Getting rid of bed bugs on your own can be time consuming, but with the right tools and right amount of effort you can be successful. Here’s what we did to assist in the removal of the bed bugs (this is before the professionals came in).
Suburban Pest Control couldn’t get us in right away, and we didn’t want to deal with the bugs all crawling around so we went ahead and took measures into our own hands, to get the pest control started.
Believe it or not there were a ton of articles on this topic. Never having experienced them before, I did not realize how prevalent they were. So, with just a little google search, we managed to find some great tips, and the tools we would need to get this clean-up going.
What we did before the professionals came in:
Quick assessment to determine where the bed bugs were mostly located. Before running out to the nearest store to buy your supplies, I recommend looking around the rooms of your home, identifying where the bed bugs may be located. Are you only seeing them in one room, or multiple. This will help you to know how much of each supply you’ll need and how much work you’ll be putting into prepping the room.
Purchase the commercial-use supplies to treat the bed bugs. There are many supplies that are off limits for you to use on your own, please keep that in mind. Leave the professional treatments, to the professionals.
Here’s what we purchased:
– Diatomaceous Earth (DE) – This is a dust that you will sprinkle in all cracks or crevices along the wall, baseboards, parts of your bed that you can’t take apart. What it does is dry out the bed bug when it comes into contact with it. This is great to sprinkle along the pieces of your bed frame that connect, but that you just can’t get to. Diatomaceous Earth is just crushed fossilized earth – it is non-toxic, but obviously, you still want to take precautions when using it.
– Hot Shot Bed bug and Flea Spray – This is an insecticide that treats on contact. The spray must hit the actual bug, or the bug must walk through it while wet, in order to kill them. It is effective, you just need to be diligent about treating with it. It’s obviously not safe to be ingested, so you want to be super careful making sure that you don’t have this around children.
– Interceptor Cups – These are a great way to keep new beg bugs from getting onto the bed. They are basically plastic cups, that go underneath each of the legs of your bed. They are ridged on the outside to make it easy for the bed bug to climb into, but smooth on the inside so that they cannot climb out. Very useful!
– Mattress and Box Spring Covers – You want these to approved to keep bed bugs in or out. They make plastic ones, that are inexpensive, but they’re noisy and would likely disturb sleep. We purchased the ones made out of polyester, you can’t even tell that it’s on. They slip on over the mattress (you need a seperate one for the box spring), zip up tight and then you close it with a zip tie (usually provided) and then velcro it close. You are not supposed to remove the cover for up to 18 months (is what’s recommended). This is because bed bugs can live up to a year without feeding (gross! I know!).
Take apart any furniture that you can. If you have a couch where the cushions come out, take the time to remove them and sprinkle the DE right onto all of the cracks and crevices. If you have a bed or crib that can be easily disassembled, I would recommend doing that and ensuring there aren’t any bugs hiding in the recessed screw holes. Yes, this will take a lot of time, but if you are determined to do this on your own without professionals, it is going to take a TON of work.
Wash everything that can be washed in hot water and then dried (for at least 30 minutes) in hot heat. Seriously, I mean EVERYTHING that can be washed, and then placed in a hot hot dryer. The recommendation for length of time in the dryer is 30 minutes, I always go longer, but this is up to you. Also, I should note, you c get away with just drying something – you don’t always need to wash it. So, for instance, if you have a shirt or sweater that wanould be totally worthless with a wash and dry, simply placing the sweater with just a few items in the dryer, on high heat, will do the trick.
Check all locations where they were found, frequently. You can never be too diligent – I recommend doing a sweep of the rooms you found them in daily. When you spot one, you can treat the area with DE in hopes that if there are others, the DE will do the trick. I also, personally recommend at least drying on high heat, every other night, all bedding, to ensure no new bugs hang out in the folds or seams.
There you have it, my do-it-yourself guide to getting rid of bed bugs. If you’ve missed my previous two posts you can read how we identified bed bugs and how we began the clean-up process upon immediately finding them, by clicking the highlighted links.
If you’d like some additional reads, check-out these two articles from Texas A&M Agrilife Extension: Bed Bugs & Insects in the City.
Have you experienced bed bugs? Did you handle it on your own, or did you immediately hire professionals?
Please note, a few of the links used in this article are affiliate links. It does not change the cost of the product for you, I just get a small portion of the proceeds of that purchase.
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