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How Do I Get Rid of Bedbugs

Updated on December 14, 2013
What do bed bugs look like?
What do bed bugs look like?

First Thing First: Make a Plan

It can be really easy to think all you need to do is simply get rid of the bedbugs and your problem is solved, but there is certainly more to it than that.

Not too long ago bed bugs were a declining problem, with outbreak incidents occurring scarcely, but recently bed bugs have made a comeback and there are stories around the globe of growing infestations. What makes a resurgence for bed bugs so easy is that they can be transported through everyday items from house to house, to continent to continent (think luggage).

Their resiliency to poor conditions means they can survive in clothing, mattresses, shoes, hats, etc, for up to 400 days without food. These insects feed on blood, most often the blood of their unsuspecting victims, you and I! Rest assured though, bed bugs are not the disease spreading types like ticks and mosquitoes. Though they feed on blood and might feed on several hosts, they do not transmit pathogens even though several human diseases have been found within them.

Most likely an infestation will leave a person with some symptoms such as a rash or similar reactions. There is a likelihood a bedbug infestation may go unnoticed until you actually see the bedbugs! Whether they are causing discomfort or creeping you out, it is good and right to begin the process of getting rid of bedbugs or never getting them in the first place!

Part of the Plan: Treatment of Bedbugs and Control of their Return

There is a myriad of ways you can treat bed bugs and all them involve many parts. First, the advice and services of a trained professional should always be encouraged and used. Often resources leave many people without the means to use such services, so below are a few methods in which to treat bed bugs and get them out of your home.


One easy and safe method of killing bed bugs and their eggs without dangerous chemicals is with a steamer. You will find this is the easiest ways to cover larger areas as well as getting into those tight spaces such as the corners and seams of your room and mattresses. You can purchase a steamer at your local store or big box store. You can also find some clever ways to make steam machines.

Rubbing Alcohol

Using rubbing alcohol on bed bugs will terminate them on the spot. This method is helpful if you have surfaces, linen or mattresses that will not be damaged by a spot or two of rubbing alcohol. Purchase a spray bottle and mist any areas you are comfortable with.


One of the most important things you need to do is gather everything that a bed bug might hide on and make it very inhospitable to the bug and their eggs. This would generally mean laundering everything you have. Make sure everything heats to a temperature of 120 degrees or greater to kill the bugs/eggs or if that option isn't available, freeze it.


Don't immediately think sprays or aerosol cans, but think residual insecticides. These insect poisons are the kind you can use to seal cracks, corners, along edges, and any other area you might find left over bed bugs or eggs. When applying any treatment, cleanliness is key as dust and other particles can absorb or get in the way, making the process ineffective. Ideally, have a professional come and apply professional grade pesticides in a professional manner. The experience these men and women have could save you recurring infestations!

Throw Away Infected Items

This might be a last resort, but if there is anything you don't feel completely comfortable with, dispose of it. Now, the applications above should do well in getting rid of the infestation, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Female bed bugs can lay up to five eggs a day and up to 500 in their lifespan.

Part of the Plan: Preventative Measures

A major part of prevention is being aware of the activities and common ways bed bugs are spread. There is a potential to pick up bed bugs anywhere, which makes preventing bed bugs something you want to do regularly.

There is a an easy way to remind yourself how to be aware of bed bugs when traveling or doing anything of the sort: S.L.E.E.P.

Survey all areas for the signs of a bed bug infestation. Clues would small dark red colored spots on sheets, pillow cases, bed skirts, etc, and/or bed bugs themselves, which tend to range in size from mustard seed to apple seed.

Lift all items that might serve as bed bug reservoirs such as underneath a mattress, pillow, sheets, furniture cushions, etc. The bed bugs come out and feed at night, but hide in the daytime, normally no more than a few feet from the feeding source.

Elevate your personal belongings a distance from anything that might hide bed bugs. This includes walls, considering bed bugs can hide in fixtures, artwork, and corners.

Examine your belongings carefully when leaving an area suspect of bed bugs.

Place all your belongings in a dryer or in the freezer for a long period of time once returning from travel.

What does a bed bug look like?
What does a bed bug look like?
What do bed bug bites look like?
What do bed bug bites look like?

Bed Bug Facts

  • Bed bugs only feed on blood
  • Bed bugs are most active at night
  • Under normal conditions, a bed bug can live more than 300 days
  • Without food, an adult bed bug can live up to 500 days (crazy huh?)
  • Female bed bugs can lay up to five eggs a day


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