Bed Bugs Home Remedies

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Bed bugs in your home? Horrifying!

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Home remedies for

bed bugs

is not something any of us want to think about, but want the solution for if we ever run up against this hideous pest.

Most of us have heard about the horror stories associated with the small insects that feed on human blood at night.

They attack when you’re sleeping and are quite adaptable to most human environments. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t only frequent unsanitary and unkempt conditions. They strike even the ritziest of five-star hotels. Professional extermination is almost the only way to eliminate bed bugs, but there are a few home remedies for

bed bugs

associated with the dreaded insect.

Bed bugs

are a nocturnal insect belonging to the family Cimicidae, which is known to feed on blood. While humans are thought to be the main victim of this pest, the bed bug also seeks out other warm blooded hosts for their meals.

Bed bugs prefer temperate climates and are often found in places like Florida and the tropics of West Africa and South America. Bed bugs also infest poultry, bats, and other types of birds, just like they do humans.

The mature bed bug is reddish brown in color with a flattened, oval appearance. Microscopic hairs give off a banded appearance. They have no wings and cannot fly.
Some adult bed bugs reach a length of 1/8 to 3/16 of an inch. Their about the same size as an apple seed. Bed bugs are extremely shy and that’s why an infestation is quite hard to pinpoint.

The bed bug is typically active only at night with the most activity taking place an hour before dawn. The bed bug uses two hollow tubes to pierce the skin of their host and draw blood.

One tube injects an anticoagulant into their victim, while the other tube extracts the blood. They feed for about five minutes, and then return to their place of hiding.

The victim is unaware of the bite at the time, since reactions come minutes to hours later.

In the home, the bed bugs hide during the day, in just about every place you can imagine, including linens, drapery, headboards, desks, nightstands, artwork frames, mattresses, and clothing. With the use of a flashlight, you may spot a bed bug crawling around at night.

Additional signs, like blood spots on fabric or sheets, help detect an infestation.

Some of the signs to look for include:

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Bug Bites:
Even though you may display bed bug bites on your body that occur during the night, this is not a sure sign that a bed bug was the culprit.

Blood:
The sight of dried blood, (referred to as fecal spots) may appear on the box spring, behind the headboard, as well as the seams of a mattress. Dark spots on mattress and box spring are a telltale sign of bed bugs.

Bed Bug Skins:
A bed bug sheds skin during their nymphal stage.

Bed Bug Eggs:
The eggs of the bed bug are rather difficult to pinpoint, but are still visible, resembling the shape of rice.

Risk Factors

Places, like hospitals, hotels, motels, inns, cruise ships and anywhere people live, are perfect living quarters for a bed bug.

Bed bugs are transported by us. When guests of a hotel settle in for the night, bed bugs may climb into their luggage, where they are then transported to a new location.

Used furniture purchased at a garage sale or thrift shop may have some bed bug travelers. The same is true with used clothing, as they hide in the crevices and folds of material.

In dwellings like condominiums and apartment buildings, bed bugs find their way by moving on the walls, cracks, pipes, and wires. New residents may bring bed bugs into a living space through their boxes, mattresses, pillows, or other belongings. Bed bugs often reside along baseboards.

The Negative Effects of Bed Bugs:

The pathogens found in bed bugs have been connected to “plague and hepatitis B,” but no conclusions have been made as to whether or not the insect is able to pass the disease to humans.

Bed bugs are seen as an unclean visitor that affects the sanitation of a household. People are embarrassed to admit they have bed bugs in their home.

Infection:
Scratching bed bug bites can develop skin infections, which may leave behind scars.

The sight of a cluster of bed bug bites on a persons back, legs, and arms is quite alarming, especially when they bite large stretches of visible skin.

Stress:
A bed bug infestation is quite stressful and can sometimes cause great emotional duress.

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Poor Reaction to Saliva:
A handful of people suffer an allergic reaction to bed bug saliva and may experience anaphylactic shock.

Offensive Odor:
Bed bugs emit an oil like liquid from their bodies, so you may smell a strong odor when they are present.

Home Remedies for Bed Bugs

When it comes to bed bugs, there isn’t much a homeowner can do to get rid of these nasty invaders. But, before calling professional help, try the following home remedies for bed bugs.

Considering how time-consuming and costly it can be to eradicate bed bugs, it’s a good idea to take precautions and avoid infestations. Householders should be vigilant when purchasing used furnishings, especially beds and couches. Discarded items should be avoided, and secondhand articles should be examined closely before being brought home. Carefully look in the folds and seams of furniture for signs of bed bugs.

Rubbing Alcohol:
Spraying rubbing alcohol where bed bugs thrive may contain the problem by killing some of them on contact, but this is not a complete solution.

Fruit and Vegetable Insecticides:
Some insecticides containing pyrethrins and canola oil are sometimes used as a home remedy that is safe for children and pets.

Steam Treatments:
Some pest control companies use steam treatments to deal with mattresses and other pieces of upholstered furniture, but with very limited effectiveness. It does work fairly well in treating items with less than ½ inch of penetration.

Dry Heat:
Placing everything from clothing, footwear, rugs, toys, stuffed animals,etc. in the dryer for a certain length of time can conveniently remove bed bugs. When an average clothes dryer is run for five minutes heat, it generates temperatures of about 140-180°F degrees. High temperatures are able to kill bed bugs. Run the dryer for more than 20 minutes to make sure you’ve killed them all.

Some pest control firms use specialized heating equipment to deinfest furnishings, rooms, and the entire dwelling. They heat up the infested item or area to temperatures lethal to bed bugs. Portable heaters and fans are used to gradually heat the air to about 120 – 130°F while monitoring with carefully placed sensors. By controlling the temperature, both the bugs and eggs are killed wherever they may be, without damaging household items.

Hot Sun:
Wash and dry clothing and linens at high temperatures. If you live in a hot desert climate, you can just hang your bedding and clothes out in the sun all day, to destroy lingering bed bugs.

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Author: Steve Berchtold

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