How to Kill Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs are vicious, evil creatures.

Not only do they suck your blood, but also they can cause paranoia, insomnia, anxiety, and real psychological stress.

Once you’ve found out that you have bed bugs, its hard not to panic, especially when you discover a single bed bug can live up to 6 months without eating and lay up to 12 eggs per day. Most infestations consist of several hundred bed bugs at a time. 

Remember the old rhyme? “Sleep tight! Don’t let the bed bugs bite!” Well, it’s no longer just a rhyme, it's a resurgence.

Bed bugs were once a common public health pest worldwide, declining in incidence through the mid 20th century. But they have had a dramatic comeback and there are worldwide reports of increasing numbers of infestations.

Not only are they hard to kill, but also they're hard to stay away from! Bed bugs can travel with you and you can pick them up from movie theater seats, luggage, clothing, bedding, even the carpet.

If you have bed bugs, it would seem a bed bug infestation is a nightmare that will never end. But that’s not true. Using a few best practices and all due diligence, you can kill bed bugs easily and permanently.

Follow this 10 step guide to learn how to kill bed bugs.

Step 1: Follow an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach.

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This involves multiple tactics such as preventative measures, sanitation, and chemicals applied to targeted sites.

Step 2: Kill any bed bugs you see by spraying them with rubbing alcohol.

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Rubbing alcohol will kill a bed bug on the spot. Use it and a dish brush to kill any eggs you see, also. Then call an exterminator right away

Step 3: Temperature treat your belongings

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​Place all of your affected items in a heated black bag or palce them in a dryer at 120*F minimum. Small items such as clothing and shoes can be de-infested by heating.

It is recommended you place the items in a black, plastic trash bag, and seal it securely. Leave the bag in a hot, sunny location for at least a few days (the 120*F minimum target temperatire should be monitored in the centermost location with a thermometer).

If you are unable to find a warm enough place outside, you can place the items in a commercial dryer (such as those found in laundromats) on high heat, and repeat the cycle over the course of 4 hours.

Bed bugs also succumb to cold temperatures below freezing, but the chilling period must be maintained for at least two weeks. Attempts to rid an entire home or apartment of bed bugs by raising or lowering the thermostat will be entirely unsuccessful

Step 4: Steam the little buggers

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You may get a simple device capable of generating steam at your local hardware store. You may also convert a simple electric kettle to a steam machine by attaching a flexible tube to the opening.

Steam should kill all bed bugs and their eggs. Thoroughly spray steam on all corners and seams of your bedding, carpeting, and anything with cloth material. They can even hide in books.

Step 5: Vacuum your entire house

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Vacuuming is a great way to remove bugs and eggs from mattresses, carpet, walls and other surfaces. Steam cleaning of carpets is also helpful for killing bugs and eggs that vacuuming may have missed.

Pay particular attention to seams, tufts and edges of mattresses and box springs, and the perimeter edge of wall-to-wall carpets. Those are the places bed bugs love to hide.

Afterward, immediately dispose of the vacuum contents in a sealed trash bag. Do not empty the contents into the trash.

Remember, bed bugs breath air and are only killed by chemical, heat, and cold, so they could crawl out of the trash and re-infest your home easily.

Step 6: Insecticides

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Apply residual insecticides (usually pyrethroids) as spot treatments to cracks and crevices where bed bugs are hiding.

Increased penetration of the insecticide into cracks and crevices can be achieved if accumulated dirt and debris are first removed using a vacuum cleaner.

Many readily available aerosol pesticide sprays will cause bed bugs to scatter making eradication more difficult. Dust formulations may be used to treat wall voids and attics.

Step 7: Cover your cracks

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Bed bugs can hide in spaces as thin as a credit card.

Plaster and glue down any cracks in your walls, paneling, crown molding, and even wallpaper to prevent bed bugs from laying eggs and harboring there. Leave no crack uncovered.

Also, remove and destroy any wild animal roosts and bird nests you have, if applicable.

Step 8: Apply silica gel

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Yes, those gel ball packets are good for something. It’s a little known fact that silica gel (usually found in shoe boxes) can kill bed bugs.

Grind up some crystal silica gel and apply it all over in your bedroom. Put some on your mattress, around the bed and along the wall. The fine silica gel will get stuck to the bug and it cannot be shaken off, causing the bug to dehydrate and die. Be careful not to inhale it, and keep it away from children and pets.

You can also use a natural dehydrating substance called Diatomaceous Earth. Make sure you ask for the “Food Grade” variation! Food grade Diatomaceous Earth has the same effect as silica gel but is safe and non-toxic to humans and pets.

If you have a cat, changing their litter box every 5 days is also a great idea to stop a bed bug infestation in its tracks.

Step 9: Throw your things away

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Of all the steps in this guide, this one is by far disliked the most. When you have been infected with bed bugs, even after taking your own D-I-Y measures, you will still need to make sure you do your part to make sure all the bed bugs go away and stay away. 

In most cases, this will require throwing away items that you have seen bed bugs on or in. Such as infested mattresses, box springs, couches, and clothing. Household items may hold sentimental value, but when it comes to killing bed bugs, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Since bed bugs can disperse throughout a building, if you own a multi-family housing unit such as an apartment, or hotel, it would be a good idea to repeat these steps for each room/apartment in your building

Step 10: Call a professional

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Experienced companies know where to look for bed bugs, and have an assortment of commercial grade extermination tools at their disposal.

Homeowners and occupants may need to assist the exterminator by providing information on where they have spotted bed bugs and/or how long the infestation has been active.

Allowing access to your home for a thorough bed bug inspection and treatment is essential and excess clutter should be removed.

Calling a professional can be very expensive, but Hayward Termite & Pest Control specializes in affordable bed bug extermination.

Call us today. We will send our team of professionals to inspect your home and eliminate the problem with an automatic 90 day warranty.

Do not fret if you've found bed bugs in your home or vehicle. We are always here to help you 24/7.

We hope you've found this Bed Bug post to be helpful. Please leave us a comment, we'd love to hear from you!

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