Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to eradicate — but it can be done. The most popular bed bugs remedy is to hire a professional pest control company, however, this can be very expensive. If you want to try a DIY approach first, this article outlines all you’ll need to know about how to eliminate bed bugs: what products to buy, and what to expect.
Bed Bugs Treatment: How to Remove Bed Bugs in 8 Steps
Bed bugs can easily hide in small crevices or cracks, and eggs are even harder to detect and treat. Here are the basic steps to take when eradicating bed bugs from a bedroom:
Step 1: Strip and treat all bedding — This includes not just duvet covers, pillowcases, bed skirts, and sheets, but also the pillows and the mattresses themselves. Read Step 7 to find out how to treat washable items. But the first step is to break down the bed into its component parts and treat them one by one.
Step 2: Vacuum the mattress and bedsprings — Thoroughly vacuum all surfaces, using the vacuum extensions to get inside every possible crevice. When you are finished with the vacuuming, you will need to remove and discard the vacuum bag to prevent any bed bugs from climbing out.
Step 3: Treat the mattress and bed springs with insecticide — The most effective insecticides are a spray or dust, such as Diatomaceous earth (DE) dust or a low toxicity contact spray. Be sure to:
- Thoroughly apply the insecticide on all surfaces, crevices, and creases.
- Read the instructions on any products carefully before using.
- Take any necessary safety precautions and test the product on a small area first before continuing.
Step 4: Encase the mattress and bedsprings — Encasements are an essential tool when getting rid of bed bugs. They are fabric sacks that zip around the mattress and bedsprings and are specially designed to prevent bed bugs from getting out and feeding.
Step 5: Treat the bed frame and headboard — Again, you should vacuum all surfaces and crevices thoroughly, and apply insecticide liberally.
- Step 6: Isolate the bed with interceptor cups — Bed bug interceptors are cups or platforms that sit under the feet of a bed frame, holding the bed away from the floor. These commercial products prevent bed bugs from climbing up or down from the bed. However, you also need to ensure the bed is not touching any curtains, walls, or furniture, as this can also form a “bridge” for bed bugs, allowing them to migrate.
- Step 7: Remove all non-furniture items from the room and treat them — This is essential: in addition to the bedding and pillows, treat all curtains, toys, clothes, books, and personal items. Washable items should be either dry cleaned or machine washed in hot water for 30 minutes with a good quality laundry detergent (like Breeze with ActivBleach), followed by tumble-drying for 30 minutes.
- Step 8: Systematically treat the rest of the room — Vacuum all furniture, floors, and surfaces thoroughly. Apply insecticide as with the bed frame and headboard.
The above steps explain the basics of how to get rid of bed bugs at home. Remember when using any store-bought pesticide to read and follow the instructions carefully!
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs: Identify Which Rooms Are Infected
The sooner you start treating your home, the easier it will be to eradicate the bed bugs. Left untreated, the bugs will gradually spread from one room to another, latching onto clothes and crawling through cracks in search of new food sources. So first, find out who is being bitten and identify the areas you will need to treat. Bed bugs will inhabit any room where someone sleeps – this can include your lounge or other rooms if your family members, housemates, or guests sometimes sleep on the sofa.
How to Remove Bed Bugs from Your Apartment
If you live in an apartment or semi-detached house, you should inform the building manager and the landlord, as well as the people who live next door, as bed bugs can move between your accommodation and that of your neighbours.