The mere thought of a bed bug or flea infestation is enough to give most people the chills. Bed bugs and fleas both feed on warm-blooded animals. Chemical bug treatments will wipe out these irritating pests, but are potentially harmful to people and pets. Natural remedies are just as useful and will leave your home bug-free without the dangers of chemical sprays.
Fill a 12-ounce spray bottle with 98% pure isopropyl alcohol. Spray any live bed bugs that you see on the surface of the furniture. Turn the cushions or mattress upside down, soaking the underside to kill bugs hiding on the bottom. Pull the seams down with your fingers, coating hidden stitching and crevasses to reach bugs hiding in these tight spaces. Coat affected surfaces at least twice a day to kill bugs as quickly as possible.
Sprinkle diatomaceous earth over bug-infested areas. This all-natural powder is made from the shells of prehistoric phytoplankton and is safe to use around humans and animals. The sharp skeletal fragments slice through the tough exterior skeletons of bed bugs and fleas, which results in death by dehydration. Vacuum treated areas daily to remove dead bugs and reapply more earth until no traces of bugs remain.
Hot Water Washings
Wash every piece of clothing and bedding in the hottest setting on your washer. Fill the basin with clothing and add a cupful of detergent. Let the washer fill up, then turn the washer off, and let the clothing soak in the hot water for 30 minutes. Finish the wash cycle, and dry the clothes on the high heat setting in the dryer. Bed bugs and fleas are extremely susceptible to high temperatures and will die during cleaning.
Steam clean mattresses and couches with a professional steamer to eliminate bugs. Fill the basin with hot water, and turn the steamer to high heat. Let the machine run until steam rolls steadily from the nozzle, and run it over the furniture. Work slowly, steaming every exposed surface to kill adult insects and eggs. Vacuum dead insects and leave the furniture in a well-ventilated room to dry.