technician inspecting for bed bugs

Why DIY Bed Bug Solutions Often Fail

When it comes to arresting a bed bug infestation, it can be perplexing why DIY bed bug solutions fail. Many of the tips offered on the internet are pest control options used by professionals or suggested by professionals. So, why is it that DIY efforts fall short? The answer has more to do with those bed bugs than it does with the methods used to exterminate them. Let's examine the issue together.

One of the most common tips given on the internet for bed bugs is to vacuum and clean. The idea is that you'll suck all those bed bugs up and kill hidden eggs when you sterilize your home. Does this work? Sure. It works a little bit. When you vacuum your rugs and furniture, it is possible to suck bed bugs and bed bug eggs up. It is also possible to kill bed bugs with products that are used to sterilize. But bed bugs aren't going to make it easy for you. Here are a few ways they'll avoid this method of extermination:

  • Bed bugs love cracks, crevices, and hiding places. They are not likely to live exclusively on top of your furniture or above your rugs. That means you're not going to get all those bugs by cleaning.

  • Bed bugs don't just live in your belongings. They can be behind your baseboards, in the cracks of crown molding, inside electronic devices, and even in your walls. You're going to have to do more than vacuum to get all of those bugs.

Here's one way cleaning your home can help you fight bed bugs:

  • Bed bugs thrive in clutter. If your home has lots of hiding places, bed bugs will take advantage of them. When you clean, you prevent those bugs from easily avoiding detection, and you make it more difficult for them to be near areas in which you relax. This can prevent daytime bed bug bites.

Another common bed bug tip is the use of chemicals. Can you kill bed bugs with chemicals? You sure can. But chemicals have some drawbacks that professionals know how to work around. Here are some ways bed bugs will avoid your chemical treatments:

  • Bed bugs go through 5 instars (development stages) before they reach their adult stage. As they transition, they develop a new skin and shed their old skin. With each instar, they can produce a skin that is resistant to chemicals they have been exposed to. This can result in chemical-resistant super bed bugs living in your home.

  • Chemicals are topical. They do not get deep into furniture, beds, and walls like fumigant gases do. They rest on the surface. If applied improperly, chemicals will not reach bed bugs in the places they hide.

  • If bed bugs sense a threat, they act defensively. When chemicals are applied incorrectly, it can drive bed bugs deep into walls--assuming they haven't already done so.

Here are a few more tips you're likely to find on the internet, and how bed bugs are likely to react to them:

  • Put a cover on your power outlets. This tip is given to prevent bed bugs from crawling into your outlets to evade your bed bug treatment efforts. While it helps a little, it isn't going to prevent fleeing bed bugs from getting into your walls.

  • Mattress and box spring covers. This can be a practical step in arresting a bed bug infestation, but it does nothing to address bed bugs in other locations of your home--including the item that is possibly sitting in your closet that brought those bugs into your home in the first place.

  • Traps and ClimbUps. There are ways to prevent bed bugs from crawling up to feed on you while you sleep. The problem is that bed bugs don't have to wait till you're sleeping to feed on you.

  • Wash your clothes in hot water. This is a great idea when you return from a trip, but it won't have much of an effect if your home is already infested. If you have bugs in your clothing, it is likely that you have bugs in your dressers and in other areas where you store your clothing.

If you're seeing bed bugs in your home, call a professional pest control company. Professionals are educated in the habits and habitats of bed bugs. When they apply pest control measures, they do it according to established pest control practices developed by industry experts.

For assistance with a bed bug infestation in Massachusetts or Connecticut, reach out to the Good Guys at American Pest Solutions to learn more about our bed bug control options

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