Are you dealing with a bed bug infestation in your carpets? Bed bugs can be an incredibly difficult pest to get rid of. Do you want to know how to kill bed bugs in carpet?
Killing bed bugs in your bedding is an easier task, but what about getting rid of bed bugs in your carpet? Keep reading to find out!
How To Tell If You Have Bed Bugs In Your Carpet
To identify if your carpet is home to bed bugs, vigilance is key. Here’s what to look for:
Visual Evidence: Bed bugs are small, brownish insects about the size of an apple seed. Inspect your carpet thoroughly, especially along the edges and beneath furniture, for live bugs.
Fecal Marks: Bed bugs leave behind small, dark fecal spots. In your carpet, these may look like tiny ink dots or smears, often found in clusters.
Blood Stains: After feeding, bed bugs may leave behind small blood stains. Check for these reddish or rusty spots on carpets and nearby upholstery.
Exoskeletons: As bed bugs grow, they molt and shed their skins. Look for these translucent exoskeletons, which vary in size depending on the bed bug’s lifecycle stage.
Bites: Although not a direct sign in the carpet, bed bug bites on your skin might be a cue to inspect your living space more closely.
Unpleasant Odor: A large infestation might produce a somewhat musty, sweet smell. If you notice this scent, it’s time to scrutinize your carpets.
|What to Look For
|Focus on small cracks and seams.
|Check carpet edges and corners.
|Inspect along the wall trim.
How Do Bed Bugs End Up In Your Carpets And Rugs?
Bed bugs are adept hitchhikers, finding their way into your home through routine travel or moving. They can cling onto clothing, bags, and luggage, undetected due to their tiny size.
These pests may also latch onto second-hand furniture or other infested items that you bring into your home.
When these items are placed on your carpets or rugs, bed bugs can transition to these new environments.
Carpets and rugs offer them numerous hiding spots, enabling them to remain close to where humans rest and sleep—thus, ensuring a steady food supply.
Vacuum cleaners, commonly used as a defense against pests, can inadvertently spread these creatures if they’ve previously picked up bed bugs from another location.
Without proper cleaning and emptying, the vacuum could deposit bed bugs onto your carpets.
How To Kill Bed Bugs In Carpet
To effectively eliminate bed bugs from your carpet, there are several treatment options you can consider:
Vacuuming: Begin the process of eradicating bed bugs by thoroughly vacuuming your carpet. Pay particular attention to the edges and under furniture, as bed bugs tend to hide in these areas.
Steam Treatment: Use a steam cleaner on your carpet to apply heat directly. The high heat from the steam is lethal to bed bugs and their eggs. Be sure to move slowly enough to give the steam time to do its job.
Diatomaceous Earth: This is a natural, non-toxic powder you can sprinkle over your carpet. Diatomaceous earth pierces the exoskeletons of bed bugs, leading to dehydration and death. Leave the powder for a couple of days before vacuuming it up, along with the dead bugs.
Chemical Treatments: Certain insecticides and pesticides are designed to target bed bugs. Before applying any chemicals, ensure they are safe for use on carpets and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to avoid damage to your carpet or harm to yourself or pets.
Professional Heat Treatment: If the infestation is severe, you may need professional treatment. Exterminators can provide a comprehensive heat treatment that raises the temperature of your home to a level that is lethal to bed bugs.
Is Diatomaceous Earth Or Borax Better For Bed Bugs?
When you’re tackling bed bugs in your carpet, you have two notable options: diatomaceous earth (DE) and borax. Each has its mode of action and safety profile that you should consider.
- Effectiveness: DE works primarily through a physical mechanism, damaging the exoskeleton of bed bugs, leading to dehydration. It’s regarded as effective, especially when applied to dry environments like carpets.
- Safety: Often considered safer for use around humans and pets, especially the food-grade variant.
- Application: It can be sprinkled directly on carpets and does not require mixing with other substances.
Boric Acid (Borax):
- Effectiveness: Borax acts as a slow-acting poison affecting the stomach and nervous system of bed bugs. Its effectiveness is observed over time, as bugs ingest the poison.
- Safety: Generally safe for humans in diluted quantities but should be used with caution around pets and children.
- Application: It needs to be sprinkled and sometimes watered down, which can be less practical for carpet treatment.
When choosing between DE and borax for treating bed bugs in your carpet, it’s essential to consider the safety and method of application.
DE offers a non-toxic, dry treatment that is relatively straightforward and can be more suitable for dry environments like carpets.
Borax is effective too but might be less convenient for the specific context of carpet cleaning due to the necessary moisture for its application.
Can Carpet Cleaners Get Rid Of Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are hardy pests that can take refuge in the fibers of your carpets. While you may hope for a simple solution, getting rid of them involves more than just standard carpet cleaning.
Vacuuming: Start with a thorough vacuum using a powerful machine. Ensure your vacuum has a bag to securely trap the bugs and their eggs.
- Vacuum your carpet thoroughly.
- Use a bagged vacuum to prevent escape.
- Immediately dispose of the vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag.
Steam Cleaning: Bed bugs are sensitive to heat, so a steam cleaner can be effective. Steam clean your carpet at a temperature of at least 130°F to kill both bugs and eggs.
- Heat must reach at least 130°F.
- Steam all carpet areas slowly and evenly.
- Pay special attention to crevices and edges.
Professional Exterminator: If infestation persists, a professional exterminator should be your next step. They use methods combining high heat, steam cleaners, and insecticides for comprehensive treatment.
Shampoo and Hot Water Extraction: Some carpet cleaners use hot water extraction, which can be somewhat effective, but it may not always reach the high temperatures needed to kill bed bugs.
How To Stop A Bed Bug Infestation Getting Into Your Carpets
Bed bugs can infiltrate your home through luggage, furniture, and even on your clothing, seeking refuge in the fibers of your carpets.
- Inspect Secondhand Furniture: Before bringing any secondhand sofas, armchairs, or mattresses into your home, inspect them thoroughly for signs of bed bugs. Pay special attention to crevices where bed bugs prefer to hide.
- Use Carpet Tape: Apply double-sided carpet tape around the legs of your furniture, as this can trap bed bugs attempting to climb up from the floor.
- Regular Vacuuming: Use a vacuum with a hose to reach into crevices along baseboards and furniture. This should be done frequently to remove any bed bugs or eggs from these locations.
- Steam Cleaning: Periodically steam clean your carpets. The high heat kills bed bugs on contact.
- Professional Pest Control: If you suspect a burgeoning infestation, don’t hesitate to contact professional pest control. They can offer targeted treatments to eliminate bed bugs from carpets and prevent their return.
Bed bugs are resilient pests that can take refuge in carpets. To eliminate them from carpets, you need to combine treatments of vacuuming, steam cleaning, chemical insecticides, and even professional heat treatment.
Diatomaceous earth and borax can be effective but require diligence for application in carpets.
To avoid an infestation in the first place, inspect second-hand furniture before bringing it home and use carpet tape around your existing furniture legs as protection against bed bug infestations.
Finally, use regular vacuuming and steam cleaning to maintain a bed bug-free environment.