We have all heard the pleasant old rhyme for bedtime that says, “sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite.” While no one can say where this charming piece of poetry originated, it certainly had something to do with a particularly gruesome and parasitic nightly visitor that has plagued human habitations since time immemorial — the bed bug.
As their name implies, the bed bug loves to cuddle up nice and cozy and seeks nothing less than the best, the master bedroom. But bed bugs will also be found in furniture and rugs in all sorts of places, from hotels to dormitories and often go undetected due to their minuscule size.
The most common way that humans are alerted to the presence of bed bugs is through their tell-tale bite marks that are laid out in a row. Bed bugs that have become engorged with blood may also be visible to the naked eye. Bed bugs that get squashed during or on their trip back from their ghastly feast will leave small round blood stains on the sheets or fabrics.
Bedbugs can be an especially difficult menace to eliminate. They have been in such proximity to humans for so long that they have devised numerous methods of avoiding elimination. If you have found yourself best affected by a plague of bed bugs, apply the following tips to keep these creatures at bay.
Prevent the Spread
If you have reason to believe that a particular piece of furniture, a mattress, a couch, or even an entire room has been infected with a bed bug presence, this must be isolated from the rest of the home. Don’t relocate anything until you are sure how far the infection goes. Bed bugs are hitchhikers and move from one location to another by hiding in bags, clothes, pockets, books, etc.
Place everything that is infected with bed bugs in a bag to be washed in the washing machine at high temperatures. Then place them in the dryer at the highest possible settings. Dry all your bedding thoroughly and place it in black trash bags that will also undergo this scathing cleaning.
Any clothing that is kept in dressers and costs that could be infected with bedbugs is most likely infected with bed bugs. This should all be addressed in the same way that the rest of the items of bedding or furniture should be addressed. Do not place anything that could be infected in a room that might not be infected because this increases the chances of cross-infection.
There will still be books, toys, frames, and electronics that can’t be washed in hot water and thrown in the dryer. Other than heat treatment, the only other option would be a chemical attack on hitch-hiking bed bugs. It should be noticed that bed bugs have considerable resistance to toxic attack, so the insecticide you choose for the task will have to be chosen by a local expert for efficacy and applied precisely to ensure that all bed bugs are eliminated — break out the magnifying glass!
Then all items treated with insecticides will have to be thoroughly cleansed before they can be placed back in the home where they will be handled by humans. If you are heat treating any item, make sure they contain no components that could be damaged by heat or water.
Store all cleaned items away from infected areas of the home until treatment has been completed and all bedbugs eliminated. Vacuum all floors and other surfaces like furniture and mattresses. To keep vacuum bed bugs from escaping, place the vacuum bag into another plastic bag before disposal.
Clean the Room
The entire room will need to be cleaned as well, and all vestiges of bedbugs and their homes are utterly irradiated. Short from a tactical nuke, steam cleaning has been one of the most effective means of eliminating bed bugs from floor fabrics, floor boards, dressers, and anything else that can withstand heat and water. Some mattresses and box springs can withstand this treatment as well.
Cluttered homes are more susceptible to bed bug attacks, and therefore it behooves you to keep your home organized and well-cleaned. To reduce the threat of bedbug attacks, make sure you regularly clean and sanitize your home. This should be done with greater frequency after you have eliminated the bed bugs once from your home.
Final Notes on Bed Bug Treatment
After you have eliminated the bedbugs from your home once, you must always be on the lookout for bed bugs that can attack again. You may need to repeat the cleaning process with greater intensity and precision within a few months. But with dedicated efforts and eternal vigilance, you will beat back the vampires and live in freedom and good health.