When you were a kid and heard the playful adage, “Don’t let the bed bugs bite!” you probably never thought that one day you would be up against one of the most formidable, invasive houseguests of all time. But here you are, frantically searching your bedding for signs of these sneaky, hungry insects. If you are already planning your next method of attack, we hope you’ll put aside a moment to take a breath and consider all of your options. You may be considering trying out DIY treatments before committing to a professional bed bug service. However, if you have ever dealt with these resilient rascals, you know that it takes a lot more than a little bit of talcum powder to eliminate bed bugs once and for all.

How to Identify Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are tiny, oval-shaped insects that hide in the cracks and crevices of your room. A common bed bug myth is that they are attracted to dirty areas, but realistically bed bugs simply prefer hiding spots. That’s why they nestle in bedding, under mattresses, and inside clutter.

Bed Bug Bites

Bed bugs commonly hide in the corners of the bed and feed on a human’s blood while they are sleeping. Their bites are small, raised, reddish-brown bumps that are often found in clusters resembling a line. These bites may not feel like much at first, but they often become itchy welts after time has passed.

Signs of Bed Bugs

Naturally, most people realize that they have bed bugs when they first start to itch at the bits. Bed bugs also leave behind residues, such as molted skin (which looks like small, brown ovals), or rust-colored excrement.

Do-it-Yourself Bed Bug Treatment Myths

We hear it all the time. The Orkin experts make it to a house, and the homeowners say (exhausted), “We tried everything, but nothing worked.” When homeowners say they tried everything, they mean they tried DIY bed bug treatment options, which are often ineffective. Bed bugs are so resilient because they breed at a rapid rate and can survive for long periods of time without feeding. If even one or two eggs survive the purge, you can expect a re-infestation in just a couple weeks. There are a lot of myths surrounding DIY bedbug treatment. The following are the most common bed bug “home remedies” circulating the internet.

Mothballs

In a study conducted by a Rutgers research team in New Jersey, mothballs are an ineffective way to treat bed bugs because they do not successfully kill the eggs and nymphs. The theory is that the pungent mothball smell repels pests, such as bed bugs. While mothballs contain poisons that may kill adult bed bugs, there is no evidence that it harms the eggs.

Talcum Powder and Baking Soda

Both of these powdery substances are often recommended to fight bed bugs for the same reason: Dehydration. The theory is it dries out the exoskeleton, killing the bugs. Unfortunately, even if either of these methods caused damage to adult bed bugs, there is no evidence that they can stop an infestation. Additionally, talcum powder is not sharp enough to cause significant damage to the outer shell.

Diatomaceous Earth

This home remedy is a popular pest control method that can be used against a variety of pests, including bed bugs. It is pretty effective! However, diatomaceous earth is not exactly a stand-alone solution. The effectiveness depends on the amount you use and if it is used in tandem with other pest control methods. It can also be dangerous for humans to inhale, so make sure to do your research!

Vacuuming

We love vacuuming! It’s not a permanent solution, and it rarely fully eradicates a bed bug infestation, but it will greatly reduce the population because it indiscriminately sucks up adult bed bugs, nymphs, and eggs. If you diligently vacuum, you’ll have a higher chance of complete success when Orkin finishes the job!

Call Orkin to Eliminate Your Bed Bugs Today!

The most effective way to get rid of your bed bug problem once and for all is by calling a professional! Orkin will thoroughly evaluate your home and determine the best solution for your infestation. Call Orkin today to schedule your consultation!