Maybe your bed bug problem is beginning to “bug” you enough to force you into action. Perhaps, you’ve even tried a few store-bought solutions and found them ineffective. You can’t give up. You can’t give in to become a perpetual feast of buggy little parasites. But what else can you do?
One angle to approach the problem from is to find and use the best home remedies for bed bugs. There are numerous claimed DIY anti bed bug formulas and tactics out there. But how many of them work?
Read on to discover the most efficient methods of DIY bed bug extermination. Many of these remedies are all-natural and non-toxic, and many of them use only common, household products. All of them can save you money compared to store-bought products or hiring a professional exterminator.
How Do You Get Rid of Bed Bugs Yourself?
Is it possible to get rid of bedbugs on your own? It certainly is, and many others have done it before you ever thought about it.
And if you can manage to eradicate bed bugs on your own, you’ll find that it indeed makes “a dime’s worth of difference” when it comes to your pocketbook. These bugs much smaller than a dime will cost you more than a dime, but you can potentially save a lot by going the DIY route versus calling in a bed bug exterminator.
You can buy ready-made CO² emitting bedbug traps in the store, and it doesn’t cost too much, per trap. But if you are planning on using numerous traps, insist on saving every possible penny, or are simply “in for the experience, ” bed bug trap building might be for you.
Bedbugs find their hosts by two main methods: sensing body heat and detecting exhaled carbon dioxide. When you mix yeast and sugar, the yeast feeds on the sugar and emits CO² in the process. Incidentally, that same CO² emission is what makes bread dough rise and makes bread fluffy instead of brick-solid.
You will need two plastic containers, one small enough to fit inside the other, yeast, sugar, water, masking tape, and (optionally) baby powder.
Here are the steps to build it:
- Slip one plastic container inside the other and tape or glue it down. You can use Tupperware-style containers, the top, and bottom of a 2-liter bottle, or any number of plastic containers.
- Tape the top edges of the outer container and also tape “roads” down the sides toward where your trap will sit on the floor. Bed bugs will fall off a smooth surface, so the rougher tape helps them climb up.
- Mix about 2 cups of cane sugar into 2 liters of warm water. Add a half teaspoon of yeast (a quarter-packet). Pour it all into the inner plastic container.
- Rub (talc-containing) baby powder on the inside of the outer container. This will help prevent any trapped bed bugs from scaling the wall and escaping!
Place the finished trap under the legs of beds and other furniture or anywhere you think bed bugs might be hanging out.
The trap can serve the following functions:
- prevent bed bugs from climbing up and onto your bed,
- test to see if you have a bed bug problem if you only suspect as much but aren’t yet sure,
- kill off as many bed bugs as possible.
In general, DIY bedbug extermination can involve several different strategies, and it is best to use them all at once to maximize the bed bug carnage.
DIY extermination tactics include:
- Removing all clutter from your floors, both in your bedroom and throughout the house.
- Washing and drying all laundry on the high-heat setting to kill bed bugs and their eggs that may be clinging to your clothes.
- Vacuuming frequently and along all cracks and crevices.
- Cleaning walls, furniture, and other hard surfaces with disinfectant sprays.
- Making/buying and strategically placing CO² bed bug traps.
- Using natural and home remedies to create sprays that can kill bedbugs on contact and/or minimize bedbug bites. Some DIY remedies will help heal bites and soothe the itch as well.
Which Home Remedies Will Remove They Permanently?
Hiding under a tent on your bed while you sleep may be tempting (you’re willing to try anything at this point!), but it won’t be very effective.
There are many home remedies you can use to eradicate bedbugs and their eggs, plus deter them and heal their itchy bites. But what will solve the problem permanently?
But the fact is, there isn’t a one-shot, sure-fire, end-it-all solution for bed bugs. There could always be a few survivors hiding in a nook or cranny or a few eggs that survive and then hatch.
You have to kill every last bug and egg to fully win the battle, so it will take persistence. You can only use traps and be alert to figure out when all the bed bugs are dead. And used furniture, pets, or infested clothes/handbags could always bring more bed bugs in.
Home Remedies for the Mattress
Your mattress and vicinity is not the only place bed bugs hideout, but it is “bed bug central.” After all, they got that name for nothing.
Wondering how to get rid of bed bugs in a mattress? Here are a few ways to help guard your mattress and those resting on it from bed bug attacks:
- Vacuum all mattress seams thoroughly and regularly. To find out the best vacuum for bed bugs, go here.
- Steam treat your mattress with a steam machine or even a high-powered hair dryer. Please see detailed descriptions here.
- Spray down your mattress with rubbing alcohol. Read more here.
- Attach double-sided tape around the lower sides of your mattress. Bugs will get tuck on it as they climb up looking for a blood meal at night. Click here for more information about bed bug glue strips.
All Natural Home Remedies
You may be, perhaps, one who loves to do everything the natural way. That could include everything from the food you eat to the clothes you wear. Why not learn how to get rid of bed bugs naturally as well?
Here are some ways, then, to fight the bed-bug war with “all-natural weaponry:”
- Make it rain baking soda on the bed bugs’ hideouts. Its antimicrobial properties also help kill bed bugs. Further details can be found here.
- Make a brew of cayenne pepper, oregano, and ginger. Boil it in water, strain it, then spray it on the enemy for effective results. They hate the smell and often flee.
- Spread lemongrass under your bed or boil it and make a spray. They flee from the odor.
- Use sweet flag (calamus), mint, thyme, rosemary, lavender oil, or eucalyptus oil to create solutions that kill bed bugs.
- Spread bean leaves on the floor under your bed or elsewhere. The tiny hooked hairs of bean leaves stab bugs’ feet and pierce them to death.
The Best Way
It is impossible to pick out just one home remedy or strategy that is “the best.” You have to experiment with different methods until you strike on something that gets the job done.
And you have to use multiple methods simultaneously and be persistent. It will take time, but it can be done. Each time a new method seems to work, add it to your repertoire and keep probing for yet more weapons to add to your arsenal.
Killing With Heat
One of the most efficient methods of killing bedbugs is high heat. Exterminators have specialized equipment that can raise temperatures in your room or whole house to as much as 120ºF to wipe out every last bed bug and egg in less than an hour.
You can’t try that DIY necessarily, but you can use heat in other ways to kill off those pesky bloodsuckers. First, you can kill them by using the high-heat setting on your dryer for 20 minutes or longer, in case they’re on your clothes.
Second, you can get a steam machine and work over your mattress (especially the seams) at 113ºF or higher. Third, you can use a high-power hair dryer on your mattress too, if you are willing to stay at it for about an hour straight.
The Need for Bed Bug Killer Home Remedies
Even if you invest in some store-bought anti bed bug tools, you may be able to significantly defer the cost of extermination by concocting a few effective home remedies.
You may not have the time to be rushing out to the store to buy anti bed bug products or have the money to be stocking up huge amounts of such products for future use.
And it can cost hundreds of dollars (or more!) to pay a professional to come to your home and kill your bedbugs for you.
Home Remedies That Work
We’ve already gone over several home remedies that you can use against bed bugs. But if you do a “Google check, ” you’ll quickly discover that there is widespread disagreement over whether such remedies work.
But be wary of online reviewers who say “this or that didn’t work!” It’s possible that those acclaiming a certain method are secretly trying to market a product or just got lucky, but also realize that many give a one-shot try at killing bed bugs and then stop. But that doesn’t work well with practically any product, homemade or not.
You may have to apply a spray every day for weeks, replace bed bug traps once in while to keep them effective, or lay down bean leaves thrice instead of just once. It takes time.
Here is a basic step by step process by which you can eventually rid yourself of bedbugs, and do it all by yourself too:
- Immediately start keeping your home spic and span. De-clutter, make a pastime of vacuuming, and use plenty of cleaning products.
- Spray anti bedbug products into your mattress seams, let them dry, then vacuum away any dead bugs. Then wrap your mattress in the best bed bug mattress cover.
- Keep a bedbug killing spray handy at all times. Plus, have lint rollers on hand so you can stick them, pick them, and toss them.
- Start washing and drying all your laundry in a high-heat setting. And bag up (after washing/drying them) any clothes you won’t be using anytime soon.
- Spray in cracks and crevices and on your mattress and box spring every day.
- Lay down DE under your bed now and then. It will cut bed bugs’ bodies to ribbons.
- Set up the best bed bug traps under the legs of your bed frame. You might want to place them elsewhere as well.
- Keep at your extermination regimen until you are satisfied all bed bugs are finally dead. Expect it could take weeks or even months for a full victory.
How to Eradicate Bed Bugs Fast
There are a few ways to kill off bed bugs fast. The more diligently you apply bed bug-killing agents, the faster you can eliminate them. But even if you kill them fast, you can’t be sure you did so for weeks more.
The fastest way to kill bedbugs, however, is to raise the indoor temperature of your room/home to 118ºF. But that would require a professional or many heaters on high during the hot summer, which could be a dangerous method due to electrical overload and fire risk.
The Best Way Without an Exterminator
Absent a professional exterminator, the best way to rid yourself of bedbugs is simply to keep on them with both store-bought and homemade remedies for as long as it takes to win.
You need to keep looking for new methods and keep applying the old ones that worked best for you so far. Eventually, when you are using 4, 5, 6 methods at once and hitting those pesky bugs at every turn, you’re going to score some casualties. Keep at it long enough, and you’ll get the last one and end the infestation.
There are numerous home remedies you can use to help control and end your bed bug infestation. They are not “myths” like some claim, but they are not one-shot deals either. You can beat the bedbugs using home remedies, perhaps in conjunction with other methods, but it will take time. So arm up, keep at it, and be patient till they all die.