What you need to know about how to fight bed bugs: From curious home remedies to professional methods used by exterminators.

Fighting bed bugs: the right procedure

If you discover bed bugs in your home, fast and effective help is needed. Not only can the pests cause an extremely unpleasant itch, they can also spread quickly throughout the home. In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about combating bed bugs. From the correct procedure to tested home remedies against bed bugs.

Professional methods for bed bug control

When you choose professional bed bug control, you can be sure that the insects will be thoroughly and effectively controlled. Exterminators typically use a variety of methods to control bed bugs. Among the most common are heat treatments and control with chemicals.

  • Control bed bugs with heat

Heat treatments are one of the most effective methods to control bed bugs. Here, exterminators use highly effective heaters to heat up the premises for several hours to kill the parasites. Heat treatment is particularly effective because bed bugs are very sensitive to heat. With this method, bed bugs and their eggs can be killed with just a single treatment if done correctly.

  • Fighting bed bugs with chemicals

Fighting bed bugs with chemicals is another commonly used method. This usually involves a mixture of fogging machines and targeted spraying of the chemicals on hiding places. Exterminators use special insecticides for this purpose to kill the parasites. Chemical control is particularly effective because the insecticides work directly on the bugs, killing them immediately. After about 14 days, another treatment is applied. This is necessary because bed bug eggs and bed bugs in the earlier stages are sometimes more robust and can survive the first treatment.

  • Fighting bed bugs with powders

Non-toxic powders such as diatomaceous earth are commonly used in pest control and are also effective on bed bugs. The mineral clay destroys the protective layer of the bed bug’s shell, which ultimately leads to desiccation. Although the effect is relatively slow – only after about a week – but for the use of difficult to access cracks and cavities where the parasites can hide, the powders are very suitable.

What you should not do under any circumstances in the event of a bed bug infestation

It is especially important to remain calm during a bed bug infestation. As a rule, the animals are very difficult to get rid of and a new infestation is usually pre-programmed if not properly dealt with. So, pay attention to the following points to avoid a new infestation:

  • Don’t spray chemicals around your home yourself, as they often don’t have the desired effect and you may also be putting yourself in danger by doing so.
  • Do not hide your laundry but wash it thoroughly at a minimum of 60 degrees Celsius to kill the bugs.
  • Do not simply dispose of your old bedding or clothing in the trash, as this can spread the bugs further. It is better to burn these things or freeze them in an airtight bag at -18 degrees Celsius.
  • Do not move furniture from the infested room to another. Bed bugs spread mainly by transporting infested items, and thus they can get into other rooms.
  • Also, under no circumstances place furniture in the garden, on the balcony or on the street, as this can spread the bed bugs even further.
  • Do not take any items into your home that could be infested with bed bugs. This is especially true for furniture, mattresses and clothing.

Fighting bed bugs yourself with home remedies

According to various guides on the Internet, there are some home remedies that should help you get rid of bed bugs. The following remedies and methods are said to be able to help with a bed bug infestation. However, they are not recommended by experts, as they usually do not have any effect and instead delay professional control:

  • Essential oils: Supposedly, the smell of essential oils, such as clove oil, lavender oil or mint oil will drive away the parasites. These can be distributed in the room with the help of one or more fragrance lamps. Alternatively, a few drops of essential oil can be placed in a pot of boiling water, which is placed in the room.
  • Scented sachets containing dried lavender, cloves or mint are said to have the same effect.
  • Smoke is also said to help kill bed bugs. To do this, fumigate your home with a natural smoke agent, such as lavender.
  • Vinegar: Wiping down floors, moldings, furniture and other items with vinegar suds is said to help contain bed bugs.
  • Turmeric: Supposedly, the curcumin found in turmeric’s antimicrobial properties will ensure that bed bugs can no longer breathe and die. To do this, turmeric should be sprinkled on the affected textiles and then vacuumed.

In addition to home remedies, there are also over-the-counter sprays available for purchase in drugstores and hardware stores that are supposed to kill bed bugs. Here, too, however, professionals advise caution, as the active ingredients are not as highly dosed as in the remedies used by pest controllers. Thus, they are usually not very effective, but can still cause damage to the health of the user and other residents.

Preventing bed bugs

It is important to control bed bugs as soon as possible, otherwise they can spread very quickly. Although there are various home remedies and methods, they usually do not show any effect and delay professional control.

To prevent bed bugs, you should make sure that your luggage is free of bed bugs when traveling. The small animals can occur in accommodation (hotels, hostels, guesthouses, …) as well as means of transport (airplane, bus and train) and can settle in your luggage from there. Wash your luggage thoroughly after arriving home.

Bed bugs also spread strongly through the transport of infested items, such as furniture or even decorative items. Therefore, when purchasing used items over the Internet or at flea markets or bulky waste, make sure to inspect and clean them thoroughly.