Bed bugs are some of the most stubborn pests to have in your home. If you have had to deal with them in the past, you may understand just how difficult they can be to eradicate, even with the right pest control treatment.
Pest control kills bed bugs if it is applied correctly. Also, there is a need to declutter and regularly clean the house for pest control to work and prevent future infestations. These help make the house unconducive for the bugs, making it easy to kill them.
Your home may need two to four treatment sessions for six weeks to eliminate bed bugs. But it all depends on the size of the house and the level of the infestation. That is why you need a professional exterminator to assess the infestation, determine the level, and correctly apply pest control.
Pest control for bed bugs is usually ineffective because it does not work according to the label’s claims. Also, users may not follow the instructions on the label to apply the products, leading to ineffectiveness. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) only allows a product to make a bed bug-killing claim if it can demonstrate its effectiveness.
Other factors that affect pest control for treating bed bugs include:
If the level of the infestation is high, the type of pest control required may change. In other words, the more severe the infestation, the more effective the pest control must be. The house may need regular treatments for a few weeks to rid it completely of the bugs.
Before treatment can begin in a house with bed bugs, there is a required level of preparation. If the pest control in use must work, it is important to remove possible hiding places and thoroughly clean the house.
Pull out mattresses and take them out under the sun. Wash bed sheets in hot water and sundry them. Also, iron them as a way to steam them further. Steaming is one of the effective ways to kill bed bugs and their eggs.
Declutter the house as much as possible to make the house unconducive and uninhabitable for the pests. You may find that you have to deal with more than just bed bugs, and keeping the house uncluttered is one way to control bed bugs.
The effectiveness of bed bug pest control is partly affected by its application. After determining the quality of the product in use, the next important aspect is the application. How much coverage it offers is also determined by the application.
If you want to kill bed bugs in an effective way, ensure you apply pest control all over the house. Do not take anything for granted or assume some parts of the property are unaffected. It may mean leaving the house for a few days, but treat the entire house for bed bug control.
Whatever bed bug treatment you use must target all life forms of bed bugs, including eggs. If you have a bed bug infestation, getting rid of the pests must affect every life stage. In such a case, bug sprays and bug bombs may not work because most of them do not reach hidden areas.
And since they wear off after a few days, the eggs typically survive and cause another infestation. In other words, it is challenging to perform bed bug control using sprays alone. There is a need for a more detailed treatment because of the insidious nature of bed bugs.
Bed bugs have developed a certain resistance to some pesticides. These pesticides become ineffective in eliminating the bugs, so you may find even more of them after a treatment session. This is where professional pest control companies have a role. They can determine the type of bugs in the house and use the correct treatments to get rid of bed bugs.
Why do bed bugs come back after pest control?
Bed bugs can infest just about anywhere. It does not matter where you first find them; once they are on a property, they quickly spread to other areas. The problem is that they can hide in clothes, furniture, mattresses, and other places.
There is also the problem of reproduction. A female bed bug can have up to 200 bed bugs per time. Not only are they excellent in hiding, but they can multiply quickly. So, if an infestation starts with only one part of a property, the entire property will have bed bugs within a short period.
DIY pest control may not be effective
The resilience of bed bugs makes it near impossible to eradicate them with just a spray, no matter how powerful. The primary issue with removing bed bugs from your house using a DIY method is that you may not know the most effective products to use.
Even if you do, finding the hiding spots of these bugs may elude you. In other words, having the right products is not enough; you must find every area the bugs have infested. You may kill bed bugs with a bed bug spray, but the bed bug problem will come back in no time.
Infestation through eggs
Another problem is the eggs. Since a female bed bug can lay multiple eggs at once, and you do not know how many females you have on your property, you can estimate to have hundreds of bed bug eggs.
DIY methods, such as bug bombs, do not usually take care of the eggs, so even if you manage to get all the live bugs, the eggs will eventually hatch and start another infestation.
Then, there is also the problem of using the correct indoor pest control products. If you do not have professional guidance, you may use an outdoor-only product inside your house. And these products can be deadly, especially to children.
Another reason pest control may not kill bed bugs is the treatment option. Controlling bed bugs in your home may mean spending some money. If the infestation is high, the entire house may have to be treated, and it costs money. Some homeowners, in a bid to save money, select rooms where they have seen the bugs.
The problem is the bed bugs hide well, so they may be all over the house without your knowledge. The problem may remain if you use pest control companies and do not treat the entire house. So, to eliminate bed bugs, it may be necessary to choose bed bug treatments that cover the house and not only some areas.
A bed bug infestation spreads quickly and can affect more than one area at a time. So, if pest control products are applied to only one area, they may not kill all the bed bugs. Consequently, they come back because bed bugs hide in many places.
It is crucial to inspect the area to determine whether or not the bed bugs come back from a neighbor’s house. You must also check your visitors; one or more of them may unknowingly carry the pests into your house. And if you travel a lot, you may be picking them up from hotels, airports, or other places.
How recently you treated your house does not matter; if there is a live bed bug on you or another person, it will multiply and spread. Therefore, regular treatment is vital to bed bug control.
Effectiveness of integrated pest management
Pest control alone may not treat bed bugs. Combining it with Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is more effective in killing the bugs and keeping your home pest-free. It is an approach that uses common environment best practices and some knowledge of pest control to get rid of bed bugs and keep them out.
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a natural insect killer and is effective on different insects, including bed bugs. There are food-grade diatomaceous earth and DE for insects. Use only that for insects and wear a nose mask when applying it.
Focus on cracks and crevices where bed bugs are prone to hide. Apply the powder to the bed frame, wall openings, and any space around your bed. Inspect these areas regularly and clean them. Then, reapply the powder until there is a noticeable decrease in the infestation. It may take a couple of months to achieve the best results.
Modifying the environment
Regularly vacuum and clean bed bug-prone areas around the house. Seal waste bags immediately after vacuuming and throw them out. Set your bed away from surrounding walls and put encasements on the box spring and mattress. Also, keep your bedding from touching the floor as much as possible.
Similarly, do not allow clothes to touch the floor and keep the house as uncluttered as possible. Bed bug interceptors also work, so install them under the bed, in the bed frame, and on furniture. Bug bombs may be effective if correctly applied in this situation. If possible, seal any crack in which bed bugs can hide. Alert the landlord if you live in a rented space and have an infestation.
Using non-chemical methods
Some methods do not involve using chemicals to get rid of bed bugs. Steaming or heat treatment is one such method and can be used in items that you cannot wash or launder. For example, bed bugs can hide in furniture, and since you cannot wash it, steaming gets rid of the bed bugs.
Extremely cold temperatures also kill the bugs. If you have small items that can hide the bugs, consider putting them in your freezer for a few days. Regularly wash beddings and clothes in warm or hot water and dry them in the dryer set to the hottest temperature for at least thirty minutes.
Throw out items that are heavily infested; you may be unable to remove all of them. And leaving them in the house only invites the pests to stay. Professionals may treat them using heat treatment in heat chambers, but they may also advise total disposal.
Monitoring the house
Getting rid of bed bugs involves monitoring areas prone to infestation. Check the sofa, furniture, and bed all over the house, and use products to repel bed bugs. Also, set interceptors in strategic places, especially furniture legs, and inspect them weekly. Take every necessary step to check for bed bugs around the house, even when there is a seemingly low number of bugs.
Repeat the steps above every week until you are in the clear for bed bugs. To handle the bed bugs, the interceptors must remain in place all over the house. Regularly clean them with talc applied to cotton balls to keep them free of the bugs. Furthermore, visually inspect the house daily for new hiding places for the bed bugs.
Be sure they are bed bugs
Sometimes, your house is not infested by bed bugs, and you are treating the wrong type of pests. If you are handling the issue and trying to get rid of bed bugs, take several photos of the visible ones and show them to an expert. Let them certify that they are bed bugs before taking further steps in treating them.
They typically are red or rusty and are the size of an apple seed. They do not fly or jump but run well and hitch-hike. The bugs are usually in clusters and can live for months without a meal. Bed bug eggs are white and small, and they stick to surfaces.
Common hiding places
You can also find out the most common hiding places for the pests. Bed bugs tend to hide in mattresses and beddings, such as duvets, blankets, pillows, and bed sheets. They also hide in furniture, box springs, headboards, and bed frames. Check folds and seams in sofas, chairs, and settees.
You are less likely to find bed bugs in picture and mirror frames, nail holes, cracks and crevices, luggage, and closets. They do not hide under loose seams and wallpaper, edges of or under floor carpeting, or padding.