When you think of how to kill bed bugs, think vampires. That’s right, vampires. Because that’s what the little buggers are … vampires that come out only at night, search for fresh exposed human skin, and then feast on the blood of the innocent.
And bedbugs are about as hard to kill as vampires as well.
So, gather your wits, wooden stake and garlic (okay, I’m getting a little carried away with the vampire analogy) … and we’ll explore the only effective ways of how to get rid of bed bugs.
But first, exactly what are bed bugs?
They are from the insect family Cimicidae, which includes three species that bite people. Adult are about a quarter of an inch in length, oval in shape, nearly flat, and reddish-brown. They are sometimes mistaken for cockroaches or wood ticks. The adult female lays from 1 to 5 eggs per day, and each nymph is ready to reproduce in just 20-21 days. While it is believed they do not transmit diseases, it is suspected they carry diseases including leprosy.
Their eggs are white in appearance, about 1/32 of an inch in length, and when hatched, nymphs look much like the adults. They have a rather pungent odor, from the oils they emit, and leave a trail of black fecal matter.
Bed bugs live on blood. They have a beak-like protrusion that easily pierces human skin, and they leave saliva behind in the puncture. It takes a nymph about 3 minutes and an adult about 15 minutes to fully gorge themselves. While their bites are not typically threatening, they can leave what often seems to be a painful rash.
How does the unwilling host end up with them? Bed bugs are notorious hitch-hikers. If you stay in a hotel or bedroom infested with them, they easily hide among your belongings and can come home with you, where they hide in sheets, bedding, between mattresses, in cracks, and even in electric outlets.
Above all else, they are survivors and are hard to kill … so exactly what is the best bed bug treatment?
You need to understand that getting rid of bed bugs is not an easy thing to do. There are basically two options …
First, hire a professional bedbug exterminator.
A pest control expert will use a combination of bed bug spray, dust, and other insecticides. Unfortunately, in some cases your mattress will actually need to be destroyed as it cannot be treated with an insecticide. Reputable insect exterminators are listed on this website.
The second option is to do it yourself.
This involves some serious cleaning … using a stiff brush and vacuuming all parts of your room, washing all bedding and linens, dismantling beds and furniture, filling in cracks and crevices, sealing electrical outlets, sealing your mattress in a special bag, and even using high heat to destroy and eliminate bed bugs and their eggs.
The best defense against is to seriously avoid any locations with infestations, and, if you are unfortunate enough to be exposed to them, make sure you don’t carry the little hitchhikers into your home with you.
So, that’s the inside scoop on how to kill bed bugs.
Just like killing little vampires. And don’t forget to hang the garlic on your front door.