5 Ways to Get Rid of Bedbugs in Your Home
No one wants to discover any sort of pest in their home — especially bedbugs. If you’re experiencing a bedbug infestation, consider these steps to help remove those critters from your home.
1. Contact a Pest Control Company
Most pest control infestations aren’t do-it-yourself projects, so it’s best to contact a professional for help. Bedbugs can hide in a variety of places like behind your headboard, along baseboards and even behind wallpaper, says the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Here are some signs that bedbugs might have invaded your space, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Rusty-colored specks in bedding or couch cushions.
- Amber-colored “shells” in bedding or couch cushions.
- Waking up with bites on your body.
- A musty, sweet odor in a room.
If you suspect a bedbug infestation, consider these guidelines from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on finding a pest control company. Some things to ask perspective companies include: how many years they have been in business, do they have any references, are they certified or licensed and could they provide a copy of the license, says the EPA.
2. Get Zippered Covers for Your Mattress and Box Spring
Mattresses and box springs can be hot spots for these pests. Consider sealing your mattress and box spring with zippered covers, says the EPA. You might also want to choose light-colored covers for your mattress and box spring to help make it easier to spot the potential critters, adds the EPA. Move your bed away from the wall and keep your sheets, comforter and bed skirt from touching the floor, according to the EPA. By doing so, it should make it more difficult for a bug to reach your bed.
3. Remove Clutter and Clean Regularly
Dirty living conditions may not attract bedbugs, but removing clutter and cleaning regularly will help, says the EPA. Start by removing unwanted items from bedrooms. Pick up clothes off the floor, recycle cardboard boxes and donate clothing you no longer wear, notes the EPA. After washing, put bedding and other items that can tolerate the heat from a dryer on its highest setting for a 30-minute cycle, adds the EPA. This may help eliminate bedbugs and their eggs. When you vacuum, the EPA says to do it carefully to help prevent spreading the pests. Empty your vacuum canister or bag into a plastic garbage bag that you can seal tightly. Immediately place the sealed bag in the trash outside.
4. Seal Up Hiding Places
5. Be Considerate of Your Neighbors
Bedbugs can hitch rides on clothing, furniture and bedding. The EPA suggests destroying any mattresses or furniture that you throw out by cutting holes in them so others won’t bring infested items into their home. It may also be beneficial to make a sign warning others not to take the items.
Bedbugs can be pesky, but with the help of these tips, your battle to help prevent and eliminate them may be easier.
Originally published on February 13, 2014.