Non-Chemical Solutions to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
I cannot recommend or promote the use of any type of chemical to address a bed bug infestation because there are so many kinds and an equal number of ways to handle them. I personally don’t use chemicals due to their toxicity to other living things in my home and in the environment; besides all chemicals are simple in their compound make up which means (much like we’ve seen with the over-use of antibiotics) it won’t be long before the pest becomes immune to the chemical(s) and we have a super-pest on our hands… which is quite possibly the reason why we’re seeing bed bug infestations all over the place. If you feel that you must use chemicals to treat bed bugs, hire a professional, please don’t use chemicals sold in the stores as they are toxic and have been shown to be ineffective.
10 Chemical-Free Ways to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
- A trap, Interceptor: Research showed that using these small, double-cupped monitors (that fit under the feet of furniture) are easily installed and trapped six times more bed bugs than were found from human visual searches alone.
- Essential Oils: These would need to be the superior quality essential oils; which are unadulterated and not diluted down with carrier oils and synthetic ingredients. I sell high quality essential oils if you’re interested in buying some. These would work on bed bugs in these ways; 1) Essential oils break down the waxy coating on insects bodies causing them to lose moisture and die, and 2) Scent of these essential oils does seem to discourage bed bugs, however, I wouldn’t rely on this to kill them because if you have bed bugs your ultimate goal is to get rid of them as soon as possible! So, I would diffuse Purification essential oil (more on that here), as well as; vacuum frequently (see #4 below), get rid of clutter, properly dispose of anything heavily infested, and wash anything I could in hot water and/or anything that could go in the dryer would go in there. See How to Use Purification to Deter Bed Bugs.
- Bed Bug Sniffing Dogs: Recent research has shown searching with dogs can be an effective method for finding bed bug infestations. Under laboratory and simulated-field conditions, using dogs to search for bed bugs was 97% effective.
- Vacuum really well and often: You will need to target the vacuum on the seams of mattresses and box springs, along perimeters of carpets, under baseboards, and in other areas where bed bugs live. A single vacuuming rarely gets all bugs and eggs and therefore, should be repeated.
- Heat and Bed Bugs: Portable steam cleaners can also be used to clean mattresses and furniture. Commercial heating services are available to treat entire rooms in homes for bed bug infestations. The current label use for commercial heating services is 140°F for two hours or 130°F for three hours, which will kill most bed bugs and eggs. Some states say that providers of heat services must be licensed and bonded when treating for wood destroying pests.
- Clothes Dryer and Bed Bugs: For suspected infestations in clothing or bedding, a home laundry dryer is very good at killing bed bugs; only 10 to 15 minutes exposure is needed.
- Cold Treatment and Bed Bugs: Chilling to a temperature of 32°F or lower and maintaining this temperature for several days also will kill bed bugs.
- Mattress Covers: Mattress encasement’s specifically designed to keep out bed bugs are commercially available. Encasement’s are particularly useful for hotels or other facilities with many beds; however, their effectiveness at excluding bed bugs has not been thoroughly researched.
- Sealing Cracks and Crevices: This includes sealing up hiding places such as cracks and crevices in walls and around windows and doors where bed bugs can hide.
- Temporary Measures: You can exclude bed bugs from clean beds by coating bed legs with petroleum jelly, or placing bed feet inside smooth metal cans, which are too slippery for bed bugs to climb.
With this knowledge we should all sleep better knowing that there are easy and chemical-free solutions to preventing bed bugs and ways we can get rid of bed bugs safely and effectively. I think the most important thing we need to remind ourselves of, is that we do need to practice these simple methods so we can break the life cycle of the bed bug as this will keep our bedrooms clear of any possible infestations.
Articles by Evelyn Vincent, Young Living Independent Distributor #476766
"There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly." ~ R. Buckminster Fuller