Bed bugs are being reported more and more in the news lately and the term ‘infestation’ is a frightening headline. These nighttime critters love to hide out in your sheets and mattresses. They will also crawl and borough in your box springs. Bedbugs feast on the blood of humans, but also you’re pets. How to kill bed bugs at home when they leave no trace of their presence apart from the irritating tiny bites they cause on your skin?

First, have a good look at what bit you, make certain that it is indeed a bed bug. If your problem is with some other insect (like mites) the treatments may not work. To find out if your issue is really with bed bugs place tape around your box spring and your mattress. You may have to wait a day or two, but you’ll catch something. Also, look out for dark spots on your sheets: those are bed bug droppings.

Second, consider a mattress cover to stop you from getting bitten pending the removal of the bugs. Some of them are plastic, but they also make cloth waterproof ones that will be just as effective. Just buy one that zips so that the bed bugs are confined in the cover. The problem with this method is it takes weeks sometimes, months for the insects to starve. While waiting for this to work you may want to try another approach. Try sprinkling some diatomaceous earth into to the cover; it is a natural powder that is harmless to humans but kills bed bugs on contact.

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Next, your vacuum is your new best friend when getting rid of bed bugs. If you’re going to use a vacuum, then before you begin, vacuum up some Pyrethrum. it can be found in most flea powders or other forms of insecticides. By doing this you can be sure of killing the bed bugs you vacuum up, otherwise when you turn off the vacuum they will simply sneak out. As a nightly ritual vacuum all around your bedroom. Having a long wedge crevice tool to go through the corners and other small spaces will be highly effective as well.

Another option is to use a steam cleaner. All insects have a thermal death point. The bed bug’s thermal death point is 115 °F and that temperature needs to stay in position for at least 60 minutes to kill their eggs. You can rent a stream cleaner at various locations for about $25 – $100 usually. Make sure to be thorough and steam all furniture in your home including carpets and drapes.

Your last resort is to call an exterminator. This is costly so weigh the options and remember to price check before committing to an exterminator company. Consider the cost of your mattress set verses the pest controller’s fees. If you go with the exterminator make sure this company has experience with bed bugs specifically and not some other insects. Cleaning your home prior to the exterminator’s arrival increases your chances of removing your infestation.


Once you have finally rid yourself of bed bugs the next step is prevention. Keep up with the vacuuming, as well as using the Pyrethrum before hand. Watching for signs of bed bugs will also help stop anything before it begins. Change your sheet often and check your box springs and mattress.

Skin treatment:

Though bites are rarely serious, they can be very uncomfortable. Some people develop rashes and most will experience itching. Over the counter creams like the diphenhydramine (Benadryl) work fairly well. Hot washcloths covering the bite will soothe the skin also. DO NOT scratch as this may cause a bacterial infection.

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