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Bed Bugs: How to Fumigate Your Home Safely

After doing a good spring cleaning of the basement, you later notice that you have a few rather large and itchy bug bites. Thinking a spider must have found his way up your shirt sleeve, you rub a dime-sized blob of anti-itch cream on the bites and go about your day.

Something’s weird. Just a week later, you have the same kind of bug bites on your stomach and under your chin. You ask your partner if they have any, and they do too! Oh no, is it bed bugs?!

According to a 2015 survey, the family home is one of the top three places bed bugs set up house. And get this: exterminators won’t spray your home for bed bug pests unless they have absolute proof that it is indeed a bed bug situation. Why is that? The toxins exterminators spray to kill the bed bugs are extremely powerful and typically calls for the family to bed elsewhere for 24 hours or more. If fumigation is not handled expertly, it can cost you thousands of dollars before you are rid of them.

In this type of situation, you would assume that homeowners insurance covers these costs. Unfortunately, homeowners insurance typically covers just about everything aside from flooding and bed bug infestations. A bed bug infestation is classified under “home maintenance,” and does not fall under home protection policies. Don’t let this deter you from getting a homeowners insurance policy though. A standard homeowners insurance package covers the structure of your home and your personal effects if they are damaged or destroyed.

Just because homeowners insurance doesn’t cover bed bug infestations doesn’t mean CoverHound can’t help you learn how to take care of an infestation. Here are four ways to rid your home of bed bugs once and for all, though keep in mind that it may take a few tries!

Put all your clothes and bed linens in black plastic bags and set them out in the sun. Bed bugs have a low tolerance for heat. Because they don’t usually set up residence on mattresses (they commonly prefer windowsills and baseboards) they could be hidden in your dresser, closet or other areas. You will want to remove all your clothes and linens from these areas and essentially “bake” these items in the heat. By placing these items in a tied-off black garbage bag outside under the sun, you will suffocate and kill the bed bugs. Finish this process by washing your clothes and linens and drying them to be sure you have successfully killed the bugs.

Apply hot steam where carpet meets the baseboards. Again, bed bugs cannot handle extreme heat. A hot steam will kill them instantly.

Do NOT bug bomb your home! You’re going to want to bug bomb your home and rid the little pests, but this will not work. The bed bugs will burrow deeper into every little crevice of your house and wait until for the all clear. Adult bed bugs can live for six months without feeding. While you may think they’re dead, they’re really just lying in wait.

Instead, try to catch a bed bug and put it in a plastic bag. Bed bugs are most active at the hour before dawn, so set an alarm to wake up so can catch one. Bring the bug to your local exterminator as proof that you have bed bugs and set up a fumigation appointment.

Line your baseboards with diatomaceous earth. In case there are any errant bed bugs that survived the fumigation, line your baseboards with diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth is a non-toxic bug killer. Made of fossilized marine phytoplankton, what looks like white powder to you is actually fatal spikes to the bed bug. The diatomaceous earth pierces the shell of the bed bug and they essentially bleed out. This sounds harsh, but after having been bitten by the little pests for nights on end and experiencing an insane amount of itching, you’ll believe they deserve such a death.

Bed bugs suck, but so do fires and burglaries. Make sure to get homeowners insurance to safeguard your home. Compare homeowners insurance quotes with CoverHound today!

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