Thursday, November 17, 2011

Green and Frugal: Methods for Dealing with Bed Bugs

Green Methods for Dealing with Bed Bugs
Bed bugs have received some renewed attention in the last several years and complaints about them seem to have risen. In addition, a more mobile society has allowed the pests to spread more easily. Pesticides once were seen as the solution but there are now concerns about their effects on human health and the environment. Thankfully, for those of us that try to reduce our exposure to toxic chemicals, there are “green” ways to prevent a bed bug infestation or to deal with one if it occurs.

Preventing an Infestation
The easiest way to eliminate an infestation of bed bugs is to take measures to prevent one from happening in the first place.

*Clothes – When returning from a trip immediately place all clothing and linens in the dryer and run for 30 minutes. Sustained heat will kill bed bugs and their eggs.

*Vacuum – Maintain a regular schedule of vacuuming carpets and mattresses. Be sure to run the vacuum after overnight guests leave to be sure they did not inadvertently bring some pest with them in their luggage.

*Bed space – Bed bugs like to hide in the baseboards of walls and any other cracks they can find. Keep beds away from walls and place pest strips around the bottoms of the legs. Be sure to calk and seal all cracks around the house.

*Remove clutter – Bed bugs will use clutter as a hiding space so eliminating it can go a long way toward preventing an infestation.

*Inspections – Create and maintain a schedule of checking mattresses, furniture cushions and curtains, all of which can be hiding places for the pests. Look for dark red stains or other specks. Be sure to inspect any seams in the mattresses or bedding.

Battling an Infestation
Once bed bugs have made their way into a house it can be difficult to extract them. Professional pest removal services may be necessary, but there are some less expensive, more environmentally-friendly methods to try first.

*Bag them – A mattress bag can be used to encase the mattress and smother the bugs. It will also prevent future infestations.

*Take a steam – Temperatures above 140 degrees Fahrenheit are deadly to bed bugs. Steam cleaning mattresses, carpets, furniture and drapes will destroy them.

*Use some alcohol – A mist of at least 70 percent rubbing alcohol to 30 percent water will also be effective, though it may need to be done more than once.

*Wash and dry – Any linen or clothing that has shown signs of bed bugs should be washed and dried while removal methods are being used. Run a vacuum over areas where evidence of bed bugs has been found.

Using green methods to battle bed bugs will require more effort than simply calling in a specialist, especially after they have made an appearance in a residence. The benefit is that it can be much healthier for those living in the home, and less expensive. Knowing how to keep the pests out is the best defense, but there are simple, non-toxic ways to eradicate them if they find their way inside.

This is a guest post from Karen Barnes, who encourages people to look at bed bug bite pictures to confirm bed bugs are the actual pests they’re dealing with. She believes it’s possible to get rid of bed bugs using inexpensive, eco-friendly methods that won’t expose families to harmful pesticides.

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  2. Dealing with is very complex to people who have not sufficient knowledge of fighting with bedbugs. Proper knowledge is must for getting expertise in dealing with bedbugs. Thanks for describing the techniques so well.

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