Pesky creepy crawlers that invade the most personal places of your home are more than troublesome. Bed bugs are also bad for your health. The bite from a bed bug is small, but can itch pretty badly and cause a rash for those sensitive to them. Learning how to spot and how to get rid of bed bugs naturally is something every family should know.
Spotting Bed Bugs
Bed bugs hop a ride into homes on second hand furniture, stuffed toys, mattresses and sometimes clothing. Unlike their name, bed bugs can infest any piece of furniture that has soft fabric for them to scurry around in. They love beds so much because it is where a person spends long periods of time and this allows them to feed.
- If you wake up with an itchy spot every morning it’s a good idea to check it out. Bed bugs bites are tiny red dots that can often be smaller than a mosquito bite.
- Check for blood stains on sheets, pillowcases or cushion covers. These will be small spots that were created when a bed bug bit you or a family member.
- Search mattresses, couches and chairs for fecal spots, egg shells or shed skin. These will be in areas that bed bugs can hide, such as in seams, in between cushions or between a mattress and the headboard.
- Look for the bugs themselves. Bed bugs have flat oval shaped bodies and are unable to fly. Adults grow only to about 6 mm in length. Adults are brownish red and juvenile bed bugs are either clear in color or bright red.
Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally
There are a number of ways to remove a bed bug infestation. Treatments run the gambit from chemical to the more natural. It’s always a good idea to try out natural remedies first before using the harsher chemical method.
- Wash every washable fabric that the bed bugs could have come in contact with. This includes sheets, blankets, pillowcases, furniture covers, clothing and washable toys. Use a hot wash cycle. This will help kill off any bugs in the fabrics.
- After a hot wash run everything through the dryer. Do not line dry these items. The high heat created in the dryer will work to kill off any eggs or bed bugs that somehow survived the wash.
- Vacuum what cannot go into the wash. The carpets under the bed, the mattress, couches and chairs can all be vacuumed. This will suck up a lot of the eggs or bugs. It will also unsettle them so you may be able to spot them roaming around and suck them up directly with the vacuum.
- Steam clean after vacuuming. The heat used to create the steam will kill bed bugs and their eggs. It will also clean away the mess they left behind.
- Wipe down hard services to remove any lingering traces of bed bugs. If you have hard floors instead of carpets then mop them.
- Use tree tea oil around the bed or couch to keep bed bugs away. Bed bugs avoid tree tea oil because of the strong odor it puts off.
- Place dried lavender between cushions and mattresses. The smell and taste of lavender repels bed bugs. You can also just use a concentrated liquid spray over the bed to repel the creepy pests.
- If after all of this there are still bed bugs infesting the mattress or furniture then you may have to just remove that piece from your home and buy a new one. If this is the case then you will need to vacuum carpet, wash curtains and wipe down walls and headboards before bringing in the new piece to make sure no bed bugs remain behind.
Natural Bed Bug Prevention
Once you’ve removed the bed bugs from your home there are a few things you can do to keep them from coming back. These are simple habits that won’t change much of your day to day life.
- Check any piece of furniture for signs of bed bugs before it comes into the home. If you find evidence of bed bugs but you still want the furniture quarantine the piece in a garage or storage building until you’ve gone through the debugging process.
- Wash all second hand clothing through at least one hot cycle in the washing machine and give it a run through the dryer for good measure.
- Invest in a mattress cover. Covers can be found that repel bed bugs, dust mites and other nasty creepers. They are often labeled as hypoallergenic and work very well to prevent pest infestations.
- Keep a regular cleaning cycle. Not only will this help your home look great it’ll also cut down on the possibility of bed bugs finding the time to scurry around long enough to lay eggs.
Learning how to get rid of bed bugs naturally and handling an infestation if it appears is important to you and your family’s health. It will also help you sleep better knowing that there are no creepy crawlers hanging around while your dreaming.