" How to kill bed bugs involves cleaning the entire room where the infestation occurs. The first step is to thoroughly vacuum all surfaces and wash all linens in hot water followed by 30 minutes in a dryer. Use a mattress safe spray to kill the bugs by spraying in mattress crevices and cracks. Bed Bug dust can help penetrate the cracks and provide lasting protection. While a professional exterminator is always preferred, these tips will help you do it yourself using a step by step approach. "
There are many ways to effectively kill bed bugs including several organic and non-toxic methods. There are also chemical approaches to rid your home of these pests.
While step by step instructions for how to kill bed bugs yourself are provided below, we always recommend that you start with a professional on-site inspection from a company with expertise fighting bed bugs. This is a great way to confirm that you have have bed bug problem and the extent of a problem. We suggest finding a professional by doing the following:1. Call or visit Service Magic.com: This is a nationwide group of local pest control experts that will provide up to 4 free quotes. The Service Magic toll free phone # 877-233-1145.
In general, the best way to get rid of an infestation if you are going to treat the problem yourself is to:
Based on recommendations from bed bug experts, we recommend
the following bed bug products. Instructions for how to use these
products are below the list. Sprays should be able to kill both bed
bugs and bed bug eggs.
|Product Type||Product Recommendation|
|Mattress Safe Knock Down Spray||Sterifab (best all purpose insecticide based bed bug spray), Bug Patrol if you prefer an organic spray|
|Aerosol spray with long term residual effect||Phantom or Bedlam|
|Bed Bug Dust||Fossil Dust (also called bed bug dust or diatomaceous earth)|
|Vacuum||Any brand with crevice tool|
|Hand Steamer||Steamfast or any brand - preference is more a model with multiple holes - professional grade steamers are better|
|Bed Bug Trap||Climbup Interceptor - 1 for each leg of the bed|
|Mattress and Box Spring Zippered Covers||Walmart MicronOne Covers|
Always follow the manufacturers directions for how to kill bed bugs. For sprays, wear gloves and some type of eye protection. For bed bug dust, use a duster and apply a thin layer. Wear a face mask to avoid breathing in the dust.
Bed Bugs tend to hide in dark places such as in cracks or under furniture or light fixtures. Before you can kill them you have to know where to look. Anything you can remove and tie in a plastic bag will keep the item clean as you eliminate hiding places. Common hiding places include:
Bed Bug Hiding Places in Bed Room
Bed Bug Hiding Places in Family Room
Vacuuming in cracks and crevices can be good way to either remove the bed bugs all together or to at least remove most of them prior to using insecticides, sprays and dusts. Be sure to use the nozzle tools and scrape the surfaces since the bed bug eggs tend to cling to surfaces. Avoid tools with brush attachments to avoid having bed bugs getting caught in the bristles and then carried to other locations in the home.
After vacuuming, dispose of the vacuum bag by placing it in a
sealed plastic bag and disposing the bag outside of the house.
How to kill bed bugs on clothes is as simple as washing them. Washing clothes, blankets and other machine washables will help to kill bed bugs and bed bug eggs. Wash everything you can in hot water followed by 20 minutes in the dryer. When carrying clothes, to avoid dropping bed bugs on the way to the washing machine, carry in a plastic bin or Ziploc Double Zipper Big Bags. These Ziploc bags are also a great way to protect items from bed bugs.
First vacuum the mattress and box spring thoroughly. To kill
the maximum number of bed bugs and bed bug eggs, if you own a
go over each seam/button as heat from the steam will kill bed
bugs. If you don't have steamer or
vacuum, hold a hair dryer on low air/high heat
setting for 30 seconds over each part of the mattress.
When treating a mattress and box spring, a bedbug spray is a highly recommended way for how to kill bed bugs (use gloves and some type of eye protection for safety). If you prefer organic products, use a spray designed for use on surfaces that go near the skin such as the Bed Bug Patrol. This is a knock down bed bug product that kills on contact. It should be used in conjunction with products that provide lasting protection.
In terms of safe insecticide based products, Sterifab is frequently recommended by bed bug experts for how to kill bed bugs. In fact if you can only afford one product for how to kill bed bugs, buy Sterifab. Sterifab is a what is known as a contact or knock down killer (60% isopropyl alcohol plus a synthetic pyrethroid). This means that it kills close to 100% of bed bugs on contact. However, if you miss any bed bug hiding places, which is easy, it doesn't have an effect. The use of Sterifab will "knock down" the size of the bed bug population. Any bed bugs missed can be killed by a spray that creates an invisible barrier that has a longer term or residual effect. Any late hatching bed bugs are killed when passing through dried spray. Popular choices for a residual sprays are Phantom and Bedlam.
Lightly spray cracks and seams around the mattress. A common hiding place for bed bugs is under any mattress labels. You can also use Sterifab as a convenient method for how to kill bed bugs in any crack and crevice in the room, such as along a baseboard.
Peel back the fabric on the bottom and also treat the inside of the box spring. If you have some, place some bed bug dust (fossil dust) inside the box spring.
Note, only do this if the mattress and box spring are in good
condition and do not have holes. If the mattress is old and torn, or
purchased used, you are better off throwing it out. When
disposing of the mattress wrap it in plastic wrap to avoid dropping bed
bugs and mark it as having bed bugs so that someone else doesn't pick
it up. Many town sanitation departments have a free mattress
pick up service.
Once treated, move the mattress out of the room to a "safe" area such as a hallway so that you can access the box spring.
After treatment (after spray dries), seal the mattress and box spring in a zippered cover. This is the easiest way for how to kill bed bugs or late hatching nymphs (baby bed bugs) that you might have missed. Low cost options for covers are available from WalMart and Dermisil. They are also sold by Amazon.com.
Empty drawers on treated box spring (assuming you carried the mattress out of the room after treatment). Place content of drawers into plastic bins with snap tight lids. Inspect all items for bed bugs. Wash what you can in the washing machine. Dispose of any items that are of no value to limit the number of bed bug hiding places. Bed bugs can live for about a year without feeding, so if you store items in bins, leave them there if you can.
Inspect all furniture, bottoms and side of drawers, picture frames, and the bed frame for bed bugs. Treat all cracks with a bed bug spray. For this purpose a good option is Phantom or Bedlam. When treating furniture test out of the way areas to see if sprays will stain. Steam can also be used, but test this as well.
Use the spray products such as Phantom to spray along the
edges of the wall, and in any cracks. Phantom
takes up to 7 days to work since it interrupts the bedbug life cycle.
After spraying, place bed
bug dust (also called diatomaceous earth or fossil
dust) in a thin layer in all cracks and crevices.
Seal what you can to minimize number of hiding places.
First vacuum any carpets. Use a crevice tool to vacuum around the edges of the carpet. Steam clean any carpets. For added protection, add a strong disinfectant to the carpet cleaner such as PuraCleenRX. Be sure to test to ensure that disinfectant doesn't discolor the carpet.
There are several types of products that are used when figuring out how to kill bed bugs:
Synthetic Pyrethroid: This is an effective choice for a knock down product that kills on contact, but doesn't provide a lasting effect. Sterifab is a popular choice as it kills bedbugs, bed bug eggs and is mattress safe.
This chemical is quickly becoming the product of choice when selecting
a product that provides a residual effect against bed bugs.
It works by entering the cells of bed bugs and causing
paralyzes. It provides weeks of protection and is not detected by
bedbugs. Is is the main ingredient in the spray Phantom.
Chemicals: Some spray products use proprietary or multiple
chemicals. One of the most popular sprays, Bedlam,
uses this approach (contains SUMITHRIN® and MGK®-264). It is
an excellent choice as a residual spray as an alternative to Phantom.
Permetherins: This is the leading insecticide ingredient. While it is considered safe, it is an insecticide that has shown to cause problems in laboratory animals. See this study by Cornell University researchers. Permetherins (pyrethrum) is the active ingredient in products such as Pronto, Ambush, BW-21-Z, Cellutec, Ectiban, Eksmin, Exmin, FMC-33297, Indothrin, Kafil, Kestril, NRDC 143, Pounce, PP 557, Pramiex, Qamlin and Torpedo
Benzalkonium Chloride: A safe alternative to permetherins, particularly for areas that you sleep in or near. Found in products such as Benzarid.
Plant Extracts: Certain organic plant extracts are a safe way to kill bugs within seconds of contact. Found in bed bug products such as Bug Patrol.
Fossil Dust: Dust products can be sprinkled in areas where the bugs tend to hide. It can also be sprinkled into cracks. This product can be purchased at low cost from Dermisil.
A pest control expert may with experience killing bed bugs will discuss with you one or more approaches to treating the problem. They often have access to equipment such as:
Portable Heaters: Bed bugs are killed at 113º F. One effective and chemical free approach to killing bed bugs is to super heat a room, or building to kill bed bugs in all objects.
Freezing with Dry Ice Spray: Bed bugs are killed at freezing temperatures. A system using frozen carbon dioxide or dry ice, is sprayed into cracks and crevices to kill bed bugs on contact. The technology has an added advantage of being able to be sprayed into electrical appliances and wall outlets, killing bed bugs hiding in these areas.
Bed Bug Dogs: Bed bugs give off a scent that dogs can be trained to detect. This is a highly accurate way to find bed bug hiding places in a home. The only downside is the cost of home inspections that use a dog. If you suspect a problem, but aren't sure, a firm that uses a bed bug sniffing dog can be an effective way to find any problems.
Fumigation: Used a last resort, a building can be fumigated with chemical pesticides to remove bed bugs. This approach is effective, but expensive.
In addition to these approaches, bed bug exterminators use many of the chemical and non-chemical approaches found on this page.
As you clean items, place them in sealed plastic bags for protection such as the bed bug proof Ziploc Big Bags. After you vacuum remove the vacuum bag, seal in a plastic bag and remove it from the house. As an extra precaution you can freeze objects used to kill bed bus such as the vacuum bag for several days to make sure the bugs are dead before you bring them outside. The sprays mentioned will kill bed bugs fast. Just make sure that you have found them all.
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