Bedbugs are anxiety-inducing pests. As a result, learning how to get rid of bedbugs is not only important for your sleep, but your psychological wellness.
Illustration: The Lamen
Bedbugs are vivacious little bloodsuckers: tough to spot, and even harder to get rid of. A parasite that has been sucking blood since the age of the dinosaurs, bedbugs are a pest of the urban world that doesn’t just leave you itchy.
Bedbugs are nightmarish for hotels and spas, they’re suspected in the transmission of various diseases, and may (rarely) cause a serious allergic reaction. These seemingly invisible biters can even incite anxiety and insomnia.
While they suffered a population crash in the mid-twentieth century with the introduction of pesticides like D.D.T., they’ve since developed resistance and adaptations to survive for one more blood meal. However, there are still ways you can get rid of them.
Bedbugs can be unavoidable at times, especially during extensive traveling or rapidly switching hotels. Infestations typically spike during the summer, coinciding with travel and the vacation season.
Once everything has been taken care of, check your suitcase and clothes — looking at every seam and corner with a flashlight. Leave them isolated for a few days, reinspect, and only then should you bring them back in.
A fully-grown bed bug is reddish brown in color, just 4 to 5 millimeters in length — about the size of an apple seed.
To know for sure if you have bedbugs, look out for the following:
While faint, bedbugs also give off a distinct, musty odor — said to resemble the scent of coriander or a damp room.
Begin by looking for bedbugs in the following areas:
Once you find the bedbugs, contain the infestation by sealing your bed, pillows, and other articles in a plastic bag.
To treat bedbugs without the use of chemicals, use the following methods:
If this does not wipe out the infestation, invest in insecticides or even a professional treatment.
Commonly used insecticides include:
A professional treatment for bedbugs can involve inspection, bedbug monitoring devices, mattress encasements, steaming, vacuuming, the use of insecticides, and post-treatment evaluations.
While some companies can offer a 30 to 60-day treatment warranty, professional treatment can cost thousands of dollars — depending upon the scale of bedbug infestation.