Bed bugs are smart enough to hide in crevices and keep out of daylight, meaning they are one pest you should not underestimate. Luckily, we can be even smarter. Nature and science provide us with many ways to control and get rid of bed bugs from our homes. You just need to know what to do.
We at Bright Side love to find simple ways to keep yourself safe and healthy, especially if that means taking care of bloodsucking parasites.
According to Virginia Tech’s Entomology Department, releasing steam around the house can help take care of bed bugs. Steam helps to coax the bugs out of hiding spaces. At high enough temperatures, the steam can even be lethal to them.
As mentioned, heat can help kill bed bugs. If steam isn’t your cup of tea, find the eggs, and set your hair dryer on high. Bed bugs do not move their eggs around, so this is a way to slowly kill them off that does not impact people’s allergies like other treatments can.
Find the bed bugs’ line of travel and apply double-sided tape. The bugs will be stuck to the tape. Eventually, without blood to drink, they will die off, or you can just smash them. Make sure to regularly replace the tape.
Even if your clothes are brand new from the store, make sure to wash and dry them on high heat as soon as possible. This can help kill the bed bugs hiding in your clothes. Try to make sure to do this regularly with all of your clothes.
Do you know those little packets of silica gel that come with new shoes, clothes, and even some food items? Save them and you can use them as a bed bug desiccant. According to research, the gel can help to absorb lipids from the bed bug’s cuticle, which causes them to dehydrate and dry out.
If you normally use a laundromat to clean your clothes, make sure to use a sealed plastic bag to move them back and forth. Added to that, keeping your clothes in plastic bags while at home can help prevent bed bugs from getting into them.
According to researchers from Rutgers University, dry ice can kill bed bugs by releasing carbon dioxide, which attracts the insects. You can make a trap by filling an insulated jug with the dry ice and lightly surrounding the base with talc powder, which helps to trap them inside.
Vinegar contains an acetic acid that hurts the insect’s nervous system, so you can use it to make a spray to kill the bed bugs. Fill an empty spray bottle with white vinegar and spray the bugs directly. Added to that, soak infested areas, and areas where pests can easily enter your home, with white vinegar.
Another spray you can make involves various items you might already have in your spice rack. Mix cayenne pepper, oregano, and ginger with water, put it in a spray bottle, and target the affected areas. Oregano’s strong scent, combined with the spiciness of cayenne pepper and ginger, will ward off the bed bugs.
According to a study from the Entomological Society of America, 2 oil-based products, Bed Bug Patrol and EcoRaider, killed 90% of bed bugs in a trial. These natural products contain oils like geraniol, rosemary oil, mint oil, cinnamon oil, peppermint oil, eugenol, clove oil, and lemongrass oil. If you want to make a spray, mix lavender oil, peppermint oil, and water together into a spray bottle.
As bed bugs tend to infest a person’s house by sneaking in through the cracks around the windows, doors, and even walls, taking away their free pass into your home can prevent them from even entering in the first place. Find openings like this around your house, especially by tracking where the bed bugs end up, and add caulk.
Black walnut tea can help take care of bed bugs with a component called juglone and you don’t even need to drink it! You will need to get some used tea bags and place them around your house where they can help kill bugs and their eggs. Alternatively, you can fill a spray bottle with the tea, just like we recommended with the vinegar.
What are some other methods you’ve used to take care of bed bugs? Let us know!
Illustrated by Daniil Shubin for BrightSide.me