Bed bugs, yikes! Hopefully, you’ll never encounter these annoying pests during your lifetime. But if you’re one of the unlucky individuals who finds themselves with a bed bug infestation, don’t worry! We’ve developed a comprehensive guide of how to get rid of these blood-sucking parasites. You can learn more about how to spot these bugs in our related article, 5 Signs of Bed Bugs.
If you’ve found yourself in the midst of a bed bug infestation, you’re probably wondering what to do. After these bugs make their way into the home (usually through luggage, clothing, or second-hand furniture), they usually like to hide in areas that have easy access to people, like headboards, box springs, mattresses, and bedframes. Over time, however, they can spread to hard-to-reach places—their flat, tiny bodies make it easy to hide in tight spaces like wall crevices. In any case, if your first instinct is to call a professional exterminator, then you’re already on the right track. If you can’t afford a professional cleaning, there are some steps you can take on your own to get rid of the bugs.
Clean all bedding, linens, curtains, and clothing.
Be sure to wash these items in hot water and dry them on the highest dryer setting. Any items that can’t be put in the washing machine, like stuffed animals and shoes, should be put in the dryer on the highest setting for half an hour.
Get rid of clutter around the bed.
Remove any stray papers or loose items around the bed. If you can, throw it away. If not, clean thoroughly.
Clean out and Repair the space.
Using a magnifying glass and a flashlight, identify, clean out and close up any crevices, cracks, or holes in your walls or furniture that give bed bugs spaces to hide. These areas can include baseboards, between furniture cushions, in furniture joints, in electrical outlets, under loose wallpaper, underneath paintings and posters, in the seam where the wallpaper and ceiling meet.
Scrub your mattress.
Using a stiff brush, scrub the mattress seams to get rid of any bedbugs and eggs before vacuuming.
Vacuum the area and carefully dispose of the waste.
Thoroughly vacuum your mattress and the surrounding area, including any furniture like couches and rugs. Afterward, immediately remove the vacuum cleaner bag, place it in a plastic bag, and put it in a garbage can outside.
Seal your mattress and box spring.
Because bed bugs can live up to a year without feeding, place your mattress and box spring in a tightly sealed cover to keep the pests from entering or escaping. Keep the cover on for at least a year to make sure all the pests are dead.