We all know where bed bugs come from, we typically bring them home as unwanted souvenirs from vacations or take them with us after moving from an apartment complex. What we really need to know is how to get rid of them.

Lynn Little wrote an article “Kick the bed bugs out of your bed” discussing some of the tactics that you can to on your own to get rid of the little pests. Getting rid of bed bugs as soon as possible is crucial because after a bed bug is in place females can produce eggs that will hatch into blood-thirsty nymphs within a matter of days. An adult bed bug can live anywhere from 12 to 18 months.

The reason bed bugs are so hard to get rid of once they’ve been established in a building or home is because they hide during the daytime. They typically hide in cracks and crevices, in furniture like your bed or under rugs, behind pictures, artwork or loose wallpaper. According to Little the best thing to do to get rid of bed bugs is a three step integrated pest management (or IPM). This consists of sanitation and the application of the chemicals only to the areas needed.

One of the very most important things you can do is inspect your hotel room when traveling to ensure you don’t bring any bed bugs home with you, in other words prevention. But if by chance you miss them and do bring them home on accident be sure to inspect all clothing. Look for their fecal spots or actual bugs. When buying used furniture, especially mattresses double check everything. Try caulking cracks and crevices on the interior and exterior of your homes so the bugs can’t hide there.

The next step, sanitation, means frequent cleaning of your home. Vacuuming and cleaning your mattress and areas nearby, washing clothes in hot water and just generally cleaning and sanitizing your home. After the mattress is vacuumed or scrubbed, it can be enclosed in a zippered mattress cover. Any remaining bedbugs will be trapped inside the cover. Leave the cover in place for a year or more, since bed bugs can live a long time without feeding. Steam and hot water can also kill bed bugs. So after traveling and unpacking make sure to wash all your clothes in hot water to ensure that any bed bugs you might’ve brought home won’t survive.

The last step, chemicals on targeted areas, means residual insecticides are applied directly to the areas needed. For example any cracks or crevices where bed bugs may have been hiding. Feel free to repeat as needed, especially if more bed bugs are spotted. Make your home less hospitable for bedbugs and other pests by preventing entry and controlling their sources of food, water and places to hide.

If you have any more suggestions or tips on how to keep your home bed bug free please share them with us below!

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12 replies
  1. Tion says:

    The only thing I have to say is, thank god for winter if u stay in a place where it gets very cold like michigan and have a garage you don’t need to throw away your furniture, you can store it in the garage for about a week and that should get rid of the problem in your furniture. You still have to clean the rest of your house and clean everything from clothes and drapes but it has worked for me an I also sprayed every where twice in a month, an constantly cleans. I haven’t seen any yet.

  2. don carl says:

    in the 70s through early 90s the united states didn’t have this problem think about the major mass immigration from other countries and like a time bomb bed bugs exploded on the scene nothing personal the united states has dropped its guard completely start using DDT again dangerous pesticide but worth it.

  3. Mrs Compton says:

    I have used all natural bed bug products and they work!! no toxic chemicals. Cedar oil products work great!

  4. Dave says:

    I use straight White Vinegar. Spray matress with vinegar and leave set for 8 – 12 hours, then vaccum bed thourghly…wash all beding and clothing in hot water and dry on hottest setting. Bathe in a tub of vinegar and hot water making sure to wash hair thouroghly…and rinse in warm water.

  5. Sara says:

    Dodie must be rich! Who the heck can afford to keep buying new furniture. It’s not a matter of being selfish, it’s a matter of having NO money to keep buying new furniture!! Rest Easy from Bed bath and Beyond seems to be favored in killing and keeping them away.

    Hey dodie how bout you come buy me some new things and I’ll gladly throw everything out…. What a douche!!!

  6. lyncy says:

    I have also used the bed bug killer spay! Absolutely BAD idea! My 3 year old daughter was getting these bites on her two three bites at a time, for about two weeks. Doctor says it is bed bugs gives me hydrocortozone cream and tells me to get rid of my furniture.

    Well I couldn’t afford to just throw my furniture(couches,beds) out! So instead I get the bed bug killer spay, deep cleaned my hole house, washed blankets ,sheets, clothes in hot water! I spray the bed bug killer spray everywhere all my furniture and floors. That night when my daughter went to sleep I honestly believe it made the bed bugs furious!

    That next morning I woke up and my daughter had over twenty five bites covering her entire her body! … My furniture from 2 beds, couches, floor rugs, went strait to the dumpsters!! Haven’t had a problem since!

  7. Doddie says:

    Also, anyone who tells you that you don’t need to get rid of your furniture is lying in my opinion! Bedbugs are virtually impossible to get rid of when they have entered into the furniture. Especially upholstered, cloth furniture. Unless of course you want to put your furniture in sealed plastic for almost two years. Pest control companies are notorious for telling you that you don’t have to trash your furniture, because as long as they come back and treat it over and over again, they get paid and you still have a hidden issue that will, no doubt, get passed along to your friends and families homes! Personally, I choose to be responsible and get rid of the furniture! Stop the problem by doing what is right for those around you and those you love. Don’t be selfish.

  8. chuck007 says:

    I have not found a spray and believe me I tried everything that said it would kill bed bugs I have a brand new can of Hot Shot bed bug and flea killer I don’t waste the time spraying it cause it don’t work I had a bug on a sheet of paper I douse him with the spray and the bug shook it off and kept walking I tried Bayer bug spray it did not work either. What Use for bites is plain rubbing alcohol applied with a cotton ball .

  9. K.r. O'Connell says:

    Aerogaurd Tropical Strenth works very well!, not only to prevent bites but to ease itching as well.

  10. Jim says:

    Hi Jeni,

    Check out my response to your other question about bed bug sprays at my Bed Bug Treatment section for the answer.



  11. jeni says:

    what over the counter bug spray can I use to get rid of these

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