How To Deal With Bed Bugs At Work

US EPA

Bed Bugs

When Treatments Don’t Work

If the goal is to eliminate bed bugs, the job has to be done correctly. Bed bugs are so small that they can live in a crack the width of a credit card, increasing the control challenge.

Pesticides often are an important part of a control strategy but they must be used properly for the treatment to work. There can be many reasons for failure of a pesticide treatment to completely control the bed bugs, including:

  • Not finding all the bed bugs.
  • Inadequately preparing area (failure to remove clutter, seal cracks and crevices, etc.).
  • Overlooking treatment of any of the known resting areas (bed bugs may rest or hide in hampers, bed frames, even furniture).
  • Failing to treat nearby areas where bed bugs may have migrated (adjacent rooms or other apartments in multi-dwelling housing).
  • Disregarding recommended label rates (applying pesticides at too low a rate may not kill bugs and may speed up development of resistance to that chemical).
  • Not following up on treatment in an appropriate timeframe (many pesticides will not kill eggs, so treatment must be repeated after the eggs hatch, or the infestation will not be controlled).
  • Not allowing enough time for a pesticide to work (some pesticides, such as drying agents or growth regulators, may be effective but take some time to kill the population).
  • Bed bugs becoming resistant to a specific type of pesticide.
  • As insects, such as bed bugs, are exposed to a pesticide over time, the most susceptible ones are killed first, leaving only the less susceptible ones to breed. This can result in a rapid decline in relative effectiveness of the pesticide.

Pesticide Resistance as a Cause of Treatment Failure

While there is evidence of resistance in some populations to certain types of pesticides, pesticide resistance can only be verified in laboratory tests. Researchers are currently trying to determine the scope of the resistance problem, which will vary from community to community. This research will support the development and use of effective control strategies.

Because of the potential for resistance, homeowners and others trying to control bed bug infestations must always use pesticides appropriately and according to the label. It is also important to:

  • be vigilant in surveillance, identification, and monitoring efforts;
  • hire trained, experienced, and reputable pest management professionals; and
  • use a comprehensive approach.

For example, you may wish to:

  • choose different types of pesticides from the list of currently labeled ones for sequential treatments; or
  • use pesticides for which insect resistance has not yet been reported, such as diatomaceous earth, in combination with other control techniques.

Remember, as illustrated in the list above, resistance is only one of many possible causes of a treatment failure. All possibilities must be explored in any situation.

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Bedbugs

Bedbugs are small insects that often live on furniture or bedding. Their bites can be itchy, but do not usually cause other health problems.

Check if it’s bedbugs

Jeff March / Alamy Stock Photo

Bedbugs can hide in many places, including on bed frames, mattresses, clothing, furniture, behind pictures and under loose wallpaper.

Signs of bedbugs include:

  • bites – often on areas exposed while sleeping, like the face, neck and arms
  • spots of blood on your bedding – from the bites or from squashing a bedbug
  • small brown spots on bedding or furniture (bedbug poo)

Bedbug bites can be red and itchy. They’re often in a line or cluster.

Otto Pleska / Alamy Stock Photo

Some people have a reaction to the bites. They can be very itchy and there may be painful swelling.

How you can treat bedbug bites

Bedbug bites usually clear up on their own in a week or so.

Things you can do include:

  • putting something cool, like a clean, damp cloth, on the affected area to help with the itching and any swelling
  • keeping the affected area clean
  • not scratching the bites to avoid getting an infection

You can ask a pharmacist about:

  • using a mild steroid cream like hydrocortisone cream to ease bedbug bites (children under 10 and pregnant women should get advice from a doctor before using hydrocortisone cream)
  • antihistamines – these may help if the bites are very itchy and you’re unable to sleep

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:

  • the bites are still very painful, swollen or itchy after trying treatments from a pharmacist
  • the redness around the bites is spreading

You may have an infection and need treatment with antibiotics.

Coronavirus update: how to contact a GP

It’s still important to get help from a GP if you need it. To contact your GP surgery:

  • visit their website
  • use the NHS App
  • call them

How to get rid of bedbugs

contact your local council or pest control service – it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get rid of bedbugs yourself because they can be resistant to some insecticides

wash affected bedding and clothing – use a hot wash (60C) or tumble dry on a hot setting for at least 30 minutes

put affected clothing and bedding in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer (-16C) for 4 days (alternative to hot washing)

clean and vacuum regularly – bedbugs are found in both clean and dirty places, but regular cleaning will help you spot them early

do not keep clutter around your bed

do not bring secondhand furniture indoors without carefully checking it first

do not take luggage or clothing indoors without checking it carefully if you have come from somewhere where you know there were bedbugs

Page last reviewed: 21 January 2019
Next review due: 21 January 2022

Bedbugs

In this Article

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."

Bed Bugs in the Workplace

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are small, oval shaped, wingless insects. The bugs are about the size of apple seeds. The eggs are white, and are found in clusters. The eggs are about the size of a pin head. The flattened bodies of bed bugs allow them to hide in very small places such as seams of mattresses, cracks, crevices, electrical outlets, box springs, bed frames, headboards, behind wallpaper, or in any other objects around a bed or on the floor. Bed bugs cannot climb metal or polished surfaces and are not able to fly or jump.

Bed bugs typically feed on a diet consisting solely of blood once a week, but they can live months without feeding. They have about a one-year life span during which time females can lay up to 200-400 eggs which hatch in about 10 days. The bugs usually come out at night to feed on the blood of people and animals, biting their victims as they sleep.

How can infestation occur?

Bed bugs move very quickly and can travel through hallways, plumbing, and electrical lines. They can climb into bags or on clothing. They usually feed at night and hide during the day. These insects prefer darkness and tend to hide near the bed. They travel up to 20 feet in search of a human host.

Who is at risk?

Bed bugs can be found anywhere that humans live or visit. Bed bugs can be unknowingly brought into the workplace by employees, custodial staff, visitors, customers, vendors, clients, and others.

Workers potentially at higher risk are those who handle bedding, clothing, or furniture where bed bugs could be hiding. These occupations include fire fighters, health care professionals, housing management staff, housekeeping and custodial staff, police, and social workers who work in or visit hospitals, long-term care facilities, shelters, rooming houses, hotels, motels and residences.

What are the symptoms?

Bed bugs are not known to spread diseases and the bites do not usually require any medical treatment. One way to identify a bed bug infestation is by the bite marks on the face, neck, arms, hands, or any other body parts while sleeping. However, a bed bug bite can take as long as 14 days to appear, depending on the person.

When bed bugs bite, they inject an anesthetic and an anticoagulant that prevents a person from realizing they are being bitten. Some people do not react at all to the bites, while others may have small skin reactions. The bite marks are similar to that of a mosquito or a flea; slightly swollen and red area that may itch and be irritating. In rare cases, some people may have severe allergic reactions.

To avoid infection, try not to scratch the bites and keep the bite sites clean. Using antiseptic creams or lotions, as well as antihistamines, may help. Talk to your health care provider for advice.

How do I find bed bugs?

Some workplaces are susceptible to bed bugs, or perhaps you will find them while working in a client’s home or when travelling for work.

Seeing bed bugs can be difficult, but you can try to inspect both hard and soft furniture (such as the head board, night stand, mattresses and box springs) or around electrical outlets and light switches. Look at the seams, between cushions, in the folds of blankets or curtains, etc. for bugs, eggs, or blood stains/droppings. One option is to run an object with a sharp edge (such as a credit card) past these areas to disturb any bugs that may be present.

If you suspect bed bugs are present in the workplace, report this to your supervisor. If your concerns are not addressed in a timely manner, you can report the concern to your joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative. You may also be able to confirm if you have bed bugs by consulting with your local public health unit or pest control operator.

How do you prevent bed bug infestation?

The best way to prevent bed bugs is regular inspection for the signs of an infestation.

  • Be careful when buying used furniture. Inspect each item carefully and wash/clean before use.
  • Reduce clutter, as it serves as an ideal habitat for bed bugs whether at home, school, or at work. This housekeeping measure will reduce the number of places for the bed bugs to hide and fewer opportunities for them to travel home with you.
  • Keep your belongings stored separately from those of other people. If there is a known problem with bed bugs in the workplace or at school, consider storing your belongings in a separate plastic bin.
  • Be vigilant in areas where bed bugs are most likely to be found – including break rooms, storage areas, offices or lounges with upholstered furniture, or areas where people may rest.
  • Consider changing into work clothes and shoes when arriving at work and removing them before going home (when there is a risk of infestation).

What are the employer’s responsibilities?

Employers have duties under the occupational health and safety Acts and its applicable Regulations to take every reasonable precaution to protect the health and safety of the worker.

The following precautionary measures can be taken to prevent bed bug infestations and to protect the worker based on a risk assessment conducted of the workplace:

  • Develop policies and procedures for reporting bed bug infestations (on-site and off-site workplaces).
  • Keep records of infestations, including details of where and when infestations were encountered and the extent of infestations.
  • Provide education to all workers regarding bed bugs, including information on bed bug identification, signs of infestation, and prevention awareness.
  • Implement integrated pest management activities through a licensed pest management service provider.
  • Provide coveralls, shoe covers, or gloves to workers if appropriate. Provide sealable plastic containers to protect workers’ equipment or belongings.

How can bed bugs be removed?

Bed bug infestations are commonly treated by chemical spraying. An integrated pest management system which combines a variety of techniques and products is usually the best option. Information on the safety data sheet should be read and used as directed. To reduce exposure to the chemicals being used for treatment/spraying, it should not occur while employees are in the area. Always follow safe work procedures when working with or near pesticides. See the series of documents about pesticides for more information.

Other physical methods of controlling bedbugs include steam cleaning, vacuuming, heating, freezing, washing, or throwing out items. Steam cleaning should be done before vacuuming, as the steam will flush any bedbugs out of hiding. Heat treatments should be done by professionals.

Whichever treatment is used, it will only be effective if physical control methods and preventative measures are used together.

If you suspect bed bugs have entered your suitcase or clothing, prevention steps include to unpack outdoors, wash clothes using hot water, dry everything in the dryer at the highest temperature for at least 30 minutes, and vacuum your luggage thoroughly.

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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.

Read my other related articles:

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

NEEM can TOTALLY Destroy BEDBUGS!
The blood-sucking BEDBUGS are spreading fast all over the world in places of human habitations. They have become a great nuisance, as It is very difficult to eradicate them with the commonly used method of spraying insecticides. Their bites can cause severe itching, sleeplessness, irritability, depression, anemia and other related problems.
Even by using different types of insecticides regularly, I had failed again and again to remove all the BEDBUGS from my room. In desperation, I started using NEEM soap and NEEM detergents to wash my bedsheets, pillow covers, blankets, mosquito net, and also to wash my clothes like the shirts, pants, underwears, banians, nightdresses, caps, socks, handkerchiefs, towels, napkins, etc. Only after I did that, the BEDBUGS DISAPPEARED totally within a few days!
I was astonished to find such an easy solution in such a short period. So, it is NOT surprising why the Hindus worship the NEEM TREE as a GODDESS!

We can use NEEM SPRAYS to kill and repel bedbugs, mosquitoes, mites, lice, fleas, ticks, cockroaches, ants, flies, etc. Washing our clothes with NEEM soap and NEEM detergents repels these insects.

Even if we choose to wash our clothes with other soaps and detergents, we can just dip the clothes in NEEM WATER for some time, then squeeze them and hang them for drying.

BATHING with NEEM soap and using NEEM creams and NEEM lotions too can help our bodies to repel bedbugs, mosquitoes, mites and lice, and to prevent diseases like ANEMIA, MALARIA, DENGUE, CHIKUNGUNYA, SCABIES, etc.
Let us launch a worldwide campaign against bedbugs, mosquitoes, mites, lice and other insect pests by sending many messages like this one to all our contacts.

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