Bed Bugs are not really big enough to see. They are very small insects that look like little black dots. However, they have many characteristics that make them different from other pests such as fleas or ants. For example, bed bugs cannot survive outside without human assistance; they can only live inside your home where there is no sunlight and they will die if their environment becomes too hot (which it usually does).
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs?
There are several ways to get rid of bed bugs. You can try all these methods at once or you can choose one method and stick with it. Here are some tips:
1) Use insecticidal soap or steam cleaner.
Insecticidal soaps kill bed bugs by killing their eggs and larvae. If you use a good product, then you won’t need to wash your clothes again after washing them!
Insecticidal soaps are available in most drug stores.
2) Spray with Lysol® DEET-based insecticide spray.
DEET kills bed bugs by causing them to freeze up when exposed to light. If you don’t want to spend money on a pesticide, then just buy Lysol® DEET-based insecticide spray which is readily available at any supermarket or health food store.
To prepare for the spray, you need to make a protective net over your bed. Use a large plastic garbage bag and place it loosely over your bed (don’t seal the top of the bag).
Then get some sticky tape and tape the bottom of the bag to your bed frame. This way, any bed bugs that get caught in the bag will not be able to crawl back out.
Spray the bed and the floor around it (as well as any other furniture in the bedroom) with the insecticide. You do not need to apply a lot of it, simply use just enough to wet everything.
Then wait about 2 hours and place the bag over your mattress and seal it tightly. Wait another 48 hours before removing the bag. Any bugs in the bag should now be dead.
3) Get a bed bug heating device to get rid of bed bugs.
If you are really in a hurry, then you can buy a special bed bug heater that will (literally) cook any bed bugs that are hiding in your mattress. You can buy one of these online or at any major department store.
To use it, simply plug it in and turn it on. The mattress should be kept at about 120 degrees F for about an hour or two. This temperature will kill all the bed bugs and their eggs.
4) Get a bed bug steamer to get rid of bed bugs.
If you prefer, you can buy a bed bug steamer online or at any major department store. Steaming is a non-toxic method that does not leave dangerous chemical residues behind.
Use the steamer to “blast” the inside of your mattress. This should be done until all of the “black dots” turn red (which means they are now dead).
5) Get a bed bug interceptor to get rid of bed bugs.
You can also place thin strips of cardboard (cut up into 1 inch strips) around the legs of your bed. The cardboard will act as a barrier so that the bugs cannot crawl up onto your bed.
6) Vacuum the bed bugs to get rid of bed bugs.
This is probably the least effective method since it takes such a long time but is worth a try. Simply vacuum your mattress very well.
This should remove some of the bed bugs (and their eggs).
7) Throw away your mattress to get rid of bed bugs.
Unfortunately, the only sure fire way to get rid of bed bugs is to throw away everything that they have come into contact with. You may not want to throw away your mattress since it is expensive to buy a new one.
(You can try to save money by buying a used one though). Throw away your bed sheets and pillow cases. Also, throw away your curtains and any other fabric that may harbor bed bugs.
Remember, if the problem is really bad, you may need to throw away your couch and other upholstered furniture. You may want to call an exterminator since you may be unable to solve the problem yourself.
Do you know how to get rid of carpet beetles?
Carpet beetles do not bite and are not known to spread diseases. They are simply a nuisance and tend to like dark isolated places. The most likely place you will find carpet beetles is in your clothing, especially if it is stored in the basement or attic. Carpet beetles will also be found in your carpets and rugs. If not removed, they will lead to much more expensive damage as they tend to eat clothing (especially wool) and carpets.
1) Find and remove the carpet beetles.
Check your basement, especially in dark corners and closets. Check your attic as well, as that is a favorite place for these pests.
Also check any clothing or blankets that you haven’t used in a while. If you find any beetles, gather them in a jar (with the lid on tight!) and release them a few miles away from your house.
2) Clean your clothing and carpeting.
Since carpet beetles are known to eat clothing and carpets, you will want to thoroughly clean them. Carpets should be taken to a dry cleaner, while any fabric items should be washed (in hot water).
Remember to check the dry cleaning bag before you pick up your clothes!
3) Examine your house for cracks and crevices.
Carpet beetles need a dark place to breed and lay their eggs. Look around your house for any cracks or crevices.
Fill in any small cracks with wood putty or liquid nails. Fill in any large cracks with cement. Crevices are a little harder to fill, but be persistent and look around your basement, foundation, windows, doors, and even your dryer vent. If you look around you should be able to find all the crevices in your home.
4) Install insect screens.
Once you have filled in all the cracks and crevices, install screens on your windows. This will prevent any unwanted visitors.
5) Exterminate your home.
Finally, hire an exterminator to examine your home from top to bottom. Have them fill in any cracks or crevices they find and install screens on your windows.
This will make your home bed bug proof.
Do you have fire ants in your yard?
If you do, you have my sympathies. Fire ants can ruin any outdoor activity. They sting viciously and are impossible to get rid of completely. The good news is that you can get rid of fire ants from your yard (and your home).
1) Start outside your home.
Find all of the mounds in your yard. Fire ants love to live under bricks and stones, so check there first.
If you find a mound, pour boiling water over it (you can also use an acid, but be careful not to damage plants near the mound). Be sure to get every ant.
2) Create a barrier between your yard and the ants’ home.
Fire ants love to travel. They will follow a trail of food back to their home.
What you want to do is pick up any food that the ants might find and sweep a barrier between your yard and the fire ant home.
Sources & references used in this article:
Mark-release-recapture reveals extensive movement of bed bugs (Cimex lectularius L.) within and between apartments by R Cooper, C Wang, N Singh – PloS one, 2015 – journals.plos.org
Bed bugs revisited by MJ Lavery, LC Parish – Skinmed, 2011 – academia.edu
Systems, Devices, and Methods for Protection From Bedbugs by HL Friend – US Patent App. 13/108,403, 2012 – Google Patents
DDT for control of bedbugs in poultry houses by WM Kulash – Poultry Science, 1947 – Elsevier
Bedbugs-back from the brink by C Boase – Pesticide Outlook, 2001 – pubs.rsc.org