Most of us can remember the phrase, ‘’good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite’’ from our childhood. But it’s easy to dismiss bed bugs as a children’s tale until you actually get bitten by one.
Truth is, bed bugs do exist, and they like to share your bed with you! Although bed bugs don’t pose any significant health risks, no-one wants to share their bed with any unwanted guests. Lots of the bed bug treatments on the market are full of toxic chemicals which can pollute your sleeping area.
That’s why we’ve found 11 ways to get rid of bed bugs naturally, so you can sleep soundly.
What are Bed Bugs?
Before we discuss how to remove them, it’s worth knowing what bed bugs are and what effects they can have.
Bedbugs are tiny creatures that live in cracks and gaps in and around your bed which creep out at night in search of a midnight snack. Bedbugs live on blood and are attracted to exposed skin like your face, neck and arms.
The bites themselves don’t hurt, but they can cause irritation and itching. You can spot a bed bug bite from the raised red spots they leave resembling mosquito bites as well as blood spots on your sheets.
Even though bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases, they can cause other health complications. For example, excessive scratching can lead to infection and sleep deprivation.
Due to common misconceptions associating bed bugs with un-cleanliness, it’s not a very nice feeling knowing you’ve got them in your bed and can get you down.
That’s why it’s so important to get rid of them.
So, without further ado, lets let’s find out how.
1: Physically Remove Them
The first thing to do when you discover bed bugs is to physically remove them. Check around the bed frame and headboard and remove the mattress. Bed bugs are visible to the naked eye, the adults are wingless and their dark brown, flat bodies are easy to spot. If you find any vacuum them up straight away!
2: Vacuum the Area
Once you have physically searched for the bugs, use a strong vacuum to clean the entire area. We suggest using the narrow vacuum nozzle to reach in-between the gaps, the mattress, bed frame and corners. This will help remove the eggs and any remaining bugs.
3: Wash Infested Clothes and Bedding
High temperatures kill bed bugs, so wash your pillowcases, sheets and duvet covers at 40c or higher or put them in the dryer on a high setting for 30 minutes. Do this weekly to ensure they don’t come back!
4: Remove Unnecessary Clutter
It’s easier to remove bed bugs and stop them from reappearing if you declutter your bedroom. Bed bugs love clutter, you will often find them snuggled up in layers of clothing, books, magazines and junk. The more you declutter, the easier it will become to keep them at bay.
5: Spray Essential Oils
Essential oils are a great natural way of killing and repelling bed bugs. Oils with a strong smell such as cinnamon, lemongrass, tea tree, lavender, thyme and eucalyptus are brilliant at repelling bugs. Add a few drops in 2 cups of water, pour into a spray bottle, and spray all over your bed, under your bed, in cracks and behind the headboard. This will help kill them for good, with the added benefit of making your room smell delightful!
6: Freeze Hard-to-Wash Items
Items that are hard to wash can be frozen instead! Extreme cold kills bed bugs so fabrics like lace and silk can be placed in a plastic bag and into the freezer. Once frozen for 24 hours, take outside and shake vigorously. This will remove all the dead bugs and eggs.
7: Steam Them Away
Steaming at a high temperature is another great, natural option for items that can’t be washed. Curtains, fabric chairs, carpets, and tight wall gaps will all benefit from a good steam. The high temperature from the steamer will kill the bugs and destroy the eggs.
8: Buy Mattress and Pillow Protectors
Mattress and pillow protectors are great for minimising the chance of bed bugs. It makes it difficult for them to survive and it’s a lot easier to wash the covers rather than the mattress and pillows!
9: Let the Air In
Bed bugs thrive in the CO2 that comes out of our mouths when we breath, especially when asleep. By opening the windows, you disperse the CO2, making it a less pleasing atmosphere for bed bugs. This won’t kill them, but it will reduce the amount that survive.
10: Use Organic Sprays
Organic bed bug sprays are a fantastic non-toxic option. The ones you can buy over the counter mostly consist of organic essential oils that help kill and eliminate bedbugs. The advantage of these types of sprays is that you don’t have to breathe in toxic chemicals while sleeping.
11: Natural Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is a brilliant natural tool for killing and repelling bed bugs. It is made from fossilized sea creatures called diatoms, which are made up mainly of silicon dioxide. It will safely kill the bugs and act as a physical barrier if the treatment is put into cracks and holes. Diatomaceous earth won’t kill the bugs instantly, it usually takes 7-14 days, but it is very effective as well as being non-toxic and safe to handle.
Keep it Organic
If you’re concerned about ridding bed bugs in a natural way, it’s likely you’ll feel the same about your bedding. Non-organic cotton is often made with a cocktail of toxic chemicals, meaning your sleep and overall health could be affected.
Browse our range of organic bedding for your best nights sleep yet (hopefully without any extra visitors!)
OUR LUXURY ETHICALLY SOURCED RANGE