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What Kills Bed Bugs and Their Eggs?

Are you worried that you might have a bed bug infestation? Bed bugs can cause serious issues for both humans and pets, creating an uncomfortable living situation.

If you suspect bedbugs are present in your home, you may be wondering what kills bed bugs and their eggs.

I’m going to let you know what kills bed bugs and their eggs, so you can get rid of bed bugs from your home, and reduce the risk of future infestations… 

Bed bugs crawling on a fleece blanket

Bed Bugs and Their Lifecycle

Bed bugs are small, oval-shaped insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals.

They typically live in mattresses, furniture, and other areas where people sleep.

Understanding their lifecycle can help you identify and eliminate a bed bug infestation more effectively.

The bed bug lifecycle consists of three main stages: eggs, nymphs (juveniles), and adult bed bugs.

Female bed bugs lay their eggs, which are about the size of a speck of dust. In a week, depending on the room temperature, these eggs will hatch into nymphs.

Nymphs, or baby bed bugs, go through five stages called instars before reaching adulthood.

To progress from one stage to another, a nymph needs to feed on a mammal’s blood. They are just as likely to bite you as their adult counterparts, so don’t underestimate their small size.

As bed bugs grow, they molt, shedding their exoskeleton to make room for a larger one. Each of the five instars, they require a blood meal to develop further.

After the fifth instar, a nymph will have molting process and emerge as an adult bed bug. Adult bed bugs can mate and reproduce, completing the lifecycle and potentially starting a new generation of bed bugs.

To fight bed bugs and their eggs, utilize natural insecticides like diatomaceous earth, heat treatments (such as steam cleaning), and cold treatments (freezing temperatures).

How To Know If You Have A Bed Bug Infestation

When dealing with bed bugs, the first step is to determine if you actually have an infestation. There are several signs and symptoms to look out for to confirm their presence in your living space.

One common indicator of bed bugs is their bites . You might notice red, itchy welts on your skin, which can sometimes turn into a more severe rash.

While not everyone reacts to bed bug bites, this could be a strong signal that these pests have invaded your home.

However, be aware that similar marks could be caused by other insects, so it’s important to look for additional evidence before jumping to conclusions.

Another clue to a bed bug infestation is the appearance of small, dark or rusty-colored spots on your sheets or mattress.

These spots might be crushed bed bugs or their droppings. Take a closer look around your sleeping area and other furniture where bed bugs might hide – gaps between the baseboard and the wall, or near the edge of electrical sockets.

Apart from physical evidence, you should also be vigilant in inspecting common infested areas in your apartment or house.

Bed bugs love to dwell in places such as mattresses, box springs, headboards, and even upholstered furniture.

Carefully examine the seams, folds, and edges of these items, using a flashlight to spot any bugs, eggs, or shed skins.

zoomed in photo of a bed bug insect

What Kills Bed Bugs and Their Eggs?

To effectively deal with bed bugs and their eggs, you need a comprehensive plan that targets various aspects of the infestation.

Your mattress, box spring, bed frame, clothing, drawers, and second-hand furniture can all harbor these pests. Follow these steps to ensure a bed bug-free environment:

Firstly, thoroughly inspect and clean your mattress, box spring, and bed frame. Vacuum all surfaces to remove visible bed bugs and their eggs.

Afterward, encase your mattress and box spring with bed bug-proof covers, which will trap any remaining pests and prevent new infestations.

As well as your bed, pay attention to your clothing and belongings. Wash and dry clothes, sheets, and blankets on high heat to kill bed bugs.

For non-washable items, place them into a plastic bag and use a no-pest strip or Nuvan ProStrip, which releases an insecticide vapor that kills bed bugs.

Regularly declutter your space and organize your drawers to minimize hiding spots for bed bugs. Vacuum cracks and crevices in furniture, baseboards, and walls, as this helps eliminate the pests.

When dealing with second-hand furniture, thoroughly inspect each item for signs of infestation before bringing it into your home.

Steam clean or vacuum the furniture and seal any cracks or crevices to prevent bed bugs from hiding.

Freezing temperatures can also be effective in killing bed bugs and their eggs. Place infested belongings in a sealed plastic bag and store them in a freezer for at least four days.

However, this method may not be suitable for all items, as freezing can damage some materials.

Another option is to use natural insecticides like diatomaceous earth. Apply this fine powder around your bed, furniture, and baseboards, where bed bugs may have laid their eggs.

The powder works by damaging the bed bugs’ exoskeletons, eventually causing them to dehydrate and die.

Non-Chemical Methods to Kill Bed Bugs

If you’re dealing with a bed bug infestation, it’s essential to explore non-chemical methods that are effective in killing these pesky insects and their eggs.

Here are some proven strategies to help you eliminate bed bugs from your home.

Vacuum and Steam Cleaning: Use your vacuum cleaner to remove bed bugs and their eggs from cracks, crevices, furniture, and carpets. Be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag properly to prevent any bugs from escaping. After vacuuming, consider steam cleaning your mattress and other affected areas. Bed bugs and their eggs are highly sensitive to heat, and steam can be lethal for them.

High Heat Treatments: Exposing bed bugs and their eggs to high temperatures is an effective method for killing them. Washing your clothes, bedding, and curtains at high heat and placing them in a dryer for 30 minutes at the highest heat setting will ensure that any bed bugs are eliminated.

Professional Heat Treatment: For a more comprehensive method, consider hiring a professional heat treatment service. These specialists use special equipment to raise the temperature in your home to a level that kills bed bugs and their eggs. This is especially helpful for larger infestations that cannot be handled with DIY bed bug methods.

Freezing: If you suspect that certain items may be ridden with bed bugs, placing them in a freezer for at least 4 days can effectively kill both adult bugs and their eggs. Just be sure to place items in sealed bags and monitor the temperature with a thermometer to ensure it remains below 0°F.

Diatomaceous Earth: This non-toxic, natural powder is made from fossilized algae and can prove fatal for bed bugs. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth in affected areas, such as your mattress, box spring, and floor cracks, and let it sit for a few days. The fine particles will damage the bed bugs’ outer shells, ultimately causing them to die from dehydration.

Bed Bug Prevention Measures: Once you’ve successfully eliminated bed bugs from your home, you need to take preventive measures to avoid future infestations. Using bug-proof covers for your mattress, box spring, and pillows will prevent bed bugs from nesting in those areas. Installing bed bug interceptors under the legs of your bed can also help deter these pests, as they trap any bed bugs attempting to climb up.

an infestation of bed bugs

How To Kill Bed Bugs With A Steam Cleaner?

Steam cleaners are a popular method of killing bed bugs used by many professional exterminators.

Steam cleaning is an effective way to eradicate bed bug infestations and can be done in one treatment.

It works by releasing high temperature steam on the affected area, which kills all stages of bed bugs including eggs, nymphs, and adults.

To use this technique effectively you must ensure that the temperature reaches at least 120°F (49°C).

You must also thoroughly inspect and clean the areas around furniture, edging along baseboards, underneath mattresses and box springs, within closets as well as any other items inhabited by bed bugs to make sure no bugs escape.

When using a steam cleaner it is important to move slowly across the surface at a steady pace so that all parts of the target area are heated sufficiently.

Special attention should be paid when cleaning seams or crevices where eggs are likely hidden as these will need extra time to be exposed to direct heat from the steam cleaner in order for them to die off fully.

After steaming an area it is important to vacuum up any dead bed bug carcasses and discard them immediately into a sealed trash bag or container outside your home as they may still contain viable eggs.

It is also important to note that some materials may not withstand such high temperatures so caution should be taken before applying this method when dealing with delicate fabrics or furniture surfaces.

Bed bug infestation on top of a blanket

Chemical Treatments for Bed Bug Infestations

If you’re dealing with a bed bug infestation, various chemical treatments can help you get rid of bed bugs and their eggs. Here are some of the most effective chemical treatments that you can consider.

Pesticides: Pyrethroids and neonicotinoids are common pesticides used for bed bug control. Pyrethroids are synthetic chemical insecticides that act like pyrethrins, which are derived from chrysanthemum flowers. Neonicotinoids work by affecting the nervous systems of bed bugs, causing paralysis and death.

Insecticides: Natural insecticides like diatomaceous earth can be a great option for tackling bed bugs. Diatomaceous earth damages the waxy outer coating of the insects, leading to dehydration and death. Be sure to use the food-grade version, as pool-grade diatomaceous earth is not safe for use around humans and pets.

Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs): These chemicals affect the development and reproduction of bed bugs, preventing them from producing viable eggs. IGRs mimic insect hormones and disrupt the growth and molting process of immature bed bugs.

Alcohol: Rubbing alcohol can also serve as a home remedy to kill bed bugs and their eggs. When applied directly to the insects, it can dissolve their cells and cause dehydration. However, this method requires direct contact with the bugs and should be used cautiously since rubbing alcohol is flammable.

Other Chemicals: Some newer chemicals like chlorfenapyr and pyrroles exhibit promising results in the battle against bed bugs. Chlorfenapyr works by disrupting bed bugs’ cellular function, while pyrroles work by inhibiting their respiratory systems.

Woman asleep in her bed with pink bedding with a bed bug for company

Tips On Preventing Future Bed Bug Infestations

Regular inspection and maintenance can help you prevent future bed bug infestations.

Keep an eye on common hiding places, such as mattress seams, headboards, wallpaper, drawers, furniture, and crevices.

To aid in early detection, use interceptors to monitor for these pests.

These are small, simple devices placed under the legs of your bed or other furniture for bed bugs to get trapped in their attempt to climb up. Inspect these regularly to check for the presence of bed bugs.

Vacuum your home frequently to remove any stray bed bugs and their eggs. Focus on the areas where bed bugs often hide, like rugs, carpets, and upholstered furniture.

Be sure to clean your vacuum cleaner thoroughly after use to prevent the spread of bed bugs.

Seal cracks and crevices around your home to eliminate potential hiding places for bed bugs.

This may involve repairing peeling wallpaper or fixing gaps in furniture joints. Regularly check these areas for any signs of bed bug activity.

When it comes to treatment, consider using diatomaceous earth (DE) or other desiccants to eradicate bed bugs.

These substances work by damaging the exoskeleton of the bug, causing it to dehydrate and die.

Sprinkle DE around the hiding places you’ve identified, as well as on your mattress and around the legs of your bed.

Summary

Bed bugs are small, oval-shaped insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals.

They typically live in mattresses, furniture, and other areas where people sleep.

To fight bed bug infestations, utilize natural insecticides like diatomaceous earth, heat treatments (such as steam cleaning), and cold treatments (freezing temperatures).

You can use chemical treatment methods such as pesticides, insecticides, IGRs (insect growth regulators) alcohol or newer chemicals such as chlorfenapyr and pyrroles to eradicate these pests.

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