A Guide to Getting Rid of Bed Bugs: What You’ll Need, and How to Do It
So you’ve got bed bugs. And they’re everywhere. It’s a natural reaction to be horrified at the idea of bugs crawling on you while you sleep, so of course, you’ll want to fix the problem as soon as possible. But are you supposed to hunt down every bed bug? Do you always have to hire someone to get rid of them? What people may not know is that there are many different methods out there to get rid of bed bugs, all of which produce results.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in 5 Easy Steps
Bed bugs are icky little insects that burrow into the crevices of your bedding, furniture, and any other fabric. These pests can become a serious problem for many people, but there are steps you can take to get rid of them. Here are 5 steps on how to get rid of bed bugs.
Step 1. Inspect Your Room for Signs of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs feed on blood, so the most visible signs are their leftover feces, clusters of eggs next to the bed, or live insects.
- Bed bugs produce an unpleasant odor, so if you notice the smell of bed bug feces or produce an overpowering stench in your home, they may be nearby.
- They also leave behind black stains on fabric with fecal matter.
- This is one way to check for bed bugs that cannot be spotted by the eye; it's called "staining."
- You can drag these onto a phone screen or light table to check them out better.
- Another sign of bed bugs are blood spots on sheets and mattresses. These occur when people roll over their bites and cause bleeding wounds.
- You can also check the crevices of sofas, couches, and chairs for bed bugs.
- If you have a box spring base for your bed, check underneath too.
- In addition to all of this, you can look out for signs of their nests which are easy to spot if you know what they're looking for.
If you find any signs of bed bugs in your room, you can use a vacuum cleaner to suck them up. Remember to clean the entire area with hot steam afterward.
Step 2. Encapsulate Your Mattress and Pillows with Zippered Bags
Encasing your mattress and pillows is one of the most effective ways on how to get rid of bed bugs. You can do this by purchasing special zippered bags made specifically for encasement purposes. Once inside the bag, seal it with duct tape so that no bed bugs can escape.
Here are the greatest bed bug mattress encasements available.
Step 3. Treat the Surface of Your Bed with Heat Treatment
You can kill bed bugs by exposing them to heat above 120-140°F (around 50-60°C) for at least one hour. This is why you should remove all bedding and bring it to a laundromat, and then use a steam cleaner on your mattress and pillows before sealing them in encasements. If your home can't reach these temperatures, you should leave all your belongings outside so that they achieve the necessary heat levels naturally while you stay somewhere else for a couple of days.
- Buy a steam cleaner
The first step is to buy a steam cleaner so you can blast away all those pesky critters hiding in their crevices. Steam cleaners work by generating superheated water vapor which penetrates deep into fabrics and kills any organic matter it comes in contact with, including bacteria, viruses, dust mites, and bed bugs.
We have the best bed bug streamers here.
- Get some Bed Bug steaming solution
Bed bug steaming solution is essential for killing off those small insects that can hide in the tiniest of places. You can find this product at any local retail store but typically it's best to purchase online to get a better deal on cost per ounce/volume of liquid.
- Remove everything from your linen closet
Now is the time to remove all of your linens, clothing, comforters, sheets, pillows, etc., so you can steam clean each item individually (if possible). Bag up anything that cannot be laundered or dried cleaned. If you are unable to bag these items then place them into large trash bags and seal the ends.
- Steam clean everything
Using your steam cleaner, blast all your linens with the hot vapor solution for at least 20 minutes to kill off any bed bugs hiding in the crevices of your blankets, sheets, etc. Now it's time to steam clean any upholstered furniture you may have to lay around including couches, chairs, love seats, etc. For upholstery, pieces place outside on a sunny day to help expedite the drying process (heat + sun = deep cleaning).
- Vacuum everywhere
To get rid of any remains or dead bed bugs that steam cleaning couldn't kill off, pick up our handheld steamer and use it as a vacuum by turning it upside down. Work your way around the room vacuuming all crevices, corners, and cracks to suck up any leftover dead bed bugs or unhatched eggs that steam cleaning missed.
- Buy a steam cleaner
Step 4. Use an Insecticide Spray Around the Room
Using insecticide spray around your room helps get rid of bed bugs that try to escape from the heated areas of the mattress and pillows after treatment. You can't allow them to reproduce, so it's important to kill any bed bugs you find.
Some people might resort to insecticide sprays like Eco Defense for bed bugs. This product works quickly to kill insects and leaves an aroma that is appealing to humans. You can spray this on objects that you suspect are infested or set it up in the area where you think the insects are nesting.
If you like using chemicals, there is also Bed Bug Killer Aerosol Spray with Insect Growth Regulator (IGR). This spray eliminates bed bugs without the use of washing, vacuuming, or other common methods of extermination. The spray kills them on contact while leaving no strong odor.
In this article, we have a review of the best bed bug sprays.
Step 5. Wash Your Clothes and Linens in Hot Water
Last but not least, you should wash all your clothes and linens in hot water before bringing them back into the room. This ensures that no bed bugs are hiding inside or on your clothes. If they do return, try out these steps again until they're gone for good!
There are many steps on how to get rid of bed bugs, but the most important thing is that you take action. If you have any questions or would like help with your own pest control plan, contact our team of experts for more information. We’re happy to answer all of your questions and provide guidance so that no one has to deal with these icky little insects!
Remove Bed Bugs from Your Home
Bedbugs sense carbon monoxide concentrations, which is what lets them find you while you’re sleeping. They follow the trail right to your bed and feast on your blood, then go straight back into their hiding place.
Because these pests are actively hunting you and your family, you can’t just ignore their presence – you’ll need to get rid of them, and as soon as possible.
It’s almost impossible to pick out every single bed bug in your home. They can hide in spaces as narrow as a credit card; places where you won’t be able to get to them. So getting rid of them needs to be done comprehensively, killing all who-knows-how-many hundreds at once.
Thankfully, we live in a time where there’s pest control available to buy everywhere. Learn more about bed bug products here.
There’s more than one remedy
Don’t think there’s only one way to destroy a bug problem.
Some ways you can exterminate bed bugs from your home include:
Go through your options, learn about which kind you want to take on, and get to work right away killing every single bed bug that’s invading your house.
Clean up afterward
Bedbugs can make a big mess. Excrement and old exoskeletons leave brownish stains on furniture and walls, and spots of blood will most likely be left on your bedding from the bites they give. If the bugs have been there a while, they’ll have larvae and egg sacs stashed somewhere as well.
So what can you do about the disgusting aftermath of an infestation? For bedding, you’ll need to wash sheets in hot water with a good-quality detergent. For your mattress and furniture, not only will you need to thoroughly vacuum them, you’ll want to steam clean them as well. Afterward, you might be left with some stains, but if you’ve been through, everything will be sanitized.
If your pet has bugs on them, is it always lice? Not necessarily. Find out more about bed bugs on dogs here.
Because bed bugs can latch onto fabric, they can surely end up in a sleeping bag. Information on bed bug sleeping bag can be found here.
What to Do When Bed Bugs Infest Your House
Something many people underestimate when it comes to bedbug control is the power of a vacuum. It won’t be able to get the ones hiding in the tiniest of cracks and crevices, but it will get a good number of them.
Use a high-powered vacuum and go over all carpets and couches slowly and at least twice, using a crevice tool to get the room’s edges where the baseboard meets the carpet. On your mattress and box spring, go over each side with a crevice tool, getting deep into any and every seam. If there are any rips or tears, shove the crevice tool into it as much as you can without causing damage, then spray a killing spray at the tear’s opening.
Get them out of electronics
You might have some insects get into the tiny spaces of electronics. If this happens, you’ll have to be very careful, as you can damage your property if you’re too harsh.
Use an air spray canister to blow away any insects, or a low-powered vacuum to suck them out. The suction that’s too powerful can ruin the delicate components in electronics, so be careful.
Once you find out you have bed bugs, it’s most likely going to be a bad feeling. But don’t worry – there’s a solution.
Do bed bugs go away? Find out here.
They’re in your couch, too
It’s not just your bed; they can hide on your couch, as well. Using a vacuum, go over your couch with a crevice tool, getting deep in any space, big or small. If your cushions have zippered covers, take them off and wash them in warm water. There are also sprays you can use all over your couch to kill and repel any bed bugs you may not have gotten with a vacuum.
They love your bed
There’s a reason they’re called bed bugs. While some of them will hide elsewhere in the room and travel to you at night, many will just hide as close to you as they can – somewhere in your bed.
But how can they hide in your bed without you seeing bugs crawling everywhere? Remember that bedbugs are tiny, and can squeeze into the deep seams of your mattress. They’ll also get in between the mattress and box spring, and inside the mattress itself, if any tears will let them in. Basically, anywhere in your bed that a bug can go, you could find them.
Find a permanent solution
The only way to really get rid of a bed bug infestation long-term is to use proven treatment methods that kill all bedbugs in your home, not just the ones you might see or only the ones in your mattress. If you want the removal to be permanent, treating your entire house and also using a repellent to deter future bugs, is a must.
Foggers are a type of fumigation, using gas to kill bugs. Facts about fumigation for bed bugs can be found here. Pest control professionals are also known as exterminators and are experts in their field. Go here for more details on a bed bug exterminator.
Pest control doesn’t just mean calling people to come do it for you anymore; there’s a ton you can do yourself.
- Bug foggers: A fogger is a canister that lets out poisonous gas into the room, getting into any crevice, even the ones bed bugs love to hide in. For more information click here.
- Sprays: There are many sprays out there on the market to use for bed bugs, made up of pesticides of different types.
- Natural ingredient-based sprays and powders: Ingredients like essential oils and Diatomaceous Earth are used frequently in lines of all-natural pest control. To learn more about natural remedies for bed bugs, see this page.
- Professional exterminators: Hiring someone to come take care of your problem is common, and will help get rid of your problem, sometimes faster than if you did it yourself.
Since bedbugs can travel with you from place to place, they can end up inside your car. Click here to find out how to get rid of bed bugs in a car. If you want to learn how to prevent bed bugs altogether, go here.
How much is this going to cost me?
The cost will depend on which treatment method you choose. Sprays will average anywhere from $8-$50, while essential oils may be more like $20. Diatomaceous Earth is cheap while hiring a professional can be pricey, depending on the company and the severity of your problem.
Piles of clothes on the floor can be a hiding place for bed bugs if you’re not careful. Click here to see more about how to get rid of bed bugs in clothes.
When you’ve got a full-on infestation
Signs of a bad infestation include staining, left-behind residue, and regular bites on your skin. Because you don’t normally see bed bugs during the day, they’ll reproduce in hiding and will come in numbers of hundreds or thousands by the time you realize what’s going on. Usually, with a bad infestation, bed bugs will be in more places than just your mattress.
One option you have in the fight against bedbugs is to encase your mattress.
Getting bedbugs out of a mattress is different than a couch. Details on how to get rid of bed bugs in a mattress can be found here.
Even luggage isn’t safe
Bedbugs can cling to bedding, clothes, and even luggage. When you go to a hotel, inspect your room before unpacking and leave your luggage either outside the door or in the empty bathtub. You can also spray your luggage with a bed bug repellent to deter any bugs that might be thinking about hitching a ride on your suitcase.
Don’t panic about a bed bug infestation. If you want to have control and get rid of them for good, go here and find out how to kill bed bugs.
How long will it take after treatment for the bed bugs to die?
Treatment methods produce different times to death. Diatomaceous Earth, for example, won’t kill a bug right away but will take a little bit of time. Chemical sprays and foggers, though, should kill bed bugs immediately. If you’re using carpet tape and bugs get stuck to it, they’ll stay alive for at least a few days on the tape before dying.
If you’re looking for a fast solution, products with pesticides are a good option, considering they’re made to kill immediately. Just remember that you’ll have to be careful around toxic sprays, especially if you’ve got children or pets.
Adult bugs aren’t always the problem; you’ll need to kill the eggs as well. Click here to find out how to kill bed bug eggs. And make sure you look up your next hotel on the registry.
The Top 3 Best Treatments
Walking down the pest control aisle in a store, you could probably get overwhelmed with options.
Well, here’s three of the most effective treatments, to help you decide:
- Sprays: Store-bought sprays are highly effective at killing bed bugs, as is rubbing alcohol, which kills bugs quickly and leaves a residue behind that deters more from coming around.
- Diatomaceous earth: This stuff is cheap and totally non-toxic, and although it doesn’t kill on contact, it doesn’t take long for the bugs that crawl across it to die. Read more here.
- Vacuum: It seems simple, but a good vacuum will pick up thousands of bed bugs. Use a crevice tool and suck up bugs you never even knew were there. Further details can be found here.
Don’t want chemicals in your home? No problem; just kill bugs the natural way. Click here to learn more about home remedies for bed bugs. Organic products aren’t hard to come by and can work just as well as the others. Details on how to get rid of bed bugs naturally can be found here.
If you’re wondering how you can get rid of an army of bedbugs hiding in your home, don’t worry. There’s more than one solution, and as long as you’re diligent and willing to put in the time, your bed bug problem will be history before you know it.
Table of Contents
- How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in 5 Easy Steps
- Remove Bed Bugs from Your Home
- What to Do When Bed Bugs Infest Your House
- Treatment Methods
- The Top 3 Best Treatments