“How to kill bed bugs” is one of the most popular questions in regards to bed bugs so I figured I ‘d offer some insight into how it can be done. As mentioned in some of our other posts, bed bugs can be treated through a professional exterminator or by doing it yourself. Doing it yourself is cheaper, but requires more work on your part. Using a pest control takes far less time and some even offer a warranty against bed bugs for a period of time, but using a professional is quite expensive. The choice is up to you. The following post describes what you will need to treat bed bugs yourself using readily available products and pesticides.
Treating bed bugs yourself without an exterminator is not for everyone, but it can be done successfully by following a few steps.
Step 1: Collect clothing and place them into trash bags where they can then be carried to the dryer. A home dryer on high heat can kill all stages of bed bugs and is a great way to treat clothing and fabric items. Dry clean only items can be dry cleaned or placed in a PackTite heat treatment device.
Be sure not to re-use the garbage bags for risk of re-infesting your treated clothing. Treated clothing should be stored in garbage bags or preferably Hefty Big Bags until the infestation is no longer.
Step 2: Use a Packtite heat treatment device to treat personal items that cannot be placed in the dryer. The PackTite uses heat to kill bed bugs with each treatment taking about 2-4 hours to complete.
Step 3: Remove your mattress and box spring from the bed and use a residual spray such as Bedlam Bed Bug Spray or steam to treat cracks and crevices in the bed frame where bed bugs or eggs could be.
Step 4: Apply bed bug certified mattress and box spring encasements to reduce hiding spots for bed bugs and to seal in any bed bugs that could be hiding inside the box spring or mattress. STERI-FAB, steam or Bedlam can be used to treat the mattress before the encasements are applied. Be sure to allow the mattress and box spring to fully dry before applying the encasements. After washing and drying your bed sheets put the bedding back on the mattress. We don’t suggest using a bed skirt as that could provide a way for bed bugs to get into the bed an will lead us to step 6.
Step 5: Apply Climbup Insect Interceptors to each castor or wheel of the frame. Climbup Interceptors will help prevent the bed bugs from getting into your now bed bug free bed. Climbup Interceptors have an outer ring that traps bed bug as they attempt to get into or out of the bed. This can significantly reduce bed bug bites and is an important step.
Step 6: Reduce clutter in the infested room and treat personal items with a PackTite heat treatment device. This includes shoes, papers, books toys, or just about anything that can be heated up to 140 degree Fahrenheit. Electronics should not be placed inside. Treated items can be placed in sealed garbage backs or hefty big bags until the bed bugs are gone.
Step 7: Use a steamer to treat carpeting, chairs, fabric items, furniture along with cracks and crevices including the perimeter of the room (baseboards). Be careful steam is hot!
Step 8: Apply a good residual spray such as J.T Eaton Kills Bed Bugs II or Bedlam Bed Bug Spray lightly to the inside tracks of drawers, the bottom edge of furniture, behind furniture, cracks and crevices and places where bed bugs could be. A mask and goggles are recommended and always adhere to the product label, directions and safety procedures.
Step 9: Apply DE or diatomaceous to cracks and crevices. Less is more and we don’t recommend using it all over the carpeting. If you apply it correctly you shouldn’t really see it. Great places to put DE is between the carpeting and the baseboard, inside the wall by access of the electrical outlets (turn the power off prior to application and don’t put DE in the electrical outlet!). Although DE is natural, you don’t want to breathe it in so a mask and goggles are necessary. Always read the labels safety information. DE should be applied after the residual pesticide has completely dried. DE cannot get wet or will not work.
Step 10: Every two weeks for 3 treatments vacuum up the powder, apply a new application of residual pesticide, allow to dry and then apply fresh powder. DE goes a long way so you shouldn’t need more than about 16 ounces.
This is a very brief summary of how to kill bed bugs. If you have any detailed questions or comments please leave a comment.