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How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

As kids, almost everyone hears the phrase “don’t let the bed bugs bite.” But it turns out that following that simple command can be complicated. Bed bugs are a nuisance that can create uncomfortable bites, and within your home, an infestation can take hold in numerous parts of your home.

While some people assume that a bed bug infestation means having to toss their mattress and all their furniture, with the proper approach and diligence, you can usually get rid of bed bugs without having to resort to this.

In this guide, we’ll cover all the key things that you need to know about bed bugs — what they are, how they get into your home, how to recognize them, how to prevent them, and how to get rid of them. We’ll also answer many of the frequently-asked questions about these frustrating pests and help connect you to useful resources to learn more.

What Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are a parasitic insect that feeds on human blood. The scientific name for these pests is Cimex lectulariusis. They are oval in shape and are generally flat with a brown or reddish-brown appearance. Their size ranges from 1-6 millimeters.

Bed Bugs Pest Control an Removal

Steam treatment can effectively kill all stages of bed bugs. To be effective, steam treatment must reach 150–180 degrees Fahrenheit (65 – 75 degrees C) for a sustained period.

Bed bugs are nocturnal, which is all the more reason why beds are a near-perfect habitat for them. They are drawn to people by CO2 (from our breath) and body heat. When they bite humans, they grow in size as they take in blood. They usually feed 1-2 times per week but can live a long period without a meal, in some cases up to 3 months. Bed bugs lay eggs in the same place where they feed, and after they lay eggs, it usually takes about 37 days for an egg to hatch and for the bed bug to reach its full size.

How Common Are Bed Bugs?

Unfortunately, bed bugs are a relatively common pest. Almost all exterminators report having handled cases of bed bugs, and the growth in global travel has made it easier for them to spread from one location to another. Orkin, the pest removal company, released a report based on the cities in the U.S. with the most bed bug treatments. The top 5 cities in 2017 were

  • Steam treatment can effectively kill all stages of bed bugs. To be effective, steam treatment must reach 150–180 degrees Fahrenheit (65 – 75 degrees C) for a sustained period.
  • Clothes dryers can be used for killing bed bugs in clothing and blankets. Infested clothes and bedding are first washed in hot water with laundry detergent then placed in the dryer, and then after the items are completely dry, continue drying for at least 20 minutes longer at high heat.
  • Placing belongings in a hot box, a device that provides sustained heat at temperatures that kills bedbugs, larvae, and eggs, but that does not damage clothing, is an option.
  • Early research shows that the common drug taken to get rid of parasitic worms, ivermectin (Stromectol), also kills bed bugs when taken by humans at normal doses.
  • Natural enemies of bed bugs include the masked hunter (or masked bed bug hunter) insect,cockroaches,ants, spiders (particularly Thanatus flavidus), mites, and centipedes (particularly the house centipede Scutigera coleoptrata).
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