Bed bugs are making a come back today and are found in bedrooms all over the world. They invade hotels, dorm rooms, apartments and single-family dwellings and feed on humans that are asleep and unaware they have become food.
Bedbugs are a growing problem in the U.S. Buildings where people congregate to sleep, like hotels and apartments, are experiencing bed bug outbreaks in numbers unprecedented since WWII.
The following facts are a few tidbits about bed bugs that you may not know, together with some common sense suggestions for how to deal with them. With respect to concerns about the long-term effects of exposure to pesticides, most of these suggestions are natural or herbal. If you have a major infestation, they may not be a complete solution, but if you have concerns because someone in your family travels, is living in a dorm, or you occasionally bring home garage sale finds that may be harboring unwanted freeloaders, read on:
Bed bugs can't jump. This means that they can't attack you or your belongings when you enter a room that harbors them. They have to crawl onto you or your stuff.
If you discover a few bed bugs and decide to shut off the room and starve them out, think again. Bed bugs can survive up to a year without sustenance, blood, so you'll have to try a more active solution.
They don't just hang out in beds. Bed bugs can breed and hide behind baseboards, electrical faceplates, under or in carpeting, and on your draperies.
Bed bugs are brown and can be seen by the naked eye. They can be between the size of a grain of rice and the size of an apple seed.
If you've been bitten by the bug, no pun intended, you could probably identify the small red welts that identify a bed bug bite.
bed bug bites
They leave signs of their presence that you can track, even if you're having trouble finding the bugs themselves. Their feces look like brownish spots, and they'll be visible on walls, baseboards, the backs of headboards, along or under bed frames, anywhere they spend time. Their eggs will look like small white spots. If you see either of these indications, you have a problem.
So here is how to get rid of them
You can kill bed bugs in your linens by popping bedding, draperies and clothing in the dryer. Bed bugs don't like heat. Twenty to twenty five minutes in the dryer or an afternoon on the clothesline on a hot day will do it.
Many strong smelling herbal preparations will work to repel bed bugs. These include: rosemary, lavender, thyme and eucalyptus.
Herbal Bed Bug Spray Insecticide
This spray will act as a good deterrent. In higher concentrations, it might stain clothing and bedding, and could even cause headaches and nausea, so don't increase the essential oil concentrations unless you plan on being out of the room overnight and have stripped the bed. Oh, and the term essential oil is a misnomer. The liquid isn't oil based so don't worry about greasy residue.
Bed Bug Spray Recipe
1 Cup Water
10 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops rosemary essential oil
10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
10 drops essential oil of clove
Place in a fine mist spray bottle, and shake well before using.
Garlic has a very strong smell and will keep bed bugs at bay
12 cloves of garlic crushed
2 bay leaves
2 tsp rosemary
2 cups of water
put everything in a glass jar and let it steep about 6 hours - overnight
Strain the infusion and put it in a spray bottle and spray the affected area.
this also works against Ants too and Roaches
Herbal Pesticides for Bed Bugs - Mint and Lavender
These pleasing herbs are deadly to bed bugs. Make a mint and lavender tea as a go green natural pesticide for bed bugs. Spray baseboards, cracks and crevices with the tea. This is also nice to use on mattresses, pillows and bed covers. The fresh scent of lavender keeps bugs away as it floats you to sleep. A lavender and mint sachet works great under the pillow or between mattress and box springs as a go green natural bug pesticide.
Herbal Pesticides for Bed Bugs - Garlic, Cayenne and Oregano
These potent natural pesticides fight bed bugs with their pungent aroma. Put a couple cloves of garlic and a tablespoon each of cayenne powder and oregano in a tea ball or cheesecloth. Simmer in a pot of boiling water. Pour into a spray bottle when cooled. Spray baseboards, cracks and crevices in the whole house to keep bed bugs at bay. These spices can be placed between mattress and box springs to discourage infestation.
Herbal Pesticides for Bed Bugs - Tea Tree Oil and other Skin Repellents
Slather on homemade formulations using essential oils before bed. These natural go green pesticides are safe to apply to the the skin. Simply mix 10 drops of essential oil with ½ cup olive oil and use as a lotion. Essential oils that work best are tea tree, oregano, and lavender. Bed bugs often bite between toes. Put a generous amount of these go green pesticides all over the feet, legs and toes. The added bonus to these natural pesticides is their skin softening and healing properties.
Bed bugs can be treated with the use of diatomaceous earth and boric acid.
mix 1/2 cup Diatomaceous earth and 1/2 cup Boric acid powder
Please use gloves when doing this
sprinkle the powder on the bed
under the mattress
under the bed in the corners of the room
mix 1/2 cup borax yes the detergent
3 cups of water let this solution dissolve
put it in a spray bottle and spray the bed , Mattress and under the bed and corners of the bed and room
Bed bugs can be steamed out of your carpeting and mattresses. Vacuum the area thoroughly and then go over it with a handheld steamer. Try three applications over the course of a week. For some added killing power, fill the steamer with a couple of drops of lavender essential oil.
If you've been bitten by a bed bug, stop the itching by applying a slice of raw potato to the bite. Willow leaves and comfrey (Symphytum uplandica) will help too.
The best solution is to avoid bringing bed bugs home in the first place. When you travel, carry a bed bug repellent sachet in your luggage. This will help protect your belongings, and the aroma on your nightclothes will make the pests think twice before biting you.
If you want to avoid bringing bed bugs home with you when you travel, try keeping sachets of herbs in your suitcase. The smell will keep them out of your belongings and help you avoid an infestation in your home. Tuck two sachets into your suitcase, one on either side. It's a good idea to place a couple in the pockets of your hanging garments, or in any folded clothing you plan on placing in hotel room drawers. Oh, and when you get home, be sure to keep your luggage in the garage or put it in the bathtub for a few days. Bedbugs can't crawl out of the tub, and if you've brought any of the pests home, you'll be able to detect them against the enamel when you turn on the light (hopefully), and dispose of any you see.
The sachet recipes I have below should each fill seven to ten small muslin bags. you can find the muslin bags online, but you can probably find them at your local craft store or make them yourself.
Bed Bug Herb Sachet 1
1 Cup dried Eucalyptus leaves
1/2 Cup dried rosemary
1/2 Cup dried lavender buds
10 Large cloves
Bed Bug Herb Sachet 2
1 Cup loose-leaf black walnut tea
½ Cup dried eucalyptus leaves
½ Cup dried lavender buds
¼ Cup dried thyme
2 Bay leaves
Bed Bug Herb Sachet 3
1 cup dried or fresh rosemary
½ Cup dried eucalyptus leaves
½ Cup dried Cedar
½ Cup Coffee grounds
½ Cup dried thyme
Black walnut is also a good bed bug repellent. You can usually find it in tea form at your local health food store.
Keeping a clean house and clean bed and washing sheets and blankets often is key to keeping them from becoming and infestation
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