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Remember when you were a kid when your parents used to tell you at night, “Don’t let the bed bugs bite!” It sounded cute before but now that you know what bed bugs are, doesn’t it make your skin crawl? Looking for bed bugs is not part of your home maintenance, but if you suddenly feel itchy sleeping on your bed or you wake up with bug bites, your mattress might be infected with bed bugs.
These 1/4-inch long, reddish-brown bugs thrive in warm and semi-dark areas. They are common in mattresses and couches. They’re so tiny that they can be invisible to the naked eye. Unless your mattress is teeming with bed bugs, you won’t easily find these crawling on top of your bed. Luckily, bed bug removal isn’t impossible, nor do you need professionals for it.
Identify Bed Bugs
The first thing you need to do is identify the presence of bed bugs. They are red-brownish, oval, and flat. If you manage to catch one, you’ll see that it has two antennas and six legs. The problem is that younger bed bugs are almost invisible to the eyes. But you can look at the traces they leave instead.
Look for rusty or reddish stains and dark spots on your bedding or couch. These are not signs of wear and tear. Instead, the dark spots are bed bug feces. The reddish stains are the blood they get from a pet or person. You also usually crush bed bugs while you’re sleeping. Another sign of bed bug infestation in your home is when you wake up with bug bites.
Vacuum the Mattress
Make it a habit to vacuum your mattress. There are specialized vacuums for bed bugs. You should clean the mattress, the bed frame, and the surrounding areas, too. The carpets may also be swarming with bed bugs. Make sure to clean them at least once a month.
Bed bugs hate the heat more than anything. If you are going to wash your beddings, curtains, and other fabrics, make sure to turn on the heat in the dryer. Don’t pack the dryer to allow the material to get a lethal temperature, killing all bed bugs in the process.
Professional cleaners use powerful vacuums to get rid of bed bugs, mites, and other insects. Bed bugs have nothing against the powerful sucking motion of professional vacuum cleaners. They usually deep-clean the mattresses and couches by using a chemical-based solution to seep into the foam.
Get Rid of Clutter
Bed bugs love to hide in dark and unused places. Make sure to reduce as much clutter as you can in your home. If you don’t need certain items, throw or give them away. There’s no use hoarding these items because they’ll only be swarming with bugs and insects later.
Cover the Mattresses
You cannot wash the mattress regularly because it will take days and weeks to dry. What you can do is get a mattress cover. Make sure the cover fits perfectly so bed bugs can’t get in. You can wash the cover every week. Mattress covers are made of fabric on top with a plastic casing underneath to prevent bed bugs from getting into the material.
Seal Cracks and Crevices
Rodents and cockroaches are not the only ones that use cracks in the wall and gaps in the doors to enter your home. Bed bugs can get through cracks as thin as paper. Make sure to seal all holes, cracks, and crevices. You can even cover the power outlets since bed bugs are known to use these to get inside your property.
Seal Your Clothes and Blankets
There are two reasons why you should vacuum-seal your clothes and blankets. The first one looks obvious enough: it saves space. The second reason is to prevent bed bugs from infesting them. Whether you’re storing clothes and blankets away because of the change in weather or you’re out traveling, don’t leave room for bed bugs to breathe.
Check Your Pets
Check your pets for signs of bed bugs infestation. Bed bugs like to burrow themselves into your pets’ fur. If they have reddish-brown streaks on their skin, they likely crushed bed bugs in their sleep as well. Also, you need to look for bugs in their beddings.
Bed bugs are annoying, but they are not impossible to eliminate. If all else fails, you can always call a trusted exterminator. They have the tools and expertise to permanently eliminate bugs, pests, and termites.