If you were to ask someone that lived through the last bed bug out break in the 1950’s the above question, they would say that you can exterminate bed bugs yourself. And it was true that back then, you could exterminate them on your own.
What is commonly misunderstood is how bed bugs of the 21st century are different from their (and our) grandparents!
The current generation of bed bugs has become very resilient and wary of most chemicals. The last century of bug warfare nearly wiped them out, unfortunately, it was harmful to us as well. It created a super bug, one that can handle harsher chemicals and still survive, this is the creature living in your bedroom.
So, the most current and accurate answer to the above question is no. No, you can’t get rid of bed bugs on your own anymore, you need to call in for back up and pull out the big guns. You need to hire an exterminator.
That being said, your exterminator is going to need your help. Between the two of you, you’ll be able to reclaim your territory (aka your bed) and eliminate the hostiles.
Here are a few things that you can do to help your exterminator.
- Start a major spring cleaning of your home. This doesn’t actually get rid of the bed bugs, but it does limit their hiding places and make it easier for the exterminator to do his job.
- Rent a dumpster and start getting rid of stuff you don’t use. Remember, you can’t have a garage sale because of karma, you know. What goes around comes around, as they say, and you don’t want bed bugs to come back around. Its time to get rid of the ten pairs of shoes that you haven’t worn in 2 years and the clothes that you won’t fit into within the next 3 months. Streamline your possessions and you’ll have a head start on getting your house back.
- Take bedspreads, blankets, sheets and curtains to the dry cleaners. The steam will kill any bugs and their eggs. Just remember to leave them there until you can bring them back to a clean home, so that they don’t just get re infested again.
- Make a new habit of vacuuming daily and throwing out the bag. Again, this won’t get rid of them completely, but it will slow the reproduction process down a bit, and you need all the advantages that you can create.
Keep in mind that the faster you start you attack to exterminate bed bugs, the better your chances are of winning the battle and getting your home back.