What kills bed bugs?

They are small, oval, flattened and dirty brown in color but are capable of giving more nightmares to homeowners than any other known bug. We’re talking about bed bugs, the tiny insects that thrive on the blood of humans and animals.

A bed bug problem, while it is easy and quick to develop, can take a while to completely eliminate. It takes a great deal of patience on your part in order to see the job done to completion. They can be found in every type of dwelling and some bed bug infestations have been known to develop in cars.

They live in crevices and cracks. Many people carry them in their luggage, shoes, clothing and boxes. Bed bugs stay close to their food source, which unfortunately is you (humans). This is why they are most often found in your bedding, headboard, box spring or mattress. Although these are the most well-known places that they live, they can also be found in other parts of your home.

 But what kills bed bugs? 

what kills bed bugs

Some people still prefer to opt for some common do-it-yourself methods that to eliminate bed bugs, but these treatments fail most of the time. Here are some of the common items for what kills bed bugs:

  • Though rubbing alcohol comes highly recommended, it is only 40% to 60% efficient.
  • Essential oils are also a popular home remedy as they are chemical free. But these too are not entirely effective.
  • The use of double-sided tape or Vaseline on the legs of the bed to prevent the bed bugs from climbing on to the bed is simply a waste of time and effort. Purchasing a set of climb-up interceptors that go under the legs of the bed is a much better option.
  • It is a known fact that bed bugs are vulnerable to heat. This is why some everyday household products like clothes iron and hair dryers are suggested as treatments for bed bug infestation. Unfortunately, they are not as useful as a high-pressure steamer.

Related Article: Will Bifenthrin Kill Bed Bugs?

In order to get rid of bed bugs, we must follow these few simple steps:

Find out which rooms are infested

Bed bug infestation usually starts in the bedroom, but it can quickly spread to other rooms as well. Living rooms with their sofas are also familiar hiding places for bed bugs. It is essential to get rid of bed bugs as soon as possible, or they will spread all over your house.

Clear up the clutter

Once the rooms have been identified, the first thing you need to do is to clear the area of all the extra items. The confusion provides the bed bugs with safe hiding places.  Eliminating the clutter is essential for bed bug removal. Anything picked up from the infested room should be dried on high heat for at least 45 minutes.

Strip your bed

Strip your bed of all the linen including sheets, pillowcases and seal them in plastic garbage bags. Wash infested linen in the washing machine with the hot water setting. You should also dry them in high heat setting for 20 minutes or more. The heat will kill all the bed bugs hiding in your bedding. Bed bug ovens also use dry heat treatment on a larger and more convenient scale. .

bed bug infestation in a mattress

Bed Bugs In A Mattress

Don’t get rid of your bed

It is not essential to get rid of your infested furniture like your bed or your sofa. This can be a bigger problem in the future as throwing out infected furniture can spread an infestation in the mattress or box spring through the house. 

Thorough cleaning

Other than furniture, bed bugs are also known to hide in tiny spaces like wood cracks, inside books, along with the baseboards and the sides of the carpet. It is essential to clean these areas thoroughly with vacuum and steam. Items like books, luggage, shoes, which can not be put in the washing machine, should be treated with a bed bug heater.

Bed Bug Infestation in the wall of a Brooklyn Apartment

Bed Bugs hiding in a wall crack

Treat cracks and crevices

Even though you have thoroughly cleaned your home, it is always advisable to set up a defense for any eggs that may hatch in the future. It is essential to use residual and contact sprays and powders along baseboards, below drawers, behind cabinets and nightstands. Reapply these sprays after two weeks to ensure complete elimination of bed bugs.

Other Bed Bug Removal Methods

Mattress Protectors

One of the best strategies to use that can be used for bed bug removal is to add a mattress liner, or mattress protector, to all mattresses and box springs in your house, including crib mattresses and toddler beds. These effectively trap and kill bed bugs for up to two years. An added bonus is that they effectively treat dust mites as well for another layer of protection. Not only are these considered to be a safe strategy to employ, but they are also affordable and something that anyone can do themselves.

Fruit and vegetable-based insecticides

These products can be a good choice where there are pets and children. These types of insecticides are made from canola oil and pyrethrins.

bed bug dog inspection nyc

One of our bed bug dogs

Bed Bug Dogs

A bed bug dog inspection company will arrive with a highly trained canine to inspect your property from top to bottom, locating every hiding spot of bed bugs in order to effectively focus treatment on all the infested areas. This is safe and accurate as well as cost-effective, considering that they are helping to ensure all the right areas will be covered when beginning to treat the infestation.

Professional Help

Qualified extermination professionals are always considered a safe strategy when fruit and vegetable-based insecticide are not enough, as they have the training, equipment, and chemical-based treatment options to get rid of an infestation quickly and effectively. They will consider the circumstance – i.e., if children or pets are in the environment – before enacting an extermination plan.

Post removal advise

There is always a slight possibility of a second infestation. Even after professional treatment or DIY bed bug removal, there is a chance that there were places where these tiny insects are still alive. The harsh truth is that you still have work to do if you hope to keep your family safe and avoid a second infestation. Luckily for you, we’re here to tell you exactly how to do that.

It all comes down to two factors: awareness and inspection. First, you must be aware of the threat of a second infestation. Even though a professional took great care in getting rid of your home’s bed bugs, you must still be watchful. Pay attention to any signs, including waking up with red spots that might indicate a bed bug bite.

The second part is inspection. Once an extermination has occurred, be sure not to let your guard down. To ensure that you avoid a second infestation, you need to be diligent. Start with a visual inspection of your walls, furniture, etc. Follow that up by checking for feces in the folds of your furniture with a latex glove. Just a little effort each week will help prevent future problems.


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