There used to be a time when bed bugs happened to ‘other people elsewhere’ but not here. Almost eradicated with DDT, a highly toxic pesticide, bed bugs cleaning tips were not needed. When DDT was banned and worldwide travel increased, learning how to eliminate bed bugs once again became important. If you still believe that there is no need to eradicate bed bugs in your home, look out! This false sense of security might just discount recent hotel or hospital stays that have gotten you — or a family member or friend — in close contact with Cimex lectularius, the common bedbug. There are five bed bugs cleaning tips you can implement today. Are you ready?
- Put bedding in a hot washer and dryer. Heat above 113 degrees Fahrenheit kills bedbugs if you keep the exposure going for about an hour, says the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This heat kills “bed bugs at all life stages.” Simply washing the bedding in hot water and then hanging it up to dry is not sufficient.
- Declutter. If the anticipation of visiting guests does not inspire you to toss, sort or put away your loose papers, display figurines and other knickknacks, the attempt to eradicate beg bugs might. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warn that “clutter or objects around a bed” are perfect hiding spots for these pests.
- Vacuum and caulk cracks. Do so particularly in the bedroom and when sharing common walls with other apartment or condominium dwellers. Rid bed bugs of their hiding places, and it is a lot easier to vanquish the pests.
- Vacuum everything else — frequently. The National Bed Bug Summit — yes, Medical News Today reports that grappling with bed bug infestations has become so commonplace that the Entomological Society of America has stepped in to help folks remove bed bugs from where they are not wanted — points to the vacuum cleaner as an important tool in the fight against the insects. If you suspect that your home may harbor a colony, vacuum the bedroom thoroughly — focusing on mattress seams and baseboards — and dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag in the outside trash can. While it is impossible to catch all of the animals, repeated treatments combined with other targeted bed bug removal programs can make a big difference.
- Steam clean. High-temperature steam kills bed bugs. Just make sure that your surfaces can withstand the water and the heat. If you are not sure, hire a professional exterminator who specializes in steam eradication procedures.
Do not give credence to old wives’ tales promising to teach you how to eliminate bed bugs with little or no cleaning. For example, leaving on the light at night does not keep the bed bugs hidden away and eventually starved. They will still come out and snack — on you.
More Cleaning-related Content by Sylvia Cochran
- 5 Cleaning Secrets of a Spotless Home
- 5 Laundry Room Cleaning Tips for Less Dust, More Safety
- 7 Refrigerator Cleaning Tips and Tricks for the Reluctant Domestic Goddess