Bedbugs in the Home? How to Tell and What to Do


There are a number of things you can check for, and some red herrings you should be careful to avoid. If you do have bed bugs, you want to get rid of those little pests as soon as possible; they can spread. But sometimes what looks like a bite is actually a rash in reaction to, perhaps, a fabric softener, or something of that ilk. Wool can get especially scratchy as it ages; sometimes your child just needs a change of bedding, but not for any infestation. Things to look for which indicate the presence of bed bugs include tiny little bits of brown. These are bed bug excreta. The bugs don’t often come out until the night, so sometimes they can be found with a flashlight then; but usually this is more difficult. A bed bug trap is an excellent way to flush out the vermin. Cut the top half from a two-liter bottle of soda for a funnel. Stick it into the other half of the bottle and tape around the top; then pour in a special mixed elixir consisting of two cups granulated cane sugar (pure) and two liters of water. Make sure the water is warm, and filtered such that there is no chlorine content. Next add a little bit of yeast. Say…one fourth of a regular packet, or about half a teaspoon. Put this contraption in the room where you suspect the bed bugs are. If they’re there, their presence will soon become known: they’ll get trapped in the bottle.

Things You Can Do To Help Rectify The Problem

Should it turn out you’ve got bed bugs, there are a few ways you can fight them. One way is to turn the temperature of the room up past 110 degrees. You’re looking at 113 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit, ideally. Bed bugs are extremely sensitive to temperature; if you can get the room this hot, they’ll die in twenty minutes. Of course, your home may not have any way of getting the heat so high. While you can use portable home heaters to accomplish the task, this may still not be feasible. But on the flip side of that coin, you can also freeze the bugs out by turning the temperature down to between 30 and 48 degrees Fahrenheit; though this can take a month or more to kill them.

One very popular way of getting rid of bedbugs is a steam heater. Such a device uses clean, non-toxic steam heat at incredible temperatures to destroy the pests;however, again, not everybody has a steam cleaner just lying around.

Lastly, you can hire out a bed bug sniffing dog. That’s exactly what it sounds like: some dogs have been trained to detect bed bugs accurately, and can do so without terribly upsetting your room in most cases.

How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs Professionally

Look for local exterminators. Here’s one of the most dependable bed bug exterminators in NJ, if you’re in the area. Professional bed bug exterminators use a variety of methods to end infestations, and can get rid of them more completely than you will likely be able to. Sometimes an infestation is small enough that you can handle it yourself, but what if the bugs have gotten throughout the home? Professional exterminators have regular dealings with infestations of this type, and can recognize signs of bed bugs more quickly and reliably than you. Hopefully the problem has not progressed to such a level of necessity, but if it has, there is no shame in hiring the exterminators.

Featured image credit: Flickr


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