How Bed Bug Killer

How to Make a Homemade Bed Bug Killer Spray With Vinegar

Melody is a volunteer for the Center for Disease and Control Prevention. She enjoys sharing her personal experience with others.

Does Vinegar Kill Bed Bugs?

Yes, spraying vinegar directly on bed bugs can kill them because vinegar is a strong acetic acid that can disrupt an insect’s nervous system. While this home remedy is safe and effective, it is not a standalone treatment, meaning you won’t be able to eradicate a bed bug infestation with vinegar alone. Use vinegar as a natural ingredient to get rid of and even ward against bed bugs until you can come up with a long-lasting solution.

How to Make and Use a Homemade Vinegar Bed Bug Spray

Homemade vinegar remedies for bed bugs are not pesticides, but they are much safer and will work during early infestation. Here’s how to make a vinegar bed bug spray:

  1. Purchase white vinegar such as the Heinz Distilled, Walmart, or Kroger Brand.
  2. Fill an empty spray bottle with vinegar. You can use ULINE bottles, UPC bottles, or something from your local Dollar Tree. Tighten the lid securely.
  3. Soak the perimeter around the infested area with vinegar, including cracks and crevices in the walls and tight spaces underneath and between furniture. This way, when you spray the bed bugs, they will scatter into areas soaked with vinegar and die there.
  4. Spray the vinegar directly onto bed bugs to kill them on contact or send them running into nearby areas you just treated with vinegar.
  5. To prevent further infestation, soak all infested surfaces, including window sills, walls, furnishings, mattresses, and carpets. Spray the surface as well as the corners and undersides. You would need to do this every week for several weeks to see a reduction in bed bugs.

Warning

NEVER mix vinegar with bleach. This will cause toxic chlorine gas that can harm your health.

Pros and Cons of Using Vinegar on Bed Bugs

Read the comments section below to see results other readers have seen. The majority of readers agree that vinegar isn’t as powerful as Hot Shot (which I’ve reviewed), Bed Bug Bully, or JT Eaton, but it’s an effective, albeit slow way, of killing bed bugs over time. If you are waiting for a pest-control professional to come treat your home or for bug spray to arrive in the mail, vinegar will buy you some time.

The Results of My Experiment Using Vinegar on Bed Bugs

I obtained a couch from someone with a bed bug problem, and a man with a barn was kind enough to let me do my vinegar experiment there. Here is what I did, and these are the results of that experiment:

  • We used a 100% solution of pure white vinegar. We filled spray bottles and soaked every inch of the couch. Then we used paper towels to wipe up the excess vinegar and dead bed bugs. This won’t work if you can’t get every crack, crevice, and surface. (Remember to wear gloves and avoid touching bed bugs because they are stinky, and they may seep blood when they’re dead.)
  • This took three people four hours, but the results were promising. We observed only one small bed bug a week later. We missed the eggs, however. Vinegar has nearly no residual effect and does not work on eggs.
  • We learned that in order for this to work as the sole treatment, you will need to use gallons of vinegar and reapply every five days, which is not practical because it wreaks.
  • We also observed bed bugs running away from the couch. One way to kill these bugs after they scatter is to soak the perimeter of the object you are about to spray with vinegar before. Spray around baseboards and windows. Take down curtains and wash them. Spray your TV stand and bookcases. Finally, spray the infested item last. This way, when they try to run, they are going to run into more vinegar.

Conclusion:Using vinegar is not a good long-term solution for bed bugs. I understand that some people have no other choice but to use this method, but I recommend you do whatever it takes to come up with the funds for profession help. Remember, you are not alone. Do not be ashamed and try to hide an infestation. Face it, and do whatever it takes to eliminate the bed bugs.

Other Natural Ways to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

There are several other natural DIY ways to get rid of bed bugs without an exterminator, and below are just some of the methods that have worked for other people.

  • Use caulk to seal cracks:Bed bugs live deep inside walls, so sealing with caulk denies them an easy place to hide, and it will prevent them from coming into your home via spaces in the walls.
  • Vacuum:Vacuum everything. Bed bugs tend to hide under furniture and lay their eggs on hard surfaces with crevices in them. Vacuuming up the eggs and the bed bugs themselves will significantly reduce their numbers.
  • Clean your entire house!:Bed bugs are attracted to clutter, warmth, and carbon dioxide, so de-clutter the room by removing unnecessary items and putting things away neatly.
  • High Heat:Bed bugs love to cozy up and hide in fabrics but will die when exposed to high heat, so throw all fabric items (i.e. sheets, pillows, rugs, curtains, stuffed animals, etc.) into the washer and wash on the highest heat setting. This will kill them immediately. Some people swear by using steamers to effectively get rid of bed bugs.
  • Use diatomaceous earth:For items you can’t toss into the washing machine, use D.E. Diatomaceous earth kills bed bugs by tearing through their bodies. Sprinkle your mattress, soft furniture, and carpet with diatomaceous earth, leave it for a few hours or even a day, and then vacuum it all up.
  • Spray with alcohol:Like vinegar, rubbing alcohol can kill bed bugs on contact. It is a stronger chemical though and is not healthy for humans when inhaled.

How to Treat Bed Bug Bites

Use Apple Cider Vinegar

While white vinegar works better as a bed bug repellant, apple cider vinegar is what you should use to treat the bites. Most people report intense itching after being bitten, but the low pH in white vinegar is too abrasive to treat itching. ACV is milder and has antiseptic, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties.

Recommended Brands

  • Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Walmart Great Value Apple Cider Vinegar
  • VitaCoast Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Trader Joe’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is all natural and healthy. An apple a day will keep the doctor away, and applying this type of vinegar will keep the itching away. The best way to use this anti-itching treatment is to apply the ACV to a cotton ball and apply directly to the bite.

Other Natural Remedies to Stop Itching:

  • Witch hazel
  • Juniper berries
  • Oatmeal paste
  • Green tea bags
  • Aloe vera
  • Tea tree oil

For Severe Bed Bug Infestations

Give vinegar a try, but just remember that heavy infestations will need a professional. This solution works best for infestations that are caught early.

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.

Questions & Answers

Will Witch hazel help repel bed bugs?

Yes, Witch Hazel would have a repellent effect on bed bugs. The one issue with using it is that most of the witch hazel sold in drug stores is diluted and contains far less of its active ingredients. If you want to use it for bed bugs, you would have to find a more concentrated version than most stores sell.

Where does the adult bed bug hide?

Adult bed bugs can hide anywhere. The most common place to find them is around the head of your bed, under the mattress and in the frame. Even though adult bed bugs are larger than nymphs, they have the ability to become quite flat and squeeze into the smallest of places.

Do bed bugs just sit on your bed in the daylight and not move?

Yes. Bed bugs can sit on your bed in the day-light and sit perfectly still. Bed bugs are nocturnal by nature, but they are not limited to staying in the dark. They may be very much like vampires, but direct sunlight does not harm them.

There might be a reason the bugs are coming out in the day. Sometimes it is because of your sleeping habit. Bed bugs are attracted to the carbon dioxide we breath out. If you spend a lot of daylight hours in bed, it could influence the bed bugs feeding hours.

Does heat get rid of bed bugs?

Heat needs to be 118 F for 20 min to kill bed bugs. While home heating might not make them dry up or run, the hotter the home, the slower they will breed. Home heat is not a solution for bed bugs. Some companies specialize in heat treatments for bed bugs. Drying items on high heat in a dryer on its highest heat for an hour is usually sufficient to kill bed bugs.

Do you leave your central air unit on when using a bed bug fogger?

In my opinion, I would turn off your central air unit while using the fogger. You don’t want to risk spreading the chemical to other areas of the house that may not need it. It isn’t as common for bed bugs or fleas to inhabit these systems, but if your infestation is that deep then forgo the fogger and get a professional pest control company. If your just asking for safety issues, then go ahead and turn it off.

You mentioned alcohol to get rid of bed bugs. Are you speaking of white rubbing alcohol? I was told bed bugs hate the green, but it makes them run and doesn’t kill them.

Yes. I recommend using the strongest clear rubbing alcohol. While some people report success with the 70% variety, I think the best results come when using the 90% + type.

The green rubbing alcohol has menthol or wintergreen additives. This might make them run but usually indicates less alcohol. This makes it less effective than the clear.

I noticed you mentioned Hot Shot to get rid of bed bugs. I tried spraying everything then setting off three bombs then spraying again. In my opinion, it does not work. Did it work for you or does it not do as advertised?

It does work for many people. However, if the main ingredient in Hot Shot has been used a lot where you live, it is likely that the bed bugs have grown immune to it. Hot Shot would need to change their formula or offer other bed bug products with other active ingredients to solve this problem. If Hot Shot doesn’t work for you then you need a pesticide that uses a different active ingredient to kill your bed bugs. Bed bugs can grow immunities to pesticides quickly, this causes a lot of problems for consumers. It isn’t easy knowing what pesticides your bed bugs might be immune to.

When it comes to bed bugs, is it worse to sleep in a warm room?

Theoretically, yes it is worse to sleep in a warm room with regards to bed bugs. However, the nominal temperature degrees would make it impractical to sleep in a room cold enough to slow bed bug reproduction 3 nil. You would see very little difference and your bed bug symptoms by trying to control it through monitoring your bedrooms temperature.

Instead of focusing on the temperature of your room, try to think and terms of complete bed bug eradication. Just know that you need to beat the Heat if you want to prevent bed bugs from being in a temperature which speeds bed bug reproduction.

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Comments

Elijah

I just tested out if vinegar kills them and it doesnt it slowed them down and like it said in the article it disables them for a bit but the get right back up

tim bolton

i spray alot for bed bugs using vinegar.i do not have an infestation at home,but alot of people come to my work looking for b.b stuff and after they leave and i get home i spray all my clothes that i wore,i spray inside my house everywhere this might make me paranoid.but i sleep at night. p,s,i even spray my whole body too before showering the little buggers hate the stuff i use 4 monks vinegar

Cheryl

I was wondering if you mix alcohol and vinegar together, it should work right? I mean the smell is not that toxic and the alcohol kills the bugs on contact as does the vinegar but the alcohol kills the eggs and the larvae so wouldnt that be a win win situation?

tony faro

I’ve read that boric acid kills bed bugs and that baking soda also kills them. does anyone have any experiece using either?

K Bergin

Another remedy for bedbugs. I live in a 50 unit apt building so far I’ve been one of the fortunate ones who have not gotten the creepy little bugs. I use industrial strength Clorox with peroxide. I works on house and garden infestations by killing the eggs and larvae. I thought maybe it would burn the feet of the adult bugs. I spray it around my doorway and coat the threshold as well. Both of my neighbors were infected but so far so good.

Gary from New York City

I’m going to prepare for a professional exterminator, meanwhile I’ve got everything to keep them at Bay and I found a good with natural ingredients

Louise lannear

We have had bed bugs for a bite and have tried everything and cant get rid of them we never had them before. Can someone help us? Does anyone know a pestticide control thats not expensive to come spray i need the help now before it gets out of control

cathy

we ‘ve had bed bugs for a while an tried different things like floor cleaner mixed a little water, sea salt under the cushions an around the edges of it, bleach with a little water in it, an vinegar with a little water in it, so hopefully one of the things on this site will work an we can get ride of the rest of the buggers

LaceyKole

Great article, very informative! I itould also like to thank you for actually testing the vinegar out and posting results. I never want to chance whether or not whatever I am using works or not. With these kind of bugs I would hate to be wrong during an attempt to eradicate.

Now, for my main reason in leaving a comment. I just wanted to throw some cautionary stuff on the table real quick. With the rubbing alcohol I would like to remind everyone that the VAPERS are highly FLAMMABLE. I use alcohol with my infestation too, works very well AND is cheap enough. However, I am selective about where and how much to use in order to prevent fires from happening. I also ventilate the rooms and I wear a TB (N95) mask to help lessen any inhalation.

My second safety point is similar. On the DE, use this sparingly, it does not take a real large amount. In fact, these smarty pant bed bugs will go AROUND the amount piled on. I have also employed this tactic to rid my room of them. It works very well and lasts for many years if undisturbed. I placed it around the perimeter of my bedroom and it didnt take but 2-3 days before I noticed bugs that appeared near death. Then i simply snatched them up using duct tape (Ive had them get off clear tape but not duct tape) because even their movements were slowed down. You will absolutely want a TB mask (NOT a dust mask) on during this powder application, though nontoxic, you still do not want to breathe a lot of this in, if any at all. This stuff is so fine that it lingers in the air for quite some time. For this reason, I would NOT recommend treating your mattress or any soft furniture with it. Every time you move the slightest bit. the powder will be airborne again.Just not worth a trip to an ER. Cover as much skin as possible because this stuff is EXTREMLY drying to our skin and eyes. I can not emphasize this enough.

My best of wishes to all!

Liz

I put one in a sealed container and it lived for 2 1/2 weeks

Richard Johnson

Wash clothes with 20 Mule Team Borax

Becka

Hey i have bed bugs and i cant use the bug spray as i have a 3 week old nephew and im just wondering if theres any other good methods i can use to get rido rid of them for good please thanks.

Sandra C

My sibling and cousin has bed bugs. We have started seeing them at my moms. They love AB+ blood but I use just straight rubbing alcohol to spray everything and they have dropped tremendously. Went from several a night to a couple if any.

Tina cramer

Does vinegar water kill bed bug an flee

RussellFry

Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge on how to kill stuff while not killing mother earth.

Brad

Well I put 10 bed bugs in an empty water bottle over night, they we all dead in less then 12 hours.

Jack

We were using essential oils mixed with cheap carrier oils but it got too expensive, i.e. lavender or lemon grass oil mixed with olive or coconut oil. It was working. However we have found a much cheaper (although not as nice smelling) option. Mix white vinegar with the carrier oil. This way it stays on task for at least a week. We’re working our way through a very infested old 5 bedroom home.

HelperMan

Katie, that’s because they are small and require very little air, they will die eventually but that’s because of the lack of blood and not air. If it was, say a rat, then it would die in almost a day as it uses up way more air than the bedbugs.

katie

I caught some bedbugs put them in a sealed

jar they have been there 6 days with no air and they are not

NoraHudson

Thank you for sharing this informative blog with us. People who opt of getting rid of bed bugs on their own, this would be more helpful for them. Bed Bugs hitch rides with unsuspecting individuals by hiding in clothing, books, luggage even used furniture. They then disembark at their next breeding location and the whole process can begin again. There are some people who take help of some professionals to get rid of them. One should not let the infestation start. One should consult a Professional pest controller like Pest Control Ridgefield CT from Yale Termite & Pest Elimination Corp or similar which could be found Online for Help. They offer very less amount. One can also check Online and Compare prices and go with what prefers them the Best.

That guy

Also using alcohol works very well it kill on contact plus kills eggs and it is non toxic to animals you can go to the dollar tree and get 15 bottles of isopropyl alcohol and a spray bottle for 16 dollars do not mix with water the stronger the better and soak every nook and cranny also kills roaches spiders ants and all their eggs

Melody Collins

2 years ago from United States

Hulk: While some people have claimed to have success with it. More and more people are complaining about the effectiveness of the product. The problem is that bed bugs can grow immune to chemicals. So the overuse of this product could be its own downfall. Honestly, If I were a Hot Shot executive, I would modify the formula to something the bed bugs are not immune of. In the mean time, I am recommending Temprid SC as an alternative bed bug removal product.

Cheri

REVOLUTION I recommend for pet problems FreeBrrd. It works really well on ear mites.

firsttimer

the best way to get rid of bedbugs is high and i mean extremely high heat. i bought a propane heater put it on for 11 hrs and everything in my bedroom got extremely hot. i used a thermometer and the room reached 180 degrees. i left it on for 11 hrs while i was home to monitor it. the bedbugs were only in my bedroom and i was determined to keep and kill them in here before they spread though out my home. this inexpensive method worked and i can use this heater to continue to heat my home in the winter. the heater cost $100 and the propane $12. If you had to call in a pro quadruple this amount. I cant afford a pro and after much reading on the net on how to rid my home of these unwelcome invaders,, i found this inexpensive yet effective method to work.

So Over This

My family and I had a small(compared to what I’ve read) but very annoying problem with the bed bugs. After taking all of the clothing, and curtains out of the house and washing them and having a professional company to come and do a treatment. By tge time night fall we got bit worse than we ever had. That is when we tried the vinegar and that is the first time I can honestly we were in control. We’ve found only 1 cluster of about 5 eggs, 1 bed bug when it first hatched, and 1 fully grown bed bug, and not traces of feces any where. However we could feel them if we did not use the vinegar every 4 or 5 days. We’ve been dealing with this for about 1 month. I don’t see them getting worse. but they aren’t getting better. Hot shot bug spray has a flea and bed bug spray. I find that it helps to keep the problem under control. The bed bugs hate the vinegar thats how we actually saw the first hatched bed bug. It couldn’t take the vinegar so it landed on the table. That is when we came up with the idea, one will spray the beds with vinegar and some one would spray the floor with the Hot Shot. I’m not sure if it actually works or if it’s safe or not, we’ve decided to fight back.

Freda summars

Honestly have to say the smell of vinegar does not bother me at all, I grew up eating turnip greens with vinegar maybe it’s just a southern food

FreeBrrd

The smell of vinegar does not last long. It does not smell worse than commercial cleaners. Everyone reacts differently to pretty much everything. Vinegar is one of the safest and most effective things you can use for many things. It is edible. It is even a cure for several things.

I can’t use most commercial cleaning or sanitizing products. Most now have some sort of ethanol in them. Ethanol is a neurotoxin. I am disabled by it. Currently looking for a treatment for a kitten’s ear mites. The "safe natural" one that I ordered on Amazon is mostly denatured alcohol which is another name for ethanol. Just opening the bottle kicked my butt. With all of the names used, it is difficult to find something that I can tolerate. Reading the reviews, it seems that many of the cats can not tolerate many of these either. So ear mites are not bed bugs, but I’d bet most things that kill one are likely to kill the other. I am going to put the bedding that I can into a vinegar soak. Probably over night. Than I will wash my normal way with baking soda dissolved in boiling water to wash. Rinsing with vinegar and water. This is how I do all of my laundry. My clothes do not smell of vinegar. I have had people sniff them. I also use vinegar to rinse my hair. I can use conditioner, but many people can not tolerate the scents in most so I use vinegar for them.

jkc133

Hi, I think vinegar is a wonderful household tool. But please be advised to provide adequate ventilation while spraying with vinegar. I believe I accidentally suffered lung burn from using vinegar in a closed bathroom. I then had a nasty episode of Bronchitis that took weeks to heal!

Dianna Mendez

I am glad I do not have this problem but its good to know what works should one run across it. Funny how vinegar works so well for almost anything, except for this.

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How to Make a Homemade Bed Bug Killer Spray With Vinegar

Melody is a volunteer for the Center for Disease and Control Prevention. She enjoys sharing her personal experience with others.

Does Vinegar Kill Bed Bugs?

Yes, spraying vinegar directly on bed bugs can kill them because vinegar is a strong acetic acid that can disrupt an insect’s nervous system. While this home remedy is safe and effective, it is not a standalone treatment, meaning you won’t be able to eradicate a bed bug infestation with vinegar alone. Use vinegar as a natural ingredient to get rid of and even ward against bed bugs until you can come up with a long-lasting solution.

How to Make and Use a Homemade Vinegar Bed Bug Spray

Homemade vinegar remedies for bed bugs are not pesticides, but they are much safer and will work during early infestation. Here’s how to make a vinegar bed bug spray:

  1. Purchase white vinegar such as the Heinz Distilled, Walmart, or Kroger Brand.
  2. Fill an empty spray bottle with vinegar. You can use ULINE bottles, UPC bottles, or something from your local Dollar Tree. Tighten the lid securely.
  3. Soak the perimeter around the infested area with vinegar, including cracks and crevices in the walls and tight spaces underneath and between furniture. This way, when you spray the bed bugs, they will scatter into areas soaked with vinegar and die there.
  4. Spray the vinegar directly onto bed bugs to kill them on contact or send them running into nearby areas you just treated with vinegar.
  5. To prevent further infestation, soak all infested surfaces, including window sills, walls, furnishings, mattresses, and carpets. Spray the surface as well as the corners and undersides. You would need to do this every week for several weeks to see a reduction in bed bugs.

Warning

NEVER mix vinegar with bleach. This will cause toxic chlorine gas that can harm your health.

Pros and Cons of Using Vinegar on Bed Bugs

Read the comments section below to see results other readers have seen. The majority of readers agree that vinegar isn’t as powerful as Hot Shot (which I’ve reviewed), Bed Bug Bully, or JT Eaton, but it’s an effective, albeit slow way, of killing bed bugs over time. If you are waiting for a pest-control professional to come treat your home or for bug spray to arrive in the mail, vinegar will buy you some time.

The Results of My Experiment Using Vinegar on Bed Bugs

I obtained a couch from someone with a bed bug problem, and a man with a barn was kind enough to let me do my vinegar experiment there. Here is what I did, and these are the results of that experiment:

  • We used a 100% solution of pure white vinegar. We filled spray bottles and soaked every inch of the couch. Then we used paper towels to wipe up the excess vinegar and dead bed bugs. This won’t work if you can’t get every crack, crevice, and surface. (Remember to wear gloves and avoid touching bed bugs because they are stinky, and they may seep blood when they’re dead.)
  • This took three people four hours, but the results were promising. We observed only one small bed bug a week later. We missed the eggs, however. Vinegar has nearly no residual effect and does not work on eggs.
  • We learned that in order for this to work as the sole treatment, you will need to use gallons of vinegar and reapply every five days, which is not practical because it wreaks.
  • We also observed bed bugs running away from the couch. One way to kill these bugs after they scatter is to soak the perimeter of the object you are about to spray with vinegar before. Spray around baseboards and windows. Take down curtains and wash them. Spray your TV stand and bookcases. Finally, spray the infested item last. This way, when they try to run, they are going to run into more vinegar.

Conclusion:Using vinegar is not a good long-term solution for bed bugs. I understand that some people have no other choice but to use this method, but I recommend you do whatever it takes to come up with the funds for profession help. Remember, you are not alone. Do not be ashamed and try to hide an infestation. Face it, and do whatever it takes to eliminate the bed bugs.

Other Natural Ways to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

There are several other natural DIY ways to get rid of bed bugs without an exterminator, and below are just some of the methods that have worked for other people.

  • Use caulk to seal cracks:Bed bugs live deep inside walls, so sealing with caulk denies them an easy place to hide, and it will prevent them from coming into your home via spaces in the walls.
  • Vacuum:Vacuum everything. Bed bugs tend to hide under furniture and lay their eggs on hard surfaces with crevices in them. Vacuuming up the eggs and the bed bugs themselves will significantly reduce their numbers.
  • Clean your entire house!:Bed bugs are attracted to clutter, warmth, and carbon dioxide, so de-clutter the room by removing unnecessary items and putting things away neatly.
  • High Heat:Bed bugs love to cozy up and hide in fabrics but will die when exposed to high heat, so throw all fabric items (i.e. sheets, pillows, rugs, curtains, stuffed animals, etc.) into the washer and wash on the highest heat setting. This will kill them immediately. Some people swear by using steamers to effectively get rid of bed bugs.
  • Use diatomaceous earth:For items you can’t toss into the washing machine, use D.E. Diatomaceous earth kills bed bugs by tearing through their bodies. Sprinkle your mattress, soft furniture, and carpet with diatomaceous earth, leave it for a few hours or even a day, and then vacuum it all up.
  • Spray with alcohol:Like vinegar, rubbing alcohol can kill bed bugs on contact. It is a stronger chemical though and is not healthy for humans when inhaled.

How to Treat Bed Bug Bites

Use Apple Cider Vinegar

While white vinegar works better as a bed bug repellant, apple cider vinegar is what you should use to treat the bites. Most people report intense itching after being bitten, but the low pH in white vinegar is too abrasive to treat itching. ACV is milder and has antiseptic, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties.

Recommended Brands

  • Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Walmart Great Value Apple Cider Vinegar
  • VitaCoast Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Trader Joe’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is all natural and healthy. An apple a day will keep the doctor away, and applying this type of vinegar will keep the itching away. The best way to use this anti-itching treatment is to apply the ACV to a cotton ball and apply directly to the bite.

Other Natural Remedies to Stop Itching:

  • Witch hazel
  • Juniper berries
  • Oatmeal paste
  • Green tea bags
  • Aloe vera
  • Tea tree oil

For Severe Bed Bug Infestations

Give vinegar a try, but just remember that heavy infestations will need a professional. This solution works best for infestations that are caught early.

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.

Questions & Answers

Will Witch hazel help repel bed bugs?

Yes, Witch Hazel would have a repellent effect on bed bugs. The one issue with using it is that most of the witch hazel sold in drug stores is diluted and contains far less of its active ingredients. If you want to use it for bed bugs, you would have to find a more concentrated version than most stores sell.

Where does the adult bed bug hide?

Adult bed bugs can hide anywhere. The most common place to find them is around the head of your bed, under the mattress and in the frame. Even though adult bed bugs are larger than nymphs, they have the ability to become quite flat and squeeze into the smallest of places.

Do bed bugs just sit on your bed in the daylight and not move?

Yes. Bed bugs can sit on your bed in the day-light and sit perfectly still. Bed bugs are nocturnal by nature, but they are not limited to staying in the dark. They may be very much like vampires, but direct sunlight does not harm them.

There might be a reason the bugs are coming out in the day. Sometimes it is because of your sleeping habit. Bed bugs are attracted to the carbon dioxide we breath out. If you spend a lot of daylight hours in bed, it could influence the bed bugs feeding hours.

Does heat get rid of bed bugs?

Heat needs to be 118 F for 20 min to kill bed bugs. While home heating might not make them dry up or run, the hotter the home, the slower they will breed. Home heat is not a solution for bed bugs. Some companies specialize in heat treatments for bed bugs. Drying items on high heat in a dryer on its highest heat for an hour is usually sufficient to kill bed bugs.

Do you leave your central air unit on when using a bed bug fogger?

In my opinion, I would turn off your central air unit while using the fogger. You don’t want to risk spreading the chemical to other areas of the house that may not need it. It isn’t as common for bed bugs or fleas to inhabit these systems, but if your infestation is that deep then forgo the fogger and get a professional pest control company. If your just asking for safety issues, then go ahead and turn it off.

You mentioned alcohol to get rid of bed bugs. Are you speaking of white rubbing alcohol? I was told bed bugs hate the green, but it makes them run and doesn’t kill them.

Yes. I recommend using the strongest clear rubbing alcohol. While some people report success with the 70% variety, I think the best results come when using the 90% + type.

The green rubbing alcohol has menthol or wintergreen additives. This might make them run but usually indicates less alcohol. This makes it less effective than the clear.

I noticed you mentioned Hot Shot to get rid of bed bugs. I tried spraying everything then setting off three bombs then spraying again. In my opinion, it does not work. Did it work for you or does it not do as advertised?

It does work for many people. However, if the main ingredient in Hot Shot has been used a lot where you live, it is likely that the bed bugs have grown immune to it. Hot Shot would need to change their formula or offer other bed bug products with other active ingredients to solve this problem. If Hot Shot doesn’t work for you then you need a pesticide that uses a different active ingredient to kill your bed bugs. Bed bugs can grow immunities to pesticides quickly, this causes a lot of problems for consumers. It isn’t easy knowing what pesticides your bed bugs might be immune to.

When it comes to bed bugs, is it worse to sleep in a warm room?

Theoretically, yes it is worse to sleep in a warm room with regards to bed bugs. However, the nominal temperature degrees would make it impractical to sleep in a room cold enough to slow bed bug reproduction 3 nil. You would see very little difference and your bed bug symptoms by trying to control it through monitoring your bedrooms temperature.

Instead of focusing on the temperature of your room, try to think and terms of complete bed bug eradication. Just know that you need to beat the Heat if you want to prevent bed bugs from being in a temperature which speeds bed bug reproduction.

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Comments

Elijah

I just tested out if vinegar kills them and it doesnt it slowed them down and like it said in the article it disables them for a bit but the get right back up

tim bolton

i spray alot for bed bugs using vinegar.i do not have an infestation at home,but alot of people come to my work looking for b.b stuff and after they leave and i get home i spray all my clothes that i wore,i spray inside my house everywhere this might make me paranoid.but i sleep at night. p,s,i even spray my whole body too before showering the little buggers hate the stuff i use 4 monks vinegar

Cheryl

I was wondering if you mix alcohol and vinegar together, it should work right? I mean the smell is not that toxic and the alcohol kills the bugs on contact as does the vinegar but the alcohol kills the eggs and the larvae so wouldnt that be a win win situation?

tony faro

I’ve read that boric acid kills bed bugs and that baking soda also kills them. does anyone have any experiece using either?

K Bergin

Another remedy for bedbugs. I live in a 50 unit apt building so far I’ve been one of the fortunate ones who have not gotten the creepy little bugs. I use industrial strength Clorox with peroxide. I works on house and garden infestations by killing the eggs and larvae. I thought maybe it would burn the feet of the adult bugs. I spray it around my doorway and coat the threshold as well. Both of my neighbors were infected but so far so good.

Gary from New York City

I’m going to prepare for a professional exterminator, meanwhile I’ve got everything to keep them at Bay and I found a good with natural ingredients

Louise lannear

We have had bed bugs for a bite and have tried everything and cant get rid of them we never had them before. Can someone help us? Does anyone know a pestticide control thats not expensive to come spray i need the help now before it gets out of control

cathy

we ‘ve had bed bugs for a while an tried different things like floor cleaner mixed a little water, sea salt under the cushions an around the edges of it, bleach with a little water in it, an vinegar with a little water in it, so hopefully one of the things on this site will work an we can get ride of the rest of the buggers

LaceyKole

Great article, very informative! I itould also like to thank you for actually testing the vinegar out and posting results. I never want to chance whether or not whatever I am using works or not. With these kind of bugs I would hate to be wrong during an attempt to eradicate.

Now, for my main reason in leaving a comment. I just wanted to throw some cautionary stuff on the table real quick. With the rubbing alcohol I would like to remind everyone that the VAPERS are highly FLAMMABLE. I use alcohol with my infestation too, works very well AND is cheap enough. However, I am selective about where and how much to use in order to prevent fires from happening. I also ventilate the rooms and I wear a TB (N95) mask to help lessen any inhalation.

My second safety point is similar. On the DE, use this sparingly, it does not take a real large amount. In fact, these smarty pant bed bugs will go AROUND the amount piled on. I have also employed this tactic to rid my room of them. It works very well and lasts for many years if undisturbed. I placed it around the perimeter of my bedroom and it didnt take but 2-3 days before I noticed bugs that appeared near death. Then i simply snatched them up using duct tape (Ive had them get off clear tape but not duct tape) because even their movements were slowed down. You will absolutely want a TB mask (NOT a dust mask) on during this powder application, though nontoxic, you still do not want to breathe a lot of this in, if any at all. This stuff is so fine that it lingers in the air for quite some time. For this reason, I would NOT recommend treating your mattress or any soft furniture with it. Every time you move the slightest bit. the powder will be airborne again.Just not worth a trip to an ER. Cover as much skin as possible because this stuff is EXTREMLY drying to our skin and eyes. I can not emphasize this enough.

My best of wishes to all!

Liz

I put one in a sealed container and it lived for 2 1/2 weeks

Richard Johnson

Wash clothes with 20 Mule Team Borax

Becka

Hey i have bed bugs and i cant use the bug spray as i have a 3 week old nephew and im just wondering if theres any other good methods i can use to get rido rid of them for good please thanks.

Sandra C

My sibling and cousin has bed bugs. We have started seeing them at my moms. They love AB+ blood but I use just straight rubbing alcohol to spray everything and they have dropped tremendously. Went from several a night to a couple if any.

Tina cramer

Does vinegar water kill bed bug an flee

RussellFry

Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge on how to kill stuff while not killing mother earth.

Brad

Well I put 10 bed bugs in an empty water bottle over night, they we all dead in less then 12 hours.

Jack

We were using essential oils mixed with cheap carrier oils but it got too expensive, i.e. lavender or lemon grass oil mixed with olive or coconut oil. It was working. However we have found a much cheaper (although not as nice smelling) option. Mix white vinegar with the carrier oil. This way it stays on task for at least a week. We’re working our way through a very infested old 5 bedroom home.

HelperMan

Katie, that’s because they are small and require very little air, they will die eventually but that’s because of the lack of blood and not air. If it was, say a rat, then it would die in almost a day as it uses up way more air than the bedbugs.

katie

I caught some bedbugs put them in a sealed

jar they have been there 6 days with no air and they are not

NoraHudson

Thank you for sharing this informative blog with us. People who opt of getting rid of bed bugs on their own, this would be more helpful for them. Bed Bugs hitch rides with unsuspecting individuals by hiding in clothing, books, luggage even used furniture. They then disembark at their next breeding location and the whole process can begin again. There are some people who take help of some professionals to get rid of them. One should not let the infestation start. One should consult a Professional pest controller like Pest Control Ridgefield CT from Yale Termite & Pest Elimination Corp or similar which could be found Online for Help. They offer very less amount. One can also check Online and Compare prices and go with what prefers them the Best.

That guy

Also using alcohol works very well it kill on contact plus kills eggs and it is non toxic to animals you can go to the dollar tree and get 15 bottles of isopropyl alcohol and a spray bottle for 16 dollars do not mix with water the stronger the better and soak every nook and cranny also kills roaches spiders ants and all their eggs

Melody Collins

2 years ago from United States

Hulk: While some people have claimed to have success with it. More and more people are complaining about the effectiveness of the product. The problem is that bed bugs can grow immune to chemicals. So the overuse of this product could be its own downfall. Honestly, If I were a Hot Shot executive, I would modify the formula to something the bed bugs are not immune of. In the mean time, I am recommending Temprid SC as an alternative bed bug removal product.

Cheri

REVOLUTION I recommend for pet problems FreeBrrd. It works really well on ear mites.

firsttimer

the best way to get rid of bedbugs is high and i mean extremely high heat. i bought a propane heater put it on for 11 hrs and everything in my bedroom got extremely hot. i used a thermometer and the room reached 180 degrees. i left it on for 11 hrs while i was home to monitor it. the bedbugs were only in my bedroom and i was determined to keep and kill them in here before they spread though out my home. this inexpensive method worked and i can use this heater to continue to heat my home in the winter. the heater cost $100 and the propane $12. If you had to call in a pro quadruple this amount. I cant afford a pro and after much reading on the net on how to rid my home of these unwelcome invaders,, i found this inexpensive yet effective method to work.

So Over This

My family and I had a small(compared to what I’ve read) but very annoying problem with the bed bugs. After taking all of the clothing, and curtains out of the house and washing them and having a professional company to come and do a treatment. By tge time night fall we got bit worse than we ever had. That is when we tried the vinegar and that is the first time I can honestly we were in control. We’ve found only 1 cluster of about 5 eggs, 1 bed bug when it first hatched, and 1 fully grown bed bug, and not traces of feces any where. However we could feel them if we did not use the vinegar every 4 or 5 days. We’ve been dealing with this for about 1 month. I don’t see them getting worse. but they aren’t getting better. Hot shot bug spray has a flea and bed bug spray. I find that it helps to keep the problem under control. The bed bugs hate the vinegar thats how we actually saw the first hatched bed bug. It couldn’t take the vinegar so it landed on the table. That is when we came up with the idea, one will spray the beds with vinegar and some one would spray the floor with the Hot Shot. I’m not sure if it actually works or if it’s safe or not, we’ve decided to fight back.

Freda summars

Honestly have to say the smell of vinegar does not bother me at all, I grew up eating turnip greens with vinegar maybe it’s just a southern food

FreeBrrd

The smell of vinegar does not last long. It does not smell worse than commercial cleaners. Everyone reacts differently to pretty much everything. Vinegar is one of the safest and most effective things you can use for many things. It is edible. It is even a cure for several things.

I can’t use most commercial cleaning or sanitizing products. Most now have some sort of ethanol in them. Ethanol is a neurotoxin. I am disabled by it. Currently looking for a treatment for a kitten’s ear mites. The "safe natural" one that I ordered on Amazon is mostly denatured alcohol which is another name for ethanol. Just opening the bottle kicked my butt. With all of the names used, it is difficult to find something that I can tolerate. Reading the reviews, it seems that many of the cats can not tolerate many of these either. So ear mites are not bed bugs, but I’d bet most things that kill one are likely to kill the other. I am going to put the bedding that I can into a vinegar soak. Probably over night. Than I will wash my normal way with baking soda dissolved in boiling water to wash. Rinsing with vinegar and water. This is how I do all of my laundry. My clothes do not smell of vinegar. I have had people sniff them. I also use vinegar to rinse my hair. I can use conditioner, but many people can not tolerate the scents in most so I use vinegar for them.

jkc133

Hi, I think vinegar is a wonderful household tool. But please be advised to provide adequate ventilation while spraying with vinegar. I believe I accidentally suffered lung burn from using vinegar in a closed bathroom. I then had a nasty episode of Bronchitis that took weeks to heal!

Dianna Mendez

I am glad I do not have this problem but its good to know what works should one run across it. Funny how vinegar works so well for almost anything, except for this.

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Bed Bug Control – How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Bed Bug Pre-treatment Procedures

  1. Reduce Clutter
  2. Launder Infested Garments and Linens
  3. Dismantle Bed Frames
  4. Remove Dresser Drawers
  5. Clean the Area
  6. Caulk and Seal

Reduce Clutter:

Remove all personal items (stuffed animals, soft toys, blankets, electronics, etc) and anything that does not stay in the room permanently.Caution:Be mindful that items from the infested area can transfer bed bugs to other areas. It is best to bag them in plastic with Nuvan Strips.

Launder Infested Garments and Linens:

Infested garments and bed linen cannot be treated with insecticide. They need to be laundered in hot water (120 degrees fahrenheit minimum). If washing is not available, heating the garments or bed linens for several minutes in a clothes dryer may work.

Dismantle Bed Frames:

Dismantling bed frames in infested areas typically exposes bed bug hiding sites. Having access to these areas during cleaning is important. Stand up the box spring and shine a flashlight through the gauze fabric and look for bed bugs. If the fabric is torn (possible hiding place), remove fabric to prepare for spraying. If the mattress and or box springs are infested, you may want to consider Encasements by Mattress Safe. Once covered with these encasements, bed bugs can not enter or exit. There is no need to treat the mattress or box spring when using these encasements. Keep them on for a year.

Remove Dresser Drawers:

Remove drawers from desks and dressers since bed bugs like to hide in these areas. Turn furniture over to inspect and clean all hiding spots. All furniture should be pulled away from the walls.

Clean the Area

Scrub infested surfaces with a stiff brush to dislodge eggs. Vacuum the room extensively. Use a vacuum hose attachment to thoroughly vacuum cracks and crevices on furniture and along baseboards on the walls. Vacuum along baseboards, furniture, bed stands, rails, headboards, foot boards, bed seams, tufts, buttons, edges of the bedding, as well as the edges of the carpets (particularly along the tack strips). A good vacuum cleaning job may remove particles from cracks and crevices to encourage greater insecticide penetration. Bed bugs cling tightly to surfaces, so it is best to vacuum by scraping the end of the vacuum attachment over the infested areas to pull out the bed bugs.Caution:It is not good to use a bristle attachment, because you may transfer bed bugs to other areas since they cling to the brush. Dispose of vacuum cleaner bags after you are finished in an outdoor trashcan.

Caulk and Seal

Caulk and seal all holes where pipes and wires penetrate walls and floor, and fill cracks around baseboards and molding to further reduce harboring areas.

Bed Bug Inspection

Bed Bug Appearance

Bedbug Pictures: What does a bed bug look like?

Adult bed bugs are brown to reddish-brown, oval-shaped, flattened, and about 1/4 to 5/8 inch long.Note:Their flat shape enables them to readily hide in most cracks and crevices.


Adult Male Bed Bug

Adult Female Bed Bug

Bed Bug Nymph

Tip:Eggs are not placed on the host’s body (the person sleeping in the bed), but the eggs are found on surfaces near where the host sleeps.

Bed Bug Inspection Tips:

  • Look in any place that offers darkness, isolation and protection to the bed bug.
  • Inspect adjoining rooms where an infestation is found. Even when the bed bugs themselves cannot be found, their hiding places can be located by looking for the spots of fecal material they often leave.
  • Use an Insecticide Aerosol such as CB-80 or PT 565 to flush the bed bugs out of suspected hiding places. These aerosols kill on contact, but the idea is to flush them out for inspection

Bed Bug Inspection Check List

The Mattress and Box Spring

Check the mattress throughly, paying close attention to seams and tufts along the edges. Flip the mattress over and inspect the bottom carefully as well. Pay particular attention to any rips in the fabric. View the fabric on the bottom of the box spring and shine a flash light to verify that bed bugs have not penetrated the interior of the box spring.

Bed Frame and Head and Foot Boards

Remove the mattress and box frame from the bed frame and shine a flash light all along every potential hiding place on the bed frame. Remember bed bugs can slip into an crack a business card can fit into.

Other Furniture: Desks, Chairs, Dressers, etc

Take out all drawers and cushions from surrounding furniture. Check all seams and crevices carefully with a flashlight. Take your time and inspect thoroughly. Bed Bugs are commonly found in these areas in an infested room.

Walls and Carpet

Inspect the surrounding walls by removing electircal switch plates and any wall hangings. Check under tack strips and behind baseboards where ever possible. Shine light into cracks in plaster and seams along wall paper.

Electronics and Other Applicances

Unfortunately electronics and appliances provide a perfect hiding spot for bed bugs. Check them closely with a flashlight and magnifying glass as well. Remove them when possible. Placing smaller ones in a bag with Nuvan Strips is an effective way to save the device.

Additional Bed Bug Inspection Notes

Bed Bug fecal and blood spots (look like rust) are left on sheets and pillowcases when the engorged bed bugs are crushed. These indicators serve as sure signs of infestation. Bed bugs prefer to hide in cracks and crevices during the daytime and come out to feed on the host’s blood at night, usually while the host is sleeping.

Since bed bugs can flatten their bodies, they fit in very small crevices, specially around the bed area. They are found in habitual hiding places, preferably close to a blood meal. Even though their preference is to be close they can travel several feet for a blood meal.

Initial infestations tend to be around beds, but the bugs eventually become scattered throughout a room, occupying any crevice or protected location. They can also spread to adjacent rooms or apartments.

Bed Bug Treatment Procedures (Part A)

Do I Have to Throw Out the Mattress?

This question is answered by the condition of the mattress and the size of infestation. If there are holes or tears in the gauze fabric or fabric of the mattress, bed bugs and eggs may be inside, as well as outside. There are restrictions on how beds can be treated with insecticides. We carry both Mattress Safe Bed Bug Encasements and ActiveGuard Mattress Liners.

1. Mattress Safe Encasements: Mattress Safe Products are bed encasements to place over your mattress or boxspring so you don’t have to throw them away. They are bedbug certified. If using a labeled insecticide on the mattress or boxspring first, apply on mattress or box springs then zip it up. It has a patented hook to keep the bed bugs inside the encasement so they cannot escape. Keep the encasement in place for one year (due to bed bug life cycles).

2. Active Guard Liners:Active Guard Mattress Liners may be placed on beds and are effective as both preventative and active bed bug treatments. They kill bed bugs and dust mites within 72 hours and will prevent bed bugs from infesting mattresses. ActiveGuard Liners act like a fitted sheet; it comes in single, full, queen, and king sizes that fit up to 17" in depth.

If you decide against Mattress Safe Encasements or ActiveGuard Liners, use insecticides labeled for beds such as Steri-Fab, Cimexa Dust, Phantom Aerosol, Bedlam Aerosol, or Temprid FX (See below).

How to treat the mattress with insecticides:

Look carefully at the folds and seams of the mattress, the headboard, foot board (if present), box spring/support platform, frame, etc for bedbugs and treat these area after vacumming.

The following residual insecticides and dusts are labeled to spray and dust mattresses:

Dusts last longer than aerosols, but the crack and crevice tips on the Phantom and Bedlam areosols enable you to get into the smallest cracks. It is a good idea to use a combination of sprays and dusts. Temprid SC may be used on the tufts and seams of mattresses. It works well as a residual insecticide sprayed in other recommended treatment areas such as night stands, chests, dressers, couches and chairs.

Bed Bug Treatment Procedures (Part B)

Treat all baseboards and furniture (Night Stand, Chests, Dressers, Couches and Chairs)

Bed Bug Treatment: Sprays and Dusts

There are several products on the market that work well for bed bugs:

It is best to use a combination of these products for application purposes.

You can get these at discounted rates in be form of kits: Bed Bug Kits
The kits have the residual insecticide with the dust and aerosols.

Spray liquid insecticides or aerosols:

  • Spray around and under the bed and along the baseboards near the bed. After removing the drawers from the furniture, the inside of the cabinetry should be sprayed as well as the bottom and sides of the drawers. Do not treat the inside of the drawers. If needed the clothes in the drawers should be removed and laundered.
  • Spray around the inside of closets, door frames and doors.
  • Spray molding at the top and bottom of the room. Spray around windows.
  • Spray seams of drawers, both top and bottom. Spray dressers from below. Spray where dressers touch the floor.
  • Spray where the bed touches the floor, spray chairs and underneath chairs.
  • Spray all baseboards, loose plaster, behind bed frames and headboards, beneath beds and furniture, and bedsprings and bed frames. Do not apply to furniture surfaces or mattresses where people will be laying or sitting unless using a product labeled for that type of treatment. Infested bedding should not be treated, but should be removed, placed in sealed plastic bags, and taken for laundering and drying at high temperature.

Recommended Liquid Insecticides-Transport Mikron and Temprid FX

Spectre 2 SChas a low odor and is not dectectable by the bed bugs. Adjust the spray pattern to a mist by turning the nozzle. A low fine mist is best for most spraying, but you may need to use a stream to get into some cracks and crevices. If you can’t get into the cracks and crevices use one of the aerosols described below with it’s crack and crevice tips to reach into these areas.

  • Mix 3 oz per gallon or 0.75 oz per quart and spray with a low pressure sprayer into the areas where the bed bugs are hiding. Typical areas include bed frames, headboards, under beds, baseboards, moldings, behind pictures,etc. Remember to apply in the joints and crevices of furniture. If the crack and crevice is too small, use an aerosol with a crack and crevice tip (recommendations are below.)
  • You may spray mattress seams, zippers and tufts. Wait until it dries before remaking the bed.
  • Remember- 95% of the bed bug infestation will be within five feet of your bed.

CrossFire Bed Bug Insecticide

CrossFire Bed Bug Concentrate has two different active ingredients for dual modes of action (both a quick kill and residual activity). Mix 3 oz of CrossFire Insecticide with one gallon of water or 0.75 oz per quart (Remember to use what you mix-within 24 hours.) Adjust the spray pattern to a mist by turning the nozzle. A low fine mist is best for most spraying, but you may need to use a stream to get into some cracks and crevices. If you can’t get into the cracks and crevices use one of the aerosols described below with it’s crack and crevice tips to reach into these areas.

  • Apply as a coarse, low-pressure spray to harborage areas including crevices, baseboards, loose plaster, behind bed frames and headboards, beneath beds and furniture, and to bedsprings and bed frames. After removal of bed linens, apply Transport Mikron to mattress and boxsprings. Apply to tufts, edges, seams and folds (do not spray clothes or bed linens). Your may apply it to furniture, but not to areas where there is direct access to seating or arm placements. Infested bed linens should not be treated, but should be removed, placed in sealed plastic bags, and taken for laundering and drying at high temperatures.
  • Apply as a crack and crevice treatment to all baseboards, loose plaster, behind pictures and mirrors, moldings, beneath floor coverings and carpets, closets, shelves, curtains, furniture and picture frames that may provide harborage to bed bugs.
  • Remember- 95% of the bed bug infestation will be within five feet of your bed.

Temprid FX Insecticide

Mix 8 ml (about 1/3 oz)(measurements on the bottle) or one 8 ml vial of Temprid FX with one gallon of water. Remember to use what you mix-within 24 hours. Adjust the spray pattern to a mist by turning the nozzle. A low fine mist is best for most spraying, but you may need to use a stream to get into some cracks and crevices. If you can’t get into the cracks and crevices use one of the aerosols described below with it’s crack and crevice tips to reach into these areas.

  • Temprid FX controls bed bug populations that are resistant to pyrethroid insecticides.
  • For infested mattresses, remove linens and wash before reuse. Apply Temprid to tufts, seams, folds, and edges until moist. Allow to dry before remaking bed. Do not spray bed linens
  • Apply Temprid FX to bedsprings, box springs, and the interior of bed frames or headboards, including all cracks and joints.
  • When bed bugs are found in upholstered furniture, apply only to the infested tufts, seams, folds and edges, but do not apply to flat surfaces where prolonged human contact will occur. If bugs heavily infest furniture (inside cushions and/or batting) apply a labeled insecticide dust or consider fumigation.
  • Apply as a crack and crevice treatment to all baseboards, moldings, beneath floor coverings and carpets, closets, shelves, curtains, furniture and picture frames that may provide harborage to bed bugs.
  • Remember- 95% of the bed bug infestation will be within five feet of your bed.

Recommended Aerosols-Aerosols are perfect for application where you can not spray liquid mixtures.

Aerosols (D-Fense NXT, Crossfire Aerosol, or Bedlam Plus) Usage:Simply attach the plastic tip to the aerosol can. Apply as a crack and crevice or spot treatment where evidence of bed bugs occurs. This includes bed frames, box springs, inside empty dressers, clothes closets, curtain rods, hollow spaces, carpet edges, high and low wall moldings and wallpaper edges.

The Top 10 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally

If you notice that you have small itchy spots, red rashes or blisters when you wake up, it could be a sign that you have bed bugs. These tiny little pests can infest the seams of your mattress, bed frames, box springs, and headboards. It can be a challenge to get rid of bed bugs because they are hard to detect and they multiply rapidly. Bed bugs should be destroyed as quickly as possible because they can infest other areas of your home and cause a major problem.

Actually, bed bugs are not a sign that you have a dirty home, but they can be brought into your house through luggage, used furniture and beds, clothing and other household items.

Fortunately, there are many ways to naturally get rid of bed bugs. Bed bugs can’t survive extreme hot or cold temperatures, so, methods like steam cleaning, hot washes, and drying on a high heat are natural home remedies to eliminate bed bugs from clothing and bedding. Placing small items in the freezer is another way to kill bed bugs.

For larger areas, you can make your own natural bed bug sprays from tea tree oil, lavender oil, or eradicate bed bugs by sprinkling diatomaceous earth powder in crevices that bed bugs like to inhabit.

Before we look at the best home remedies to eliminate bed bugs naturally, let’s look at the symptoms of bed bugs and the problems these tiny insects can cause.

The Problems Bed Bugs Cause

Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and gorge on the blood of humans and animals. Although bed bugs don’t spread disease or cause infections, they cause a lot of personal discomfort.

Bedbugs can also quickly infest beds, couches, furniture and are difficult to find and kill because they like to hide in dark cracks, crevices, and gaps.

Dr. Carol DerSarkissian onWebMDsays that bed bugs reach adult maturity within a month and can produce 3 or 4 generations a year. 1

According to theNational Pest Management Association(NPMA), the problem of getting rid of bed bugs and bed bug control is growing every year. A survey carried by the NPMA found there is a resurgence of bed bug infestations in hotels, movie theaters, public transportation, and even medical facilities. 2

Signs and Symptoms of Bed Bugs

There is no doubt about it – bed bugs are a nuisance and exterminating these tiny pests should be a top priority. One of the first symptoms that you may have a bed bug infestation is bites on your skin. These bites can appear anywhere on your body that the bed bug can crawl to. According to theNational Health Servicein the United Kingdom, some of the other symptoms of bed bug bites are: 3

  • itchy red bumps on the skin
  • a red itchy bed bug rash
  • fluid-filled blisters or welts
  • a skin infection caused by scratching the itchy skin and allowing bacteria to enter the wound

There will also be some signs around your bed that indicate you need to think about some effective methods of bed bug control. For example, with a flashlight, you may discover the tiny bugs in seams around the edge of the mattress or in the bed joints or spring box. You may also notice dark or red spots on your bedding or mattress. This is their dried feces or blood from a killed bed bug.

What are the best ways of getting rid of bed bugs from your bed, mattress, headboard, couches, or anywhere else that they might be living? Here are some of the best tried and tested bed bug natural remedies.

If you have bed bug bites, make sure to read my article about the best natural ways to get rid of bed bug bites.

Here are some of the best home remedies to get rid of bed bugs:

10 Best Natural Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Find the bed bug Infestation

One of the first steps to completely eliminate all traces of bed bugs from your home is to find all the infested areas. Bed bugs are usually found in bedrooms but they can inhabit any room in the home where people and pets sleep.

TheUS Environmental Protection Agencyrecommends carefully checking the seams of mattresses and other soft furnishings in your home. Examine the spaces between cushions, your mattress and bed frame and any other possible hiding place in your bedroom. Don’t forget to check drawer joints, behind loose wallpaper, and even in electrical appliances. 4

Any space the thickness of a credit card is a potential home for bed bugs.

Use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of bed bug naturally

Using a vacuum cleaner to suck up the bed bugs is a very effective and simple method to eradicate bed bugs from your bedroom.

A vacuum cleaner is a common household item so you can use it right now to kill bed bugs. To make sure and get rid of any eggs around the seams of your mattress, use a stiff brush to loosen any bed bug eggs from the material.

Bed bugs can be hiding everywhere, so you’ll need to vacuum all chairs and other soft furnishings, carpets, box springs, and mattresses and even curtains.

Regarding bed bug control, the journalClinical Microbiology Reviewssays that vacuuming can quickly get rid of a large number of bed bugs and their eggs. When using a vacuum cleaner to control bed bug infestations, it’s essential to use a disposable bag. As soon as you have vacuumed the infested area, remove and seal the bag before disposing of it. 5

Freeze items to kill bed bugs

Kill bed bugs in smaller items by placing them in a freezer. Although bed bugs can’t withstand freezing temperatures, they can live for up to a year in a cool room without any food sources.

To naturally kill the bedbugs you need to place infested items in a freezer that has a temperature below 1°F (-17°C) for at least 2 hours. 5

Hot steam kills bed bug

Hot steam is a great home remedy to destroy bed bugs and their eggs without damaging the environment.

The hot steam method for bed bug eradication can get rid of bed bugs from small crevices and cracks. The steam can also penetrate through the mattress lining and eradicate bug infestations inside the mattress.

Scientists have found that bed bugs are quickly killed when exposed to temperatures above 140°F (60°C). 5

So, if you have a steam cleaner, you can use it to exterminate bed bugs quickly without using harmful chemicals.

To kill bed bugs fast on your own using steam do the following:

  1. Thoroughly vacuum all the areas you plan to steam.
  2. Use the steamer on all surfaces where you see bed bugs and areas where you think bed bugs may be hiding to completely get rid of them.
  3. After using the steamer, the fabric may be damp, but it should not be wet. If the fabric is too wet decrease the amount of steam produced by the steamer.
  4. After you are finished, use a fan in the area to circulate air to help dry the items you have steamed.
  5. Repeat the steaming procedure a couple of times until all the bed bugs are completely gone.

You need to be aware that steaming will only kill bed bugs that are exposed to the heat, so any bed bugs that do not come into contact with the steam will survive.

What is the best type of steamer for bed bug eradication?

The general recommendation is to use a powerful and heavy duty steamer with a large water tank, preferably with a steam volume control. Small steamers may not be effective in eliminating bedbugs. Small steamers require constant refilling and may cover less surface area so they can be less effective in eliminating bed bugs. They may also not get hot enough to eliminate bedbugs on and around the mattress.

Hot wash bedding and clothing

You can also get rid of bed bugs from infected clothing and other fabric items by placing them in the washing machine and wash them at a temperature of over 60°C.

Hot washing is probably one of the easiest and fastest natural ways to kill off bed bugs from clothing and other items using a common household item.

Use a hot dryer

After putting infested items of clothing or bed linen through a hot wash, you should dry the items in a dryer set to a hot setting. This will make doubly sure that the bed linen is sterilized from bed bugs.

Dr. Carol DerSarkissian onWebMDrecommends the hot wash and hot dryer method to de-infest fabric items like curtains, bedding, shoes, and stuffed toy animals from bed bugs. 1

You could also use a hair dryer together with your vacuum cleaner to drive bed bugs out of crevices. Set the hair dryer to the hottest setting and direct into the crack. The hot air will kill the bed bugs and also force them out. Any bug not killed by the hair dryer can be sucked up with the vacuum cleaner.

Encase mattresses and pillows

Another natural way to prevent bed bugs from biting you during the night and stop them infesting other parts of your home is to encase mattresses and pillows.

Encasements for mattresses, spring boxes, and pillows are tightly woven covers that prevent bed bugs from entering or escaping. The encasements should be kept on for at least a year to ensure that all the bed bugs die naturally.

TheNational Pesticide Information Centerrecommends using encasements to protect your bed from bed bug infestations. In addition to encasing your bed items, they also recommend placing bed bug traps (such as this one) under your bed legs to stop bed bugs crawling up. 6

Other Natural Home Remedies to Eradicate Bed Bugs

While the above home remedies are excellent ways to eliminate bed bugs from your home, it is also necessary to treat areas with natural insecticides to kill bed bugs and eggs in hard to reach places. Here are some natural insecticides that you can make yourself to get rid of bed bugs.

Tea tree oil bed bug spray

The insecticidal properties of tea tree oil make it a great natural treatment to get rid of bed bug infestation. You can use the homemade tea tree spray to kill off bed bugs in hard to reach places, like cracks, crevices, and furniture joints.

A study from 2014 found that a tea tree oil solution is an effective and natural insect repellent and also acts as an insecticide. 7

To make a natural insecticide with tea tree oil, put 20 drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle filled with water and shake well. Spray liberal amounts of the natural insecticide in all areas where you think bed bugs are living. Use the tea tree oil bed bug spray daily until all the signs of bed bugs have disappeared completely. Remember to shake the natural spray well before each application.

Tea tree oil is also a great natural remedy to cure any skin itching caused by bed bugs.

Lavender oil pesticide spray

Similar to tea tree oil, lavender essential oil can be used to make an effective natural DIY pesticide spray to kill bed bugs.

The insect-repellent properties of lavender oil are toxic for bed bugs but completely safe to use around the home.

One study into the effect of essential oils and their use for insect and bug control found that a combination of lavender oil and peppermint oil effectively kills off insects. 8 Lavender oil also helps to destroy insect eggs and larvae as well as repelling bed bugs. Peppermint oil also has a strong repellent action. 8

To make a natural bed bug spray, add 10-15 drops lavender essential oil and 10-15 drops peppermint oil to a spray bottle filled with water. Use the natural spray to treat areas infested with bed bugs. Use the natural pesticide spray daily until you no longer have any signs of bed bug infestation. Shake well before each application.

There are many other effective sprays to eliminate these nasty critters – read about them in my article about the best bed bug sprays to kill bed bugs fast.

Diatomaceous earth (DE) for bed bug control

Diatomaceous earth powder helps to kill off bed bugs by causing them to dehydrate because it destroys their outer protective membrane. Some people also call it bed bug powder. Because vacuum cleaners may not remove all bed bugs in deep crevices, diatomaceous earth powder is an excellent way to control bed bugs and prevent further infestation.

A study into the use of diatomaceous earth in bed bug eradication found that it is a safe, non-toxic way to rid your home of bed bugs. Even though diatomaceous earth (DE) is slow acting, the study found that this was an advantage. This is because the bed bugs transfer the powder to other bugs and help to distribute the natural insecticide to their habitats. The study found that within 4 days, 80% of all the bed bugs had been killed. Complete eradication was achieved in 12 days. 5

To naturally eliminate a bed bug infestation with diatomaceous earth, dust the bed bug powder around all areas where bed bugs may be hiding. Repeat the process every 3 days for 2 weeks to ensure complete removal of all the bed bugs.

Make sure to usefood gradediatomaceous earth (here is one example), as it is safe to use around the home and it’s an effective home treatment for killing bed bugs and fleas.

Home Remedies for Killing Bed Bugs – Commonly Asked Questions

Can baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) kill bed bugs?

Some people suggest that baking soda is an effective natural bed bug killer as it can dehydrate them or possibly even poison these tiny little pests.

However there is no indication showing that baking soda can eliminate bed bugs. In fact, baking soda doesn’t absorb much fluids so it will not dehydrate the bed bugs.

Baking soda actually breaks down in water quite easily, so its ability to absorb thick, viscous fluids like the wax on a bed bug’s shell is questionable. In addition, bed bugs don’t eat dry items in their environment such as sodium bicarbonate so it cannot poison them.

Can salt eliminate a bed bug infestation?

Salt has been used for decades to kill pests, such as slugs and snails by absorbing fluids from their body and causing them to dehydrate.

Some people believe that salt can eliminate bed bugs in the same way it kills slugs and snails. However there is a very strong anecdotal reference that this doesn’t work.

Does boric acid kill bed bugs?

Boric acid, can be used as a natural pesticide to kill roaches, eliminate ants, and eradicate termites but it needs to be ingested by the pest. Bed bugs have piercing and sucking mouth parts, and they do not ingest material other than blood from living hosts. Hence, there’s no way to get boric acid into the bed bugs’ stomach to kill them.

Does vitamin B1 (Thiamine) repel bed bugs?

Thiamin has been reported to be a mosquito repellent but there is no strong scientific evidence to support the fact that vitamin B1 helps in repelling bed bugs.

What is the best way to kill bed bugs naturally?

The best way to completely eliminate bed bugs for good is to use the following methods together:

  • Vacuum all areas where bed bugs can be found.
  • After vacuuming, use hot steam to naturally kill the remaining bed bugs instantly.
  • Hot wash infected clothing and all fabric items.
  • Use hot dryer for items that cannot be washed.
  • Encase mattresses and pillows to prevent bed bugs from biting you.
  • Use natural remedies such as diatomaceous earth and tea tree oil to exterminate bed bugs in hard to reach places.

How to Prevent Bed Bug Infestations

The best way to make sure that you never have any bed bug bites is to prevent bed bugs from infesting your home in the first place. Here are some top bed bug prevention tips:

  • If you notice blood spots or dark marks on your bedding, immediately check all areas of your bed, mattress, and bedding for bed bugs.
  • After returning from vacation, thoroughly vacuum your luggage.
  • When staying in hotel rooms, take a flashlight with you to inspect the bed frame and mattress for tell-tale signs of bed bugs.
  • Before bringing in second-hand furniture, beds, or mattresses to your home, thoroughly examine the items to make sure there are no bugs hiding in corners, joints, and seams.
  • If you notice any bed bugs, eliminate them using theseeffective bed bug spraysto get rid of them for good.

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13 Responses toThe Top 10 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally

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