Have you ever woken up in the morning to find itchy bumps and spots on your legs, arms or other parts of the body? Chances are that they are caused by bedbug bites. This can feel very unpleasant. It takes up to a few days for the itching to subside.

A typical bedbug is a small, flat insect that feeds off the blood of animals or humans. Female bedbugs can lay hundreds of eggs over a lifetime. If they are not dealt with, they multiply rapidly.

Bedbugs can enter your house via luggage, clothes used mattresses and furniture. Because they have flat bodies, they can easily hide in tiny spaces, making them undetectable. They emerge when the sun goes down, biting exposed areas of skin.

It’s a misconception that bedbugs thrive in dirty or decaying surroundings. They can live happily in any environment. All they need to survive is proximity to living beings.

Fortunately, there are many ways to get rid of these annoying creatures. It’s worth making an effort to do this, as having bedbugs at home is troublesome and can make you lose sleep.

To begin with, see if you can spot where they are hiding. Some common areas are:

  • Mattress and cushion seams
  • Cracks in the bed frame or headboard
  • Edges of carpets
  • Furniture joints, especially if covered with fabric

Remember, if you can’t see them, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there! Bedbugs are notoriously hard to detect with the naked eye.

Initial Steps to Remove Bedbugs

Now, let’s move on to some concrete action you can take to eliminate bedbugs.

  • Scrub and Vacuum – With a stiff brush, scrub mattresses, cushions, stuffed toys and the like. Then, use a vacuum cleaner to collect any eggs or bugs that may have emerged.
  • Hot Water Wash – Take all bed linen, cushion covers and furniture covers and wash them in the hottest water possible. Dry thoroughly before using.
  • Cover and Store – If you can, encase mattresses in zippered covers and store them away for a while. This isolates the bedbugs. Without food, they die. Before you use them again, make sure to properly vacuum all surfaces.
  • Repair and Restore – Bedbugs can also thrive in cracks and crevices. You should repair any cracks on walls or peeling wallpaper. Make sure the surfaces are smooth.
  • Minimise Clutter – The more surfaces there are, the more places for bedbugs to hide. Remove whatever is inessential, especially around beds and sofas.

Some Home Remedies

Whether the initial steps will work or not depends on how severe the infestation is. If it is at the initial stages, then you should be able to get rid of them and heave a sigh of relief.

However, if they have spread and multiplied, you will need to use some form of insecticide. You should choose these with care, especially if there are children at home.

Some natural treatments you can try are:

Baking Soda: Baking soda dehydrates surfaces and in this way, can kill bugs. Spread a light layer of this along crevices and seams. Let it remain for a few days before vacuuming it up.

Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil has antiparasitic properties. You can prepare a diluted solution and fill a spray bottle to apply it on mattresses, cushions, curtains and other furniture fabric. After this, you can wash them with hot water.

Lavender Oil: Diluted lavender oil can also be applied to areas where you suspect there are bedbugs. It has been known to get rid of them completely. Bonus: lavender oil also helps to keep you rested and relaxed.

White Vinegar: Distilled white vinegar can be applied and sprayed on mattresses and furniture to get rid of bedbugs. After doing this, you will need to wash the covers and curtains.

These remedies apart, there are several sprays and powders you can purchase to deal with bedbugs. Look for those that are herbal or otherwise made with natural ingredients. It’s best not to have toxic chemicals on mattresses and furniture.

In severe cases, you will need to call in pest control professionals. Again, you should check with them about what treatments they will use. Ensure that none of them has any harmful side effects.

Tips on Keeping Bedbugs Away

Once you’re finally rid of bedbugs, the last thing you want is for them to reappear. Here are some tips to make them stay far away.

  • Many times, bedbugs are to be found in used mattresses, couches and other second-hand furniture. Be especially careful to clean these properly if you are bringing them home.
  • Bedbugs have been known to travel between flats, too. If you’re in an apartment complex, speak to your neighbours or the building society about best practices to keep bedbugs away.
  • When on holiday, we all spend time in various hotels or resort rooms. When returning home, make sure to properly wash and clean all clothes and other items.
  • Sometimes, bedbugs can enter the home in the clothing or baggage of house guests, without them being aware of it. After they leave, scrub mattresses and wash bedsheets carefully.

For more such tips on creating comfortable and liveable interiors, you’re welcome to speak to the design experts at HomeLane. Book a free design session right now.

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