‘Most effective’ natural home remedy to ‘eliminate’ bed bugs

Bed bugs: How to prevent an infestation in your home

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Bed bugs are tiny creatures that live in cracks and gaps in and around beds which creep out at night in search of a midnight snack. Bed bugs live on blood and are attracted to exposed skin. While the bites themselves don’t hurt, they can cause irritation and itching. Due to common misconceptions associating these pests with un-cleanliness, it’s not a very nice feeling for households to know they have got them in their bed – that’s why it’s important to get rid of them. Sarah Dempsey, laundry expert at myjobquote.co.uk, has shared four “effective” yet “natural” ways to kill bed bugs.

1. Wash bedding

When households notice that they have bed bugs the first option to remove them would be to wash the bedding, according to the expert.

She said: “Washing your bedding at a high temperature is an effective way to get rid of bed bugs. The heat is a great way to eradicate the bed bugs.”

However, it’s important to note that simply washing bedding is not always a complete solution. Sarah said: “It can certainly reduce the number of bed bugs in your home but it is not always enough to completely remove them. 

The laundry pro instructed: “Strip your bedding and place it straight into a bin bag. Then, carry the bin bag to the washing machine and empty your bedding into the machine. Wash the bedding at a high temperature on a cycle of at least 90 minutes or more.”

2. Freeze them out

Aside from washing bedding, the laundry pro suggested that households can freeze them to remove the bugs and eggs.

She said: “Freezing infested items is a great way to get rid of bed bugs. As with many other home remedies, this may not be a complete solution to removing bed bugs. However, it is a very effective way to greatly reduce the number of bed bugs in the home.

“Simply place bedding, pillowcases, and any other infested items in the freezer and leave them in there for around a week.”

Extreme cold kills bed bugs so fabrics can be placed in a plastic bag and into the freezer.

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3. Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is a brilliant natural tool for killing and repelling bed bugs. It is made from fossilised sea creatures called diatoms, which are made up mainly of silicon dioxide. 

It will safely kill the bugs and act as a physical barrier if the treatment is put into cracks and holes. 

Diatomaceous earth won’t kill the bugs instantly, it usually takes seven to 14 days, but it is very effective as well as being non-toxic and safe to handle.

According to Sarah, diatomaceous earth is seen as “one of the most effective methods” for “eliminating” bed bugs. 

She said: “When trying to eradicate bed bugs, it’s best to combine this method with other home remedies for optimum results.

“Apply a fine amount of diatomaceous earth around the seams of your bed frame, mattress, and furniture. This method works by causing the bed bugs to perish from dehydration.”

4. Vacuum the home thoroughly

Once households have physically searched for the bugs, use a strong vacuum to clean the entire area. 

It is best to use a narrow vacuum nozzle to reach in-between the gaps, the mattress, bed frame and corners – this will help remove the eggs and any remaining bugs.

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The expert noted: “Vacuuming is a very effective way to control a bed bug infestation. Unlike many other home remedies, vacuuming can help to remove adult bed bugs, nymphs, and eggs. 

“It’s important to remember to empty the vacuum in an outside bin to help reduce the chances of them returning. 

“Vacuuming won’t always completely get rid of the bed bugs. However, it is an effective method to help greatly reduce the numbers. 

“Vacuum your entire home thoroughly. Pay very close attention to the areas where the bed bugs are most prevalent such as between wall joints and underneath furniture. Once you’ve completed the vacuuming, make sure you empty all of the contents of the vacuum in an outside bin.”

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