Bed bugs are a parasitic insect that feeds off of human blood. These insects are known for being difficult to get rid of. When it comes to treating infestations, pest control experts or exterminators are the common ways to go. Fortunately, there are a couple ways to cure the problem. You can inscetatides, or the mechanical / natural approach.
There are 300 registered products under seven main chemical classes of pesticides. These are the chemicals that pest control experts and exterminators would use on your home to cure the problem. These are also found in store-bought products that kill bed bugs.
The Seven Chemical Classes
Pyrethrins: These are the most common compounds used to control bed bugs. Pyrethrins are plant related or “botanical” insecticides extracted from chrysanthemum flowers.
Pyrethroids: Pyrethroids act like pyrethrins, but they are synthetic chemical insecticides. Both of these kill bed bugs and flush them out of their hiding places.
Desiccants: These are made with the purpose of damaging the waxy, protective outer coating of a bed bug. After their coating is destroyed, the bed bugs with slowly become dehydrated and die.
Biochemicals: Neem oil that’s cold pressed is used to kill bed bugs. The seeds of the Neem tree are pressed to produce the oil. This oil contains a variety of compounds that have medicinal and insecticidal properties.
Pyrroles: The only pyrrole pesticide registered for the use against bed bugs is Chlorfenapyr. This is a pesticide that’s also a pro-insecticide. This means that after it enters the host it becomes metabolized into an active insecticide.
Neonicotinoids: These are synthetic forms of nicotine that act on the nicotinic receptors of the nervous system. This causes those nerves to continually fire until they malfunction. Bed bugs that are resistant to other pesticides will be vulnerable to the neonicotinoid.
Insect Growth Regulators: These are chemicals that imitate juvenile growth hormones in insects. They either work by changing the insect’s way of maturing, or by modifying the production of chitin (the compound insects use to produce their exoskeleton). The insects may develop too quickly or cease development overall.
The Mechanical / Natural Approach
Other than the pesticides, the natural approach is the other alternative solution. For this method, you would just have to vacuum the infected areas and continue to do several more times. You might consider using a steam cleaner that produces dry steam and reaches the temperature of at least 200°F (93.4°C). High heats are extremely important when it comes to getting rid of bed bugs and sanitizing those infected areas. Be sure set the washer to high temperatures and put all contaminated clothing, sheets, covers, and soft toys inside. To sanitize everything from the wash, put the dryer on high heat for at least 15 minutes. When everything is done drying, put them away in plastic bins or anything else that can seal them away from the infected areas.
Natural Remedies and Preventatives
Dried or Fresh Herbs
To make sure bed bugs stay away, you can use dried or fresh plants such as eucalyptus, lavender, mint, and rosemary throughout your house. Put these herbs in sachets in your dresser and linen closet. You could even tie them up in bundles and hang them in your closet. Bed bugs and most other insects loathe the smell of these herbs, so they’ll be sure to stay away.
Essential oils can also be a solution to ward off bed bugs in your home. The oils that work best on bed bugs are citronella, eucalyptus, lavender, mint, rosemary, and tea tree. However, if you have pets, use cautiously since it can be toxic to your animals. Some of the ways you can use these oils are rubbing them onto your bed frame, adding a few drops into your laundry, or making a spray. To make the spray just add a few drops of the essential oil into a spray bottle, then add a half a cup of water. You can use this spray on your bedding, carpet, and linens.
Diatomaceous earth is a great natural method to kill and to keep bed bugs out of your room or house. All you have to do is scatter some diatomaceous earth that is pesticide grade around your room and doorways and window sills.
Dryer sheets is another alternative strategy to get rid of bed bugs. Place 8 to 10 dryer sheets between your box spring and the mattress. Then you can place 8 to 10 more under the sheets on your bed. Bed bugs are sensitive to strong smells, especially if you use lavender scented dryer sheets.
Mattress & Pillow Covers
Non-permeable mattress and pillow covers also work for a preventive against bed bugs. These covers are easy to wash and they don’t have seams for bed bugs to hide in.
Bug interceptors work as a way to keep the bed bugs away. Install them underneath all feet of your bed frame. These will keep bed bugs from finding a way up into your bed. You can also make these yourself. Get some plastic bowls or dishes and place them underneath all feet on your bed frame. Have the inner bowl with nothing inside it to keep the leg of the frame dry. The outer bowl should be filled with soapy water so it can drown the bugs that try to get into your bed.