Bed bug bites don't often hurt. But there are instances where a bed bug bite can elicit allergic reactions such as skin irritation, rashes or even infections. These blood suckers don't pick out their victims and it's best to know how to prevent and control their infestation.
Know the Facts
To prevent these bugs from invading your home or apartment, it's important to learn what they are and how they grow. They often thrive in well protected crevices and as their name implies, on beds and mattresses. Bed bugs are brown wingless insects that span less than an inch. They can survive for extended periods of time so getting rid of them is important.
To avoid bites from these blood suckers, the most important thing to do is to identify places where they could grow and will possibly thrive. The first things to check include the mattress, the bed frame, and areas near the bed. They also live on furniture, cracks and holes, luggage and even on clothes. Examine the whole bedroom and house thoroughly if there's evidence of an infestation. Simple bite marks on the skin and blood stains on the bed sheet are good indicators that they are around.
Cleaning is one the best ways to stay bed bug free. Always make it a point to clean the house and the bedroom. If possible, scrub areas and wipe furniture clean. Cleaning helps remove these pests from their "harborages" or safe havens. One of most effective ways to clean the house from these bugs is through the use of vacuum. Make sure to vacuum areas thoroughly and wipe them clean afterwards.
Steam cleaning can help kill existing bed bugs. They are not tolerant to extreme pressure so exposing them to the steamer can effectively kill them. Make sure to apply sufficient heat on surfaces.
Wash Fabrics Regularly
Blankets, pillow cases, mattress, and sofa covers should be washed regularly using hot water. Hot water kills these pests instantly. A good routine would be to wash fabrics once a week.
Expose Items to Extreme Heat
Likewise, for items that can't be laundered, it's best to seal them in plastic bags and expose them to the sun. The sun's heat is often sufficient enough to kill any bugs present.
Go For Natural
While pesticides are often used to stop insect infestations, it shouldn't be used to treat a bed bug infestation. Oftentimes, they thrive in areas where people frequently rest and hang around. It wouldn't be too healthy for any person to be exposed to pesticides and its residues.
Diatomaceous soil is a good natural treatment for these critters. Diatomaceous soil contains jagged fossils that can easily cut insects. They can be placed in cracks and crevices where the bugs thrive and flourish.
Caulk may be used to block the bugs from entering cracks and holes inside the house. It's often hard for bed bugs to penetrate caulk.
It's also possible to get rid of bed bugs by exposing things to extreme cold. During winter, seal items in plastic covers and leave them out in the cold for some time.
If all else fails then it's necessary to call in professional pest exterminators. They'll know what to do and how to handle bed bugs and what to do to prevent them from coming again