If you have ever had to deal with a bed bug infestation in your home then you know how hard it is to eliminate these nasty bugs. Bed bugs will cause you to itch and they can really be problematic when they get on mattresses and keep you up all night thus reducing the quality of your sleep.
You may have taken the best measure to sleep well such as eating right, maintaining a predictable sleep routine, sipping the best tea to help you sleep etc. but, bed bugs will cause you to itch and will keep you up all night thus reducing the quality of your sleep.
How Do You Get a Bed Bug Infestation?
Your bed bug infestation may come from a number of different sources. The most common sources are usually related to bringing items home that was already infested or from traveling.
The following is a list of some of the other sources of bed bug infestation at your home:
- Walking into your home with clothes or luggage that is already infested.
- Staying in motels or resorts that have been infested with bed bugs.
- Moving into apartments that are already infested.
- Sitting in movie theaters that have a bed bug infestation.
- Sitting in parks and public areas that have bed bugs.
- Getting bedding that already has bed bugs or their eggs.
- You can get an infestation from packaging or boxes that already contain bed bugs.
- You may also carry bed bugs to your home through purses and backpacks which have been infected.
- By bringing home used furniture which has been infested.
There are certain factors that can increase your chances of getting bed bug infestation on your mattresses. These include:
- Having dirty sheets on your bed.
- Pilling dirty laundry in your bedroom.
- Having very poor hygiene habits.
- Not inspecting your luggage and clothes after traveling using public means.
Bed bugs are usually nocturnal creatures and thus tend to be very active at night. These insects are attracted by the carbon dioxide emitted by people when they are asleep as well as the warmth emitted from their bodies during the night.
This makes furniture such as beds and sofas easy targets for bed bug infestation as this is where the attracting factors are highly concentrated.
How to Detect Bed Bugs in Your Bed
Noticing that you have been infested with bed bugs is not that difficult. There are times where it can get a bit confusing to know whether or not bed bugs are the ones responsible for the itchy bite marks you have or if it’s another biting/stinging insect.
If you want to be sure you have bed bugs on your mattress you should check for the following signs:
- Strong scent of coriander in the bedroom.
- Look for red itchy marks on your body though most people do not have a reaction to bed bugs bites.
- Check under the mattress for small white eggshells.
- Check for blood stains on your pillows and bed sheets.
- Check for live moving/stationary bed bugs on the bed including headboard and bedding.
How to Remove Bed Bugs From a Mattress
The following are the DIY tips and steps to help you remove any bed bugs including their eggs. These tips will effectively ensure that you remain bed bug-free.
Step 1: Isolate the Bed Bugs
The first thing you should do is to isolate the bed bugs along with the infested bed and mattress to one area so that you can create an area free of infestation. Ensure that your bed is not close to any walls or furniture. You should preferably place it in the middle of the room.
If your mattress or any other part of the bed rack is in contact with the floor, you should ensure that it is elevated and that it remains so for the whole process. Since bed bugs can only crawl up your bed, by doing this, you will have them trapped as they crawl up the legs of the bed.
By ensuring that your bed remains elevated you will minimize the number of bed bugs that get to your mattress.
You should proceed to set bed bugs traps on the legs of your bed. This ensures that the bed bugs get trapped when they crawl up the legs thus preventing them from getting to your mattress.
Step 2: Use Heat to Kill the Bed Bugs
Here you should start by stripping your bed of all bedding and throw all of them in the washing machine using the highest possible heat settings to clean and dry them.
You are probably wondering what the right temperature is to kill bed bugs- the answer depends on the length of time the temperature will be maintained. If you are using a minimum temperature of 113 degrees Fahrenheit then you will want to run the machine for at least 90 minutes so as to kill the bugs.
If you want to kill the nasty bugs in less than 30 minutes then you should use a temperature of 118 degrees Fahrenheit or more. It can be a bit difficult to kill the bed bug eggs. You should expose them to a temperature of at least 118 degrees Fahrenheit and above for a minimum period of 90 minutes so as to kill all of the eggs.
Most cloth driers usually have a maximum heat setting of 120 degrees Fahrenheit and thus the bugs and their eggs will probably be killed in about 30 minutes. Just to be on the safe side, expose your bedding to the maximum temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit for 90 minutes to ensure that all the eggs and bed bugs die.
Killing the bugs on the mattress can be a bit challenging since you cannot simply throw the mattress in the washing machine. Your best option is to use a professional steaming machine to kill the bugs on your bed along with the eggs. Most steamers will reach a temperature of 114 degrees Fahrenheit which will be able to kill both the bed bugs and their eggs.
Steam heat the mattress in a slow methodical manner; ensure that you concentrate the steam on all areas of the mattress to kill all the bugs as well as the eggs. The tip of your steamer should be positioned at least an inch from your mattress, for optimal proximity to effectively kill the bugs.
You should also make sure that you cover the tip with a cloth so as to avoid blowing any bugs along with eggs to other parts of your room with the steam being emitted. This whole process will take about 6 hours to complete. Do not forget to steam even the bed rack in order to kill any bugs or eggs hiding there
Step 3: To Kill Any Remaining Bed Bugs Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth (De)
This is the final step in ensuring that your mattress is bedbug-free; here you will be working to ensure that you kill any remaining bed bugs/eggs on the mattress or bed from the previous two steps.
Food grade DE is what you need because of its effectiveness in killing bed bugs. Diatomaceous earth is fossilized sea creatures called diatoms, whose bodies are rich in silicon dioxide which is poisonous to bed bugs. When it gets into contact with the bed bug’s body, it is absorbed and it then absorbs all the body fats and oils to kill them.
Use a mattress cover to seal off your mattress to prevent any bugs from escaping while using DE. The mattress must also be dry before sprinkling diatomaceous earth on it. Avoid a reaction with DE by wearing gloves and a mask when sprinkling it, and apply it on every inch of your mattress to ensure that all bed bugs get in contact with it.
After sprinkling the powder, you must seal the mattress in a mattress cover to prevent them from escaping.
Having bed bugs around is very disgusting and uncomfortable as well. Most times these bugs are associated with poor hygiene habits and filth which is embarrassing for a lot of people.
Also, these little bugs could be the reason for your tossing and turning despite having taken all the right steps to sleep well. You should always ensure that your home is bed bug-free by keeping it clean and also taking caution not to bring these nasty bugs into your home.
If you are unable to eliminate the bed bugs by yourself, seek out professional help to kill them for you since they have the skills and right tools to get it done. This is especially the case if the infestation has covered too much of your house and therefore, fumigation is required.
Remember that throwing away your mattress is not always the only solution.