When it comes to killing any insects, there’s actually a pretty reliable formula you can use and it consists of a five step program you can do yourself. The results can vary of course and if it’s out of control, you will have to fall back on an exterminator but it’s definitely worth your time. This isn’t just for bed bugs but for any kind of unwanted pest that’s taken hold in your home and won’t seem to go away.
Step 1: Identification
You need to know your enemy. In the case of bed bugs, search for signs that they are the bugs biting you and your family and causing the problem. Look for exoskeletons and live bugs in your bedding. Strip it very carefully and slowly peel back your quilts and sheets. They prefer to hide in the folds. If you mattress is old, they could be inside small holes waiting for night to come. Once you’re sure it’s them, do a little research. Knowing what makes them tick, where they come from and how you might have gotten them in your home is important.
Step 2: Elimination
Now that you know the cause, set up your personal bed bug treatment plan. If you only have a few, a special spray combined with some deep cleaning and vacuuming might be all you need. If you’re utterly infested, you’ll have to use an exterminator for this step. Use your sprays, bombs, vacuums, traps and other devices for at least three days in a row for a high level of infestation. You can lower this to a single day if you’ve only come across one or two.
Step 3: Deep Cleaning
You can actually start this before step 2 for specific rooms. Get rid of clutter, get everything off the floor and clean, clean, clean. Use powerful cleaners and disinfectants on all hard surfaces and a bleach mixture on your mattress and box spring. You only need a little bit of bleach, maybe 5% of a spray bottle for it to be effective. You don’t want to leave bleach marks and more than this can do it. Set your mattress and box spring upright for this process and get every side. If you live somewhere warm, do this outside in your back yard if possible. All bedding and linens that are suspect need to be washed and dried on HIGH heat.
Step 4: Prevention
Now that everything is under control, it’s time to set up preventative measures. Buy some insect traps. If you had a lot of bugs before you started, you can use some fancy ones that use CO2 to emulate human breath. All natural repellent products are cheap and last for a couple weeks or longer so use them if possible. Keep everything clean.
Step 5: Repetition
This may not work in one completion of the above steps. You might want to try it all again. You can do these steps in intervals relevant for the level of need you have. A small place without real signs of bedbugs will need a lot less attention than a large apartment building for example.
It’s a good idea to consult an exterminator right away if you won’t have time to complete these steps often or in a timely manner. It could just be a huge waste of time if you get to stage 2 over and over but never seem to be able to continue due to work or school schedules.