To supplement my income I invested in a legal rooming house about ten years ago, and it has now become a cash cow that requires constant maintenance. About two weeks ago I rented a room to a nice gentleman that was going through a transition period in his life and he gave the room a thorough inspection and discovered the bedding had bed bug infestation.
In ten years, this was the first time such an infestation ever occurred on my property. I politely thanked him and refunded his prepaid weekly rent including the fee I charged him for a credit and security check.
When you search online you’ll soon discover that most of the people writing about how to get rid of bed bugs either naturally or with chemicals have never dealt with an infestation.
I will give you the detailed steps I took to eliminate those Cimex lectularius bugs that can suck the blood out of anyone foolish enough to sleep on the bedding surface with an infestation. Before we get to effective home remedies to get rid of bed bugs, we should first look at the reasons why they like to hide in bedding systems.
What Causes Bed Bugs
While bed bugs are usually found in within bedding systems, they can also embed themselves inside your recliner chair, sectional, or sofa bed. Bed bugs can only survive if they get close to warm-blooded animals including humans.
For many good reasons, bed bugs love the feel and taste of human blood. Many people online have speculated that the recent upsurge of bed bug infestation all across American cities and towns can be traced to an evil agenda pushed by cleverly cloaked forces.
From what I have gathered they love to reside in places where there are tropical and temperate climate conditions. Bed bugs prefer to hide inside the tiny spaces found in furniture, including box springs and mattresses.
You can also find bed bugs inside headboards, bed frames, and tight spaces inside your baseboards. Contrary to what some might think, bed bugs can reside just anywhere in your home, not just the bedroom.
While they usually do the most damage at night while you’re asleep, they can also suck your blood in broad daylight if the opportunity presents itself.
How do Bed Bugs Spread
If you want to know how bed bugs spread from person to person or house to house, just pay close attention to your daily activities. These bloodsuckers are the best equal opportunity indoor bugs known to man.
Just as humans love to travel from state to state, or country to country, bed bugs are usually transferred that way.
You put your bag in the taxi cab without realizing that the last fare just deposited a luggage that contained large bed bug infestation. Some will hitch a ride inside your bag to your final destination.
Bed bugs are more resilient than even roaches because they know how to be invisible while the host is awake and not asleep.
I believe they’re able to communicate in their own unique way, because of the coordinated movement they perform once you discover their nesting place.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Permanently
Once I discovered the bed bugs I did not care if I got rid of them with toxic chemicals or naturally, my main goal was to eliminate them completely before they impacted my cash cow dwelling negatively.
The first trip I made was to my local home depot store and I bought the following items to help contain the bed bug infestation:
I bought two gallons of Hot Shot Bedbug & Flea Spray
I bought a box of durable hand gloves that can withstand toxic chemicals
I bought a gallon of old fashion pine-sol solvent
I bought several boxes of disposable wipes
A large plastic bucket
Wood floor cleaner and solvent
A pair of well-designed breathing masks for my nose due to the intense smell of the bug spray
Bed Bug Removal Steps
I called my good buddy that does all my handyman repairs to remove all the furniture from that room and take it to the dumpster. I did tell him the truth what I was dealing with, so he came prepared to completely wrap the furniture and bedding in plastic before taking them to his truck.
The room contained a nightstand with several storage drawers and a queen size bed with box spring and a headboard. I did not have time to clean each individual piece of furniture for some might survive to revive the colony after the cleanup.
Those blood suckers can hide in very tiny places you would not expect them to be and I think it would be futile to try to salvage the furniture.
Please do not try to sell your bed bug infested furniture to your fellow citizens, for while you might make a few bucks, karma will get you back when you least expect it.
After the removal of the furniture and bedding system, I had my crew also take out the area rug from the wood floor. Before I started cleaning the room, I put on clothing that I would be throwing away once the clean-up is completed.
Luckily, this particular room had fairly new wood flooring with edges that were attached snugly tight to the wall. I started by spraying the bed bug spray at every each of the edges with my mask on. I removed the two wall posters left by the last tenant.
I sprayed the bed bug spray to cover the entire wood floor and also all around the edges of the windows. The door to the room had no spaces on top or underneath, but I still sprayed the solution on the entire door.
I opened the window with the screen intact and exited the room to give the chemical time to do its job and also to get some fresh air.
I used the large plastic bucket and mixed equal parts hot water and the pine-sol to create a powerful solution, which also happens to have a clean refreshing smell to it. I proceeded to wipe down the whole room starting with the windows.
I used my mop on the floor but decided not to apply the wood cleaner and polisher just yet, until after the room is painted with a fresh coat of paint. When I exited that room, any bed bug remaining will surely die of boredom and lack of warm blood to suck on during the night.
My handyman gave the room a new paint job while insisting the current paint looked like new. I wanted a complete break from those pesky bugs and the painting was just the final nail in the coffin of the surviving members of the last bed bug colony.
He applied the floor cleaner to the wood floor and the room looked like it was newly constructed. I installed a brand new dresser with a large mirror and a complete bedding system. This time I choose to go with a platform bed with sealed edges, but with drawers for storage underneath.
To protect the room from further bed bug infestation, I wrapped the new queen mattress in a protective plastic cover with a zipper. Next, I put a cover on the plastic that enclosed the mattress like a fitted sheet.
Since this dwelling contained twenty single occupant rooms with six shared full bathrooms, I hired a local maid service to do a complete cleanup job. Keep in mind, for I do have a maid that cleans the structure three to four times every week.
That was when I discovered that most maid services will charge you based on how dirty your dwelling is, which makes sense when you think of it. I raised the rent on the newly refurbished room 20% and a tenant in another room opted to take it right away.
I also did the same cleaning routine to the empty room and also raised the rent accordingly. The local exterminator franchise I called wanted to charge me hundreds of dollars to bug proof the entire complex, mind you the structure is so clean that even roaches refuse to enter and take up permanent residence.
YouTube Video about Bed Bugs Lifestyle
The above video will familiarize you with what bed bugs look like and how they’re able to suck your blood without you feeling any pain while they’re feasting.
You can find other helping bed bug containment tips from this article dealing with the top mattress protectors one can also use to keep bed bugs from taking over your sleeping surface.