4 Natural, Non-Toxic Ways To Get Rid Of Bedbugs

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No one likes bedbugs, but few people like coating their homes in all manner of poisonous chemicals just to get rid of them. Not only that, but bedbugs have also proven increasingly resistant to a number of chemical treatments. If you want to deal with bedbugs naturally, here are a few non-toxic remedies to consider.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a popular go-to when it comes to bedbug treatments. Although it looks like ordinary powder, diatomaceous earth actually consists of the fossilized remains of diatoms -- small aquatic organisms whose skeletons are made out of silica and other minerals. When it comes to dealing with bedbugs, diatomaceous earth has two important functions:

  • It acts as a desiccant, absorbing the oils, fats and moisture from the cuticles of the bedbug's exoskeleton.
  • It also acts as an abrasive thanks to its sharp edges. Upon contact, diatomaceous earth cuts through the bedbug's exoskeleton, leaving it more vulnerable to the powder's desiccating effect.

Keep in mind that there are two types of diatomaceous earth commonly available for retail -- food grade and pool grade. You'll want to use food-grade diatomaceous earth for your home, since using pool grade in indoor spaces can prove dangerous. Not only can diatomaceous earth irritate your eyes and skin, but inhaling large quantities of this substance could cause long-term ailments such as silicosis.

Bean Leaves

Once thought of as just an Eastern European folk remedy, recent research has not only proven that bean leaves are highly effective at reducing bedbugs infestations, but also how bean leaves work to stop bedbugs in the first place. The secret lies in the thousands of trichomes -- microscopic curved hairs -- that cover the leaf surface. These trichomes hook into and pierce the feet and legs of the bedbugs that attempt to walk over them. Think of it as a natural version of Velcro, but for bedbugs.

To use this remedy, simply take a few cups of bean leaves and scatter them on the floor of the infested room, making sure that the leaves cover every part of the floor. The next day, carefully collect all of the leaves and dispose of them outside of your home, preferably by burning them.

Scientists are looking to replicate the natural snagging abilities of bean leaves for use on furniture legs and other places where bedbugs might try to gain a foothold.

Sunlight

Sunlight is not only the best disinfectant, but it can also be an effective way of driving bedbugs out of bedding and linens. There are a couple of ways you can take advantage of the sun to get rid of bedbugs:

  • Leave your mattress and other upholstery that can't be vacuumed or washed in hot water outside during a hot summer day. In most cases, direct contact with sunlight will drive the bedbugs away from your exposed bedding to shadier areas along the ground.
  • Place your belongings in a black plastic bag and leave the bag in direct sunlight. On a hot day, temperatures within the bag can exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Bedbugs have little hope of surviving such extreme temperatures.

Lemongrass Oil

Lemongrass oil is yet another natural way of keeping bedbugs at bay. The scent of lemongrass does more than just repel bedbugs -- this essential oil also elevates the acidic content of the bedbug to lethal levels. Since highly acidic environments are a bane to bedbugs, they'll perish when they come into contact with lemongrass.

Lemongrass oil not only kills adult bedbugs, but it can also kill the eggs they leave behind, as well. Combining lemongrass oil with another essential oil such as peppermint or lavender creates an extraordinarily potent pesticide for dealing with bedbugs.

If you're still facing a bedbug problem, contact a company like Godfather's Exterminating Inc for assistance.

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