You wake up with strange red, itchy bumps on your skin. You can’t help but wonder what caused the red bumps. They don’t look like pimples and yet they don’t look like hives. The bumps may be in a row.
You go online, to find pictures of red skin bumps that match yours. And that’s when you realize that you have bed bugs. Obviously, you want to kill them quickly and prevent them from returning. Certainly, that means getting the strongest bed bug killer you can buy, doesn’t it?
What are the strongest bed bug killer products?
Making Sure They're Bed Bugs
Before you go starting to search for the strongest bed bug killer you can find, you want to make sure that the bites you are getting are from bed bugs and not other biting insects like fleas or mosquitoes.
Usually, bed bug bites appear in a mostly straight line on your body, but not always. The actual bite from a bed bug does not hurt, so you sleep through it, but not always. Some people are far more sensitive to bed bug bites than others.
The best way to tell what bit you is to find and identify any strange insect in your home. This is, of course, easier said than done, especially in the earliest stages of an infestation when bites are few and far between.
If you have poor eyesight, then trying to find a one-millimeter insect can be nearly impossible until they breed into such numbers that you can see them (and smell them) as soon as you enter your home.
Treating the Infestation
Now is the best time to get the infestation under control before you wake up to a living black carpet of bed bugs on your body. How do you treat the infestation?
Use bed bug traps, such as Harris Early Detection Glue Strips. They will not work to kill all the bed bugs in your home, but they can let you know if bed bugs are the culprit. They also are great ways to check how effective your bed bug methods, sprays or powders are working.
Finding Legal and Safe Bed Bug Killers
You may have a friend who knows a friend that got hold of a professional-grade insecticide. If it’s on a store shelf or advertised online as being “the strongest bed bug killer around” make sure you check out the list of approved bed bug killers from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before using it. You can then check to see how safe it is for use in your home and around kids and pets.
The EPA’s website has a handy search tool (link above) where you can enter a product company’s name or what ingredients it has. This search can help you quickly narrow down the strongest bed bug killer that will work for what you need it to do, such as cleaning mattresses, treating an entire room or getting into the tiny cracks where bed bugs hide.
Don’t grab the first bed bug spray or powder you can get a hold of and douse the house with it. First off, even a bed bug killer labeled “non-toxic” may get you sick if you don’t use it correctly. Secondly, most pesticides need to get in contact with the bug to kill it. If you don’t clean up your home or vehicle before application, then the pesticide will go everywhere EXCEPT onto the bugs.
Start cleaning up your home, concentrating on any areas where people sleep or nap. Get rid of clutter and get rid of the trash. Fill up any cracks in the walls or flooring where bed bugs can hide. Bed bugs are not attracted to dirt, but they love clutter, trash, and dirty laundry because it gives them great places to hide, breed and lay eggs.
Before you go shopping for the strongest bed bug killer in town, buy a mattress encasement such as Amazon’s top recommended choice, the SafeRest Premium Zippered Mattress Encasement. This places an effective barrier between you and the bed bugs. Bed bugs caught inside the encasement cannot get out to drink blood and in weeks die of starvation.
Kill Bed Bugs in the Laundry
Two of the best bed bug killers around is a washing machine and a clothes dryer. They emit high temperatures for long enough to kill any bed bugs hiding in your stuff. While you are treating your home and vehicles for bed bugs, be sure to place all clean items in resealable plastic bags. This way any bed bugs in your home looking for new places to hide will not be able to get in your freshly-cleaned stuff.
Things to launder where bed bugs like to hide include:
- Bedding, including pillows
- Soft-sided luggage
- Small bathmat-sized rugs
- Curtains and valences
Killing Bed Bugs in Beds, Cars and Large Objects
Check your mattress, box spring and headboard for bed bug droppings, which are easier to see than the actual bugs. They look like little dark smears and may have a musty scent. If your mattress does not have any tears or rips, then it can be saved. You also should assume your cars are infested since you spend time in there.
Large objects like desks or vanity tables, your car’s interior and beds or sofas can be sprayed with non-toxic bed bug killers like PremoGuard’s Premo Bed Bug and Lice Killer or even Harris Toughest Bed Bug Killer in a handy aerosol spray. First, you want to remove any clutter and then spray only a tiny spot to be sure that it does not stain the fabric or give you a headache.
After 24 hours, see how the spot looks and check how you feel. Although most products that are labeled “odorless” are scent-free, each person’s sense of smell differs. Some people are far more sensitive than others. Read the label and follow the directions to the letter to be safe before spraying or dusting objects or car interiors.
How To Remove Bed Bugs From Electronics
You can’t spray or dust many small, valuable objects where bed bugs can hide. You also can’t put things like cell phones or first-edition books through the laundry. In these instances, the strongest bed bug killer is a black plastic trash bag and pesticide strips such as Nuven Pro Strips. Simply place your bed bug filled objects in a black trash bag, add the strips and close it up. Place the bag where pets and small kids can’t get inside. Leave it there for ten days.
Another great bed bug killer for small objects like jewelry is your freezer set as low a temperature as you can. Bed bugs die after prolonged exposure to 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C.) Place the small object in a resealable plastic bag and put in the freezer for at least four days. Just be sure your object can survive getting wet as ice crystals are sure to form on it.
If extreme heat, being in contact with chemicals or ice crystals is out of the question, say for a notebook with an LCD screen, then you need a playing card, a cup full of bed bug killer like EcoRaider, gloves and eye protection:
- Put on gloves and eye protection.
- Get a small cup of bed bug killer or even neem oil.
- Get all your stuff in a room with a tiled floor since any bed bugs that might fall on the floor will not have a good place to hide. Placing newspaper on the floor where you work may help you catch any falling bed bugs that miss going into the bed bug killer.
- Use the edge of the playing card to get into cracks and crevices in your object.
- Scrape the bed bugs into the bed bug killer or neem oil.
- Dispose of the liquid and the newspaper in the outside trash.
- Wash your hands thoroughly.
Getting Bed Bugs Out of Whole Rooms
It’s best to treat your whole home on the same day because bed bugs will migrate from treated rooms to untreated rooms. However, chances are that if you are doing this yourself and have not hired any help, you will be only able to do one room or floor a day. Keep a calendar or list of what rooms were treated when to make sure everything eventually gets treated.
Here’s what to do after you have removed all clutter and trash from a room:
- Remove everything from the walls and windows.
- Move out furniture from the walls so you can walk and crouch down behind them.
- Remove any throw rugs or small rugs to be laundered.
- Use a bed bug killer spray or powder to get into baseboards, under carpet edges and in every crack and crevice on the walls, floors or large objects like desks.
- Steam-clean carpets with a device like a Vapamore 100 Primo Steam Cleaning System.
- Make sure to thoroughly wash your hands afterward.
You’ve cleaned out the clutter in your home and car. You washed everything you could in the laundry. You vacuumed and sprayed or dusted. You placed your mattress in an encasement. You even cleaned the insect squatters from your cell phones. Your bed bug traps are empty. You do not get any more bites. Now, you have discovered the strongest bed bug killer there is – you!