Do It Yourself bedbug elimination success storiesBedbugs have you feeling down and thinking you can’t kill them on your own? Take a few minutes and read the uplifting Do-It-Yourself success story below.  You can do it – don’t listen to the naysayers!

The testimonial below and those that follow are from visitors who left comments after reading, and using, our guides.

Hello,

Sorry it’s a bit long winded but I didn’t want to leave out anything that might help you; had I known then what I know now, it would have helped me more than I can express, so here it is!

I believe you can fight Bed Bugs but you have to be mentally tough, if not call an exterminator (very expensive AUD $1,000+ and no guarantees)… I’m hoping to reduce the stress/costs involved for you by sharing what I now know…. do everything thoroughly or you’ll be doing it all over again…. it’s quite an emotional journey, be prepared to shed many tears but never, ever, never give in – after all they are just a bug… isolate and keep on vacuuming/steaming/Fossil Shell flouring (see below for instructions on how I killed bedbugs)……and stay strong!

I refused to let a tiny bed bug beat me!

I knew the battle would be long!

I diagnosed the problem quickly and took action… I’ve been lucky with only a light infestation; in hindsight I panicked and did so much that wasn’t necessary, purely because I didn’t have the knowledge (heaps of information on the internet) and I had no idea where they were!

If you’ve decided to tackle them yourself be prepared for a long journey (many months to a year is my guess), but through dedication it can be done, I want to do it myself as I know its being done thoroughly by someone who cares… ME!

I highly recommend drowning yourself in knowledge about Bed Bugs/their eggs and their bites; check them out on the internet for a few days before doing anything (stay calm).

Now inspect where you think they might be, is there any evidence? if you find the bugs keep a few as proof (in case you need to call a Pest Control company) on a piece of sticky tape or in a plastic bag, careful not to squash them… keep everything you suspect of having bugs or eggs in it in one room as much as possible.

How I Killed Them

My recommendations for going into battle are a bug steamer, bed bug powder, mattress cover, cheap plastic containers with double sided tape around the outside for under bed/chair legs. Please read below for further explanation of these suggestions.

Place a thin layer of the powder wherever you suspect there may be bugs (rub gently to get some of it deeper into carpet), leave in place for a few months at least.

It’s important to kill them or you’ll have them forever, they breed fast…it’s not as simple as moving out for a few weeks to starve them, as they can hibernate for 12 to 18 months without feeding.

In order to reduce the work load dramatically, cover you bed with a mattress cover for bed bugs (vacuum mattress thoroughly before covering) and tape any holes / rips. If you have a base on the bed you can get covers for this also (or vacuum/steam/Fossil Shell flour). I fashioned a cover myself for our mattress out of 2 fitted sheet mattress protectors (don’t get the really cheap ones, make sure the fabric is closely woven so as the baby bugs can’t get through it)… placed one on top and one under the mattress then sealed around the elastic sitting on top with strong tape, a much cheaper option (approx AUD $40 for the two). Leave these covers in place for a year after you think you’re rid of the bugs, just to make sure they’re dead!

They will be hiding/living quite close to their host, more than likely on or in your bed frame/mattress somewhere (completely dismantle and steam slowly/thoroughly as though your life depended on it), or the lounge suite especially if you fall asleep on it, wherever their host spends time sleeping, they like to live where it’s dark and undisturbed (don’t sleep or sit anywhere else as they’ll follow you and spread through the house, better to keep them contained so as you can kill them). I believe they may come into your home in a bag/on clothing but will then make their home in your bed frame/lounge suite where ever you sleep (so don’t go crazy like I did washing/spraying/vacuuming everything in the house)….they’re attracted to the warmth of your body and the carbon dioxide you breath out whilst you’re in the deepest sleep.

They usually feed every few days in the early hours of the morning (approx 4am – 6am), their only source of food is your blood… the bite is painless. They tend to feed on one person unless that person’s not available (usually the person closest to their hiding spot). You may be bitten and your partner not (in the same bed), some people don’t react to the bites at all whilst others have painful allergic reactions.

It took me awhile to notice the bed bugs

The thing I’ve found most difficult is that it takes anywhere up to 10 to 14 days for the bites to emerge (for me approx 10 days) – someone with an allergy to the bites might show quicker (Google images/information on bites, they vary considerably), so you can’t feel an itch/bite and know where they are, also bear in mind you may have been bitten elsewhere and not have them in your home…. that’s why I say don’t panic, be logical and investigate all possibilities before acting.

If you found them or strongly suspect they’re in your home I would recommend vacuuming/steaming/taping/filling any cracks and crevices (near any place you fall asleep) in walls/ceiling/floor…even the smallest gaps (with Fossil Shell Flour, see below for instructions), also in and under lounge furniture/beds and bed frames.

If you think they traveled in a suitcase/overnight bag I would strongly recommend you act quickly on vacuuming/steaming/hot wash/hot dryer all clothes and baggage that went with you, probably too late to get the live bugs but there are possibly eggs that have yet to hatch.

Wash your bed linen/doona/duvet and any clothing that you think may be affected in really hot water – anything that can’t be put in hot water, put on high setting in the clothes dryer for 1/2 hour (don’t wet them) – you can put in pillows/doonas/bags/shoes/ belts/delicates – put in dry not wet so as not to damage them, also cheapens the electricity bill.

Be logical about killing bed bugs….I made so much work for myself (did all my belongings, I believe now it just so wasn’t necessary), by the time you realize you have bed bugs they will most likely be near your bed/couch near their host, I doubt they would live in clothes/electronics/bags/shoes etc unless they were placed near where you sleep (also near your favorite chair you may fall asleep in), once they’re inside your home they would make their way to be close to you when you’re asleep.

Once every nook and cranny of your bed is taped/vacuumed/steamed/Fossil Shell Floured, isolate your bed (and all the others in the house, I managed to keep them out of my daughters room by doing this very early on), cheap plastic containers under your bed legs with a little Fossil Shell Flour in the bottom (just in case they manage to get past the tape), wide double sided tape on the outside (you may need to put more tape over the top in a few months as it loses it stickiness), sprinkle Fossil Shell Flour (work into carpet a little) on the floor around the containers to kill them (they need to be killed or they’ll keep breeding), careful the containers don’t crack from the weight of the bed as the bugs will crawl through.

Don’t wear any clothing that you’ve been wearing during the day/night to bed (best for all to go naked in any affected beds), do not use/sit/put anything on the bed for any reason ever! DO NOT LEAVE STUFF LYING AROUND ON THE FLOOR (clothes, books, computers, phones etc), THEY LOVE TO HIDE IN IT… bed bugs are lazy and will be living close to their host, near or on the bed, in the lounge chairs you sit on, they like to live where it’s dark and undisturbed (don’t sleep or sit anywhere else as they’ll follow you and spread through the house).

Don’t give others your infestation

Very important note… if you decide to throw away mattresses/bases or lounge suites make sure that you severely slash them with a knife so as no one else will take them home and have to go through this awful experience.

Another very important note…. In future when traveling check the mattress and surroundings for any sign of bed bugs, keep everything in your bag… zip it up and place in sink/bath/shower or up high on a table etc well away from the bed.

I’m in my 6th month of fighting bed bugs, and now think they are only in our 3 seater couch that I used to fall asleep on…. I’ve now sprinkled Fossil Shell Flour under the cushions and around the short legs on the carpet; no one sits on it…. I’ve sprinkle Fossil Shell Flour around the legs of our other 2 chairs and we sit on them (got my daughter a bean bag so she was well away from the lounge suite)…. my plan is to make them come and get me, in order to do that they’ll have to crawl through the flour, and DIE….. WISH ME LUCK!

Bed Bug Free!

Special thanks goes to our visitor (Steamer/DE) from Australia who took the time to share her tips on how to kill these bed bugs yourself without having to pay the fees for a professional extermination company.

Update: The method above worked and the visitor is now bed bug free! A number of people have stated that Pine Sol is VERY effective at killing bed bugs on contact. This combined with the methods I have listed on my bed bug dust page should do the trick!

More Success Stories

Jayne::

ok…..I have had these little varmints for about 3 months….it started out when I was moving in to my apartment I found a nice bed that was left outside, it was one of those memory foams beds, very expensive & the box spring was with the bed…I was extremely excited to come across what I thought would be a really good find…..ha!

I am going thru a divorce….and about a month after I got the beds are started noticing these pinkish welts on my legs….I started freaking out at work thinking they were hives induced by the stress I was going thru with my divorce….I wish, I had always heard the fun saying before I went to bed, don’t let the bed bugs but….but believe me when I tell ya…….I did not know that these things existed!

I was disgusted and appalled….I hate bugs in general w/a passion!….so anyway….to make a long story longer…I called terminate and they confirmed my fears….BED BUGS….showed em to me and everything….so I asked what I can do & basically told me because I live in an apartment not much because in order to do a treatment they need to the ok from the apartment management and if bugs are found in any other apartment I would be responsible to pay for the treatments (CRAZY).

I asked what else can I do and the exterminator advised me on the bed casings (a lil expensive) then I got word of this wonderful stuff on line called DE or diatomaceous earth….I was sold….went out about week ago and have proceeded to cover my apartment & mattress with it, I literally put a border around all the wall of this powder…I was extremely victorious I thought….I felt like, yes I am gona get my apartment back!

Well, that was up until yesterday and today, between now & then I have found 3-4 bugs just hanging out on the walls….what did I do wrong? I literally have this white powder all over my apartment….my next step (b/c I am broke) is to try to get the mattress coverings….

I am having a real hard time sleeping @ nite & am very fearful that my kids are going to take this hitchhikers back to their dads & he will kill me for bringing these things into his house….please help….tell me if I am doing something wrong or if there is something else I should be doing, they are now appearing on my walls! Don’t know how they are climbing up the walls & not getting effected w/the DE…..please anyone help, open for any and all suggestions…. by @ my wits end :(

Etta Rae::

Hey Jayne, to ease your burden. Get rid of the infested bed. It’s no use trying to save it and you’ll have better control of the situation for I did the same thing months back (bringing home a used box spring, bad choice). The best thing you can do is invest in a roll away bed plus mattress cover.

Keep up with that DE stuff and buy Ortho Home Defense MAX (Kills Bedbugs where they hide!). Using Spackle on any cracks or holes will bring some relief to you as well, I promise. We can’t get rid of these all together but we can prevent them from ruining our lives and getting a good nights rest. Stay at the top of your game, don’t let them win by making you go bonkers from losing sleep.

Also try washing the areas of your body that you have the bumps with cold water and antibacterial soap plus use coco butter lotion and Vaseline to relive itchiness (doing this well get the bumps to go down faster). About all I can say from here on out is stay calm, cool, and collected because if you let these horrible demons ruin your life, you’ll never see the end of them. The best way to getting rid of these things and ensuring they are gone is to NOT panic. Panicking is the last thing you want to do because you could do something wrong and make your infestation worse.

Invest in time vacuuming, steaming, clearing out clutter/ packing stuff into plastic bins that have tight sealed lids, changing your bedding as often as possible and washing/drying them on high heat (do the same with clothes), spraying Ortho’s pesticide made especially for bedbugs, and Spackle up open cracks and holes.

I’m currently in my own fight against these horrible things and so far I’m coming out at top even though like you, I get that sick feeling of just giving up and letting them win but no, we can’t. These things pretty much mysteriously came back into the U.S. and we can get them back out as fast as they came. We did it once before,we can do it again! I wish you much luck!

nina::

Me and my partner are moving into a new house and are currently living at my mother in laws until it is available. We threw away our bed, wardrobe and other bedroom furniture as we had been getting bitten for months. I am now worried that they would be in our clothes and we have brought them to my mother in laws house! Will washing everything on high heat and sealing in a bag do the trick if so?

Also, do the bites really take 10 days or more to show/itch? We thought we were rid of them but have a few more bites since being here. Not sure if that’s because we still have bed bugs or not?

We are a young couple not earning alot and cannot afford to buy expensive mattress covers etc so will the DE stuff really work on our sofa, currently being stored in a shed. And how long until I can actually use the sofa again if I use it? Please help!!! Am starting to panic and cant find any answers to these questions!

Etta Rae::

Nina, wash all your clothes in hot water and dry on high heat. If any of your furniture was heavenly infested, it’s good you got rid of it. Things can be replaced plus this is coming from someone who can’t afford very much either and I had to get rid of my whole bed. To be on the safe side, you could try spraying your couch with Ortho Home Defense Max (Kills Bed Bugs where they hide!). I hope this helps, much luck.

Mary-Ann::

Hi Jayne –

I feel your pain! I am now going through a 3-week ordeal of trying to get my Landlord to help me with this nightmare! By law (in Maine, anyway) Landlords are responsible to pay for treatment of bedbugs and other infestations ( up to twice/year, I believe). My neighbor got them twice in under 3 months and the LLD did NOT warn nor treat adjacent apartments – which I have seen is an standard practice in some areas. I asked for an inspection 2 months ago, after seeing bites or a rash of some sort on my body. They did a canine inspection but the dog didn’t find any bed bugs. Upon further investigation, I discovered that Dogs have approximately a 98% accuracy rate and let’s face it, dogs – like people, have bad days. In any case, almost a month after the inspection – which I vacuumed for, etc – something you should NEVER DO – (duuh!) I was covered with WELTS, mostly around my neck arms and shoulders. I saw all the signs – tiny black spots, blood spots on my sheets and then, an engorged one on my leg! I contacted my landlord a second time.

I wanted to use DE, but was told by Modern Pest Control (the co. my LLD contracted with) that DE “might interfere” with their treatment. It’s three weeks to the DAY I confirmed BB’s in my apt and it’s been 2 days since their heat treatment (done this Wednesday) – cooking my apt at 126 to 138 degrees, and I am seeing a few… STILL… even a few wigglers on my mattress! (Incidentally, I spotted them WHILE trying to put on the WalMart cheapo/top-of-the-line brand of mattress cover. First – you get what you pay for. This is my SECOND WallyWorld cover – the first one’s zipper broke trying to put it on my foam mattress! Today, the SECOND one RIPPED! They are like PLASTIC PAPER and I do NOT recommend them if you have a PLUSH mattress!!!) IN any case, I FREAKED and immediately called Modern. They now tell me that it could take “UP TO” 2 WEEKS for the heat and Tempo 1% dust to work completely. Prior to treatment, I was told the heat is a 100% kill ON THE SPOT and the dust would take care of any residuals that may have burrowed to hide from the heat deep in my mattress or in cracks and gaps in the apartment. I was under the impression that there would be NO MORE BB’s and that in several days, a couple of sick stragglers may wander out, but the dust would kill them within hours. Now, I’m told a different story. I feel that I would have been better off the DAY I spotted the bugs, to go straight out and buy Diatomaceous Earth (DE). I still have the bag sitting here, in fact, and boy am I tempted!

I have read only GOOD things about DE and though it can take up to 8-10 days to completely ERADICATE the bugs, (some say the residual should be left longer for any eggs laid by the adults killed at time of treatment). In any case, it WILL do the job! My only questions for you are: When did you apply the DE and are you certain you got EVERY nook and cranny in your home? I didn’t see you mentioned anything about washing all your personal clothing/fabrics/materials, etc. Did you wash ALL clothing in HOT water and dry them on HIGH for at LEAST 30-45 mins? I prefer a longer drying time to be sure the entire load got hot enough to kill everything inside, so it is important that you do NOT overstuff a dryer. What you spend in electricity or quarters will be nothing compared to what you will pay down the road for not being thorough. Also, electrical equipment are areas they LOVE to hide in – so are wall outlets, carpet seams, gaps in tiles, screw holes in wood furniture, loose floor tile and more. If you didn’t get the electrical outlet plates, then they are still alive inside there and may even pick up DE on their way to dinner (YOU!) … possibly dying after and even laying some eggs along the way to their demise – the bastards!

If you dusted just a few days ago, give it time. If you haven’t done the laundry, then that is probably your culprit, along with your dresser drawers, shoes, and accessories: purses, wallets, belts, scarves – u name it! They LOVE closets, too! Pull out everything – heat treat what u can and dust in every corner and crevice. If it’s got a fabric or any sort of porosity BB’s can hide in, they will do just that. Also, if you wet an area, you need to *re-apply*. I’d dust the inside of my purse, shoes, etc. Make sure you let it sit for a bit and be sure to vacuum it WELL before using anything that may come in contact with your skin or *eyes* (*VERY* irritating) or be breathed in – *SERIOUS* respiratory complications WILL result. DE effects are analogous to breathing in microscopic cut glass fibers! I’m seeing a lot of good things about DE, but rarely have I seen people posting that it CAN be harmful if not handled very carefully and responsibly! Wear a mask and gloves and use an applicator or brush – as I saw one gentleman post earlier – GREAT idea! It would make it even easier to control and minimize “dust blow back”.

I don’t know if this has been at all helpful, but I had to say something. You are the first person I have seen posting that DE didn’t work – and believe me, I have been reading day and night obsessively for these last 3 weeks! Best of luck to you. I’ll say a prayer and if you would please, send one my way? It’s been hell. I’ve been stuck on my couch for 3 weeks and have had a very serious spine surgery, so my pain levels are keeping me from sleeping, even without being bitten. I HATE THIS!

All the best to you, Mary-Ann

amber::

A lady on another bed bug page said dawn dish detergent kills bed bugs on contact but not the ones hiding so keep spraying..and its affordable .. I think it was 1/5 dawn and 4/5water..I’ll double check..

Barbara::

Jane this may be a bit long coming however I just would like to let you know to keep up the good work. Once the bugs pass though the powder it can take up to several hours before they are dead. Also if you are putting too much of the powder around your edging they will stay clear of it and climb the wall to go around it and drop from the ceiling. All you need is a light amount of powder around your powder making sure it is covered but lightly.

Rich::

The bedbugs evolved in caves. So analyze caves to figure them out. The bedbugs use two sensors to find humans: chemical receptors to detect carbon dioxide gas, and infrared sensors to detect relative heat, just like the cops use in helicopters to find hiding human suspects in wooded areas. Humans look white relative to the relatively cooler surrounding materials (bedding, walls, furniture). Recall that human skin is 98.6 degrees ALL THE TIME, even when at rest. Bedding, etc. is probably under 80 degrees even in summer without air conditioning.

This temperature difference is substantial considering the fine tuning of the bedbugs infrared receptors. So to make a long story short, the bugs climb on the ceiling in order to get on the bed to suck blood from humans, and of course they can “see” the humans and of course they drop directly down to where the human skin is visible using the infrared sensors. If you don’t believe me, read some entomological journal articles. There are scientists studying these bugs, and the scientists are smart, like the scientists who developed hydrogen bombs and the scientists who put man on the moon. If you don’t believe in science, don’t ever go to doctors or hospitals, as they use science in a big way. The facts of bedbugs are not all known, but their sensor suite is somewhat understood and we know they use CO2 chemoreceptors and infrared sensors at least.

There will be more discoveries. If you want info on infrared sensors, check out Youtube video of helicopters or drones using infrared sensors and notice how tires on cars, exhaust pipes on vehicles, or human beings are “white” compared to the surrounding cooler materials. This stuff is not rocket science, but it is science, and science is just as real as the bedbugs. Heat is the only definitive way to kill bedbugs without using illegal, third-world chemicals like Tres Pastitos (“three tiny steps” or aldicarb).

The caves never got hot where the bedbugs developed. Use a HS175KT Kerosene Forced Air Heater ($400) to heat up a house to kill the bugs, or to heat up a moving van to kill the bugs in your bed, furniture, and belongings. If you really hate the bugs, study them. Get some entomology textbooks. Consider getting a Ph. D. in entomology, and write your doctoral dissertation on the bedbug. It can be done. Become an expert on “the enemy.” Only then will you know and understand its weakness (temperature extremes) and how to exploit it (with construction heaters like the HS175KT Kerosene Forced Air Heater).

Pat::

First, you are going to have to get the mattress cover. They are nasty bugs. They will just keep reproducing right underneath where you are sleeping. Food and shelter right there. The cover won’t kill them though. That powder won’t really kill them either, we used it too. I thought it would work, read all the comments, etc. But, no, maybe slowed them down for a couple weeks. We threw out out bed, expensive wooden bed frame and all our bedroom furniture. We wrapped everything in plastic and took it to the dump, so no one would get the infested mattress. Did that work?

No. We then invested in two types of stream machines, which my husband used weekly on all the bedrooms. We also washed all the bedding every or every other night on hot, double stick tape around all the legs of the bed, and don’t let your bedding hit the floor when you sleep. We have had them for almost two years! It is exhausting. Our house was just tented for termites two weeks ago with Vikane gas. No spots on the bed since. I truly hope they are gone and we can finally put our room back together!

tangerinequeen::

I’ve read all of your comments and i agree with what everyone has posted and i haven’t seen anyone tackle these ugly little critters with vinegar and water. I’ve seen these things explode and die right where they sat when we sprayed them. natural stinky way to kill them but very effective. we couldn’t afford the bed cover right away so we try what natural product we could sleep around and we doused our beds in the morning and put our beds up against the walls and spray our carpets every day. We got to have a comfortable sleep instead of an itchy restless sleep and put our bed clothing in the dryer every morning. it worked for us….

LouAnn::

I wanted to say thank you for posting this information, I recently discovered that we have bed bugs. I think I caught them pretty early because there were only a few on my bed. I took the bed apart and vacuumed every inch and doused it with the dawn water mix, and yes it does kill them on contact.

I vacuum the every night before I go to bed and haven’t seen anymore in there, I have the tape around the foot of the bed and there isn’t any evidence of them. However, I have animals so I did not get to contain them in my room so they are all over the house, except for my bedroom. I found that the dawn mixture works good if you spray the area down really good a couple of times the BB don’t go back to that spot.

I put the DE down and I haven’t seen any adults but I got lax with the vacuuming for a couple of days and that was a mistake, eggs must have hatched and they tore me up, oh yeah, I am extremely sensitive to them, I am sure that is why I managed to catch them so early in my room.

I also have a steam washer and dryer, and trust me they don’t live through that, I have only had them for about a week and they are driving me nuts, I am glad that I am so sensitive to them or I might not have caught them so early. I am hoping I can get them eradicated sooner rather than later. Keep up the good fight all, and once again, thanks for posting.

Justin::

i have lived in an extended stay hotel for 3 months and a month ago began my war with Bed bugs. management has done very little and even gave me another box spring already infested to replace old one. idiots! a couple weeks ago i decided to just throw away my box spring as that’s where they seem to launch their attacks from.

I stopped getting bit and thought i had actually got rid of them. wrong. 3 days ago i went to subway to get a 2$ meatball sub when i looked at my hand and saw an engorged bed bug! since then i have been fed upon twice. i have decided to step up my efforts and launch a chemical attack followed by heat for my clothes via the dryer. at least their not crawling all over my bed at night and the psychological damage/sleep deprivation is now minimal. I will keep everyone posted.

Wendell26::

If I use heaters and turn the heat up o the highest temperatures will this rid me of the blood sucking pest? Desperate for an answer. Please help:(

Bob::

The place I have moved into is crawling with them and after what I have just read, I am seriously thinking of leaving everything behind and just walking out. I can’t afford to buy stuff to put down and mattress covers etc. and I don’t even own a vacuum cleaner. I don’t know how to kill bed bugs and I think the little suckers have won already.

Roland::

I just discovered I have bed bugs in my beach home and I am renting it for a month next month. please tell me if it can go away before the renters come in or what should I do so that it is not a problem for them. I will definitely fight this until the end and will not keep my guard down.

Janine::

Thank you for posting this, it made me laugh at your humor and made me feel better. Good luck to you and to all us with this plague.

Cherry::

Hi there,

I have been reading your articles on bed bugs!! and help~~~~~I think I am bitten by bed bugs too!

I have live in the house for almost 3 yrs, and recently i installed a wooden platform bed in the master bedroom, me and my hubby sleep there everyday.

2 weeks ago, while travel on a long journey bus/coach, i complained to hubby that something bites me.. that night Itself, I discover lumps of small read spots on my right arm.. and only on the RIGHT side.. like this…

Photo of Chair Bug Bites 1 of 3Photo of Chair Bug Bites 2 of 3Photo of Chair Bug Bites 3 of 3

the next day itself i found that my right arm is full of red dots. went to doctor… diagnosed as “chair” bugs bite as I told him i ride a coach before….

A week later, this is this morning, i wake up in horror to find that my neck has this 2 “love” bites!!! I couldn’t stop to believe that there are bed bugs in my house!!!

What should I do? We are Asian parents living in Msia with a 2 yrs old toddler who is currently with my mum, i dare not let her come home anymore!!!

please help me!!

From

Helpless mum,

Cherry
Bedbug in fold of mattress
Update Jan 17th:

I found this darn thing hiding on one edge of my mattress.

I found this, and 2-3 other baby bed bugs!

Am so sure this is bed bug!!!!!!

Bed Bug Girl::

Hi Cherry,

These look like they hurt and I’m sorry you are dealing with them. I have never heard the term “Chair Bugs” before but I know bed bugs are often found on buses.

The bite pattern looks like bed bugs and your reaction seems greater than most (you may be more sensitive) but we need to make sure they are really bed bugs and not something else.

Have you found any signs of bed bugs? Look at my bedbug checklist and consider making the trap I have listed. Once you are sure you have them, we can takes steps to kill the bugs.

A lot of visitors to this site have left their success stories on how to kill bed bugs and explain in detail the methods that worked for them. The key for most have been using food grade diatomaceous earth (called DE) that you’ll spread around your home, focusing on creating a perimeter around the bed and couch.

If you find a bug, please, send me a picture and I can tell you if it’s a bed bug or something else.

Update: Jan 17th,

I received the picture, included it in your comment and yes, although I can’t see the fine detail, that looks like a bed bug and if you’ve compared what you found to the pictures on this site, and they are a match, then your next step to come up with a DIY plan if you can’t afford an exterminator. Sorry the hear you found them, I wish they were something else!

lili::

These lil monster r the first infestations i have ever had!! I’m afraid to let my friends/family visit or my kids to visit and have sleepovers anymore b/c like many of u, didn’t know they were really Real!! I don’t know how i got them or where they came from im totally freaked out and want to move but cant afford to my husband thinks they just go with us. Ive only tried over the counter stuff with No success so i want to try DE but my daughter has a min pin (puppy) will it hurt the dog? Im out of options and feeling completely defeated so thank you for the suggestions!

Rita::

For two months I have been scratching incessantly around my face, back of my next, back, hands and especially my forearms. I would cut my nails off to prevent the scratching but it became so unbearable that I would grab a hair brush – the bore bristle kind. I thought I had a rash. I went to the doctor and he told me it was dry skin. Every now and then I would get bumps, especially on my back and neck, but it was when I scratched the crap out of my forearms that the bumps would materialize. They were like fat, wide patches all over my arms, just like in the pictures here and scratching often left whelps.

Last night I read in bed on a white sheet with a white spread over me. First hour nothing, and then I felt this nick on my neck. I grabbed at it and it was a baby bed bug. I started looking at the white pillow case and I kept seeing these darkened spots and I knew I would not have purchased it like that. And then I saw the bug – I have no clue where he came from. And then there was another one.

I can’t move, I can’t throw a lot of my stuff away so it became me or the bug. The hardest part was going to bed knowing that I would be dinner. I didn’t dare go into the living room to spread the drama. I got tore up last night.

I decided to check my mattress with a lamp, and a magnifying glass. I saw poop stains here and there, but it was when I looked on the side of the bed that I saw a cluster of them. I ran into the kitchen and made up a solution of 1 part Dawn soap and 4 parts water in a water bottle. I have to tell you, that solution worked on contact. I even took a tooth pick to jab them a little just to be sure, then waited ten minutes and jabbed them again.

My bed frame had broken and my mattress was on the floor – a twin bed. The buggers had gotten into the plastic around the corners of the frame and were just hanging out. I killed all of them and vacuumed with my new Kenmore Intuit (which is great for pet hair) and then I doused the entire carpet with the Dawn/water solution.

The bed bugs can’t go through a sheet, so after spending 45 minutes on the mattress, it is now drying from the Dawn squirts. I’ll be moving it to another section of the bedroom that has been doused with the Dawn/water solution as well. Tomorrow I will go out and get a cover for the mattress … a good one – I cannot stand sleeping on the floor.

The Apt. office was talking about spraying my apt., and that is how the problem began – they sprayed another apartment and they came to me. I work at home and I don’t go places and I have lived here for over a year with no incident until recently. The bugs have bitten my daughter and she gets lots of visible bumps – me, I’m just scratching like a monkey and I don’t want to go out in public tearing at my skin.

The living room and the rest of the house is fine, we’re seldom in the living room, but I will be spraying the carpet and the undersides of my new red leather couch … just in case, cause I’m not trying to lose that.

I believe that I got them, and even though I am not done yet, I’m confident that I’ll be the victor – Dawn soap, to the rescue again. Please, please, please, let this be the end of it.

Michaela c.::

omygeeze!! i moved in with this girl about 1 and a half years ago, she wasn’t the cleanest, but i was one step away from the homeless shelter, so i am grateful, sooo, i cleaned and cleaned, but it was too bad, we moved and we left EVERYTHING, but our clothes, which we washed.

For over a year, no bites, no bed bugs, nada, my friend, no my co-worker, her bf had a couch he was getting rid of, we had NO furniture for a year, so we took it, guess what, BED BUGS, grrrrr, ok, ima not going to let these little basters win!!!

I’m going to try the matt cover, the dawn soap, AND i want to get the D E, ( the powder?) my ? is, i have 2 little dogs, 3 cats, all inside animals, i don’t want to poison them, will the diatomaceous earth hurt them? also i saw at the grocery they make a raid bed bug bomb, does it work? i’m just starting this journey so please, i will take ALL info and use it, i don’t have a lot of cash either, as i’m a single mom, making it work as a shift manager at McDonald…imagine, i cant scratch at work!!!!

patricia::

I found these critters today. After finding tiny blood spots on the sheets. I thought my husband picked in his sleep. No, it was bed bugs.

I have sprayed with the Ortho home def. max. I threw out my mattress and box springs. I have done 10 loads of Sheets, Blankets, throw rugs, curtains, and clothes. We haven’t got to the closet yet. I know it is only the start of how to kill bed bugs. I have steam cleaned carpet with Clorox and pine-sol mix. If anyone has any other suggestions please help. We are on a very limited income, so we are sleeping on the floor.

Amanda::

so I found out i have bed bug on my bed which is sucks! =[ I’m scared and just by thinking the tonight i have to go to sleep I’m scared i don’t know what to do. I have red bump on my arms, legs, fingers , elbows and back they are all over my body =[ I really scare so can someone plz help i want to get rid of them. I have only found one and a lot of black dots under my mattress.

Fighting Back::

I’m not to sure where the bed bugs came from in my home. I purchased a new sofa and I’m not sure if they were brought in with it or if from one of my many visitors. I’m pretty sure it was the sofa because my husband didn’t start to complain about the bites until he started to sleep on it. It has been two years since I really went to take a look at the couch because I sit on it all the time and never bit but then I discovered that it was infested with bed bugs. Instantly we removed the 1500 dollar couch ( that I cried over).

We have a friend that gave us a bottle of NyGuard IGR Concentrate and quickly started spraying all the living, dining and my bedroom with it and constant vacuuming. Since then which has been a week or so, now I only see one every three days or so crawling up the walls. I have had some nights that I don’t see any. I hate this bug!!! I take the lighter burn it alive and then vacuum and spray more poison.

I have went out and bought Home Defense Max and had been spraying like crazy. I no longer see them in the master bedroom and they have not been spotted in any other bedrooms or the living area . I know for a fact I will continue to fight, I can not afford an exterminator I called Ortho and for the heat treatment for my home he told me $1000.

Now I will be going to my local feed store and buy this DE stuff I pray it works. I’m not going to buy a new sofa for awhile now just to make sure they are gone. One blessing is that our mattress and box springs are all covered in the original plastic and all have mattress covers. We still took the advice and washed everything in the house with hot water and put the dryer on max. Good luck to all the other peps out there dealing with this and never give up the fight. God bless us all!

Candace::

LISTEN….LISTEN…….LISTEN…..we live in a two family flat and had BB’s about two years ago. I’ll try to ake this Long story as short as possible. My mom bought my lil brothers “supposedly” new mattresses from this guy. After about six months of sleeping on the mattresses mom had there bunks taken down, so she could remodel there room, so half the furniture including the bed frame, went into my living room right near my bedroom. The other half, the mattresses went into the girls room.

One night the boys decided to put their mattress that was leaning against the wall in the girl room on the floor, so they could sleep on it while watching a movie. The kids said within minutes all these brown bugs were crawling everywhere, so the decided to take their pillows and blankets and go and sleep in the another room (only infesting room # 3) to sleep. Sunday morning the kids told my mom and I about all these bugs crawling on them last night. Well Sunday night when the kids went to sleep mom started investigating….omg there were BBs everywhere crawling all over the boys as they slept, and in the girls room also. We killed at least 150 BBs that night alone.

Now the kids never reacted to the bites but i did and About 2days later I started getting bites on me,so I checked my bed after being in denial, and low and behold there was one adult bug under my mattress and a baby on my head board!! We went crazy…packing up everything, washing all clothes, vacuuming , everything you could think to do. A day later more bites on me, I went and bought my so-called sprays and powders to get rid off them…..still having bites! When I contacted bed bug exterminators, that wanted OVER $1000 dollars to “maybe” solve the problem!! So after dealing with this infestation for about a year, spending numerous dollars and literally getting rid of all our beds, furniture, and sofas, this is how we got RID of them.

We stripped, I mean stripped all the infested rooms bare….took all the bedding and clothes to the laundry mat, we put everything we were keeping, such dressers rugs clothes ect., scrubbed them with bleach, sprayed them with a milky white BB chemical spray mom and I bought over the Internet and put them in the freezing cold garage and left them there for about 3 months. We keep all the new mattresses in the plastic they came in (or put them in plastic yourself), including the box springs. Then we took hard brushes and scrubbed the entire rooms from top to bottom, around the window panes, everywhere! Then we let the rooms dry, we then put Shellac on all the floors, around the the base boards everywhere( if you have carpet take it up), let dry and did it again, then repainted the base boards with paint. The Shellac really did it, all those eggs and BBs that are hard to kill and see, just got painted over. After everything dried we still only put the box spring, mattresses and tv in the rooms for at least a month!

Shelly::

I’ve had bedbugs for 2 months now. Tired of being bit. And yet, I have NEVER seen one. . I’ve tried sprays, vacuuming everything thoroughly, and even dusted bed legs and chair legs with the Diatomacious Earth Powder. I’m ashamed to have company over anymore…..don’t want them to be bit. This is awful. I’m ashamed to wear shorts or a swimsuit, because my legs and buttocks are SO scarred from the bites and red welts. I’m such a clean person…..always vacuuming and dusting and washing floors……this is SO embarrassing. I can’t afford a Steam Treatment of $1000. What should I do?

Leroy::

We recently learned that we have bed bugs in one of the bedrooms of the second floor apartment now rented to two college students. This discovery took me to the internet and I was very pleased to find the wealth of information in your web site. I thought there was reference to a need to log into the site, but found no way to access a site to provide contact and other information. Would you please provide necessary information?

Again, thank you for all the useful information.

Bed Bug Girl::

Hi Leroy, unlike many of the bed bug sites out there, you don’t need to sign up for access, it’s free and you simply leave a comment the way you did here. If you’re looking for a way to kill bed bugs, then I highly suggest you read up on bed bug dust. Have a bed bug and not sure if it’s one of these blood suckers? Then check out our page “what do bed bugs look like” to find out for sure.

Pauline::

My husband and I had had a bed bug problem after living in our new apartment for a couple of months. We never knew what bed bugs were until living here. We started noticing bumps on our body, but thought that it was mosquitoes or something. We ignored the bites until I noticed something crawling on the bed. I examined them and found out they were bed bugs!

We decided to check the bed and found bed bugs on the sides of the mattress and bed foundation! The more we searched the more we found bed bugs, so we tossed the mattress away and our brand new bed foundation. We then purchased an air bed for a couple months and realized that they had left! We used an air bed for a few months and NO bed bugs at all.

We decided to purchase a new mattress set and kept the hard plastic factory wrap on it. We also bought a metal frame for the bottom. So far, we’ve had this mattress set and metal frame for almost a month and still no sign of them. We’ll be checking the metal frame and bed set when it hits a month and every other month. Btw, we are very clean people and vacuum every single day since the bed bugs left and that seem to help somewhat. Hope this helps some of you!

Lisa::

I live in Alabama and have been fighting bed bugs for about 9 months now. I have accepted the fact that with our family and schedule, there is no way I can kill them completely. The Bed Bugs are back and everyone; rich or poor, clean or unclean, are going to get them. SO DON’T BE EMBARRASSED.

I had our home cleaned every week, spotless and we got them from someone just coming over for a visit and had them on his clothes. He told us after a couple of weeks, that his family had bed bugs and was too embarrassed to tell us. They had gotten them after his brother had spent the night with a friend and the bed bugs were in his duffel bag. (I now clean our home myself)

After finding this out, my daughter started noticing that she had blood spots on her pillow cases and sheets. We started looking on the internet and reading all about them. I did see a few under the tag of her mattress, so we threw her set out. And after taking the fabric off from under her couch, I saw several inside her new couch, after several weeks of cleaning over and over, we took it out and burned it.

For several months I worked strictly on her bedroom and looking on our other beds, just in case. Then I started seeing blood spots on our pillow cases and sheets. They were not many but that was bed bugs. This has been a very emotional and physical nightmare experience for me and my family and I have finally decided that mentally I have to just come to terms with cleaning and checking every day until they die out.

This web site was very informative, but I couldn’t do everything it suggested. The best suggestions are: (I didn’t steam our mattresses) I put the mattress covers on both mattress and box springs, covers fit both (Walmart $40 each), double sided tape (Walmart $5).

After putting the mattress cover on the box springs, I taped around it and after putting my fitted sheet on the mattress, I put tape around on top of the fitted sheet. *This does help make you feel a little easier at night. (There are a lot of sleepless nites) We wash our bed sheets twice a week and retape the mattress each time. We vacuum once a week thoroughly under beds, under dressers, nite stands etc. and dust everything.

I spray Ortho Max (Walmart $8) around all the base boards. When that dries I put the dust down around the base boards and under the beds. I don’t put the dust out where any of us can step on it (**I have a grandson that lives with us and don’t want him to get any on his hands or mouth or on his toys). AND TRY TO KEEP EVERYTHING OFF THE FLOOR AND BED. DO NOT HAVE CLUTTER AROUND ON THE FLOOR (books, magazines, papers) Bed bugs love to nest under stuff.

DO NOT do the heat the room thing, I don’t believe this works. DO NOT do the cold, freezer thing, it does not work. Elbow grease (hard cleaning) is the most effective.

We have very little signs of them now. I check all the beds every morning for blood spots and do see the blood spots from time to time.

I hope that one day We all will be able to lay down at night and sleep sound without thinking about bed bugs.

Also…
Wash anything that is on your bed (comforter too) in the hottest water and dry everything in hottest heat. (if you have bed skirts, wash them and then store them away, less places they can hide) Now we just wash everything in hot water, even our regular laundry. For delicate clothes, we dry them on low heat, then turn them up to hot.
Steam clean carpets about once a month instead of just pulling it all up is an option too.

frustrated in co::

Just found what I think might be bb tonight and I am so glad I found this site. I have made a bed bug shopping list and will start my battle soon. Thank you all the information and good luck to all of you.

J::

thanks for all the great info! i made a HUGE mistake and went against my better judgement to rent a room out in my home to save money. a friend of a friend kind of thing- she was utterly filthy- and brought bedbugs into my home on top of just being a dirty person. I am going to use all the info here- and also use some bed bug spray to hopefully kill them all- as I just bought my first home and am moving into it at the end of the month and really do not want to take these little monsters with me. I am so grossed out.

dc::

I tried Garden Safe 4 Lb. Crawling Insect Killer Containing Diatomaceous Earth from Lowes over a week ago, I caked it everywhere, and I am still seeing them?? Is this a diluted version of Diatomaceous Earth is that why it does not seem to be working? I have found some dead ones, but there are still a lot more alive. Please advise

Frustrated::

My landlord won’t get an exterminator and I can’t take any more sleepless nights. I warned her! On top of it I have to move to a new place (this has nothing to do with my mattress being infested but it’s a relief that I have to leave just the same). I pray that I can get out soon and that I will not bring them with me and will be following prevention measures.

I’m not sure how reliable the exterminators are anyway, I can see it being useful for a particularly bad infestation. I will just have to give this stuff a try.

Never Gonna Get Bit Again::

dc:

It can take a little while to kill bed bugs with DE. The eggs take 7-10 days to hatch, then have to come into contact with the DE. Make sure that you isolate your bed so that they cannot feed in the meantime while you are working to kill them with the DE. It has been 9 weeks since I got bit, and I still put DE down every time I vacuum to make sure. Remember that they can live over a year without feeding.

Monica::

Aloha from Hawaii! I have those little suckers all over my house! It is driving me crazy! The worst part is I feel dirty, Ugh! I am going to try the DE powder and happily the exterminator is scheduled to come on Mon. I’ll find out if they’ll pay for it or not. Wish me luck with my Hawaiian BB’S! P.S. If the dish soap works, I’m all over it!! Mahalo

the return of the bb::

So, last summer we had a BB scare in our home, just in one room. We thought we got rid of em by trashing the bed and the chair and the dresser and washing all the cloths in that room (basically treating it like a flea infestation). We thought we rid them all… Then i started seeing them in the room across the hall way about 1 year later. when we took apart the bed we noticed the all these black spots everywhere on the mattress and box spring, also when moving the bed we found a few just hanging out on the side of the bed. (a few is really under stating, more like groups of 5-8).

What do we do????? Calling an exterminator is out of the question simply cant afford that, and using most these methods stated on here don’t seem to be our best option, seeing how we have had them for over two years with out knowing… I never had a reaction to a BB bite as to why i probably didn’t notice them leaving the first room and coming in to mine. Cant afford to get a new bed and all new stuff for the bedroom. Just simply moving don’t make too much sense cuz they will follow me. I’m lost don’t know what to do with these guys. Although I do enjoy burning the little suckers with a lighter right now as revenge (hoping they get scared away lmao)

Chris::

For whatever it’s worth, here’s my experience with DE. I necessarily lived for a time in what was basically an unlicensed boarding house, people shuttling in and out regularly and usually not well supplied with money, exactly the kind who might bring in secondhand furniture (a definite no-no unless you get it from someone you know and TRUST to SWEAR that they have never had a bug).

Long story short, I got bugs, landlord called Orkin, Orkin sprayed, 6-8 months later bugs were back, Orkin came back, two weeks later bugs again. About this time I moved out. Unfortunately I had hitchhikers, which is how bb’s spread. (Note: It does not help one iota to bag up everything you own, which is what the exterminators tell you to do. All you do is bag the bugs up too, and they go along with you. You would have to go through every book, every notebook, everything, page by page, check all your video and CD cases, vacuum and steam all your furniture, on and on and on…full-time job.) So now here I am in the new apartment and I’ve got ’em.

I bought a 4-lb. bag of Safer brand DE from Sears (saves postage because they will ship it free to the store). I dusted thickly all around the baseboards, dusted my chair, the bookshelves behind the books, the closet, etc. (Don’t have a bed yet, for reasons too complex to go into; I’m sleeping on the floor.) I think the site owner may be right when he describes bb’s as lazy, since I seldom see them except in the bedroom; about once in 2-3 wk. I may spot one in the LR, and I did see a baby one on the chair the other night, first time in months.

One night I had insomnia, woke up around 3 AM, turned on the BR light-bb’s!!! On the carpet too. Out came the trusty Pest Pistol. Wholesale slaughter resulted! Killed at least 50, and another 30 or so as it started to get light. So far my experience is that they come in surges. You might see 20-30 a day for 10 days or so, then drop back to 3-4. What I am seeing mostly now, after about 3.5 months fighting them, is little ones-much too young to breed. If you can kill them in this stage you will take a major step forward.

You have to be patient and persistent. I got onto the website of Safer and had a chat with a CS rep, who said to treat the apartment about once a week till you don’t see any more of them. To which I will add that I may have an unusually bold strain, but I often see them crawling up the walls-fortunately they show up well against the white paint. If you see one, try to hit it directly with the DE using the Pest Pistol. I do notice that if one gets the white dust on it, I don’t generally see it again. I guess it goes off and dies in a crack, like the Elephants’ Graveyard. I saw one a week or two ago crawling on the DE in the LR corner by the TV and said to myself, “Well, you’re dead even if you don’t know it.” I think it was, because the only one I’ve seen in that room since was obviously a juvenile.

Murphy’s Oil Soap is supposedly good to treat your furniture and kill them; I haven’t tried it yet but figure it can’t hurt. It’s at least cheap and smells pleasant.

BTW, I first used DE against fleas several years ago.

eddy::

hello, like a lot of you i just found bb after one of my friends stayed the night i few week later low and behold after i fell a sleep on my couch i got bites on my legs and arms so i look around on my couch and found them so this might help a few ..i tried rubbing alcohol 75 % to 95% at Walmart for 1$ something. i put it in a spray bottle and have been spraying my couch with it and on the bed bugs themselves if i see them. I have to say i see that there not to many and the ones I did spray are dried up! so give it a try but like i say its something i just been doing a few days now ..let me know if it works for you …I’m going to try the dove soap next …eddy

Morgan::

I am so glad I found this page…my husband my son and I have been going nuts. We’re itching at night and then I wake up to find welts and red markings all over me. Doctors have told us that we had scabies, we have been treated with permethrin three times. We just didn’t understand what was causing this problem because we couldn’t see it. However I would have black dots smaller than a poppy seeds left on my skin (I thought that was the bug, but found it strange that it would never move). This has been going on since may and now it is the end of July and about a wk ago my husband found this bug, but because we had never seen anything like it we just ignored it like it was some other bug. However today I found the same bug and decided to look it up and found that it was bed bugs…

Let me tell you something, before finding out tonight what the crap this thing was. We had the exterminator in here twice, we fogged our home in three places. My husband was on his hands and knees cleaning all the carpet with vinegar and bleach. We bagged all of our clothes to have washed, stayed away from the house for a wk. We thought we were crazy, even the exterminators couldn’t see what the problem was….but a lase today we figured out what they are and now we can’t sleep. This sucks and I want to move…but the fun thing was reading other people’s responses to this problem, you made me laugh in one of my darkest hours.

Andrea::

Hello all, I don’t have these bed bugs but I would like to give some input, I think two sided tape around all the walls and baseboards so they cant climb up the walls would be a great idea to keep them from climbing the walls. Also put the DE powder around the baseboards. They will get in the DE dust at the baseboards and /or stick to the two sided tape on the bottom of the walls and baseboards. If you do this they cant climb the walls and jump off the ceilings on to you in your bed and suck your blood or eat on you.

Also spray with Dawn dish detergent mixture around the base boards in between putting down the DE powder. Then vacum everyday and put DE powder inside your vacum cleaner dirt collecting canister before vacuming or spray inside the dirt collecting canister with Dawn dish soap after vacuming and then let your vacum dirt collection canister air dry before vacuming again. If you have a vacum bag burn it and put in the trash. If you are in a situation where you cant burn your vacum bag then put the DE dirt in the canister bag and seal it with tape and put it in another trash bag and tape it up again and trash it immediately or they will crawl out and be in your house again. I would also put the tape around my bed legs and put DE powder around the bed legs or put plastic bags around the bed legs. Good luck to all.

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