Identifying Bed Bugs
Bed bugs got their name from where they like to dwell: Warm, mostly dark areas such as bedding and mattresses. Since they are nearly invisible to the naked eye, bed bugs can be hard to identify. If you happen to spot a mystery bug in your bedding, here's what to look for: Bed bugs are about a quarter of an inch long and shaped like a long oval. They are reddish brown and have a flat body. The antenna and four legs are their only features. It is important to note that young bed bugs or bed bug eggs can be smaller and a milky-white color.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the most obvious signs of bedbugs are what they leave behind. Look for dark brown or red spots and stains on bedding fabric, furniture linings, and mattresses. It's actually their excrement, leftovers from their blood-sucking humans. Their eggs are tiny and oval-shaped, yellowish-white in color, and can be found attached to linens, cushions, and contaminated surfaces. In severe cases, they may also be found in their skins.
Bed Bug Spray
Shake the bottle well to mix everything.
Spray your bed frame, headboard, mattress, and sheets.
Spray around your bed and in the corners and crevices of your bedroom.
Be careful not to spray your eyes or face.
Encasements are a large fabric bag with a zip that fits completely around the mattress or boxspring.
They are useful when you want to protect a mattress you know is free of bed bugs (it has been heat treated or you have purchased a new mattress).
Vacuum the entire mattress before you begin cleaning it. Use upholstery attachment so that it will reach every corner, and side of the mattress. Vacuum on the furniture of the bed as well especially cracks and seams where dust, dirt, or bugs can easily stay hidden.
Use a stain remover to spot-clean your mattress. Avoid applying a cleaning solution, or water directly to the mattress and not even think about soaking it. You can refer to its cleaning and maintenance instructions if available otherwise make sure to do not wet the memory foam for any reason.
Remove biological stains with an enzyme cleaner. Spray the enzyme cleaner on a white, clean cloth to remove the stain. Use a separate clean cloth and apply cold water to it to blot the same area till the stain lifts. A stain can happen due to urine, vomit, sweat, and blood. Try to use less product possible that will result in moisture!
In the absence of an enzyme-based cleaner, you can also prepare a DIY solution. Mix the soap and water together, then use the foam that results to only apply on the stain. As an alternative, you can mix hydrogen peroxide with cold water in equal amounts to make the cleaning agent.
It is the time to take out your mattress is fresh air or under sun light if possible. Otherwise, sprinkle the baking soda on top of your mattress and leave it in the same state for some hours preferably overnight. Baking soda can be used to neutralize acid, absorb moisture, and remove odors.
Try to keep the baking soda on the mattress as much as possible till this time try to open the windows of the room. So that the sunshine or light will also come in and might reach the mattress. The UV rays of the sun are the best for killing bacteria or mold on the mattress.
Vacuum again everything once baking soda has done its job well for a long time. Flip the mattress and repeat the same process from the start to make sure all sides are clean and fresh. Flipping the mattress is necessary at certain intervals, regardless of whether or not you have deep cleaned them.
The spring mattress is recommended to be turned every three months as it will compress over time. So check with the manufacturer's instructions regarding when to flip or turn the mattress such that it will wear evenly and lasts for a long time.
After cleaning the mattress you need to use some measures to protect it. Let the mattress dry completely and cover it using a mattress protector to further protect it from bed bugs, dirt, and spills. A water-resistant mattress cover can protect it from accidental spills or leaks. You can wash the mattress protectors in a washing machine as per the care instructions.
Use lukewarm water or even cold to wash the mattress to preserve its water-resistant finish. Air drying is preferred over tumble-drying for the mattress top and protectors. Fitted sheets can be used to keep the mattress fresh. Encasements and mattress wraps are also used by people with asthma or allergies.
You don't have to inspect your bedding every night, but you should take some time to check your mattress and pillows when you wash your bedding. Remove your bedding if you notice any signs of bedbugs and put it through the washer on the highest temperature setting. The heat and water combined will kill any bed bugs that are living in your bedding. Wash all rugs, pillows and throw blankets in the bedroom.
Take your mattress and box spring outside and use a scrub brush to get into seams and affected areas of the mattress. This brush will remove all bugs and their eggs. Take a vacuum cleaner and thoroughly clean your box springs and mattresses, being sure to reach into the seams. Take the vacuum inside, and vacuum your bedroom. When you're finished, empty the vacuum outside into a plastic bag and place it in a trash can outside.
The last step is to enclose your mattress and box spring in a tight-fitting plastic covering and leave both outside overnight. This plastic covering will kill any bedbugs that survived the vacuum and scrub brush treatment. If you don't want to go through all of this work, you may just want to buy a new mattress and box spring and never bring the old one back in the house again.
Bites On Your Skin
You'll be able to tell when bed bugs bite. If you start noticing bites on your body that you can't explain, especially right upon waking, it may be bed bugs. The bites may itch or swell and cause pain. They usually appear in lines because a bed bug will feed in a small area on your body, though not always. Some people may experience a blistering reaction or break out in hives. Multiple bites can be mistaken for an allergic reaction or a rash. They are red and typically appear on areas of your skin that are exposed at night, as that's when the bugs come out to feed.
Bedbugs make their way into the home through luggage, bags, sofas, and anything slightly porous or textural. They don't live in nests but tend to live in groups and hide all over the home. Ideally, they will hide somewhere within biting distance from humans, such as the bed or mattress.
You will notice that your skin is itchy when you wake up in the morning. There are other warning signs that you should be aware of: