Bed Bugs in Your Home: How to Banish Them Without Using Chemicals
Bed bugs are nasty little creatures that can get into your home and breed at an alarming rate. The problem is that most people don’t know how to get rid of them when they do manage to show their ugly heads. Getting rid of these creatures, even if they’ve been in your home for some time, doesn’t have to be a complicated task. You don’t necessarily have to use poisonous chemicals when you want to banish them from your home either. Keep reading to learn more about how you can get rid of these gross little bugs that live in your mattress, sheets, furniture and even in your electrical outlets naturally.
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Natural Ways to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Having bugs in your home can be a serious problem, and if you’re like most homeowners, it’s one that you want to remedy right away. Without the use of chemicals, there are a variety of natural ways to get rid of these unpleasant bugs.
Keep reading below to learn more about natural methods, essential oils and products that can effectively get rid of pesky bugs in your home.
Many people have heard that freezing is an effective method for killing these bugs.
While it can work in some cases, the situation has to be right:
- Bugs on items like pillow cases, clothing or small hand luggage can be killed through freezing.
- The temperature of the freezer used must be at or below zero-degrees Fahrenheit. A freezer that is warmer than that may not be effective when it comes to killing bugs.
- Items that you put in the freezer must remain there for at least four days. Less time may not be effective in completely killing every bug you’re dealing with.
Vinegar is a household product that almost everybody has in their kitchen or pantry. It’s also commonly used for cleaning and pest control inside and in your backyard.
It can be an effective solution for handling bugs in your home if used properly:
- Start with quality white vinegar. You can buy this in large quantities from most grocery and food stores.
- Put the vinegar in a clean spray bottle. Vinegar works on contact, so you need to be able to spray it directly onto bugs and problem areas within your home.
- Mix in an equal amount of water along with the vinegar. Distilled water is your best choice for treating your home for bugs.
- Shake the spray bottle regularly to combine the mixture. Spray sheets and areas where you may have bed bugs. This works especially well if you’re treating a single set of sheets or a piece of luggage that may have bed bugs from an infected hotel or motel.
Vinegar can discolor some products including sets, blankets and your mattress. Always test your diluted vinegar in an inconspicuous spot before treating a large area. Otherwise you may create unsightly stains that require you to throw items like sheets or luggage way.
Salt is another item that almost everybody has at home without going to the store to buy something. While it can work to get rid of bugs in your home in theory, there are considerable problems with this treatment method.
- Salt can work like diatomaceous earth, which works to cause dehydration and eventual death among bed bugs. However, this does not work in all cases, and bugs often have to be around the solution for a very long time.
- Bed bugs must be exposed to salt for a long period of time. Therefore it can work well when treating areas like cracks in your floor. It is less effective for dealing with commonly infected items like sheets and bedding.
Salt may be touted as a natural remedy for bugs, and while it won’t cause harm, it generally isn’t an effective solution. Skip salt except for in areas like cracks in the flooring where it can trap and kill bugs.
The Magic of Essential Oils
Essential oils are made by distilling a large quantity of a plant’s leaves into a liquid. This liquid will have health properties for skin care, hair care and more for people, depending on the type of essential oil.
Other essential oils are effective for killing insects. For an infestation of bed bugs in your home, some essential oils are better than others.
Neem oil is made from a tree native to India, but grown all over the world.
This essential oil can help stop bed bugs in their tracks when used correctly:
- Use neem essential oil combined with even parts water in a spray bottle to cover your mattress and sheets before washing.
- Use products that contain neem oil on your skin when you feel you may be dealing with an outbreak in your home. Products that contain neem can repel bed bugs so you don’t show bites or bed bugs’ symptoms.
Like neem oil, cedar essential oil is commonly found in natural health food stores and online.
It’s also a scent that can repel bed bugs and move them away from your bedding:
- Combine 1 part essential oil of cedar with 10 parts distilled water.
- Spray this mixture on your sheets, mattress and bedding. It can also be used in your closet if you feel you may have bugs there.
- Cedar oil will kill bugs on contact, but it must be sprayed directly on them. That’s why cedar essential oil is best used for small areas or small infestations.
Cinnamon essential oil can repel bed bugs and kill them on contact. It’s also potent to humans, so getting it on your skin may cause irritation.
Follow these steps when using cinnamon essential oil for bugs:
- Wear protective gloves when dealing with cinnamon essential oil in pure form. Even a small amount can cause minor skin irritation.
- Combine 1 part cinnamon essential oil with 10 parts distilled water. Shake to combine.
- Test this essential oil on an inconspicuous area before spraying it on sheets, bedding or carpet. Cinnamon oil can kill bugs on contact, but it does lose its effectiveness just a few minutes after being sprayed.
Peppermint oil is a common remedy for getting bugs out of your home. It’s also a scent that many people enjoy, making it pleasant to work with in your bedroom or other parts of your home.
- Combine peppermint essential oil with 5 parts distilled water. Be careful not to get pure peppermint essential oil on your skin.
- Spray your mattress, bedding and carpet with the essential oil mixture. Peppermint oil can be used repeatedly to kill bugs on contact. This treatment works especially well if you’re trying to learn how to get rid of bed bugs in clothes because it’s such a pleasant scent and effective killer on contact.
Like peppermint oil, eucalyptus essential oil is not a scent that pesky bugs living in your bed will like.
It can also kill them on contact if prepared properly:
- Combine one part eucalyptus essential oil with 5 parts water. Shake vigorously in a spray bottle to combine.
- Spray your sheets, bedding and other soft surfaces with the mixture. Bugs can be killed on contact before washing and drying soft materials like sheet sets.
- Add a small amount of dish soap to the mixture for treating hard surfaces. The dish soap will help trap bugs in place.
Top 4 Natural Products to Remove Bed Bugs from Home
Natural products for getting rid of bugs within your home are available, though most of the products you see on the market do include chemical ingredients.
Look for pre-made natural products like these to avoid them:
- Diatomaceous earth. This natural product kills bugs through dehydration within 48 hours upon contact. It should be noted that it can be unsafe for pets and children if ingested, so it should be used sparingly in those situations. Diatomaceous earth is ideal for treating hard surfaces or products like bags and luggage.
- EcoRaider Beg Bug Killer. This natural spray is designed to kill bugs on contact, but unlike some essential oils, it has a longer half-life. This allows the product to work for hours after it is applied to an area, making it effective if you have a larger infestation.
- Naturasil Bed Bug Patrol. This spray kills bugs on contact, but it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals. Best of all, bed bugs die between 30 minutes and 24 hours of coming into contact with this product. Made with Eugenia Carophylia, this product won’t be of much interest to household pets either, which is an added bonus for Fido and Fluffy.
Natural Killer Powder. Bed bug powder is an ideal remedy for getting rid of a big infestation in bedding or treating hard surfaces.
- Use bug powder by sprinkling it on contaminated products and in impacted areas.
- Allow the product to sit for 12 to 24 hours if possible.
The most common ingredient in these natural powders is diatomaceous earth, but other essential oils and ingredients are sometimes added as well.
I Need the Best Organic Way to Kill Them
Getting bugs out of your home quickly is of the utmost importance when you’re dealing with infestation. If you don’t act quickly, you could allow them to spread and get into every nook and cranny of your home. That means you need an effective organic solution that works.
The best remedy in most cases is a product that contains diatomaceous earth and an organic compound like neem, eucalyptus or peppermint essential oil. Products that combine these in either spray or powder form will provide you with long-lasting treatment that will work the first time. You’ll also be able to safely use them for weeks without worrying about your health.
Bugs in your home can be a major nuisance, and if left unchecked, they can put bites on you, your guests and your pets. Utilize these natural remedies to make sure you don’t deal with an infestation for weeks at a time.
There’s no reason you have to result to using chemicals in your home. If natural remedies don’t work, or your problem is too bad to be impacted, reach out to a trusted pest control company in your area. They will help you come up with a solution for getting the bug problem under control once and for all while learning how to prevent bed bugs in the future.
You can find further details of Bed Bugs Control here.