8 Steps You Must Take Immediately If You Suspect There Are Bedbugs In Your Home

If you suspect you have bedbugs in your home, you need to act and fast!

Bedbugs are truly tricky little pests who feed on human blood. They can cause all sorts of problems for folks who are unlucky enough to discover that these creatures have moved in. Learn how to get rid of bedbugs straightaway!

Here’s the good news: if youdo have bedbugs, they can’t do much to harm you.

Unlike ticks, which can spread Lyme disease, and mosquitoes, which are responsible for spreading everything from zika to yellow fever, bedbugs are not known carriers of disease.

However, bedbugs are extremely annoying, stubbornly resilient, and very tricky to track down. The tiny bugs tend to crawl out at night, leaving maddeningly itchy bites on exposed skin.

They are tiny and thinner than a credit card, so they can hide in virtually any nook or cranny.

Most importantly, once you have them, you have to act fast to get rid of them before they reproduce and spread.

Scroll through to learn how.

Photo Credit: Flickr / NY State IPM Program

#1: Identify That You Have Them

#1:

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

The tell-tale hallmark of a bedbug infestation is discovering a collecting of maddeningly itchy, bumpy bites.

These bites will often be on the upper body (though not always!) and are usually arrayed together in a line or cluster. Bedbugs are lazy eaters and don’t like to move around too much.

However, doctorsestimate that as many as 30 percent of people don’t have a reaction to their bites, which is why you need to look out for other signs.

Black “pepper: stains that look a bit like smudged ink are a major sign of infestation. These will often be around the seams and edges of mattresses.

You may also find shed skins and even live bugs themselves. They are reddish-brown and roughly the size and shape of a sesame seed.

#2: Figure Out Where You Got Them

#2:

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Bedbugs are opportunists: they do their best in places that have large numbers of people passing through regularly.

Hotels and airplanes are havens for bedbugs, so be very careful when you travel.

It’s easy to bring them home from a vacation or business trip,so develop the habit of leaving all luggage outdoors or in the bathtub when you get home from a trip, and immediately treat clothes and baggage to get rid of possible hitchhikers.

You should also avoid secondhand furniture and books, which can carry bedbugs.

#3: Bag Your Stuff

#3:

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

If you have bedbugs in your home, you’re going to need to tackle everything at once.

If you know the outbreak is confined to one room, keep it that way. Don’t move anything, and immediately bag up all your belongings.

If it’s the whole house, you’re going to need a lot of bags. Bag anything that’s small enough to pick up (i.e., don’t bag the couch, but do bag the throw pillows.)

Try to separate everything you own by whether it’s washable or not, and be sure to label the bags. Clear plastic is a good option if possible.

#4: Heat Them Up

#4:

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Anything that is dryer-safe should be thrown in and heated on “high.”

Bedbugs can’t withstand temperatures over 115 F, so heating clothes, fabric shoes, and bedding on the hottest temperature should do the trick.

You can also buy or rent something called a PackTite to heat up items that can’t go in the dryer.

This device may also be safer for bulky items like books, cushions, and outerwear.

#5: Chill Them Out

#5:

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Freezing can also be a reliable method for killing off bedbugs, but you have to do it right.

If you have a freezer that can be reliably lowered to a temperature of 0 For lower, go for it.

Temperatures this low can freeze a bedbug’s body, which means that it’s a great option for delicate clothing items, shoes, handbags, and other things that can’t be laundered.

However, be careful with this method. If the temperature isn’t low enough, bedbugs or eggs may still survive.

#6: Cover Your Mattress

#6:

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Your knee-jerk reaction is probably to throw your mattress out straightaway.

Don’t do it. Instead, cover the whole thing in a bedbug-proof casing.

Even if you wrap it up in plastic and throw it in a dumpster, it won’t necessarily safe, and it’s a great way to spread bugs to your neighbors.

It’s also illegal to do it improperly in many places and might land you with a hefty fine.

Additionally, it’s bad for your own home. If the bugs were confined to just your mattress, pulling it out of the house will spread them everywhere.

Get a casing instead and save yourself some grief.

#7: Vacuum Them Up

#7:

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Vacuum every room in your house, and be sure to get every nook and cranny.

As soon as you finish vacuuming a room, remove the vacuum bag, seal it with tape, and place it in a sealed plastic trash bag. This will help you to avoid spreading them from room to room.

Before you put your vacuum away, thoroughly cleanse it with rubbing alcohol to help make sure there are no longer creepy-crawlies.

You can also put most pieces of the vacuum in a PackTite for treatment.

#8: Call A Pro

#8:

Laura Caseley for LittleThings

All of the steps identified above are just preliminaries.

The minute you suspect you have bedbugs, you need to call a professional to come do an inspection. Only a pro can find all of the sneaky places where these creaturesmight be hiding.

A professional can also treat your home thoroughly with chemicals and heat or freezing treatments. That includes your furniture and luggage.

Do not try to chemically treat your home on your own only a well-reviewed pro can do it right!

If you are glad to know the scary signs of bedbugs, be sure toSHARE this list with anyone who might be at risk!

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