Bed bugs have been making headlines lately and not in a good way. We have heard about infestations in many hotels and buildings. As I noted in an earlier article, Carnegie Hall has even been reported to have had bed bugs in an employee’s locker! There are some non toxic ways to control bed bugs in your home, before they take over!
Bed Bugs Like Clutter
Just like many other tiny little bugs, bed bugs like the comfort of hiding away from you. Keeping your home clutter free insures that they have no good place to burrow in and hide. Bed bugs can survive without eating for up to a year, so it is very important not to give them anywhere to hibernate.
Bedrooms are their special friend because there are so many places for them to nestle into. Put extra blankets into plastic storage bags that have tight enclosures. Keep all clothing either hung in a closet or stored in drawers.
Dirty laundry lying on the floor will give bed bugs a perfect place to hide and eat. They prefer blood as their main meal, but dry skin from the clothing you remove will do nicely too.
Vacuum, Steam and Seal Mattresses and Pillows
Check the edges and the crevices of your mattresses and pillows. Bed bug excrement will look like little tiny drops of blood. If you have these spots on your mattress edges, you may have bed bugs! It is important to keep mattresses vacuumed to remove any dead skin pieces that you shed at night.
Vacuum the mattress thoroughly and then steam clean it. When the mattress is thoroughly dry, encase it in a full mattress cover that zips securely all the way around. These can be purchased at many retail stores, or online. Allergy Guard Direct is one such site that has a wide selection of bed bug proof covers. Seal your pillows in zip cases that are easily removed and washable. Allergy Guard direct sells these too.
Bed Bug Traps
Bed bug traps are small plastic dishes that the legs of the bed sit in. These traps can also be used on couches and chairs that have small legs. These small plastic cups have a double well so that bed bugs get trapped inside it. There is no pesticide on the plastic, so they are safe to use around pets and children.
These bed bug traps will help you to see if you have a bed bug infestation. By monitoring the cups dual wells you can check to see if the bed bugs are leaving your bed or trying to get to it. Bed bug traps are sold at Amazon.com and come in packs of 4 to 12.
According to Natural Remedies.com, herbal remedies have little effect on exterminating bed bugs, but lavender essential oils mixed with a small amount of water in a spray bottle has been known to do away with fleas, head lice and mosquitoes.
Thyme, Tea Tree oil and Eucalyptus will also get rid of fleas, mosquitoes and head lice. Do not use Tea tree oil if you have a cat, as it is very toxic to them. Use caution when spraying and mixing any essential oils, as they are very strong and may burn the skin if applied directly.
Control Bed Bugs By Preventing Them
The best way to control bed bugs is through prevention. Keep your home clutter free and clean. Vacuum all cloth furniture on a regular basis. Check your mattresses for any tell tale signs of an infestation. When you travel, be sure to check the motel room and bed for any signs of bed bugs. They love to hitch hike in suitcases, and they may be going home with you.
There is an online registry that reports bed bug infestations in motels and apartment buildings. You may want to check on that just to see if there are any reports around you, or where you may be traveling to.
One of My Related Articles:
Bed Bug map for Travelers: Know Where to Stay bed Bug Free
Bed Bug Traps
Allergy Guard Direct. com