Are you tired of bed bugs taking over your home and leaving their itchy, painful bites all over your skin? Fortunately, a few household items can help you control bed bugs and keep them out of your living space. However, note that although these items can help in the battle against bed bugs, it’s best to call an exterminator for more serious infestations.
Vacuum cleaners, steam cleaners, neem oil, rubbing alcohol, and natural essential oils are some of the best household items you can use to kill bed bugs.
Having a good grasp of how to use each of these items can help with follow-up and preventative measures to ensure your home stays free of these pesky bugs.
Common Household Items That Can Help Get Rid of Bed Bugs
More than a nuisance, these bed bugs cause general discomfort and can spread to other places in your home. If you’re one among the millions of people affected by them, check out these simple household items that can help to rid your home of bed bugs.
Rubbing alcohol is a great way to take a bed bug problem because it is easy to use, effective, and, most importantly, readily available. You may have a bottle or two lying around the house already.
This alcohol type dries out the bed bug’s exoskeleton, eventually killing it, given that you spray it directly on the bugs. One problem with rubbing alcohol, though, is that it isn’t very long-lasting.
You need to apply it every few days to kill any new bugs and eggs. Additionally, you need large amounts of alcohol to cover the entire area.
Vacuum cleaners do far more than just get rid of dirt and small messes. When used on carpeting, drapes, furniture, bedding, and other places bed bugs tend to hide out, they can actually help kill them too.
This is because the suction power of the vacuum not only lifts away dirt and dust but also sucks up the critters themselves.
Plus, the powerful HEPA filter within many vacuums traps the bugs so they don’t escape back into your home or onto someone else’s property.
As long as you have a good quality vacuum, have it set to the highest power setting, and replace your filter regularly, you might be able to get a good amount of bed bugs out of your home this way.
Extremely high temperatures are required to kill bed bugs and their eggs. Steam cleaners are one of the oldest methods used for bed bug extermination, and for a good reason. It’s an incredibly reliable way of killing these pesky critters.
Steam cleaning works by applying intense heat from the high-pressure vaporized water stream directly onto the surface on which the bed bugs are living.
This extreme temperature is lethal for them, as it kills all stages of their life cycle in just seconds. Bed bug eggs, larvae, nymphs, and adults are all killed instantly when exposed to temperatures higher than 118°F (47°C) on contact; steam cleaners consistently reach temperatures between 175°F (80°C) and 212°F (100°C).
Additionally, steam cleaners are also more efficient than other chemical-based treatments because they don’t leave any residue or dangerous fumes behind.
The intense heat generated by the machine destroys both the adult bed bugs and their eggs without any need for additional products or chemicals.
Not only does this make it safer for humans and pets alike, but it also allows you to get rid of the infestation much faster since there is no time needed for drying or airing out after treatment.
Professional services use commercial-grade steam cleaners that use up to 1,500 watts of power and reach temperatures above 180°F (82°C). However, you can also rent or purchase a home steam cleaner with enough wattage to provide effective results.
When using a steam cleaner to eliminate bedbugs from your home, make sure you pay particular attention to cracks, crevices, and seams where bedbug eggs might be hiding away from the direct heat of the steamer.
For best results, aim the nozzle at least 6 inches away from surfaces so that it is not too hot or concentrated. Additionally, remember to vacuum up any dead bugs before and after you start steaming!
This will ensure that all traces of them are removed from your furniture and flooring so that they don’t come back in a few days or weeks later.
Cayenne pepper is an incredibly versatile spice that most people keep in their kitchens. The reason why cayenne pepper is so effective at getting rid of bed bugs is because of its active ingredient, capsaicin.
This acts as an irritant whether on contact or when ingested. The heat from the cayenne pepper causes damage to the bug’s outer shell, killing it quickly.
This natural remedy is non-toxic, so you don’t have to worry about any adverse effects if your family or pets come into contact with it. However, take note that this can also cause eye irritation, so keep it out of reach of children and pets, and make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after handling it.
To use cayenne pepper as a bed bug repellent, sprinkle the powder liberally around your home and in any areas where bedbugs may be found. Focus on areas such as below your furniture, in between those tiny cracks, and around your bed frames and mattresses.
This method is most effective when done regularly to ensure the powder stays put and doesn’t get brushed away. Additionally, you can also sprinkle cayenne pepper directly onto the bugs themselves as a direct contact insecticide.
If you’ve been living a toxin-free lifestyle for quite some time, it’s sure that you have a bottle of neem oil in your home.
This natural oil is becoming increasingly popular as a safe and effective way not just for bed bugs but for different kinds of pests and bugs. In fact, many gardeners trust neem oil to fight off plant pests.
Neem oil, which is extracted from the seeds of the neem tree, contains certain compounds called azadirachtin that have insecticidal and antibacterial properties, making them incredibly effective at getting rid of bed bugs.
The azadirachtin in neem oil acts by disrupting the molting process of bed bugs, which in turn prevents them from reproducing and growing.
Neem oil can be used directly in liquid form or mixed with water or other natural oils to create a spray.
Make sure you apply the solution generously around your home, particularly in areas where bugs are commonly found, such as carpets, mattresses, and furniture. For best results, use this method with other natural remedies such as steam cleaning and cayenne pepper.
Diatomaceous earth is a food-grade powder that is composed of fossilized remains of microscopic marine organisms called diatoms. While this may not be as common as the other natural remedies mentioned above, its effectiveness at killing bed bugs is well-documented.
They’re readily available in most hardware stores and gardening centers and are incredibly easy to use.
To use diatomaceous earth for bed bug control, sprinkle the powder around your home, paying particular attention to possible hiding spots such as mattresses, bed frames, and crevices in the walls.
Make sure you apply the powder evenly to ensure maximum coverage. Additionally, remember to vacuum the powder before and after use to ensure it does not spread through the house.
Diatomaceous earth works best when left undisturbed for a few days so that the powder can work its magic.
For extra protection, you can also sprinkle the powder on your furniture and flooring and vacuum it up after a few days. This will help keep bed bugs away from you and your home.
It’s also worth noting that diatomaceous earth won’t just work on bed bugs. Various studies have shown that it’s equally effective against ticks, fleas, cockroaches, and ants too! Since it’s incredibly affordable (you can buy a large 5 lb bag online for less than $25), there really isn’t much reason not to give it a try if you’re dealing with unwanted pests in your home.
Bed bugs shouldn’t be found in any household, and thankfully, some household items like cayenne pepper, neem oil, and vacuum cleaner can be used to help keep them away.
Don’t forget that, in addition to these natural remedies, professional help from a bed bug exterminator may be necessary in some cases.
It’s important to remember that natural remedies may not work as fast as chemical treatments and require regular applications to ensure they remain effective.
Furthermore, these methods don’t guarantee 100% success, so you should always call a professional if the problem persists. With that said, these remedies are safe and easy to use and could be worth a try as a first-aid treatment until you can get a professional to help.