Many people think of bed bugs as small pests found in old sheets and mattresses. However, these bugs can make their way into wood. If this happens, it’s important to know how to treat wood to eliminate bugs, while preserving your furniture.
Here is everything you need to know about spotting and removing bed bugs from wood pieces.
Signs of Bed Bugs in Wood Furniture
It can be more difficult to spot bed bugs in wood furniture as opposed to spotting them on your sheets or bedding. These insects can hide in crevices that are as thin as a credit card and often burrow their way into the bed box spring, nightstands, headboard and other wood furniture.
If you have bed bug issues in your bedding or mattress—it is important to look at the nearby wood furniture to make sure the beds haven’t expanded into your wood pieces.
Some of the most common signs to look for include:
Small blood stains the size of a pinprick or pen mark
Small black spots which bed bugs leave behind after feeding
Rusty spots of bug excrement
Shedding from the skin of the bed bugs
Egg shells around the furniture
Tiny eggs or eggshells (often in screw holes or nail holes)
Live bugs (an adult bed bug is less than ¼ inch long and may be hard to spot)
However, the biggest and most noticeable sign of bed bugs is bite marks on the skin. If you notice bites on your skin after being around a certain piece of furniture, it’s a good sign that you have a bed bug issue.
If you notice any of these signs in or around your wood furniture, it is important to start on the removal process right away. Bed bugs are difficult to get rid of, but it’s not impossible to treat them.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Wood Furniture
If you notice some of these signs of bed bugs in your wood furniture, there are a few different removal methods that you can try at home. These home remedies are some of the most proven and powerful treatments and are quicker and more cost-effective than professional services. However, you may need to eventually call an exterminator if the problem persists.
This is perhaps the most popular method to get rid of bed bugs. You will need a vacuum cleaner and a plastic bag. Here’s how it works:
Start pulling furniture away from the wall.
Use your vacuum cleaner hose to clean the front and back of your wood furniture, focusing on the crevices to remove all dirt and debris.
If your wood furniture has any upholstery, use the brush attachment.
Empty the vacuum into a plastic bag and tie it shut to keep the bed bugs contained.
Tie the bag shut and dispose of it in an outside trash can so the bed bugs don’t escape and start reproducing.
This will get rid of small infestations of bed bugs, but if you miss too much dirt and debris, the bed bugs can start multiplying again.
Extreme high temperatures are very effective at killing insects. If you want to take this approach to getting rid of bed bugs you will need a steam cleaner and some hot water. Here’s how to treat bed bugs using high temperatures.
Fill the tank of your steam cleaner with hot water.
Use the hose attachment to steam clean your wooden furniture, focusing on any parts with upholstery.
Go over all of the cracks and crevices in the wood, making sure that the hot steam can reach hidden bed bugs.
You may have to do this multiple times in a row in order to get the best results with your heat treatment.
Bed Bug Spray Treatment
If these more natural treatments don’t work, you will need to add some chemical treatments in order to get the bed bugs under control. You will need a bed bug spray of a bed bug fogger and spray it directly on to your furniture, making sure that the spray gets into all of the cracks and crevices in your furniture.
Before starting the treatment, make sure that you have gloves, mask and googles in place as these chemicals arestrong.You should keep kids and pets away from the treated area for 24 hours. Always make sure to read all of the safety instructions before you start using your bed bug spray.
Natural Diatomaceous Earth Treatment
If you want the power of a bed bug spray but are worried about having harsh chemicals in your home, then you can try the more natural alternative of Diatomaceous Earth. You need this product, with the included applicator along with your vacuum cleaner. Here’s how it works:
Sprinkle a light layer of the Diatomaceous Earth along the surface of your furniture, along the baseboards and where your floor meets your wall.
Leave the powder on (it won’t damage wood furniture) as when bugs go over the powder it will lead to dehydration and death.
Use a vacuum cleaner and a damp rag to clean up the dust when you are done.
This isn’t the most popular treatment since you need to leave the powder on for a while. However, if you have the patience to live with the powder, this is one of the best natural treatments for bed bugs.
Extreme Heat and Cold Treatment
This is another natural approach you can take to getting rid of bed bugs in small items or pieces of wood furniture. This will only work for items that you can fit inside your freezer or clothes dryer. You will need these two appliances and a plastic bag.
To kill bed bugs in the freezer, place the product with beds bugs in a plastic bag, seal it shut and freeze it for at least four days. This freezing process should kill the bugs.
To kill them with heat, set items such as pillows inside your clothes dryer and run it for at least 30 minutes. The heat should kill the bugs.
Heat and cold are proven ways to kill bed bugs, but if you are looking for a natural approach such as this, be aware that you can’t “starve” out bedbugs. Many people think that “starving” is a similar, natural approach to freezing and heating. However, bed bugs can survive for more than a year, or up to 18 months without feeding on someone or something.
These treatments are all proven at-home methods of getting rid of bed bugs. If you continue to see the signs of these bugs in your home, then its time to call a professional. If you are a renter, make sure to contact your landlord right away, or call a pro yourself. An exterminator will be able to come in and treat particularly difficult infestations and get your home back to being bug-free for good.
How to Prevent Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to treat. This is because most people don’t realize they have bed bug issues until they have a serious infestation. Most people don’t notice early on in the infestation. This is why it is so important to know the ways in which you canpreventbed bugs in the first place.
Here are some of the top tips to keeping bed bugs out of your home in the first place.
Place interceptors on all of the legs of your furniture to monitor activity and stop bugs from climbing up on your sofas, beds or chairs.
Reduce clutter in your home, as cluttered homes create hiding places for bed bugs.
Vacuum the home regularly.
Avoid purchasing used furniture as much as possible. If you do buy used furniture, complete a thorough inspection process of the item before you bring it into your home.
Be on the lookout for blood and fecal stains on your bedding and furniture.
Make sure to regularly clean all of your bedding, mattresses and upholstered furniture with steam or another high-heat treatment.
Always check your luggage and other items after visiting a motel or hotel, as bed bugs can travel back home with you.
Another thing to keep in mind is that bed bugs can sometimes look like fleas, ticks or other insects. They can be easily confused. So, before you start on a treatment plan, you should identify the bugs you have and make sure that it's bed bugs, not another type of small bug taking over your home.
It is important to remember that bed bugs can impact your home at any time and set up shop not only in fabrics and materials, but in wood furniture as well. Make sure to keep prevention as a top priority to make sure these bed bug infestations don’t happen in the first place.