Bed bugs are one of the most insidious pests a homeowner can experience. These blood-sucking insects can enter your home through luggage, clothing and pets, threatening the health and cleanliness of your home.
One of the biggest problems with fighting bed bugs is that most store-bought treatment options, such as foggers and sprays, contain harsh chemicals. Thankfully, there are some natural options for combating bed bugs that don’t involve chemicals and still get rid of infestations just as effectively.
If you're currently battling bed bugs, or if you wish to prevent them from arising, here are some of the methods you can try:
Keep Things Clean
One of the easiest methods of preventing and killing off bed bugs is to keep your home clean. Bed bugs hide inside cracks and crevices, so vacuum these areas to get rid of them and their eggs.
You should also inspect any luggage that you bring into your home, as bed bugs commonly hitch rides from hotel rooms and air cargo.
Pets should also receive a bath on a regular basis. While bed bugs normally prefer mattresses and bed sheets, they also enjoy hiding amongst pet fur as well as furniture. Clean and vacuum these areas frequently.
All bedding, including pillowcases, sheets and bed skirts, should be washed at least once a week in order to remove any hidden bed bugs. When cleaning or inspecting bedding or furniture, make sure that you have adequate light in order to spot any pests or signs of pest activity.
Use Plastic Covers
One of the best ways to prevent bed bugs from thriving is to cover bedding and furniture with plastic covers. These covers should be sealed using strong tape and should be routinely inspected for any tears or holes. Otherwise, they act as barriers that bed bugs are unable to penetrate.
Use Temperatures to Your Advantage
In order to kill off existing bed bugs; stimulate extreme heat or cold in your home. With heat over 90 degrees Fahrenheit or in cold below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, bed bugs can't survive. If you're seeing bed bugs in your clothing or closet, carefully wrap clothing in plastic bags, seal them and then place them in the freezer overnight to kill them off without using any chemicals.
Use Chrysanthemum Powder
Dried chrysanthemum flowers and their ground petals have been found to make a non-toxic insecticide. The ground petals are diluted with water to create a mixture that allows for the concoction to be used in a spray bottle. When applied to bed bugs, the solution paralyzes and kills the pests.
Is Natural Always Better?
Natural methods are certainly “better” in bed bug control if your objective is to get rid of them without using toxic chemicals. However, if speed is the goal, natural methods are generally not as fast as spray pesticides, which generally kill pests upon contact.
But getting rid of bed bugs takes more than killing the ones in front of you; it takes serious prevention on the homeowner’s part not to harbor areas where bed bugs can hide. Bed bugs almost never make their own way into homes, but get there by hitching a ride on suitcases, old furniture, and pet fur.
Nevertheless, if you've tried all of the above methods without success, you may need to speak with a pest control professional to discuss further options.