Get Rid of Bed Bugs Without Spending A Fortune
So, you’ve got bed bugs. You’ve been to the doctor and gotten a prescription for an anti-allergen, and another one for some antibiotics. Now you’re wondering how they got there in the first place. And how do you get rid of them? Most of us can’t afford to just throw away our bedding and buy a new set.
So how can you get rid of bed bugs on a tight budget? Luckily, there are several simple steps you can take to get rid of bed bugs that won’t cost you much if anything at all. A combination of washing your bedding and clothes in very hot water and vacuuming will take care of the majority of the problem. Other options might require you to purchase cleaning products or rent some cleaning equipment that you might not already own.
In this article, we will examine in detail the various steps you can take to get rid of bed bugs on a budget, how to spot them if you suspect you might have them, and how to avoid getting bed bugs in the first place.
How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs don’t just show up in seedy motels. These pests have begun to infest even the wealthiest of homes because bed bugs have become immune to common pesticides.
Bed bugs have been described as a growing problem in places such as New York City, where there were over 3,000 complaints made in a single year about bed bugs. Not surprisingly, this has led to an increased number of people trying to find cheap solutions to rid themselves of these dreaded insects.
Budget-Friendly Bed Bug Prevention Tips
Although no one way can fit all budgets or situations, here are some general guidelines for getting rid of the pests on a budget:
- It is important to wash all sheets and linens in hot water at least once a week. Since bed bugs can live off of one host for up to a year without feeding, the only way to get rid of them is by either steam cleaning (which may not be an option if on a tight budget) or by washing all linens and clothes in extremely hot water.
- Vacuum your entire house at least once every two weeks. This will suck some of the bedbugs into the bag where they are then destroyed. You have to do this frequently enough that it would prevent any eggs from being laid, but not so often that you are wasting your time because there are just too many bugs left behind. Doing this also allows you to see potential hiding places, such as underneath the mattress, in which you can then spray with a pesticide.
- Keep your apartment well-lit to make the bugs easier to spot. This is especially useful when doing any last-minute checks before going to bed.
- Keep the area under furniture and around doors and windows clear of clutter so that it is easier to sweep or vacuum up any bugs or their egg sacs.
- You should cover your mattress, box spring, and pillows either in plastic or with allergen covers since these are the most common places for them to hide during the day.
- If possible, take your bed apart periodically and check for signs of bug activity underneath the frame where they may be hiding.
- Steam clean hardwood floors every week. Bed bugs go through their life cycle in four to six months and can be killed by extreme heat.
- Try foggers or insecticide sprays before investing in an expensive steamer, although these may not always be effective since they tend to miss spots where the eggs are attached. If you have nothing else then this is better than nothing at all.
How To Spot Bed Bugs
Bedbugs are reddish-brown and about a quarter of an inch long. They do not have wings, but they have flat bodies so that they can fit into small cracks and crevices.
You will be able to see them better during the day if you turn on the lights because they tend to hide from the light and come out at night when it is dark. Although it may seem like there are tons of bugs you should realize that bedbugs multiply quickly.
One female can lay up to 500 eggs in her lifetime which means that if even two bugs had been living in your house then there could be hundreds within a month.
How To Avoid Getting Bed Bugs
A majority of the time, when people report that they have been bitten by bed bugs it is because they have been staying somewhere else besides their home. Hotels are especially susceptible to infestations since their turnover rate is so high.
You go into a hotel and end up with an unwanted hitchhiker that has been living inside the mattress and box spring and makes its way into your home in your luggage. If you are staying at a hotel you should inspect your room immediately after checking in for signs of bed bugs.
If you find bed bugs you should at least request to move to another room, but you might be better off going to a different hotel since it is so easy for bed bugs to spread and infest an entire hotel.
Another way to unknowingly bring bed bugs into your home is by purchasing used upholstered furniture. If you do not inspect it closely and make sure that no bugs or egg sacs are attached to the fabric (which you can see by holding up a bright flashlight) then when one of these bugs bites you in the middle of the night they will have already started to reproduce and your home will be infested in just a month.
If you find or buy used furniture it is a good practice to steam clean it before bringing it inside. Never pick up discarded mattresses you might find on the side of the road or outside someone’s house. It might seem like a great way to save some money, but even if there are no visible stains, you have no idea what might be living inside it.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small, flat parasites that feed on human blood. They usually hide in beds or other furniture during the day and venture out at night to find a meal. This makes it almost impossible for most people to detect them until they have already infested an entire building or home which often leads to a difficult extermination process.
These bugs not only look similar to ticks but also lay eggs in similar areas such as crevices. They also tend to leave behind dark droppings which can easily be confused with roach poop if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
Do Bed Bugs Bite?
Yes, bed bugs chew on your skin and then drink your blood. You might not know right away because their bites can easily go unnoticed at first since they tend to be small and sometimes do not leave a mark.
Once you realize that these bumps are bug bites though, you will probably start to scratch them which only makes it worse because this causes the itching and swelling to get worse.
What If You Get Bitten By Bed Bugs?
If you are allergic to the bite of a bed bug then you may have some intense itching along with bumps and blisters which can take up to two weeks to disappear. However, if left untreated then you could also get conjunctivitis or pink eye that might even lead to blindness.
If you get bitten during the night then it may be difficult for you to see the doctor immediately, but be sure to go in as soon as possible because if you are allergic it could be life-threatening.
How To Prevent Bed Bugs From Biting You:
- Put glue traps around your bed before you go to sleep, especially if you are unable to get rid of them. These traps are extremely sticky which means that they will be able to catch any bugs that walk on them, even if there aren’t many in your room.
- Try keeping your arms and legs inside of the sheets while you sleep to keep the bed bugs from reaching your skin.
- You could also try spreading diatomaceous earth, which is a powder that you can use to kill insects, around your bed and other furniture which will kill the bed bugs by dehydrating them even if they haven’t fed off of you. It can take up to one month for them to die, but it is natural and safe for humans to handle.
- Another option would be placing mint tea bags around your bed because these have been shown to repel many different types of insects.
- Lastly, rubbing lavender oil on your skin before going to sleep can also help prevent many insects from biting you. This oil is one of, if not the most, effective essential oils for repelling all kinds of bugs and will keep them out of your home as well as off your skin.
Bed bugs are nasty little bloodsuckers that can very quickly infest your entire house. Usually, by the time you realize they are there, it’s too late. Luckily there are many ways to get rid of them that are budget-friendly so if you do end up with bed bugs it’s not the end of the world.
Washing your bedding in extremely hot water and steam cleaning your furniture and floors will likely do the trick within a few weeks. The best way to avoid getting bed bugs is to be proactive when staying at a hotel or buying secondhand furniture. Making sure you aren’t accidentally bringing bed bugs into your home is the easiest way to avoid the headache of getting rid of them and the itchy bug bites.