How To Remove Bed Bugs From Home
Do-it-yourself Bed Bug Control
Can you get rid of bed bugs on your own?
Treating bed bugs is complex. Your likelihood of success depends on many factors, including:
- How many bed bugs you have;
- How much clutter is available for hiding places;
- Whether your neighbors have bedbugs; and
- Whether all residents of a house or building will participate.
Getting rid of bed bugs completely can take weeks to months, depending on the nature and extent of the infestation. To be successful, everyone will need to cooperate and do their part.
The following steps will help you begin:
You may have to follow these steps more than once to kill all the bugs and their eggs.
Identify the Problem
- Identify the pest:
- Collect a sample of the pest to show an extension agentExitor other insect expert.
- Extension agents can identify the pest at no cost to you. They are trained in pest control and know your local area.
Develop a Strategy
- Make a schedule for completing the steps below. Be sure to include any personal plans, such as vacations.
- Keep records through the whole process. Note the dates and exact locations where pests are found. This will help you track progress and better know where to target your work.
- Keep checking for at least a year after you’re done to make sure all the bed bugs are gone.
Keep the Infestation from Spreading
- Remove infested items. Place them in a sealed plastic bag and treat them. Learn more about treatment methods in the sections below.
- Items that cannot be treated should be placed in a sealed plastic bag and left there for up to a year to ensure any active bugs are dead.
- Empty the vacuum after each use. Seal the bag as tightly as possible and immediately throw it out in an outdoor trash container.
- Discard furniture responsibly if you can’t safely eliminate the bed bugs. Destroy it so someone else won’t be tempted to bring it into their home. For example:
- Rip covers and remove stuffing from furniture items.
- Use spray paint to mark furniture with "Bed Bugs."
Prepare for Treatment
Preparing for treatment is very important; it will make it easier to monitor for bed bugs that haven’t been eliminated. This preparation should be completed whether you are doing the treatment yourself or hiring a professional.
Kill the Bed Bugs
- Make sure the methods you select are safe, effective and legal. See What’s Legal, What’s Not.
- Considernon-chemical methodsof killing bed bugs. Some will be more useful than others depending on your situation. These and other methods can be helpful, but they might not get rid of the infestation entirely:
- Heat treatment:You can use a clothes dryer on high heat. You can also use black plastic bags in a hot, closed car in the sun, but success depends on your climate and other factors. Do-it-yourself heat treatments might not work. Professionals have access to more intensive and proven methods that can even treat whole houses with heat. You may also purchase a portable heat chamber, which is usually quite effective.
- Cold treatmentcan be successful in the home environment if the freezer is set to 0 o F. You must leave the items in a sealed bag in the freezer at that temperature for four days. Always use a thermometer to check the temperature, since home freezers are not always set to 0 o .
- Steam cleaners(wet or dry) can get into cracks and fabrics to treat carpets, baseboards, bed frames, and other furniture. The steam temperature must be at least 130 o F but should not have a forceful airflow, or it may cause bed bugs to scatter. Use a diffuser to prevent scattering.
Evaluate and Prevent
- Continue to inspect for bed bugs, at least every 7 days, in case any eggs remain. You can use interceptors, traps or other monitoring methods. Interceptors are placed under the legs of furniture to catch bed bugs and keep them from climbing the legs. Commercial and do-it-yourself interceptors are options.
- Continue to protect your home from bed bugs.
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Bed bugs remove. How to do it the right way?
Much as bed bugs can hide in tiny hard-to-reach places around your home in addition to being able to reproduce in large numbers, it is possible to do the bed bugs remove at your home. Bed bugs can be a nightmare when they make themselves at home! Luckily, there are some ways to get rid of them. You can make use of natural methods, or you can utilize chemicals. The method you should use typically depends on the level of infestation you are faced with.
The natural methods for bed bugs remove at home
There are some natural methods you can use for bed bugs remove. You can wash your clothes and other washable items in boiling water to get rid of the bed bugs. This method has been used for centuries with many people rejoicing over its success. The reason for success is the fact that bed bugs simply canвЂ™t stand hot temperatures above 117В°F.
LetвЂ™s have a look at how to deal with bed bugs naturally:
- Still on temperatures, you can make use of low temperatures of 0В°F and below to kill bed bugs. Much as bed bugs can die under such temperatures, however, it may take time and patience for this to happen. This is because bed bugs can comfortably survive such low temperatures for a while and go without food as well. With persistence, however, they do die. For example, you may have to wait at least three days to be assured of their death-sometimes longer, depending on the strain of bed bug.
- Thoroughly vacuum a given room, inclusive of any cracks and crevices on the walls and furniture. Follow this by steaming the room to help get rid of bed bugs.
- Make use of diatomaceous earth-a natural, yet effective way to kill bed bugs.
- Make use of homemade bed bug spray with the help of essential oils such as tea tree oil and peppermint oil to deter bed bug movement. This may be a temporary solution though since when the oil wears out-there is nothing to keep the bed bugs from gaining access to your home.
The artificial methods
There are some artificial ways to get rid of bed bugs. Some of them include:
- Chemical classes such as pyrethrins, pyrethroids, desiccants, neonicotinoids, and pyrroles can help get rid of bed bugs.
- Pesticides that are specifically described to kill bed bugs.
WhatвЂ™s the best way to remove bed bugs?
The time tested the way to remove bed bugs is the hot water or steam way. This method has been used since time immemorial and works wonders in killing bed bugs. All you have to do is collect the clothes that are infested and introduce steam or hot water to them.
If steaming or hot water doesnвЂ™t help kill the bed bugs, then you might wish to make use of chemicals. Care must be taken when using chemicals around your home. If you are not sure of what you are doing, then itвЂ™s best to seek help from a professional.
How to remove bed bugs from home
Bed bugs can crawl through tiny spaces. If there is an infestation, you will find these creatures all over your home-most especially in rooms that normally have pets or people. This is because they need blood from humans or animals to survive.
LetвЂ™s have a look at how you can implement bed bugs eradication from your home:
How to remove bed bugs from a mattress
How to remove bed bugs from a mattress?
Nobody in their right mind would comfortably sleep on a bed that they know is infested with bed bugs! That being said, instead of throwing away your mattress, you can try out the different ways to remove the annoying creatures from it. Since bugs hate heat, you can make use of steam to wipe them off your mattress!
Before introducing steam to your mattress, however, you need to ensure that the mattress itself will not get spoilt during the steaming process. You can do this by steaming a part of the mattress and observing the result. When you are sure that your mattress can be steamed then you need to, first of all, make use of a vacuum to wipe away as many bed bugs as possible. When done with vacuuming then you can introduce steam.
In case you have tried vacuuming or steaming with very little or no change then you can consider using chemicals. There are numerous pesticides on the market that are specifically meant for use at getting rid of bed bugs. You simply have to search and find them.
How to remove bed bugs from clothes
When it comes to clothes, you can easily do the bed bugs removeВ as long as you can introduce high temperatures to the cloth without causing damage. You can simply throw the clothes in a dryer and set the heat to medium-high, or you can steam your clothes. You can also soak them in boiling water for about 30 minutes to kill the bed bugs.
How to remove bed bugs from books
Books with bed bugs traces
When it comes to bed bugs in books, you have to introduce diatomaceous earth powder to the books to kill the bed bugs. You may also use other powders specifically designed to kill bed bugs. In the case of hard-to-remove bed bug eggs, you can use a firm object such as a credit card to scrap off the eggs.
In case you are not using the books for a long period then you can seal them to starve and ultimately kill the bed bugs. When it comes to pesticides, you can make use of vapor type pesticide applications to avoid damaging your books. There are heat chambers that when carefully monitored can also get rid of bed bugs from books. Freezing is another option you can use, as long as you use a chest freezer, not the ordinary вЂhome freezer.’
How to remove bed bugs from furniture
When it comes to furniture, you can get rid of bed bugs by vacuuming every available space on the furniture. Depending on how fine the furniture is, you can then introduce steam. In case you are unable to introduce steam then you can introduce diatomaceous earth powder in all corners of the furniture.
In case of removable cushions, you can make use of a dryer set on high. You may also caulk any cracks or crevices around the furniture as long as you donвЂ™t end up making the furniture ugly!
If you notice bed bugs on your sofa, then you can thoroughly vacuum it. You can then use a steamer to get rid of more bed bugs before sprinkling diatomaceous earth powder. Also, there are vapor type pesticides available that you may also use on your sofa minus causing damage.
How to remove bed bugs from your car
Yes, bed bugs can also be found in the car-after all, humans or pets tend to sit in them for long and bed bugs love blood! If you have bed bugs in your car then you can thoroughly vacuum it. Remove carpets and seat covers from the car and place them in a dryer for at least an hour. To further give you peace of mind, you can also introduce pesticides specifically designed to get rid of bed bugs in your car.
How to remove bed bugs from yourВ skin
ВSince bed bugs love blood, it is no wonder that they may wish to make themselves comfortable on your body. There are some ways you can get rid of them. You can bath with hot water and soap and follow this up with bed bug treatments intended for the skin.
How to remove bed bugs from bed
If you have a bed bug infestation in your home, then you should know that they are never far from your bed. These pesky creatures will lay in wait for that time when you lie down so that they can pounce and suck blood! When it comes to bed bugs on your bed, you need to remove all the beddings and soak them in boiling water or throw them in the dryer for at least an hour. You should then remove the mattress and inspect the bed. Vacuum away as many bed bugs as possible before introducing steam to the bed. You can also spray pesticides to your bed-as long as it is approved for use on the bed.
How to remove bed bugs from hair
If you notice bed bugs in your hair, you should thoroughly comb and wash it. Be sure to comb and wash your hair as frequently as possible to limit the possibilities of bed bugs making their home in your hair! In addition to using regular shampoo, you can also use rubbing alcohol to get further rid of bed bugs in your hair.
In the night time, you can apply mineral oil or olive oil to your hair and cover it for the night with a shower cap. This will help suffocate and kill bed bugs in your hair. If you can stand the sauna, then you can also think about visiting it to introduce steam to your body thereby killing the bed bugs.
If bed bugs eradication from your hair seems impossible, then you might want to look into trimming off your hair.
How to remove bed bug bites
Although most bed bug bites do go away on their own within a week or two, it can be a nightmare to look at them and move around with them! Typically, bed bug bites form a rash on your body, which rash can become itching and irritating. Although bed bugs donвЂ™t transmit diseases, the extreme itchy sensations the bites may cause may be uncomfortable for many.
Not to be confused with bites from other pests such as lice, fleas or mosquitoes, bed bug bites are normally tiny or raised skin bumps that appear in a row or clustered pattern. The reason for the row or cluster is because bed bugs tend to feed on the same location more than once. The rashes or bites are generally found on the legs, arms, face, neck or back. In other words, parts of the body that may be exposed as you sleep.
Unfortunately, it may be impossible to get rid of the swelling or redness that comes with bed bug bites in a fast manner, but it is possible to at least reduce the discomfort that comes with itching. You can use natural methods or chemicals to help with the problem.
When it comes to medications, you can use things such as Cortaid; creams that contain Dephendrydramine & Pramoxine; creams or lotions that contain Benzyl Alcohol; Calamine lotion or you can use Alka-Seltzer.
As for natural remedies, you can introduce an ice pack to the affected area. Be sure to enclose the ice pack in a cloth before introducing it to the skin. It is not advisable to apply ice directly onto your skin! You can make a paste of baking soda and apply it on the affected area. If you donвЂ™t have baking soda, then you can squeeze lemon juice and apply a small amount with the help of a cotton ball to the area. Other natural remedies include Apple Cider vinegar, cucumber, banana peel, toothpaste, onion, cinnamon, and honey paste as well as mud.
Bed bugs may be a nightmare when found in your home or body, but they can be removed as long as the right methods are used. In some instances, you may have to use more than one method to get rid of them entirely.
How to remove bed bugs from home
Worried about bed bugs? Get information on what they look like, where they live and hide, symptoms of bed bug bites plus how to kill and get rid of bed bugs to prevent infestation.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs (cimex lectularius) are tiny wingless parasitic insects that feed on the blood of humans and other warm blooded mammals.
Generally, bed bugs are most active at night though they are not strictly nocturnal. Their preferred habitat include infesting mattresses or hiding in other common areas where they can easily reach their preys and feed on their blood meals.
Can One See Bed Bugs?
Adult bed bugs are 1/4 inch long (or the size of an apple seed) and have flat rusty-brown-colored oval shaped bodies. However after feeding on a blood meal, their bodies can swell to a deeper red brown and up to 3/8 inch long.
All bed bugs including newly hatched nymphs can be easily seen with the naked human eye.
Do you have bed bug photos? Get paid for it.Find out how here.
Key Bed Bug Facts
- The typical life span of a bed bug is about 12 to 18 months.
Bed bugs are able to live for several months without feeding on a host.
Female bed bugs can lay up to 300 eggs over their lifetime.
Bed bugs eggs hatch within 2 weeks and takes about another 3 to 10 weeks to reach maturity depending upon the temperature and availability of food.
Where Do Bed Bugs Live and Hide?
Bed bugs often hide in places that tends to be close to where their hosts sleep such as in crevices and cracks of the bed frame or the mattress; in furniture, behind the skirting, behind the wallpaper.
During the initial early stages of infestation, bed bugs tend to congregate mostly in the seams, tufts and folds of a mattress and then move to the open crevices of the entire bed.
As the bed bug infestations grow larger, the room may carry a distinctive and unpleasant almond-like smell, and they can be anywhere in the home including furnishings, cracks in any wood around the home or electrical boxes. They can also be in found in cloth wall hangings, curtains pleats and loose wall paper plus cracks in wall and ceiling plaster. You should also be able to spot the bed bugs during the day as the infestation increases.
How Do You Get Bed Bugs– A look at how does one get bed bugs at home.
Bed Bugs Feeding Habits
Bed bugs are generally active at night and feed primarily on the blood of humans while they are sleeping. Their feeding activity often peaks with in a couple of hours before sunrise. However bed bugs will also feed at other times if that is when they are given the opportunity.
Attracted by the warmth of the hosts and the carbon dioxide (CO2) that is given off during sleep, bed bugs feed by piercing the skin with two tubes, one that injects the host with its saliva, which contain anticoagulant and anesthetics while the other sucks up the blood. They usually feed for about 3 to 10 minutes before withdrawing to their hiding places. The host that is being bitten usually do not feel the bites until some minutes or hours later where indication of the bites become itchy.
How to Check If There Are Bed Bugs In My House or Room?
Bed bug bites are usually the first symptoms that you may have bed bugs in the your house or hotel room. You may notice flat welts or raised red bumps that are often accompanied by very intense itching. Secondly, you will get bitten just about every night and you are going to see the bumps and feel it regularly. The bites are also usually isolated to the back of the body, legs and arms. Bed bug bites can also be differentiated from common mosquito bites by the bites unique row or group pattern they have.
You may also see the bed bugs themselves, small bloodstains on your bed sheets from crushed insects, or dark spots from their droppings around your mattresses.
You may also like to try the following steps to check and detect for bed bugs.
Bed bugs spent skins, eggs & carcasses
- If you suspect you have a bed bug infestation in the house, you need to thoroughly inspect your mattress first. It is best to do this with a bright flashlight to look for bed bugs or their dark droppings in the seams and tufts of your mattress and inside the box spring.
Bed bugs shed an exoskeleton during their molting stage that pile up in there hiding spots. If a bed bug infestation is bad enough the evidence of bed bugs spent skins or carcasses will be easy to spot. The room may also carry a distinctive and unpleasant almond-like smell.
Trapping bed bugs with a double sided sticky tape is also effective. Place it on edges of the mattresses, box spring and around beds on the floor. In about a week you should see bed bugs stuck to the tape if you have a bed bug infestation.
Bed Bug Symptoms– Learn how to identify the potential symptoms of bed bugs.
How Do Bed Bugs Spread and How Did They Infest My Home?
Bed bugs are introduced to a home through luggage, furniture, bedding and boxes that are moved from home to home or from a hotel. Used furniture, especially bed frames and mattresses, are of greatest risk of harboring bed bugs and their eggs and therefore should be thoroughly inspected before they are brought back into your home.
Since bed bugs are able to survive many months with out feeding they can simply be waiting in what appears to be a clean vacant home. It is also possible for them to move between connected apartments if you have stayed in an area recently where bed bugs are present. Bats and birds are also known to be the carrier and source for the spread of bed bugs.
Bed Bug Infestation– Methods on how to prevent an infestation.
Can Pets Spread Bed Bugs?
The answer is No. Even though bugs feed on pets, these bugs do not live on their host. While it may be possible for pets to transport bugs from one room to another, this is coincidental and not because the pet has become a host. Keep in mind that multiple groups of bed bugs may live in your home. Your pets did not cause this – it’s just what these bugs do.
Also, unless you take your pet to an infested area such as a hotel or infested home, your pet cannot bring bugs into your home – even if they spend time outdoors. In most cases, the bed bugs probably burrowed into inanimate objects like the pet carriers, pet blankets and other pet items brought into the infested area – not on your pet.
Are Bed Bugs Harmful? Do They Spread Disease?
While bed bugs have been shown to be carriers of certain diseases including the plague and hepatitis B, they do not transmit these diseases to the hosts. It is possible for the areas that have been bitten to develop rashes and be extremely itchy. For some individuals, cratching the areas may lead to infections. However, as of yet, there are no medical proof that bed bug infestations are a serious health threat.
How Do I Get Rid of Bed Bugs?
Getting rid of bed bugs require persistence and patience to fully extinguish these challenging pests. While professional exterminators are very effective they are fairly expensive and may require treatment on more than one occasion to completely eradicate the infestations. However it is also possible to get rid of bed bugs yourself. Some of the things you can do yourself, include:
- Vacuum mattresses, bed frames, carpets and upholstered furniture to remove bed bugs and eggs. Pay particular attention to cracks, crevices and open spaces. Use a stiff brush to scrub the mattress to help dislodge bed bugs and eggs. Immediately after vacuuming, dispose of the vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag in an outdoor bin.
Thoroughly clean bedding, linens, curtains, rugs, carpets or garments where bed bugs are likely to hide. Apply bed bug spray to any likely possible infestation areas. If you suspect that there are bed bugs in your bed linen and clothes, remove and wash them in hot water (minimum 120В°F) for at least 20 minutes. In additional, a bed bug steamer can also be used to clean and sterilize toys, stuffed animals, shoes, luggage or any other items that cannot be easily wash with hot water.
If you find bed bugs on your mattress, seal it with a waterproof, hypoallergenic, zippered mattress cover labeled "allergen rated" or "for dust mites". Keep the cover on for at least one year to keep bed bugs out of the mattress, and eventually kill off any remaining bed bugs that are trapped within.
For prevention, it is necessary to repair and seal any cracks and crevices between baseboards, bed frames and furniture. Similarly, remove or glue down any loose or peeling wallpaper to eliminate bed bugs harborage sites.
Because it is hard to get rid of all the bed bugs and their eggs in the first round of treatment it may be necessary that you repeat it weekly to fully eliminate the infestations. If you are still unable to take care of it yourself, hire a professional licensed pest management professional and make sure that they have a well established history of getting rid of bed bugs.
Find Bed Bug Exterminator– Get Fast, FREE Quotes from experienced exterminators.
How To Kill Bed Bugs– Discover what are the best ways to get rid of bed bugs for good.
Bed Bug Pictures– See and identify what do bed bugs and their bites look like.
Bed Bug Supply
Offers a wide variety of D-I-Y bed bug treatment products to kill bed bugs.
The Bedbug Registry
A free, public database of bedbug infestations. Use it to check for bedbug reports before booking a hotel room or renting an apartment.
New York Bed Bugs
Information, resources and bed bug management for New York City residents.
Bed Bugs CDC-EPA Joint Statement
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency joint statement on bed bug control in the United States.
U.S. EPA on Bed Bug Control
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on controlling and treating bed bugs.
Cornell University Bed Bug Guide
Guidelines for prevention and management of bed bugs in shelters and group living facilities.
Bed Bugs FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions on bed bugs from the National Pest Management Association.
This website’s mission is to provide comprehensive information about bed bugs .
Popular topics include how to kill bed bugs , bed bug rash , bed bugs treatment and what do bed bugs look like .
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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:
- Thoroughly vacuum all the areas you plan to steam.
- 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.
- 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.
- After you are finished, use a fan in the area to circulate air to help dry the items you have steamed.
- 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:
13 Responses toThe Top 10 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally
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