Vacuum cleaning or steam cleaning to kill bed bugs

A great way to get rid of bed bugs is to steam clean or vacuum clean an area. Either method can be used separately, or both methods can be used simultaneously.

It is even suggested that both methods be used together, since one method only will not eliminate all the bed bugs in an affected area.

The benefits of vacuum cleaning

Vacuum cleaning does even more than rid a home of dust, pollens, and mites. When done properly, it can get rid of bed bugs and their eggs. The suction effect sucks up live bed bugs that are crawling around on the carpet, in base boards, on sofas, and even on your bed and mattress (where bed bugs like to hang out the most).

How to remove bed bugs using vacuum cleaning

  • Use the suction wand attached to your vacuum cleaner to scrape up bed bugs. A good number of bed bug eggs can be destroyed using the suction wand, as well.
  • Press the wand flat against the surface of the affected area, and move back and forth to knock loose bed bugs and their eggs.
  • Do not use brush or bristles.
    Be sure that you use a suction wand that does not have a brush or bristles, since this could accidentally spread bed bug eggs to other surfaces.
  • Use the wand in tight corners and crevices where bed bugs like to hide, such as mattress folds and creases, baseboards, corners of furniture, crown molding, carpets, closets, doorframes, and power outlets.
  • Be sure to also vacuum all carpets thoroughly as you normally would.

The benefits of steam cleaning

Steam cleaning is a great way to get rid of bed bugs by applying heat. For this method, use a commercial grade steam cleaner. These are designed slightly different than household steam cleaners, and are able to reach the temperature that kills bed bugs, which is 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Commercial steam cleaners use dry vapor steam, which is well suited for the purpose of exterminating bed bugs. Since the steam is dry, mold growth can be prevented, and you will be able to apply the steam to all areas of your home, including bedding, mattresses, and sofas.

How to remove bed bugs using steam cleaning

  • If chemicals have been applied to the home or the area has been treated with any form of pesticide prior to steam cleaning, wear a respirator to prevent inhalation of harmful toxins.
  • Be sure that the steam cleaner reaches a minimum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit, since this is the heat level needed to kill bed bugs and their eggs.
  • Press the steamer head directly onto the surface of the area you wish to treat and scrub over the surface. The steam must come into direct contact with the bed bugs and their eggs to kill them.
  • Repeat this in all affected areas of the home, paying attention to mattresses, sofas, carpets, and the area where the floor meets the carpet.

Both steam cleaning and vacuum cleaning can be used to prepare an area for the arrival of an exterminator. When faced with a bed bug infestation, it is highly recommended that a licensed pest controller be hired to treat a residence, since killing bed bugs requires using more than one treatment method.

Insecticides are often needed. That being said, vacuum cleaning or steam cleaning are preliminary steps that should be taken before an exterminator treats a home with insecticides.

Vacuum cleaning or steam cleaning to kill bed bugs

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