Bed bugs can be a hardy pest, so how do you get rid of bed bugs? Bed bugs are becoming more and more common in the London and the UK as a whole due to the density of the population, meaning as they can spread more easily. Also due to the increase in accessibility to foreign travel, bed bugs are often brought back from our holidays or city breaks without us realising in our luggage or clothing.
What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs (Cimex Lectularius Linnaeus) are tiny reddish-brown insects that feed on blood. They are hard to spot with the naked eye especially as they only come out at night-time. Bed bugs feed on the blood of their host while they sleep then return to their nest to digest their meal.
They are known to feed on both humans and animals, even those as small as mice. Their bites can become itchy and painful; however, bed bugs are not known to carry any diseases.
Bed bugs can spread very quickly if left untreated and can survive for months without feeding.
Can I Treat Bed Bugs Myself?
It is possible to purchase treatments for bed bugs online or at your local DIY store. It is not recommended to use these treatments as they are often ineffective and can sometime make the problem worse as they cause the bed bugs to go deeper in to hiding. The best course of action is to contact a bed bug treatment professional.
What are the Treatment Options for Bed Bugs?
- Pesticide Treatment
- Steam Treatment
- Heat Treatment
Pesticide Treatment for Bed Bugs
Pesticides are currently the most used method for treating bed bugs. This is due to them being readily available, quick to apply and often very effective at killing bed bugs. Unfortunately, Bed bugs have evolved over the years and the more we use these pesticides, the more they develop a resistance against them.
Although pesticides are effective at killing bed bugs, they are not as successful at killing the eggs which means that within a matter of days the bed bugs can return.
Bed bugs are also known to be great at hiding. They are known to not only hide in your mattress or bed frame but in cracks in your skirting boards, behind pictures frames and even in carpets. This can make it very hard to treat them with pesticide sprays.
There are many over the counter pesticides which claim to kill bed bugs, however it is not recommended to use these as they are unproven and can sometimes worsen the problem.
Steam Treatment for Bed Bugs
Steam is known to kill bed bugs so naturally steam treatment is an option used by some pest controllers. Steam is applied by applying it to the infected areas. Using specialist steamers can deliver steam up to 300 degrees which will kill bed bugs instantly. Steam at this temperature will also kill the nymphs and eggs so it is an efficient way to kill them.
There can be a problem with steam treatment as it cannot always fully penetrate the areas requiring treatment. For example, it cannot completely penetrate through a mattress, therefore any bed bugs which have nested deep into the middle of the mattress could evade the steam.
Steam would also need to be applied to every area suspected of hosting bed bugs which makes it very difficult to completely eradicate an infestation.
Heat Treatment for Bed Bugs
Bed bug heat treatment is a relatively new form of treatment for bed bugs. It is not the quickest form of treatment as it requires heating a room to a high temperature for a long period of time.
Pest controllers use a special heater, usually these are diesel powered but smaller electric heaters are sometimes used in areas which have access difficulties such as flats on higher floors. The heat is pumped along a pipe into the room until the room reached the required temperature.
They then use high powered fans to circulate the heat around the room. The temperature is maintained by the heaters for up to 6 hours to ensure that the bed bugs, nymphs and eggs are all killed.
Using thermal scanners, the pest controllers look for cold spots and move items around to avoid areas where the bed bugs can hide.
After 4-6 hours the bed bugs, nymphs and eggs will die from dehydration due to the intense heat.
Summary of the Treatment Options to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
All of the treatments discussed are effective in their own way and succeed in killing bed bugs. However, your goal is not to just kill bed bugs, it is to kill the entire infestation which consists of the bed bugs, their eggs and the nymphs. If this is not achieved the infestation will soon return.
In summary, the only treatment which is effective at killing all three is heat treatment. Although it is a more intrusive and more time-consuming treatment, it is the only treatment for bed bugs which is guaranteed to be 100% effective.
For more information on heat treatment for bed bugs please visit our website: www.bedbug-heattreatment.co.ukwhere a professional will be on hand to provide advice on bed bug treatment.