Bed bugs: Three ‘natural treatments’ to get rid of the pests for good

Bed bugs expert reveals how to spot signs of infestation

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Once bed bugs have settled into your bed, mattress, headboard, or side cabinet, the small insects can be difficult to get rid of. If you would like a natural way to deter the pests, look no further. One natural way to prevent your home from becoming infested with bed bugs is to use cedar wood oil in your house. Experts at Pest Strategies explained that cedar wood oil – a distilled extraction from a combination of trees: cedar, juniper and cypress – is a “powerful mixture”.

Two components of cedar wood oil, cedrol and cedrene, form to create cedar camphor – described as “mighty” good at fighting off biting insects.

The natural insect repellent has been shown to be toxic to bed bugs, according to research conducted by Rutgers University, America.

Even better, the cedar wood oil is said to be non-toxic to humans, but cats and dogs might be irritated by the odour.

Another natural remedy more suited to animal owners is diatomaceous earth.

Diatomaceous earth – specifically labelled for pest control – can be effective if used correctly.

Orkin – a pest control specialist – explained that diatomaceous earth is a “powdery, white coloured mineral”.

It’s mined from deposits of fossilised diatoms, which are microscopic single-cell algae “whose hardened cell walls contain silica”.

The insecticide “chafes away the waxy outer coating of an insect’s exoskeleton”, essentially causing them to become dehydrated and die.

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Diatomaceous earth is best applied to the home by a pest control specialist.

This is because the task can be time consuming, and people must be careful not to over apply the product.

Another natural remedy to get rid of bed bugs include the use of kidney bean leaves.

One study author, Catherine Loudon – an entomologist at the University of California – looked into the effectiveness of kidney bean leaves.

“Plants exhibit extraordinary abilities to entrap insects,” she said.

Microscopic hairs on the kidney bean leaves are said to “stab” the insects, effectively trapping them.

WebMD elaborated by stating that treatment can involve scattering kidney ben leaves on the floor next to infested beds.

How long does it take to get rid of bed bugs?

Dominion Pest Control stated it can take up to four treatment sessions to completely eliminate bed bugs.

Whether this takes a couple of weeks or a few months is entirely dependent on the level of infestation.

How to treat bed bug bites

The NHS recommends putting a “clean, damp cloth” on the affected area to help with the itching and swelling.

It’s also helpful to keep the affected area clean and to avoid scratching the bites – no matter how itchy they are.

This will help to stop an infection from developing, which is something else you don’t want to deal with while trying to get rid of bed bugs.

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