Want to get rid of bed bugs yourself? Then read on, we have everything you need to kill them once and for all. What professional exterminators don’t tell you is that you are going to have to do most of the prep work anyway – and get this – if their treatment fails, they accused you of not doing your part!
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs, Safe & Natural
Visitors from around the world have had great results treating bed bugs with Diatomaceous Earth (DE)* voting it the #1 product. In fact, our visitors claim it works so well that we had to dedicate a separate page to it. Food Grade DE is %100 safe, chemical free and all natural.
*also known as Silica Dioxide, Silicone Dioxide, and Bed Bug Dust.
Learn How ▶ Step-by-step instructions on using diatomaceous earth to get rid of bed bugs now.
Here are some of the quick tips we cover in the instructions above:
- Use a vacuum to Clean all the cracks, screw holes, gaps, everywhere with the WAND of your vacuum. If you only took 10 minutes to vacuum a room, you didn’t do it right so do it again!
- Wash all of your clothes, linens, teddy bears, whatever you can in hot water and then dry them. Do NOT let the dryer go to the cool down cycle.
- Also, do NOT take your clothes to the laundromat. You are not the only person with this idea, and you could make matters worse.
- Get you mattress and box spring off of the floor and place them on a frame with bed bug legs traps.
- Use double sided tape around bed rails to catch the bed bug trying to climb your bed.
- A bed bug mattress cover to encase your mattress and box spring will get rid of them in that area. Spend the money on a high-quality cover that encases everything completely (look at that zipper – even a little gap will let them escape.
- Do Not use a bed bug bomb they will only drive the bed bugs into the next room or apartment!
- Last but not least, do NOT switch area you are sleeping in! You can bring the infestation with you (or they end up following you).
If you want immediate relief (perhaps while you read those instructions mentioned above), then Lavender Oil comes in as the best way to repel, not kill, these bugs. Here are a couple of testimonials:
I rubbed myself in lavender oil before sleeping and woke up without a single bite. I didn’t try killing the bed bugs and instead wanted a good night’s sleep even with the infestation. The smell of the oil repelled the bed bugs – “Ja”.
I purchased organic sulfur lavender soap, pet shampoo and lotion as a repellent. The soap cost me $14 and worked great as did the shampoo and lavender lotion – “Barbara from the UK”.
Make sure you have bed bugs before exterminating
Many people report “thinking/believing” they have an infestation only to find out later they have flea bites. Make sure you really have an infestation before you start treatment.
Know where to find them? If not, then our Checklist is a great way to be sure you have them. Examples include:
- Under, inside and the seams of your mattress
- Along the baseboards, electrical outlets
- On your bed frame and picture frames
- Under all your furniture
- in books, your clock and even the base of your lamp
See the checklist for the full list.
If that doesn’t work and you believe they still exist, try making a bed bug trap using dry ice or Alka-Seltzer, it’s amazing what you’ll catch!
A bed bug sniffing dog was able to spot them even when professional exterminators said there were none! A great last resort (and first resort of you have the money) in verifying you have an infestation.
How Professionals Get Rid Bedbugs
The method most used by pest control companies is a mixture of steam treatment and insecticide that includes d-Phenothrin (non-systemic insecticide effective on contact). Delivery is often by power-spray, mist, thermal fog, aerosol and ULV applications.
There are mixed opinions about bed bugs’ ability to detect insecticide; because of this, some companies are now using Chlorfenapyr which is non-repellent and active for a short time.
Below, we cover steam treatment and what you need to know, including a few other methods of pest control.
Steam is a common method pest control use to eliminate the majority of bed bugs followed up with insecticides. Not all steam cleaners do the job, and it is important to select one that has the following:
Not all steam cleaners work and it’s suggested that you select a cleaner that has the following:
- Produces low vapor, high-temperature steam.
- Dry steam (it will still be damp. Air out after to prevent mold).
- Use a machine that has a continuous flow to avoid “reheat” downtime.
- Steam should not be too powerful so that bed bugs are not blown deeper into cracks.
- Use a steamer with multiple jet steam heads
During steam treatment, you need to be as close to the bugs as possible and move about 1 inch per 10 seconds; just a few centimeters is all it takes to decrease the temperature to a nonlethal dose. The steam head should be moved along at a rate of only 30cm per every 10-15 seconds.
Start with the mattress making sure to treat the seams, labels and any other attachments. Next, move to the chairs and sofas taking care with cushions, seams, and buttons. Pull out beds should be treated just like a mattress. Continue to surrounding areas and then move out.
Do not steam electrical outlets as the steam head may make contact through steam or by directly coming into contact with wires.
Bed bugs are very sensitive to heat and quickly killed when exposed to temperatures greater than 45°C. If you are using heat to get rid of bed bugs it needs to happen as fast as possible – if the temperature increases gradually, the bugs will scatter into the next room or floor above.
When using heat to control your infestation, remember that some material is more resistant to heat than others, such as your mattress or couch; if they are in there, the temperature may not be as hot as the surrounding area.
WARNING: Also be aware that some items will explode, such as an aerosol label warning about storage at temperatures greater than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. 114 degrees Fahrenheit is the recommended temperature which will kill bed bugs so care should be taken not to exceed this temperature! Also, consider photographs and other heat sensitive materials.
If you’re looking for a chemical free, non-toxic solution to eliminating bed bugs, then Cold Treatment is the answer. Bed bugs can become resistant to pesticides over time, but when using cold treatment, the bugs die, regardless of how resistant they are.
In Europe and Australia, they use a product called Cryonite which looks like an oxygen tank on wheels with a nozzle. Cryonite is carbon dioxide snow that freezes the inside of bed bugs on contact; death occurs when the snow crystals land on the bug and convert to CO2 gas, a reaction that requires energy that is taken from the bug causing their cell water to crystallize to ice.
Freezing is poisonless and has the following advantages of other methods:
- No need to evacuate the area
- In kitchens, pest control can happen while food prep continues
- Can be used on surfaces in direct contact with food
- Hotels can rent as soon as treatment is complete
- No chemical smell or dust to attach to surfaces
- No cleaning after treatment necessary (but it can’t hurt)
- Hospitals and nursing homes can function during treatment
You’ll still have to bag clothing, wash with hot water (120+), clean, and vacuum before treatment, but the results are well worth it.
You may hear pest control companies talk about smoke treatment for controlling bed bugs. A canister (smoke bomb) that generates large amounts of smoke filled with Permethrin Synthetic Pyrethroid Insecticide is used to get rid of bed bugs.
Once the smoke bomb is activated, you will not be able to return to the property for at least four hours (each product has a different time). If used in one apartment and not sealed correctly, extermination may cause the infestation to move to the adjoining apartment.
Finally rid of bed bugs!
Tom 1303, a visitor to our website, has taken the time to share how he got rid of bed bugs and what it cost him.
I am going to share my success story with you and hope you find it helpful!
I moved into my new home in June, and by the end of September, I noticed my feet had little bites on them and dismissed them as chigger and mosquito bites. We searched the house and found bed bugs.
My wife and I panicked which is the first thing you should not do. We went to war! We purchased an air mattress after throwing out the bad one, cleaned everything, bought glue pads for our four post bed and waited a month. My son started showing bites, and we realized the infestation moved to his room.
We gave up and hired an exterminator to get rid of the bed bugs once and for all. He came out and treated both rooms. It didn’t work so we had the exterminator re-treat. Still didn’t work and now our furniture was infested.
I decided to check on heat treatment and found it was going to cost about $3,500. So that was out.
I called Terminix who said it would run $1,200 and they would finance it but only offered a 30-day guarantee. If the treatment failed and we didn’t discover it for 30 days, then we would be stuck paying a monthly fee for nothing, so we looked elsewhere.
I did a lot of research and ended up buying insecticide for around $100.00 which you mix with water. I also went online and purchased a Steam cleaner for 90 bucks at Walmart. (be sure it gets over 140 degrees).
We lifted the couches sprayed the underneath of the couches, the box springs, mattress, couches, floor boards and cracks. We formed a moat of the spray around all our beds which dries. A
We then bought some Diatomaceous Earth from Ace hardware and spread it underneath the bed between the mattress and box spring. In the cracks of the bed frames. (PLEASE BE CAREFUL! DO NOT GET POOL GRADE Diatomaceous Earth!), and in the electrical outlets (took off the face plate and put it in the hole of the wall around the outlet) *Be careful*
A week later our steam cleaner arrived, and we steamed everything! The bed bugs were dead!
I am not saying I am “bed bug free” as adults can hide for a year but I am saying my family is “bite free” and sleeping well. I think of it as a war, and I feel the spray and steam cleaner are helping me win it one battle at a time.
I will never laugh when I hear someone say they are afraid of bed bugs ever again. I had the same fears as all of you have had. I was scared someone would see a bug crawl on me at work, or I would bring them to work and infest the office.
I know it feels like you will not make it through but trust me if you keep at it and be persistent you will.
1) Bed Bug Dust (Diatomaceous Earth)
2) Bed bug spray
3) Bed Bug Steam Cleaner
Seems to be helping me. I wish you all the best of luck!
See our Bed Bug FAQ for frequently asked questions if you didn’t find what you are looking for here.
Not sure you can get rid of them yourself? Then read this uplifting story by a mother who successfully killed bed bugs! Another visitor, Linda, claims she has the best way to get rid of bed bugs, and there are always treatment mistakes others have made that may help.
Clicking next shows you short comments from others on what worked and what didn’t.Read More Comments Now