How To Treat Bed Bugs At Home Yourself

US EPA

Bed Bugs

Do-it-yourself Bed Bug Control

Can you get rid of bed bugs on your own?

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

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

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

The following steps will help you begin:

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

Identify the Problem

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

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

      Keep the Infestation from Spreading

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

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

      Kill the Bed Bugs

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

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

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          How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs at Home

          A new study shows bed bugs are very hard to kill. Here’s how to get rid of them—or prevent them from ever moving in.

          Two insecticides commonly used to kill bed bugs are becoming less effective against them, according to a study published today in the Journal of Economic Entomology.

          In the past 15 years, there has been a resurgence of bed bugs throughout the U.S., and people often struggle to rid their homes of the hardy pests, known for causing itchy red welts.

          After the bugs developed resistance against many of the most powerful pesticides, such as DDT, exterminators had been increasingly relying on two chemicals—chlorfenapyr and bifenthrin. But until now, no one had looked at whether bed bugs were developing defenses against these chemicals too, says Ameya D. Gondhalekar, one of the study authors and a research assistant professor at the Center for Urban and Industrial Pest Management at the Department of Entomology at Purdue University.

          Gondhalekar and his team exposed 10 different groups of bed bugs collected from different parts of the country to each of the chemicals in a glass vial. After several days, they examined how effective the chemicals were at killing the bugs.

          While most of the bed bugs were wiped out by the chemicals, three groups continued to thrive after being treated with chlorfenapyr, and five groups were still kicking after being treated with bifenthrin. That means that while some bed bugs will respond to these chemicals, others won’t—and it’s likely that more and more bugs will become resistant over time.

          “This is just more evidence that this pesticide-only approach to controlling bed bugs isn’t really working,” says Consumer Reports’ senior scientist Michael Hansen, Ph.D. “The take-away is that if you want to control these bed bugs, you can’t just spray.”

          How to Prevent a Bed Bug Infestation

          Prevention and vigilance are key to preventing a bed bug problem. “It’s much easier to control them if they are found early, [when there are only a few of them], as opposed to when they grow to number in the hundreds,” says Gondhalekar.

          Monitor your home.Bed bugs like to hide in cracks and crevices like walls, luggage, boxes, and clothing, but since they feed on humans while they sleep, they’re most commonly found in beds. If you suspect an infestation, or if you live in an apartment building with a bed bug problem, regularly inspect your bed sheets, mattress (including underneath), and box-spring seams for bugs. They’re flat and oval-shaped, with red or brown bodies, roughly the size of an apple seed. Watch for adults, nymphs, and eggs, as well as exoskeletons (casings that the bugs leave behind when they molt) and dark, rust-colored spots (feces).

          Encase your mattress.Enclosing your mattress, pillows, and box spring with a protective cover can block bed bugs from reaching their favorite hiding place.

          Be cautious when you travel.Hotel and motel rooms are hotbeds for bed bugs. When checking in, put your luggage in the bathroom, then inspect the bedding. Stow your suitcases on a luggage rack or a hard surface.

          When you return home, quarantine your bags.Decontaminate your luggage and clothing by putting your entire suitcase into a large chest freezer (if you have one) for four days, suggests Gondhalekar, before bringing them back into your home. Extreme hot or cold temperatures kills bed bugs. You can also put your clothes in the dryer on a hot setting for 30 minutes, and try steam cleaning your luggage and clothing.

          How to Treat a Bed Bug Infestation

          Minimize its spread.First, notify your landlord if you rent in a building to control its spread to other units. Thoroughly vacuum any infested areas, including carpets and mattresses, and then empty the vacuum bag into a plastic bag, seal it, and throw it in the trash outside. If you can’t get the bed bugs out of your furniture, discard items in a responsible manner. To avoid someone else from salvaging infested furniture or mattreses, rip, remove stuffing, or spray paint with the words “bed bugs.”

          Bring on the heat.Heating infested furniture or the entire apartment to a very high temperature—more than 100 degrees, in most cases—will kill bed bugs. If you have a hand-held steamer, blast cracks and crevices.

          Use an insecticide alternative.Substances such as diatomaceous earth, boric acid, and silica gel kill bed bugs by damaging their outer coating so they dry out and die. Put these powders into cracks and crevices around your home (being careful not to ingest or inhale them).

          Enlist professional help.Not all bed bugs respond the same way to insecticides, so if you have an infestation that you can’t control yourself, a professional can help you determine the correct treatment or insecticide to use.

          How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

          A 4-Step DIY Bed Bug Treatment Guide

          What Does a Bed Bug Treatment Program Include?

          Learn the Best Way to Kill Bed Bugs on Your Own

          Have you discovered bed bugs in your home or have bites from bed bugs? A treatment by a professional pest control company or exterminator may not be in your budget or work with your schedule.

          Luckily, it is possible to treat a bed bug infestation yourself without spending a fortune. You must be diligent and committed to the treatment process, but you can eliminate bed bugs yourself! Read our guide below for the 4-step DIY bed bug treatment process.

          Not sure if you have bed bugs or where to find them? Read our guide on what bed bugs look like and our guide to finding where bed bugs hide in the home before you begin to treat.

          Preparing a Room for Bed Bug Treatment

          Before you begin your own bed bug treatment, you will need to prepare the room or rooms where bed bugs have been found, in addition to rooms that share walls with the infested rooms. Remove any items in the room that you absolutely cannot treat or that have already been treated. Cover items that will be removed from the room in plastic bags before moving to the next room to prevent any unseen bed bug from infesting another room.

          Remove any paintings or art from the walls. Be sure to thoroughly check any item that is removed from the room to prevent bed bugs from being transferred from room to room.

          If you have a mattress that is heavily infested, we recommend covering it with a bed bug proof mattress cover or bed bug mattress encasement before moving. You will also need to cover your box spring with a box spring encasement.

          If your mattress needs to be disposed of and replaced, be sure to cover the mattress with plastic before disposing to protect sanitation workers. Labeling a mattress or covering with "Bed Bugs" is also helpful.

          Infested sheets, linens, and garments should be washed and then dried in a household dryer on high heat (over 120 degrees F), as the heat will kill bed bugs. Any garments that cannot be washed may need to be dry-cleaned or discarded as insecticides cannot be used on these materials.

          If stuffed animals, books, or soft toys are infested, place those items in an air-tight bin along with vapor strips to kill the bed bugs.

          Products needed for Step 1

          Treat the Cracks, Crevices, Tufts, and Folds of Your Home for Bed Bugs

          Products needed for Step 2

          Treat Your Mattress for Bed Bugs

          To get rid of bed bugs in a mattress, use an aerosol spray labeled for bed bug treatment, such as Bedlam Aerosol Spray, and spray or mist the insecticide onto the mattress. Focus on the seams, tufts, and folds of the mattress and spray until the mattress is damp. Allow mattress to dry before remaking the bed with freshly laundered sheets that have been run through a dryer on high heat.

          After treating a mattress or box spring for bed bugs, we recommend encasing each in a bed bug proof cover. This will prevent re-infestation and will make future inspections and treatments easier. Be sure any product that has been sprayed or applied to your mattress is dry before you cover the mattress with a bed bug proof cover. You can make the bed with your freshly laundered linens over a bed bug proof mattress cover.

          After encasing, you will not need to re-treat your mattress or box spring further. If you are not encasing your mattress or box spring, you will need to reapply the aerosol spray every 7-10 days until you do not see any further bed bug activity.

          You can follow the initial aerosol spray treatment with an insecticide dust. Dusts are great for hard to reach areas like the corners of mattresses and where mattresses and box springs meet. Dusts also last for several months.

          Don’t forget to dust your box spring as well. Remove the dust cover from the bottom of the box spring and dust in corners and crevices.

          Again, we highly recommend encasing your mattress and box spring to avoid having to re-treat.

          Pro Tip

          As mentioned above, high heat kills bed bugs. A bed bug or bed bug egg must have direct contact with hot steam to be killed. We recommend using a bed bug steamer to steam your mattress, box spring, and other furniture.

          Steaming is a great option in rooms and areas where the use of pesticides must be limited due to health or other concerns. When using the steamer, take your time and slowly move the steamer across the item you are treating for the best possible treatment. We still strongly recommend you follow-up with an insecticide labeled for bed bugs in areas where it is permissible to do so. All steaming should be done prior to covering a mattress or box spring with a protective cover and applying insecticides.

          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."

          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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          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.

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