Bed Bugs How To Get Rid If

US EPA

Bed Bugs

Do-it-yourself Bed Bug Control

Can you get rid of bed bugs on your own?

Treating bed bugs is complex. Your likelihood of success depends on many factors, including:

  • How many bed bugs you have;
  • How much clutter is available for hiding places;
  • Whether your neighbors have bedbugs; and
  • Whether all residents of a house or building will participate.

Getting rid of bed bugs completely can take weeks to months, depending on the nature and extent of the infestation. To be successful, everyone will need to cooperate and do their part.

The following steps will help you begin:

You may have to follow these steps more than once to kill all the bugs and their eggs.

Identify the Problem

  • Identify the pest:
  • Collect a sample of the pest to show an extension agentExitor other insect expert.
  • Extension agents can identify the pest at no cost to you. They are trained in pest control and know your local area.
  • If an extension agent or other expert says the pest is a bed bug, notify your landlord if you live in an apartment. The units near yours should be inspected.
    • Landlords may have a responsibilityExit to participate in treatment.
    • Check the housing codes and laws in your area.
    • Inspect all areas that may have bed bugs, plus surrounding living spaces, to find out the extent of infestation.
    • Develop a Strategy

      • Make a schedule for completing the steps below. Be sure to include any personal plans, such as vacations.
      • Keep records through the whole process. Note the dates and exact locations where pests are found. This will help you track progress and better know where to target your work.
      • Keep checking for at least a year after you’re done to make sure all the bed bugs are gone.

      Keep the Infestation from Spreading

      • Remove infested items. Place them in a sealed plastic bag and treat them. Learn more about treatment methods in the sections below.
      • Items that cannot be treated should be placed in a sealed plastic bag and left there for up to a year to ensure any active bugs are dead.
      • Empty the vacuum after each use. Seal the bag as tightly as possible and immediately throw it out in an outdoor trash container.
      • Discard furniture responsibly if you can’t safely eliminate the bed bugs. Destroy it so someone else won’t be tempted to bring it into their home. For example:
      • Rip covers and remove stuffing from furniture items.
      • Use spray paint to mark furniture with "Bed Bugs."
    • Have infested items picked up as soon as possible by the trash collection agency.
    • Don’t discard furniture if you can safely eliminate the bed bugs from it.
    • Prepare for Treatment

      Preparing for treatment is very important; it will make it easier to monitor for bed bugs that haven’t been eliminated. This preparation should be completed whether you are doing the treatment yourself or hiring a professional.

      Kill the Bed Bugs

      • Make sure the methods you select are safe, effective and legal. See What’s Legal, What’s Not.
      • Considernon-chemical methodsof killing bed bugs. Some will be more useful than others depending on your situation. These and other methods can be helpful, but they might not get rid of the infestation entirely:
      • Heat treatment:You can use a clothes dryer on high heat. You can also use black plastic bags in a hot, closed car in the sun, but success depends on your climate and other factors. Do-it-yourself heat treatments might not work. Professionals have access to more intensive and proven methods that can even treat whole houses with heat. You may also purchase a portable heat chamber, which is usually quite effective.
      • Cold treatmentcan be successful in the home environment if the freezer is set to 0 o F. You must leave the items in a sealed bag in the freezer at that temperature for four days. Always use a thermometer to check the temperature, since home freezers are not always set to 0 o .
      • Steam cleaners(wet or dry) can get into cracks and fabrics to treat carpets, baseboards, bed frames, and other furniture. The steam temperature must be at least 130 o F but should not have a forceful airflow, or it may cause bed bugs to scatter. Use a diffuser to prevent scattering.
    • If needed,hire a pest management professional or use pesticidescarefully according to the label directions:
      • Look for EPA-registered pesticides that have bed bugs listed on the label.
      • Use foggers (bug bombs) only with extreme care and only if bed bugs are listed on the label. Improper use can harm your health or cause a fire or explosion. Foggers should not be your only method of bed bug control. The spray will not reach the cracks and crevices where bed bugs hide. See Should I Use a Fogger? for more information.
      • Carefully look for any evidence of bed bugsevery few days after you complete your initial cleanup and control processes.If you see bed bugs, either the initial cleanup missed some bugs or eggs have hatched. Retreatment may be needed.
      • Consider using different types of pesticides if repeated treatments are needed.Desiccants (chemicals that dry things out) can be particularly effectivein some situations since they work by drying out the bug (which means the bed bugs can’t develop resistance).
        • If using desiccants, be sure to use only products registered by EPA as a pesticide.
        • Do not use pool- or food-grade diatomaceous earth(made from the fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms). This type of diatomaceous earth can harm you when you breathe it in. The pesticide version uses a different size of diatoms, which reduces the hazard.
        • Desiccants can be very effective but may take several months to work.
        • Evaluate and Prevent

          • Continue to inspect for bed bugs, at least every 7 days, in case any eggs remain. You can use interceptors, traps or other monitoring methods. Interceptors are placed under the legs of furniture to catch bed bugs and keep them from climbing the legs. Commercial and do-it-yourself interceptors are options.
          • Continue to protect your home from bed bugs.

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          Bedbugs

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          In this Article

          In this Article

          Bedbugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans. Adult bedbugs have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed. After feeding, however, their bodies swell and are a reddish color.

          Bedbugs do not fly, but they can move quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings. Female bedbugs may lay hundreds of eggs, each of which is about the size of a speck of dust, over a lifetime.

          Immature bedbugs, called nymphs, shed their skins five times before reaching maturity and require a meal of blood before each shedding. Under favorable conditions the bugs can develop fully in as little as a month and produce three or more generations per year.

          Although they are a nuisance, they are not thought to transmit diseases.

          Where Bed Bugs Hide

          Bedbugs may enter your home undetected through luggage, clothing, used beds and couches, and other items. Their flattened bodies make it possible for them to fit into tiny spaces, about the width of a credit card. Bedbugs do not have nests like ants or bees, but tend to live in groups in hiding places. Their initial hiding places are typically in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards where they have easy access to people to bite in the night.

          Over time, however, they may scatter through the bedroom, moving into any crevice or protected location. They may also spread to nearby rooms or apartments.

          Because bedbugs live solely on blood, having them in your home is not a sign of dirtiness. You are as likely to find them in immaculate homes and hotel rooms as in filthy ones.

          When Bedbugs Bite

          Bedbugs are active mainly at night and usually bite people while they are sleeping. They feed by piercing the skin and withdrawing blood through an elongated beak. The bugs feed from three to 10 minutes to become engorged and then crawl away unnoticed.

          Most bedbug bites are painless at first, but later turn into itchy welts. Unlike flea bites that are mainly around the ankles, bedbug bites are on any area of skin exposed while sleeping. Also, the bites do not have a red spot in the center like flea bites do.

          People who don’t realize they have a bedbug infestation may attribute the itching and welts to other causes, such as mosquitoes. To confirm bedbug bites, you must find and identify the bugs themselves.

          Continued

          Signs of Infestation

          If you wake up with itchy areas you didn’t have when you went to sleep, you may have bedbugs, particularly if you got a used bed or other used furniture around the time the bites started. Other signs that you have bedbugs include:

          • Blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases
          • Dark or rusty spots of bedbug excrement on sheets and mattresses, bed clothes, and walls
          • Bedbug fecal spots, egg shells, or shed skins in areas where bedbugs hide
          • An offensive, musty odor from the bugs’ scent glands

          If you suspect an infestation, remove all bedding and check it carefully for signs of the bugs or their excrement. Remove the dust cover over the bottom of the box springs and examine the seams in the wood framing. Peel back the fabric where it is stapled to the wood frame.

          Also, check the area around the bed, including inside books, telephones or radios, the edge of the carpet, and even in electrical outlets. Check your closet, because bedbugs can attach to clothing. If you are uncertain about signs of bedbugs, call an exterminator, who will know what to look for.

          If you find signs of infestation, begin steps to get rid of the bugs and prevent their return.

          Bedbug Treatments

          Getting rid of bedbugs begins with cleaning up the places where bedbugs live. This should include the following:

          • Clean bedding, linens, curtains, and clothing in hot water and dry them on the highest dryer setting. Place stuffed animals, shoes, and other items that can’t be washed in the dryer and run on high for 30 minutes.
          • Use a stiff brush to scrub mattress seams to remove bedbugs and their eggs before vacuuming.
          • Vacuum your bed and surrounding area frequently. After vacuuming, immediately place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag and place in garbage can outdoors.
          • Encase mattress and box springs with a tightly woven, zippered cover to keep bedbugs from entering or escaping. Bedbugs may live up to a year without feeding, so keep the cover on your mattress for at least a year to make sure all bugs in the mattress are dead.
          • Repair cracks in plaster and glue down peeling wallpaper to get rid of places bedbugs can hide.
          • Get rid of clutter around the bed.

          If your mattress is infested, you may want to get rid of it and get a new one, but take care to rid the rest of your home of bedbugs or they will infest your new mattress.

          Continued

          Bedbug Extermination

          While cleaning up infested areas will be helpful in controlling bedbugs, getting rid of them usually requires chemical treatments. Because treating your bed and bedroom with insecticides can be harmful, it is important to use products that can be used safely in bedrooms. Do not treat mattresses and bedding unless the label specifically says you can use them on bedding.

          Generally it is safest and most effective to hire an experienced pest control professional for bedbug extermination.

          Sources

          University of Kentucky College of Agriculture: "Bed Bugs."

          Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet: "Bed Bugs."

          The New York City Department of Heath and Mental Hygiene: "Stop Bed Bugs Safely."

          University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension Lancaster County: "Managing Bed Bugs."

          How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs on Cats: Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite!

          Have you noticed your cat scratching incessantly? It could be due to pesky bed bugs. Pets like cats are not usual targets of bed bugs, but this doesn’t mean that those pests won’t feed on felines if given the chance. The more important question for you is: how to get rid of bed bugs on cats?

          Bed bugs have been a problem for humans since time immemorial. Many thought that those pests were a thing of the past after World War II, but alas, they’ve been making a comeback. It is important to learn some techniques to prevent bed bugs from spreading in your home and potentially biting your family members and other pets, and to nip this problem in the bud.

          In this article, you will learn the signs that your cat has bed bugs and how to remove them from his or her body. At the end of this article, you should be more knowledgeable on bed bug infestation and how to protect your cat against these parasites.

          What are Bed Bugs?

          Bed bugs are parasitic creatures with the scientific name Cimex lectularius L. An adult bed bug is about 5 mm long. That’s almost the size of an apple seed. Because of their size, they can easily hide in bed frames and box springs.

          These warm-blooded animals are more likely to feed on humans than pets like cats, though. It’s because we release carbon dioxide which they are attracted to. Unlike other common pests such as lice, mites, ticks and fleas, bed bugs don’t live on pets.

          But this doesn’t mean that our feline friends are spared from bed bugs. If there’s no human to feed on, these minuscule creatures will hitchhike on cats and feed for up to 5 minutes.

          Yet bed bugs will not make cats their home. They are also not attracted to the fur of our pets no matter how thick it is. After biting a cat, bed bugs would go back to their nesting area. This is likely the cat’s bedding. It’s also possible for the bed bugs to stay in crates, toys, or other nearby things.

          What are the Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation?

          Bed bugs are not only small but also very quick, so it can be difficult to spot them. In fact, it is easier to spot secondary signs of bug infestation than finding a live bug. The following are some of the signs that your house has been infested by bed bugs:

          Red blood stains on bed sheets

          Black spots of droppings

          Transparent shed exoskeletons

          In cats, aside from incessant scratching, the following are other signs that your pet may have been bitten by bed bugs:

          Bite marks especially at the back and the tummy area

          Red lumps all over the skin

          While bed bugs won’t transmit infectious or serious diseases to cats, they can make our beloved pets uncomfortable. Cats could develop a severe itch from a single bed bug bite. And it is hard to keep a cat from scratching that bite. Suffice to say, cats are likely to suffer from a case of skin irritation because of bed bug bites.

          You may wonder: ‘When should I bring my cat to the vet?’ If your pet continues to scratch, then you may want to see your vet. He or she may likely give antibiotics to your cat to prevent infection.

          How to Remove Bed Bugs on Cats

          Now for the question we have posted earlier: how to get rid of bed bugs on cats?

          Method 1: Bathe Your Cat

          If you suspect that your cat has bed bugs, bring him to the bathroom and bathe him. It’s easier said than done given the notoriety of cats for disliking baths, but it is essential for a cat which has been bitten by bed bugs. And while bed bugs don’t really stay long on the body of cats, you don’t want to take any chances, do you?

          Start by brushing the mat and dirt from your pet’s hair. While there’s no bed bug shampoo designed for cats, you can use a tick and flea shampoo instead. Just don’t use shampoo for dogs as this would be harmful to your pet, nor human shampoo as it can dry out the skin of the cat, making him irritable.

          Run up to 5 inches of warm water into the bathtub and coax your pet into going there. Using a hose attachment, wet his body with water. Focus on the fur starting from his neck down to the tail.

          Once he is thoroughly wet, lather his body with shampoo. Don’t forget to lather his underside, too.

          Rinse his body until you can no longer feel the shampoo in his hair. Wrap him in a towel so that the water will be absorbed then use another one to dry him. And remember to give him some treats or shower him with praise.

          A thorough bath or cleaning should get rid of bed bugs on a cat’s body. But as you will realize, removing bed bugs from a cat’s body is not that simple. We suggest you follow the other methods to effectively free your pet from these pesky bed bugs.

          Method 2: Cleaning His Things

          As mentioned earlier, the beddings and other items your cat often plays with are likely nests of bed bugs. It is thus imperative for you to clean these items if you want to get rid of bed bugs in your household permanently.

          Start with his beddings. Put this in the washing machine and launder it in the high-temperature setting. Bed bugs are killed by heat so it would be a good idea to set the temperature to at least 120 degrees Celcius or 248 Fahrenheit in the wash water. Wash it for 60 minutes. As for the dryer, set it on the medium or high setting.

          You don’t want the bed bugs to further spread in your home so be careful when transporting the cat’s bedding to the laundry as well as when sorting it.

          Once you are done with the beddings, do the same for other cloth or fabric items your pet is regularly in contact with such as blankets and towels.

          You may wonder: what about other cat accessories that can’t be machine-washed like cat trees or toys? How would you clean them?

          You can use isopropyl alcohol to kill bed bugs and their eggs that may have been hiding in cat accessories. Alcohol is powerful and effective enough to kill adult bugs and eggs. Spray rubbing alcohol directly on the area where you can find bed bugs. You may also use a dish brush to remove bed bug eggs.

          You can also try essential oils like mint, tea tree, lavender, rosemary, or eucalyptus. It’s been said that bed bugs don’t like the pungent smell of these oils. Try to rub the oils around your cat’s beddings to prevent them from biting your pet.

          Method 3: Vacuuming Areas Where Your Cat Lives

          The next step in getting rid of bed bugs on your pet’s body is to vacuum the area where he lives. Ideally, this is done after you have finished the first two previous methods. Doing so would ensure that you can remove any bed bugs that may still be in the area and prevent further outbreaks.

          Vacuuming is very effective in capturing adult bed bugs and their eggs. However, you need to use a vacuum cleaner with strong suction. You should also use the crevice tool that’s attached to the cleaner. Those pesky bed bugs can cling to fabric and hold themselves in crevices.

          It is also important not to press too hard against the fabric as this could lead to the bed bugs being flicked off the surface instead of being captured.

          Once finished, immediately remove the vacuum bag then seal it with a tape. Put the vacuum bag in a plastic bag, seal it, and then immediately throw it in the trash. In case the vacuum cleaner lacks a bag, you may empty and discard its contents in a sealed plastic bag.

          After discarding the contents, you must also wash the removable container in hot water to ensure that any remaining bugs are killed. You can also replace the filter with a new one.

          If you will still use the vacuum cleaner in another location, put tape over its nozzle to prevent the pests from escaping. In fact, repeated vacuuming is necessary to control bed bug infestations.

          Method 4: Using a Steamer

          Steamers aren’t the cheapest home appliance, but you may be able to borrow it from someone who owns one or possibly rent one in your area. As we have mentioned, bed bugs are killed by high heat, so the use of a steamer can be one of the best ways to control bed bug infestation in your household.

          Before using a steamer, vacuum the part of the house where your cat lives. This will boost the steamer’s effectiveness.

          Always refer to the manufacturer’s manual in using the steamer. In most steamer units, it is important to clear the nozzle of excess liquid by purging the steamer into a cloth towel. You can do this when the steamer starts heating up.

          Again, remember that bed bugs won’t survive if they are exposed to temperatures of at least 120 degrees Celsius or 248 Fahrenheit for 10 to 20 minutes, so set the steamer to this temperature range. Use the steamer on all areas where you think the bed bugs are hiding.

          Method 5: Call a Pest Control Company

          In the unlikely event that the methods mentioned above still fail to eliminate bed bugs in your home, you may call professionals in. Pest control experts have the techniques, tools, and manpower to help deal with the pest problem.

          You can ask for word of mouth referrals in choosing a pest control company. Your friends, family members, and colleagues may have enlisted the services of one before. Don’t get the services of the first firm you come across. It’s best to compare at least three quotations so you can get the lowest rate.

          How to Keep Bed Bugs from Spreading

          Bed bugs are very tough to exterminate, but it doesn’t mean you can’t prevent them from spreading. The following are some tips to follow if you want your pet and your loved ones protected against these parasites:

          Cover the power outlets. Yes, those pesky pests evade extermination by hiding in power outlets. They can even travel through the walls through power outlets, spreading the infestation to other parts of the house.

          Clean up the clutter. Simply put, a cluttered home means more areas for bed bugs to hide. It can make locating and removing bed bugs even harder.

          Always check your cat’s bedding. Like human beds, your cat’s bedding is attractive to bed bugs because it is warm enough for them to lay eggs and feed in. Regularly inspect the area where your cat sleeps, too.

          Regularly inspect items around your house. Electronic products, for one, may seem harmless, but they can be hiding places for bed bugs. Thus it would help if you regularly check on things around the house where bed bugs can hide. Items such as computers, televisions, stereo receivers, and even remote controls have vents where bed bugs can hide.

          Wrap Up

          Bed bugs are really annoying. These minuscule parasites have infested many homes for decades. And they not only feed on us humans but also our poor cats!

          To get rid of bed bugs on your pet’s body, it is important to bathe him immediately after discovering that he has those little critters. Then wash his things including his beddings and other items which he is regularly in contact with.

          You can also spray alcohol or rub essential oils in said items. You can also ensure that the bed bugs won’t spread to other parts of your home by using a vacuum cleaner and a steamer.

          Now that you have a better understanding of bed bugs and how to remove them from a cat’s body, go ahead and start treating your cat who’s been bitten by these pesky little critters. Do you know of any other ways to get rid of bed bugs? Share your opinion in the comments section below! You may also be interested in learning how to remove a tick from a cat.

          How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Without an Exterminator

          The mere thought of bed bugs is enough to make your skin crawl. If you’re allergic to them or can feel them bite, it can mean endless weeks of not being able to sleep through the night.

          Even if you’re not allergic, the thought of tiny bugs living in the cracks a mattress is unsettling. No matter how disturbing that thought is, most people still wind up living with them because they can’t seem to get rid of them. Exterminators are expensive, and one treatment is never enough to get rid of them.

          Instead, homeowners have to pay hundreds of dollars every single month for six months, or more, to get rid of the problem. Even then, it may not do the job. If a person can afford that, great. The rest of us, on the other hand, wind up living with bed bugs for awhile as we try to figure things out.

          If you just found out that you have bed bugs, don’t bother spending hours surfing the web looking for a solution. Unfortunately, I’ve got plenty of experience in the area, and know a few other people that have had to deal with them. Below, you’ll find everything that I’ve learned along the way, and it should be more than enough to help you finally get rid of those bed bugs.

          Signs to Look For

          During the beginning of an infestation, a person will not see a bed bug randomly crawling up their wall. Most people begin to suspect these annoying critters when they notice a bite (or three) on their arm or leg after they wake up.

          Those bites are the first sign that there is a problem. There are a few other signs that people can look for to figure out if these are behind the mysterious bites.

          • Look along the seams of a mattress. Look in every single crack of the mattress. If there are bed bugs, there will be other signs. The most obvious sign is a bug itself, but it’s not that easy at first.
          • Small black dots that look like dirt in the cracks of the mattress is another sure sign. That is their poop. If you think the mattress is just dirty from wearing shoes on the bed, etc. vacuum it up and check back in a couple of days. If there are more black dots and bites, it’s bed bugs.

          Different People React Differently

          One of the main reasons that infestations get so bad is because one person in the house will have bites and no one else will. That doesn’t mean they aren’t getting bitten, though.

          When bed bugs bite, they numb the skin first. This works on some people, but not on others. I wake up to the bites. It feels like someone just pinched the **** out of me. My significant other, however, never does. The kids never did. Just me.

          I’m also allergic to the bites. If I got bitten, it would swell up like a giant mosquito bite and would last for at least half a day. My daughter would have the same reaction. Other family members may have a red dot somewhere when they woke up, but that was about it.

          The main way that we could tell that we had bed bugs (or still had them) was when one of them would wake me up at 2:00 in the morning for their midnight snack.

          Don’t Throw Everything Away Yet

          Now that we’ve figured out that bed bugs are the problem, try to calm down. If you’re anything like me, you are probably horrified at the thought of them feasting on you in the middle of the night, and you’re thinking about throwing everything away. Don’t. All that is going to do is make them run into the cracks in the walls because they want to hide somewhere.

          Instead, take a deep breath. Before you react, you have to assess the situation to see how bad it is.

          Check Everywhere

          If you think there is an infestation, the first step is to figure out how bad the problem is. This part is tedious, and it’s going to take some time, but you need to do it. Exterminators might do it for you, but you’ll do a more thorough job.

          First, take the sheets off the bed and check the mattress with a flashlight. You might need a magnifying glass to see the baby ones, but most people can see the adults with the naked eye.

          After checking the bed, move through the rest of the house and check every crack and crevice. Here are some examples of where to look to get you in the right frame of mind:

          • Check the tops of the curtains
          • Take the clothes out of dresser drawers and check around the edges
          • Take the drawers out and check the inside of the dresser
          • Look inside shoes
          • Observe the underside of the kitchen table and chairs
          • Examine the folds of fabric in the couch

          These tiny things can hide anywhere, but they prefer to nestle down in fabric or wood if they can. Check every crack and crevice in the house to figure out how bad it is.

          Keep in mind that they will stay as close to the source of food (you) as they can, so if a person only sleeps in the bed, they are more likely to be in the bedroom than they are in the kitchen.

          If the infestation is severe, they can be everywhere though, like inside the walls.

          Time to Treat

          Now that you know what you’re up against, it’s time to wage war. There are a lot of different ways to get rid of bed bugs. The best way is to learn about the different methods available and combine them all.

          Put All Fabrics in the Dryer

          Take all the clothing, bed sheets, curtains, etc. out of infested rooms and throw them in the dryer. One full cycle in the dryer will kill them. Make sure not to overfill the dryer, though. If there are too many clothes in the dryer, the heat will not get to everything, and it won’t kill them all, so do smaller loads.

          Vacuum

          Your vacuum is going to be your best friend during this process. It’s a quick and effective way to suck up bugs, including the almost invisible babies.

          1. Take the sheets and blankets off the bed, and then vacuum every single inch. The sides, the underside, literally everywhere.
          2. After that, dry the sheets and put them back on the bed. Repeat this process every couple of days.
          3. Vacuum everything in the house in the same manner, like the couches, chairs, other beds, etc. Even if something is not infested, this will make sure that a stray bed bug hasn’t found its way over there.
          4. After you’re done, empty the vacuum into a plastic trash bag, tie it tightly so they can’t crawl out, and toss it in the trash.

          Use Rubbing Alcohol

          This is a great spot treatment. Rubbing alcohol will instantly kill a bed bug on contact.

          1. Pick up a big jug of rubbing alcohol that is at least 95%.
          2. Put on a mask (the smell can be pretty strong) and use it to get into the hard to reach areas.
          3. For example, they can hide deep inside the couch where the vacuum can’t reach. Dumping rubbing alcohol onto those areas will kill the bed bugs on contact.
          4. Do this daily for two weeks and you’ll see a tremendous difference.

          Use Steam

          Steam is great to get rid of bed bugs because it kills both the bugs and the eggs. Things like rubbing alcohol don’t kill the eggs. The vacuum won’t get the eggs, either. Bed bugs secure their eggs to surfaces with a glue that means no amount of suction is going to pull them off.

          Picking up a good steamer is a great way to kill the eggs. A steam mop with a built-in steam is ideal, especially for wood floors. Bed bugs can hide in between those cracks, too. The detachable steamer can be used on dressers, couches, and so on.

          This is the steam mop that I’ve got, and, trust me, it gets hot enough to kill everything. Even after the bed bugs are gone, you’ll still love using it on hardwood and tile floors.

          Throw It All Away?

          Most people contemplate throwing everything in the trash when they find out they have bed bugs. This can be a good thing or a bad thing.

          If the infestation is so bad that the bed bugs are in the walls, throwing all the furniture in the trash means that you will be sitting on the floor and still have bed bugs. In short, it’s not going to matter.

          On the other hand, this can also be a great idea. If the bed bugs are only in one area, like on the couch, throwing out the couch can prevent further infestation.

          I knew someone that brought bed bugs home with them from the hospital. They slept on the couch, so the bugs were on the couch. This same person vacuumed religiously for weeks to no avail. The bed bugs didn’t spread to the rest of the house, but they could not get rid of them in the couch either.

          Finally, they took the couch out in the backyard and set it on fire. That may sound extreme, but it worked. That was the only place they found bed bugs, and, once they got rid of the couch, they never saw them again. Problem solved.

          Use Bed Covers

          Some people have an aversion to bed covers because they can’t get over the idea that the bed bugs are still in the mattress, but these covers are a great preventative measure, too. Once you get done vacuuming the bed, put on a plastic cover to make sure that the mattress doesn’t get re-infested.

          They also make covers for furniture, etc. that can work just as well. It may not be the most comfortable option, but it’s definitely better than sitting on the floor.

          Diatomaceous Earth

          This stuff can kill anything with an exoskeleton, from bed bugs to roaches. I’ve used it, and it works amazingly well. There is a catch, though:

          Bed bugs have eyes, so if they see a giant pile of white powder, they will simply walk around it. The key is to sprinkle a fine dust around areas where they are found. Then the bed bugs crawl through it to their imminent death. Keep in mind it can take a few days for this stuff to work, and they have to crawl through it for it to work.

          Trying to get rid of bed bugs can seem like an uphill battle. At some point, you might consider just setting the entire house on fire. That’s okay. You’re going to get frustrated, but don’t lose hope. If you keep at it, you’re going to see a difference, and eventually they will be gone.

          Use a spreadsheet to keep track of where and when you see them to keep yourself motivated. Then, check out prevention tips to make sure that they you don’t have to go through all of this again.

          This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

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          Comments

          Stacy

          How long does steam have to be placed in an infested area to kill bed bug eggs? Does one blast kill the eggs or must I leave the steam on for a longer time? I did not know that eggs could NOT be picked up by a vacuum cleaner — thanks for the tip. I know I have bed bugs because I caught a few on my pillow at night. (But can find no bite marks.) However, in search of a nest, I have looked high and low, torn my bed apart, searched every fold and crevice on the mattress and everything around my bed including the frame, under the bed, beside the bed and cannot find any evidence of a nest or infestation. Nonetheless, I am treating for bed bugs in every way imaginable. I cannot afford an exterminator so was pleased to learn that if I keep at it, I should be able to eradicate the pests.

          Fantasia

          Thank you.. will try your solutions ..

          I really can’t sleep.. thinking they will walk on me..

          Once i catched one while sleeping.. realised i felt it walking on my chest.. got it subconsciously and had lots of blood on my chest and blouse.. I was really horrified to see it between my fingers and all that blood.. get me lack of sufficient sleep

          NICKIE P

          Thank you so much. I have not seen any bugs i have pulled apart the mattress and box spring but my daughter woke up this morning with 3 bites on her feet and her toes. I dont have anything. I bought a spray and plan on buying rubbing alchol. After work everything is going in the dryer and i bought all new pillows and pillow and mattress covers. Thank you for writing this it was very informational.

          Amber Lynn

          I’m so sorry you had to go through that. I think it takes so much work that most sprays simply aren’t enough to make sure they stay gone. I have another article about how to prevent bed bugs if you’re getting them from a neighbor too.

          If they are just still there, this tip is risky and it is a fire hazard, but it worked for a friend of mine. They removed all the electronics from the house, turned the furnace all the way up, got a few torpedo heaters and turned them on and left. It was enough to heat the entire house up to 120 degrees. When they came back at the end of the day, it had gotten so hot that the blinds on the windows were melted (and I’m assuming anything else plastic in the house), but they never saw another bed bug.

          Debbie

          Thank you for this I am going to try it we had paid $1100 for a professional exterminator approx. 1 year ago and they are back and of course the exterminator said I have to pay again and there is no guarantee and explained with great detail appreciate it

          tonykeywest

          I have been reading about bed bug re emergence for about ten years, I have been using DE around the house for years as a preventative measure, if I do happen to bring some home they dont stand a chance. I also place the sticky traps arond the bed and hang sections of clear contact paper around, I find the occasional gnat, mite or springtail but so far no bedbugs.

          Dora Weithers

          2 years ago from The Caribbean

          Thanks for your very detailed instructions. These are worth trying if they can replace the expensive exterminators.

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          5 Fast & Easy Ways To Get Rid of Bed Bugs

          Bed bugs are one of the most disturbing little buggers to ever find in your home. They rival maggots and cockroaches in the fact that once you see them the hair on the back of your neck stands on end, your stomach clenches and you think to yourself “why me!?” as you try to remember how these nasty little monsters got into your home in the first place.

          Luckily, no matter how large of a bed bug outbreak you find yourself having to contend with, you can get rid of bed bugs in just five simple steps.

          STEP ONE: IDENTIFICATION

          The best offense starts simply. You need to make sure that it’s actually bed bugs you’re dealing with here and not some strange beetles that are living off cracker crumbs in your mattress. Take a hard look at your bedding and any clothing near your bed (like a dirty clothes pile). This means your sheets, pillowcases, comforters, box spring, bed frame and every piece of frilly material that’s been added to your bed.

          The most effective way to do this properly is to get a high powered flashlight, even a little super bright LED will work. Get down to eye level and slowly go over every inch of your bed. Start at the top and strip bedding off as you inspect it. When you strip it, place it into a black plastic bag for now.

          When you get to the mattress and box spring, you should have come across signs of bed bugs. This could be tiny blood specks from them biting you or from you squashing them in your sleep. You can often find exoskeletons from molting and live bugs wandering around as you’ve disturbed them with the light and movement.

          Once you know for sure it’s bed bugs, you know what you’re dealing with 100%

          STEP TWO: CLEAN UP

          Now that you know you’ve got bed bugs and your bedding is all in black bags it’s time to kill these little bed bugs. If you live somewhere hot, take those bags and set them in direct sunlight. This will only work if it’s very warm out, think 80-100 degrees F. Leave the bags out there all day. When night comes, dump the contents into your washer then set the dryer for a tad longer than you usually would, just in case. They can’t handle heat at all and will die.

          If it’s not sunny out or you live somewhere a bit colder, skip this part and go directly to the dryer. THEN wash and dry the stuff again. Make sure to dispose of the bag immediately using an outside garbage can.

          Your mattress and box spring can also be bagged and set outside if it’s warm enough. If not, you’ll have to rely on sprays and chemicals. Make sure these are safe for human use. If you don’t think you can handle this part, toss the whole bed. Frame and all. Mark it up real good so others don’t take it home when they see it by the curb.

          STEP THREE: PREVENTION

          Now you’ve got a bug free home right? Well, let’s keep it that way. Get yourself some proven bed bug preventative devices. Traps and all-natural repellent products work great by themselves but work even better when you combine them. Use both for at least a few weeks. This will chase off and kill any stragglers that may have been lurking around.

          STEP FOUR: PROFESSIONAL HELP

          Even after you think you’ve wiped them all out, you should still consult a professional exterminator to make sure you did a good job and possibly to set up a routine to handle them should they come back. Sometimes even the most thorough at-home approach can simply chase them next door or into the garage until they feel like coming back.

          STEP FIVE: LEARN FROM MISTAKES

          So you’ve dealt with bed bugs from beginning to end. You’re basically an expert now and if you did the right thing and consulted a professional about these critters, you definitely know more than the average Joe. Understanding that used items are a big no-no to drag into your house without a thorough inspection or treatment is the easiest thing to implement and should be shared with your friends and family so they don’t make the same mistake.

          If you’re a landlord, always keep in mind you could potentially get in some legal issues if your tenants are infesting your complex or motel so pay a lot of attention to what’s coming in and out, especially if you live in a bed bug prone area of the country. Set up a monthly inspection routine with a local exterminator and set your mind at ease.

          Also, here’s a great resource on the truth about bed bugs and debunking myths, very interesting.

          If you ever do have to get rid of bed bug infested items, place them in plastic bags that are large enough to cover the item and label it clearly as “infested with bed bugs” or toss in dirty diapers and coffee grounds to avoid further spreading by dumpster divers and such.

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