The Battle Against Bedbugs: A Personal Journey

Apart from cockroaches, bedbugs are one of the scariest and most difficult pests to eliminate. They’re incredibly resilient and hardy, and they breed as quickly as rabbits.

I had the unfortunate experience of being under a particularly bad spell of a bedbug infestation a couple of years back, so I know the horrors. All sorts of bed bug treatment methods have been used to control them, some more effective than others.

Photo credit: Consumer Reports

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How it Started

For me, the bedbug infestation started rather suddenly, with itchy welts appearing on my arms and legs. In case you’re wondering, bedbug bites look exactly like mosquito bites. However, unlike mosquito bites, mine turned red and the itchiness stayed for days. Eventually, the bites left a brown scar that took months to go away.

Photo credit: Home Remedy Find

Bedbug bites manifest differently on different people, and sometimes the itchy welts can take up to half a day to appear. Some people may only experience these symptoms several days after being bitten, and some don’t react to it at all, so different members of your family may have different bite symptoms.

Other Signs You’ve Been Invaded

Apart from the itchy bites, there were small dark stains on my pillows. You should look for such stains on your pillows, cushion, walls, blankets or any other surfaces because these are actually bedbug droppings, and you should also be wary of brown debris made up of their shells. I know – gross!

Photo credit: Entomology Today

Bedbugs reproduce very fast, and they shed their skin several times throughout their life cycle, leaving previous shells behind. A female bed bug can lay up to 5000 eggs over a period of 6 months, just FYI. These pesky creatures live in cracks and crevices, furniture, walls, bedding and practically any nook they can find.

Getting rid of bedbugs can be tedious and very frustrating because they can live without feeding on your blood for up to a year. So the best way to completely eliminate them is to have professionals step in. If you need help with professional bed bug pest control, we have the right guys for the job.

Beginning the Extermination

The key to exterminating bedbugs is to understand their weaknesses. Bedbugs are sensitive to extreme temperatures, such as extreme heat and cold. Due to their porous skins, they can die by dehydration very easily. Bedbugs also move rather slowly when visible, so it’s easy to catch them.

Sunning and Heat

For small pieces of furniture of light mattresses that can be moved, you can bring them out onto the lawn to sun. The heat will kill off the bedbugs. Alternatively, you can remove the sheets off your large mattress and wrap it in a cling wrap to prevent the bugs from coming out and feeding, which is one way to effectively starve them.

You can also use a steam cleaner on the mattresses and furniture if you have one. Another option is to douse hot boiling water onto pillows and cushions to kill the bugs too, as well as on small pieces of wooden furniture.

Image credit: Wikihow

Rubbing Alcohol

Apart from squishing visible bed bugs (which is really gross), you can start by spraying rubbing alcohol on them. Rubbing alcohol or ethanol should be used undiluted on any bed bugs you see. The alcohol actually dehydrates them by extracting moisture from their skin.

Diatomaceous Earth

I also discovered the wonders of diatomaceous earth or DE. It’s sold online in powder form and is reasonably priced. You don’t need a lot – in fact, 200 grams is more than enough to complete the extermination.

Photo credit: Harmonic Arts

DE comprises microscopic sea creatures called diatoms, whose outer shells are rich in silica. When insects like bed bugs walk across this powder, bits of sharp silica will pierce their skin, causing moisture to leak and dehydrate them slowly.

DE doesn’t kill the bedbugs immediately, but these bugs will die within 2 -3 days after contact. To apply the DE, identify places where the bugs have a high chance of crossing, then dip a brush into the DE and just dust some powder in that area.

I can testify that DE really worked for me and gave me the breakthrough I needed after months of struggling with the problem. After about a week, there was a significant drop in a number of bites and visible bugs in the living room.

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So if you’re struggling with a bed bug infestation too, don’t be discouraged and don’t give up until you find a workable solution. You may want to hire some professional pest control personnel on, all of whom have the experience and advanced equipment needed to get rid of bedbugs.

written by Michelle Chee