Are there dark spots in the seam of your mattress? Are you waking up to bites, welts and itchy rashes? You may have a bed bug infestation. Here are seven tips for getting rid of them as quickly as possible.
1. Identify the Problem Areas
Where’s the infestation? Is it contained to one room or one mattress? Bed bugs can travel quickly, so if only a few areas in your home are affected, take immediate action to ensure that they don’t spread.
2. Encase the Mattress
Most mattresses will need to be discarded after an infestation, but if you catch it early, or if you’re determined to save your bed no matter what, you can purchase special bed bug covers from places like BedBug.com. They’ll trap the pests inside the liner and starve them to death.
3. Declutter the Space
Bed bugs can hide in everything from the bed frame to the boxes that you have stored underneath it. Make sure that you target all of them when cleaning house, or they’ll just breed and trouble you again in several weeks.
4. Use Sprays and Pesticides
You won’t want to use chemicals on a bad infestation; you’ll run out of spray before you run out of bugs. Once you’ve eliminated the worst of the swarm, however, it’s okay to start picking off the remaining insects one by one.
5. Clean the Carpet
Bed bugs can be hard to detect in dark carpets, but once their “homes” are covered in pesticides and plastic liners, they’ll need somewhere new to hide and regroup. Don’t let them get comfortable. Scour every inch of your carpet, including the cracks and crevices where it meets the wall.
6. Bake Your Sheets
To be sure that the bedbugs are gone, wrap plastic around your pillows, covers and comforters and then leave them in the sun for a few days. Sustained exposure to temperatures above 120°F will kill both the adult insects and their eggs.
7. Clean Your Washing Machine
Bed bugs might be clinging to the interior of your washing machine after your last load, so grab a flashlight and give it a thorough inspection. You might want to clean it, too, just to be safe.
If you’re tired of tossing, turning and scratching, these are just seven tips for ridding yourself of bed bugs once and for all. Good luck!