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How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs At Home

How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs

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Learn how to get rid of bed bugs yourself with proven methods and natural remedies.

Bed bugs may seem to be relatively harmless; they don’t destroy furniture and their bites don’t spread disease. However, it is important to learn how to get rid of bed bugs otherwise you could be facing several serious consequences for your home and the health of your family. A severe infestation can happen in the blink of an eye so it is important to address problems with these pesky bugs before things get well and truly out of hand.

How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Yourself

Before you pick up the phone and call in the exterminators, there are a few ways that one can learn on how to get rid of bed bugs on your own.

  • The first step in the process should be a thorough cleaning of your home. Bed bugs don’t just spend their time in your bed, despite what their name may claim. They spend time in other furniture items, curtains, and even crevices in the floor. A thorough cleaning and vacuuming of your home will help to reduce the number of places that they have to hide.
  • Consider using a vacuum cleaner that either has bags you can immediately dispose of, or a filter and canister than can be run through a hot cycle in your dishwasher. This will help in the prevention and the killing of the bed bugs.
  • Your clothes and shoes will also need to be treated; get them dry-cleaned or washed at temperatures that are over 120°F. Once cleaned, your clothing needs to be stored in sealed plastic bags temporarily until the rest of the infestation has been dealt with.
  • Purchasing bed bug sprays can aid you with the task of getting rid of bed bugs in your home or apartment. Be sure to fully read the manufacturer’s instructions so that you are not misusing potentially harmful chemicals in your home.

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Naturally

Homeowners do not have to necessarily rely on potentially toxic chemicals when it comes to getting rid of bed bugs. There are several home remedies for extermination of bed bug infestations that can be used, instead.

  • Diatomaceous EarthDiatomaceous earth (DE) is a natural substance that has proven effective in killing many types of insects and pests, including bed bugs. It works by piercing the exoskeleton of the bugs and effectively causing them to dehydrate and die. DE is also environmentally safe to use around pets and small children.
  • Lavender and mint are two pleasant-smelling herbs that tend to naturally repel bed bugs. Sachets of lavender or mint in your closet can help to keep these pesky pests away. A lavender or mint oil spray, lightly misted on your furniture and curtains can also be effective.
  • Heat and high temperatures are effective methods of treating bed bug infestations; when you are in the process of getting rid of bed bugs naturally, placing your mattress outside in a hot and sunny spot can be very effective, especially if you cover it with a large plastic sheet to help increase the internal temperature. Nevertheless, this method will only be most effective during the hottest parts of the summer months.

How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs In A Mattress

Despite what some may claim, you do not need to throw your mattress away if the infestation is minor or if you haven’t thoroughly get rid of the tiny bloodsuckers from the rest of your belongings since they can possibly re-infest your new mattress in no time.

To get rid of bed bugs in the mattress:

  • Use a strong vacuum cleaner to help remove the bugs, their eggs, and their debris along the seams or around areas where you can spot them.
  • Next, get a good quality steamer to heat treat the mattress. The high temperature of the steam will penetrate deep into the mattress and quickly kill off any bed bugs and their eggs that are hidden deep in the mattress.
  • Lightly misting your bed with lavender oil or mint oil will help to prevent bed bugs.
  • Encase your box spring and mattress with bed bug covers that will help to trap and kill off any remaining bed bugs as well as also work as a means to prevent any new re-infestation in the mattress.

How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Bites And Rash

The bites and resulting rash from bed bugs can be itchy, painful, and unsightly. There are, thankfully, a few ways of getting rid of these bites.

  • Run it under lukewarm and thoroughly clean the affected area with an antibacterial soap.
  • If the bites are very itchy this is as the result of an allergic reaction, an over the counter oral antihistamine can help to reduce your allergic reaction to their bites.
  • If you have scratched at the itchy bites, you should be sure to use an antibiotic cream on the areas in order to prevent an infection.
  • A combination of antihistamine solutions and antibiotic creams can help you to reduce the itchy or painful effects of bed bug bites.

Proper education, awareness, and vigilance are a must if one wants to know how to get rid of bed bugs yourself. Total elimination of bed bugs often requires more than one treatment, and several months, to get rid of them but not impossible if done properly.

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7 comments… add one

  • jimmytwosocks

    I’ve been told to remove all clothing,mattress covers,etc and wash it all in really hot water,then dry for about two hours in order to kill them.I live in an apartment,and I’ve figured out they’re coming in from between the walls,underneath the baseboards(the area between the carpet and the bottom edge of the wall. still working on killing them…

  • Diane L.

    I have been fighting these bedbugs daily for almost a month – we have good nights when we think we’ve licked the problem and then one of us, my husband or I wake up with another itchy bite – some of the bites look like two little fang marks usually right around a vein on the arm (truly blood suckers). I could write a book about the things I’ve tried and I do think they’re on the way out, but I feel like this is something you have to do everyday for a long, long time because they lay eggs. This started when I brought home a small box of paperback books from a book fair and set it down in my bedroom – when I figured out where the bugs were coming from I dumped the whole box in the trash, but it was too late – already infested. This problem has a tendency to make you a bit crazy – the one place you want to forget your problems and relax is in bed, and now I just lay there asking God to protect me from getting bitten. Anyway, I have tried diatamaceous earth sprinkled everywhere, got the plastic refrig. containers, filled with mineral oil and put under each bed leg, spray with alcohol, vinegar mixture nightly, go over sheets and mattress with a big flashlight and sticky tape on my fingers to snag them (can be little black or white specks)the white ones being the eggs. I took my bed completely apart (King mattress with two twin-sized box springs) I found the breeding ground on the inner side of one of the box springs so I sprayed it with alcohol and bleach and bought boxspring and mattress covers – the type that covers on all four sides and zips closed – I believe more than any of my other remedies, that has helped the most. I still spray everynight with the vinegar mixture (my bed is pulled out from the wall and I spray the back of it too) and before I get in bed I go over everything with the flashlight and the tape. Our bedroom smells like salad dressing. I’m keeping the diatamaceous earth sprinkled all around the edge of the bed and in the room corners. I also throw our bedspread in the dryer for 20 mins. before we go to bed to kill any hiding bugs and to cozy up the bed when we get in. I have accepted this as a problem that cannot be ignored – will probably be doing this for six months to a year. Blessings to all – our earth home has been invaded!

  • SPSJ

    Finally, after suffering from bed bugs from last 6 months…I got the effective & permanent solution. Yes it is a chemical called ‘Navaan’! just go to any fertilizer/seed shop and ask for 250ml/60-70Rs… mix 2-4 caps in 1 liter water and spray in all cracks/cavities of your house …..you will sleep peacefully right from the next night 😉

    Make sure two things 1)don’t stay in room after spraying for next 12 hours 2)repeat spraying after one week without fail

    Friends i have suffered a lot……hope it will help you :)

  • Death 2 bed bugs

    I have what i call “the procedure”, i wrote up everything i have done and do to get rid of bed bugs and to keep them gone. I gave this procedure to my family members as well since they had them before me:/ The only thing is it is work, you cant really just spray and hope they are gone. Im sure the heat method would work however i for one can NOT afford that method, and i refuse to pay some professional to come by spray, then for them to have to come back in 2 weeks to spray again blah blah………..sorry its just a scam in my eyes. Im not giving up my rent money to continue to pay for that over and over again, otherwise ill lose my home and then why would i need a professional if i dont even have a home? Just a bunch of bs to me. All in their great plan to take our money and lots of it. If i could have afforded the heat treatment i would have done so. Since i did not i googled as many sites as i could for ideas on what i could do. I wrote them all down. Went to the grocery store that night and bought what i could afford and since it was a 24 hour grocery store. When i got paid i got the better supplies. So first night i got saran wrap from the grocery store (not great but it held up till i got paid, tape (black) and i wrapped and taped my entire bed,then sprayed the walls, floor boards etc with alcohol or canola oil. When i got paid i bought a box decorated it for humor for my family (called it “death to bed bugs kit” lol) and gave them my written down procedure. And since ive been doing this procedure i have not ONCE had another bite or seen another bug. So the way i see it is it must be working for its been over a month now. SUPPLIES:

    1) steam mop (about 40 or 50 bucks

    2) 2 mini steamers from cvs (i think 10 bucks each)

    3) cayenne pepper, lavender oil, peppermint tea leaves, spray bottles and loads of alcohol (paid a dollar each, yall know what store that is;) )

    4) vinyl zip up bed mattress ( for king size was like 12 bucks)

    5)zip up pillow covers (2 bucks for each pillow)

    6)sealant for the open cracks (5 bucks)

    7) black tape (3 bucks)

    8) mint leaves (less than 10 bucks)

    all and all i think i spent about $120.00, not super cheap i know………… BUT much cheaper than paying over and over again for something that MIGHT work. I havent had to replace anything yet however when i do all it would have to be is the stuff that costs me a dollar each, for everything else should last me forever. I would also like to add that the stuff i found was suppose to be safe for pets as well.


    1)Took everything out of my drawers clothes, took all covers off beds, washed and dried EVERYTHING, dried several times. directly after i bagged up my clothes or put them in zip up bags ( had these already also a dollar), or boxes with lids (not sure what they are called. I simply get my clothes out of here as i need them and seal it back up. I will keep it like this forever if i have to. Im sure once you have seen your bug free for a month or two it would be safe to put them back in dresser drawers etc.

    2)steamed my bed, i steamed EVERYTHING in my bedroom and i do mean everything!!!! Bed, walls, floors, stuffed animals EVERYTHING! vacuumed floor. Put the mattress cover on my mattress (and will leave it there for 18 months, this is recommended time for them to be dead) Then sprayed lavender oil on there (not too much) plus put down some mint leaves, did the same for my pillows, also taped the zipper seam. once a week i will replace the mint leaves and spray the lavender oil.

    3) sprayed infected areas with alcohol the first night, i now switch between that and the canola oil, i did this everynight the first week, now i do it every 2 or 3 days for im testing the waters here to see if its needed every day.I poured cayenne pepper near the entire floor board, for this kills them and unlike alcohol it doesnt just vanish afterwards. I re do the cayenne pepper once a week, i also put the cayenne pepper in my doorway to my bedroom. If you just put leaves there it will repel them for awhile but if they get hungry enough they will ignore the lavender oil or leaves and come for you anyways. So best bet is the canola oil and cayenne pepper to me. I only use the leaves on my nightstands, dresser drawers, and my bed. And i throw them out and replace them once a week.

    4) I also got a sandwich bag poked little holes in it, added mint leaves, tied the top, and ive put those in my car, in my purse, anywhere that i was worried could carry them.

    5) every single night before i go to bed i re steam my floors and bed, i usually clean bedding once a week, but i still steam my blankets, pillows bed and floors nightly. i usually vacuum 3 times a week, but the first week i was doing this procedure i steamed and vacuumed nightly.

    6) when going to get dressed i use the mini steamers on those clothes before putting them on, they should be ok if there sealed up, but again iam paranoid, maybe im over doing stuff but the way i see it is, i have read about people having this for years, and to be honest i cant live like that, id rather be overly cautious and have nothing to worry about then to worry my life away having them:/ No offense to anyone i swear just stating why iam overly cautious:)

    7) i sprayed my floor board cracks with alcohol on some and canola oil on others and then sealed the cracks up, every two or three nights i will go around and spray on top of there with alcohol or oil again being cautious.

    8) when i found the bugs (after seeing my bites and knowing what some of my family members were going through) I searched my bed, found nothing (they could have been in the mattress), i found the bugs in my night stand (cracks in the legs of the table of it), my knick knacks on my night stand, and in the corner of my ceiling, so these are sneaky little devils, and before anyone asks yes iam 100% sure of what they are, i have done my homework lol. So i spray those areas every other night, again first week i did this every night. I also steam my dogs bed nightly.

    9) sprayed alcohol, steamed and added mint leaves also between my mattress and box springs and do this weekly as well. when i steam my bed i steam the sides of it as well.

    This is not simple, but its worked wonderfully, i have not been bitten since i started this procedure and i have not yet ONCE seen any bugs, If you have them through out your home, your gonna have to treat every room:/ Or lure them to your bedroom by continuing to sleep in there with no remedies and once you get them in there go crazy with alcohol, this procedure or whatever you can do. For if they all come to your bedroom its alot easier to get rid of them. And thats where they want to be unfortunetly :( So again alot of work but still cheaper and its looking more effective then what people are saying about getting people to come spray there home for months at a time. Good luck everyone , i wish yall the best of luck:)

  • matt

    I’ve lived in my apartment for a year and never seen a bedbugs until the people upstairs moved put. Now they’re coming down through the walls and into my apartment. I sprayed my entire apartment from top to bottom with a solution of alcohol and bleach and bought an electronic device that you plug into an electric outlet and supposedly sends out some kinda high pitched sound that keeps insects Away. So far so good!

  • tia

    My mum had beg bugs for 3 years she seems to find that wasp powder kills them.I now have bed bugs I don’t no how I got them but its horrible… I have put the powder every where and also had a professional spray for my bed its been a week I saw one or two but haven’t since… I hope to god there gone as I’m due a baby this week!I wouldn’t wish them on my worse enemy! Good luck to every one trying to rid the bugs…

  • Robert

    I found bites on my son 4 months ago and found I had bed bugs in his bed. I panicked, but did a lot of research. In just 3 weeks they are all gone!!!! I bought all of the items on Ebay. Total cost was around $75.00. I purchased mattress covers with zippers, FOOD GRADE diatomaceous earth 2 pound size, 91% alcohol at Walmart, spray bottle, and travel bottle sold for shampoo or lotion with flip up cap. First I sprayed both bedrooms with the alcohol. I watched the bugs die in front of my eyes. I filled the bottles with a spoon with the DTE. Next I dusted the DTE around the baseboards and around the bed frame and around the bed legs. Then I dusted the mattresses and put the covers on the mattresses and box springs. I dusted a barrier around the bedroom doors. They only bite at night when you sleep. Your bed is your safe zone. Nothing goes on the bed unless it goes in the drier for 60 minutes on high heat. It fries them! It is now month 4 and haven’t seen any bugs. Found some dry dead bodies. When the bugs crawl thru the DTE it shreds their bodies and drains the fluid out. You can leave the powder down for as long as you want as long as it does not get wet. If it does just re-apply. I am going to leave it down for 6 months to be 200% sure!!!! I hopes this helps others to get rid of bed bugs CHEAP and 100% effective safe way!!!!!

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