Eliminating bed bugs completely
The question of how to get rid of bed bugs is often confused with another question, "How do you kill bed bugs?" While they may seem like the same question, they're not. There are a whole bunch of ways to kill bed bugs, but they are seldom effective at removing all of the bed bugs in a home or business. So, before we get to the, "How to get rid of bed bugs," portion of this article, let's start with what doesn’t work.
4 reasons DIY products do not kill bed bugs
Not all bed bugs come out to feed when it’s feeding time. Many stay safely tucked away in your mattress, box spring, wall voids, or other hiding places. You might kill a few, but you're not going to kill them all.
Bed bugs have a natural threat avoidance. If a bunch of bed bugs go out to feed and only a few return, those bed bugs aren't stupid. They know something is up. This will cause them to lay low for a while. And, when they lay low, you may be tempted to think they are gone.
Some bed bug products actually cause the infestation to spread. You might think they’ve been eliminated but in reality, they’ve infiltrated the room (or rooms, as the case may be) next door and now your bed bug problem just became a whole lot worse.
There are products on the market that while they claim to kill bed bugs, they might actually make them stronger. Studies have shown that these biting insects are able to develop pesticide-resistant skins (cuticles) that help them adapt to hostile environments--like the home of a very frustrated human. You're more likely to endanger yourself before you rid your home of these tormenting pests.
So, how do you get rid of bed bugs for good?
Ah yes, the infamous question. While we would love to give a simple answer, this is actually a loaded question. There are many ways to kill a bed bug but, if you want to get rid all of the bed bugs in your home or business, it is important to pay attention to the details. Here are some ways you can kill bed bugs, and what you should know about each.
Kill bed bugs with heat treatment
Can you kill bed bugs with heat? Yup, you sure can. In fact, heat is the best way to kill all stages of bed bug development (eggs to adults), and is a method of extermination used by many pest control companies. We must emphasize that this is a method best left to the pros because when it is improperly done, heating bed bugs can have unexpected, and sometimes tragic, consequences. You can “Google” this topic and read the DIY fails.
How a bed bug heat treatment works
Heat is perfect for eradicating bed bugs in a structure because it radiates into the walls, furniture, and other items to kill bed bugs where they hide. It is also an eco-friendly solution that can be done with little or no use of pesticides. Sounds great, right? The problem is that heating a structure evenly to above 115 degrees Fahrenheit is no easy task. Professionals use temperature regulated heating units, temperature sensors, and industrial-strength fans to raise the temperature of a structure without harming it or the belongings inside.
Why DIY bed bug heat treatments fail
As we mentioned above, DIY heat treatments most often just drive bed bugs deep into wall voids and hard-to-reach spaces in a structure. When the heat is turned off, the bugs return to living and sleeping areas. It has no impact at all. But, in worst case scenarios, where desperate people have gone to greater lengths to destroy these tormenting pests, it has resulted in damage to belongings, the death of pets, structural fires, and in tragic cases, a loss of human life.
Chemical bed bug extermination
Pest control companies often use pesticides to exterminate these bugs as part of a heat treatment, and also by themselves. Chemicals, while effective at eliminating bed bugs when in the hands of professionals, can drive bed bugs into walls and cause the infestation to spread when applied by inexperienced individuals.
Bed bug monitoring
In addition to products that eliminate bed bugs, there are also those that allow property owners to identify and prevent bed bug problems. Here are a couple of the most common bed bug monitoring tools.
Bed bug traps
There are many products on the market that catch bed bugs. There’s one trap that is quite effective at trapping bed bugs when it is put under the legs of a bed. These biting pests will get caught in it as they try to climb up the furniture leg to feed. Of course, bed bug infestations are not confined to the bed so this alone will not work.
Bed bug mattress and box spring encasements
Mattress and box spring encasements are another effective tool that can be employed as an added layer of protection. When you put an encasement on your mattress or box spring you can lock bed bugs in and prevent new bed bugs from getting in. No chemical control is needed, so you don't have to worry about being poisoned by powders or some other toxin in your bed.
The problem is that encasements by themselves, or when used with traps, are simply a bandaid. They are not likely to contain or stop a bed bug infestation if bugs are active in other areas.
To win the battle against bed bugs, call a pest control company
Bed bugs are not a new pest problem. These bugs have been around for centuries. They know how to avoid our attempts to kill them. If these bugs have gotten into your home or business, don't attempt to get rid of them on your own. Call a pest control company immediately. A certified and educated pest professional knows how to administer bed bug control products in a way that adheres to all government regulations and the best practices set forth by experts in the industry. A pest technician will also offer advice on how you may have acquired the bugs and how to prevent future infestations from occurring.
Unfortunately, bed bugs are not a pest problem that is going to go away. If you’ve noticed live bugs in your bed or other signs of a bed bug infestation, contact EnviroPest for help! Offering effective bed bug removal in Denver, Boulder, and Colorado Springs as well as NoCo, our local pest experts have the tools and knowledge needed to exterminate your bed bug problem- for good!
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