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How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs

By DoMyOwnPestControl.com staff

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*Average time to complete this treatment: Depending on the severity of the infestation it can take a minimum of 7-8 weeks, including repeat treatments.

We strongly recommend that you use a variety of methods and products to insure bedbugs are eliminated from infested areas. Trying only one product or method will usually NOT be enough to completely eliminate a bed bug infestation.

Different types of Bed Bug treatment tools and what they’re used for:

  • Bed bug sprays – use these for applications to furniture cracks and crevices and around the perimeter of rooms.           
  • Bed bug traps – use these for monitoring infestations in suspected infested rooms.
  • Bed bug dusts – use these for applying to cracks, crevices, and other voids for a long-term residual kill. We do not suggest using dusts on upholstered furniture because they can be very messy.
  • Bed bug steamers – use these on upholstered furniture, personal items and the perimeter of rooms as an additional killing treatment.
  • Bed bug mattress covers – use these for sealing in current bedbugs and eggs to prevent them from spreading and also to make inspections and treatments easier.
  • Bed bug heaters – use these for personal items such as nick knacks, toys and other small items that could be infested but cannot be treated with sprays or dusts.

Step-by-step Bed bug treatment video:

More Bed bug treatment tips:

The following step-by-step instructions will guide you in eliminating bed bugs found in residential or commercial areas such as homes, apartments or hotels.  These steps are the foundation of effective bed bug control and are the same guidlines used by pest control professionals.

DIY Bed bug Treatment Steps

Step 1: Prepare room by removing clutter. Get rid of items that you do not need to keep or do not want to treat. All other items must be treated in some way. Bag all clothes and linens and remove from room.

Step 2: This step is optional but highly recommended. Use a bed bug steamer to steam the mattress, box spring and other furniture. Take your time and be thorough. 

Step 3: Using products that are labeled for each area, thoroughly treat as many cracks, crevices, voids and fabric seams and folds as possible.

We recommend using our bed bug kits as these offer the best value for your money and include everything you need for an effective bed bug treatment.

Step 4: REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! You must repeat step 3 every 7-10 days until no one is getting bitten and there is no further evidence such as live bugs, cast skins or fresh blood spots found. Do this for 30 days straight. This is absolutely crucial!

Step 5: Wash and dry all clothing and linens before they are returned to the room after there has been no evidence of bedbugs for 30 days.

 

More information about these steps:

1.  Prepare the room(s) for treatment 

Reduce clutter off the floor so that all areas can be thoroughly treated. Be careful not to transfer bed bugs from room to room by carrying things throughout the house. If the mattress and box spring are in very bad shape or heavily infested, they should be replaced or covered with a Bed Bug Proof Mattress Cover. Infested bed sheets and garments should be washed and dried in a household dryer on high heat (the heat will kill bed bugs), or discarded since these items cannot be treated with insecticides.  In really bad infestations, where the bugs may be infesting Personal items (stuffed animals, soft toys, blankets, books,


bed bug identification
bed bugs

2. Vacuum & Use Heat Treatments (optional) 

Vacuum the floor and infested areas such as seams, tufts and edges of bedding and mattresses, inside the bed frame, and the perimeter edge of wall-to-wall carpets. Because bed bugs and their eggs cling tightly to surfaces, it is best to scrape the end of the vacuum attachment repeatedly over the target area. Do not use a brush attachment, as some bed bugs and eggs will remain alive in the bristles and be transferred to other areas of the home. Afterward, dispose of the vacuum bag in a sealed trash bag.

In severe infestations, clothing should be removed from dressers and chests. Utilize a vacuum crack & crevice tool to remove bed bugs from deep harborage such as: under baseboards; under carpet edges (pull up along the tack ); around switch plates (you may have to remove the plate first); from the bed frame; inside box springs; inside furniture; and from floor cracks. Larger jobs may require a professional bug vacuum, such as our Atrix Express Plus Bug Vacuum.

Heat Treatments using a bed bug steamer are also very effective. Most steamers have tip temperatures of 220 degrees F, meaning the temperature at the end of the wand. Temperatures of 120F and higher are immediately lethal to bed bugs and their eggs. Bed bug steamers can treat almost any environment, furniture piece (such as a crib), bed or clothing without the use of insecticides. Many professionals and hotel owners are starting to supplement their bed bug treatments with steam/heat treatments. 

3. Inspect and Treat Each Room Carefully 

The key to a successful bed bug treatment is to thoroughly treat all of the cracks and crevices where bed bugs hide. You should be spending at least 1-2 hours inspecting and treating each infested room. Adult bed bugs are about 3/16-inch long and reddish-brown, with oval, flattened bodies. Immature bed bugs are smaller and lighter in color, making them difficult to see. Bed bugs feed at night, but during the day their tiny flattened bodies allow them to hide in very tight cracks and crevices, along the tufts and seams of mattresses, and in the cracks of bed frames and other areas. Initial infestations tend to be around beds, but the bed bugs may eventually become scattered throughout a room, occupying any crevice or protected location. They can even move under walls to adjacent rooms. Treating all of the hiding areas and cracks is the key to getting rid of bed bugs. Look for dark fecal spots (digested human blood), light brown skin moltings, tiny white eggs and egg shells, or even the bed bugs themselves in all of the following areas:

Where to for bed bugs in a room

Room diagram compliments of ©BASF

Use professional bed bug products or one of our bed bug kits to treat all of the following areas:

  1. Pictures and wall hangings – remove from the wall and treat cracks and crevices of picture frames and behind pictures and wall hangings.

  2. Wall fixtures, lamps and table-top lamps – remove fixtures from walls and treat behind. Treat under table-top lamps and standing floor lamps.

  3. Electrical faceplates – Remove faceplates and use a dust to dust inside of wall voids.

  4. Drawers and furniture – Remove drawers and treat the cracks and crevices and inside corners and edges of the interior of the cabinet, as well as the tracks and support of the drawers. Don’t forget to treat the undersides of the cabinets and furniture.

  5. Headboard – Remove headboards from the wall or dismantle to allow thorough treatment of the cracks, crevices and voids located on or behind them.

  6. Mattress – Treat along the corners, folds and seams of the mattress. Note: Most products do not allow you to spray the top sleeping surface of the mattress. After treatment, encase the mattress in a Protect-A-Bed Bed Bug Proof Mattress Encasement.

  7. Box spring and bed frame – Treat the undersides, corners, seams and under stapled fabric and even the internal areas of box springs. Also spray the cracks, crevices, voids and screw holes of the bed frame. After treating, encase the box spring in a Bed Bug Proof Box Spring Encasement (recommended).

  8. Upholstered furniture – Inspect and treat any furniture in the bedroom in a way very similar to the mattress and box spring. Pay careful attention to underneath the cushions, along the seams, folds, legs and dust liner on the underside of the furniture.

  9. Bed and furniture legs – Inspect wheels, casters, posts, and legs of all furniture as bed bugs may be harboring there.  Posts of the bed can be placed in Climb-Up Insect Inteceptor traps to trap bed bugs before they gain access to the bed.

  10. Wall-to-wall carpets – Inspect and treat along the edges of carpets and along the wall. Sometimes the edge of the carpet can be lifted away from the wall and treated underneath with a dust and/or spray.

  11. Baseboards – treat any cracks in the baseboard and then treat underneath the baseboard to prevent bed bugs from crawling underneath and accessing adjacent rooms in the house.

  12. Curtains – Remove and heat treat in a dryer, steam clean or launder. You can spot treat the curtains with bed bug products but be careful to test treat the fabric first to avoid staining.

4. Retreat at least 2-3 times

All infested areas need to be retreated at least 2-3 times within the next two months. Usually you will do the first treatment, then wait two weeks, then treat again, then wait two weeks and treat again. These retreatments allow you to inspect the rooms again to monitor activity, retreat previously treated locations and treat new cracks and crevices that you may have passed over the first time. Consecutive treatments of the infested areas are ESSENTIAL if you want to get rid of the problem. In addition, treating again will help eliminate new bed bugs that have hatched since the last treatment. Re-treating all areas every two weeks for at least 2-3 times will continue to kill the new bed bugs until all the eggs and bugs are gone.

Bed Bug Products

DoMyOwnPestControl.com sells the most effective bed bug treatment products available, based on the most current research. Our products are the same ones used by professionals.

TIP: When deciding which bed bug products to buy, we've made the choice easy for you:  choose one of our bed bug control kits.  Our kits contain the perfect selection of professional products that will allow you to do a thorough and complete bed bug treatment, with less cost.

Here are some of the other top-selling bed bug products we carry:

  Bedlam Insecticide Aerosol – Bedlam is an excellent bed bug spray, is easy to use, and doesn’t require any mixing. Great for treating the mattress folds and seams and spraying in cracks and crevices such as drawers, bed frames, picture frames, underneath baseboards, etc. Use the included red crack and crevice straw tool to get into really tight cracks. Bedlam kills all stages of bed bugs including the eggs.






Steri-Fab – Excellent ready-to-use bed bug spray with alcohol that leaves no residual. Steri-Fab kills bed bugs within hours and is great for treating almost any surface, including the sitting and laying surfaces of furniture and mattresses and other sensitive areas. Treat tufts, folds and seams of the mattress, sofas, sitting areas etc. that you aren’t able to treat with other products. Use to spot treat throughout the week where you see signs of bed bug activity.



 
Equil Lambda 9.7 CSDemand CSTemprid SC – These products are liquid concentrates that are mixed with water. To use, mix 12 mL of Demand CS/Equil Lambda 9.7 CS or 8 mL of Temprid SC in one gallon of water in a plastic one gallon sprayer (sold separately). Apply as a coarse, low-pressure spray to harborage areas including crevices, baseboards, loose plaster, behind bed frames and headboards, beneath beds and furniture, and to box springs and bed frames. Equil Lambda and Demand CS are NOT labeled for use on mattresses. DO NOT spray these products on bedding linens, pillows, clothing, sitting areas or over the entire carpet.



 
Phantom Insecticide - Phantom is one of the best professional bed bug products on the market and is available in a Phantom ready-to-use aerosol spray can or a bottle of Phantom liquid concentrate. Phantom in the aerosol form will kill all stages of bed bugs including the eggs (Phantom liquid concentrate only kills adult bed bugs). Phantom works best if it is sprayed alone, and not on top of or with other liquid sprays such as Demand CS, Equil Lambda, or even Bedlam. To use the liquid concentrate version: Mix 3 fl oz. of Phantom in one gallon of water in a plastic one gallon sprayer. Adjust the nozzle on the sprayer until you have a coarse, low-pressure spray and apply Phantom to cracks and crevices such as behind the head board, in the cracks of the bed frame, underneath furniture, under baseboards, along the walls, etc. Apply to the tufts, folds and seams of the mattress until they are moist. Spray along the seams and corners and inside of the box spring. DO NOT spray this product on mattress tops, bedding, pillows, clothing, sitting areas, or over the entire carpet.




PyGanic DustAlpine Dust – Dust products last on surfaces for 8 months to a year (and sometimes longer), allowing them to kill bed bugs long after your initial treatment. Dusts don’t kill as fast as sprays or liquids, but they last longer, which is why we always recommend dusting in addition to spraying. Dusts are great for applying under baseboards around the room, for dusting on and inside the box spring itself, and for dusting in cracks and crevices where liquids may not go (such as in and behind picture frames, underneath furniture, in the cracks of dresser drawers, and in the joints/cracks and hollow tubing of bed frames, etc.). Dust products are applied using the bellow hand duster. Fill the hand duster about half full with dust. Shaking first and then squeezing the duster will produce a fine dust that coats almost any surface. Coat surfaces with a very light coat of dust. If you put down piles of dust, then the bugs will likely just walk around it instead of through it. We recommend holding the duster upside down (with the bellows pointing downward) which will expel less dust for a lighter coating on target surfaces.




 
Bed Bug Proof Mattress & Box Spring Covers - After treating the mattress and letting the chemicals dry, you can protect your mattress and box spring with a Protect-A-Bed Bed Bug Proof Encasement. These high-quality terry cotton covers are certified 100% bed bug escape and bite proof. Any bed bugs you seal up in the covers will eventually die, allowing you to keep your mattress and box spring without throwing them out. In addition, mattresses and box springs covered with a Protect-A-Bed cover are easier to treat and clean and provide fewer areas for bed bugs to harbor and hide. Infested mattresses and box springs should be covered for at least one full year to make sure that all bed bugs hiding within will die. You can spray the outside surfaces (including tufts, folds and seams) of mattress covers during re-treatments, but do not remove the covers.



Climb-Up Insect Interceptors - provide an excellent way to trap and monitor bed bug activity in a room. Climb-Ups can be placed under bed posts, furniture legs, etc. The Interceptors trap bed bugs when they try to gain access to furniture and beds, protecting you while you sleep and allowing you to monitor activity and determine where the bed bugs are coming from.





PackTite Portable Bed Bug Heat Treatment Device - PackTite is a safe, non-chemical device that uses heat to treat bed bugs that may be found in personal items such as clothing, suitcases, books, cds, shoes, purses, luggage, pillows, and countless other items. The PackTite uses patent-pending technology that thoroughly heats your personal items to a temperature that is proven to kill bed bugs at all stages of their life cycle, without damaging your stuff.

DoMyOwnPestControl.com is the nation's largest online retailer of professional do it yourself pest control products and supplies.




 
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