There are few things more disturbing than the thought of having bed bugs inside your home. The very idea of having these tiny, often miniscule little bugs that hide during the day and only come out to feed on your blood while you’re sleeping is the stuff that nightmares are made from. Unfortunately, it’s something that happens and it doesn’t only happen to people who don’t maintain clean homes. That’s one of the most common misconceptions out there, that if you clean your home thoroughly you’ll never have a problem with bedbugs. The truth is, you might pick up a few of these terrifying little bugs while you’re away on vacation or something similar and then bring them into your home without knowing it. Before you’re even aware of their presence, you’re already dealing with an infestation. The question is, how do you get rid of them and clean up the mess once they’ve arrived?
The First Step is Knowing Where to Look
Like most things, the first step is knowing where to look. If you travel a lot, it would be beneficial for you to routinely look in places that bed bugs hide, even if you haven’t seen any outward signs of their presence. That means looking in the creases of your mattress or furniture as well as looking underneath the mattress, between it and the frame of the bed. Bed bugs like to hide and they only come out when they feed so unless you’re actually looking for them, you could wind up with tens of thousands of them running all over the place before you even realize you have them. Of course, you don’t necessarily have to find the bed bugs themselves in order to know that you have a problem. In this particular case, you need to know how to clean up the blobs that they leave behind on your bedding, your furniture and virtually every other surface that they touch. If you find these little dark colored spots that look almost like somebody took a ballpoint pen and pressed it directly into the fabric, there’s no question that you’re dealing with a case of bed bugs. The bigger question is, how do you get rid of these stains. By default, you also have to know how to get rid of the infestation or you’re going to end up having this problem again and again. The truth is, unless you do something to put a stop to it, the problem is only going to get worse.
Gather Necessary Items
If you’re going to be successful in getting rid of the stains caused by bed bugs, you’ll need to gather the necessary materials first. Most of these things can be found in your home anyway, so you don’t need to be worried about the need to go out and purchase a bunch of specialized chemicals in order to try and get rid of the stains. This includes things like plenty of rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, some upholstery cleaner and more than a few plastic bags. You’ll also need a clothes steamer, if you have one and it’s imperative that you have a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. If you don’t have such a vacuum cleaner, you need to either purchase one or borrow one from someone who doesn’t mind you borrowing it, even after you’ve told them what it’s for. If you do borrow a vacuum cleaner, make sure that you’re honest with the person you borrow it from about why you need it. The last thing you want to do is get a few bed bugs caught inside that vacuum cleaner that are still alive and then let a new infestation break out in your best friend’s home. Aside from these items, you’ll have to wash everything thoroughly in the hottest water that you can possibly wash it in. If you have a washer and dryer, they’re about to get a workout because after you wash these items, they have to be dried at a high temperature. If you don’t have your own washer and dryer, then you’ll want to do as much of this as you can in a single day so you can take all of the affected items to the laundromat and deal with it at once as opposed to spending several days to rectify the problem.
The Cleaning Process
Now that you’ve gathered everything, it’s time to get to work. The first thing you want to do is spray all of the affected areas liberally with an upholstery cleaner that’s enzyme-based. Allow it to sit for 30 to 35 minutes and then wash it in hot water. Use laundry detergent as usual and then dry the items under high heat. Once they come out of the dryer, carefully inspect them. If there are any remaining stains, you can use a combination of rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide to try and remove them. Be aware that if this is the case, you will have to launder them again. If you’re trying to remove these types of stains from a mattress, use a combination of rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. As long as you mix equal parts, the process should be effective. It’s best to put it in a spray bottle, spray it on the mattress and allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Be sure that you don’t leave it there any longer. After the proper amount of time has passed, use a terry cloth towel to blot the cleaning solution off of the mattress. The towel that you use should be white just to make sure that you don’t have any color fade from the chemicals which then end up on the surface of your mattress. If you need to, you can repeat this process two or even three times. Again, it’s imperative that you make sure that you take the necessary steps to rectify the infestation or you’ll be going through this process again and again. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to keep cleaning everything when the problem is getting worse instead of better. Your best bet is to call an exterminator, allow them to do what they need to do and then make sure that you deep clean everything after the fact. Keep in mind, you might have to call the exterminator out a couple of times in order to fully deal with the situation, but time is of the essence. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to deal with the situation successfully.