Are you looking for an affordable way to get rid of bed bugs once and for all? Bed bugs are one of the most annoying pests that invade our homes, leaving us feeling itchy and uncomfortable.
Fortunately, there are ways to handle this problem without breaking the bank. Keep on reading for a cheap way to kill bed bugs!
Signs You Have A Bed Bug Infestation
One of the first signs of a bed bug infestation is finding unexplained red bites on your skin, particularly on areas exposed at night, such as your arms, hands, neck, or torso.
Bed bug bites can be itchy and may appear in clusters or a zigzag pattern. These bites are often an indication that bed bugs have found their way into your mattress and bedding.
Another common sign is the presence of reddish stains on your sheets or mattress. These stains are typically caused by bed bugs being crushed or by their blood-filled fecal matter.
If you notice such marks, it can be a strong signal that bedbugs have infested your sleeping area.
Continuing your inspection, keep an eye out for bed bug droppings and their eggs. Bedbug droppings appear as tiny black or dark brown dots, often found in clusters around the seams and edges of your mattress and bedding.
Their eggs are very small, about the size of a pinhead, and are usually pale and hard to spot.
Apart from your mattress, bed bugs can hide in various other locations, such as:
- Bed frame and headboard
- Cracks and crevices in walls
- Nightstands and dressers
- Under loose wallpaper and wall decorations
- At the junction between the wall and the ceiling
|Clusters or zigzag patterns of itchy red bites on exposed skin
|Red or rust-colored stains on sheets and mattress from crushed bed bugs or fecal matter
|Tiny black or dark brown dots (typically in clusters) on or around the mattress, bedding, and nearby furniture
|Hard-to-spot, tiny, pale eggs usually found along mattress seams and edges
Why You Need To Kill Bed Bugs In Your Home
An bed bug infestation can affect your overall well-being, as sleep deprivation takes a toll on your health.
Bed bugs are active at night, feasting on your blood while you sleep, which may cause you to wake up frequently due to the itchy bites.
Consequently, your disturbed sleep pattern can lead to increased stress, irritability, and reduced daily productivity.
These critters don’t discriminate when it comes to their targets—a bed bug infestation can occur in any home.
With their exceptional ability to hide and reproduce rapidly, bed bugs can spread rapidly throughout your home, infesting your furniture, carpets, and even your pets’ sleeping areas.
As well as the physical discomfort caused by their bites, bed bugs may also pose a risk to your mental health.
The constant worry and stress associated with an infestation can lead to anxiety and even depression.
Looking For A Cheap Way To Kill Bed Bugs?
- Vacuuming: Regularly vacuum your home, focusing on your bed, furniture, and any cracks and crevices where bed bugs may hide. This can help remove live bed bugs, their eggs, and dead skin. Ensure to clean the vacuum container afterward to prevent any possible reinfestation.
- Heat treatment: Bed bugs cannot survive high temperatures. Wash your bedding, clothes, and any washable items in hot water (60°C) and dry them on the highest heat setting possible. For items that cannot be washed, simply keep them in the dryer at the highest temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- Steam cleaning: Rent or invest in a steam cleaner that heats up to at least 212°F (100°C) to kill bed bugs. Carefully apply the steam to your mattress, carpet, curtains, and other infested areas. This method is useful for killing both adult bed bugs and their eggs.
- Insecticides: There are various affordable, over-the-counter insecticides available that can help you treat bed bug infestations. Opt for products with active ingredients such as pyrethrins or pyrethroids. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully and use them only as directed.
- Diatomaceous Earth (DE): DE is a non-toxic, cost-effective, and natural powder that you can apply to areas where bed bugs hide. It works by damaging their exoskeleton, thus dehydrating and eventually killing them. Sprinkle DE around your bed frame, furniture legs, and any other hideouts, and leave it for a few days before vacuuming.
- Rubbing alcohol: While not as effective as other methods, a 91% isopropyl alcohol solution can be used as a last resort. Spray the solution on bed bugs and their hiding spots. The alcohol will kill them and act as a mild repellent. Be cautious, as rubbing alcohol is flammable.
How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Without Paying Bed Bug Extermination Costs
Here are some cost-effective steps that you can take to eliminate bed bugs from your living space.
1. Inspection and Cleaning
Before treating your home for bed bugs, start by inspecting your surroundings. Look for small, reddish-brown bugs, and their eggs, fecal traces, and skin sheds.
Focus on areas near where you sleep, such as your mattress, box spring, bed frame, and surrounding furniture.
Once you identify the infested areas, clean them thoroughly by vacuuming, wiping down surfaces, and washing all bedding and clothing in hot water.
Remember that thorough vacuuming is vital, so use a vacuum cleaner with strong suction and cleaning attachments for optimum results.
2. Heat Treatment
After vacuuming, consider using heat to kill the bugs and their eggs. Bed bugs cannot survive temperatures above 120°F (49°C).
Place infested items, such as bedding or clothing, in a dryer at high heat for at least 30 minutes. For larger items, explore the option of renting a portable bed bug heater designed for this purpose.
3. Chemical Treatments
In some cases, you may need to use chemical treatments known as bed bug sprays or insecticides.
Carefully read and follow the instructions on the product label and consider the following safety guidelines:
- Use products that are EPA-registered and specifically labeled for bed bugs.
- Always wear gloves and protective clothing when handling chemicals.
- Make sure your living spaces are well-ventilated while treating.
4. Non-Chemical Treatments
If chemical treatments aren’t a viable option for you, there are alternative methods to try:
- Diatomaceous earth, a natural powder, can be sprinkled around infested areas to dehydrate and kill the bugs.
- Trapping the bugs in mattress encasements and placing interceptor traps under bed legs can prevent bed bugs from reaching you while you sleep.
5. Communicate with your Landlord
If you rent your property, communicate the issue with your landlord. They may have policies in place and can provide resources or assistance to help you tackle the problem.
Which Home Remedies Help Prevent Bed Bugs?
To protect your home from bed bugs, it’s essential to use a combination of home remedies and preventive measures. Here are some proven methods to help you keep these pests at bay:
- Declutter: Start by reducing clutter in your home, as it provides hiding places for bed bugs. Make sure to vacuum regularly, paying special attention to areas around the bed frame, headboard, and couches. Keeping your living space neat will make it harder for bed bugs to find a comfortable spot to live and lay their eggs.
- Regularly wash and heat-dry your sheets: Bed bugs can’t survive extreme hot or cold temperatures, so washing your bedding in hot water and drying on high heat will help eliminate any bed bugs hiding in your sheets. When you strip the bed, carefully enclose your linens in a plastic bag before transferring them to the laundry.
- Inspect luggage after traveling: Bed bugs can enter your home by hitching a ride on your luggage. After a trip, place your luggage on a hard surface away from your bed and carefully inspect it for any signs of bed bugs. Vacuum your suitcase thoroughly, paying attention to seams and pockets where bed bugs could be hiding. Plus, wash and heat-dry any clothes you took with you, even if they were never worn.
- Use preventative measures: While pesticides are an effective way to kill bed bugs, they are not always suitable for use in a home setting. Instead, opt for physical barriers such as mattress and pillow encasements which enclose the entire mattress or pillow, preventing bed bugs from getting in or out. Also, consider using bed bug interceptors on your bed frame’s legs to trap the pests before they reach your sleeping space.
Which Bed Bug Control Home Remedies Won’t Work To Kill The Bed Bugs?
Although various home remedies claim to eliminate bed bugs, it’s essential to recognize which ones don’t work effectively to avoid further infestation.
Bug Bombs: Bug bombs, also known as foggers, are a popular do-it-yourself remedy. However, they don’t address the primary issue: bed bugs hide in concealed spaces.
Because bug bombs release chemicals into the air, they can’t penetrate baseboards, furniture joints, electrical outlets, or wallpaper where bed bugs reside. As a result, these pests survive and continue to multiply.
Vacuuming Alone: A vacuum cleaner might help in removing some bed bugs and their eggs, but it isn’t a stand-alone solution.
Bed bugs can escape from the vacuum bag, and their small size and flat bodies enable them to hide in linens, box springs, and other small crevices that vacuum cleaners cannot reach.
|Ineffective Home Remedy
|Reasons for Ineffectiveness
|Can’t penetrate baseboards, furniture joints, electrical outlets, or wallpaper
|Can’t reach small crevices, and bed bugs can escape from vacuum bags
Plastic Bags: Sealing infested items in plastic bags might help limit the spread of bed bugs. However, this method is ineffective in killing them.
Bed bugs can survive for months without feeding, so simply sealing items in bags won’t suffice to eliminate the problem.
Unproven Natural Remedies: Some people claim that substances like tea tree oil, lavender oil, and citronella oil are useful in repelling bed bugs, but there is limited scientific evidence supporting their effectiveness.
Similarly, it’s important to note that smothering bed bugs with essential oils may pose health risks to you and your family.
Bed bugs are one of the most frustrating pests to deal with, but getting rid of them doesn’t need to be expensive.
Regular vacuuming and washing and drying your bedding on hot settings can help you get rid of these critters for good.
Heat treatment, insecticides, diatomaceous earth (DE), and rubbing alcohol solutions are all cost-effective solutions that can help you kill bed bugs without breaking the bank.
Finally, use preventive measures such as mattress encasements and interceptor traps to keep your home safe from future infestations.