What Kills Bed Bugs and Their Eggs?
If you’re facing a bed bug infestation, you need to act quickly to control the problem. While there are many at home remedies you can try, be sure to do your research to know which do-it-yourself treatment will actually work and which ones will waste your time—and your money. Let’s start with a few of these remedies that simply don’t work:
DRYER SHEETS WON’T KILL BED BUGS
Contrary to what many people believe, placing dryer sheets on furniture or in your closets to repel bed bugs simply doesn’t work. The same can be said for plant oil-based repellents containing pyrethroids or plant oil. Based on research conducted at Rutgers University, no data shows that either method will prevent a bed bug infestation.
FREQUENT WASHING AND DRYING CAN KILL BED BUGS AND EGGS
Washing and drying your clothes and linens in hot water is an effective way to prevent and kill bed bugs and their eggs. It’s also important to wash and dry any other washable fabrics in your home, including items like couch covers.
Signs of Infestation
If you wake up with itchy areas you didn’t have when you went to sleep, you may have bedbugs, particularly if you got a used bed or other used furniture around the time the bites started. Other signs that you have bedbugs include:
- Blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases
- Dark or rusty spots of bedbug excrement on sheets and mattresses, bed clothes, and walls
- Bedbug fecal spots, egg shells, or shed skins in areas where bedbugs hide
- An offensive, musty odor from the bugs’ scent glands
Also, check the area around the bed, including inside books, telephones or radios, the edge of the carpet, and even in electrical outlets. Check your closet, because bedbugs can attach to clothing. If you are uncertain about signs of bedbugs, call an exterminator, who will know what to look for.
Can Salt Kill Bed Bugs?
Like most ideas that sound too good to be true, the suggestion to use salt to kill bed bugs simply doesn’t pan out. Bed bug experts on the Bedbugger forum went as far as to run trials with live bed bugs exposed to salt to see what would happen. After a few days of observation, it became abundantly clear that the table salt was having no adverse effects on the bed bugs in the testing area.
Not only will salt not work on bed bugs, but neither will most of the other home remedies you hear about on the Internet. We hear about them every day: rubbing alcohol, cedar oil, eucalyptus, and even household cleaners like Fabuloso are thought to work against bed bugs. These are recommended all the time, but they are not the answer to your bed bug problems.
How to keep bed bugs away naturally?
There are a few ‘natural’ steps you can take to get rid of bed bugs:
- Vacuum– Vacuuming will help you get rid of adult bed bugs, their eggs as well as the larvae. It is a great method of reducing hiding places for bugs.
- Diatomaceous Earth– DE powder is readily available in health food stores and home improvement stores. Buy a huge packet as you will need to use a lot of it. Make sure you treat all the rooms n your home. Sprinkle the DE powder all over your house-under the beds, furniture, in the box springs etc. Let it remain for 3 days. Then vacuum again. Diatomaceous earth rips the bed bugs’ exoskeletons and kills them instantly. Make sure the bugs come in contact with the powder – so apply it near the bed’s legs, in the headboards etc. Avoid sleeping in the treated rooms since this powder can be harmful for human lungs.
- Seal up all cracks and crevices– Caulk the cracks and crevices to prevent new bed bugs from entering your premises from neighboring houses.
- Wash all bedding in hottest settings of washer and dryers- Heat kills bed bugs instantly so wash all the bedding/ linen in hot water and bleach where applicable.
- Pull out all carpets right down to the hardwood floor. Spray natural bed bug sprays like Eco-Defense or lavender/tea tree oil. Continue using the DE earth powder. You must also continue this regime for the rest of your life!
Time to Treat
Now that you know what you’re up against, it’s time to wage war. There are a lot of different ways to get rid of bed bugs. The best way is to learn about the different methods available and combine them all.
Put All Fabrics in the Dryer
Take all the clothing, bed sheets, curtains, etc. out of infested rooms and throw them in the dryer. One full cycle in the dryer will kill them. Make sure not to overfill the dryer, though. If there are too many clothes in the dryer, the heat will not get to everything, and it won’t kill them all, so do smaller loads.
Your vacuum is going to be your best friend during this process. It’s a quick and effective way to suck up bugs, including the almost invisible babies.
- Take the sheets and blankets off the bed, and then vacuum every single inch. The sides, the underside, literally everywhere.
- After that, dry the sheets and put them back on the bed. Repeat this process every couple of days.
- Vacuum everything in the house in the same manner, like the couches, chairs, other beds, etc. Even if something is not infested, this will make sure that a stray bed bug hasn’t found its way over there.
- After you’re done, empty the vacuum into a plastic trash bag, tie it tightly so they can’t crawl out, and toss it in the trash.
Use Rubbing Alcohol
This is a great spot treatment. Rubbing alcohol will instantly kill a bed bug on contact.
- Pick up a big jug of rubbing alcohol that is at least 95%.
- Put on a mask (the smell can be pretty strong) and use it to get into the hard to reach areas.
- For example, they can hide deep inside the couch where the vacuum can’t reach. Dumping rubbing alcohol onto those areas will kill the bed bugs on contact.
- Do this daily for two weeks and you’ll see a tremendous difference.
Steam is great to get rid of bed bugs because it kills both the bugs and the eggs. Things like rubbing alcohol don’t kill the eggs. The vacuum won’t get the eggs, either. Bed bugs secure their eggs to surfaces with a glue that means no amount of suction is going to pull them off.
Picking up a good steamer is a great way to kill the eggs. A steam mop with a built-in steam is ideal, especially for wood floors. Bed bugs can hide in between those cracks, too. The detachable steamer can be used on dressers, couches, and so on.