Bed bugs infestation has become epidemic lately. Hard to guess how many people spend sleepless nights because of bed bug infestation. You may also have woken up several times due to bed bug bites, and think if I could kill bed bugs now. However, our forever recommendation is to take the necessary steps to permanently get rid of bed bugs, and we know that it will take some time.
But sometimes, we need to take immediate action. So in this article, we intend to discuss what kills bed bugs instantly.
You may be wondering, is this possible to get rid of these unpleasant guests as quickly as possible? Absolutely, yes. And the good news is that you don’t need to take a pest control service or an exterminator to eliminate it. We will show how to kill bed bugs immediately with everyday household products.
Before Take Action, Identify Infested Areas
Bed bugs are hitchhikers by nature. They mostly hitch rides from outside on luggage. These insects can also find their way to your home through clothing boxes, old furniture, pillows, etc. Instead of bothering about how they get into the house, we should concentrate on how to eradicate them.
If you could sense the presence of bed bugs in your home, you should think of killing them instantly. Otherwise, they will spread all over your home. Under perfect conditions, a nymph takes only two months to become a fully grown bed bug.
Before taking immediate action, you need to identify the infested areas first. So you need to understand bed bugs early sign and take the necessary steps.
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Where to look?
Since bed bugs feast on human blood, they can be found anywhere with human contact. Some familiar hiding places of bed bugs include:
- Edges of the bed frame, headboard, and footboard
- Seams of the mattresses and box spring
- Near the tag of the mattress and box spring
- Joints of chairs or couches
- Crevices of drawers
- Near the electric outlets
- Folds of curtains
- Behind picture frames and wall hangings
- Behind the baseboards
- Inside of electrical appliances, such as; a docking station and an alarm clock
What to Look for While Identifying the Infested Areas?
You need a flashlight, a credit card, or a paint scraper to identify bed bugs. Slide the credit card around your beddings and other locations. Flash the light where you slide the card in the crack and crevices.
If there are any bed bugs, you can immediately spot them. Bed bugs are so tiny and flat. So you can identify them with a magnifying glass. It is wise to check for bed bugs considering every life stage.
Bed bug eggs – Their size is of a pinhead (nearly 1mm) and pearly-white in color. They are adamant about seeing with bared eyes.
Bed Bug Nymphs – Their size is between 1.5mm-4.5mm. If unfed, they look translucent to tan in color.
Live Adult Bed Bugs – Their size is about an apple seed and visible to bared eyes.
Molted Skins – A nymph sheds skin 5 times while they progress to adulthood. You can find their molded skins in harborages and crevices.
Faces – A tiny dark spot of blood. You may find it in the fabric.
Best Way to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Fast – Several Methods
Once you have identified bed bugs ingress into your home, you need quick action. There are many ways to do so.
All you need to do is to educate yourself with the following methods. And find out which way works with your priorities and budget. When the infestation is minor, you should act immediately and follow these methods.
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1. Heat Treatment
Heat is the greatest foe of bed bugs. Hence, this method has proven the most effective and quickest way to kill bed bugs instantly. Bed bugs cannot survive heat over 120°F.
It can be done in a washing machine with a dryer. Washing and drying the beddings over this temperature can kill bed bugs quickly. A dryer can reach this temperature regularly and kill bed bugs effectively.
Bed bugs infestation commonly happens in the bedsheets, covers, curtains, clothes, etc. Once you detect the infestation, you should put them immediately in the dryer. Put small or medium-sized loads in the dryer.
So the heat can reach each corner of the bedding and clothing. Set a high heat setting to ensure all the bed bugs and eggs are dead. This treatment is excellent if you want a faster solution to your bed bug problem.
2. Steam Treatment
Steam treatment also uses steam to kill bed bugs immediately. Heat treatment is effective for only specific things. But a steam cleaner can be versatile. However, a portable steamer can reach anywhere you want. So you can eliminate bed bug infestations using the steam cleaner anywhere in your home.
Steam treatment is accomplished using a steam mop. The steam coming from a steam mop is hot enough to kill bed bugs and eggs. A handheld steam mop can be used anywhere, including couches, bed frames, baseboards, etc.
A steam mop finds the bed bugs from crevices and kills them with hot steam. Set the temperature in the steam mop between 160°F and 180°F. Keep steaming in places where bed bugs like to hide.
Steam treatment may be expensive, but it is worth it. There is an added benefit of having a steam mop. You can use it for regular cleaning after successfully killing the bed bugs.
3. Home Remedy
Instead of heat, there are certain smells that bed bugs literally hate. You can solve your bed bugs problem as fast as possible using those. The good news is most of these smells are available in your home.
You can remove bed bugs using some home remedies effectively and quickly.
Let’s find out what home remedies help in keeping bed bugs away.
a. Alcohol to Kill Bed Bugs
Bed bugs genuinely hate the smell of rubbing alcohol. You might keep rubbing alcohol at home to disinfect your body. You can kill these pests using alcohol with minimal effort. Rubbing alcohol dissolves the bed bug’s bodies.
It eventually leads to their death. Moreover, alcohol can also abolish bed bug eggs. Pour an equal part of rubbing alcohol and water into a bug spray bottle. Then spray this solution on infested areas, including the box springs beddings, mattress, and crevices.
Direct application of rubbing alcohol over bed bugs will surely kill them.
b. Use Essential Oils for Bed Bugs
Essential oils can kill bed bugs upon contact. There are many oils used to kill bed bugs, including:
- Tea tree oil
- Cinnamon oil
- Clove oil
- Lavender oil
- Lemongrass oil
You can use any of them or a combination to prevent and eliminate bed bugs. Pour 20 drops of any of these essential oils and add two cups of water into a spray bottle. Shake it gently and apply it to the infected area.
Tea tree, cinnamon, peppermint, and lavender oil have a strong smell that bed bugs hate. These will indeed prevent bed bugs. The smell will force them to leave your home instantly. Besides, these will help your home smell good.
c. Try Mattress Cover
There are bedbug-proof mattresses and box spring covers available in the market. You can try those mattress covers because they zipped all the way up. So, the bed bugs don’t get a chance to enter and get out of the cover.
If there is any bed bug inside, they will get trapped and die. Moreover, these covers work as a protective barrier. Whenever you cover up your bed, it cannot bite even you sleep on it.
Above all, this method is affordable, non-toxic, and effective.
d. Pheromone Traps
Pheromones are chemicals that bed bugs use to communicate with each other. One of which is called Histamine. They send this chemical signal to their mates to find food and warn them of predators.
Pheromone traps contain one of those chemicals. It intends to attract bed bugs into the traps and eventually kill them. Bed bugs get trapped on their sticky surface and cannot escape.
e. Baking Soda and Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is a powder that most pests fear the most, including bed bugs, cockroaches, etc. It is made from fossilized algae. When a bed bug gets in contact with diatomaceous earth (DE), they get dehydrated and die eventually.
The combination of diatomaceous earth and baking soda is more potent than the DE only. It will dry out the waxy exoskeleton of bed bugs. It affects their body system. Moreover, bed bugs hate the smell of diatomaceous earth the most.
f. Acetone (Nail Polish Remover)
Acetone is a powerful liquid solvent. It has properties to dissolve other substances. However, people use it most to remove nail polish, paint, and varnish. However, you can also use it to kill bed bugs instantly.
Wherever you spot bed bugs, pour some acetone over them. Acetone will dry up the bed bugs and kill them. Make sure it is 100% acetone. Though it can kill adult bed bugs, but cannot effectively kill the bed bug eggs.
4. Chemical Treatment
Professional pest control companies use some chemicals to remove bed bugs successfully. There are more than 300 chemicals that you can safely use to remove bed bugs. You can also use them with more care to kill bed bugs.
a. Use an Insecticide
If any home remedies don’t work for you, you can consider using insecticides. Pyrethroids and pyrethrins are two commonly used insecticides. These can successfully kill bed bugs without causing much harm to pets and people.
You need a low dose of this insecticide to kill bed bugs. However, some bed bugs are way smarter than these insecticides. You can use other insecticides like pyrroles such as neonicotinoids or chlorfenapyr to kill those bed bugs.
b. Use a Desiccant
Bed bugs have a protective coating without which they dry out and die. Desiccant can dry out their protective coating and kill them. So, there are two common desiccants includes diatomaceous earth and silica aerogel. These have a greater kill rate, so bed bugs cannot survive.
c. Deploy a Bug Bomb
It might be a fast-acting solution to your bed bug problem. It is basically a pesticide product that contains aerosol propellants. However, it is toxic to both pets and people. So you need to vacate the place while you use a bug bomb.
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So, What is the Best Method to Kills Bed Bugs Instantly?
So far, we’ve found that using a steam cleaner is the best method to kill bed bugs instantly. Here is why:
- A steam cleaner can destroy bed bugs and their eggs immediately at 212®F.
- A steam cleaner can reach edges and corners of beddings, mattresses, clothing, and furniture where bed bugs may hide.
- Steaming every day can help you get rid of bed bugs forever.
Buy a steam cleaner now and get rid of these unwanted guests. Another effective treatment that we haven’t mentioned above is using silica gel. Silica gel is safe to use but highly effective for killing bed bugs.
Let’s Know Which Bed Bug Treatments Don’t Work?
The above-discussed methods are effective for killing bed bugs. However, some ways are less or not effective in killing bed bugs. You may have tried or going to try them. So it is better to know about them beforehand.
a. Vaseline or Adhesive Tape
Some homeowner suggests using vaseline or double-sided adhesive tape. Some use flypaper to trap bed bugs. So, let us inform you that all these techniques will never work. Bed bugs are tiny in size and will hardly fall in these traps.
b. Hair Dryers
Bed bugs are very frightened of heat. Therefore, some people use hair dryers to kill them. They find it safe to use, and also hairdryer is affordable.
The truth is hairdryer can hardly kill one or two bed bugs. A hairdryer can barely exceed the temperature of 150°F, which is not enough to kill bed bugs.
c. Clothing Irons
Some even try clothing iron to kill bed bugs. You need to keep the iron directly over the bed bugs like a hairdryer. It is a time-consuming process. Besides, clothing iron cannot reach cracks and crevices.
d. Bed Bug Sprays
It’s not that bed bug sprays don’t kill bed bugs; many do. However, they can only kill the bed bugs you see. They cannot kill those you cannot see. With bed bugs sprays, you can kill adult bed bugs that are visible to your eyes. But, the eggs and minor bugs are barely noticeable, so you cannot kill them.
Although it is difficult to get rid of bed bugs, you can kill those insects instantly by following the procedure we have shown. These naughty little buggers not only suck our blood but also make our life miserable.
Most people consider professional bed bug treatment, which is extremely expensive. Luckily, now you have some options. You know what kills bed bugs instantly. You should try on the methods we’ve discussed above. If one doesn’t work for you, try another one.