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Video:What to Do Once You've Discovered Bed Bugs

with Debbie Anderson

Once you've discovered bed bugs, there are a few cost-effective steps you can take to control the infestation even before you call an exterminator. Here are some tips on what you can do to control bed bugs once you've discovered them.See Transcript

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Transcript:What to Do Once You've Discovered Bed Bugs

Hi, I'm Debbie Anderson for About.com. Bed bugs can infest a bedroom and cause embarrassing red bumpy rashes on the skin that itch while you are sleeping in your bed at night.

But before you pay for an exterminator to visit your home, today I'm going to show you a few cost-effective fast-action steps you can take after discovering the problem, while the family is out of the home, while using just a handful of items you most likely already have around the home.

Supplies Needed to Treat Bed Bugs at Home

To get started, you will need: rubbing alcohol, cotton balls, bleach, resealable plastic bags, a vacuum with an upholstery attachment, a measuring cup, white vinegar, a clean sponge, a bowl, a spray bottle, a pair of rubber gloves, and a steam cleaner with an upholstery attachment.

Wash and Seal All Clothing Once You've Discovered Bed Bugs

Fast Action Step Number One: Wash all of your clothes, whether they're clean or dirty, bed linens, blankets, and pillows in hot water. Once these items are dry, seal all of the clothes, bed dressing, pillows, and blankets in tightly sealed plastic bags, and store them in a safe place for at least one month to suffocate any bedbugs that may have survived the washer and dryer cycles.

Fast Action Step Number Two: Throw away any stuffed animals on the bed, or else place the toys you wish to keep in sealed plastic bags for at least one month while the bed bugs living inside the toys die off from the lack of oxygen in the sealed plastic bags.

Thoroughly Clean the Mattress Once You've Discovered Bed Bugs

Fast Action Step Number Three: Use the upholstery attachment on the vacuum cleaner to thoroughly clean all sides of the mattress and vacuum any surrounding floor areas near the bed.

Fast Action Step Number Four: Using a solution of one cup of white vinegar and very hot water, steam clean all sides of the mattress and the surrounding areas of the bed. Flip the mattress up on its side and allow the mattress and surrounding floor areas around the bed to thoroughly dry.

Bleach Walls and Furnishings Once You've Discovered Bed Bugs

Fast Action Step Number Five: After putting on your rubber gloves, pour bleach in the base of the bowl, and use your sponge to wipe down the surrounding walls with bleach, where the bed bugs have been living.

Fast Action Step Number Six: After opening doors and windows to create ventilation, pour the rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle and use a clean sponge to thoroughly spray and wipe down nearby walls, furnishings, and electronics of the affected area. Always remember to never spray it in or around outlets to prevent fires.

Finally, for Fast Action Step Number Seven: Use the cotton balls to wipe down your skin with rubbing alcohol prior to going to bed at night to prevent the bed bugs from biting you while you are sleeping. But discontinue use if the rubbing alcohol begins to dry out your skin.

Once you have completed these fast action steps for your bed bug problem, continue to repeatedly wash your bed dressing and clothing in hot water and spray down the affected areas in the home with rubbing alcohol until the problem is no longer present, and these little itchy critters should be problem of the past.

Thank you for watching. To learn more, please visit us on the web at About.com.
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