Bed bugs are one of the most indiscriminate pests. They are no longer nocturnal nor confined only to their sleeping spaces. You can find them in weird places like libraries, campsites, shipping containers, and abandoned items.
Most of the recommended methods in your internet search may be inaccessible, expensive, or both. Do not give up and resign your fate to bed bugs just yet. This article gives you readily available options that you can find at home.
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How effective are home remedies?
The effectiveness of home remedies varies depending on the infestation size and your expected results. More often, these home remedies, given that they are homemade, may work best to repel these bugs instead of killing them. They are usually in low concentration and lower potency than your standard commercial-grade pesticides. It may also be difficult for these home remedies to deliver ideal effectiveness across all bed bug life stages.
Aside from being cheap and readily available, these home remedies at the right concentration and well-timed application will kill bed bugs. However, some may just deliver a strong enough punch to eliminate some bed bugs and with a long-lasting result. You must apply them regularly and more carefully for the best results.
Which home remedies work
The frustration, nightmare, difficulty, and pain of dealing with bed bugs are stories everyone has dealt with at some point. The internet searches and the recommended ‘tried and tested remedies to wipe them off your home ultimately make it even more frustrating. Most effective solutions are expensive.
These are some home remedies you can find and make at the convenience of your home. Nonetheless, you must recognize the first step in your fight is knowing how to check for bed bugs.
The Havard School of Public Health defines Vinegar as an organic compound made of water and acetic acid. This makes it acidic and usually at an average PH of 2.5. The store’s average vinegar is diluted because of the high water content. It is probable that the vinegar at your house is used in cooking and is less acidic. Ask for white vinegar when shopping, as they are highly concentrated.
You will have to spray them directly on these critters. It is only on contact that bed bugs die. You will also have to do it as often as possible as its effects last less time than the other solutions. At high concentrations, vinegar impairs the nervous system of bed bugs, effectively killing them. Vinegar can also kill bed bug eggs with a high acid concentration.
The good news is that making your bed bug-killing solution with vinegar is not so complicated. The assumption is that you have already acquired highly concentrated vinegar, preferably white. Follow this process;
- Find a spray can and fill it with vinegar. Refrain from diluting the vinegar because it will be less effective.
- Spray the infested area and soak the crevices, grooves, and other bed bug hideouts.
- Leave a few days and repeat the process until you exterminate all bed bugs.
People rarely use baking soda to manage a bed bug problem. This is because there are no documented studies on its potency on bed bugs. It is best known for its use to control fungus and mold. Baking soda is a base and may work when diluted with less water. The assumption is that it can act as a desiccant, dissolving the bed bug cuticle and leaving them to dehydrate and die.
If you are willing to go this way, it behooves you to know that baking soda will not kill bedbugs. Instead, they are mild repellants because bed bugs avoid spaces with baking soda. Dilute baking soda into a thick paste and apply to the infested area. Besides, there is no harm in trying. It may work or may act as a placebo. Either way, you get to sleep a little better at night.
Borax is a naturally occurring substance used to make detergents and other cleaning substances domestically and commercially. Like any other homemade bed bug-killing solution, it may or may not work, depending on the infestation size. You must know this to avoid frustrations. For borax to work, it must be ingested by bed bugs. Remember that bed bugs primarily feed only on human blood.
It is still worth trying borax in your home as they are not dangerous. Make sure that they are well-soaked. You could wash your clothes in a mixture of borax and hot water or spray a solution of hot water and borax into crevices, cracks, furniture, and your mattress. Borax, if well applied, could ward off bed bugs from the sprayed spots. For the best result, use borax in combination with the other bed bug extermination methods.
Golden squeeze and crush
Yes! Do not be quick to dismiss the old capture, squeeze and crush method. It sounds nasty, but it may save you the pain of dealing with a massive infestation later. Besides, chances are that the bed bug you spotted in your bag may be an isolated case you picked up on your travels. Ignore it at your peril, as a single engorged female could give rise to the dreaded massive infestations that have people blowing away money on extermination.
Black walnut tea
Black walnut tea works best as a bed bug repellant method. These red coats tend to avoid areas with black walnut bags. It has insecticidal properties, but not enough to kill bed bugs and their eggs. It is best to use it in conjunction with the other tested methods.
Cayenne paper is another less-known option for killing bed bugs. Although it has relatively lower insecticidal properties, you can still use it to manage an infestation size. Even better, you should use it after other treatments to keep bed bugs away from your bed and furniture. Bed bugs tend to avoid areas with cayenne paper.
There are many contradicting studies on the efficacy of cayenne paper on bed bugs. Admittedly, there are non-conclusive on this matter; hence, you should approach it cautiously. Some studies point to cayenne paper killing bed bugs on contact. This would mean that you would have to adequately apply to bedbug hotspots like grooves, cracks, and crevices. For better results, use it consistently and monitor the progress.
Hydrogen peroxide is best known for its uses as an oxidizer, bleaching agent, and antiseptic to clean scrapes, minor burns, and wounds. It still can help with that itching bed bug bite to prevent infections in case the skin is broken. You can only apply hydrogen peroxide on your wound in its diluted form.
The bleaching properties of hydrogen peroxide can help with your bed bug problem. At high concentrations, it can kill on contact with bed bugs. However, you must apply much of it to soak the furniture and mattress. The bedside of this is that it can ruin your fabric and furniture if you are not cautious about it. Stronger concentration could still kill bed bug eggs.
When to use home remedies
There are many reasons you would be opting for homemade remedies to take care of your bed bug problem. One of the main reasons is that you are working on a tight budget or are a little tight on money. These options are also available at home and do not cost much. The other reason could be that you feel the other options are inadequate and are now experimenting with the other less-known ones. This won’t hurt, but you need to exercise caution because re-infestation is a big headache.
These little-known remedies have been used in the management of bed bugs. They may not be as effective as the other methods, and you should only use them when the infestation size is small. They work best with other effective treatment methods, such as heat treatment. Use them sparingly and seek advice from professionals.
Do home remedies work against bed bugs?
Yes, but they are not as effective as the other methods of killing bed bugs. The results may vary depending on factors like infestation size and solution used.
Can home remedies be used in sleeping areas?
Yes, they are relatively safe. However, some may have allergic reactions to it.
Are home remedies harmful to pets?
Some home remedies like borax and hydrogen peroxide at high concentrations may harm your pets. Do not, under any circumstance, spray pets directly.
Can home remedies be used against massive infestations?
No. Unless you want to deal with new infestations around the house, leave the massive infestations to the bed bug extermination professionals.