Us moms are pros when it comes to dealing with things that would have made our pre-motherhood self gag. Explosive diapers? Not a problem. Barf? Smelly, but manageable.
Heck, many of us even willingly use a device meant to suck boogers out of our sick babe's nose.
And since you're reading this green blog, there's a good chance that like me, you've dealt even more intimately with your child's toileting habits by washing their cloth diapers.
Depending on the age of your children, you may have even encountered the dreaded lice.
All of these mini disasters can be cleaned up but none compare in grossness to a bed bug infestion.
Bed bugs are yucky creatures that can be picked up anywhere you go. Hotels, subways, stores, theatres…they are potentially lurking everywhere. It's terrifying.
Have you ever seen a bed bug?
Here's some bed bug pictures, so you know what they look like.
If you look into the crevices and seams of your furniture you may see them but unlike lice which can be washed away and picked out, destroying bedbugs doesn't mean they are gone. Bed bugs are tough to get rid of, they can burrow way down into your furniture and lay eggs.
I know…the mere idea is enough to make even the hardiest of moms freak out. But, being aware of these little creatures will help you manage the situation more quickly than if they go unnoticed for a long period of time.
How can you keep bed bugs away?
- Avoid bringing home second-hand furniture, especially the soft kind. I'm sorry, I love thrifting and upcycling, too.
- Closely inspect any second-hand items like a stroller, jumper, high chair for signs of bed bugs. Wipe them down throughly with a natural cleanser.
- Wash and dry any new-to-you clothing on high heat.
- Encase your mattress and pillows in a impenetrable cover.
- Regularly wash your bedding on high heat and check your mattress for bed bugs.
- Reduce your home's clutter so there are few places for the bugs to hide. Just another reason to follow embrace minimalism.
- When travelling, check your hotel bed for bed bugs. This means pulling back the sheets and looking in the ribbing. Upon returning home, inspect luggage and clothing.
A few years ago, I was at a moms in business retreat in Chicago and found out upon check out that there were signs of bed bugs from a few other attendees. Upon arrival home to Toronto's frigid February weather, I stripped down to nothing in our unheated garage and then bagged my entire luggage including purse, jackets, boots, and clothes that I was wearing. My husband ran me out a clean set of clothing to wear before I entered the house with only my computer and wallet. I left those bags there for weeks-freezing temperatures can kill bed bugs.
So, let's say you've seen the signs of bed bugs in your home, what can you do to get the situation handled without resorting to a boatload of chemicals? There are several other ways to naturally deal with bed bugs.
How to naturally treat bed bugs
- You can vacuum them up and wash everything you can on high heat. This won't help if they've burrowed into your furniture.
- More extreme…throw out any furniture that is infected. But make sure it's destroyed first so that another person doesn't take them home.
- Sprinkle Diatomaceous earth, a natural pesticide, in crevices and corners of your house and furnishings. It works by absorbing a bed bug's oils, basically dehydrating them.
- Steam clean all your furnishings using a very high heat. Bed bugs cannot survive high temperatures.
- Hire a professional who uses extremely high heat for a long period of time-heat over 120 – 140 degrees for over 4 hours. This is key to making sure the heat permeates air vents, floors and your home's other crevices.
Finding a local bed bug professional
Find a local professional by searching ‘bed bug exterminator' and your geographical location. For example in the Toronto-area, you would search Bed Bug Exterminator Toronto. GreenTech Bug Heat is my local exterminator who uses thermal high heat rather than pesticides.
As a mother who tries to minimize my family's exposure to toxic chemicals using pesticides all over my home would diminish the efforts we've put in, especially on the beds where we spend many crucial hours rejuvenating. Green Tech promises that their thermal heat works so well that you don't need even need to do laundry!
Hopefully, you never have to experience bed bugs but if you do, file this post away for just-in-case.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by GreenTech Bug Heat. Thank you for supporting the businesses that support Green Moms Collective. As always, opinions are my own.