocate and kill the bed bugs. To use borax to rid yourself of these pests, remove all of the bedding from the bed. Sprinkle a generous amount of borax over the entire mattress, and fill up a plastic spray bottle with water. Saturate the borax covered mattress with the water. This helps suffocate the bed bugs and kill them.
You can also wash any bedding, sheets, and blankets with a mixture of hot water and borax to remove the bed bugs from those items.
What Other Methods Kill Bed Bugs?
We know what doesn’t work to kill bed bugs. Foggers, bombs, and traditional sprays don’t really do much to get rid of these insects. Since bed bugs live deep inside mattresses and bedding and the bugs are so small, foggers and sprays can’t really penetrate well enough to kill the bugs. Avoid wasting time and money using these types of methods to kill bed bugs. There are only a couple of ways to effectively eradicate a bed bug infestation.
One is using borax. The other methods involve either throwing away infected items, like mattresses, and purchasing new ones, or using extreme hot or cold temperatures (like washing things in hot water, or freezing them) to kill the pests. You can also use borax to kill the bugs in your carpet by sprinkling it into carpet and vacuuming it up.
Diatomaceous earth is another known way to kill bed bugs. You can sprinkle this inside and outside, leaving it under your bed and other furniture, along the baseboards, and underneath your mattress. It’s safe to use and is an effective treatment.
For a pesky case of bed bugs, combining steam treatments with other treatments, such a borax or diatomaceous earth, may provide the desired results. Using a steamer on your mattress and furniture kills the bed bugs, but you must use this in combination with other methods to completely rid yourself of bed bugs.
How Do I Avoid Bed Bugs?
Once you get rid of bed bugs, you will not be in a hurry to ever have them again. Keep yourself safe from the bugs by applying preventative methods. Keep borax or diatomaceous earth handy, and sprinkle it inside and outside your home. Keep your sheets and linens clean and wash them in hot water. Use a steam cleaner to clean your furniture on a regular basis, and use a mattress and box spring cover to keep your mattress and box springs protected from an infestation.
Keep your home clean, keep an eye out, and keep treatments on hand just in case you see any bed bugs. Once you get rid of them, you’ll know how to spot the signs that they are coming back so you’ll be prepared for the worst in case it does happen.