What kills bedbugs for good?
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally
This article was co-authored by Kevin Carrillo. Kevin Carrillo is a Pest Control Specialist and the Senior Project Manager for MMPC, a pest control service and certified Minority-owned Business Enterprise (MBE) based in the New York City area. MMPC is certified by the industry’s leading codes and practices, including the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), QualityPro, GreenPro, and The New York Pest Management Association (NYPMA). MMPC’s work has been featured in CNN, NPR, and ABC News.
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Getting rid of bed bugs is not an easy task. The easiest way to get rid of them is to use chemicals. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. This could be due to allergies, pregnancies, pets, or young children. Fortunately, it is possible to get rid of bed bugs in more natural, chemical-free ways. These include thorough cleaning and containment, as well as using natural products, such as essential oils.
Part 1 of 2:
Cleaning Everything and Containing the Infestation
- If you need to move something out of an infested room temporarily, put it into a plastic bin with a tight fitting lid first.
- Depending on how severe your infestation is, you may need to wash everything once or twice a week for several months—even after the bed bugs are gone.
- Don’t forget to clean the laundry area with a sanitizing cleaner once you are done.
- This also includes soft toys. Be sure to put them inside a pillowcase when washing them, so that you don’t damage their fur.
Place everything you washed into plastic bins with tight fitting lids the instant you take them out of the dryer. You can also use plastic, zippered or resealable bags instead. Whatever container you choose to use, you must keep it closed whenever you are not handling the things inside. This will prevent the newly-cleaned items from getting re-infested. Store these bins away from the infested room.  X Research source
Vacuum everything several times a week. This includes anything made out of fibers, such as box springs, carpets, curtains, mattresses, and upholstered items. It also includes «hard» items, such as furniture, hardwood floors, baseboards, and anything else with nooks and crannies.
Dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag properly. Take the bag out of the vacuum cleaner and put it into a plastic bag. Tie the plastic bag up tightly, and throw it away immediately outside your house. Do not leave the bag inside your house, or you may get another infestation.  X Trustworthy Source United States Environmental Protection Agency Independent U.S. government agency responsible for promoting safe environmental practices Go to source
Consider using a steam cleaner. It is important that you use one which reaches at least 200°F (93.4°C) and which produces dry steam. The «dry steam» is important because you don’t want everything left soaking wet, which can lead to mold and mildew.
Don’t keep items that you can’t salvage. If something is beyond saving, get rid of it. Rip off the covers of upholstered furniture. Mark infested pieces clearly with «Infested with Bed Bugs» or «Bed Bugs» signs. Make arrangements with your city to have these items disposed of as soon as possible.  X Trustworthy Source United States Environmental Protection Agency Independent U.S. government agency responsible for promoting safe environmental practices Go to source This will prevent people from attempting to make treasures from your trash, and inheriting your bed bug infestation.
Part 2 of 2:
Using Natural Remedies
- Tie up bundles of these herbs, and hang them in your wardrobe.
- Place sachets containing these herbs in your dresser and linen closet.
- Rub some essential oil onto your bed frame.
- Add a few drops of essential oil into your laundry the next time you wash your bedding.
- Make a simple spray by adding a few drops essential oil into a spray bottle filled with ½ cup (120 milliliters) of water. Use this spray on your bedding, carpet, and linens.
- Avoid getting pool or food grade diatomaceous earth. The grains are too fine, and can be harmful for you.  X Trustworthy Source United States Environmental Protection Agency Independent U.S. government agency responsible for promoting safe environmental practices Go to source
- Consider stuffing a dryer sheet or two inside your pillow case, dresser drawers, and linen closet.
- Bed bugs seem to hate the smell of lavender in particular. Consider using some lavender-scented dryer sheets.
Get some non-permeable mattress and pillow covers. These covers are special, because they don’t have any seams and other crannies for the bed bugs to hide out in. They are also easy to wash, and keep bed bugs from infesting your pillows and mattress.  X Research source
Buy some bug interceptors, and install them beneath all four feet of your bed frame. They will keep the bed bugs from crawling onto your bed.  X Research source If you can’t find any, get some plastic bowls or dishes, and place them beneath all four feet of your bed. Fill them with some soapy water to drown any bed bugs who dare climb up your bed.  X Research source
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Can you get rid of bed bugs yourself?
MMPC, Pest Control Specialist
Kevin Carrillo is a Pest Control Specialist and the Senior Project Manager for MMPC, a pest control service and certified Minority-owned Business Enterprise (MBE) based in the New York City area. MMPC is certified by the industry’s leading codes and practices, including the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), QualityPro, GreenPro, and The New York Pest Management Association (NYPMA). MMPC’s work has been featured in CNN, NPR, and ABC News.
MMPC, Pest Control Specialist
Support wikiHow by unlocking this expert answer.
If you can detect the bedbugs early on and it’s a low-level isolated infestation, it’s completely treatable on your own as long as you act quickly. It just takes diligence and perseverance. The first step should be a thorough inspection of your home. Start at the bed and work your way out from there with a high-powered flashlight, looking in every crack and crevice. As long as you’re actively searching for the bedbugs, they’re pretty easily killed once you find them. For instance, you can remove them by vacuuming them up (being sure to dispose of the vacuum bag), or you can wipe down the area with at least 80% strength isopropyl alcohol.
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Does Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs may be one of the most difficult household pests to get rid of. These small, brownish-black insects are expert hitchhikers, and they usually make their way into homes by stowing away in luggage, backpacks, purses and other personal items. And while bed bug populations had dwindled in the United States by the 1940s and 1950s, increasing travel has led to a resurgence in their numbers.
Once bed bugs are in your home, they’ll make themselves comfortable anywhere you do. That includes your furniture and, of course, your bed. They’re often found in cracks, crevices and seams in upholstered furniture, mattresses and box springs. Bed bugs may also be found hiding in your carpet or rugs, wall décor, books, nightstands or even electronics. Keep reading to learn what kills bed bugs.
Bed bugs feed on blood. They use signals, including body heat, warmth and carbon dioxide, to find hosts. Usually, they emerge from their hiding places to feed at night, then retreat after their meals are complete.
If you have bed bugs in your home, you may be tempted to try to get rid of them yourself. There are several DIY methods, including rubbing alcohol, that supposedly kill bed bugs. But do they actually work?
Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs Instantly?
It might seem like rubbing alcohol is a good way to get rid of bed bugs. In fact, many DIY blogs claim that it works. However, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Here’s why:
- Most rubbing alcohol contains around 70% or 91% of isopropyl alcohol. In a study conducted by Rutgers University, scientists sprayed rubbing alcohol directly on bed bugs, and it was only effective in killing a maximum of 50% of the insects.
- It’s important to note that even when rubbing alcohol kills bed bugs, it only kills the ones that are visible — that does not include those that may still be hiding in your mattress, or their eggs. So the odds of rubbing alcohol actually eliminating a bed bug infestation are pretty slim.
- Additionally, rubbing alcohol is flammable, so it’s not really a good idea to spray it or soak upholstered surfaces or fabrics with it.
What Kills Bed Bugs Naturally?
While DIY methods are largely ineffective against bed bugs, there are a few things you can do to help the situation if you find these unwelcome pests in your home. Some proven methods include:
Using high heat
Frequent laundering can help kill bed bugs. Collect any infested clothing or linens and run them in a wash cycle at the highest temperature recommended by the manufacturer. Then dry them at the highest allowed temperature. Be sure to follow all manufacturers’ instructions.
Your vacuum is an effective method of getting bed bugs out of your furniture, upholstery or carpet. However, you should take care to protect your vacuum so it doesn’t become infested while you get rid of the insects. Try using the nozzle attachment and covering it with a stocking. When you’ve finished, be sure you empty the vacuum container or bag into a sealed bag, and then dispose of it in a sealed garbage can.
High temperatures are extremely effective against bed bugs. According to Rutgers University, steam, which is around 212 degrees Fahrenheit, will kill bed bugs instantly. Consider purchasing a steamer and using it to treat cracks, crevices and seams in your furniture, bedding or other upholstered surfaces.
Purchasing a mattress encasement
Bed bug encasements are protective liners for your mattress and box spring. They help with bed bug problems by sealing your bed and preventing the insects from hiding and/or nesting there. They can also trap any bed bugs already present, helping you identify an infestation and seek further treatment.
Although it won’t kill them, you can help deter beg bugs by eliminating their hiding places. Keep items off the floor, keep clutter away from your bed and store items in sealed plastic containers.
What Does Get Rid of Bed Bugs?
Because bed bugs are so difficult to get rid of, eliminating them is a job best left to the professionals. Trying DIY methods like rubbing alcohol will only leave you frustrated when the bugs initially disappear but return days — or weeks — later.
The bed bug control professionals at Terminix® will do a free inspection of your home, checking for signs of bed bugs in common hiding places. From there, they’ll treat affected areas to eliminate hidden bed bugs and their eggs. Our technicians use a variety of methods to help get your problem under control.
Don’t let bed bugs keep you up at night. Schedule your free inspection with Terminix today.