Remember Bella Swann? Don't feel bad if you don't, not everyone is into vampire movies. But there are creatures out there that want to suck your blood. Of course, vampires aren't real—despite Hollywood stories like Twilight. So we're not talking about Count Dracula breaking into your bedroom to suck your blood some night.
But there are real-life bloodsuckers that walk among us. Some even live—poor you—in your bed! We're talking bed bugs. And the blood-feeding pests are everywhere. Thus the need for this piece—to introduce you to an exciting device, a dry steam vapor system that will completely rid your home of these pests.
Some people confuse bed bugs with dust mites. But they are not the same. Bed bugs are larger than dust mites and more easily seen by the naked eye. Unlike dust mites, these vampire-like insects bite. And they've become an epidemic in some cities, where even movie theaters are under attack. The problem is, they can—and do—hitch a ride home with you on your clothes.
So while you can be scared out of your wits at the movies by images of vampires sucking blood from the neck, a little later, you yourself can be sucked dry at home.
As disgusting—even gory—as it sounds, bed bugs prick your skin to insert saliva when feeding. This causes itchiness and swelling. And get this: the bloodsuckers typically feed for up to ten minutes at a time. As the little leeches fill with your blood while you’re fast asleep, their color changes from brown to red.
Doing away with bed bugs can be challenging. That's because chemicals used to eliminate bed bugs are generally ineffective[*]. Under ideal conditions, these pests can survive for a year or longer.
Fortunately, a few years ago people who study insects figured out that bed bugs and their eggs are rapidly killed when exposed to temperatures over 130°F[*]. That's good news for those who fear things that bite in the night because a home cleaning device commonly viewed as a natural alternative to toxic household cleaning products—called a steam cleaner—produces temperatures well above of 225°F.
What Exactly Is a Steam Cleaner?
Steam cleaners are the fastest growing technology in the cleaning industry, and they are a godsend for anyone looking to kill bed bugs. They might look like a vacuum, but they are not. Nor are they a pressure washer. A steam cleaner is a very powerful cleaning device that uses a little water and a little electricity to clean, disinfect and deodorize virtually any surface—without chemicals.
Because steam cleaners generate a tremendous amount of heat, they easily eliminate bed bugs from clothing, furniture and bedding. And because steam particles are so small, they can reach nooks and crannies chemical pest-control methods cannot. It's pretty simple: With a steam cleaner, bed bugs have nowhere to hide and are a thing of the past.
But not all steam cleaners are equal. Some use more water than others, which means they can leave a surface like your mattress sopping wet. Others use so little water that whatever surface is steamed dries almost instantly.
So Who Makes a Good Steam Cleaner?
A good steam cleaner is not cheap. So if you are going to invest in one, why not use it for cleaning your home as well as killing bed bugs?
You probably know that the household cleaning products we purchase at the supermarket are mostly loaded with chemicals. Not only can these nasty ingredients cause cancer, but they can also increase your chances of catching colds and flu— even with a flu shot. That’s because these toxins weaken our immune system, and when that happens, it can’t protect us against the bacteria and viruses that make us sick.
The steam cleaner is a knight in shining armor because it cleans faster and flat-out better than most chemicals.
One brand, Ladybug steam cleaners, packs in the usual array of features found in a good steam cleaner, including a variety of brushes and floor tools, as well as featuring a revolutionary technology called TANCS, or Thermal Accelerated Nano Crystal Sanitation.
In cleaning science jargon, TANCS is a factory-installed internal component that modifies the crystal structure of the naturally occurring minerals in ordinary tap water to aid in the rapid destruction of microorganisms over a very broad range of pathogens. That’s a mouthful of gobbledygook that says one thing: Ladybug steam cleaners are the best natural alternative to toxic cleaning products money can buy.
Only Ladybug steam cleaners come with TANCS, and if you own one your steam cleaner impressively qualifies as a disinfection device for the EPA.
How Do I Use a Steam Cleaner to Kill Bed Bugs?
That’s a great question! Unlike other steam cleaners that leave everything sopping wet, the steam vapor produced by a Ladybug is only 5% water. So whatever you clean is dry almost instantly.
This is real important stuff, because cleaning a mattress is tricky—you can't use a lot of water or you'll risk ruining it.
That said, most steam cleaners come with a wide assortment of brushes. When steaming surfaces like mattresses, couches, and chairs, start with a larger brush, such as the Ladybug triangular brush.
Towel the brush using the spring clamps. Or use a bonnet as show in the picture below. Slowly moving the brush over the surface of what you want to clean (sort of like you are dusting; elbow grease is not required) will ensure that the bed bugs die. It's that simple.
To kill bed bugs in carpets and other flooring, use a toweled rectangular brush. Use a small nylon brush to clean baseboard cracks and inside dressing tables.
Are There Other Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bugs?
We know what you're thinking: Steam cleaners sound amazing but they're expensive. You're right—especially a steam cleaner equipped with TANCS.
But don't fret if after reading this piece you decide steam isn't right for you. While we don't recommend other natural home remedies to kill bed beds, the methods listed below are safer than any chemical you'll find at the grocery store.
Vinegar is basically a dilute solution of acetic acid[*]. When sprayed directly on a bed bug, vinegar can disrupt the insect’s nervous system. But while this remedy is natural, it won't destroy a bed bug infestation by itself. Which means you can use vinegar as a natural way to get rid of bed bugs temporarily until you find a long lasting solution.
Alcohol is inexpensive but it does kill bed bugs by eating away at their outer shell and drying out their insides. Like vinegar, though, alcohol requires direct contact. Which means alcohol does not kill bed bugs you don't see. Plus alcohol is extremely flammable. According to a story in The Washington Post, a woman who tried to kill bed bugs with alcohol caused a fire that left 10 people without a home.
Unfortunately, hairdryers cannot produce enough room heat to reach areas where bed bugs hide, like in cracks on the bed frame and beneath the carpet. So bed bugs will survive in the long-run.
Ladybug Is a Double Plus
So, while Count Dracula might be a fictional character that makes your blood curl at the movies, bed bugs are real-life bloodsuckers that roam the earth.
If you're looking for a way to kill the chemical-resistant bugs that really works, consider a Ladybug steam cleaner. It's a double plus. Its proprietary TANCS technology does an unequaled job of killing everything from bedbugs to viruses (including Covid-19) while also removing stains and dirt faster and better than chemical cleaners that threaten your health and the earth alike.
And since a Ladybug steam cleaner uses steam vapor that is only 5% water, everything dries in minutes—including your mattress.