Bedbugs are unwelcome house guests, and getting rid of them can be difficult. While using an exterminator is an effective way to deal with a bedbug problem, there are many effective natural methods you can try before turning to an expert.
Use Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is the most effective natural treatment for bedbugs. It’s made from the sediment at the bottom of rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans and is completely natural. While it’s non-toxic to humans and their pets, when bedbugs ingest it, they dehydrate and die. Sprinkle the powder on your mattresses, bed frames, and carpets and in corners (be sure to wear a dust mask when you do this). While this method can be very effective, it can take up to ten days to see results.
Try Essential Oils
Bedbugs don’t like the smell of lavender, cedar, orange, and tea tree oil and will often stay away due to their strong smell. Mix twenty drops of oil with water in a spray bottle and mist the legs of your bed. This will keep bedbugs at bay for several weeks.
Steam the Bedbugs
Steam between 160 and 180°F is lethal to bedbugs in every stage of their life cycle, so using a commercial steam cleaner is an effective way to get rid of them. Steam gets into cracks, surface indentations, and the upholstery on furniture to kill the bugs wherever they may be hiding. Be sure to pay attention to your mattress, your bed frame, your curtains, and all carpet and flooring. If you don’t want to do it yourself, contact Columbus Ohio’s Top Pest Control & Bed Bug Removal Team to help you with your steam cleaning needs.
Protect Your Mattress
One of the most popular places for bedbugs to hide is your mattress, so it’s important to make sure they have no access to it. Putting bedbug-proof covers on all the mattresses and box springs in your home will prevent bedbugs from taking up residence there. Bedbug traps can also be placed under the legs of the bed to stop them from reaching your mattress.
Suffocate the Bedbugs
Vacuum your mattress thoroughly and then secure it in a Ziploc mattress bag. It won’t happen overnight, but eventually the bedbugs will either starve or suffocate. Be sure to leave the bag on the mattress for at least a week before removing it.
Wash Your Clothes
Pick up everything near your bed that can safely be washed. Toss blankets, pillows, sheets, clothing, and stuffed animals into the washer and run on the hottest setting. Dry those same items on high heat in the dryer. The heat will kill any bedbugs and eggs present.
Use a brush to scrub your mattress seams and stitching to dislodge any bedbugs and eggs hidden there. Next, vacuum your whole mattress with the crevice tool, making sure to get the seams, edges, and crevices. Vacuum along the base of the bed and then continue around the room, hitting everywhere bedbugs might hide. Move the furniture away from the walls to vacuum underneath and be sure to clean along the baseboards. You want to capture as many of the eggs, nymphs, and adult bugs as possible. When you finish, put the vacuum bag in a double plastic bag, seal, and put in the outside trash.
Use the Freezer
There are items that cannot safely go into the washer. Using the freezer is your next best option because extremely low temperatures will kill both bedbugs and their eggs. Put items like shoes in a sealed bag and keep them in the freezer for several days before removing.
If you prefer a natural solution to your bedbug infestation, the above options are a good place to start. If the problem persists, however, you should consult an expert for a more effective bedbug treatment.