Bed bug infestations are a risk everyone shares equally. They are not restricted to certain climates or only take place in specific homes. A bed bug residing in a hotel can enter a suitcase and travel home with an unsuspecting victim or the recipient of grandma's old love seat may discover it comes with more than throw pillows. The fastest, most reliable method of eradication is with the help of a qualified pest control service, but many people have to wait for their help because of their budget. During this time there are things people can do at home to protect themselves.
Protect the Bed
Bedbugs are not always found in beds, but this is one of their most common hangouts. They often establish their communities in mattresses since a sleeping human is an easy target. There is no reason to throw out a mattress unless the infestation is severe. In fact, purchasing a new bed before treatment will only lead to the new bed becoming infested. Instead, purchase an encasement for the mattress and box spring. These air-tight covers will kill bed bugs trapped inside and prevent new ones from infesting the mattress because of its slick, non-porous material. An added bonus is that the encasement may also help with allergies because they lock in dander and dust mites on the mattress too.
Get Some Traps
Bed bug traps will do very little to combat a large infestation. What they will do is allow people to identify where the bugs are residing in the home. This makes it easier for homeowners and exterminators to pinpoint the location of the infestation and treat it effectively. Purchase several traps and leave them scattered around the home. Move the traps to a new area if no bugs are caught within a couple of days.
Use Natural Pesticides Diatomaceous earth is the fossilized remains of a species of hard-shelled algae. The powder breaks down the waxy layer of insect exoskeletons and causes them to dehydrate and die. Bed bugs are killed when they walk through the material. Food grade diatomaceous earth is commonly used for this purpose and it is safe for humans and pets. Sprinkle it around the inside perimeter of each room and across the edges of affected mattresses. The product has no odor and only a small amount is needed.
Clean the House It is important to increase household chores when bed bugs appear. Vacuum daily, wash sheets and blankets every couple of days and thoroughly clean all soft furnishings. Wash all clothing and bedding in hot water and bleach fabrics whenever possible. Rent or purchase a steam cleaner and use it around the entire home. The heat from the steam is high enough to kill any bugs it comes in contact with. Remember the cracks between floor boards, around walls and windows and along the edges of bed frames. Bed bugs will hide anywhere they can fit.
These methods are a useful way to help control bed bug numbers while saving for an exterminator. The important thing to remember is that bed bugs are annoying, but not dangerous. Unless someone has a severe allergy to their bites there is no reason to panic. Natural methods of bug removal are safer for pets, children and the environment and many pest control services (like Environmental Services Pest Control) are even offering green eradication methods whenever possible.