Once you know bed bugs are to blame for your morning bites and skin rash, a completely new phase has started in your life! If this is the first time you have experienced the chaos and stress these little red devils cause then you are in for a shock if you don’t act right away…..
It should be your top priority, so now you realize you need to get rid of them; but it’s not going to be easy! Actually, bed bugs are difficult pests to eradicate. You might have heard that replacing your carpet can help, and it is actually one of many ideas and suggestions that we could give you if you want to get started.
However, is it enough? We’re covering the matter thoroughly for you and giving you a concise and helpful answer.
Where do bed bugs hide?
The reason why bed bugs survive is that they know how to hide during the day. You will likely never see them around when there’s daylight because they only come out at night to drink their share of blood, which may be enough for a couple of days, and even more than that. Can Bed Bugs hide on your body?
Their hiding spots include virtually anywhere dark, especially small spaces where they can feel safe. So, in a practical way, you may want to look for them in:
- Cracks on your walls
- Any fold or opening on your wallpaper
- Old furniture, especially when it has an uneven or cracked surface
- Small crevasses on your mattress
- Piled up newspaper or magazines
- Hidden areas in your wall or under the furniture
If there is dust accumulated, there’s a chance that bed bugs can live there because dust usually accumulates in areas that are hidden, difficult to reach or very rarely cleaned up. That’s why carpets are another likely hiding place. They are actually an important place to look for bed bugs, especially if you don’t vacuum very often.
Replacing the carpet to get rid of bed bugs
For all of the above, carpets need to be vacuumed to get rid of bed bugs. And, if you have a severe infestation, you may even want to replace them because you never know when one of them survives your cleaning protocol.
You don’t need to replace your carpet every time you get a bed bug infestation, though. Sometimes, heat treatment of your carpet is enough to kill bed bugs, and constant vacuuming will do the rest. Remember that bed bugs can’t survive extremely high temperatures. They die almost immediately with a temperature that’s near the boiling point. So, treating your carpet regularly with hot steam using steamers can be a smart solution if you don’t want to alter your home decoration. However, you need to be careful, because you might get yourself burned in the process, and not all steam cleaning devices are appropriate for the task.
In the process of cleaning, you may also include vacuuming. And, if you do, make sure that you’re disposing of the vacuum bag immediately, using a double or triple bag to make sure that no creature is escaping.
Sure, if you don’t mind spending extra money, you can simply replace your carpet, and you won’t have to go through all of that trouble. But this is only one of many recommendations, and it is actually a prevention strategy, not an immediate solution to your bed bug problem. Cleaning or replacing your carpet won’t get rid of bed bugs by itself if not accompanied by other extermination and prevention methods.
What else can you do?
Keep in mind that bed bugs won’t be found only in your carpet. Actually, that’s not the first place to look at. As mentioned in the paragraphs above, the most common hiding places are cracks and crevasses on the walls or old furniture. Sometimes they can be found inside your mattress, especially an old mattress that has not been replaced for years and is already torn or ripped in some areas.
So, the first thing you should do, even before worrying about your carpet, is inspecting carefully every part of your house and looking for small spaces where these little creatures can live and reproduce. They may be laying thousands of eggs, and finding these spots is fundamental to destroy them and their offspring.
Once you find these critical spots at home, you need to use something to kill bed bugs. We recommend diatomaceous earth, which is non-toxic and safe for pets and children. This is usually delivered as a powder that you can spread in these critical areas, and it dries bed bugs to death. You can also use insecticides and other more potent chemicals if you have the protection implements and know how to use them.
Cleaning up is yet another important thing you want to do to prevent new hiding spots and recurrent infestations. If you have piled up magazines, newspapers, books, small items, or anything that collects dust or creates small dark spaces, consider giving them away, or disposing of them if you don’t need them anymore. They can be a potential hiding spot, too.
Clean up your house thoroughly and consider getting professional help if you feel that things are getting out of hand.
When to get professional help
If you’re noticing bed bug bites, they are probably becoming a problem already. Because, as mentioned above, they don’t need to feed every night. So, if you’re waking up every day with new bites, there are probably many of them lurking around at night.
But how do you know the infestation requires professional help from an exterminator?
- If you’re having severe symptoms. For example, if you’re getting several bites every night, or starting to get an allergic reaction to bed bug bites.
- If you can see bed bugs in large numbers. In most cases, they won’t be visible, and if you’re seeing several bed bugs at the same time, there is probably a very large population hiding in the dark.
- When bed bugs start to expand their locations and affect your neighbors, or if you got them as an extension to your neighbor’s infestation. When they begin to migrate, it is probably because the infestation is very severe.
- If you have recurrent bed bug problems. In this case, the infestation can be out of control, or maybe you’re not doing everything as you should. In either case, it will be advisable to call an exterminator.
Doggett, S. L. (2007). Bed Bugs–Latest Trends & Developments. Synopsis of The.
Potter, M. F., Romero, A. L. V. A. R. O., & Haynes, K. F. (2008, July). Battling bed bugs in the USA. In Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Urban Pests (pp. 401-406). Pápai út 37/a, Hungary: Veszprém.
Miller, D. M. (2014). Using heat to kill bed bugs.
Doggett, S. L., Dwyer, D. E., Peñas, P. F., & Russell, R. C. (2012). Bed bugs: clinical relevance and control options. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 25(1), 164-192.