Q: Grandma, we just moved to a cottage for summer break. Unfortunately, there were other inhabitants aside from us. Bed bugs were all over the place- furniture, clothing, sheets, etc. How can I control this infestation which causes me and my family so much trouble.
A: Dear R, Until fairly recently, most people had never seen a bed bug. Because of improvements in hygiene and widespread use of DDT between the ‘1940s and ‘50s, bed bugs were extinguished and never became a problem again. Unfortunately, these pests somehow managed to survive in some parts of the world, including Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe. And just a little more than ten years ago, bed bugs have made a huge comeback in the U.S. – invading homes, apartments, hospitals, and other facilities you can possibly think of. Bed bugs appear to be increasing in number; hence, it is not surprising that you’re having this problem.
More often than not, people carry bed bugs into their homes without knowing it – in infested luggage, bedding, furniture, or even clothing. Bed bugs may also travel between houses through small crevices and cracks in walls and floors. While most states recommend hiring a pest control company to eliminate bed bugs, some may not have the money to pay for the steep cost of pest management professionals. The truth is, getting rid of bed bugs does not have to be expensive. Listed below are some home remedies for prevention of bed bugs infestation and ways to eliminate them without professional help.
HOME REMEDIES FOR BED BUGS INFESTATION
1. Avoid bringing second-hand furniture into your home – Discarded furniture items, most especially mattresses and box springs, should not be brought home as much as possible because directs signs of infestation may not visible.
2. Find out where they are – In order to get rid of them, you must first look for them. Use a bright flashlight to look for bed bugs or their dark droppings. Search in areas such as cracks and crevices, electrical outlets behind wallpaper, baseboards, picture frames, mattresses, and bedding materials. Bed bugs like to snuggle in these places. 
3. Clean areas where they have a tendency to hide – Manually cleaning and vacuuming items such as carpets, rugs, curtains, beddings, and linen may help prevent bed bug infestation. Be sure to put the vacuum cleaner bag inside a sealed plastic bag, and dispose it in an outdoor container immediately after vacuuming. 
4. Launder washable items thoroughly – Wash your beddings, linens, and clothes in hot water and use dry heat when using the dryer. Delicate clothes must be soaked in warm water with lots of laundry soap for a couple of hours before rinsing. Bed bugs hate heat. 
5. Use “allergen rated” or “for dust mites” mattress cover – Encase your mattress with a waterproof, zippered cover labeled “allergen rated,” or “for dust mites.” This makes detection of infestation easier.
6. Remove clutter – Infested items that cannot be cleaned must be disposed of properly. Piles of used newspaper and other junks should be sealed tightly in a plastic garbage bag before being discarded.
7. Repair cracks and loose wallpapers – These areas are a favorite hiding and breeding spots during infestation, so be sure to have them repaired.
8. Participate in community meetings – Bed bugs usually travel between homes and apartments. Attend community meetings and share tips on home remedies for prevention of bed bugs infestation to reduce the likelihood of spreading bed bugs in the neighborhood. 
9. Open your windows – Bed bugs love carbon dioxide. By opening windows, you release the carbon dioxide in the room and make it an unappealing venue for bed bugs.
10. Use electric fans – Same rationale as number 9. If bed bugs are unable to find pockets of carbon dioxide because there is too much fresh air and wind in the room, they are likely to leave your house.
11. Use pesticides – Pesticides can be applied directly into cracks and crevices harboring bed bugs. Remember though to use the right kind of pesticide. Otherwise, you may end up prolonging the treatment process.