How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs in 4 STEPS!VIEW PRINT FRIENDLY VERSION
As you read on, we'll explain how to get rid of bed bugs in your home using methods that can be done yourself.
Our program is broken down into 4 easy steps, which will keep the bed bugs from biting from the very first night!
Encase Your Mattress / Remove Hiding Places
Kill bed bugs hiding in your mattress
Protect your bed from invading bugs
Keep your mattress fresh for years
The first thing we want to do is stop bed bugs from biting you in your bed. Since bed bugs are most likely inside your mattress and box springs, you will need to kill the bugs that are present first and then apply certified bed bug proof mattress covers. Our bed bug mattress covers are used to protect and seal off the mattress and box springs, preventing bed bugs from entering or escaping the mattress once applied.
1A| Treat Bedding
Begin by stripping off your bedding from the mattress and placing them into sealed garbage bags in order to prevent bed bugs from escaping and infesting other parts of your home. Take the bags directly to your washing machine, carefully unload your bedding directly inside, and wash using the "HOT WATER" setting. When that cycle finishes, dry the bedding on the "HIGH HEAT" setting if possible. The heat from these cycles will kill bed bugs and eggs hiding in your bedding.
1B| Vacuum Bugs & Eggs
While your bedding is being washed, remove your mattress and box spring from your bed frame. Use a HEPA vacuum to remove any bed bugs, shells, fecal droppings, or eggs that may be present along the seams of your mattress, pillows, and box spring. Also, don't forget to vacuum the frame, headboard and footboard thoroughly inside cracks and crevices where bed bugs might be hiding.
While most regular vacuums may be used for this step, the preferred vacuum to use is a sealed HEPA PCO vacuum. These vacuums are designed specifically to collect bed bugs and their eggs into a sealed HEPA filter, so that nothing gets out.
1C| Steam Your Mattress
Once the mattress and bed have been vacuumed, our bed bug steamers can be used to effectively penetrate deep inside mattress, box springs, bed frames, headboards, and footboards in order to kill bed bugs and their eggs on contact. Bed bugs are highly susceptible to heat, which is why steam treatments are used to efficiently treat large surface areas in a short period of time. Simply use the included cloth attachment provided with each of our steamers to limit the moisture expelled by the steamer during treatment. When steaming, move at about one inch per second to ensure that an even application of hot steam is applied.
An alternative to steaming your bed and mattress is to use STERI-FAB. STERI-FAB can be sprayed directly onto these areas to kill bed bugs on contact. Lightly spray your mattress along the top and bottom seams and allow to dry for 30 minutes (or until fully dry). We recommend removing the box spring’s dust cover, to allow you to spray inside of the box. The dust cover does not have to be re-applied once removed, as it's there mainly for aesthetics.
1D| Spray Your Bed Frame
While the mattress and box spring are left to dry, spray the joints of the bed frame, headboard, and footboard with a contact spray, like JT Eaton Kills Bed Bugs. This will kill bed bugs quickly and then evaporate, leaving no residual protection. Follow up with a residual spray, like Bedlam Plus, to fill the cracks and crevices of the frame, headboard and footboard with a residue that will kill bed bugs for several weeks. Remember to follow the sprays’ product labels and MSDS for safe and effective usage, and to wear protective gloves when spraying.
1E| Encase Matress, Box Spring and Pillows
Once the mattress and box spring are vacuumed, steamed and completely dry, the zippered mattress, pillow and box spring covers should be applied and fully zipped up. Encasements are crucial to success, as they prevent bed bugs from entering or escaping the mattress and box spring. This is especially helpful with hollow box springs, as they create an ideal hiding place for bed bugs to reside. Without a blood meal, they will eventually die inside the cover. Encasements should not removed for at least 18 months to ensure all beds bug are dead.
After the encasements have been applied, you may now put your mattress and box spring back on your treated bed frame, and put your laundered bedding back on your bed.Recommended Products For Step 1
• Box Spring
• Crib Mattress
Be sure to reseal the garbage bag the bedding was initially placed in and dispose of it properly to prevent reinfestation.
Isolate Your Bed / Stop the Biting
Stop bed bugs from reaching you
Cut off the bugs' feeding source
Monitor the population
In step 1, you treated your bed inside and out and made sure that bed bugs stay out of your mattress. However, bed bugs aren't just hiding in your bed; they are often found in furniture, along baseboards, and inside walls, cracks and crevices - anywhere close enough for them to detect the body heat and carbon dioxide that you emit in your sleep. So the second step is to block any bed bugs from climbing back onto the bed looking for a meal. We will do that by isolating your bed and adding ClimbUp Insect Interceptors to each leg of your bed.
2A| Isolate Your Bed
Before applying the ClimbUp Insect Interceptors, we must first ensure the bed is properly isolated. Bed bugs often travel from hiding places within five feet of the bed in order to feed, so creating a barrier between you and the bugs through isolation is a must.
A common mistake people make when dealing with bed bugs is to throw away their bed frame and mattress, resorting to sleeping on the floor or on an air mattress. This is actually the worst thing you could do, as there is nothing stopping the bed bugs from getting to you. Remember, bed bugs can’t jump or fly, so they must climb up something to reach you.
Elevating the mattress from the floor with a bed frame creates limited access points bed bugs must use to reach you. Only the legs or castors of your bed should be in contact with the floor, so any hanging covers or bed skirts should either be tucked in or removed. If your bed has storage below the mattress that is touching any part of the bed, that will need to be removed.
2B| Place Climbup Interceptors
ClimbUp Interceptors are barriers that stop bed bugs from climbing up your bed legs, preventing them from reaching you in your bed. To install them, simply lift each bed leg and place the trap underneath so that the leg rests in the center of the bowl. As bed bugs attempt to get to you, they will climb up the edge of the interceptor and fall into the perimeter pitfall where they can't escape.
This step is crucial, as bed bugs will be unable to reproduce if they cannot feed and grow into maturity. With the interceptors installed, you are cutting off their feeding cycle while creating an effective trap that will capture bed bugs while you sleep. Preventing bed bugs from feeding also offers relief, both physically and emotionally, as you can now sleep bite-free!
With the bed now fully isolated and elevated, you can use the ClimbUp Interceptors to monitor the changing population of bed bugs in your home. Hopefully, you will see less and less bugs appear in the traps as you go through the treatment process, until there are finally no more new bugs appearing at all. Also, if you see a majority of the bed bugs stuck in one leg of the bed, you may be able to also locate directionally where bed bugs are coming from (perhaps a nightstand or furniture near that leg).
Now that you have created a safe haven in your bed, you can move onto treating the rest of the room.
Recommended Products For Step 2
Climbup Insect Interceptor
• Extra Large
Bed bugs cannot jump or fly so they must climb up to reach you. Elevating the mattress using a bed frame limits the access points. Do not sleep on the floor or an air mattress.
Steam & Clean the Room
Kill bed bugs hiding in your clothes
Vacuum away bugs and eggs in hiding
Kill remaining bugs with a bed bug steamer
Bed bugs are likely hiding in different parts of your room, like the edges of carpet, inside wood cracks, behind picture frames and inside books, magazines, furniture, etc. In this third step, we're going to clean, de-clutter, vacuum and steam areas of the room where bed bugs might be. This will cut down on the bed bug population while making it harder for remaining bugs to hide.
3A| Reduce Clutter in the Room
Begin by picking up any loose items in the room, like clothes, books, and other personal belongings. Decluttering the area makes treatment easier, and reduces places that bed bugs can hide. Seal these items in garbage bags until you’ve collected everything that you can.
3B| Treat Your Clothes
Remove clothing in dresser drawers and treat them in a dryer for at least 45 minutes, only filling the dryer half way to ensure adequate heat delivery. Once treated, clothing that you don't normally wear should be stored inside garbage bags outside of the infested room, if possible.
3C| Treat Luggage, Shoes & Objects
Many items can’t be treated in the laundry, like books, papers, luggage, shoes, and dry-clean only clothing. These belongings can be treated with a portable bed bug heater. Items that can't be washed can be safely heated to temperatures lethal to bed bugs and their eggs. Our heaters are also popular as a preventative tool for travelers, who can quickly and easily treat their luggage after returning from a trip. Upon arrival from a trip, simply place your luggage into the heater, plug it in and let the heater do the rest!
3D| Vacuum Cracks & Crevices
A HEPA Vacuum is great for sucking up as many bed bugs and eggs as possible. Use the narrow attachments of the vacuum to get inside deep cracks and crevices, along baseboards, behind picture frames, around window sills, as well as below and behind furniture. Once finished with the vacuum, the bag should be replaced or the canister cleaned to limit exposure of bed bugs to other parts of the house or apartment.
3E| Steam Clean Cracks & Crevices
A great way to treat sofas, chairs, furniture, mattresses, cabinets, walls and just about anything else after vacuuming is with a bed bug steamer. Our steamers produce 200+ degree steam, which is needed to kill bed bugs and their eggs on contact. A steamer can also be used on carpets, baseboards, and cracks and crevices throughout the room. When applying steam, remember to move no faster than about one inch per second to ensure that all bed bugs and eggs are killed on contact.
Recommended Products For Step 3
• Vapamore MR-100 Primo
• Vapamore MR-1000 Forza
• PRO5 Stainless Steel
Spray & Powder Cracks & Crevices
Kill immediately with a contact spray
Get 12 weeks of protection with residual sprays
Seal entry points indefinitely with natural powders
We recommend using a combination of both contact and residual sprays, designed specifically to kill bed bugs. Contact killers will kill bed bugs quickly, but offer no long-lasting protection. Residual sprays, applied after the contact killer spray, offer protection against future bed bugs for up to 12 weeks, but kill more slowly — this is why we use both, creating a cocktail approach.
When treating for bed bugs, you need to think like a bed bug in regard to areas where they may likely be hiding. Bed bugs prefer tight dark hiding spaces where they can remain safe until their next meal. This includes cracks, crevices, below the cushions of furniture, as well as along the edges of carpets and baseboards. Be sure to inspect every square inch of the infested room for potential hot spots. If we can treat all of the hiding spots, we can kill all of the bed bugs.
4A| Use a Contact Killer Spray
To effectively treat a small or large infestation, begin by blitzing your bed bug bugs with a contact killer spray. STERI-FAB is a very popular alcohol-based spray with a synthetic pyrethroid that kills bed bugs effectively on contact. We also recommend JT Eaton Kills Bed Bugs, which uses natural pyrethrum to kill bed bugs quickly (both contact killers are supplied in our Bed Bug Kits). Start by spraying along baseboards, below drawers and on drawer slides, behind cabinets, and behind night stands (please see the bedroom illustration below). These contact sprays work quickly and will kill a large percentage of the population within 24 hours.
4B| Use Residual Spray in Cracks & Crevices
Immediately after the contact spray has been applied, a residual should then be used on the same areas as the contact, offering long-lasting protection against returning bed bugs. We recommend using Bedlam Plus inside cracks and crevices throughout the room, and JT Eaton Kills Bed Bugs Plus below the cushions and bases of sofas, chairs, edges of carpets and other fabric items. (Bedlam Plus and JT Eaton Kills Bed Bugs Plus residual killers are supplied in our bed bug kits).
As with our contact killers, residual sprays are designed to treat hiding places where bed bug are or may be. Sprays should only be applied inside cracks and crevices and not in areas that we touch, walk on or sit on. Again, residual means that the spray will continue to kill for 2-12 weeks, depending on the surface it’s applied to.
To see a helpful illustration of where to apply the contact and residual sprays, scroll down to the bottom of this page.
4C| Apply Powder to Kill Bed Bugs Indefinitely
Our bed bug powder works by coating the exoskeleton of the bed bug, causing dehydration and asphyxiation. Bed bug powder is applied into confined areas where it will not be stirred up into the air. Examples include below the edges of carpeting, inside deep cracks and wall voids as well as inside electrical outlets and switch plates by first removing the faceplate with a flat head screwdriver (never apply powder where electronics are plugged in and always turn the power off first to reduce the risk of electrocution). Use a dust mask during application for safety.
We recommend using a professional powder applicator, which offers better control when applying the powder. The applicator also allows the user to gain access into hard to reach areas. Unless the powder is disturbed, becomes wet or is vacuumed up, no additional application are necessary.
4D| Reapply the Contact & Residual Sprays
To ensure that all bed bugs are killed, reapply the contact and residual sprays two weeks after the initial treatment, then again two weeks after that, for a total of three applications. This ensures that any eggs that hatch after the initial spraying will be killed off, preventing a reinfestation. Our bed bug kits include enough spray for all three applications. Bed bug powders will not need to be reapplied, as they work indefinitely as long as they remain dry and undisturbed.Recommended Products For Step 4
• Pro Bed Bug Kit (1-2 rooms)
• Pro Bed Bug Kit (3-4 rooms)
• Pro Kit (Commercial)
Don’t apply residual powders in open areas. Not only are they less effective in open space, but they can cling to surfaces and become very hard to remove.
Additional Info & Approximate Timeline
Active Bed Bug Traps and Monitors (used with our 4-step solution in unoccupied rooms)
When treating for bed bugs, you must also understand how they are drawn to their next blood meal. Bed bugs are attracted by body heat and carbon dioxide (CO2). Without such attractants, they can remain dormant and inactive for several months. This makes treating infested rooms that are unoccupied more difficult as there is nothing to draw them across the applied powders and sprays.
One example is someone that moved from the master bedroom to the spare bedroom after being bitten. Many of the bed bugs will remain behind, but some may follow the person to the spare bedroom or adjacent wall. If the person returns to the master bedroom, there may now be bed bugs in two rooms. This person can only be in one room at a time, so an active attractant is needed to draw the bed bugs out in the unoccupied room during treatment.
Another example is a vacant apartment where the tenants moved out because of bed bugs. Spraying for bed bugs may not be effective without an attractant present to re-activate and make the bed bugs mobile again.
Fortunately, there is a solution to both of these examples: we carry active bed bug monitors that can be placed in infested rooms such as spare bedrooms, living rooms, family rooms and bathrooms to draw out bed bug from walls, cracks and crevices during treatment. These products include the Bed Bug Beacon, Verifi Bed Bug Monitor and Trap and NightWatch Bed Bug Monitor, which may be found in the bed bug monitor and trap portion of our site. Give us a call or visit each product page to see how our bed bug attractors and traps can help make your treatment more effective, especially in unoccupied rooms. These products can also help users monitor the progress of their treatment to ultimately know when bed bugs are finally gone.
What to Expect(Approximate Timeline)
Week 1 (First Application)
Most of the bed bugs will be killed during the first application (within 3-4 days of initial treatment). However, for up to 5 days after your initial treatment, eggs were being actively laid (5 a day each) by the dead or dying females, which will hatch in 7-14 days.
Eggs laid during the first week are beginning to hatch, and these newborn bed bugs are now in search for their first blood meal. As long as they come in contact with our bed bug powders, sprays or traps before they reach maturity, they will die and never have a chance to lay eggs.
Week 3 (Second Application)
The remaining eggs left over from the dead adult bed bugs will hatch or have already hatched by now. The second treatment is intended to kill off all of the baby bed bugs and any remaining adult bed bugs. Keep up the barrier! You're almost done!
All the eggs have hatched by now and no new eggs are being produced. This is the mop-up week, where you will be killing the few bed bugs that managed to survive until now.
Week 5 (Third Application)
The third application is mostly precautionary just to make sure we've eliminated 100% of the infestation. You are now bed bug free!
After all 4 steps are completed you should be bed bug free.
To prevent bed bugs from spreading, powder and spray is recommended to be used in rooms adjacent to the infested room. Be sure to continue sleeping in the infested room until the bed bugs are eradicated, as you don't want them to follow you to another room. In order for this program to work, all steps must be thoroughly followed. Due to treatment practices and variables outside of our control, Bed Bug Supply is not liable for and does not warranty any outcome against bed bugs. Bed Bug Supply is also not liable for the misuse of any product we carry. Always adhere to each product's label and MSDS for effective and safe usage.
All information contained in this 4-step protocol is furnished free of charge and is intended for your evaluation. In our opinion, the information is, as of the date of this protocol, reliable; however, it is your responsibility to determine the suitability of the information for your use. You are advised not to construe the information as absolutely complete, since additional information may be necessary or desirable when particular, exceptional or variable conditions or circumstances exist or because of applicable laws or government regulations. Therefore, you should use this information only as a supplement to other information gathered by you, and you must make independent determinations of the suitability and completeness of the information from all sources to ensure both proper use of the material described herein, and the safety and health of everyone involved. Accordingly, no guarantee, expressed or implied, is made by Levita LLC D.B.A Bed Bug Supply as to the results to be obtained based upon your use of the information, nor does Levita LLC assume any liability that arises out of your use of the information or products supplied on our site. Always follow each product's label and MSDS.
At Bed Bug Supply, we have the solutions you and your family need to sleep comfortably without bed bugs.
Call today to speak to one of our bed bug experts: (866) 238-9868
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