How To Treat Bed Bugs Naturally
11 Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Naturally
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Remedies To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are a nightmare. While commercially available repellents can take care of them, they will cause some serious damage to our health, too. It is best to try some natural bed bug repellents like essential oils like tea tree oil, lavender oil or citronella. Other bed bug eliminators include kidney bean leaves, thyme, clove and diatomaceous earth.
Bed bugs are parasites that belong to the cimicid family. They are small, oval, brownish insects that feed exclusively on blood. While there are quite a few parasites of the cimicid family that feeds on animal blood, thecimex lectularius, the common bedbug, is the famous one as it prefers feeding on human blood. While an adult bed bug has a flat body, and looks pretty much like an apple seed, after feeding, its body swells and also turns a reddish color. Bed bugs usually feed on their hosts quite unnoticed.
Though bed bugs are believed to be more active during the night, they are not nocturnal creatures. A female bedbug can lay hundreds of eggs in its lifetime. These eggs are usually the size of a speck of dust and can be brought into your house along with adults, via luggage, used furniture, used beds, clothing, etc. Bed bugs cannot fly. However, they can move quite quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings.
While some adverse health conditions may be caused as a result of bed bug bites, like skin rashes, allergic symptoms, and even psychological problems, bed bugs are unknown to transmit any disease pathogens. 1
Is Your House Infested?
One of the most evident signs of bed bug infestation is finding itchy areas on your body when you wake up after a sleep. These itchy areas may also present as small red bumps. Small blood stains on your sheets or pillow cases, bed bug excrement on the bed and bed linen or walls, egg shells or shed skins in areas where bed bugs usually hide, and sometimes even a musty odor from the bugs’ scent glands are some other giveaways to a bed bug infestation.
Since bed bugs have flattened bodies, it makes it easy for them to hide in the tiniest of spaces, like mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards. Though bed bugs do not have nests, they tend to live in groups. Over time, they tend to scatter through the bedroom, moving into any crevice or protected location, and even to adjoining rooms.
If you suspect that you may have a bed bug infestation, remove all bedding and dust covers and blankets, box springs etc. and check it carefully for signs of the bugs or their excrement. You must also check the area around the bed, including inside books, telephones, radios, carpet edges, and even electrical outlets.
Ways To Exterminate Bed Bugs
Once you have identified a bed bug infestation in your house, it is understandable that you want to jump right in and eliminate them. But this will be a long, drawn-out battle, and there is nothing like patience and preparation to win it.
Getting rid of bedbugs begins with cleaning up the places where bedbugs live. Now, this is not an easy task as it includes washing and drying bedding, linens, curtains, clothing, etc. in hot water and then meticulously checking that it is indeed bed-bug free. The cleaning up process also calls for some heavy-duty vacuuming. The entire house, furniture, linens, furnishings etc. need to be regularly vacuumed. After each vacuuming session, ensure you remove the vacuum cleaner bag into another plastic bag and place it in the garbage bin outside the house.
Another way to get rid of these bugs is to freeze them. Although bed bugs can live for up to a year in a cool room, they cannot withstand freezing temperatures. Freezing infested items for at least two hours at -17°C should kill them off.
Like cold, steam too can help get rid of bed bugs. Steam can penetrate mattress linings, crevices and cracks effectively and efficiently. Steam cleaning infested items and rooms at about 140°F (60°C) can destroy bugs as well as their eggs without damaging the surroundings. 2
Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs
You can also try out some natural insecticides to get rid of the bed bugs and their eggs. In this regard, plant essential oils have gained importance as a significant natural source of pesticides. They represent a market estimated at $700 million. The total production of essential oils in the world is estimated to be around 45000 tons. 3 Most essential oils affect the inner cell membranes of insects, causing cytotoxic effects. It is this property that proves beneficial when tackling any kind of bug or insect infestation. 4 And while the essential oils are toxic to the bugs, they are safe for humans. Here we look at some essential oil based natural insecticides as well as some other less harmful repellents to help get rid of bed bugs.
1. Tea Tree Oil Spray
Studies show that tea tree oil is an effective insecticidal. The essential oil of tea tree effectively disrupts the permeability barrier of cell membrane structures, thus resulting in the loss of chemiosmotic control and fatality. It is this membrane-damaging property of tea tree oil that makes it an effective natural insecticide in fighting bed bugs. You can use the homemade spray in hard-to-reach places, like cracks, crevices, and furniture joints. 5
To Use:To make a natural insecticide with tea tree oil, mix two teaspoons of tea tree oil with 50 ml of water. Pour it into a spray bottle and shake well. Spray liberal amounts of the natural insecticide in all areas where you think bed bugs are living. Use this application daily until all the signs of bed bugs have disappeared. Remember to shake well before each application.
2. Lavender Oil
Like tea tree oil, lavender essential oil can also be used as an effective natural insecticide to kill bed bugs. Lavender oil is also believed to destroy bed bug eggs as well. It is also said that it is the smell of lavender that kills the bugs. \However, the oil probably acts as a cytotoxin and thus kills the bed bugs. 6
To Use:To make a spray, mix 10–15 drops of lavender oil with 50 ml water. Shake well, pour into a spray bottle and use in areas where the infestation is seen. You can also use lavender soap or powder as a spray. Another method is to place fresh lavender leaves or flowers in and around the infested areas to get rid of the bed bugs.
A combination of lavender oil and peppermint oil was also found to be highly beneficial in exterminating bed bugs. 7
To Use:Add 10–15 drops of lavender essential oil and 10–15 drops of peppermint oil into a spray bottle. Fill it with water. Then shake well and spray in affected areas.
3. Citronella Spray
Citronella, or lemongrass as it is more commonly known, is another essential oil that can repel and kill bed bugs as well as its eggs. Citronella oil is believed to increase the acidic condition within the bugs, thus effectively eliminating it. Like lavender, the smell of citronella is also believed to help get rid of bed bugs. 8
To Use:Add 10 drops of citronella oil to a small bowl of water. Pour it into a spray bottle, shake thoroughly, and spray in affected areas to get best results.
4. Eucalyptus Oil Spray
The evergreen, mighty trees of the eucalyptus can be seen in most places across the world. The essential oil found in its foliage is widely used in food, pharmaceuticals, perfumes, etc. It is also used extensively as an insect repellent. Eucalyptus is believed to exhibit ovicidal activity, as well as insect repellency against bacteria, fungi, insects, weeds, nematodes, and mites. 9
To Use:To make the spray, take two ounces of water, 1.5 ounces of witch hazel or vodka and 30 drops of eucalyptus essential oil. Pour all this into a spray bottle and shake well to mix it. Then spray the solution on the affected areas. Repeat the spraying every two hours of so.
5. Essential Oils Of Orange
Orange oil contains d-limonene which is classified as an insecticide. This is a nerve toxin which kills the bugs and insects within minutes of contact. 10
To Use:Make a spray solution by mixing 1 cup of compost tea, 1 ounce of blackstrap molasses and 2 ounces of orange essential oil in 4 liters of water. Mix all this together well and spray in the affected areas.
6. Neem Oil
For generations, neem oil has been used for various medicinal and insecticidal properties. The tree, the leaf, the seeds are all used for medicinal purposes with beneficial results. Studies show that neem oil, especially cold pressed neem oil, has high toxicity, and antifeedancy and can repel a number of pests. 11 It was also shown to have high larval growth inhibition properties. 12
To Use:To make a spray solution, add 1 ounce of concentrated neem essential oil to 4 ounces of water. Add ½ teaspoon of soap in order to emulsify the solution. Mix it well. Then spray and wipe down beds, sheets, walls, crevices and all other potential bed bug hiding places. Do this three times a day for the first three days. Then shift to treating your home every alternate day for a total of 18 days.
7. Sweet Flag
Sweet flag oracorus calamus, is an uncommon, semi-aquatic, perennial plant found in Eurasia and the Americas. Valued for its rhizome and fragrant oils, this plant has been used medicinally as well as for its insecticidal properties, since time immemorial. Recent studies have also revealed that the sweet plant possesses antifungal and antibacterial properties. 13 The antimicrobial property makes the sweet flag effective against bed bugs.
To Use:To make a spray, boil 100 grams of sweet flag and 50 grams of turmeric powder in one liter of water. Boil this for an hour. Then keep the solution in a closed container for 24 hours. The next day, filter and dilute the solution in 10 times the water. Transfer to a spray bottle and spray lavishly in affected areas and its surroundings.
8. Bean Leaves
Did you just think “folk lore” when you read the word kidney beans? Well, push that thought aside. Studies have shown that the leaves have microscopic hairs called trichomes on its surface that entangle the bugs onto it, literally stopping them in their tracks. Unlike a Velcro effect, the trichomes actually get hooked onto bugs’ legs, trapping them. 14
To Use:Scatter kidney bean leaves all over the house, especially in infested areas. You can also place the leaves under mattresses. You can either wait for a couple of days before getting rid of these leaves or opt to use fresh leaves every day for a few days. Since the bugs are stuck on the leaves, getting rid of the leaves will ensure the bugs never return.
Thyme oil or thymol concentrate are effective bed bug repellents. They are also shown to be effective deterrents for egg laying by mites. 15
To Use:You can tie a thyme stick with a cotton cloth and burn it near the infested area, or in the infested room. Alternatively, place thyme leaves in net bags and place them in and around the infested areas. Remember to replace these bags with fresh leaves every third day. Continue the process for up to a month to ensure all bed bugs have been killed.
Like most other essential oils, clove oil too possesses insecticidal and insect repellent properties. It is believed that the acidic pH of cloves, as well as its pungent smell, disturbs the survival of the bugs, thus destroying them. 16
To Use:Mix 1 teaspoon clove essential oil with 1 cup water. Pour into a spray bottle, shake well, and spray in affected areas.
11. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a non-toxic insecticide that is used for the protection of stored products and to control pests in the home and garden. It is a natural product that harms neither the earth nor people. It can be conveniently used in any space, even crevices on walls and other inaccessible regions. DE comes as a fine crystalline powder. Fine for the human eye, but the crystals trap and tear up the bed bugs. 17
To Use:Spray or sprinkle food grade DE on the bed, the floor, the crevices, and other areas where bugs are likely to hide. Let it stay for up to three days. After three days, vacuum or broom up the entire house.
Some other products that work effectively against bed bugs are baking powder and boric powder. While boric powder is toxic, baking powder is harmless for humans.
Also, remember that most essential oils should be effective in getting rid of bed bugs. This is because, as mentioned, the oils function as cytotoxins, destroying the membranes of the bugs. So, go ahead, get started on ridding your home and hearth of those pesky blood suckers.
|1.||↑||Bai, Xiaodong, Praveen Mamidala, Swapna P. Rajarapu, Susan C. Jones, and Omprakash Mittapalli. “Transcriptomics of the bed bug (Cimex lectularius).” PloS one 6, no. 1 (2011): e16336.|
|2.||↑||Benoit, J. B., G. Lopez‐Martinez, N. M. Teets, S. A. Phillips, and D. L. Denlinger. “Responses of the bed bug, Cimex lectularius, to temperature extremes and dehydration: levels of tolerance, rapid cold hardening and expression of heat shock proteins.” Medical and veterinary entomology 23, no. 4 (2009): 418-425.|
|3.||↑||Tripathi, Arun K., Shikha Upadhyay, Mantu Bhuiyan, and P. R. Bhattacharya. “A review on prospects of essential oils as biopesticide in insect-pest management.” Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy 1, no. 5 (2009): 052-063.|
|4.||↑||Bakkali, Fadil, Simone Averbeck, Dietrich Averbeck, and Mouhamed Idaomar. “Biological effects of essential oils–a review.” Food and chemical toxicology 46, no. 2 (2008): 446-475.|
|5.||↑||Cox, S. D., C. M. Mann, J. L. Markham, H. C. Bell, J. E. Gustafson, J. R. Warmington, and S. G. Wyllie. “The mode of antimicrobial action of the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil).” Journal of applied microbiology 88, no. 1 (2000): 170-175.|
|6, 8.||↑||Watson, Anthony C. “Method of treating bed bug infestation and preventing transmission thereof.” U.S. Patent Application 14/753,825, filed June 29, 2015.|
|7.||↑||Singh, Narinderpal, Changlu Wang, and Richard Cooper. “Potential of essential oil-based pesticides and detergents for bed bug control.” Journal of economic entomology 107, no. 6 (2014): 2163-2170.|
|9.||↑||Batish, Daizy R., Harminder Pal Singh, Ravinder Kumar Kohli, and Shalinder Kaur. “Eucalyptus essential oil as a natural pesticide.” Forest Ecology and Management 256, no. 12 (2008): 2166-2174.|
|10.||↑||Hink, W. F., and B. J. Feel. “Toxicity of D-limonene, the major component of citrus peel oil, to all life stages of the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae).” Journal of medical entomology 23, no. 4 (1986): 400-404.|
|11.||↑||Benelli, Giovanni, Stefano Bedini, Francesca Cosci, Chiara Toniolo, Barbara Conti, and Marcello Nicoletti. “Larvicidal and ovideterrent properties of neem oil and fractions against the filariasis vector Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae): a bioactivity survey across production sites.” Parasitology research 114, no. 1 (2015): 227-236.|
|12.||↑||Isman, Murray B., Opender Koul, Anna Luczynski, and Jerzy Kaminski. “Insecticidal and antifeedant bioactivities of neem oils and their relationship to azadirachtin content.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 38, no. 6 (1990): 1406-1411.|
|13.||↑||Motley, Timothy J. “The ethnobotany of sweet flag, Acorus calamus (Araceae).” Economic Botany 48, no. 4 (1994): 397-412.|
|14.||↑||Szyndler, Megan W., Kenneth F. Haynes, Michael F. Potter, Robert M. Corn, and Catherine Loudon. “Entrapment of bed bugs by leaf trichomes inspires microfabrication of biomimetic surfaces.” Journal of The Royal Society Interface 10, no. 83 (2013): 20130174.|
|15.||↑||El-Gengaihi, S. E., S. AA Amer, and S. M. Mohamed. “Biological activity of Thyme oil and Thymol againstTetranychus urticae Koch.” Anzeiger für Schädlingskunde 69, no. 7 (1996): 157-159.|
|16.||↑||Chaieb, Kamel, Hafedh Hajlaoui, Tarek Zmantar, Amel Ben Kahla‐Nakbi, Mahmoud Rouabhia, Kacem Mahdouani, and Amina Bakhrouf. “The chemical composition and biological activity of clove essential oil, Eugenia caryophyllata (Syzigium aromaticum L. Myrtaceae): a short review.” Phytotherapy research 21, no. 6 (2007): 501-506.|
|17.||↑||Quarles, William. “Diatomaceous earth for pest control.” IPM practitioner 14, no. 5/6 (1992): 1-11.|
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally
After writing how to get rid of roaches?, how to get rid of fruit flies?, how to get rid of ants?, and how to get rid of fleas?, we are now writing home remedies to get rid of bed bugs naturally. Bed bugs are small, wingless insects that feed on the blood of animals and human. They crawl out at night and bite you, when you sleep and leave behind red, itchy bumps. They can’t fly but they can move quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings. As they are not attracted to dirt, a bed bugs infestation has nothing to do with your personal cleanliness. Getting bed bug bites are every individual’s worst nightmare, especially if it is your own bed at home. It can bite at all possible areas in your body, causing itching, rashes and blisters around the affected area.
The fear of the thought that the crawling, creepy pests are hiding in your bedroom is good enough to keep you awake throughout the night. With an intention to make your sleep peaceful, we are explaining the best home remedies to get rid of bed bugs naturally to free your bed and rooms from bed bug attacks.You must inspect you whole house, before you start using the home remedies for bed bugs. Inspection will help you to decide that, which remedy you should for which area. So, before explaining the home remedies for bed bugs, the first step is about inspection for bed bugs.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally
1.) Inspection Before You Start
Before you choose any home remedies to get rid of bed bugs naturally, it is very important to do the inspection. The first thing before choosing anything or apply anything is to perform an inspection and note it down. You should inspect and see how much is the infestation and accordingly choose the best home remedy for bed bugs. When you are inspecting for these creatures, check for live and dead bugs, rusty stains caused by the bugs being crushed, small spots of reddish black fecal material, cream colored tiny eggs and pale yellow skins that nymphs shed as they grow.
- The most common places where they hide are in your mattresses, cushion, behind the headboards, in the folds of curtains, along carpet edges, the junction where the wall and ceiling meet, under loose wallpaper, in electrical receptacles, crack in wood molding and other dark cracks.
- Bed bugs most often seen, where people sleep because you are their source of food. Also, remember that they tend to prefer wood or fabric over plastic and metal.
- When you will inspect them make a note of inspection and disinfect that infested areas also. Seal up any cracks or hole around baseboards and molding that the bed bugs might be using to hide.
2.) Silica Gel To Starve Them
Silica gel is among the best home remedies to get rid of bed bugs easily and naturally. More over silica will not harm anyone in your family, unless otherwise someone eat silica. The fine grind silica gel will get stick with bed bugs skin and can’t be removed easily. This will dehydrate the bed bug and causes them to death. For this, you need to grind some silica gel and apply it all over your bedroom. You can easily get the silica from nearby store or online. You have seen the silica pouches, when you purchased any new electronics or home ware. Silica is kept in that to keep the moisture away from those items. Any this silica property will help to suck everything from bed bugs. You can put some silica gel along the walls, around the bed and on your mattress and under your mattress. Do the inspection after a week and replace the silica gel after 4-5 weeks.
3.) Make Use of Lemongrass
Lemongrass power is a successful and powerful home remedy for bed bugs. It works very well against the bed bugs and killing the bed bugs their eggs. You can use the lemongrass oil , instead of powder. Both work in similar manner but power stays for long time then oil. Lemongrass power will release oil and bed bugs comes over them and expands the acidic level inside the bugs to a disturbing degree. Bed bugs are such pesticides, which cannot handle the acidic level in their body and even they can live in acidic environment. This outcome in making the bed bugs dead.
Their eggs are excessively killed through the utilization of lemongrass. These bugs need ideal conditions with a specific end goal to survive. There is a certain degree of temperature, acidic level, odor and a particular environment, which is suitable for the bed bugs to survive and reproduce as well. They can’t withstand certain smells, acidic levels and inordinate warmth. Therefore, lemongrass is a compelling home solution to get rid of bed bugs.
4.) Take Help From Baking Soda
Baking soda is one of the kitchen staple that you can use to get rid of bed bugs. The best part is that it is safe for your pet and children as well. Baking soda has drying properties that helps to absorb the moisture from bed bug body and starve bed bugs to death. In addition to this, it has antimicrobial properties that kills the bed bugs. Once you check for bed bugs, spread baking soda in the crevices, cracks and wherever you identify their symptoms of presence. Leave it for a night and clean the place next day. Spread the baking soda again next day. You can leave the baking soda below and above mattress and whenever bed bugs comes in contact with baking soda, it will stick to their body and suck everything from their body. Repeat the same until you get satisfactory results.
5.) Use The Hot Steam Treatment
Even if you remove bed bugs using hot water and washing of the fabrics in your bedroom, you may not be able to kill the eggs laid inside the mattresses. And once, you leave them unattended, they may give life to new bed bugs, which will again create nuisance. Therefore, it is better to get rid of the last trace of infection by cleaning the mattresses to hot steam. The eggs cannot survive hot steams and destroying them will help you to sleep without any nightmare.
Steam cleaners emit steam at a minimum temperature of 100 degrees Celsius and bed bugs generally die at eh 50 degrees Celsius or about 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Steam clean your infested mattress, upholstery and the items that cannot be washed. You can go for dry steam or a low vapor steamer that leaves behind less moisture.
6.) Make Use of The Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another effective home remedy for bed bugs. It help keep the bed bugs away from your bed due to its strong and pungent smell. So, you can spray the oil all around your bed and any other infected areas to get rid of bed bugs from attacking you while you are in deep sleep. Take all beds components apart, then clean, vacuum and hot steam the infected areas and spray them all down with the tea tree oil. Use the spray bottle to spray around the entire house. To make this spray mix 18 oz of water with 18 drops of tea tree oil and spray this solution to the entire house. The beds, carpets, and furniture.
You can even use wintergreen alcohol to kill the bed bugs instantly. It is not expensive and easily accessible. You need to pour the wintergreen alcohol into a spray bottle and spray the solution directly on the bedbugs and nests. The wintergreen burns the bugs, when they come in contact. You can also drench your box spring and mattress with this as well to prevent bed bugs.
7.) Use The Lavender Oil
It is said that lavender oils are natural and very effective as bed bug repellents. The smell or taste of the herb repels the nasty creature in no time. To apply it most effectively, put dried lavender between two cloth pieces and sew them around the bed perimeter. Lavender oil is also easily available in the health food stores. It’s in concentrated liquid form and its fragrance lasts for a few weeks. So, in order to prevent your body from bed bug attacks, all your bed frame and floor can be rubbed with lavender oil to get rid of bed bugs.
8.) Spraying Some Isopropyl Alcohol
Rubbing alcohols are generally used to disinfect the bitten area of your body. You can also use it by spraying the alcohol in the areas, where the bed bugs thrive. It helps to clean the infected areas. Alcohol has a dehydrating effect on the eggs of the bugs and kills them. Sprinkle some alcohol on the bugs to kill them instantly. However, the effect of sprinkling alcohol will remain only for a shorter time. A solution of 70-90% isopropyl is preferred to kill bed bugs. Pour alcohol in a spray bottle to use it on the bed bugs and eggs.
9.) Sprinkling Diatomaceous Earth
The main ingredients in the diatomaceous earth are the soil, which is made up of the tiny fossils of algae. The jagged edges of this soil, cut the bugs and they succumb to death due to excessive bleeding. Therefore, you can sprinkle the diatomaceous earth around your bed and protect yourself from its attack. It is harmless to human, its tiny particles cut the waxy shells of bed bugs can cause them to become dehydrated and die. You need to spread a small amount of this chalky substance around your house, including areas, where the wall meets the floors, behind light switch face plates, where carpet meets the walls behind picture frames, on baseboards and into all the cracks and crevices.
You will also like to dismantle your bed and lightly dust the powder on all the joints and crevices. Make sure to use food grade diatomaceous earth. A light dusting will come, if you will use a lot of diatomaceous earth and it becomes airborne. You also need to wear a dust mask to avoid getting an fine particles in your lungs. As long as it stays dry, diatomaceous earth will continue to work even for after months.
10.) Use The Vacuum Cleaner
Once the fabrics are washed properly, try to vacuum out the dreaded creatures from your computers, tables, wardrobes, cots, mattresses, etc. Bed bugs love hiding in corners or cracks which are generally inaccessible and need to be sucked out with the application of vacuum.
Vacuum the carpet floor and your entire house, mainly the areas that are infested. Also vacuum your entire mattress, box spring, bed frame and joints. As wood and fabric are bed bugs favorite places. Make sure to vacuum items made of these materials, even the ends of your curtains. Try to cover all the cracks and holes before vacuuming so they can’t run there to hide. Try to vacuum your house at least once a week.
11.) Cayenne Powder Will Help
Another home remedy that will help you to get rid of bed bugs is cayenne paper. It has antimicrobial properties that kills the bed bugs. So, once you have checked for bed bugs and found them take a tablespoon of the cayenne powder, grated ginger and oregano in a bowl. Add some boiling water into this mixture. Pour this mixture into the spray bottle and shake bottle to mix all the ingredients thoroughly. Spray this solution at all the places that are often visited by the bed bugs. The smell of this mixture will drive the tiny creatures and they won’t be able to breath.
11.) Use the Indica Leaves
Indica leaves have been used to treat the infestation of bed bugs and roaches since ages. It has antimicrobial properties that helps to eradicate these small creatures. In addition, the leaves have strong smell that is not liked by the bed bugs. Crush some Indica leaves and spread it around the suspected places. Alternatively, a boiling water add some Indica leaves. Leave it for a few minutes. Later strain the solution and take a bath with this. This will help to treat bed bug bites. In addition to this, you can use Indica oil to get rid of bed bugs.
12.) Sun Bathing For Items
As specified above, bed bugs cannot tolerate high temperatures and hot weather. You ought to sun-douse your bedding for the duration of a complete day if steaming your bed does not work to get rid of bed bugs.
- Sunlight and radioactive waves are very beneficial to avoid bed bugs. More than 90 degrees Fahrenheit temperature is all what is needed for killing these parasites.
- When you hold your sleeping cushion under the open sun, it warms up to more temperature than 90 degree Fahrenheit. This surely kills all the bed bugs and their eggs too.
- In the event that you are living in a tropical atmosphere, it is a lucky charm for you to use the sunlight as a natural remedy as the sunlight is very intense in the tropical areas.
- Wash all your garments and cot related apparel in boiling hot water and dry them in immediate daylight. Bugs can’t resist to the hot temperatures and have a tendency to bite the dust.
13.) Use The Cloves Oil
Cloves have pungent smell and acidic pH that rip off the moisture from the bed bugs body. Since bed bugs cannot stand the acidic condition created by cloves therefore, they die. Simply spread clove oil into all the crevices and infested areas. You can also place some cloves in all the nooks and corners to get rid of the bed bugs. However, clean the area later so that it does not come in the contact with pets and children.
14.) Spread Some Mint Leaves
Once you have check for bed bugs, you can use mint leaves to get rid of bed bugs. Meant leaves are considered to be repellents thus it is wonderful remedy to get rid of bed bugs. In addition to this, you should always keep mint leaves handy to prevent the infestation of bed bugs. Crush some dried mint leaves and spread them at the areas where you suspect bed bugs or where you have identified their symptoms. The best way is put dry mint leaves in the sashes and place them on the mattresses and closets. This is the safest way to use mint. Or simply spray mint oil on every nook and corner.
15.) Use The Pyrethrum
Pyrethrum is combination of dried flower. For this you need heads of C, Coccineous and chrysanthemum. Both the flowers are natural insecticides. It will breakdown their nervous system. Thus, this is one of the wonderful home remedy to get rid of bed bugs. However, if you find difficult to get this concoction then simply use an insecticide that has pyrethrum as a main ingredient or canola oil to cure bed bugs infestation.
16.) Use Black Walnut Tea
This is one of the safe herb and natural remedy to get rid of bed bugs. Black walnut tea is believed to be natural insecticide and repellent. Moreover, it has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that destroys bed bugs. Sprinkle some dried black walnut tea on the infested areas or you can also place tea bags at the suspected areas such as creases of the bed, corners of the room, closet area etc. Alternatively, in a bowl mix lavender, mint leaves, sweet flag, thyme and black walnut. Pour this mixture into the sachet and hide this sachet at the conspicuous areas they are visited by bed bugs. The strong aroma of this mixture will definitely work in your favor.
17.) Use The Scented Sheets
The smell of scented sheets is appalling to the bed bugs as they cannot tolerate different nature of smells. The bed bugs are fond of surviving in normal environment, which has a certain level of heat and odor. If you put the scented sheets under your mattress, between the pillows and inside your cupboards as well, it may help to get rid of the bed bugs through the unfavorable smell. The smell created by the scented sheets cannot be tolerated by the bed bugs to survive.
The idea of buying scented sheets is a novel idea, which is not known by many people. Many people hesitate from using some natural home remedies like using garlic or turmeric powder because they may not like the smell of that particular remedial product. But the smell of the scented sheets may not be unfavorable for the human beings to adjust in but it definitely is not appalling for the irritating parasites.
The scented sheets are available in different scents of flowers and fruits, which can make the environment of your room refreshing, but intolerable for the bed bugs at the same time. So you can easily adopt this simple and a very comforting way to get rid of the bed bugs.
18.) Use The Lilac Leaves
Lilac is also one of the great home remedies to get rid of bed bugs easily. To use this method, take few lilac leaves, crush them and place on the prone area. The antimicrobial properties and smell of this plant helps destroy bed bugs excellently. Alternatively, you can also boil some handful of leaves in water for 15 mins. Strain the water and bath with this solution. It will help reduce the infection on the skin. Also, it will keep bed bugs away from you.
19.) Use The Thyme Sticks
Thyme also works great in dealing with bed bugs and other sort of insects. To use this method, put some thyme sticks in a cotton cloth and burn it in each of your room and close to the infested area in order to prevent bed bugs. Alternatively, you can also place this cotton cloth, in the mattress, cupboards, corners under the sofa, under the cushions and other places. Make sure you replace these bags after every 3 days.
20.) Encase Your Mattresses and Pillows
Once you have cleaned, hot water washed and steam washed your mattresses, you may take help of encasement as a last option. With proper encasing of mattresses, bed bugs may not be able to find escape routes easily. You might as well encase the pillows to prevent bites on your face and neck areas.
21.) Wash All Your Fabrics
Any clothes or items coming in contact with the infected bed like linens, shirts, bed sheets, etc. need to be washed properly with hot water. Bed bugs cannot withstand very hot water and the easiest way to kill them is to use extremely hot water while washing infected items.
Try to wash your infested clothes and bedding from hot water and dry them on a hot cycle is effective way to get rid of bed bugs. A temperature of 50 degrees Celsius or 120 degrees Fahrenheit can help to kill these bed bugs at all stages of their life cycle. Wash all your clothes, sheets and other bedding at the hottest possible setting for about 30 minutes or more. Then place all the clothes in the dryer and run it on high heat for about 10-20 minutes. For items that can only be dry cleaned, use a hot dryer for at least half an hour.
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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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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!
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15 Eco-Friendly Ways to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally
table of contents
Natural methods and Remedies overview
We have a healthy bit of skepticism when it comes to recommending ways to get rid of bed bugs naturally. While we have not seen research that supports the use of natural bed bug sprays or remedies, we do believe in methods such as heat or thermal mediation, freezing, food grade diatomaceous earth powder, or mechanical and physical methods such as vacuuming or traps.
The pros and cons of each method is reviewed below so that you can make your own judgement.
Fundamentally, when killing bed bugs you have two choices:
- Call an exterminator to confirm you have an infestation and for treatment (usually takes 2 to 3 attempts) or
- Treat them yourself. The natural bed bug products you can use are described below in detail. We suggest that you use more than method to ensure that bed bugs and eggs are initially killed and then another method such as powder is used to kill any you might have missed.
How to get rid of bed bugs naturally
Listed below are our top eco-friendly ways to naturally get rid of bed bugs naturally.
Bed Bug Heat Treatment options
Bed bugs and their eggs are killed at 114F. Higher temperatures are used on the surface to make sure that enough heat penetrates any crack where bed bugs may be hiding.
Use Heat From A Hair Dryer
Heat can be safely applied to areas such as a mattress seam with a hair dryer on the high heat setting. Hold the hair dryer for 10 seconds on each spot to ensure that the proper amount of heat is applied.
This method works well along mattress and box spring seams, around the headboard and along wall baseboards.
Use A Portable Heat Chamber
How To Kill Bed Bugs With Heat
Like the use of a hair dryer, you can purchase a small portable vinyl case that can be heated to the temperatures needed to kill bed bugs. Just place your items that can withstand heat, such as clothing and linen, into a Thermalstrike, turn it on, and all bed bugs will be eliminated.
Hand Held Steamer
A professional grade steamer will product heat at about 200+ degrees, a level that will kill all bed bugs can eggs that come in contact with the steam. This is a very safe and effective method.
Differences between steam models include the amount of water they can hold and the ability to adjust the steam pressure. Prices range from $99 for a model such as the Vapamore to $2,100 for professional grade equipment.
Tip: We suggest that after the steamed areas dry, a coating of natural diatomaceous dust be applied to kill any bed bugs you might have missed along with bed bugs that hatch after treatment.
Heat A Room Using thermal mediation
In cases where there is a large infestation, it may pay to bring in a thermal remediation company or to purchase the equipment to do it yourself. Thermal mediation works by heating an entire room or even home to the temperature required to kill all bed bugs and eggs.
This method is highly effective and requires no other treatment such as insecticides. The downside of thermal mediation is that it can be expensive with entire houses costing approximately $4,000 for treatment.
You can also purchase a heat treatment starter kit that includes everything you need for around $1900. The kit is designed to eliminate bed bugs from one room and it works using existing electrical outlets.
Only use approved equipment to avoid the risk of fire.
natural bed bug sprays
Natural bed bug sprays take two forms, an essential oil or a combination of ingredients. We have not seen research on these natural products, so we suggest buying one that has a money back guarantee such as Bed Bug Patrol, which is described in the first section below.
Natural Bedbug Sprays with Multiple Ingredients
Several manufacturers sell organic bed bug sprays. These sprays use plant extracts such as Coconut, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Mentha Pipenita and Euginia Carophylla.
We suggest buying a brand that offers a 100% money back guarantee such as Bed Bug Patrol, to make sure that the bed bugs you are treating are not resistant to a natural method. This particular brand is also child and pet safe.
We suggest that sprays be used alongside other methods for getting rid of bed bugs naturally such as diatomaceous earth. Simply start by spraying areas to be treated according to the manufacturers directions. When the sprayed area dries, follow with a thin coating of diatomaceous earth powder. The powder will kill any bed bugs that you may have missed with the spray.
Powders are best applied with an applicator designed for powder. Wear some type of mouth covering to avoid breathing in the dust. Note that products labeled bed bug dust usually contain an insecticide. Instead buy pure diatomaceous earth.
Natural Remedies: Two Essential Oil Sprays
For essential oil sprays, mix with water as indicated below.
Spray Tea Tree Oil Solution
Mix 20 drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle with water and spray the pests. Tea tree oil is toxic so keep away from your children and pets, especially cats.
The theory is that tea tree oil is similar to creosote, a natural insecticide. It is also similar to turpintine. Plants make the oil to protect the plant against insects. Be sure to only use the product in the diluted form since it may burn the skin.
Our concern beyond the toxicity is that even if the oil kills bed bugs on contact, it does not provide residual protection for any that you might have missed or that are hiding. If you decide to use Tea Tree Oil be sure to followup any treatment with the use of diatomaceous earth.
We have also not seen any research proving that this method works. Tea Tree oil can be purchased on Amazon.
Spray Lavender oil Spray
Mix about 30 to 40 drops of lavender oil with 1.5 ounces of water, then spray it on the areas you want to treat.
Apply Diatomaceous Earth Powder
How To Apply Natural Bed Bug Powder or Dust
This natural powder kills bed bugs by dehydrating them. Apply the powder in a thin layer around the affected area and you’ll begin to see more dead bed bugs.
Diatomaceous earth is 100% natural. It works by clinging to the insects body. The product will last for years if left undisturbed, making it ideal for areas such as along wall baseboards.
Powder is applied with an applicator after treating areas with other products such as sprays. The goal is to use the powder field to kill any bed bugs that might not have hatched or that you missed during treatment.
Set Bed Bug Traps and detectors
Bed bug traps are not a complete solution, but they can compliment other approaches. There are several kinds of traps to consider.
1)Interceptors: These bed bug traps are placed under bed legs to prevent bed bugs from crawling up the frame onto the mattress. They serve a dual purpose since they block bed bugs. The interceptors can also be used to monitor the size of the infestation as you treat the problem. If they stay empty, it indicates that all of the bed bugs in the room have been killed.
2)Kairomone Lures: Traps such as the NightWatch use three elements to attract bed bugs into the trap, heat (human body temperature), CO2 (uses the gas we breathe to mimic a person) and a Kairomone Lure (mimics the odor of a sleeping person). It works as an early detector of bed bugs by combining the three elements to stimulate the presence of a sleeping human.
The device will release its lure from 10PM to 6AM to 3 to 4 nights.
3)Empty Room Trap: These traps use heat to lure the bed bugs into the trap. It then uses a sticky floor plate to trap any bed bugs.
One version of the device by BEAP looks like a 6 outlet power bar so that guests will not know that you have a bed bug trap in the room.
Mattress, Box Spring and Pillow Covers
Mattress, box spring and pillow covers will not prevent bed bugs. What they do is trap any bed bugs that have not been killed during other forms of treatment. They can also help to protect a mattress and box spring from becoming more infested.
After treating the bed frame, mattress and box spring we suggest using a combination of bed bug mattress covers, one for the box spring and another for the pillow. Also use an interceptor on each bed leg.
Keep the bed at least 5 inches from every wall and keep blankets off the floor, since bed bugs will use them as a way to get up onto the bed.
Mechanical and Physical Methods
Bed bugs are visible to the naked eye and can be vacuumed. Vacuum along all seams, the headboard and other potential hiding places. Bed bugs in the bedroom usually hide within 5 feet of the bed.
When done, do not remove the vacuum from the infested room until you:
- Check any vacuum brush to make sure there are no bed bugs caught in the roller.
- Remove the vacuum bag and place into a sealed bag. Dispose of the bag outside of the home.
Bed bug eggs cling to surfaces using a sticky substance left behind when laying eggs. For this reason a vacuum will not pick up the eggs. Instead, if you see a cluster of eggs use wide one sided tape such as packing tape to pick up and dispose of the eggs.
Freezing kills bed bugs. There are two methods.
- Professional: Carbon dioxide under pressure is used to instantly kill sprayed bed bugs and eggs. The process is safe, non-toxic and non-chemical.
- Freezer: Bed bugs are killed when placed in a freezer for several hours.
Getting rid of bed bugs requires an eye for detail and prompt action which also helps you cut down on any unnecessary clutter around your sleeping space.
Bed bugs are hard to kill even for professionals. If you don’t want to use chemicals to treat bed bugs, professionals have alternatives such as thermal mediation which uses heat and freezing spray. Both are highly effective. To find an exterminator near you, try our database or call Home Advisor at 866-214-8380. We prefer trying a network like Home Advisor since they certify the quality of local exterminators on the network.
When people find their homes and offices infested with pests, it is not uncommon for them to panic. Raymond Web has taken upon him the task to educate people on pest prevention and control strategies helping them keep their surroundings healthy, safe and pest-free. Being the digital marketing manager for Take Care Termite and Pest Control , in Tracy, CA, he has in-depth understanding of people and their pain points due to pests, which he efficiently uses in his content to educate people and add value to their lives.
Each of these free brochures provides more information on how to get rid of bed bugs naturally.