Bed bugs are small at about 5.5 millimeters or 3/16 of an inch. They are also very flat. With these things in mind they are amazingly adept at hiding in all sorts of places. Hundreds of them may be hiding in cracks and crevices around your room. Bed bugs are really hard to get rid of because they hide so well, often adapt to different chemicals, and can go as long as 18 months without eating. One thing you can do to help get rid of bed bugs is to seal their hiding spots. This makes it harder for them to hide, harder for them to find spots to lay their eggs, and will often trap bugs that are in these locations so that they can't get out.
The Mattress and Box Spring.
The first thing you should do is to seal your mattress and box spring (or foundation). To do this you will need to get a plastic cover, a hypoallergenic tight weave cover, or one specifically designed for bed bugs. These will fit over the entire mattress and the entire box springs and will zipper close. Place these on each mattress and each box spring in the house. Zipper close and use packing tape or duct tape to seal the zipper. You will need to leave these in place for about two years to make sure that all of the bed bugs inside starve to death. Remember that some studies have shown bed bugs that have made it as much as 18 months without any food.
Your new best friend is a tube (or two or three depending on the size of your house and the furniture that you need to seal) of caulk. Caulk or sealants can be purchased in white and also clear varieties allowing you to get what will fit your decor, furniture, and paint best. You will need to use caulk in each bedroom in a wide variety of areas. Anywhere that there are cracks or crevices you should seal them with the caulk. Here are some common areas to get you started, but you should be looking for any areas that exist in your own rooms as well as using these ones for help.
- Bed frames. Bed bugs commonly hide in and around your bed frame. They love all the cracks and crevices these pieces of furniture provide. Remember that if there is a space as wide as a piece of paper then your bed bugs could be getting in there. Carefully seal the seams in the bed frame, any decorative creases, and and cracks in your bed frame. Look carefully. Remember that taking a little extra time today will help out a lot later on.
- Base Boards. Along the top edge of your base boards are what appears to be a very small crack. This crack often is the home for huge numbers of bed bugs. It is a good idea to take the caulk and seal the entire base board edge from one side of the room to the other.
- Face Plates. Face plates are those plastic portions that make a rectangle around the electrical outlets and the light switches. These too can be homes to lots of bed bugs. Take your caulk and seal them in and out!
- Dressers. It isn't likely that you will be able to seal all of their hiding places in or around your dresser, but it is a good idea to try. This is especially true if your dresser is near to your bed or if you have a very small room. Use caulk to seal cracks and crevices in the seams of the dresser as well as in the decorative portions of the dresser. It is often a good idea to pull out each drawer and seal them individually to make sure that you are finding as many seams as possible.
- Side Tables. In the same way that you will seal up a dresser you should also make sure that you seal up the side tables that are near your bed. Make sure that you turn the table over to make sure that you are getting any and all seams, cracks, and creases.
- Bookshelves and other pieces of furniture. Anything that has a lot of cracks is a great home. Book shelves are particularly appealing because they usually offer a wide variety of places to hide including books. You should check your books for bed bugs and then store them away from the bedroom. Seal off your cracks. Make sure you check all your furniture over for any problem areas.
- Window Frames. Your bed bugs are also going to be drawn to the window frames and cracks and crevices around them. You will want to make sure that you are sealing these off as well. Check around the area for any additional spaces that the bed bugs may hide. Windows usually offer lots of hiding spots, especially in the summer when the temperatures there are warm.
Inspect The Room.
Before you call it a good day you should make sure that you take the time to give the room another look over. Get any furniture not mentioned that has cracks or crevices in it. Make sure that you are paying close attention to wood which is particularly attractive to bed bugs. You should also make sure that there aren't any cracks in the wall. Look at the crease between the wall and the ceiling and make sure there aren't any cracks there. Even with it being so high up bed bugs will travel that far for a nice warm, dark place to spend the day. Similarly you should check the ceiling and the light fixtures before calling it a day.
By sealing off the hiding spots of the bed bugs you are likely to decrease your population (now many are sealed into their homes) and you will make it harder for the other ones to breed and hide from your other administrations. This alone won't get rid of your bed bugs, but it will go far in helping you get rid of them. Make sure you do each bedroom of the house and if bed bugs are seen in other rooms do those as well.