4-7mm long that can make your life hell. If bed bugs, small insects similar to apple seeds, do not transmit diseases, they have enough to push the people whose houses they enter to the limit. At night, they suck their blood, causing lines of bites that disturb the sleep of the tenants. Propagating at lightning speed, they can live for months without feeding.
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Unfortunately, they returned to France since the early 1990s – the fault of the development of international travel, the development of seasonal rentals and the exchange of second-hand goods. How to remove it? Marianne asked an entomologist, a specialist in these small animals, about the strategies to put in place.
Place the apartment under the magnifying glass
This is the most important point: from the first suspicion, do not leave it. Bed bugs reproduce quickly, one female can lay 4 eggs per day. Over time, the more they are, the more difficult it is to remove them. And above all, do not rush with insecticides, even if they are the bombs available at the supermarket or through professional pest control. ” Bed bugs are especially resistant to this, so you should start with mechanical rather than chemical control. », explained the entomologist Jean-Michel Brenger. The chemicals can drive them to take refuge in places where they can stay hidden for months before resurfacing, without killing them.
So, if you notice bites on your body, brown marks on your sheets or if you see a suspicious insect, go to the apartment with a fine tooth comb, especially your areas to rest (bed, sofa, “TV” chair, etc.). The goal: to realize the extent of the infestation. Do not sleep in the living room if you see them in your room: you risk attracting them to the room. You can call a detector dog: this will allow you to know if these are real bedbugs and where the insects are.
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Fill cracks, baseboards… Wash your bed at 60 degrees or more or freeze it. For your mattress, you can wrap it in protective film to remove. Bed bugs will eventually die trapped under after a few weeks, and you can sleep on this film. This avoids throwing away the mattress! And warn your neighbors, the syndicate, the janitor… To get rid of bed bugs, coordinating the fight throughout the building is essential.
Sip and kill with heat
Step two: wish away all the unwanted you found. Problem: they then find themselves alive in the vacuum cleaner bag and sometimes get out. To avoid this, remove the end of the vacuum cleaner and put a woman’s stocking on the handle, then screw the end. You can collect the bugs underneath! Then take it and tie a knot: your bugs are trapped inside, you can kill them, for example by burning the bottom that traps them.
But the vacuum cleaner attacks only the most “accessible” bugs: it does not suck the eggs, which are usually seized, or the insects that take refuge in the depths, for example in cracks. For this, you can use a steam cleaner: the heat of the machine will kill them. ” You can spend it as much as you want, especially in bed, and sleep again the next night “, explains Jean-Michel Bérenger. Diatomaceous earth is also effective: you can put it around sockets and other hidden places where they can take shelter.
Chemical weapons as a last resort
If after all efforts, there are insects in your apartment, it’s time to call a professional. This one uses insecticide bombs to kill bugs. Be careful that he makes a second pass a week after the first: the eggs may have hatched after the first application of chemicals.
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It is important that the company intervenes at the same time in the adjacent apartments, to prevent insects from passing from one apartment to another according to the interventions. ” Because bedbugs are more resistant to insecticides, they sometimes have a repellent effect rather than a killer. “Jean-Michel Bérenger warned.