Bed bugs or khatmal are blood-sucking parasites that readily bite humans and animals. Due to their bites, many face itching and skin rashes that can be extremely irritating sometimes. It is the reason why many people search for guidelines on how to get rid of bed bugs.
Here is a complete guide that will not only show how to kill bed bugs at home but also their causes, signs, treatment, and prevention. So, let us start with the causes.
What causes bed bugs
There can be multiple causes why your room or bed has these insects. The common causes due to which your home might have bed bugs are as follows.
- Buying used furniture or other items
- Less frequent or no pest control
Where do bed bugs come from
The other common areas from where bed bugs can come into your home through luggage and other items are:
- Hostels or dorm rooms
- Trains, buses, wagons, rickshaws, airplanes, cabs/taxis, etc
How to know if you have bed bugs?
How do you know if you have bed bugs is a major question many people ask. The major indication in this regard is the symptoms. It is quite difficult to distinguish between bed bug bites from the bites of other insects. They mostly bite in the night when you sleep and suck blood with their elongated beaks for around 3-10 minutes. Here are the common characteristic of their bites:
- Leave darker red spots
- Itchiness on the bite area
- Cluster of spots
- Located on exposed skin areas (face, neck, arms and hands)
Itching starts after some time which can be irritating. It is the reason why many people look for ways to kill bed bugs instantly.
Where do bed bugs hide
It is important to know where bed bugs hide at night or during the day. Here are some common places you can find these insects.
- Box springs
- Bed frame
- Objects or clutter near beds
You can also find them in the following places,
- Seams of chairs and couches, between cushions, in the folds of curtains
- Drawer joints
- In electrical receptacles and appliances
- Under loose wallpaper and wall hangings
- Under peeling paint and loose wallpaper
- At the junction where the wall and the ceiling meet
How to kill bed bugs at home
If you have a bed bugs problem, you might be searching for how to kill bed bugs, right? There are different ways to tackle these insects. But many need to learn what kills bed bugs instantly with home remedies. So, here are some popular and easy DIY ways to kill bed bugs at home.
Hot and cold treatment
Most insects can’t survive under extreme temperatures. So, extreme hot and cold temperatures are one of the best options to kill bed bugs. All you need is to pour hot (boiling) or extremely cold (near to freezing) water on the place where you find these insects.
Just be careful as you can’t use this option for places like electric appliances, switches, wooden furniture, etc. However, it is a good way to keep your mattress clean from numerous insects and germs.
Vacuuming is beneficial
Vacuuming can be a great way to tackle these blood-sucking insects. You need a powerful vacuum cleaner with a powerful hose attachment to suck all of them. This way is useful for most of the places where these insects hide. Don’t empty the vacuum bag in the basket. Try to empty it as far away from home as possible.
Get a good bed bug spray
You can find many bed bug sprays in the local market. All you need is to purchase one and spray it on the bug infestation area. Most of them kill these insects instantly. Keep these sprays out of your kids’ reach. Read the instructions and warnings written on the product carefully.
Use Silica gel to kill bed bugs
Most of us know about silica gel as we mostly find its packets in shoe boxes, food products, medicines, etc. It helps keep the area dry. Insects need moisture to live on and if you take their moisture away, it will kill them. So, all you need is to get the silica gel and place it in different locations where you find bed bugs.
Will alcohol kill bed bugs?
The answer is simply yes. All you need is to rub the alcohol at the place where you find the bed bugs. You can spray it as well if required. Alcohol is a known killer of insects. However, be careful about its use on different surfaces as it can damage their structure or their paint.
Can you use a hair dryer on bed bugs?
Yes. The heat (in high heat mode) from the hair dryer can kill the bed bugs after 30 seconds of continuous contact. If no other option is available and you need to get rid of these insects before you go to sleep, this might be the best option.
How to get rid of bed bugs with baking soda
Baking soda is known to absorb moisture. It means its effect on the bugs is the same as the silica gel. It is readily available at home so it can be a better option as well. Just sprinkle it on all the places where you find these bugs. After some hours, vacuum the area. Repeat the process for some days to get rid of them completely.
Get help from the pest control services
If you are unable to get rid of the bed bugs or don’t want to do it yourself, get help from the pest control services available on OLX. Pest control services provide professionals that can help you get rid of different types of bugs.
If you already have bed bugs and they are irritating you, don’t worry. There is a treatment for it. The red itching spots will go away within a week or two. If you want to speed up the process, just try the following.
- A skin cream containing hydrocortisone
- An oral antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine
Warning: Consult your doctor before taking or using any kind of medication.
Bed bugs myths / misconceptions
Here are the popular misconceptions associated with bed bugs.
Myth: Bed bugs only come in dirty places.
Fact: Bedbugs don’t care if their environment is clean or dirty.
Myth: Bed bugs only live in a mattress or bed.
Fact: All they need is a warm host and plenty of hiding places.
Myth: Bed bugs transmit diseases.
Fact: No cases or studies indicate bed bugs transmit diseases between humans.
Myth: Bed bugs won’t come out if the room is brightly lit.
Fact: Bed bugs prefer darkness, but keeping the light on at night won’t deter these pests from biting you.
What keeps bed bugs away?
Here are some bed bug prevention home remedies that you need to remember.
- Cover the skin as much as possible to prevent bug bites.
- Use insect or bug repellant spray.
- Inspect used bedding / other items before bringing them home.
- Eliminate all the bird and bat habitats that are the hiding places of these bugs.
- Clean the pet houses regularly.
- Clean/change the bed sheet frequently.
- Peppermint leaves suffocate these insects.
Bed bugs might not be very dangerous for your health. However, they can be very irritating due to itching and red spots they cause. It is the reason why many look for how to get rid of bed bugs at home. Killing bed bugs is important especially if you have kids at home.
Do you have bed bugs at home? How do you tackle them? Tell us in the comment section.