Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) is one of the most common pests in the home. These tiny insects not only feed on the blood of living things but also reproduce quickly, infecting furniture such as beds.
To eradicate this annoying plague from your home, we show you how to eliminate bed bugs with salt, in addition to other effective methods against these annoying insects. Take note of our advice and you can have a home free of bed bugs and other annoying parasites and insects, such as mites, against which they are also effective.
What Bed Bugs Are Like
Before we focus on how to eliminate bed bugs with salt and other methods, let’s get to know these parasites better. That’s what bed bugs are like:
Bed Bug Reproduction and Eggs
Bed bugs reproduce by traumatic insemination, that is, the male pierces the female with his hypodermic genitalia, ejaculating into his body. The female lays, on average, 5 eggs per week, and each one matures, approximately, two weeks later. Bedbug eggs are milky white and 1 mm long.
What Bed Bugs Are Like – Physical Characteristics
When they are born, nymphs (immature bedbugs) begin feeding immediately on any warm-blooded host. Bed bugs go through 5 nymph states until they reach adulthood. In middle age, a bed bug usually has an oval reddish-brown color on its body. They have no wings and measure between 4 and 5 mm in length, so they can be seen without loupes or microscopes.
How Bed Bugs Feed
To feed, bed bugs glide over any surface until they reach the skin of their prey. Once placed on the host, they pierce the skin with two hollow tubes located in their mouthpiece. With one he draws blood, with the other he injects his saliva into the skin. The saliva of the bedbugs works as an anesthetic because it contains anticoagulants so that the living being does not feel the bite immediately and so that it is easier to obtain blood. After feeding for a few minutes, repeatedly biting various areas of the body, the bed bug leaves the victim and returns to hide in its hiding place, which is usually in furniture, mattresses, clothes, and cushions.
Why Bed Bugs Appear
Bed bugs appear in temperate climates around the world, being a species about 250,000 years old. Their daily moment of activity begins at sunset, but the early morning is their ideal feeding time.
Bed bugs are usually housed in furniture, such as the seams on the corners of mattresses and cushions. This is because insects are attracted by the sweat and carbon dioxide emanating from human and animal respiration. As their activity schedule coincides with the usual hours of rest for humans, beds and other furniture in rooms and lounges are their favorite hiding place.
Similarly, they are easier to install if we do not change sheets, bedspreads and covers frequently, as these fabrics are quickly soaked in sweat. It is also necessary to vacuum mattresses, cushions and bedsteads frequently to avoid dust and dirt accumulation in beds, armchairs and other furniture.
Although during the twentieth-century insecticides almost completely killed bed bugs in the world, the toxicity of many of these insecticides caused their prohibition, so in the twenty-first century, the species has reappeared strongly, developing greater resistance to non-poisonous pesticides. But don’t worry, here’s how to remove bed bugs from your sofa, beds, armchairs and other furniture.
How to remove bed bugs with salt – tips
Of the options for eliminating bed bugs with home remedies, salt is often singled out as the simplest and most effective way to eradicate this pest. However, it is scientifically proven that salt does not kill bed bugs. The reason? These insects only consume blood, and are agile enough to avoid salt grains scattered on sheets, cushions and mattresses.
That’s why salt doesn’t poison them. Nor does it dry them out, because the salt is not rough enough to peel the exoskeleton from the bedbug, which the diatomite (diatomaceous earth) does, which you can also use to kill this pest.
However, even if it doesn’t kill them, salt is effective in keeping bed bugs out of the home because they don’t feel comfortable in an excessively salty environment and repels them. It can also prevent them from reproducing on any piece of furniture. So you can use salt to keep bed bugs away from your home:
- Spread salt over cracks in door frames and skirting boards. This will prevent the pest from taking advantage of the most commonly used entry points.
- Spread salt around the legs of furniture and beds. This will prevent bed bugs from easily climbing on mattress and cushion fabrics.
- Spread salt under the mattress and the seats of armchairs and furniture. This will block typical insect shelters.
- While salt is not the best option for ending a major pest, here are other products to eliminate bed bugs, with a much higher percentage of effectiveness and to use at home without problems.
Other Bedbug Removal Products
Contrary to what many people think, bed bugs are really resistant to conventional insecticides. While they can be easily crushed, they reproduce so quickly that moving them away from armchairs, sofas and beds can be a real battle, especially if the right products are not used. Here are some excellent options for eliminating bed bugs with home remedies.
- Lavender oil: Spraying the edges and legs of beds and furniture, as well as under mattresses with lavender oil, is effective, as bed bugs hate their smell and flee the place.
- Tea Tree Oil: Mix it with any household cleaner to disinfect the affected room. You can also spray drops of this oil under mattresses and cushions, as its potent fragrance is intolerable to bed bugs.
- Citronella oil: another fragrance detested by bed bugs. Water drops of this oil under the mattress and the bed bugs will get scared.
- Baking soda: Sprinkle it over any cracks in ceilings, walls and baseboards to prevent bed bugs from entering your home.
- Thyme: In a suitable container, burn grass in infested rooms to decontaminate any sofa or bed. Also, a concentrated infusion of thyme sprayed into key areas of the house will be very effective. The potent odor and composition of this plant are ideal for getting rid of pests in the home quickly.
- Creoline: this disinfectant helps to kill this pest and other types of insects, such as fleas. In this other article we’ll tell you how to use creoline for bed bugs.
- Guava Leaves: An infusion of the leaves of this plant, or even its fruits used in other ways, are potent as an insecticide that will reduce the presence of this parasite in your home.
In addition, take note of the following instructions for removing bed bugs and their eggs from your home:
- If you’re looking to remove bed bugs from the sofa and beds, heat is the best alternative for exterminating this annoying pest. Wash all sheets, bedspreads and other bedroom linens in very hot water. Then dry it in the sun or with a dryer.
- Clean the rooms with a steam vacuum cleaner, with a temperature of 50°C. Any fabric will be quickly decontaminated in this way.
- Avoid clutter in the home, as well as using bedspreads and covers with holes and for a long time (remember to change sheets, blankets and bedspreads often).
- Repair cracks in door frames, ceilings and walls. Also, check the structure of furniture and beds, repairing any cracks in legs, bases and backs.
- Use anti-dustmite covers for mattresses, armchairs and furniture.