Bed bugs are small, wingless, creepy, nocturnal insects that multiply quickly and can infest every corner of your home especially your beddings and upholstery.
As bed bugs are nocturnal creatures, they could bite you at night when you are sleeping. You may not be aware when they bite you. However, you may notice the signs when you wake up such as red and itchy welts, sights of dried blood, bed bug skins and eggs, etc.
The first step to take when dealing with bed bug infestation is to locate the infestation. This would enable you speedily eradicate the infestation as any remedy you use would be mostly targeting the infestation. Most of the infestation often occurs in the bedroom. However, it could occur anywhere.
Here are some other points to consider when dealing with bed bugs;
- Regularly inspect the corner of mattresses.
- Be cautious when using insecticides. Keep children away from insecticides.
- Get rid of clutter from your house especially your bedrooms.
- Keep beds away from the wall.
- Avoid moving things from the infested room as this would only spread the bed bug infestation.
- Avoid using second-hand furniture, beddings, and mattresses as they are more prone to be infested with bed bug.
Here are 31 home remedies and natural treatments for getting rid of bed bugs;
1. Destroy Them With Silica Gel
Silica gel is one of the best and easiest home remedies to get rid of bed bugs. It is readily available and is non-toxic to humans unless ingested.
Grind some silica gel into a fine powder and spread it on the affected area, on your bedding and all around the bedroom.
The fine particle will easily get attached to the bodies of bed bugs. The ground silica gel would dehydrate their body and kill them.
2. Spray Cayenne Pepper
The antimicrobial properties of cayenne pepper help in eliminating the small insects in a great way.
To a bowl of boiling water, add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, some oregano, and grated ginger. Allow the ingredients to steep in the water. Cool it and pour the entire content in a spray bottle.
Spray it over the affected area. The bed bugs will suffocate and die.
3. Treat Them With Steam
Hot steam treatment is a great way to get rid of the bed bugs and their eggs. If the infestation is severe, killing the adult bed bugs may help in reducing their population but they will soon show their presence due to the high number of eggs that do not get destroyed during regular cleaning and washing.
As the eggs cannot escape the effect of hot steam, the bed bugs get completely destroyed by steam cleaning. A low vapor steamer will effectively kill all the bugs while leaving very little moisture in your mattress.
4. Sprinkle Baking Soda
Baking soda has a dehydrating effect that kills the bed bugs by absorbing moisture directly from their body.
Spread baking soda liberally near your bed, over the infested mattress and pillows and on the carpets. Also. sprinkle some near the cracks and crevices so that no bug is left behind.
Baking soda also has antimicrobial properties that help in eliminating bed bugs and other microbes around your home.
5. Use Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a proven insecticide that helps in keeping a variety of harmful insects at bay. To use this for bed bugs, just add 20-25 drops of tea tree oil to water and fill the solution in a spray bottle.
Spray it on the affected places. This solution can be easily sprayed to the areas that are hard to reach. It will kill the hidden bed bugs completely eliminating them from your home. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25171605)
6. Use Black Walnut Tea Bags
If you have black walnut tea bags at home, you can use them to get rid of the tiny parasites from your house. Just place these tea bags in bed creases, closet, and corners of your room. You may also place used tea bags for destroying these insects. The insecticidal properties of black walnut tea will easily repel the tiny insects. (http://www.bio.brandeis.edu/fieldbio/medicinal_plants/pages/Black_Walnut.htm)
7. Repel Them With Peppermint
Peppermint oil helps in repelling a large number of pests and insects in a natural way. The strong smell and its antimicrobial properties make it a great home remedy for bed bugs.
Take a few drops of the peppermint essential oil and mix it with water to make a handy spray. The refreshing smell will remove bad odor from your rooms while repelling insects and bed bugs.
8. Trap Them With Double Sided Tape
Double sided tapes can effectively trap a good number of bed bugs that creep around your bed. As soon as they come across the tape, the stickiness traps them and they are not able to escape.
Stick these tapes at the base of your bed and in the corners to check the population of bed bugs in your house.
9. Scrub The Bed Bugs Off
If you notice too many adult bed bugs in your mattress seam, sofa, and carpets, use a stiff brush to manually scrub them off.
Make sure you choose an open clean space to do this job so that the bugs do not spread to other places. Scrubbing will also loosen the eggs attached to your upholstery.
10. Apply Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is generally used to disinfect the skin but it can work wonders in killing the bugs. Just spray it on the affected area to dehydrate the body of bed bugs and kill them instantly. Rubbing alcohol also works well in killing the eggs.
11. Vacuum Clean Your Bedding
The small insect is capable of hiding in the smallest of cracks and creases. Even after scrubbing and washing, you may miss on a few that are hiding in these tiny places.
The best way to deal with such hidden bed bugs is to carefully vacuum the entire affected area, including furniture, cracks in the walls and creases of the bed. (https://www.epa.gov/bedbugs/top-ten-tips-prevent-or-control-bed-bugs)
12. Use Pyrethrum
Pyrethrum is nothing but an extraction from the dried flower heads of tanacetum or chrysanthemum with chrysanthemum being a potent natural insecticide.
The extract is known to cause a disruption in the nervous system of the bugs, consequently killing them. Since pyrethrum is safe for humans and pets it can effectively eliminate bed bugs. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysanthemum#Insecticidal_uses)
13. Get Rid Of Bedbugs With Thyme
Thyme is another herb that has powerful insecticidal properties. It repels the bed bugs from your rooms in an excellent way. Just tie a cotton cloth at the tip of a thyme stick and burn it. The resulting fumes would repel the bed bugs and pull them out of the cracks and creases.
Alternatively, you may also use fresh thyme leaves wrapped in a net or muslin bag and place it around the affected areas to get rid of them. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3074903/)
14. Sweet Flag Treatment
Also known as calamus, it is an aromatic herb that is disliked by the bed bugs. You can purchase a packet of calamus and make a solution by following the instructions mentioned on the pack.
Fill it in a spray bottle and ward off the bed bug infestation by spraying directly on the affected area.
15. Make A Lavender Spray
The scent of lavender is relaxing for us, but it can be irritating to the tiny bugs. They feel nauseated with its strong smell. You may use lavender essential oil mixed with water to spray around the house or sprinkle lavender powder in places where you notice bed bugs. (http://pestkill.org/bed-bugs/lavender-oil/)
16. Try Kidney Bean Leaves Trap
Kidney Bean leaves possess characteristic microscopic hook hairs that pierce through the feet of bed bugs, trapping them in it.
All you have to do is gather some bean leaves and spread it in the areas where the bed bugs are present in a large number. (https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/bean-leaves-dont-let-the-bedbugs-bite-by-using-tiny-impaling-spikes-18427074/)
17. Kill Them With Lemongrass
Lemongrass is one of the best home remedies for bed bugs. Lemongrass tends to increase the acidic level in the bed bugs. The tiny animals are incapable of tolerating the high acidic levels and die. Lemongrass is non-toxic and does not cause any harm or irritation to humans.
Use lemongrass mixed with water to spray at all the possible areas in your room where you suspect their presence. You could also use lemongrass oil diluted with water. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4592615/)
18. Essential Oil Spray
Some essential oils are useful in repelling pests and insects out of your home without causing any harm to humans. A mixture of essential oils that have insecticidal properties can help you get rid of the bed bugs from your home permanently.
Add a few drops of eucalyptus, lavender and rosemary oil. Spray it directly on the insects and on the affected area. Alternatively, you can also mix tea tree, cedar and oregano oil to eliminate bed bugs.
19. Place Indian Lilac Leaves
Indian lilac or neem is a powerful insecticide. Its antimicrobial properties make it a great remedy for eradicating bed bugs and other insects from your home. Get some fresh leaves and spread it on the infestation.
You may also make a solution by boiling the leaves in water for 10-12 minutes. Cool the solution and spray it directly at all the places where you see the bed bugs.
20. Clove Oil
Cloves work by creating an acidic pH which makes it difficult for bed bugs to survive. The strong pungent smell irritates them and repels the bed bugs. Put a few drops of clove oil in cotton balls and place it in the infested area.
If clove oil is not available, you may spread a few cloves at every possible corner to kill them. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4592615/)
21. Encase The Mattress
If the infestation is on your mattress and pillow, you may consider encasing them to reduce further damage and kill the bed bugs. The tightly woven covers used in encasements do not allow the bed bugs to enter or come out of it. Since they do not find any place to escape, they die. You must keep the encasement for at least a year so that all the bugs die.
22. Beauveria Bassiana
If you want to get rid of all the bed bugs in 4-5 days, use this remedy. Beauveria is a fungus having insecticidal properties. It acts as a parasite and disables the insect in no time.
Buy a bottle of Beauveria Bassiana and spread it in the infested areas. It will eventually kill all the bed bugs naturally. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bed_bug_control_techniques#Fungus)
23. Ensure Regular Inspection And Cleaning
A regular inspection is important in checking the growth of infestation due to bed bugs. The sight of just a few bed bugs should activate your bed bug control mode as they could quickly grow in numbers if nothing is done.
The sooner you find the infestation, the easier it is to eliminate them. Always keep your house clutter free. Although the bed bugs do not get attracted to dust, washing all the fabrics regularly will help you check their growth.
24. Freeze Them All
Just like high temperature kills the bed bugs, they cannot tolerate low temperatures. If the infested item is small enough to fit in your freezer, you can easily kill the bed bugs by freezing them. Leave the item, in the freezer, for at least 4 days to ensure they are killed. (https://www.epa.gov/bedbugs/do-it-yourself-bed-bug-control)
25. Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is a natural substance obtained by fossilized algae. The powder is capable of damaging the waxy coating on the body of bed bugs. As a result, they get dehydrated and die.
Since it is harmless to humans, you can spread it around the house on the infested areas and at their hiding places. When they come in contact with it unknowingly, they die in a few days. (https://www.nashuanh.gov/DocumentCenter/View/2620)
26. Spread Indica Leaves
Bed bug gets repelled by the smell of Indica leaves. Moreover, the plant has antimicrobial properties that help in eliminating small insects in a great manner. Gather some Indica leaves and crush them to release its smell. Put the crushed leaves in the infested area. Keep changing them when the aroma fades away.
If fresh leaves are not readily available, you can make a solution with the leaves by boiling it with water and use it multiple times to spray in the affected areas.
27. Use Some Scented Sheets
Bed bugs can’t tolerate strong scents. They like to thrive in a place having a moderate temperature and odor. Any kind of strong scent will irritate and repel them.
If you don’t like other smell that is used to eradicate the insects, buy some scented sheets and place them on your mattress, cushions, sofas and other places where you spot the bugs.
28. Mint Leaves Can Help
If you have mint leaves growing in your yard, you can use them to get rid of the small parasites while enjoying its fresh fragrance. Crush a handful of dried mint leaves and spread them around the house to repel them. Bed bugs can’t stand the strong smell of mint and will soon vanish. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3059459/)
29. Heat Them With Hair Dryer
Since the bugs cannot withstand high temperature a hair dryer can be used to kill them instantly. All you need is time and patience to do it. Plug in your hair dryer and set it to the highest temperature.
Take each section of the infested area at a time and apply heat for time enough to kill them. You may position it at a place for at least an hour to kill the bugs and their eggs. Once done, vacuum the area and clean the vacuum filter. (http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/environmental-health-protection/structural-pest-control/bed-bugs)
30. Wash All Fabrics With Hot Water
All the fabric that comes in contact with the infested area may carry some bugs. It is best to wash all these fabrics using hot water. Hot water ensures that no bed bug is left alive in them.
A wash temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit for around 30 minutes will help in killing all the bugs effectively. Run the dryer for 15-20 minutes in high heat to dry these fabrics.
31. Keep The Infested Items In The Sun
If you are living in an area which receives ample sunlight and heat, you may put the infested item in sun for a few hours and see the bed bugs vanishing. Since they cant tolerate high temperatures, they die when placed in the sun.
The bright sun rays and the radioactive waves quickly warm up any item to more than 90-degree Fahrenheit which is sufficient to kill the bugs. This not only removes all the bugs that are hidden but also their eggs. Thus, completely eliminating the infestation.
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