The ultimate guide to killing bed bugs yourself
How to get rid of bed bugs - home remedies that actually work
Self treatment of bed bugs
It is possible to deal with bed bugs without calling an exterminator, and there are many success stories - it tends to be much less expensive, but you must be diligent and persistent. Even if you or the landlord hires an exterminator, you should take extra precautions to ensure that the problem is 100% taken care of the first time around, and you do not have to go through the hassle again.
Below are steps to take, in order of importance and effectiveness. If you decide to attempt bed bug home remedies (on their own or as a supplement to professional treatment), you should attempt to follow as many of these steps as is possible and affordable.
#1 Install a bed bug interceptor on each of the legs of your bed.
This incredibly reliable monitoring tool also isolates your bed from the bed bugs. They have 3 immediate benefits:
One, you can determine whether you have bed bugs. Two, you can prevent additional bed bugs from getting access to your bed. Three, you minimize the risk of bugs spreading from your bed to other parts of the house (and then possibly returning to your bed after treatment). Buy bed bug interceptors here.
#2 Bag, wash, dry, and re-dry all of your bedding clothing, and fabrics.
Grab enough quarters; fabrics must be heated at 120 degrees F for at least 40 minutes to kill all bed bugs. This can be a hassle, but it is absolutely necessary, as bed bugs can be living in the fabrics and coming out at night to bite.
#3 Purchase box spring, mattress and pillow covers.
One of the most common places for bed bugs to colonize is inside of the box spring. Purchase a bed bug proof encasement for your box spring and mattress, which will ensure that bed bugs trapped inside will starve to death, and new bed bugs will not move in. This is extremely important, as any bugs that are not killed (or eggs that remain) may reproduce, necessitating additional expensive treatments.
You may also decide to get rid of your boxspring altogether. If you throw out your mattress, be sure to encase and seal it completely with a mattress bag like this. With most modern mattresses, a box spring is not actually necessary: you can place the mattress directly on the bed using a center post and these slats. Do not place your mattress directly on the floor, as this gives bed bugs easy access.
Cimexa (Amorphous silica gel) is a desiccant, or a non-poison treatment that kill bugs by adhering to their exoskeleton and dehydrating them. Unlike other highly toxic pesticides (which may take days or even weeks for their toxic properties to degrade bedbug populations), the desiccant powder dehydrates and kills the bedbugs before they are able to reproduce. These treatments are great because they are easy to apply, and are fatal to bed bugs but not harmful to humans (risks are extremely negligible if applied in accordance with the label). In fact, it is food-grade and FDA approved, as well as certified by the EPA for use in children’s day-cares. It is even OK to use if you have pets in the house. (Follow all manufacturer instructions!)
This is the easiest way to apply CimeXa, since bed bugs can be hidden in many places including small crevices. Applying an even, light coating is best, since bed bugs will avoid large clumps but will walk right over a fine powder. Buy CimeXa here.
You will want to avoid breathing in too much of the dust when you are first applying it, and it can be a mild irritant for lungs and eyes. You may want to buy goggles and a mask. However, generally speaking, with sufficient respiration these treatments are very safe to apply. Once they have settled they are completely safe for humans. Even after a professional treatment, this is an inexpensive item that is great to keep on hand for your own piece of mind.
Important Note: Recent studies have shown that CiMexa is more effective than Diatomaceous Earth, another popular dessicant. If you want to read a comparison study of the two, click here. In depth CimeXa review
How can I prevent bed bugs?
#5 Steam cleaners.
While steam cleaners are less effective than other methods of exterminating bed bugs, they are useful for treating fabrics or materials that cannot be laundered or treated on other ways. This is the most inexpensive option and should be fine for most small jobs.
#6 Vacuum all rugs.
Ensure that the vacuum bag is completely sealed before starting. Vacuum up a small quantity of CiMexa or diatomaceous earth so that any bed bugs that are caught by the vacuum will die in the bag. Make sure you use a powerful, upright vacuum with a bag or removable canister so you can dispose of the used bag or clean the canister when you are done.
Bonus: Bug oven.
As a last resort for items that cannot be laundered or steamed, you can try a bug oven. They are completely non-toxic and safe (no pesticides, no chemicals, just heat). They are 100% effective in killing bed bugs of all life stages, including eggs, nymphs and adults., and there are multiple sizes for different sized items. It only takes one person to set-up and folds flat for easy storage.
The following methods are considered ineffective methods of bed bug home treatment:
-Over the counter foggers
-Sonic repellent devices
Don't be overwhelmed! Bed bugs can cause a lot of anxiety, but it is possible to get rid of them completely.
With diligence, it is 100% possible to get rid of bed bugs without using an exterminator. By following these DIY bedbug extermination methods carefully and exactly, you will be bed bug free in no time.
Remember, the 3 most important steps are:
On the right, you can find Amazon links to discretely and inexpensively purchase the items recommended in this guide.