Got a bed bug problem at home? You don’t need to use harmful chemicals to get rid of those annoying, bloodsucking-critters. There are great home remedies to get rid of bed bugs.
With the growing concern over using chemical pesticides where we live, eat, and sleep. It’s a welcome relief to use natural homemade remedies to tackle a bedbug problem.
Bedbugs are some of the worst pests that can attack our homes. A bedbug infestation can induce panic because getting rid of bedbugs takes will. Luckily, natural, affordable, easy to find home remedies can send these critters packing for good. We explore these remedies here:
1- What are bedbugs?
Bedbugs are small, reddish-brown, oval-shaped, flat-bodied insects that feed on human blood. This tiny critters, the size of an apple seed, can fit in almost any nook and cranny.
They come out to feed during the night when their meal (humans) are unaware. The adult bedbug looks flat when empty and round when full.
These blood-sucking vampire insects are fertile too. One adult bedbug lays up to 250 eggs, which means they populate fast. So, acting quickly once you suspect a bedbug problem is paramount.
2- How can you tell you have bedbugs?
So, how can you tell if you have bedbugs? Easy, if you notice sudden uniform bite marks that weren’t there before, then you have bedbugs.
Bedbug bite marks form reddish welts that have a dark red core. These bite marks often occur in a row form, or in clusters of three. Bedbugs don’t satisfy easily, so they like to go for seconds and thirds.
You can also tell you have bedbugs when you smell a distinct, musty, coriander-like scent. Or if you notice dark or rusty looking small stains on your beddings.
If you notice any one of these signs, inspect your entire bed, closets, furniture and act quickly using the following home remedies.
How Can I Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally?
1- Launder beddings, clothes, and fabric toys:
When you realize you have a bedbug infestation start by washing everything that has been in contact with the affected area. Bedbugs are killed by high heat.
Launder all your clothing, beddings, and soft toys with hot water of at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Or place clean clothes in the heated dryer for at least 30 minutes. This will kill all the bugs including their eggs.
For fabrics which are sensitive to heat, freeze them in 0-degree conditions. Take such garments, place them in a plastic bag, and put them in the freezer.
Ensure you set the freezer to 0 degrees for this method to work. You can leave them in there for up to 5 days.
3- Steam clean:
Next, steam clean your mattress, beddings, and upholstery. Steam things you cannot launder such as mattresses and furniture. Steam cleaning is very effective at killing bed bugs.
At 140 degree Fahrenheit, adult bedbugs, and their eggs are permanently eliminated.
You can use dry steam to avoid damaging your furniture.
4 – Vacuum:
Declutter the house to avoid giving bedbugs a place to hide. Then vacuum all the affected regions or the entire house. Use the vacuum’s crevice tool to reach into nooks and cracks and suck these critters out.
Once done, properly seal and dispose of the vacuum bag. Place the vacuum bag full of bed bugs in a plastic bag and immediately take it outside to avoid another infestation.
5 – Diatomaceous Earth:
Bedbugs have a canny ability to hide. Though the methods above should get rid of them completely, especially when done repeatedly, there might be those stubborn few who survive.
That’s where Diatomaceous Earth comes in. Diatomaceous Earth is a natural soft rock that contains silica. It’s easily crushed into a fine dust that can be poured on the edges of the mattress, box spring, and bed frames where bedbugs hide.
Diatomaceous Earth or D.E works by piercing bedbug’s soft exoskeleton and damaging their organs, leading to death. Though it looks like fine dust, it feels like shards of glass to bedbugs and other small creatures.
Just use a safe pesticide grade D.E for maximum effect. D.E takes some time to work, but you should see incredible results in a week or so’s time.
Please be careful when handling this product, it is harmful to pets, and humans, especially when breathed in.
6 – Rubbing alcohol:
Undiluted alcohol is a great way to kill bedbugs on the spot. Put alcohol in a spray bottle and spray any visible bedbugs, along your bed’s edges, and in any other affected area.
It will eat away their outer body, causing damage to their organs, and immediate death.
7 – Hydrogen Peroxide:
Similar to rubbing alcohol, bleach works by burning the bug’s outer shell and destroying their organs, hence killing them. Unfortunately, bleach can damage your bed or upholstery fabrics. So, your discretion is advised.
8 – Baking Soda:
Baking soda is a great desiccant which absorbs moisture from the surrounding environment. This characteristic of baking soda is what kills bed bugs.
Pour baking soda along the edges of your bed and furniture. The baking soda will dehydrate the bed bugs, killing them.
9- Silica Gel:
Silica gel packets are not only good at preserving things, but their contents are also killing agents. Collect the contents of silica packets, crush them into fine dust and spread it in areas you have spotted bedbugs.
Silica is also a powerful desiccant and will dehydrate the bedbugs leading to their death. Be careful, however, when using this substance. It shouldn’t be ingested by humans or pets.
How to prevent/repel bedbugs?
1- Essential oils and herbs:
Some essential oils like lavender, tea tree, peppermint, cinnamon, and eucalyptus help repel bed bugs. They can even kill the bug if ingested.
Lavender has long been known to repel bugs, especially bedbugs. Lavender’s scent nauseates these terrible pests. This causes them to seek out a new home, dispersing their colonies from your home.
Using lavender in your home is also good for aromatherapy. It improves yours and your family’s mood.
Tea tree oil is one of the most potent essential oils. It’s especially dangerous if ingested. For best results use it raw in bedbug colonies.
Same applies to peppermint, cinnamon, and, eucalyptus oils. Mix 10 ml or a few drops of your preferred essential oil(s) in a 120-250 ml water bottle. Mix well and spray unsparingly in those bedbug-infested areas.
2 – Use natural teas and herbal decoctions:
Most herbs contain antibacterial and antifungal properties which bedbugs hate. Don’t throw out your used Black Walnut Tea Bags, instead put them in bedbug-infested areas. This tea contains a natural insecticide property that repels bugs.
A boiled mixture of Cayenne, Oregano, and Ginger makes a potent insect repellent. Use the resultant liquid to spray furniture, beddings, closets, and suspected bedbugs hiding spots.
3 – Encase the mattress:
If your mattress is already infested with bedbugs, encasing it, will help seal in the bedbugs and starve them to death.
Encasing mattresses and box spring is also used as a protective measure against bedbugs. Of course, you will need a good encasement cover that can be sealed shut.
This way the bed bugs will have no other choice than to appear at the surface of the encasements which aids in visibly detecting and eradicating them.
4 -Dryer sheets:
Dryer sheets or fabric softening sheets is another good option for repelling bedbugs. These sheets contain a powerful scent that repels bedbugs.
Spread dryer sheets on and under your mattress, between the sheets and the pillows. This won’t kill bed bugs but will help keep them away from you.
5 – Bed bug interceptors:
Place bedbug interceptors under the legs of your bed to trap bedbugs trying to climb up to your bed. While this won’t get rid of the bedbug problem, it will certainly reduce the number of bugs that make it up to the bed.
Alternatively, you can use small bowls filled with soapy water at the base of your bed’s legs. This solution will drown any bug attempting to climb into bed with you.
6 – Double-Sided Tape:
The double-sided tape helps to detect and capture bed bugs. This is a good preventative measure to adopt. Place a strip of tape around your mattress, headboard, and carpet to trap any bedbug attempting to cross over.
This way, you will find out early on when you have bedbugs and get rid of them before they lay eggs.
There you have it, 15 home remedies to get rid of bed bugs. You now have simple, affordable ways to help you deal with a bed bug infestation. Select your method of choice and apply it to the problem areas.
Regularly apply this measure to keep these unwanted pests at bay. Don’t let the bed bugs bite, fight them with all you have.