How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

bed bugs

Nobody wants to deal with bed bugs. But if you are dealing with these pests, you’ll need to know the best ways to get rid of them.

What are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are a type of parasite. They live off of other living things by taking up residence in things like mattresses and sheets. Like mosquitos, lice, or ticks they bite and drink blood for their nutrients. Bed bugs are a small oval shape with a brown color.

They’re usually the size of any small bug, about the size of a thumb tack, but when their bellies are full of blood they can swell in size and become a redder hue. Thankfully these little demons don’t fly or jump the way some pests can. But they can crawl quickly, meaning they can still spread quickly throughout your house if you don’t tackle getting rid of them as soon as possible.

Bed Bug Bites vs Flea Bites

Since fleas and bed bugs are so similar, it can be easy to get them, and their bites, confused. Below are a few of the key differences between fleas and bed bugs so you can tell the difference.

Flea Bites

Fleas usually prefer to make their homes on animals, so if you have pets make sure to check their fur every so often with a flea comb to make sure they’re flea free. If humans get flea bites it’s usually because a pet they live or interact with has fleas, not because fleas have made you their home. You can also tell if your pet is affected by fleas if they start itching and biting themselves to try and relieve the itching.

Flea bites most commonly occur on the lower half of the body like on legs, feet, waists, and armpits. Their bite marks are red and blotchy like a rash. Like bed bugs, fleas cannot fly, but unlike bed bugs, fleas can jump.

Bed Bug Bites

Bed bug bites look more like mosquito bites than the rash bites that fleas make. Bed bug bites look like small, raised bumps and they often itch. They most commonly bite areas of the upper body like the hands, neck, and arms. Bed bugs are also a bit larger than fleas so they are easier to spot.

If you need some visual references for flea bites on humans, or some bed bug pictures, or some bed bug bites pictures, check out these websites:

How to Treat Bed Bug Bites

Like the common mosquito bite, bed bug bites will fade away in a week or two. To ease the itching you can use a topical itching cream, like corticosteroid cream. If you have a particularly strong allergic reaction to the bites you can take anti-inflammatories like Benadryl.

To effectively treat bed bug bites, do the following:

  1. First and foremost, DON’T itch them
  2. Then, wash the bites with soap and warm water to avoid infections
  3. Put anti-itch or calming cream on the infected area
  4. Wrap the infected spots with bandages to protect them and keep you from itching them

How to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites Overnight:
First of all, the bed bug bites will go away much quicker if you don’t itch them, so the fastest way to get rid of them is to not itch them. Part of what makes the bite bumps is the swelling, so calming this swelling will help the bumps disappear faster too. Here are some other things you can do to keep yourself from itching them, and help the bites calm down:

  • Use anti-itch cream
  • Use calamine lotion
  • Take an oral antihistamine
  • Pain reliever
  • Wrap up the bitten areas with bandages or long sleeves
  • Wrap up your fingers or wear mittens or cloves so you can’t itch
  • Use an ice pack
  • Use a paste of baking soda and water
  • Apply calming essential oils like camphor or chamomile oil

How to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bite Scars:
If you scratch the bites too much you can open up your skin where the bite marks are and make scars. You treat bed bug bite scars the same way you would care for any scar. Below is a list of things you can use to try and get rid of or hide bed bug bite scars:

  • Vitamin E cream
  • Sunscreen will keep the blemishes from discoloring from the sun
  • Mederma scar gel
  • Aloe vera
  • Honey
  • Coconut oil
  • Apple cider vinegar

There are also a few treatments you can do like laser resurfacing in order to get rid of really bad scarring.

How to Check for Bed Bugs

bed bugs
 

The best way to check if you have bed bugs in your house is to remove the bed sheets and check under the mattress. Since bed bugs aren’t as small as fleas it can be easier to spot the bugs themselves in your mattress. But you can also look for the brown, rusty stains of dead bed bugs and feces on the mattress.

If you’re worried you might have bed bugs, but you aren’t sure, you can also have a professional exterminator come in for an inspection.

Common places where bed bugs can be found:
  • Mattresses
  • Bed frame
  • Box springs
  • Carpet
  • Curtains
  • Clothes
  • Furniture
  • Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Bed sheets
  • Stuffed animals
  • Cracks in places like the baseboards

You can also set up bed bug traps to see if you have any bed bugs in your house or near your bed.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally

Not everyone is comfortable introducing harsh chemicals into their home, especially if they have kids or pets. Check out this website to learn what natural bed bug remedies do and don’t work. If you need to get rid of bed bugs, but you want to do it the natural way, here are some tips on the most effective home remedies to get rid of bed bugs:

Heat

Heat is one of the best weapons against bed bugs. You can use heat to kill bed bugs by washing and drying bedsheets and clothes on the hottest settings. It is most effective if you can use a hot temperature of 115 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
You can also use a clothes irons and steamers to iron sheets or steam your carpet and curtains.

Cold

You can also use extreme cold temperatures to freeze and kill bed bugs. You can do this by keeping infected items outside in temperatures 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower for at least 4 days.

Vacuuming

Vacuuming also works to pick up bugs and get them out of your house. Just make sure you empty the vacuums dust bag outside of the house, in a trash bag that’s going to get far away from your house, so you they can’t escape back into your house after getting vacuumed up.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a kind of dust made of finely ground fossils that contain silica. It’s a common pesticide used to kill bed bugs, cockroaches, crickets, fleas, ticks, and spiders. This powder can generally be used inside and outside buildings, on farms, in gardens, and in pet kennels. Depending on the powder you might be able to even use diatomaceous earth on your pet directly.

Diatomaceous earth is a great substance to use to get rid of bed bugs because it isn’t poisonous and it’s been categorized as safe by the FDA. It can even be found in food, medicines, and toothpastes. Regardless of it’s safety, always read the labels and instructions before using any product to get rid of or prevent pests.

How does diatomaceous earth work?
Diatomaceous earth gets rid of pests like bed bugs by drying them out. The dust absorbs all the oils in the insects body and they in essence, suffocate on dust. You can even buy diatomaceous earth on amazon.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs for Good

prevent bed bugs
 
One of the best ways to get rid of bed bugs for good is to hire a professional exterminator to come in and treat your home. These are some of the traditional ways to get rid of bed bugs if you don’t mind involving some chemical warfare into the process. After killing as many of the bugs as possible with pesticides, you’ll still need to take care of some key parts of the house to really make sure all the bugs are gone.

How to get rid of bed bugs in a mattress

Remove or get rid of infected bed sheets and mattresses. You can also treat infected mattresses by dusting them with diatomaceous earth.

How to get rid of bed bugs in clothes

Put all your bed sheets through the wash. They key is to use the hottest settings on the washer and dryer. You can do the same with clothes, pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals, or you can put these items in airtight bags for several days to try and suffocate any bugs left in them. You can also put them in below-freezing temperatures like a shed outside in winter or a freezer to freeze whatever bugs are left.

How to get rid of bed bugs in couch

Vacuum the couches thoroughly, including the couch cushions.

How to get rid of bed bugs everywhere else

Bed bugs can also reside in the walls, floors, and areas around the bed. So vacuum all the floors, especially the carpets, emptying the vacuum’s dust bin and taking that trash out to remove any vacuumed bugs from your home.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs PERMANENTLY

These tips are for those in dire need of some real results. Maybe you’ve tried everything else and they just didn’t work. If so, you can bring out the big guns against your bed bug problem to make sure the problem is really gone.
You can use chemicals to ensure you’re using maximum power against killing every last bug. Here are a couple common pesticides you could use:

  • pyrethrins
  • pyrethroids
  • desiccants
  • biochemicals
  • pyrroles
  • neonicotinoids
  • insect growth regulators

Some of these chemicals you can use yourself, but the best thing to do if you want to implement these harsher tactics is to call in a specialist to treat your house with these chemicals for you.

How to Prevent Bed Bugs

Here are some tips on how to protect your home from bed bugs in the first place.

  • Get a mattress protector or furniture covers.
  • Spray bed bug repellent to kill them before they multiply.
  • Be careful about getting secondhand furniture and clothes. Check them for bugs before allowing it in your home.
  • Be careful at shared laundry facilities where you’ll be around the clothes and sheets of many other people.
  • Keep the house clean and clutter free so bed bugs don’t have great places to hide out and make their homes.
  • Use bed bug monitor traps that will show you as soon as bed bugs arrive.
  • Make sure your house is sealed up, especially along the baseboards where bed bugs can start to hide out in the cracks.
  • Be careful of public places like hotels

 
Pests are a pretty big nuisance, and small parasites can become a nightmare as they infest your home like a virus. But like the common cold, there are measures you can take to eradicate your home of bed bugs once and for all. If you need help paying for everything you might need to get rid of the bed bugs, stop by Check City and use a Personal Loan.



READ MORE
To read more about bed bugs, check out the following informative articles from WebMD and Entomology.

Learn more about taking care of pets in your home by reading, “How to Make Your Home Pet Friendly.”

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