Categories
Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs Against Vinegar – Do They Stand A Chance?

Vinegar is a great chemical, and can be used for almost anything – boiling cracked eggs, cleaning windows, keeping flowers from withering, cleaning glasses and dishes – including being used as a remedy for getting rid of bed bugs. Yes, you read that right. Vinegar is one of the top recommendations in almost every online article on killing bed bugs – and rightly so. Several blogs have stated for a fact that vinegar can get rid of bed bugs for good.

But not everything on the internet is true, and when it comes to bed bugs, you definitely need to be careful. So in this article , we’re going to take a look at what vinegar does to bed bugs, whether or not it actually kills them, and if you can safely use it at home to get rid of these rude house-invaders. But first things first:

Why Choose Vinegar?

While there are several home remedies for bed bugs like spraying neem oil, using dryer sheets, baking soda, mothballs, and a lot more, vinegar stands out because of its simplicity, cost effectiveness, and the fact that it is almost available anywhere around the globe.

Vinegar is essentially a solution of water and something we call acetic acid. We’re not going to get too geeky about it, but just know that vinegar has antimicrobial properties that can be used to clean products and preserve stuff. Leaving all this aside however, can vinegar get rid of those tiny blood-sucking crawlers under your bed? Let’s find out!

Does Vinegar Kill Bed Bugs?

Yes. Vinegar can kill bed bugs. At the end of the day, vinegar is an acid, and is acidic enough to cause a problem in the bug’s nervous system, which will definitely kill it. There’s a catch though. You need to spray vinegar directly above the bugs in order to kill them. Naturally, if the infestation is out of hand, spraying vinegar won’t be a viable solution. Hence, using vinegar can only be used as a preventive measure against further spread, until you can come up with a permanent solution, or until professional help arrives.

How Effective Is Vinegar?

While vinegar can help get rid of a small nest of bed bugs, it cannot kill a large thriving group. What limits its usability even more is that vinegar cannot be used to destroy the eggs laid by these creatures. This shouldn’t pose much of a problem, since once you’ve gotten rid of the big guys, you can easily suppose off the eggs by hand, however, it’s something you should definitely know about if you’re planning on using vinegar.

How To Use Vinegar

Now that we’ve somewhat understood how vinegar affects bed bugs, you can come up with a decision yourself as to whether or not you want to use it. If you’re planning on using vinegar to prevent further infestation of the bugs, or if the invasion under your mattress is in its infancy, make sure you take proper steps and follow the steps we’ve mentioned below:

  1. Make sure you purchase white vinegar since it’s far more effective and gets the job done quickly.
  2. Identify areas in your home where the infestation may spread to, or has already spread to. Spray these areas with a lot of vinegar. You can also try soaking nearby areas with vinegar, so that when the bugs try to escape (which they will), they will have nowhere left to run.
  3. Take proper precautions, because too much exposure to vinegar can cause tooth erosion and damage sensitive skin.

Closing Thoughts

Vinegar can be a great natural remedy against bed bugs, when the infestation is small and can be controlled. It is safe, cheap and almost readily available at your nearest grocery. You also don’t have to worry about your pets or children inhaling any of the vinegar as it’s non toxic. The only issue would be its smell that is almost unbearable for some people. But if you’re willing to put up with it for a while to get rid of the devilish crawlers under your mattress, we think it’s a fair price to pay.

Categories
Bed Bugs

Indian home remedies you can use to get rid of Bed Bugs

Just the thought of having a nest of bugs crawling under your bed is sure to leave many of us sleepless. If you’re here, chances are you’re already having a problem getting rid of bed bugs. While there are a lot of methods you could use – like applying neem oil – only a handful of them work well in getting rid of these unwanted visitors.

At PestZap, we always recommend going with professional help if you don’t know what you’re doing – more so when it comes to bed bugs. Typically, when the infection has grown to a very large extent, you definitely need to do that. However, if you’ve been quick to notice the spread in the beginning stages, you can surely use certain home remedies that will help in getting rid of these nasty pests and preventing further infestation. And to save you some time, we’ve compiled a full list of Indian home remedies that are sure to remove bed bugs from your home.

Baking soda

Almost every article on the internet about killing bed bugs at home will have recommended using baking soda as a viable option. Baking soda is good for a lot of things – soothing canker sores, relieving itchy skin, as a mouthwash – but can it be an effective natural remedy for bed bugs? The answer is yes.

Baking soda is popular because of its simplicity. All you have to do is sprinkle lots of baking powder all over your mattress and bed, especially in places the infestation is proving to be problematic. And that’s it, you’re done.

In a few days, you’ll have to vacuum all the places where you sprinkled them, and repeat the process again and again until there’s no sign of the nasty home invaders. Baking soda gets rid of bed bugs by absorbing the liquid on their waxy layer, leaving them dehydrated.
Small granules of baking soda also cut through the bedbugs’ shells, leading to internal bleeding. The catch? None of this is scientifically backed, because it’s not been proven that baking soda actually absorbs the liquid portion from the waxy layer of the bugs. However, there have been a lot of instances where baking soda has shown its magic. So it can’t hurt to give it a try.

Mothballs

Just like ultrasonic devices, mothballs – also called naphthalene balls – are also a great DIY pesticide repellent you can use to get rid of bed bugs. Just take a handful of these balls and place them underneath your furniture, bed, mattresses or any area in general where the infestation is found. The pungent smell from the mothballs will keep away any and all bugs away from your prized possessions. Just make sure to fill these spaces with new balls once the older ones get evaporated, and that happens a lot more quickly than you might imagine.

Steam Cleaning

With the baking soda method, using a vacuum cleaner might not always be effective, since there are some places a vacuum cannot reach – more so if you’ve got a tricky bed carved for yourself. In such cases, using a steam cleaner is a really good option. Bed bugs usually die at temperatures above 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and vacuum cleaners give you that temperature. You must be careful not to harm yourself or the furniture, however, because if this is your first time handling this issue, it is entirely possible that you may slip up.

Washing Garments and Bedding

This may be something best left to the professionals, but you can control the infestation by washing away the bed bugs in your bedding and other garments. Just thoroughly wash them in hot water and then use a tumble dryer to complete the process. But before you proceed, check the labels to make sure that the fabrics can withhold the hot water and tumble drying treatment.

Silica Gel

Who would’ve thought that the small packets that come with plastic bottles and other household items for washing purposes would come in handy when getting rid of bed bugs.

Silica Gel is generally used to prevent damage, odors and stains away from products by storing moisture. They can surprisingly also be used to combat nasty bed bugs. To do this, you must first grind up the silica beads into fine powder that can be sprinkled on the infested areas – similar to what we do using baking soda. However, if you have any pets, we would suggest avoiding this technique, since inhaling this can be really toxic to whatever precious little creature you’re raising. Baking soda is a better alternative.

Scented Dryer Sheets

There is a kind of smell which comes from dryer sheets – a smell that repels insects and pests. Similar to how we use mothballs, scented dryer sheets have their own charm. They cause bed bugs so much discomfort that they literally pack their bags and run away almost instantly. It isn’t preferred as much though, because when these bugs move away, they generally nest themselves just a little far from the smell (and sometimes even to your neighbour’s place).

Hairdryer

If you are not getting enough sleep due to these pesky bugs, and you want to have some rest but can’t wait days altogether just for the bed bugs to die through effect of the other remedies you’ve tried, the best option for you would be to use a hairdryer to blow warm air over the affected areas. The heat will kill the bed bugs almost instantly. Now, this is an easy method for you to go to sleep without worrying about being stalked for dinner.

Double-sided Tape

This is a smart, (but gross) remedy that you can try. The method implies that you use a double-sided tape to wrap the circumference of the bed’s post from the floor all the way to the mattress. Do this on all four posts. When a bed bug tries to climb the bed to get to you, It will get stuck, and you’ll be able to get a good night’s sleep. Just make sure the blankets stay up at all times, else all that tape would go to waste. The morning is when you’ll have to do the dirty work. Throw away the taping, with the bed bugs attached. Please note that this should only be considered as an intermediate solution until you get rid of the bed bugs by home remedy, or by calling for professional help. It isn’t feasible as a permanent solution.

Here’s a well made video by Rick Steinau

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth (or diatomite) is a great natural remedy against any kind of pest, including fleas. It is actually a soft sedimentary rock which easily turns to powder upon crushing. To use it effectively, sprinkle the powder all over your home. It takes a lot of time to work it’s magic however – almost ten days – but the results are worth it. The tiny shards of powder make sure they ward off any nasty pest that even you might not know are creeping into your home.

Ultrasonic Devices

Okay, this one isn’t as much a home remedy as it is a “hack”. There are a lot of DIY pest solutions and natural solutions for bed bugs but only a few of them may be as efficient as ultrasonic devices. These machines repel bed bugs rather than killing them. All of you have to do is plug them into a power socket and mount them on a wall, and that’s it!

Ultrasonic devices emit high frequency sounds that are sort of uncomfortable to the bed bugs and cause the nests to move away to a more habitable location. If you haven’t been paying attention in science class, ultrasonic waves are sound waves operating at over 20,000 Hz, that are inaudible to humans ears. So you don’t have to worry about these devices causing you any trouble.

There are concerns as to whether these devices actually work as effectively as they claim, and we can say for a fact that they do, only if the infestation is minimal.

Also Read : Bed Bugs Against Vinegar – Do They Stand A Chance?

Closing Thoughts

These ten home remedies against bed bugs are sure to work their magic on your home, and leave no sign of bed bugs whatsoever. However, you need to take care not to let any more mishaps bring these vicious beings back into your home. Aftercare maintenance is very important, and a good routine, once adopted, is sure to keep your home healthy, peaceful, and pest-free.

 

Categories
Bed Bugs

Answering The Age-old Question – Does Neem Oil Get Rid Of Bed Bugs?

You first begin to sense a few red spots here and there on your body – marks that weren’t there the previous night. You think it’s harmless and just rub it off. A couple days later you see these red marks all over your body, and it takes a little more time to find the culprit – a tiny little pest. You think it isn’t possible for a single pest to cause so many problems, so you decide to just kill it and be done only to find a whole nest of these nasty pests resting under your bed.

Bed bugs are a common household problem, but if they’re not gotten rid of at once, they’ll make sure nothing but a hollow shell of your precious home is left. If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably been infected by these blood-sucking creatures from hell and are scratching your head wondering what to do – after trying hundreds of recommendations from blogs all over the internet, you still can’t seem to put an end to it.

More than one of these blogs would have recommended you to use Neem oil, but your mind gets swarmed with questions – Neem oil kills bed bugs? Are the effective against Mosquitoes? How do I use it? And does it actually work? Don’t worry, because in this article by PestZap, we’re going to put all of these questions to rest.

Neem Oil And Bed Bugs

Neem leaves have been regarded as a very popular pesticide against bed bugs. They are often used as sprays – be they store-bought or homemade – and they’ve popularly been treated as an effective method against these troublesome insects. Spoiler Alert! They’re not as effective, but before we jump into ranting about these neem spray reviews, let’s first see how neem oil is meant to be used against bed bugs.

How To Use Neem Oil

Neem oil is the only EPA approved biopesticide that can be used indoors. People often use it by burning its leaves in a closed container to form smoke – this smoke can prevent mosquitoes, cockroaches, and other small insects, but it’s not as effective against bed bugs. Another alternative is to use neem sprays to kill them. Mixing essential neem oil with water will help you get a homemade spray ready in no time. It won’t be as effective as a cold-pressed one you can get at stores, but it’ll still get the job done. The more important question is:

Can Neem Oil Kill Bed Bugs?

The answer is yes – Neem oil can kill bed bugs, but only if it’s directly sprayed on them. Bed bugs, when in direct contact with neem oil, will be severely harmed. This is why you cannot expect to get rid of bed bugs by just spraying neem oil randomly around your house. There needs to be direct contact between the bugs and the neem oil.

You will have to be careful however. If the infection has just started – such that you can directly spray neem over each and every one of them, using a neem oil spray for bed bugs will definitely help. However, if the infection is out of hand, you need to call for professional help. Neem oil or any other home remedy will not do much damage to a whole nest of bed bugs.

Side Effects

While Neem oil can kill bed bugs, it can also potentially be harmful to the residents of the home. It is, at the end of the day, a pesticide afterall, and may cause some discomfort to people when subjected to prolonged exposure. The most common irritations reported are related to the yes, skin, and stomach. So if you’re someone who may have sensitive skin and an upset stomach, you might want to avoid this.

Closing Thoughts

Many online blogs would gladly place a seal of guarantee about the effectiveness of Neem Oil on bed bugs, but as you clearly read above, this isn’t the case. Neem oil and bed bugs are only sworn enemies when the bed bug infestation is very minimal or just starting out. Yes it is effective, but you’d be right to call for professional help when an army of bed bugs has its fort set up under your bed.

Categories
Mosquitoes

All you need to know about Mosquito Repellent for Dogs

Andy Rooney said, “The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.” And most of us can’t deny that, especially those who have pet dogs in their homes. But do these dog-loving people notice that the poor pet fights the same battles as we do, i.e., pesky mosquitoes?

Many of you might even reckon that mosquitoes don’t bite dogs, but the reality states quite the opposite. Many mosquitoes have a fondness for dog’s blood and since our poor dogs can’t complain, they suffer in silence as their hairs hide away all the bites. Itching, lack of proper sleep, and infections are just some of the side-effects. But, it’s important to notice that some of these mosquito bites can also prove to be fatal for your dog’s health. Let’s dive in and see how.

WHY DO MOSQUITOES BITE DOGS?

Mosquitoes are drawn towards dogs for similar reasons they are drawn towards our pity selves. They have receptors that can detect carbon dioxide from our breath. Dogs exhale carbon dioxide, possess skin odours, and body heat the way we do. The ears of dogs have a few hairs on the inside, drawing the mosquitoes to their ears and leaving a bunch of love bites. Also, dogs have very little hair around their groin, again making that area an easy target. Dogs usually display symptoms after sustaining mosquito bites, which may include scratching in the absence of fleas, constant rubbing the nose and ears against the flooring, red scars similar to mosquito bites, declining energy levels, no appetite and rejection to playing.

HOW CAN MOSQUITO BITES PROVE TO BE FATAL?

The mosquito bites can cause the following illnesses to your beloved pet:

Heartworm

Heartworm is a life-endangering parasite that can be transmitted by a single mosquito bite. Once the larva of the parasite enters the flowing blood, it can easily rupture the heart, blood vessels, and lungs. Heartworm prevention treatment is suggested to prevent such illnesses.

West Nile Virus

The West Nile virus is seen to affect dogs mildly, unlike humans. But the symptoms can be quite severe for those with weak immunity, like puppies, seniors, and dogs who already suffer from a medical condition or receive immunosuppressant drugs.

Allergic Reactions

Most dogs also get swollen and constant itching due to the mosquito bites. Some dogs suffer from a more severe allergy that requires immediate medical attention, and a veterinarian must be contacted for aiding them.

Rare Diseases

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) are two rare diseases that might affect your dog. Specific prevention measures must be taken into consideration especially for dogs with compromised immune systems, including puppies, seniors, and dogs with medical conditions.

Also Read : Protecting Your Dogs From Ticks – Best tick sprays in India

PREVENTIVE MOSQUITO TREATMENTS

Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Pouring some Microbe-Lift Mosquito Control Liquid to standing water can kill the larvae. Clean the gutters out, drain off excess water from flower pots, and make sure that your surroundings are free of stagnant water. Keep your dogs indoors and make sure to plant mosquito repellent plants such as Tulsi or Basil near the openings of the house like doors and windows.

NATURAL MOSQUITO REPELLENTS FOR DOGS:

If you are not a big fan of chemicals, you might consider natural mosquito repellents. Following are a few natural mosquito repellents, although it’s a good idea to check with your vet before trying them:

Apple Cider Vinegar

People use apple cider vinegar for treating all sorts of illnesses. Some even apply it on their skin to reduce itchiness and inflammation. Mix up vinegar to water in equals and empty the contents in a spray bottle. Apply it to your dog’s neck, face, torso, tail, and coat. Avoid the eyes, nose, mouth, and any open, sore spots, and let it dry.

Lemon Eucalyptus Oil

The most effective natural mosquito repellent for both humans and pets is Lemon Eucalyptus oil. Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Repellent provided 120.1 minutes of mosquito protection.

Citronella

It is a popular natural mosquito repellent. The oils from the plant are used to make lotions, sprays, and candles. The spray is effective, but the candles cannot be used as a stand-alone repellent.

Fennel

Small research found that spray mosquito repellent containing 5% fennel oil was 84% effective, whereas, a repellent cream with 8% fennel oil was 70% effective.

Thyme

The essential oil of thyme has a greater repellency than a commercial DEET repellent. Research suggests that a spray made with 2% alpha terpinene is a promising natural mosquito repellent. But don’t try to make thyme oil-repellent at home as it is strong-smelling.

Garlic

Another popular theory is that ingesting garlic can provide protection against mosquitoes. Peel and chop the garlic about 15 minutes before feeding, then add it to your dog’s food. Start feeding garlic one month before the start of mosquito season.

Neem Oil

It repels mosquitoes and has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties. Neem can also be used on open sores and wounds. You can put a few drops of neem oil on your dog’s specific areas and use it every day in mosquito season.

Cinnamon Oil

Cinnamon oil can kill mosquito larvae and can repel mosquitoes and prevent their bites. You can use it after dilution as a spray.

Cedar Oil

Cedar oil is a great non-toxic option to keep mosquitoes off your dog. It can kill mosquitoes, their eggs, and their larvae. Once it comes in contact with the mosquitoes, it pulls the water out of them, neutralizes body fluids, and interferes with their respiratory system. There are various commercially available effective products with the formulation of 10% – 20% cedar oil, which can be used as a spray on your dog before he goes outside.

Caution: Do not use essential oils of wintergreen, pennyroyal, or clove (or any products that contain these oils) on your dog. These oils are dangerous for your dog and should not be used for any reason.