Crawling out of the wood work, creeping across your beds – bed bugs are back. You can pick them up from the woods, in hotels or even from sitting on a chair in the movie theater. Once they arrive home with you, they multiply. California Department of Health’s Laura Kruger noted that 40 bed bugs living in 70ºF temperatures can multiply to 5905 in 6 months. Getting rid of bed bugs is challenging but doable with thorough daily housekeeping and the proper tools. One of the safest is dry vapor steam cleaners.
Roseville, MI (Vocus) October 19, 2010
The ultimate unwanted guest, bed bugs. It is a parasitic national infestation reaching levels not seen since World War II. We are this vermin’s favorite mode of public transportation, hitching rides on us from just about any place we go: hotels, camp sites, movie theaters, subways and even from your pets. Once they arrive at your home, they crawl into any crack or crevice especially liking your mattress and bedding. They will stay as long as you let them, with life cycles of up to a year. You may miss them at first but once your home is infested, you will know. Getting rid of bed bugs is work but you can do it and do it safely with good housekeeping and dry vapor steam cleaners.
Avoidance is the first step in the battle. Learn to identify them so that you can, as best as possible, avoid them. Before feeding they are straw colored and wingless with upper bodies that are crinkly. They are about 1/4 – 3/8 inches long or about the length of a pencil eraser. After feeding, they become bloated and dark red. Their oval eggs are a bit flat on one end, about 1/32 inches long or the size of a pinhead, and are found in clusters of 10 to 50 eggs. Newly hatched bed bugs or nymphs are colorless but otherwise resemble adults. Their average life span is from 10 months to a little over a year.
When out of the house, inspect furniture before sitting down, especially check seams, edges and crevices where the bed bugs like to hide.
Keep your belongings on your lap. The less you carry the fewer places they have to hide.
When traveling or staying at hotels and places you’ll be sleeping, remember they feed at night while you are sleeping, retreating to sheltered crevices by morning. Check crevices along walls and mattress seams. Peak behind the headboard of the bed and wall décor. Inspect pillows and linens for blood stains. Move the bed away from the wall if you can. Tuck linens up so they are not touching the floor. When you leave inspect your luggage. Keep as many of your possessions in sealed, air tight bags from clothing and suitcases to toiletries.
When you get home, leave everything in the bags outside of the house. Place all clothes in the dryer. Bed bugs’ thermal death points are between temperatures of 111°F to 113°. Your dryer will get hot enough to kill them. Inspect everything and if you see any signs of bed bugs use a vapor steam cleaner to clean everything.
Avoid communal coat racks or closets.
At the office place your belongings, such as purses, brief cases, hats or mittens in air tight containers.
When home, if you think you may have an infestation, check bed bugs’ favorite hangouts:
Seams, crevices, cracks, creases and folds in mattresses, box springs, and furniture.
Cracks in bed frames, head board and other furniture
Underneath chairs, couches, beds and other furniture
Between drapery and curtain folds and other hanging fabrics
In drawers of dressers, tables and night stands
Behind baseboards and molding
Around window and door casings
Behind electrical switch plates
Under loose wallpaper, wall board, paintings and posters
In telephones, clocks, radios and other items found on bed stands.
If the unfortunate happens and you find bed bugs, then the challenge of getting rid of bed bugs is on. Start systematically cleaning everything. Wash bedding daily. Keep cloths off the floor. Vacuum daily. Move your bed away from the wall and keep linens up off the floor.
For all nooks and crevices use a dry vapor steam cleaner that heats vapor over 280°F. Bed bugs’ thermal death points are between temperatures of 111°F to 113°F and 32°F to 48°F. Jack Mallow, CEO of VaporLux says that “Dry vapor steam can be used on just about anything. VaporLux’s 280°F to 291°F heated dry vapor steam pushes into crevasses at 72.5 PSI (pounds per square inch), naturally killing bed bugs in all stages of their lifecycle, flushing them out and getting rid of bed bugs and the odor they leave behind.” Download “How it Works” pdf for an explanation on dry vapor steam cleaners.
Part of why bed bugs have spread is the reduced use of highly toxic chemicals that have been banned due to health hazards. There are EPA approved poisons on the market you can use but there can be health risks. The mind settling benefit of natural dry vapor steam is it is a chemically free organic cleaning system. No poisons or sprays, just heat and water. The low amount of water in the steaming treatment works in the home and in commercial settings. It dries quickly and leaves surfaces undamaged. Dry vapor steam cleaners are easy, quick, do it yourself cleaning systems that anyone can operate. If after starting this daily regiment you want to try poisons, the EPA has a bed bug registry of chemicals they have approved. Search and see what your best options are.
Remember to check attics, basements and storage areas as well. Get rid of clutter. Since rodents can be bed bug carries, make sure to take outside cleaning into consideration. Move brush and debris away from the house. If you find signs of bats, squirrels, mice or rats around the home, clean up their leavings, set up traps and seal up the cracks where they are entering your home. Continue to use the dry vapor steam cleaners along all cracks and crevices.
Most importantly don’t give up too soon. Getting rid of bed bugs is work but keep up the daily cleaning for about two weeks. If after two weeks you still see signs of your unwanted visitors, re-start the daily cleaning cycle for another two weeks.
VaporLux has been manufacturing high quality commercial vapor cleaning systems for twenty years. Its mission has been to produce heavy duty commercial UL listed equipment. The company focused its technology on commercial applications from health care, food service, tile and grout restoration to auto detailing. Using this knowledge, VaporLux introduced a smaller home and office unit with all the power and capabilities of its big brothers.