How to Kill and Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Getting Rid Of Bed Bugs - How To Kill Bed Bugs
Prepare the area : Pretreatment Procedures
To inspect properly, it may be helpful to understand Bed Bug Diet and Bedbug Habits
Bedbug Pictures: What does a bed bug look like?
The common bed bug is visible to the naked eye. Adult bed bugs are brown to reddish-brown, oval-shaped, flattened, and about 1/4 to 5/8 inch long. Their flat shape enables them to readily hide in cracks and crevices. After a blood meal, the body elongates and becomes swollen. Eggs are not placed on the host's body, but are found on surfaces near where the host sleeps.
Look in any place that offers darkness, isolation and protection. These bugs will often wander. Inspect adjoining rooms where an infestation is found. Even when the bed bugs themselves cannot be found, their hiding places can be located by looking for the spots of fecal material they often leave. Aerosols like CB-80, PT 565 and V-One have pyrethrins as an active ingredient. Pyrethrins help flush out the bed bugs for easier inspection. These aerosols kill on contact, but the idea is to flush them out for inspection. Simply insert the crack and crevice tip of the aerosol in the hiding place to see if any bed bugs are flushed out.
Dark spots of bed bug excrement on a mattress.
(M. Potter, Univ. of Kentucky)
Fecal and bloody spots (look like rust) are left on sheets and pillowcases when the engorged bed bugs are crushed. These indicators serve as sure signs of infestation. Adult bed bugs are about 1/4-inch long and reddish-brown, with oval, flattened bodies. Bed bugs prefer to hide in cracks and crevices during the daytime and come out to feed on the host's blood at night, usually while the host is sleeping. Since bed bugs can flatten their bodies, they fit in very small crevices, specially around the bed area. They are found in habitual hiding places, preferably close to a blood meal. Even though the their preference is to be close they can travel several feet for a blood meal. Initial infestations tend to be around beds, but the bugs eventually become scattered throughout a room, occupying any crevice or protected location. They can also spread to adjacent rooms or apartments.
Look for areas near where the bed bugs are biting. Main areas of inspection are cracks and crevices in head and foot boards and attached side railings and supports. Look for any cracks or crevices where bed bugs may crawl into to hide. If the top of the mattress has any rips, the bed bugs may hide there as well. Look in your boxsprings also, both top and bottom for any rips that might shelter these bugs.
Inspection Check List:
Do I Have to Throw Out the Mattress?
This question is answered by the condition of the mattress and the size of infestation. If there are holes or tears in the gauze fabric or fabric of the mattress, bed bugs and eggs may be inside, as well as outside. There are restrictions on how beds can be treated with insecticides.
We carry a line of mattress covers and boxspring covers (Mattress Safe Products) that are bedbug certified to place over your mattress or boxspring so you don't have to throw them away. If using a labeled insecticide on the mattress or boxspring first, apply on mattress or box springs then zip it up.
Note that the mattress and box spring covers are good enough that you don't have to treat the mattress or box springs with an approved insecticide.
It has a patented hook to keep the bed bugs inside the encasement so they cannot escape. Keep the encasement in place for one year (due to bed bug life cycles)
If you decide against certified bed bug encasements, use insecticides labeled for beds such as Steri-Fab, Cimexa Dust, Phantom Aerosol, Bedlam Aerosol, or Temprid SC (See below)
How to treat the mattress with insecticides:
Look carefully at the folds and seams of the mattress, the headboard, foot board (if present), box spring/support platform, frame, etc for bedbugs and treat these area after vacumming.
The following residual insecticides and dusts are labeled to spray and dust mattresses:
Dusts last longer than aerosols, but the crack and crevice tips on the Phantom and Bedlam areosols enable you to get into the smallest cracks. It is a good idea to use a combination of sprays and dusts. Temprid SC may be used on the tufts and seams of mattresses. It works well as a residual insecticide sprayed in other recommended treatment areas such as night stands, chests, dressers, couches and chairs.
Treat all baseboards and furniture (Night Stand, Chests, Dressers, Couches and Chairs)
Bed Bug Treatment: Sprays and Dusts
There are several products on the market that work well for bed bugs:
Apply residual liquid, aerosol or dust residual insecticides such as Temprid Ready Spray Aerosol, Optimate CS, D-Fense SC, Cimexa Dust , D-Fense SC, Alpine PT Aerosol, Transport Mikron, Temprid SC, Bedlam Plus Aerosol, and Phantom Aerosol.
It is best to use a combination of these products for application purposes.
You can get these at discounted rates in be form of kits: Bed Bug Kits
Spray liquid insecticides or aerosols :
Optimate CS Usage: Mix 10 ml (about .33 oz) Optimate CS with one gallon of water (Remember to use what you mix-within 24 hours.) Adjust the spray pattern to a mist by turning the nozzle. A low fine mist is best for most spraying, but you may need to use a stream to get into some cracks and crevices. If you can't get into the cracks and crevices use one of the aerosols described below with it's crack and crevice tips to reach into these areas.
D-Fense SC can be used on mattresses and boxsprings. See details below
D-Fense SC Usage: Mix 1.5 oz per gallon of water and use what you mix within a couple of days. Apply as a course, low pressure spot, or crack and crevice to bed bug harborage areas. These places include baseboards, crevices, behind bed frames and headboards, bed frames, bed springs, closets, curtains, beneath floor coverings, and along the edges of carpets.
Remove bed linens and wash before use. Apply D-Fense SC to mattresses taking care to treat tufts, folds and edges until moist. Make application to the interior of the bed frame. Before remaking the bed, make sure the mattress is dry.
Temprid SC Usage: Mix 8 ml (about 1/3 oz)(measurements on the bottle) of Temprid SC with one gallon of water. Remember to use what you mix-within 24 hours. Adjust the spray pattern to a mist by turning the nozzle. A low fine mist is best for most spraying, but you may need to use a stream to get into some cracks and crevices. If you can't get into the cracks and crevices use one of the aerosols described below with it's crack and crevice tips to reach into these areas.
Aerosols (Temprid Ready Spray, Alpine PT or Bedlam Plus) Usage: Simply attach the plastic tip to the aerosol can. Apply as a crack and crevice or spot treatment where evidence of bed bugs occurs. This includes bed frames, box springs, inside empty dressers, clothes closets, curtain rods, hollow spaces, carpet edges, high and low wall moldings and wallpaper edges.
Top recommendation: Temprid Ready Spray
Dust Usage: (Do not dust on top of moist insecticides)
Use a Bulb 4 Oz. Duster to really get into the cracks and crevices with the Pyganic DustAnother tool used for dusting would be a small paint brush or small makeup brus Put a sll amount of dust on the tip of the brush, brushing into cracks and crevices.
Important!! Do all of the treatments (as described above) 3 times, 10 days apart.
Another product that is useful for bed bug control is
Gentrol IGR. Use Gentrol for long term bed bug control. Gentrol breaks the life cycle by preventing the young from maturing into adults. Gentrol is especially useful for commercial establishments.
Although the preferred host for bed bugs is humans, they will feed on other animals, such as poultry, mice, rats, canaries, dogs, and cats if necessary. They normally feed at night, but may feed in the daylight in rooms that are not used at night.
Bed Bugs Life Cycle
Bed Bugs Life Cycle Diagram
The life cycle stages of a bed bug are egg, nymph, and adult. The reason they are called bed bugs is that they readily infest mattresses, bed frames and box springs. Eggs are laid along the edges of or around buttons on the mattresses. Eggs can also be glued to rough surfaces.
Bed bug females lay about 200 eggs, usually at the rate of three or four a day. Eggs are placed in cracks, crevices and other isolated and protected shelters. Females lay eggs after a blood meal. Eggs will hatch in one or two weeks into Nymphs. Newly hatched bugs (Nymphs) begin feeding immediately. At room temperature, and with an available food supply, the nymphal period will last 14 to 30 days. They shed their skin (Instar) five times before becoming adults. Bed bugs will mate soon after becoming mature, so the time from egg hatch to egg laying is 4 to 9 weeks, under favorable conditions. The average life span of the bed bug is 6-12 months and they feed every 10 days or so during this time. Bed bugs can survive many months without a blood meal and their reproduction is high.
The female lays eggs in cracks and crevices along the edges of mattresses, box springs and bed frames. Bed bugs also inhabit other cracks and crevices throughout infested rooms. These other areas include; behind picture frames, switch plate covers, loose wallpaper, under door and window casings, baseboards or along the edges of carpets.
Bed bugs hide in cracks and crevices during daylight hours.
They hide in the folds and tufts of mattresses, coils of springs, cracks and hollow posts of bed stands bed rails and headboards. They may be found in box springs, inside the cabinetry of furniture and the bottom and sides of drawers.
Bed bugs may hide in upholstery of chairs and sofas.
They are not restricted to these places, however.
A second common source for bedbug infestation occurs in homes where
bats, swallows, chimney swifts, pigeons, or other wild hosts have been
roosting. Although similar in appearance, these bedbug species that
normally feed on bats and birds can be differentiated from the Common
Bedbug that prefer humans.
Another group of bugs resembling the bed bug infest birds. These bugs are usually confined to bird nests. To control these parasites, the birds and their nests must be removed, and an application with a residual spray such as Cyonara 9.7 should be applied to the area.
What do bed bug bites look like and do they carry disease?
Click on image to enlarge
Bed bugs do not carry disease.
They do suck blood from their host with piercing mouth parts but the bite is painless.
The skin may become irritated or inflamed due to the salivary fluid injected by the bed bugs. A small, hard, swollen, white welt may develop at the site of each bite.
It is important to recognize that not all bites or bite-like reactions are due to bed bugs. Bed bugs or their signs will be present if it is a bed bug bite.
Bed bugs do not live under the skin. If you experience biting sensations during the day, it may be an allergy related condition.
(Other possible sources of irritation are discussed in University of Kentucky entomology fact sheet Invisible Itches: Insect and Non-Insect Causes).
Preventing Bed Bug Infestations
It's important to inspect used furniture, particularly bed frames and mattresses before bringing it into the home. Mattresses, in particular, carry the greatest risk of harboring Bed Bugs and their eggs. You should be wary of acquiring used furnishings, especially beds and couches.
A practice that we have incorporated in our traveling is to inspect for bed bugs in hotel rooms. If possible, carry a flashlight with you and inspect the bed area completely as described above. Also, you may want to inspect or vacuum luggage when you arrive home to prevent tranferring bed bugs to your home.
You can use JT Eaton Bedbug Control for Luggage and Mattresses and spray this both on your luggage and mattresses during travel.
The Catchmaster BDS recreates the conditions that bedbugs consider perfect including dark, tight tunneling areas and rough woodsy material. Bed bugs would usually be found: inside the small grooves of corrugated boxes, between mattress creases and aound/under wooden furniture. Each monitor has an adhesive backing which allows you to mount the trap on almost any surface, such as the back of a picture frame.
Can I prevent bed bugs from entering my home?