Bed bugs are small, wingless insects that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals including humans and pets. Their eggs are very small, about the size of a poppy seed. Their larvae are the size of a grain of rice. Adults are about a quarter of an inch long, reddish-brown in color, and fairly flat. They live in dark crevices, such as those in mattresses and bed frames. To date, they are not known to spread diseases.
Bed bugs have suddenly become an epidemic. Adults are fairly easy to kill, but their eggs are more resistant. An adult can live up to a year without feeding, the nymphs only 2-3 months. After World War II the problem of these nuisance insects had virtually disappeared in America. Post why? Because of the use of DDT. DDT has since been outlawed in America, but its use continues in many third world countries. Global travel, flea markets, and second hand merchandisers have enabled the spread of bed bugs. Some have asked if we can just break out the DDT for a brief time to get the bed bugs back under control. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) the bugs we are currently facing have come from countries that still use DDT and have mutated, becoming super bugs. They do not suck more blood, they are just harder to kill and resistant to DDT.
When traveling you need to take precautions to prevent assisting the bed bugs in their spread. How do you do this? Thoroughly inspect your hotel room upon arriving. Pull off the comforter, pull down the sheets and inspect the sheets and mattress, the headboard, and any dark crevices. You are looking for small rust colored stains. Check any furniture in the room. These nasty little bugs like to travel, they can be found in furniture, behind headboards and picture frames, along the baseboards, even in electrical outlets. Leave your luggage in the car until you have sprayed your hotel room with essential oils to drive them out.
Bed bugs do not just reside in hotel rooms. They have been found in subways and rental cars, too. They are not necessarily a sign of filth or neglect. They are very travel savvy and can withstand a wide range of temperatures; they quickly adapt to their environment and are excellent at eluding pest control specialists. They can spread through the pipes, hitch rides on or in vacuum cleaners, on clothes, and on luggage. They can be anywhere!
If you hire an exterminator be sure to look into the chemicals they will be using. Also be aware that they will need to make several trips. I did some research looking for natural pesticides that are effective and there are few, you will need to really look into it to find one, but you really want to do so as the main place the exterminator will be hitting is your bed and you will be lying in and sleeping in whatever they use. Avoid pesticides and treatments containing permethrins and pyrethrins, common ingredients that can cause severe skin irritation. They are believed by some to cause cancer with prolonged exposure.
There are alternatives to exterminators. The use of essential oils has proven effective in testing done at several Universities in Utah. A word of warning, these tests have shown across the board that only certified therapeutic grade, pure and potent essential oils have a long-lasting effect on bed bugs. Be Young brand, EOBBD certified essential oils are the most powerful on the market in the US today. They were proven successful in all the tests conducted.
Historically Eucalyptus has been used to repel bed bugs and has been used with great success. The Native Americans repelled these bugs and lice by relying on pine needles and Cedarwood chips in their mattresses. The Copaiba tree of Brazil protects itself against insect infestation through its resin. That resin is tapped and then distilled to create the Copaiba essential oil. These three essential oils can be combined to create a super bed bug spray.
Super bed bug spray
10 drops Copaiba essential oil
6 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
5 drops Cedarwood essential oil
Combine with 4 oz of good, filtered water in a dark glass spritzer bottle. Do not mix with distilled water. Shake well and spray down the mattress, bedding, headboard, etc. If you spray the bugs directly it takes them about 30 seconds to die. If you spray them indirectly (meaning they are in the room you just sprayed down) then it takes them about 15 minutes to die. You can also diffuse this blend (just combine the oils and leave out the water) to clear a room. Make sure you treat the whole house, if you know you have an infestation in one room you more than likely have them in more. Diffuse your mixture for 5 minutes, off for 20, on for 5. To clear a hotel room you suspect may be infested diffuse for 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, run through three cycles, then do one minute on and 20 minutes off. It will keep your room bug free. If you have a severe bed bug challenge you can supercharge this formula by adding 6 drops of Oregano essential oil. Once you have cleared out the bugs spray your bed bug essential oil blend on the linens when changing, you may want to rotate and use Spice for Life Be Young essential oil blend or Cinnamon Bark essential oil just so things do not get boring, these will also repel many little uninvited guests.
You may also choose to create bed bug repelling sachets. To do this simply purchase some empty sachets or tea bags. Fill with cornstarch, baking soda, or Starflake salts (a pure, dendric salt, produced by Be Young). Then add about ten drops of your bed bug blend. Attach a bag to each corner of the mattress with a safety pin. This will create a relaxing aroma to enhance your sleep and will repel the bugs so they will not crawl on you. If you are traveling these have an added bonus. After your night of rest toss these sachets in your luggage. Any hitchhiking bugs will quickly vacate your luggage or die!
When you wash your linens add 5-10 drops of your bed bug blend, Spice for Life blend or even just Eucalyptus to your wash water. This will kill any bugs or their eggs that may be on your bedding. According to my research online you want to use hot water when doing your wash. Apparently these bugs are not fond of saunas.
If you have been bitten, apply Lavender or a combination of Lavender and Tea Tree essential oils to the welts to help disinfect, kill the bacteria, and take the swelling down. If you experience pain in the bite area apply a combination of Helichrysum, Lavender, and Geranium essential oils to the area.
A girl in Texas literally had a nest of bed bugs in her hair. Her mother called Dana Clay Young at Be Young oils to find out what to do. He gave her the bed bug blend formula; she made it, added a few drops to her shampoo and after one use the bugs were dead.
Make your bed bug blend of essential oils, spray down your room and maybe add a few bug repelling sachets to the corners of your bed and you can be assured that you can sleep tight and not let the bed bugs bite.