Categories: disease

How to get rid of bed bugs

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Discover how to get rid of bed bugs.

Bedbugs are microscopic insects that multiply at breakneck speed and whose bites cause stings and itches. In fabrics, furniture, curtains, electronic devices, and especially the mattress, they interfere everywhere and persist. What treatment can get rid of it permanently?

How to get rid of bed bugsHow to get rid of bed bugs

What is a bed bug?

They are generally brown insects of the Cimicidae family.

Both males and females are hematophagous: they feed on human blood when their hosts sleep and can bite up to 90 times in a single night. Bed bug bites cause severe itching and dermatitis. They have an average lifespan of 5 to 6 months. The infestation of bedbugs in your home can therefore become a major problem! 

How do you know if you have bed bugs?

They can be seen with the naked eye. “ The bed bug looks like an apple seed for the males and like a lentil for the females ” specifies Stéphane Audru, manager of the disinsection company ASD Protect. Their body is flattened, it rounds when they gorge themselves with blood. It is more noticeable at night than during the day. “ However, it is not excluded to come across them during the day, it is often a sign that there is a major infection ” explains the expert.

How big are bed bugs?

The size of bed bugs:

For adult bugs: between 4 and 7 millimeters long;

For nymphs (babies): 1 to 2 millimeters long; 

For the eggs: a small grain of white rice of 1 mm. 

Do bedbugs give off an odor?

In case of heavy infestation of bedbugs, a pungent odor is released. This rather rare phenomenon, Stéphane Audru only felt it once during his career. According to the expert, one should therefore not count on the smell that they could give off to affirm or deny their presence.

The good news though, bed bugs do not transmit disease to humans.

What causes bed bug infection?

The bedbug is a historical past of man. We even find a presence in the coffins of ancient Egyptian mummies. She does not fly and moves on the ground. Bedbugs mainly travel with humans. “ It is enough for a piece of furniture or an object to be infested and loaned for it to contaminate another dwelling ” indicates Stéphane Audru. She particularly likes to stay in the suitcases, which helps her proliferation from the establishment to establishment.

For the pest control specialist, there are two typical profiles of people who risk being more infected than others: people who have a rich social life, who receive and who often go to other people’s homes or who travel a lot, but also people living in social housing. For this second category, according to Stéphane Audru, it is probably due to the multiple exchanges between neighbors which are less frequent in private buildings.

Contrary to popular belief, bedbug infestation has little to do with hygiene. Bed bugs like all environments, dusty or not. Still, the biggest cases of infestations are often found in people who don’t vacuum regularly. “ In the most spectacular cases that I have been able to deal with, it was very often situations of isolated, elderly, weakened people, who did not have the possibility of maintaining their home ” specifies the specialist.

Also read: How to get rid of dandruff

Where do bed bugs hide?

Even the most luxurious hotels can fall victim to bed bug infestations. As you will have understood, all a customer needs to bring back in their luggage is a female or eggs for the infection to break out.

Namely: bed bugs hate the light and are found in many public places: train stations, cinemas, planes, locker rooms, boats, hotels, moving trucks, public transport. At home, it is very often found in these areas:

  • Bedding (mattress, box spring, sheets, etc.);
  • The couch ;
  • The seats with fabric;
  • The couches ;
  • The rugs ;
  • The carpet ;
  • Electronic devices;
  • Curtains.

“During the day, if you want to find a bedbug, you should not hesitate to look around the bedding: lift the mattresses, look in the hooves of the bed base slats, behind the headboard, or under the coffee table. night ” adds Stéphane Audru.

Bed bug bites: recognizing the symptoms

Bedbugs move mainly at night, we often realize their presence when we find traces of blood on the bed or when we discover bites on the body that we do not always recognize. Initially, bedbugs may go unnoticed and be confined to a few bites, which you will associate with mosquito or spider bites.

•But when the actual infestation begins, you notice the presence of these pests by: 

•Regular lines of pitting on your skin;

•The skin is red, swollen, and itchy;

•Traces of blood left in the bed, a sign that the bedbugs, swollen with blood, have crashed into the bedding;

•Small black dots in the bed or on the walls that are their droppings.  

Unusual: Bedbugs bite women more readily than men, it is also for this reason that single men realize their presence later. “ I often intervene with single men who tell me that they realized they had bedbugs because when their girlfriend came to their house, she was bitten, ” observes Stéphane Audru. “ Perhaps men are bitten just as much, but their skin reacts less than that of women ”, supposes the specialist.

How to get rid of bed bugs

The vacuum cleaner: the first reflex against bed bugs

Regularly vacuuming your home is good prevention against bed bugs. First, you have to inspect every corner of your room, then your house, leaving out nothing: carpets, curtains, furniture, mattress seams, clothes, books, carpets, drawers, baseboards, cracks, wallpaper, cushions, cracks, stuffed animals, door frames, paintings, and even electrical outlets!

After confining the room, placing the tape on all entry and exit points, we meticulously vacuum every nook and cranny. Then seal the bag tightly and throw it away.

Natural Bed Bug Remedy: Diatomaceous Earth

This silica powder has a mechanical action on bed bugs. It acts like micro-razor blades that will injure the animal as it passes

. Once you have machine or steam washed all the infested items, place a dish under each footboard and add diatomaceous earth.

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You can also put some in hidden places or behind paintings. Be careful not to abuse it: in too high doses, diatomaceous earth can cause risks to the lungs.

The advantage of this natural insecticide: is it acts preventively and curatively. Stéphane Audru warns that you can never completely overcome a bed bug infestation with this method, it only allows you to limit the damage. 

Steam, the weapon against bedbugs in the house

Another effective method to get rid of bedbugs from your sofa: the steam cleaner. From 60°C, bedbugs and their eggs are eradicated.

We do not hesitate to rent pro equipment, with specific tips to treat hard-to-reach corners. Practical, the steam does not damage most supports.

You can even add a few drops of essential oil of tea tree or tea tree, known for its disinfectant properties, but also real lavender because bed bugs would not like the smell.

The washer/dryer to eradicate bedbugs from textiles

Beforehand, we store everything that is machine washable in airtight bags. Then, a cycle is launched at 60°C or, better still, 90°C for all the textiles that support it.

We do not hesitate to replace the usual fabric softener with white vinegar and we finish with a complete cycle in the dryer (30 to 45 min).

Ironing textiles to eradicate bed bugs

For textiles such as clothes, curtains, duvet covers, pillowcases, sheets, we complete the eradication mission by ironing, as hot as possible.

The cold, a natural weapon against bedbugs

If your infestation is in winter, in a particularly cold region, move everything infested outside, taking care not to shake or scatter the bugs beforehand. Be careful, it must freeze for several days for the cold to kill bed bugs.

Another option to eliminate these pests: place the objects in the freezer for 3 days at -18°C, taking care to wrap them beforehand.

Invest in a bed bug cover

You can protect your mattress with a bed bug cover. These are covers that close with a zip and protect the entire mattress at 360°.

These covers trap eggs and bedbugs hidden in the seams of the mattress, in the absence of food they die after a few days.

As a preventive measure, they prevent bedbugs from hiding there and you also limit the possible nesting areas for these insects.

Bed bug insecticides

Products such as insecticides can eradicate bed bugs. Some specialists advise combining natural methods and chemicals. These are often aerosols to be sprayed in the infested room.

For small objects, the procedure consists of placing them in airtight bags and spraying the insecticide, before closing the bag hermetically. Take advice from a specialist before opting for chemical treatment and consider the consequences for your children, pets, and plants.

It is not uncommon to hear sometimes that insecticide treatments should be done in two stages, two weeks apart. For Stéphane Audru, this is heresy: “ In fact, a good insecticide product must work all at once, if it is necessary to start over, it is because it is not effective enough, that it is not persistent enough or that, as with lice, the insects have developed resistance to the product ”, he specifies. It will be necessary to take care to treat all the accommodation because bed bugs can hide everywhere.

Bed bugs: a professional can help you

Do you have very little time, children at home, or are afraid of not being able to control the invasion of bedbugs? Consider the intervention of a professional who will act quickly and efficiently. In principle, two interventions will be necessary. It is preferable to use a company that has ministerial approval.

Namely: according to article 142 of the Elan law, “the lessor is required to provide the tenant with decent accommodation that does not reveal any obvious risks that could affect physical safety or health, free from any infestation of harmful and parasitic species, meeting a minimum energy performance criterion and equipped with elements making it suitable for residential use.

Bed bugs: the 3 reflexes to banish

Shake your textiles (sheets, mattresses, covers, clothes, etc.) on the terrace or in the house. There is nothing worse than moving the colony and invading the whole house;

  • Move the bed or the infected objects to another room… Which will, in turn, be invaded;
  • Inform the condominium or the lessor that you have noticed that there are bedbugs in your accommodation. The problem may be with another neighbor. Prevention is better than dealing with the invasion of an entire building!

How to avoid bed bugs?

Traveling:

•Be vigilant and do not put your luggage on the bed; 

•Check your personal belongings when you return from vacation ;

•Do not put your clothes on the bed or in the cupboards before having examined them scrupulously;

•Check the entire bed, furniture, and walls;

When you return, wash your clothes, even those that have not been worn at 60° if possible, vacuum the suitcases and throw the vacuum cleaner bag in a well-closed plastic bag. 

At home :

•Avoid cluttering your spaces; 

•Check second-hand purchases or found on the street;

•When possible, wash your second-hand clothes at 60°C or place them in the dryer on the hottest cycle for 30 minutes, or freeze them; 

•Thoroughly clean the recovered furniture from top to bottom;

•Thoroughly clean dry heat appliances.

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