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Best Way To Kill Bed Bugs

Updated on January 14, 2014
What is the best way to kill bed bugs?
What is the best way to kill bed bugs?

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Good night, sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite! Unfortunately, Bed bugs have been biting us for thousands of years. They were once nearly eliminated in the mid 1900s using an insecticide called DDT. DDT has since been banned in the United States and linked to many adverse health effects on humans. Today, we are facing a significant bed bug resurgence with some major cities declaring the problem an epidemic. That leaves us with one important question: What is the best way to kill bed bugs?

Are bed bugs dangerous?

First off, let's talk about whether or not these vile insects actually are actually dangerous. While they can contract many diseases, researches do not believe they are capable of transmitting them. Bites can cause a number of adverse health effects. This list includes severe itching, skin rashes, allergic reactions and psychological stress. In a few rare and severe cases bites have been known to cause breathing problems. Needless to say, an infestation is very stressful. It will flip your life upside down. Learning how to get rid of bed bugs is an important lesson that our generation needs to brush up on fast.

Best Treatment Plan For Killing Bed Bugs

Using an integrated pest management (IPM) plan is the best way to kill bed bugs and their eggs. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Integrated pest management is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. It uses comprehensive information along with the proper pest removal methods to kill bed bugs while causing the least amount on danger to humans, pets and the environment.

Bed Bug Excrement
Bed Bug Excrement

What is the proper IPM plan for removing bed bugs?

Inspect for infestations in all the hiding places listed below. This process can be made easier by using a UV flashlight or a bed bug detection tool with UV light and magnifying glass.

• Mattress and box spring seams, crevices and folds.
• Bed frame cracks and crevices
• Furniture cushions
• Carpet edges (the edge up against the wall)
• Bed skirts, curtains or any other fabrics in the area
• Dresser drawers
• Door and window casings
• Electrical switch plates
• Loose wallpaper,
• behind paintings and picture frame
• Drywall cracks
• Electronics such as telephones and alarm clocks

How to get rid of bed bugs in clothes
How to get rid of bed bugs in clothes

Heat Treatments for Bedding and Fabrics

Remove all bedding, bed skirts, curtains, clothes and any other fabric in the area. Seal it tightly in a plastic bag and run all of it through the washer and dryer on high heat. The best way to kill bed bugs is with heat. Temperatures starting around 115 degress will start to kill them. The higher them temperature, the faster they will die.

Vacuuming to help control a bed bug infestation
Vacuuming to help control a bed bug infestation


Vacuum all of the areas above while brushing and scraping vigorously. This will help to kill some of the bed bugs as well as get rid of their droppings and eggs. It will not get rid of the entire infestation but it is an important part of our IPM treatment plan.

Bed bug preventative measures
Bed bug preventative measures

Protection and Prevention

Put something around the feet of your bed posts to prevent entry into your bed. This will get you some much needed sleep and help to control the infestation. There are saucers available that you can fill with a liquid to trap any insects trying to crawl up the bed posts. Another option is to use a mattress and box spring encasement.

Getting rid of bed bugs with alcohol
Getting rid of bed bugs with alcohol

Bed Bug Elimination and Sanitation

If you own a steam cleaner, you apply heat treatments with the steam. You should move at a rate of about 12 inches every 30 seconds to ensure each area reaches the proper killing temperatures. Using a steamer is a fantastic way to kill bed bugs. Just check to make sure the steamer you use is capable of reaching temperatures aroud 150 degrees.

If you do not have access to a steamer, you can use 91% rubbing alcohol. Put it in a spray bottle and use it to sanitize infested areas. Alcohol's effectiveness on killing bed bugs is debatable. You will not get an extremely high kill rate but it will help to control the infestation. Even if it doesn't kill a single bug, I like to use it for its sanitizing benefits.

Diatomacous Earth is a Fantastic for Getting Rid of Infestations.
Diatomacous Earth is a Fantastic for Getting Rid of Infestations.

Another Removal Option

Again, if you don't have access to a steam cleaner, you'll want to use something in conjunction with the alcohol. A great product for that is powder called diatomaceous earth. It is also the most affordable option. You can get a 7 ounce bottle for around $8 dollars.

If you want to spend a little big more and bring out the big guns, I recommend using Cyfluthrin. Cyfluthrin is an insecticide, so you'll need to decide if you want to kill them naturally or with chemicals. It all depends on the severity of your infestation. Cyfluthrin is much less toxic than other chemicals and is very effective for killing bed bugs. A bottle costs about $35 dollars.

The bottom line - Don't give up!

Give time to which ever solution you choose to use. Getting rid of bed bugs is a very difficult process but with patience and persistence you can do it yourself.

Is this your first experience with bed bugs?

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© 2014 Chipp Marshal


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      Cheryl 16 months ago

      Should i drill holes in all the walls and put the dust in the walls