This was written by Karen Barnes.
Though many people today may believe bed bugs are just a myth, the fact is the pests have been making a major comeback in recent years. The problem has become so prevalent the Environmental Protection Agency has actually created a website to track the number of reports around the country. Getting rid of an infestation can be very difficult, expensive and possibly dangerous to human occupants of the home. Wouldn’t it be better to know how to keep them out instead?
Keeping bed bugs out
A professional exterminator will charge a large amount of money to eliminate a bed bug infestation. Here are some ways to try to avoid that by discouraging their presence:
*Eliminate all clutter throughout the house. If the pests find their way in, unnecessary piles of paper will be used as hiding spaces.
*Take a walk around the outside of the house to see if there are any gaps that the bugs can use to gain entry into the residence. If any are found, use caulk to seal them. Even if bed bugs are not brought home by somebody in the family, it is possible for them to find their way in if the neighbors have an infestation.
*When traveling, be sure to protect any bags taken. When going to the movies, keep purses and coats off the floor. When going on vacation or a business trip, check the hotel room for signs of bed bugs prior to unpacking. If the luggage will be mixed with that of others en route, wrap plastic around the bags or use hard shell suitcases.
Eco-friendly ways to eliminate bed bugs
Sometimes, despite the best efforts, bed bugs may still gain access to a residence. If this occurs, there are some natural alternatives to remove them that should be considered.
*Launder all bedding and clothing at the hottest setting possible to kill the bed bugs.
*Vacuum the carpets in every room to remove any of the pests that might be located there. When emptying the bag, be sure to do so in a garbage can that is outside and close it up tight.
*Run a steamer over upholstered furniture and along any cracks in the walls or baseboards to kill pests hiding in those locations. Bed bugs are adept at hiding in the smallest of places and can be hard to find. They are susceptible to heat, however, so using the steamer can kill bugs that were not discovered.
*Sprinkle some diatomaceous earth on the floor. This powder has microscopic sharp points that penetrate the shells of the insects. This causes them to dry out and die.
The best defense against bed bugs is to prevent them access to a residence. Being vigilant and wary is the best way to keep bed bugs out of a house. If an infestation occurs, there are non-toxic ways to eliminate it, but they will take some work.
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