“Night night! Sleep tight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite!”
This centuries-old sing-song rhyme tucks many a child in for sweet dreams and sends many adults into existential nightmares. While the origins of this phrase are heavily disputed by historians, what’s not disputed is that no one wants to deal with bed bugs. They’re itchy, incredibly easy to spread, and pernicious little bugs that seem to resist many common forms of extermination.
So, how can you ditch these blood-sucking little menaces once and for all? Our guide will show you 7 potential bed bug cures to banish the pests for good.
1. Starve Them Out
One method to cure bed bugs that requires airtight sealing and no small amount of patience is to starve them out. These bugs feed on human or animal blood, after all.
So, to prevent them from accessing their source of food, you need to vacuum your mattress, carpets, and furniture. Then, wrap them in airtight protectors, plastic, or bags to prevent them from escaping. Leave them on for a few weeks, and the bugs will starve to death.
However, if you leave so much as a single hole in your plastic defense or miss a spot where they’ve laid eggs, this won’t be a permanent fix.
2. Treat With Heat
If you want to ensure that no bug gets left alive, one of the most effective treatments you can use is extreme temperatures. Most pest control companies that handle bed bugs offer heat treatments to kill off the bugs, as they can’t survive temperatures over 120 degrees Fahrenheit. You can find more reasons why heat is one of the best ways to cure bed bugs from a professional exterminator.
This principle also serves as the foundation for another piece of advice you’ll find when looking up how to cure bed bugs. Many other guides will recommend running your clothes and other linens (bagged, obviously) through the dryer. This will kill the bugs in smaller items but isn’t always feasible.
Heat is also one of the only bed bug cures capable of disposing of adults and eggs!
3. Acetone: Removes Nail Polish and Bed Bugs
That’s right, the same stuff that dissolves your perfect manicure like melted butter can kill bed bugs if applied directly to them. Acetone is a caustic chemical on its own and causes the bed bugs to dry up.
However, before you go using any old nail polish remover you have lying around, pause for a moment. Check the label. If it says “acetone-free”, then it won’t work. The remover must be 100% acetone in order to make the bed bugs shrivel and die on contact.
Unfortunately, this solution only kills live, adult bugs. It does nothing against their eggs.
4. Diatomaceous Earth: Death by Powder
Diatomaceous earth has special properties that allow it to dissolve the exoskeleton and the bug itself on contact. This makes it an effective treatment for any chitinous infestations you may have. No muss, no fuss, and limited clean-up. The only downside is that this method can take a few days to work.
When you use diatomaceous earth to kill bed bugs, remember that they aren’t stupid. They have functioning eyes, and won’t walk towards a pile of white powder any more than you would go speeding for a nuclear reactor.
For this method to work, you must sprinkle a fine, mist-like layer over the areas the bed bugs tend to frequent. Sadly, this method cannot deal with eggs.
5. Purchase Specialized Pesticides
Many pesticide marketers have formulations available designed to kill bed bugs. These can work as a spot treatment in a pinch, but should not be your go-to product.
Why? Well, for one: They, like many other bed bug cures listed here, only take care of adults, not eggs. This often leads to repeat applications, which then cause the next major issue.
Pesticides tend to have challenging smells. The last thing you want or need is for your home to smell like the exterminator lives there rent-free.
6. Tea Tree Essential Oil: Smells Nice, Repels Bugs
Tea tree is one of those essential oils that gets touted as a cure to almost everything. Dealing with a serious case of dandruff? Tea tree oil. Are your sinuses bothering you? Tea tree oil.
Got a bed bug infestation? Well, tea tree essential oil might be able to help, but it won’t solve the problem. While the scent of tea trees might be pleasant to us humans, it’s challenging to the bed bugs. This makes it an effective repellent, though it won’t kill all the bugs on contact.
This method is best combined with other home treatments to keep your furniture bed bug free!
7. Prevention Is the Best Cure
Of course, the most effective way to cure bed bugs is not to have any in the first place. Once they’re in your home or apartment, they can be hard to get rid of. And good luck getting your insurance company to cover the expenses incurred when you get treatments done.
So, how do you prevent these little pests from showing up, to begin with? Some common prevention methods include:
- Vacuuming thoroughly
- Be cautious in shared laundry facilities
- Inspect all secondhand furniture
Taking these steps is how to cure bed bugs before they even become a problem.
Looking for More Bed Bug Cures?
Bed bugs aren’t just annoying and itchy. They’re a major source of anxiety for all who deal with them. We hope that the 7 bed bug cures we listed above have given you some ideas for how to treat them. However, the list above is far from exhaustive.
Looking for more information about bed bugs or home pest control in general? If so, then check out our blog for more informative articles like this!