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How To Kill Bed Bugs: The Scientist’s Way


Have you ever heard of the saying “Whatever does not kill you, only makes you stronger”? Well, that seems to be true even for the bed bugs, easily one of the most dangerous household pests we have around.

Stronger they have become, so it seems. Bed bugs, scientists say, seem to have developed immunity from certain insecticides. They were once extinct around the middle of the 20th century. Now, they are back with a vengeance. So the main problem is on eliminating bed bugs on the bed.

What Brought Them Back?

Bed bugs are called as such because of the way they feed: they wait till it is night time on a human’s bed, then they pounce on humans as they sleep at night. The earliest recordings of bed bugs being household pests go from way back 3,300 years ago, and the Egyptians were probably their first victims or at least the first ones to put them on record. They reached the United States by ships used by colonizers, and here they thrived for decades. Fortunately, in the 1950s modern pest control technology found a way to eliminate bed bugs. More effective pest control pesticides, together with a more hygienic way of living, plus the development of vacuum cleaners and washing machines, all contributed to their demise. Suddenly, saying “goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” became nothing more than just a sweet way of saying goodnight to loved ones.

Unfortunately, bed bugs have found a way to come back just a few years ago, starting in the late 1990s.  Studies conducted by the National Pest Management Association and the University of Kentucky found that bed bug infestation continues at a high pace and that these pests have become more devastating and problematic now than in the years past. Pest control professionals also said that more than 90 percent of the customers they served were all about bed bug problems. There is also an increase in locations; areas, where there used to be no bed bug infestation problems now, have them. Most of the calls received by the pest control professionals happen in the summer. 

The study also found out that most bed bug infestations occur in private residences, though even 5-star hotels can have them. There are a lot of factors that led to the bed bug resurgence. Improved travel, ironically, is one of them. Now that most Americans are traveling at a high rate, they get to pick up bed bugs along the way, usually from hotels or other rented rooms they stayed in. A lack of awareness in bed bug control also, since most people are not familiar with the bed bugs anymore because it has been decades since they last tormented homeowners. Lack of good household management is another contributor to this problem. Modern homes now also are equipped with central heating, which makes the environment ideal for bed bugs. And when they do get to a house, they are very difficult to treat, pest control professionals admit to that.


To prevent bed bug infestation, the first thing to do is to know more about them. Bed bugs are blood-sucking insects that are active only at night. They are oval in shape, they are the size of an apple seed which is about ⅚ mm long, with flat bodies, and are brown, red, or yellow in color. After a blood meal, however, their bodies bloat and turn red. They are said to be attracted to the heat of the human body. The female bed bugs lay over a hundred eggs over their lifetime, and they spread very fast so immediate detection and extermination are very important.

Bed bugs are more than just nuisance pests. They are considered high health risks by U.S. government agencies, like the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

These nocturnal pests have now emerged as a top health hazard in the United States. Bed bugs are detrimental to the health of many Americans. Even though they do not transmit diseases, much like mosquitoes, cockroaches, and flies do, they present so many health risks to humans that it is already hard to ignore them. Bed bug bites are extremely itchy and can be painful. The effects, however, go beyond the physical; there are psychological effects as well, and it is giving America so many sleepless nights. Bed bugs are reported to have caused insomnia, stress, and depression.  

How Do We Get Bed Bugs?

Americans usually get bed bugs after traveling to other places. They get these pests when they stay in hotel rooms, motels, or other places they stay for days and nights.  They hitch a ride on luggage carried by people as they travel. They can also latch onto clothes, used sofas, used beds or bed frames, and other old items. Their bodies are so slim that they fit into small spaces can stay there for a very long time. Since bed bugs do not fly, they do not come in through open doors or windows. Hitchhiking is the only way.

Signs To Look Out For To Know If You Have Bed Bugs

It is very important that you detect bed bugs early on. You will have to move fast. It would be very hard to control them once they start to multiply. Remember that female adult bed bugs can lay hundreds of eggs.

One indicator is the presence of bed bug bite marks on your skin, but should not be used as the primary sign. Bed bug bite marks appear only after a few days.  By that time, bed bugs would have spread. 

Some of the more accurate signs that give away the presence of bed bugs in your home include red stains on your mattresses which resulted from the bed bugs being crushed by you; sweet, musty smell coming from the bed bugs; dark spots on your mattress which actually bed bug feces; and of course seeing actual bed bugs.

Bed bugs are usually found in the seams of mattresses, chairs, couches, and cushions.  Look for them in the folds of your curtains, electrical receptacles, appliances, in the cracks of the bed frame, and the headboard too.

How To Kill Bed Bugs & Their Eggs

Killing bed bugs will give you peace of mind, knowing they would not bother you any longer. But killing the adults is not enough if their eggs remain intact. Soon you will find the same problems all over again. Here are some tips on how to kill bed bugs and their eggs:

  1. Use your vacuum cleaner to suck up these bugs on your bed, couch, sofas, furniture, and other areas you see the bed bugs. After that, throw away the bag immediately.
  2. Use heat treatment. Wash your bedding and clothes that are infested at 60 degrees centigrade and put them in a dryer at a high temperature for 30 minutes.  This would kill the bed bugs and the eggs and nymphs of the bed bugs.
  3. You may also put the mattresses and clothes in a freezer to kill the bed bugs, their eggs, and their nymphs. Anything lower than -14 degrees C will kill these pests.
  4. If your furniture has too many bed bugs on them, throw them out. Make sure to mark these with “Bed bugs” or something to avoid having other people picking them up and using it for their homes.  
  5. If you live in an apartment with several units and you have bed bug problems, inform your landlord. They should call the professional experts. Bed bugs can transfer to other units very quickly, and it is possible that the other apartment units might have bed bugs too. A large-scale control system to get rid of the bed bugs would be needed for this.  
  6. Use organic-based bed bug sprays. As more and more people are becoming aware of the dangers of chemical pesticides, organic is now the way to go.You may purchase these in stores near you. 

If you find that you have bed bug infestation problems already, then you will need the services on eliminating bed bugs on the bed with only the trusted company in North Carolina, the Go-Forth Home Services.

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Go-Forth Home Services is a family-owned commercial service solutions provider of modern pest control services and techniques, using the latest and most advanced technology in the business,  making our service to you more efficient, safer, and more convenient. We have a team of expert professionals who can provide the best pest control services to residents and business establishments all throughout North and South Carolina.  You may Google us or check us out on Facebook. 

Go-Forth Home Services has earned the trust of residents and businesses in North Carolina for more than 50 years.  For more information, contact us today!