How to Kill Bed Bugs and Make Sure They Never Return

They may be harmless, but mention bed bugs and people involuntarily shudder in disgust. The little blood-sucking parasites are resurging, too, as noted by the Centers for Disease Control, thanks to increased global travel. Eradication is difficult unless you quickly follow the right procedures and embark on a campaign of prevention.

Here’s how to kill bed bugs and make sure they never return.

Step 1: Be Alert for Early Signs of Infestation

Look for the early signs of infestation: Rusty or reddish stains on bed sheets or mattresses caused by bed bugs being crushed. Live bed bugs. Eggs and egg shells (very tiny) and pale yellow skins shed by nymphs as they grow. Keep your eyes open for dark spots (about this big: ●), which are bed bug excrement.

If you catch them early, the chances of a large infestation go down dramatically.

Step 2: Kill the Bed Bugs, Larvae, and Eggs

Once you’ve found the beginnings of an infestation, take immediate action. Strip the bed linens, double-bag them or use a dissolvable laundry bag such as GreenClean™ and wash them in hot water. (If double-bagging, discard the inner bag in a plastic bag you leave outdoors.) Dry the linens in a hot dryer for 30 minutes. Do the same for the pillows and any clothing in the area.

Pull the bed away from the wall. Using a vacuum cleaner with a disposable bag, vacuum the mattress, box spring, and bed frame. Purchase mattress, box spring, and pillow encasements and put them onto your bed. These will prevent further infestation and kill any bed bugs and their eggs still present after vacuuming. Immediately dispose of the vacuum bag in a plastic bag that you leave outdoors.

Vacuum the carpets, floor, baseboards, windows, cracks, and crevices. Since the bed bug egg cycle takes four to five weeks, vacuum daily for that period of time, discarding the vacuum bag after every use.

Use cold-pressed neem oil spray to kill bed bugs, larvae, and eggs. Neem oil is the only EPA-approved biopesticide for indoor use. Spray the bed frame, around the baseboards, around the windows, and into every crack and crevice in your bedroom. If a credit card can fit into a crack, so can a bed bug. Be meticulous.

Another method you can use to keep bed bugs away is spreading pesticide-grade diatomaceous earth, a desiccant that dries out the bugs. Be sure to get the type of diatomaceous earth that is pesticide grade. Pool and food-grade diatomaceous earth can harm you when you breathe it in, so make sure you read the label before purchasing.

Step 3: Monitor Regularly for Reinfestations

Prevention is the key to avoiding reinfestation. Monitor regularly for bed bugs. If you suspect bed bugs have returned, purchase some interceptor monitors and place them under the legs of your bed frame. The monitors will trap the bed bugs as they travel between their nest – called a harborage – and the potential host (you). In early cases, monitors may be sufficient to end an infestation before it can even start.

To learn more about bed bugs, read our other guides on how to get rid of bed bugs or how do bed bugs spread.

If you really want to get rid of bed bugs today try SayByeBugs! It was developed as a safe and highly effective alternative among a sea of products that rarely deliver on their promises.

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