Sneaky Sneaky… Bed Bugs

These critters are sneaky, small and often evolve to resist pesticide. Home pest control remedies are available, but they are often unreliable and time consuming. Not to mention, it can be very difficult for the untrained eye to differentiate between different strains of bugs, and the wrong pesticide can be completely ineffective.

That being said, if you seem to only have a moderate infestation and want to take a shot at do-it-yourself bedbug extermination, follow these few steps:

The first thing to do is a very thorough cleaning. Wash all sheets and comforters (separately from clothing) in hot water and/or dried in temperatures hotter than 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius). Doing this for at least 20 minutes will kill all stages of bedbugs, says the University of Minnesota Extension. You can also heat curtains, rugs and similar objects by drying them at medium-high for about 30 minutes.

The next area to tackle is your mattress, the ideal real estate for bedbugs. First, inspect your mattress. Is it worn, filled with holes and appear to have dark, bloody spots on it? If so, you may need to just throw it out and buy a new one. Bedbugs can lay eggs inside the mattress, making it impossible to fully clean.

If your mattress seems to be in reasonable condition, buy a bedbug-resistant mattress cover. Many retail stores sell these for a reasonable price, and the covers are effective at insulating the mattress.

Make sure to never spray insecticide on your mattress, or anywhere else you may put your head, unless the label specifically says mattress-safe. Pesticides are highly toxic.

Although there are home-treatment kits available, the only way to guarantee a bedbug-free home is to call an exterminator. Professional pest control has highly specialized equipment and volatile chemicals that cannot be handled without proper care. Exterminators come to assess the property, select specific chemicals designed to treat your exact issue, and return two to three times to make sure the bugs are gone for good.

By: Mother Nature Network

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