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Light to reddish brown, oval shaped, no wings and rather flat – this is the identikit of an adult bed bug. These blood-sucking parasites that come out of your mattress between 10 PM and 6 AM are one of the creepiest creatures ever. Probably because we know for sure they exist. Apart from the psychological effects they produce for sure, bed bugs also cause skin rashes and allergic symptoms because of the bites. However they are not carriers of dangerous diseases such as Hepatitis or HIV. So the question remains: how do I get rid of bed bugs?
This post is meant to take a look at some solutions and tips on how to get rid of bed bugs for good, using fast home remedies, before writing “www.howtogetexterminators.com” and choosing the most reliable exterminator available. Just joking. This site probably never existed.
But we understand your desperation. Just give nature a chance first and let’s take a look at these completely harmless, yet effectively encouraging natural alternatives.
First let’s take a look at some fun facts regarding bed bugs:
- They are brought in from other infested dwellings through clothes and luggage.
- They can infest not only your backpacks or bags, but furniture, couches and carpets as well. So your home’s infestation can easily occur through any of these means.
- They are especially found in planes and some hotels.
- They can live up to nine months in warm and pleasant conditions.
- They have five life nymph stages prior to becoming an adult.
- It takes about 5 to 10 minutes for a bug to become full of the blood sucked form its human victim.
- They don’t generally live on pets, in other words pets are not carriers.
- They are not necessarily overnight creatures.
How to get Rid of Bed Bugs Yourself
- Lavender or Lavender Oil – Bed bugs hate the smell of lavender. You can either place dried lavender in strategic places, such as behind or under your bed or under the mattress or in the closet. Or you can get the lavender oil from a health food store and spread it all over the infested area. You’ll also get e great night sleep due to lavender’s relaxing properties.
- Tea Tree Oil – Tea tree oil is probably the world’s number one pest repelling aid. It kills any crawling creature that might live on your skin or anywhere close to it. Just carefully spray some tea tree oil around the infested areas. They will no longer bite you, either.
Get the biggest bottle you can find and dilute it with water. Then spray the mix everywhere they could be hiding: on your walls, behind pictures, on your curtains, mattress, clothes, couch and also in any hidden corner you know of. Repeat this every day for a week. This should kill all of them them forever.
Keep in mind the fact that tea tree oil is probably the most effective treatment of bed bugs bites and itches.
- Black Walnut Tea – This is almost an ingenious way of reusing used black walnut tea bags. Place them in strategic areas, such as little corners and nooks. Replace as often as you can during a 2-week period. It should be enough to destroy them forever. Nevertheless this cheap method is rather hard to use in case you have them hiding in your mattress, for instance.
- Neem Oil – This is an Indian anti-microbial fighter that can be found at your local drug store. But unlike the tea tree oil, it should be used as it is, not diluted. Just spray it around the house for a whole week and expect good things to happen. They definitely will. Neem oil is on everybody’s lips when answering to the question: How to get rid of bed bugs fast?
Another thing you can do is to mix it with your detergent and wash all the articles in you home using this mix at least once.
- Thyme – Well this is a remedy that doesn’t kill them, it just makes them move away to find a better life. Thoroughly place small bundles of thyme all over your house, including hidden corners, cupboards, closets and commode, under the mattress, under the couch or in between its cushions. Replace with fresh leaves of thyme every 3 days.
- Sweet Flag – Also known as calamus powder, this is a base compound in all major insecticides, so it’s rather toxic if ingested. But using it as a bed bug, a warm and a nit killer is an ideal solution. Buy a package from your local garden store and follow the instructions on the package so as to find out how to get rid of bed bugs for good. Then spray it all over your house and household items.
- Mint Leaves – Rub some leaves on your skin and place some under your mattress and sleeping area. Bed bugs just hate the smell. So the stronger it is, the better. In other words this is another option of how to get rid of bed bugs naturally and easy.
- Cayenne Pepper – This one you can use just as it is. Just sprinkle cayenne pepper in all the hidden and hard to access zones in your house where they might be hiding, including under your mattress. This method is more difficult to use than the ones that require spraying natural substances, such as lavender oil. As it is merely recommended for horizontal nooks due to its being like a powder.
- Using a Dryer – Dry your clothes in the dryer for at least 20 minutes. The extremely high heat kills the bugs and destroys their eggs altogether. It also works for your infested luggage, backpacks and soft toys. And always wash your bed sheets, covers and towels at the highest temperature in order to kill them and make sure the measures you’ve already taken are permanent.
- Use a vacuum cleaner – You can also try vacuum cleaning your house properly, as well as your mattress and couch. It sucks them up without discrimination.
How to get Rid of Bed Bug Bites
While some people don’t even notice their bites, others have visible signs that consist of swelling, blisters and general itching. Anyhow, just knowing you had them crawling all over your body is really disgusting. But there are a few magical products you probably already have in your home or you can easily get from a local store.
- Baking Soda Mask – Just mix two parts of baking soda with one part water and apply the paste on your wounded areas. Leave the paste to dry and don’t remove it for another hour or so. Then rinse the paste with lukewarm water. Repeat the process for as long as needed. But in the meantime also learn how de u get rid of bed bugs so as no to perpetuate the harmful process. Dealing with the cause is the most important thing, not with the consequences.
- Witch Hazel – Just get a witch hazel lotion from a local shop and apply it all over your skin. It contains tannin, which erases redness and stops the itching, too. It has some amazing healing properties. In case this treatment leaves your skin too dry, also apply a natural moisturizer afterwards, such as coconut oil, which is famous for its healing marks, for its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties as well. You will attach swelling and itchiness twice.
- Aloe Vera – In case you don’t already have an aloe vera plant in your home, get one as son as possible. The gel contained in its thick leaves is a universal heal-all. It treats all sorts of skin conditions, including athlete’s foot and burns. So just apply some thick gel on your bed bugs’ wounds and they will heal much faster. No rash can become a challenge for the good old aloe vera.
- Honey and Cinnamon – In case you are wondering how to get rid of bed bugs bites, check this one out. Mix some local honey with cinnamon powder. I’m not giving quantities here, because every person has his/her own number of bites. Just approximate how much you will be needing according to how serious your condition is. But have faith that this combination is a killer as far as swelling, itchiness and infected areas are concerned. I’ve tried this one out myself, and I found it to be the most effective home-made recipe ever. It leaves your skin nice, hydrated and smooth.
- Basil – Another kitchen ingredient you should never run out of. There are two ways in which you can use basil. You can either get an essential basil oil, or you can make a paste yourself using fresh or dried leaves. As far as the first option is concerned, just add a few drops of basil oil on a cotton ball and apply it on your affected areas. Or you can make your own paste by using a compress of dampen basil leaves. Allow it to take effect for at least 15 minutes.
So how do you get rid of bed bugs? By and large, trying out some of the methods above should prove really effective. They will even make the fleas on your dogs come off out of empathy for the dying bed bugs. Just joking.