Getting Rid of Bed Bugs

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Bed bugs whose scientific nomenclature is Cimex lectularius is primarily found in urban areas and has evolved as one of the most significant pests of the century. They are also considered as one of the toughest pests to eliminate. Though they harbor numerous pathogens (around 28) the bed bugs have not proved to transmit diseases. However, identifying the bed bugs and eliminating them is of paramount importance as they can be quite a nuisance feeding on human blood and causing rashes of varying degrees in humans. Since bed bugs are often found in places where people sleep or rest the anxiety of being bitten and roused from rest or sleep will have an effect on the well being of a person.

Identifying Bed Bugs:

Identifying bed bugs and their infestations is the first step in getting rid of them. Adult bed bugs are often oval, flat and brown in color ranging between 5 to 9mm. The color and size of the bug changes to brown or purplish red and needle shape after they consume human blood. Bed bugs are generally found in clusters though sometimes they may be found alone too. Bed bugs are commonly found in bed rooms through places like bathrooms, kitchens and living rooms are not spared.

Bed bug infestation can be easily found out through the cast skins of young bugs, faecal deposits which contain dried blood near to their feeding or hiding places.

Getting Rid of Bed Bugs:

There are numerous treatments that can be used to get rid of the bed bugs. They can be classified into chemical and non chemical treatments.

Chemical Treatments:

Over the Counter Insecticides:

Bug bombs and foggers have been found ineffective against bed bugs. These release a lot of insecticides into the air which does not penetrate into the crevices and hiding places of the bed bugs and thus does not achieve the purpose.

Hiring Professionals:

It is always advisable to hire pest control professionals to get rid of bed bugs. These professionals utilize numerous commercial pesticides and precisely apply it using specialized equipments. They use:

  • Products containing insecticide pyrethrin or synthetic pyrethroid products such as cyhalothrin, bifenthrin, deltamethrin, and permethrin
  • A mixture of both  pyrethroids and neonicotinoid
  • Products with insect growth regulator (IGR) hydroprene  and insecticide pyrrole
  • Abrasive diatomaceous earth (DE) to dry out the bed bugs when they come in contact with the salt
  • Contact sprays with low toxic levels which kills bugs when they come into contact.

Non Chemical Treatments:

Heat: Clothes, bed sheets and other things which can be washed can be cleaned with hot water and dried with temperatures around 122° F for 20 minutes. This heat can kill the bed bugs of all stages present in these items.

Cold: It is believed that exposing mattress and furniture infested with bugs to temperatures as low as 0° F for a minimum of four days can kill the bed bugs.

Encasements: These are complete coverings for mattresses or box springs which are specifically designed to protect from bed bug infestation or to prevent the bed bugs from escaping from their hiding places and biting the person using the bed.

Bed Bug Interceptors: These are small cups with inner and outer rings and are typically placed below the legs of the bed. Any bed bug trying to climb up the bed will be trapped by the outer ring while the work is done by the inner cup for the bugs trying to climb down.


Though the methods above can help to eliminate the bed bugs it is always said that prevention is better than cure. Since it takes a long time to eliminate bed bugs completely and they prove to be such a nuisance it better that adequate measures are undertaken to prevent an infestation rather than treat it later on.

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