Ever woken up in the morning and found your body covered with red, mosquito-like bites? The chances are that these bites are not from mosquitoes. Your apartment may just be suffering from an infestation of bed bugs. You might wonder how that is possible, especially if your houses are always spic and span. This is because bed bugs don’t differentiate based on how clean your houses are- they travel, and once they are in your space, they plan on staying forever!
Bed bugs are pesky creatures that are usually found on our beds, sofas, and couches. They live off the blood of animals and humans and can feed off them for a minute to even ten minutes! Although their bites are not painful, they do however cause skin rashes and irritants.
These insects cannot fly, but they travel very quickly across places due to their tiny size. If not detected at the right time, your entire house can get infested by them. This is because the female bed bug lays up a hundred eggs throughout her lifetime.
However, the good news for you is that you can get rid of these creatures by following just a few home treatments. We have got you covered for the best home remedies for bed bugs that are 100% tried and tested!
Home remedies for bed bugs: Where do these bugs come from?
Have you ever wondered how bed bugs suddenly infest your clean and hygienic homes?
Bed bugs spread through travel. Though ironically do not have wings, these creatures still manage to travel from one place to another. The primary places from where bed bugs come from include the following:
- From your stay at a hotel: It is quite possible that the hotel room you stayed in a while travelling had a case of these critters in them. Bed bugs stick to your clothes and belongings and get transferred to your houses in such situations.
- From your visit to a friend or relative’s house: If you’ve been in someone’s home that has been infested with bed bugs, there is a very high chance that you have brought some back to your house!
- From second hand or old furniture: Buying the second furniture may seem like a very enticing offer with the vintage charm and the lower prices. However, old furniture is like a breeding ground for creatures like bed bugs! Be careful to clean the furniture before installing them in your houses properly.
Home remedies for bed bugs: Signs that mean you have a case of bed bugs
You can only use home remedies for bed bugs when you know that they have infested your house. Bed bug bites are not painful, but they do however leave a mark on your body.
If you start to observe any of these in and around yourself, it means that you have a case of bed bugs in your house:
#1 Bite marks on your skin
If you wake up in the morning with red marks on your body that are in a line, it means that bed bugs have bitten you. Unlike mosquitoes or other biting insects, bed bugs usually feed off you in a line as they like to travel up your arms or legs.
#2 Red Stains on your mattress
If your bed sheets or mattresses have period-like stains on them in the morning, it could mean that there are bed bugs around you. The red bloodstains could be your blood that has been wiped on the mattress while the bed bug fed off you, or it could be a result of a bed bug getting smashed by you accidentally.
In any case, stains on the bed are a tell-tale sign of these creatures, and it would mean that you need to start initiating a home remedy for bed bugs.
#3 Black dots on the furniture
Just like every other animal, bed bugs also give out the fecal matter. Since bed bugs are very tiny in size, so are their droppings. If you notice tiny black dots like droppings around your bed or furniture, pay attention to them. It may be that you have these unwanted creatures living in your house.
#4 Egg Shells
These creatures stay in your house and breed in it too!
The eggs of bed bugs are molecule-like in their size and might be very difficult to spot. However, if you see ivory-colored specks on your bed or your couches, it could be a bed bug egg. Vacuum them off immediately to avoid spreading these pests.
#5 Live bed bugs
The most significant sign that your house is infested by bed bugs are you spotting them! Every once in a while, it may be possible that you see these creatures crawling in and out of their hiding places. Waste no time in starting a home remedy for bed bugs once you see these creatures crawling around!
Check out this astonishing article on how bed bugs returned for 40 years.
Home remedies for bed bugs: Most typical areas of infestation
There are some areas of your house that are more prone to be infested by bed bugs. These areas provide shelter to these creatures and allow them to exist without getting caught.
If you suspect that bed bugs have infested your house, make sure to keep the following areas clean. These are the areas where you should be administering home remedies for bed bugs. They include:
- Bed, sofas, chairs
- Carpets and rugs
- Electronics like your laptop and the TV
- Cracks and crevices behind furniture
Home remedies for bed bugs: Why opt for home remedies for bed bugs?
Before we list down the best home remedies for bed bugs for you, we need to educate you on how you should be opting for one.
We live in a modern, technology-driven world where everything is a few clicks away. In such a case, why would you want to opt for a home remedy for bed bugs instead of seeking professional help?
Here is a list of reasons why you should opt for home remedies for bed bugs:
#1 It is a low-cost but highly effective practice. In some cases, opting for a home remedy for bed bugs might even be completely free of cost!
#2 You do not have to wait for the exterminator to come- you can act on it right away!
When your house is infested with bed bugs, timing is everything. The more you wait to administer a treatment, the more they spread!
#3 Home remedies for bed bugs are sustainable and environment-friendly. If you are constantly looking to adopt sustainable practices, you should completely steer clear of a pest control treatment. Exterminators use toxic chemicals to get rid of bed bugs. These chemicals are harmful not just for the ecosystem but for you too!
Home remedies for bed bugs are a responsible, conscious, and sustainable decision. Why increase the use of harmful chemicals when you can get the same result from healthier practices!
Most of us confuse carpet beetle bites for bed bugs. Find out the difference with this article.
15 Home remedies for bed bugs to make your life easier
Going through a bed bug infestation but don’t know the best way to get rid of them? Look no further because we have you covered with every possible hack that helps get rid of these creatures without paying a bomb on pest control.
Vacuum cleaning all the surfaces of your home is the easiest method to get rid of bed bugs. You can vacuum almost every surface possible, from your bedding and mattresses to the chairs to the sofas and the couches.
Use a powerful hose attachment and suck these creatures out from your homes.
Once you are done vacuuming, discard the vacuum bag somewhere far away from your house. You do not want these creatures to come crawling back!
#2 Heat treatment
Bed bugs do not adjust too well to high temperatures of any kind. You can adopt any of these home remedies for bed bugs to rid yourself of these creatures in such a case.
- Steam cleaning
For surfaces that you cannot reach with your vacuum cleaners, opt for a steam cleaner instead. You can even use one of your garment steamers for this process!
The heat kills both the bed bugs and the eggshells. Be sure to use a steamer with a temperature setting of above 140 degrees Fahrenheit for maximum effectiveness.
If you do not have a steam iron or you don’t have the time to steam your bed before going to sleep, you can run a hairdryer over your bedding to kill the bed bugs. This will allow you to get a good night’s sleep without having to worry about these creatures crawling all over you.
#3 Washing all clothes and the bedding
The minute you know that bed bugs have infested your house, the first thing that you should be doing is to wash everything that has come into contact with the areas affected by bed bugs. This is one of the first home remedies for bed bugs that you should be initiating.
Wash everything from your bedsheets, blankets, pillow covers, and even your clothes that have been lying around. Be sure to throw in any stuffed animals that you had propped on your bed. The chances of a bed bug crawling into your stuffed toy are pretty high too.
Wash all of these items in hot water as high temperatures kill bed bugs. You can also use a scented detergent while washing them since bed bugs get repelled by solid fragrances.
#4 Silica gel
Silica gel is one of the top home remedies for bed bugs. You can easily find sachets of silica gel at home. They come with shoe boxes and food products. All you have to do is grind these beads up and sprinkle the powder around the infested areas.
However, if you have pets or children at home, follow this home remedy by exercising caution as direct exposure to silica is highly harmful.
#5 Rubbing alcohol
One of the top home remedies for bed bugs includes using rubbing alcohol. Alcohol is strong enough to kill pests of any kind, and bed bugs are no exception to this. All you have to do is fill a spray bottle with an alcohol solution and spritz it across all affected surfaces. Be sure to spritz some in nooks and crannies, as these creatures might just be hiding in them!
#6 Baking soda
Baking soda is known for absorbing moisture of any kind. It is also one of the best home remedies for bed bugs. Baking powder can suck all the moisture out of bed bugs while killing them in the process. Spread the baking soda powder in all infested areas and also sprinkle some in any cracks and crevices. Vacuum the site every day to make sure you rid yourself of these creatures completely. Constant use of baking soda will ensure that you are permanently rid of bed bugs.
#7 Diatomaceous earth
There is no other home remedy for bed bugs that is as brilliant and effective as diatomaceous earth. This substance is made naturally from sedimentary rocks that have been turned into fine powder. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth across all surfaces that bed bugs have infested to ensure their removal. Using this home remedy may take up to a week to ten days to completely erase these creatures. However, you can be completely assured about its effectiveness since the tiny shards in this substance kill off bed bugs completely!
#8 Essential oils
Essential oils are the best herbal home remedies for bed bugs. You can use essential oils like tea tree, lavender, or peppermint, to name a few.
Tea tree oil is known for its antimicrobial properties. The oil is best used undiluted. As the oil makes its way across the system of the bed bug, it slowly suffocates it to death. However, one has to exercise caution while using an undiluted solution as it can be harmful to us humans.
The strong smell of lavender can have a detrimental effect on bed bugs. It is known to make them feel nauseous and help you prevent the spread of these creatures. You can also use lavender-scented soaps and detergents to wash your clothes and bedding for the best results.
Peppermint oil or peppermint leaves also have a similar effect on bed bugs. The antimicrobial properties of this herb help to kill all bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Spread peppermint leaves or spray the oil around your bedding to keep bed bugs at bay.
#9 Stiff brush
While cleaning your bedding, run a stiff brush along the seams of the mattress. Many times bed bugs attach themselves to the corners of our beddings, and the only way to remove them is by beating the bed with a brush. Run the brush through the bed every day till the time you are sure there is no creepy crawlies around!
Lemongrass is one of the very few home remedies for bed bugs that actually kill these creatures. Most herbs are only successful in keeping bed bugs at bay without actually killing them. Lemongrass, however, contains an acid that kills both bugs and their eggs. The smell of lemongrass acts as a repellent too. Sprinkle some lemongrass in areas that bed bugs have infested to ensure their extermination.
Borax is a natural household cleaning agent that tops the list for the best home remedies for bed bugs.
Borax helps you kill these bugs completely by suffocating them. Sprinkle the borax powder around your mattresses and bed. Leave the infested area isolated for 24 hours and vacuum thoroughly to ensure you leave no bed bug behind.
You can also add some borax powder to the washing machine to ensure that none of your clothing items have any bed bugs left in them.
Vinegar is one of those home remedies for bed bugs that can be used and other homemade treatments. Spraying a vinegar solution around the bed bug-infested area shall help you in killing all the bugs. Vinegar, however, does not help in eradicating the eggs of these bugs. Make sure to properly vacuum the area after a vinegar treatment to rid yourself of the bed bugs.
#13 Bed bug cover
Invest in a bed bug cover for your bedding and mattress. These covers are readily available in the market, and they do a great job of protecting your bed from a bug infestation. Zip the cover around your entire mattress to make sure no bug climbs up
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. Do I have to throw away the mattress in case of a bed bug infestation?
This is a common question that most people ask if they should be throwing away their bedding in case of bed bugs. The answer to this depends upon the intensity of infestation. If your bedding has holes and tears, there may be bugs and larvae inside the fabric.
You could either seek professional help from an exterminator who will fumigate the mattress and get rid of all the bed bugs inside. However, if you are someone who is very particular about cleanliness and hygiene, you could throw away the mattress too. Though beddings are expensive, you might want to try a few home remedies for bed bugs or seek professional help before arriving at this decision.
Q2. What can I do to get rid of the larvae of bed bugs?
No matter how small in size, bed bugs are comparatively easier to find because of their color and movement. The eggs, however, are much more difficult to find given the fact that they are molecule-like in their size and are ivory in color, which makes them camouflage into the surroundings.
You could try any of these above-mentioned home remedies for bed bugs to get rid of the eggshells too. Heat is the best way to kill these eggs. Bed bugs and larvae do not do too well in high temperatures and mostly perish and die. The best way to get rid of eggs would be to apply any heat treatments mentioned in the home remedies for bed bugs.
Q3. What are some of the best prevention tips to avoid a bed bug infestation?
Prevention is always better than cure. It is always best to practice preventive measures rather than having to adopt curing ones. Here is a list of the top preventive measures that you can adopt to avoid a bed bug infestation:
- Declutter your surroundings: Arrange everything in your surroundings in an orderly manner. Avoid unnecessary clutter of items like newspapers, magazines, or clothes. Especially avoid leaving things on the floor!
- Seal any cracks and crevices in your room: There could be cracks in and around light sockets, switchboards, or near the door of your rooms. Be sure to seal any such nooks and crannies to avoid giving your bed bugs a home to hide in!
- Vacuum and clean your house regularly: The best way to prevent bed bugs from breeding in your homes is to clean your houses regularly. Wash all your bedding, carpet, mattresses, and sofa cushions regularly.
- Post-travel care: Take a shower and wash all your clothes and belongings properly. It may be possible that the hotel you stayed at had bed bugs, and some of them traveled with you to your home. To avoid their spreading, it is always best to properly wash and clean all your belongings after the trip.
Facing a bed bug infestation can, well, be bugging to say the least! These creatures are pest-like in their behavior and refuse to let go of you quickly. Bed bugs are extremely difficult to get rid of. Hence, knowing the best tricks and hacks that are 100% tried and tested shall come in handy while dealing with an infestation.
Seeking the help of a professional exterminator is not something that everyone can afford. A professional bed bug treatment is an expensive affair and not to mention is a hassle in itself. You need to vacate your property for some time while the professionals fumigate the place. They are also very harmful to the environment.
In such a case, home remedies for bed bugs are your best bet. They not only help to eliminate a bed bug infestation, but many of these practices shall help you in preventing their breeding at all.
Now that you know everything you could have about these pesky creatures, you are entirely sorted if and when you are unlucky enough to face an infestation.