There are so many factors that get in the way of a good night’s sleep: Illness, snoring, anxiety, or just too much caffeine. But there’s one sleep-robber that will ruin your nights and your days until the problem’s solved: Bed bugs.
Do it Yourself
You can make personal attempts to rid your house of bed bugs, but it’s hard to do and time-consuming, according to an article on the University of Minnesota website.
“Killing bed bugs by hand is not 100 percent effective,” says the site. “You can capture and squash them or capture them on sticky tape and remove (them).
If you want to try this method, you’ll need the following supplies:
- Credit card
- Scotch tape
- Plastic bags
- Hot, soapy water
First you find the bugs by running the card along cracks to draw out the insects. Second, you use sticky tape to capture bugs. And finally, you wash the surrounding area with the soapy water.
Another method for do-it-yourself bug removal is to vacuum. Make sure you get behind furniture and include soft pieces, such as couches, loveseats, chairs and beds. Be sure to dump the contents of the vacuum afterwards.
You should wash all sheets, mattress covers, etc. in order to minimize the likelihood that bed bugs will be reinvigorated. You’ll want to set the washer at its hottest level in order to kill all of the bugs. Use the dryer at a hot temperature if washing isn’t an option.
There are times when chemicals are your only option. However, you want to avoid harmful substances whenever possible.
According to an article on Prevention.com, active ingredients in bug sprays have been linked to:
- Asthma attacks
- Nerve damage
“Household and lawn bug killers often contain insecticidal chemicals called organophosphates, which are toxic to the nervous system and have been linked to developmental problems in children,” the site says.
It’s a good idea to hire a pest control professional if you want to kill them with poisons.
The University of Minnesota site recommends using steam heat to kill bed bugs. The article suggests using a commercial steamer with a minimum capacity of one gallon. It has to reach high temperatures, so a carpet steam machine won’t do the job, and neither will a clothing steamer.
The proper machines are capable of reaching into crevices up to 2 3/8 inches and can be effective up to three-quarters of an inch into soft surfaces, such as fabric. Temperatures need to reach 160-180°F to kill bed bugs.
The presence of bed bugs may be a wake-up call that you need to turn your attention to some cleanup work. Chances are you’ll be motivated to take care of it quickly, because you want to be sure you’re the only one crawling under your covers.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.