The Truth About DIY Bed Bug Treatments in Baltimore
Crawling into bed at night shouldn’t involve creepy-crawly creatures like bed bugs. Unfortunately, bed bugs have been around since Egyptian times and even found inside tombs. Today, homeowners search for a reliable bed bug treatment to get rid of these critters.
If you are looking for a bed bug treatment in Baltimore, there are some DIY remedies to get a bug-free bed so you can sleep in peace.
First, let’s learn a little more about bed bugs, where they come from, and what they do.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs look like small and reddish-brown insects. An adult bed bug is about the size of an apple seed. They have flat oval-shaped bodies but expand into a balloon shape when they eat.
Beware that bed bugs also produce a musty-sweetish odor. You might notice this if you are dealing with a bed bug infestation.
Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?
First, understand that bed bugs are not a result of having a dirty home. These bugs are not attracted to filth and grime, but they are attracted to the following:
- Carbon dioxide
They often enter the home by way of a pet or sometimes even a person. Bed bugs can also enter your home by way of cracks and crevices in the wall.
What’s Bad About Bed Bugs?
It’s bad enough to think about bugs sleeping in your bed with you. This is what prompts most homeowners to seek bed bug treatment in Baltimore.
However, bed bugs also feast on your skin as you sleep. These are parasitic insects that bite you as well as your pets.
Their bites look like red bumps that appear on your face, neck, hands, shoulders, arms, and legs. They bite anywhere that skin is exposed.
Beyond this, a bed bug problem can turn into a complete infestation.
What Can You Do for DIY Bed Bug Treatment in Baltimore?
First, know that it’s difficult to entirely get rid of bed bugs on your own. Just like fleas, you’ll have to get rid of bed bugs from every part of the cycle—including adults and eggs.
However, there are some preventative actions and treatments you can try to take on your own.
5 DIY Preventative Measures for Bed Bugs
1. Keep Your Bedding Clean
Since bed bugs are attracted to blood, it’s important to keep your bedding frequently laundered. This includes your sheets, comforter, and additional blankets used for warmth. It’s easy to scratch yourself and draw a bit of blood without realizing it.
2. Keep Clothes off the Floor
Make sure all clothing goes into a hamper. Dirty clothes on the floor provide bed bugs with extra spots to hide.
3. Clear out Clutter
While a dirty home doesn’t attract bed bugs, clutter can help them thrive. Maintaining an organized home that is not filled with clutter can keep bed bugs at bay.
4. Be Mindful of Travel
Bed bugs are hitchhikers and can find their way home with you by grabbing into clothing or luggage. You can pick them up from hotels, which are known to be hot spots for bed bug infestations.
When you arrive home from traveling, be sure to wash all clothing and sterilize your luggage.
5. Inspect Second-Hand Furniture
Everyone loves a bargain for new furniture, except when it comes included with bed bugs. Closely examine used furniture that you bring home, checking for signs such as dark or rusty spots of bed bug excrement, eggshells, shed skin, or a musty odor.
DIY Bed Bug Treatment Ideas
These ideas might help with preventing bed bugs, but what if you already have them?
If you are facing a bed bug infestation, don’t panic. These are some DIY bed bug treatments you can try before seeking professional help.
1. Vacuum Your Mattress
While this likely won’t get rid of all bed bugs, it will at least help suck up any dead bugs and possibly eggs. Bed bugs will hide inside cracks and crevices of your mattress, so take your vacuum attachment and vacuum thoroughly. This includes around the piping trim and in between tufting.
2. Steam Them Out
Bed bugs can’t tolerate high heat. A steam cleaner—not a carpet cleaner—can be a chemical-free way to get rid of bed bugs of all stages, including eggs. Be forewarned that steam cleaners can be expensive to the tune of $800 to $1200 for purchase.
When steaming, make sure the surface temperature is between 160 to 180 degrees F. It’s very important to keep the temperature between this range for two reasons:
- Temperatures lower than 160 degrees F may not kill the bed bugs.
- Temperatures higher than 180 degrees F can damage your mattress.
3. Chemical Treatment
Another option is to use chemical treatment intended for bed bug infestations. Spraying a residual insecticide can kill any bed bugs that come in contact with the powder. You’ll want to spray this in places where you think the bugs are hiding.
Sprays can certainly kill bed bugs, but the problem is that the bugs must come in contact with the spray to work. While you can see some adults and spray them, it might be harder to do this with eggs.
4. Bag Your Mattress
A mattress bag is another potentially effective way to ward off bed bugs. This works by encasing the entire mattress in an airtight bag. The bugs are still alive but unable to bite you as they are shielded by the bag.
Eventually, the bugs will starve because they can’t reach you for food.
The catch is that you’ll have to keep this mattress encasement on your bed for 10 months to 1 year. This is because a recently-fed bed bug can live up to 400 days without food.
5. Discard Your Mattress and Buy New
One of the last DIY options is to get rid of your mattress and buy a new one. This can turn into a considerable financial obligation, and doesn’t necessarily mean that the bed bugs are gone from your home.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs for Good
While these DIY bed bug treatment ideas can work, there is no guarantee. You might end up wasting several hundred dollars and still have an infestation on your hands.
The best route for bed bug treatment in Baltimore is hiring a professional. Brody Brothers Pest Control is the local expert for ridding of bed bugs entirely, keeping them out of your home and away from your family and pets.
If you are worried or unsure about how to effectively use bed bug treatments for your Baltimore home, we are here to help. Contact us now for a quote before the bed bugs bite again.