Sleep tight they say, always followed by a warning to not let those pesky bed bugs bite you. Other than just being a silly saying you’d tell your children when tucking them in at night, this warning should actually be considered very seriously.
Bed bugs are parasitic insects that feed on your blood. That’s right, they’re vampire bugs!
Using the inside of your bed as their base of operation, they cause allergies, rashes and even psychological problems, so it is in your best interest to get rid of them as quickly and completely as possible.
On the war path
Luckily, bed bugs are weak to high temperatures, and you can use this to your advantage.
The best way to eradicate the little nuisances is to treat them with a dose of scalding hot steam the likes of which can be produced by a high-quality steam cleaner. The emphasis here is on the word quality, because some cheaper models won’t have the necessary capabilities to kill off the bugs.
You should either use a commercial-grade machine or a more expensive model intended for home use. Carpet cleaning machines won’t do the trick here because the steam they generate simply isn’t hot enough.
You should take precautions and clean your mattresses regularly, but if you’re faced with a sudden infestation your bed can still be salvaged. You’ll want to use the right tool for the job. Most cleaners come with a triangular nozzle which you should use for this task as the standard floor nozzle can’t clean as fast without losing temperature.
Speaking of which, the steam’s temperature should be at least 170 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure that the bed bugs will perish and that no harm will come to the bed or any of your fabrics.
It is important not to use a pinpoint nozzle since the added pressure can blow the bed bugs away without killing them.
Start cleaning from the top of the room to the bottom – do your drapes first and then work your way down to the furniture and rugs. Apply steam on all infested surfaces and also anywhere you think the bugs might be lurking.
Make sure that the areas you clean are damp, not wet.
Keeping them out
Once you’ve cleaned everything allow for the room to dry. To speed things up, you can use a fan that will increase airflow throughout he room.
Note that you’ll have to re-apply this procedure multiple times to get rid of all the bed bugs since you can only affect those that are visible / whose whereabouts you know of.
Pay extra attention to the cleaned room in the days that follow. If you see that there are more bedbugs about, repeat the described procedure. If not there’s a good chance that you’ve eliminated all of them, at least for now.
Bed bugs can’t really be eliminated forever, but their numbers and the adverse effects they cause can be controlled.
If you stay vigilant and take these instructions to heart, they will become much easier to deal with when they do return, and won’t do so nearly as much.