If you find you have bed bugs in your home, the likely response is to hire a professional pest-control company to get rid of them. These companies can also visit you regularly so that the bugs never come back. Pest control experts are true miracle-workers, but what do you do if you can’t afford these types of services? Are there less expensive ways to get rid of bed bugs that you can do on your own? Believe it or not, you do have options when it comes to eliminating bed bugs, and not all of them are going to break the bank.
Are Bed Bugs Hard to Kill?
Bed bugs can be hard to kill because they are so small and sometimes difficult to locate. They also tend to hide in cracks and crevices, and their eggs – which are even tinier than they are – can become stuck to various fabrics, making them very difficult to remove. Professional pest-control companies have the tools and equipment they need to do the job efficiently, but you can do a good job yourself if you first learn a little about the process.
Most of the time, your bed bug problem is confined to your bed and other pieces of furniture, so most of the products made to kill these bugs are made for those items. If you want to cost-effectively kill bed bugs, there are numerous powders found at hardware stores that you can sprinkle on your mattress or sofa and then vacuum up afterward. If you have slipcovers, you’ll have to wash them in hot water to get rid of any bed bugs you can’t see or vacuum up. These powders are usually inexpensive – often around $15 per can, and they can be very efficient at the job they do.
There are also sprays that do the same thing as powders, as well as complete kits meant just to get rid of bed bugs in your home. You’ll have to do some trial and error when it comes to these products to determine which one works best for you, but one thing is certain – there are a lot of them to choose from.
Are There Natural Methods for Eliminating Bed Bugs?
If you wish not to use chemicals in your home to get rid of bed bugs, you have many different options. Many people assume that killing bed bugs has to be expensive and complicated, but that is simply no longer the case. Besides sprays and powders, you can choose a variety of chemical-free methods, and they include the following:
- Vacuum the little suckers out of the fabric, cracks, and crevices. Use a vacuum cleaner with a lot of suction, and make sure the bags are thrown away immediately because vacuuming bed bugs doesn’t kill them. Clean the canister thoroughly if there are no bags, and consider vacuuming a second time just to make sure you got all of them.
- Consider steam-cleaning the furniture. Steam cleaners can be rented for reasonable prices, and if you choose this method, make sure you get one that reaches a minimum of 200° Fahrenheit. You should also choose one that uses dry steam since the other types leave too much dampness that can lead to mold and mildew.
- There are certain smells that most small bugs hate, including bed bugs, so if you keep them around your house, the bed bugs will flee. These include lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, and mint. Use either fresh or dried herbs and keep them in sachet bags in your wardrobe, your linen closet, and even your dresser.
- Use essential oils such as the four listed above, in addition to citronella. You can rub the oil around your bed frame, add a few drops to the laundry when cleaning your bedding, and mix some with water and spray around your furniture and bedroom. Bed bugs in particular hate lavender.
- Take 8 to 10 dryer sheets and place them between the mattress and the box spring. The bed bugs will hate the smell and scurry away. You can also place the sheets inside of your pillow cases, linen closets, and even your dresser drawers.
There are other simple methods to use as well. For instance, you can buy mattress covers and pillowcases that are non-permeable, which means they don’t have any seams or crannies that the bed bugs tend to love. They are also very easy to wash. Yet another method is to buy some bug interceptors, and install one under each of the four feet of your bed. These prevent the bugs from climbing up onto your bed should they get that close, and you can also get the same results by placing a bowl under each of the four feet, then filling each bowl with soapy water.
If you use the method with the essential oils or the soapy water, make sure to replenish the supply every week to keep the water and the essential oils fresh and effective. If you spray, spray at least once a week and again, make sure the water/essential oil mixture is made anew once a week. Keeping these items fresh is the only way they will work, so doing this is important. Also consider using vinegar to treat bed bugs as a “natural” method. Its a common ingredient around the average American household.
Exterminating professionals cost a lot of money, and if you have bed bugs, you might not be able to afford to hire one of them. This is especially true because not only does their original visit cost a lot of money, but their maintenance plans can be costly as well. Let’s face it, not everyone can afford to pay an exterminator to come to their house every few months to do what needs to be done to keep bed bugs away.
This is why it is so good to know that less expensive and even all-natural methods are there for you to take advantage of. Powders and sprays work great as long as they are made specifically for killing bed bugs, but if you don’t want to go that route, you can utilize one of the many all-natural techniques using supplies you can get for an inexpensive price or ones you might already have around the home.