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How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Permanently

How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Permanently + How To Keep From Getting Bed Bugs

Knowing How to Get Rid of Bed bugs Permanently is a job most homeowners hope they never need to learn. However, if you have already discovered Bed bugs, you know bed bugs are one of the worst infestations in your home or RV.  Here’s How to Confirm and Eliminate Bed bugs.

What Is a Bed Bug?

Bed bugs are highly invasive, tiny insects that can be highly detrimental to any human environment. Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are identified as flat, small, reddish-brown, parasitic insects that feed on the blood of animals and humans. Bed bugs are highly prolific – An adult female can lay up to 5-10 eggs daily and can live up to 6 months without a “blood meal.” Bed bugs are not known to carry diseases but have been known to cause allergic skin reactions in some people.

How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Permanently:

  • Step 1 – Confirm You Have Bed Bugs In Your Home

  • Step 2 – Know How to get rid of Bed Bugs In 5 Steps

Once they have established themselves, removing bed bugs can become a very challenging and involved process. Fortunately, if you take the proper steps early, you can quickly head off the problem and eliminate an infestation.

1)  Confirm Bed Bugs In Your Home:

To properly treat it, It’s essential first to recognize that you have a bed bug infestation and where to look.

So what do bed bugs look like? Bed bugs are wingless, reddish-brown in color, and very small – which gives them their best defense – their hard to find.

“What to Look For”

See below; this is a photo of a Bed Bug (magnified 100 times)

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs | Best Home Gear
Photo of Adult Bed Bug

Adult Bed bugs are only the size of an apple seed or about the length thickness of a quarter – very tiny and hard to spot.

Bed bugs also change shape as they feed, as illustrated below, so they may look slightly different when you’re discovering them:

bed bug feeding cycle | Best Home Gear

“Where To Look” For Bed Bugs

The most prevalent place to find Bed Bugs is along the seam of your mattress or box spring.  Bed Bugs like to hide in both creases, along headboards (If made of Fabric), or nearby drapes and carpeting. 

The image below shows how bed bugs appear in a mattress seam:  I Know – Pretty Gross!

bed bugs in mattress - Best Home Gear

How Long Do Bed Bugs Survive?

So here’s where it gets pretty disgusting. Bed bugs survive by feeding on the blood of humans or animals. So no, this isn’t an insect you would ever want to share your bed with.

Also, an adult female lays between 5-10 eggs daily and up to 500 or more in her lifetime. Bed bugs can live up to 400 days without food and have a lifecycle of up to 6 months old.

As you can see, the bed bug is a very resilient and very quickly reproducing insect.

What Do Bed Bug “Bites” Look Like?

Another way to identify a bed bug infestation in your home is by bed bug bites left on your skin Bed bug bites look like red blemishes, often with raised bumps where the bed bug bite occurred. In cases of severe infestation, these red lesions can cover large sections of the body due to multiple edges on the same night.

Photo of Bed Bug Bites | Best Home Gear
Bed Bug Bites On Leg
Bed Bug Bites on Torso | Best Home Gear
Bed bug Bites On Torso


Video:  Seven Things You Should Know About Bed Bugs

2)   How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Five Steps

Getting rid of bed bugs isn’t a simple one-step process. It will involve thorough cleaning and chemical treatment to ensure the pests don’t return.

Here are the Five Basic Steps to kill bed bugs yourself to assist you with that process: You can solve the problem without hiring a professional exterminator.

Step 1: Kill Bed Bugs In The “Bed”

The first step to getting rid of bed bugs is to kill the bed bugs that are already living in your bed.

  • Start by completely removing the bed of all linens and washing them in hot water, at least 120 degrees, to kill all bugs and their eggs.
  • Bag and dispose of your pillows (which are a concealed haven). Be sure to pack your clothes and other personal possessions so they can be removed for thorough cleaning and/or disposal.
  • Vacuum your mattress and box spring thoroughly – every square inch. Follow that step with a high-pressure steamer to penetrate the fabric and kill any bed bugs just below the top layer of your mattress. P
  • ay particular attention to tufts, seams, and creases, which is where they hide.  These two steps should eliminate the adult bed bugs in your bedding.
  • As an additional precaution, and in the case of a major bed bug infestation, you may wish to skip this step and bag and dispose of both your mattress and box spring altogether. This is a worst-case scenario, and professional treatment may cost less than replacing your mattress and box spring completely.
  • While the mattress and box spring are drying (24-hour minimum), Use a practical bed bug spray – chemical treatment and spray all hard surfaces, including the bed frame, headboard, and the feet of the bed, to kill any remaining bed bugs on those materials.

*Note: Chemical sprays are not for use on mattresses, fabrics, or any other materials that may come in contact with your skin.

Mattress treatment is critical, as even a handful of remaining bed bugs can lay new eggs and reemerge as a full-fledged infestation in a brief period.

Step 2:   Vacuum and Steam Clean Your Room

The process of how to get rid of bedbugs doesn’t stop with your mattress and bedding. You’ll need to thoroughly clean your entire room, paying particular attention to the carpet.

Vacuum and steam clean every surface you can reach to collect or kill any eggs that may be left.

Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs are not confined only to carpets and mattresses. Bed bugs can hide behind electrical plates, in the crannies of base molding and framing, and even in your car’s interior.

Step 3:  Treat Room With Bed Bug Spray

You need to build a defense.  First step – Use a top brand of chemical bed bug spray for your room, trim, baseboards, furniture, and carpeting if you’ve discovered bed bugs.

Again, we recommend using all-natural bed bug spray such as EcoRaider for spraying the room’s hard surfaces.

Don’t forget to spray all the cracks and crevices you can find along all the walls – areas that will not come in direct contact with your skin.

After thoroughly cleaning the room, you can also take extra safety precautions, using a bed bug “fogger” to fog an entire room with products such as this one from Hot Shot.

Step 4:   Powder the Entire Room

Next, you’ll want to apply an insecticide powder to the entire room, including the mattress.

Consider an organic mineral powder called diatomaceous earth to treat your mattress for bed bugs. This mineral powder is supplemental protection that isn’t chemically harsh.

This powder will eventually kill the bed bugs and their eggs, preventing any of them from escaping and reproducing.

Step 5:  Wrap Mattress and Box Spring with Protective Covers.

If you want to stop bed bugs’ feeding and reproduction cycle, you have to prevent them from reaching your skin. If they cannot feed, they will eventually die.

Once you have completed step 1, and your mattress and box spring are thoroughly dry, you should install mattress and box spring encasement covers.

Encasement covers prevent any bed bugs not killed by the treatments above from reaching you or your loved ones.

History Lesson:   Are Bed Bug Infestations Growing?

Bed bugs have been mostly absent from the United States for the last 50+ years. However, bed bugs have made a strong comeback in recent years due to increases in foreign travel, immigration, and, most significantly – a ban on the use of effective insecticides, namely DDT.

As reported by The University of Minnesota, and based on public outcry in 1972 on potentially harmful effects, the insecticide, DDT, was banned for agricultural use in the United States. With that ban came a significant increase in insect population and bed bug infestation.

Bed bugs are transferred from previously infested locations (hotels, tents, cabins, RV’s), by hitching rides on your luggage, clothing, and personal pillows used at hotels. Bed bugs can also arrive by purchasing used clothing or furniture and introducing it to your home without laundering or treating it first.

Once they arrive at your home, bed bugs seek a hiding location close to their food source. People or pets, with people being their first choice.

How To Avoid Bed Bugs in Your Home


Make Your Bed – “Bed Bug Proof”

Move the bed away from the wall and any adjacent furniture, such as nightstands, to prevent bed bugs from climbing up and reaching your mattress.

Remove and discard or significantly “shorten” – bed skirts that touch the floor.

Install climb-up Bed bugs Interceptors on the feet of your bed. These ingenious inventions capture the bed bugs before they can climb up your bed and onto your mattress.

How to “Prevent” Bed Bugs

In addition to how to get rid of bed bugs on your own, you should also know a little about preventing them in the first place.

To prevent bed bugs from getting into your house, Here are the necessary steps you can take:

  • First and foremost, you should spray the cracks, crevices, and joints around your home regularly with a bed bug-repellent spray.
  • Bed bug spray will create a barrier that bed bugs are unlikely to cross. Most bed bug sprays are effective for up to 6 months but refer to recommended dosages on the product.
  • Next, avoid bringing bed bugs into your house. Always clean your luggage thoroughly when you stay in a hotel, and avoid bringing home used furniture or other used cloth products before they have been thoroughly cleaned.
  • If you travel, it’s strongly advised to use a bed bug spray to treat your luggage in the garage before entering the house.
  • If you buy used clothing or bedding, bring it directly to the washer and dryer and run both on the “hottest setting” available.
  • Finally, you can prevent bed bug infestations with regular cleaning. Bed bugs need to be able to lay eggs to multiply. If you wash your bedding, carpet, and clothing regularly, the eggs will be less likely to survive.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bug “Bites” (On Your Skin)

The worst part of a bed bug infestation is the painful biting that takes place while you sleep. Bed bug bites appear as red, inflamed spots around where the insect has punctured the skin. To treat these bites, use soothing calamine lotion and a non-prescription pain reliever like ibuprofen to relieve soreness and itching.

You may also consider using an over-the-counter antihistamine to reduce itching and swelling in the affected areas.  See your pharmacist.

These methods will bring you considerable relief, and the sores should heal quickly once new bites have ceased.

How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs “Home Remedy”:

Bed bugs are challenging to eliminate without chemical sprays, but a few home remedies may work if your infestation is still minor.

Diatomaceous earth and borax have been known to kill bed bugs, and diluted rubbing alcohol may be helpful in neutralizing eggs.

For the most part, however, it’s a good idea to stick to commercial insecticides, as these have the highest “proven” success rate.

Bed Bugs – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How Can I Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally?

There are several methods to get rid of bed bugs naturally, such as using:

  • Strong Vacuum
  • Steam Cleaning (With steamer or iron)
  • Washing all bedding material
  • Diluted Alcohol (Spray Bottle)
  • Baking Soda (Be sure to vacuum after application)
  • Scented Dryer Sheets (seem to repel bed bugs)

Note:  While natural methods to kill bed bugs may be a “gentler approach,” – it may not achieve the same results as harsher chemical methods as described in our article

How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs in a Mattress?

The most efficient way to get rid of bed bugs in a mattress is to first vacuum all visible bed bugs, which typically hide on the seams or edges of the mattress and box spring. 

Next, use a chemical treatment – such as this one from EcoRaider at Amazon.  It’s a best seller – and is super fast at killing bed bugs permanently. 

If you are not confident you’ve gotten them all, you should replace your mattress right away.

How Should You Treat Bed Bug Bites?

You can use calamine lotion, an antihistamine like Benadryl, or a non-prescription pain killer such as ibuprofen to alleviate itching or pain from bed bug bites.

Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?

Bed bugs are a tiny oval-shaped, reddish-brown bug that feeds on the blood of humans and animals. Their sole existence depends on the “opportunities” they can find for their food source. You.

Bed bugs are wingless and cannot fly, but they can quickly move across floors and furniture.  They typically arrive inside homes from travel (luggage, backpacks, clothing), or firewood or other materials brought indoors.

How Do I Know I Have Bed Bugs?

If you wake up from sleep and immediately discover multiple bites that itch, you may have bed bugs. Additionally, look for small dark brown or red bloodstains on sheets or pillowcases.

How Long Does it Take to Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

Using our methods described above, it takes 2-3 days to eliminate bed bugs permanently. If you want to know how to get rid of bed bugs quickly, it’s important to use chemical sprays since these will quickly and effectively kill both adult bed bugs and their eggs.

What Is Heat Treatment for Bed Bugs?

If the DIY (Do It Yourself) approach doesn’t work, you’ll have to call in a professional exterminator for heat treatment. Heat treatments involve raising the temperature of a room to 118-122 degrees Fahrenheit, which will kill bed bugs and ultimately end your infestation.

Can I Eliminate Bed Bugs Myself?

Yes. Just follow our five steps noted above, and you should be able to eliminate a mild to moderate infestation of bed bugs. If your infestation has become more severe, professional help may be required.

Where Do Bed Bugs Hide?

According to webmd.com, bugs can hide in mattresses, linens, carpets, clothing, and other soft materials. Besides that, they can work their way under baseboards, behind electrical plates, and into other hard-to-reach crevices.

How Can I Kill Bed Bugs Fast?

The fastest way to kill bed bugs is with professional heat treatment. Professionally applied Heat kills bed bugs in 1- 2 hours.

Professional pest control companies, such as Orkin, will set up their equipment and provide “heat treatment” – per room to kill bed bugs. The Bed bugs will die in 90 minutes, with a temperature of 118 degrees, and bed bugs will die immediately at 122 degrees heat Fahrenheit.

Heat treatment is also the most costly approach. The least expensive but still effective way to kill bed bugs is with DIY chemical treatments, although this will require more work, and


Now that you know how to get rid of bed bugs and keep them out of your house, you should be equipped to tackle whatever infestation you get, like getting rid of ants or getting rid of gnats.

Remember that bed bugs aren’t the easiest pests to get rid of. The apparent fact is that an entire industry (pest control) is built around treating insects such as bed bugs.

So when you take on this job as a homeowner, be very thorough and take all necessary steps to kill bed bugs yourself.

Know when to say “when.” If your infestation has gotten out of hand, don’t be afraid to call in a professional exterminator, most will offer a free estimate to fix the problem.

In the end, getting rid of weeds is a heck of a lot easier than getting rid of bed bugs from your home, but in the end, You’ll be very glad you Did! 

Hopefully, you have all the necessary tools to get rid of bed bugs permanently – so you can replace your worry – with Sleep!

Please comment below, as we would be glad to assist with any additional questions you may have.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of our “How-To” guides for homeowners @ BestHomeGear.Com

Photos: Lead photo courtesy of webmd.com

References and Additional Resources:

Kevin is the author and editor for Best Home Gear. In addition to his work in publishing, Kevin enjoys exploring the Outdoors in Michigan and Arizona, Hiking, Cycling, Fishing, Reading, and Completing Projects for Home and Garden.

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