Two Home Remedies I Used To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs
I remember like it was yesterday, waking up in a sleepy haze to see something small crawling on my elbow. I quickly cupped it in my hand and plopped it in between the pages of a small book on the table next to my bed. I hate bugs, but this one looked harmless enough almost like a beetle. I wish it were a beetle.
After stepping on the book to make sure the bug was squished and dead, I reopened to see a brown flat bug, but I still had no idea what it was. Curious, I sat down at the computer to look up bug pictures. Since someone close to me was having bed bug issues, I started with pictures of bed bugs first. Sure enough the creature that I smashed in my book was a bed bug.
That’s when the research began. I had to know exactly what I was dealing with. What were they? Where did they come from? Where do they live when they invade your home? From a conversation with my close friend I knew that the cost of extermination was in the thousands. A professional quoted her between $2500 and $5000 for bed bug treatment. Ouch!
I learned a lot about the blood sucking night walking creatures including where to look for them and how to get rid of them. The first place I checked was my mattress and I didn’t see anything. So I went to my son’s room to check his mattress and sure enough there were little brown shells along the lining of his mattress. According to what I’d read when bed bugs also known as Cimex lectularius, grow they shed their shell-skins and leave them behind in places like the crease of mattresses.
So online I went to order mattress and box spring covers as well as Cimex lectularius spray and a powder called D Earth. But I also needed to know what to do in the mean time while I waited for these products to be delivered.
My research on bed bug detection helped me understand that vacuuming was a major part of getting rid of them. Steam cleaning is best as the heat kills bugs around 120 degrees. So I steam vacuumed our mattresses and any upholstered furniture in my home.
I instructed my son to vacuum his room; bag up all loose items in his room; tie the bags tightly and place them in the garage. I did the same. All of this took about a week to complete. Each day we went about removing pictures from the walls, washing clothes and linens in hot water; and removing clutter from beneath beds, etc.
During my research I also read about certain home remedies Cimex lectularius cannot survive. Two in particular, Clorox bleach and rubbing alcohol. I read that these were effective at killing bed bugs on contact as well as killing the little translucent eggs, I purchased those products immediately and they worked. Both the bleach and the alcohol killed them on contact. I washed down anything I could with bleach that wouldn’t fade and sprayed and wiped everything else with alcohol. All curtains were removed and washed in hot water.
When the bed bug spray came I removed the drawers from dressers and sprayed inside them. When then covered mattresses and box springs. I applied D-Earth around the base boards, in corners cracks, and behind plug plates on the walls.
The next morning I saw bed bugs crawling out and dying. I was so shocked because I had no idea these bugs were in my home. I was shocked, disgusted, and somewhat embarrassed honestly. But I can say today that my home is bug free.
If you are having a problem with bed bugs, I hope the information I’ve shared above about getting rid of them is helpful. I’m going to call a professional to follow-up. However, I believe the methods I used above helped me kill bed bugs myself. And if there is a cost involved for an professional, I believe it’s a lot less now than it would have been initially.
I will continue to wash, clean, spray, and apply D-earth until I feel comfortable with stopping. From this day forward I am very careful I travel; visit other people; or try on clothing in department stores. You just never know where these bed bugs are hiding just waiting to hitch a ride home with you.