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> Eliminating Bed Bugs
Tips For Eliminating Bed Bugs
Anyone eliminating bed bugs will quickly realized that it is not easy.
While best left to a professional
exterminator, it is possible to treat a smaller bed bug infestation
The amount of difficulty depends on the size of the
problem, location in the home, and whether you live in an apartment or
single family home.
This guide to
removing bedbugs provides all of the information you need
including home remedies and products you can purchase. We'll also
the costs of hiring a professional
and of doing it yourself."
Do it Yourself or Hire a Bed Bug Pest Control Professional?
Removing bed bugs involves a combination of knowing where
bed bugs hide,
and having the right supplies to kill both bed bugs and their
eggs. When fighting bed bugs in the home it requires multiple products
and treatments. Professionals may also use multiple methods and up to 3
treatments until an infestation is removed. Both are explained below.
If you have bed bugs hiding in places such as the walls, then it is
best left to a professional (click here for
resources offering a free quote).
How to Hire a Professional Bed Bug Exterminator
The advantage of using a pest control expert for eliminating bed
is that they have the experience to attack the problem. Professionals
also have access to equipment and knowledge that a home owner may not
have. This includes heat, freezing sprays and chemical treatments not
available to the public.
The disadvantage of a professional for eliminating bed bugs
is cost. Some pest control firms charge for both an on site
bed bug inspection, which can cost anywhere from $75 to $500. The
higher amount is when a bed bug sniffing dog is used to confirm and
locate the location of the infestation. Bed bugs can be hard to find,
and a dog can be an easy
way to detect their musty raspberry like
odor. The cost of the total treatment itself can be $750 or more
the size of the problem.
Because of the high cost of bed bug treatment, we recommend
contacting several bed bug exterminators (it can't hurt). A good source
for free estimates from experienced exterminators are:
- Call or Visit Online Home
Advisor (877.233.1145), a national network of pest control
experts that are pre-screened and insured before being allowed to join
They provide 4 free quotes at no charge.
- Search our
Exterminator Database: You can also search our directory
of bed bug exterminators by entering your zip code here.
Bed Bugs and Apartment Buildings
If you live in an apartment, all adjacent units will need to be
inspected and treated since there is on average a 20% chance that they
spread from unit to unit. Laws vary by State in terms of who pays the
cost. Your local department of health or our State
by State information should provide some guidance.
Treating several floors
in an apartment building can cost upwards of $10,000 when eliminating
bed bugs, with many landlords
reporting pest management expenses rising as high as $100,000 per
year. If hiring a
professional for eliminating bed bugs, be sure to get a written outline
of chemical and non chemical approaches used and a guarantee that the
problem will be taken care of. Removing bed bugs
from a home can take several treatments.
Ask the exterminator about the need to remove children and
pets from the home before you start the process for eliminating bed
Bed Bugs Do It Yourself Instructions
Eliminating bed bugs yourself is best accomplished with a do
it yourself kit. You can either choose a kit that contains natural
products such as the one offered by Naturasil
for bed bugs or an
insecticide based kit. The kits provide the 3 or 4
needed for the project and cost approximately $70 to $160 depending on
what is included. The choice is one of preference and what is included.
Buying only one product to save money is as good as not treating a room
typical kit includes:
- Mattress Safe Knock Down Spray:
A knock down spray "knocks down" or reduces the bed bug population by
killing bedbugs that are directly sprayed with the product. Organic
sprays such as Bug
Patrol use plant extracts to kill bed bugs. Insecticide
sprays such as Sterifab use
a synthetic pyrethroid to kill bed bugs. We highly recommend
Sterifab as it has been independently tested by researchers from the
University of Kentucky and was shown to kill bed bugs that are
demonstrating a resistance to other commonly used products.
Bedbug Spray: In addition to the use of a knock down
spray, a residual spray will provide lasting protection by killing any
insects when they walk into treated areas. The
best in class spray that has also been tested to kill insecticide
(an important factor for anyone leaving in the Northeastern United
- Hand Steamer: A hand
steamer will provide the heat needed to super heat bedbugs
and bed bug eggs. Bed
bugs and their eggs
are killed at approximately 114F. Professionals often seal
and superheat a treated room or move personal
to a heat chamber located on the back to a truck to ensure that all bed
bugs and bedbug eggs are killed. While you can't seal a room if
doing it yourself, you can heat each area of a mattress seam and other
hiding spots to the required temperature.
- Fossil Dust: Crawling Insect Control Dust or diatomaceous
earth is a natural product made up of ground fossils. It
is used or spread around a room and into cracks after treatment in
to kill any late hatching bedbugs that weren't killed previously. This
type of product can be purchased separately or as part of a kit. After
you apply the
dust, do not vacuum the room for 2 weeks.
- Mattress Covers: Bed bug
zippered mattress covers are used after treatment in order to trap any
remaining bed bugs
inside the mattress and box spring. Studies show that 50% to 80% of bed
bugs that are in a room are within 5 feet of where the human host
sleeps. The bugs are trapped
inside the mattress, and will die within a year without feeding. You do
not have to throw out a mattress. If it in good condition, it pays to
invest in a cover such as the collection offered by Amazon.
How to Prepare Your Home
The key to eliminating bed bugs is to be thorough. This means a
inspection of every inch of the room being treated. Here are the steps
that will help the room be ready for either the
do it yourself approach or if you are hiring a professional. If hiring
a bed bug exterminator, as if they have a printed list, since different
techniques may require different levels of preparation.
The first thing to know about eliminating bed bugs is that nothing
should be removed from the room
that is going to be treated, unless it is bagged or sealed in a plastic
crate. The reason is that simply moving items
out of the room can drop bedbugs throughout the house.
- Select A Bed Bug Free Zone:
Choose an area just outside the room that you are going to treat. This
is where you'll carry items as you declutter the treated room.
- Remove clutter from the room:
Bed bugs like to hide in cracks and crevices. This includes tears in a
mattress, the joints of a bed frame or along the wall where a carpet
meets the molding. Removing clutter will remove potential hiding
by throwing out newspapers and magazines. ed bugs could be hiding
between the pages. Bag, tie and dispose of these types of items out of
- Bag and wash clothes, linens and sheets:
Clothes that can be washed should be bagged and left in the room for
the time being. For big infestations empty the closet and drawers if
you suspect that the bugs have
spread that far. When ready, wash clothes in hot water and then place
in the dryer for at least 30 minutes. This will eliminate any bed bugs
and eggs hiding in the clothes.
Big Bags are bed bug proof and can be used to protect clothes
- Loosen the bed frame: A
favorite hiding place, particularly in wooden frames, is where the
joints of the frame come together. Make sure you can access all the
possible hiding places when eliminating bed bugs. You'll need to spray
into the cracks.
- Loosen Wall Plates: Any cable
or electrical outlet plates are hiding places if they are not tight
against the wall.
Eliminating BedBugs from a Room
- Vacuum: The vacuum is the
first line of defense. It will not pick up bed bug eggs, as these are
cemented to whatever surface they are deposited on, which is why
they are difficult to find and kill. Use the crevice tool to vacuum
along the edges of the mattress, the bed frame and along the edges of
the room. When finished, remove the vacuum bag in the room
treated, seal in a plastic bag, and dispose out of the home.
- Spray the
Mattress and Box Spring::
Use a mattress
"knock down" spray such as the Sterifab
mentioned above. The spray will kill bed bugs on contact. Spray gently
on the mattress, without
soaking it to avoid mold. Spray into all cracks. As a reminder, spray
will not kill bed bug eggs. After spraying, move the mattress
to a safe area that is out of the way such as a hallway as mentioned
Tufts and Around Mattress Labels with a "knock Down" bedbugs spray such
- Treat the
Furniture, Window Frames and Bed Frame:
Empty drawers onto the box spring and inspect for bed bugs.
items that will not be ruined with the knock down spray. Be
to treat furniture inside and out. Test any surfaces to avoid
Picture: Use Bed
Spray inside of Furniture such as the tracks that hold the drawers and
along the back inside edge
Spray along any
crack that is as wide as the
edge of a credit card
Be sure to spray along baseboards
- Steam: A hand
is a helpful way to kill bugs and eggs. Avoid the electrical outlets
using any liquids. Steam inside all cracks, around the bed, frame,
drawers etc. If you have carpet, steam clean. For added
protection, and add a disinfectant to the cleaning fluid made
kill parasites such as PuracleenRX.
Test in an out of the way area to make sure the mixture
- Apply Fossil Dust: Insect Control Dust
acts as a barrier around the bed and the walls. New construction in
cities such as New York are now including Fossil dust in the walls
to keep bedbugs from spreading from apartment to apartment. The dust is
a natural product and works by burning through the back of the bed bug.
It's a helpful step as part of your eliminating bed bugs
dust (diatomaceous earth) can be used around the perimeter of the
mattress and box spring to provide residual bed bug protection
- Cover the Mattress: Buy zippered
mattress covers that specifically state that they are made to
against bedbugs. Any bed bugs that you missed will be trapped inside
the bed. This is a perfectly
acceptable way to save your mattress from disposal while eliminating
bed bugs. Cover the mattress
and box spring. Some people also cover the pillow. Economy
covers can be purchased from Walmart.
The following can provide an added level or protection when
eliminating bed bugs:
Not Sure You Have Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are often confused with other parasites. If you are unsure, a
sample can be sent to for
evaluation for a small fee (download
pdf form). As mentioned above, you can also call in a
professional exterminator such as a member of the Home
Advisor (1.877.233.1145) network, since they provide four free
You can also tell if you have bed bugs based on the pattern
of bites. Bed bugs bite skin areas that area exposed when sleeping.
Look for bites primarily on the arms, legs and neck. The bed bug bites
themselves are actually two small skin punctures. Any redness that
appears on the skin is actually an allergic reaction. You can check
against our library of bed
bug bite pictures.
Picture of Bed Bug on
When eliminating bed
helps to know what they look like. Note that bed bugs have a
different appearance based on the life stage. Young or baby
bugs have a light straw color while the adult above takes on a
Picture of Bed Bugs -
for Disease Control
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