30 Home Remedies to get rid of Bed Bugs
Have you ever wondered why your skin itches in the night? Have you wondered why do you see red spots on your skin after waking in the morning? No! It is not a nightmare that turned real but more simply bed bugs!
What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are small insects that feed on the animal or human blood. These bugs have fairly flat bodies and their size is almost the same as that of an apple seed. They cannot fly and can enter your home completely undetected. Their favorite place is your bed frame or mattress. Normally, they do not transmit any diseases but they can be quite the nuisance.
Sometimes, people confuse bed bug bites as those of mosquito bites but the sure shot way to find out is by identifying the following signs:
- Look for small stains of blood on your bed sheet or pillow case
- If you find rusty or dark spots on your bed sheet or pillow case then that is bed bug excrement
- If you find bed bug eggs or even empty skins that these insects shed as they grow
The best places to look for bed bugs include the following:
- Within a range of 15-20 feet from your bed
- Cracks and crevices under the bed or within the bed frame
- Furniture near the bed
- In the cracks along the baseboard or floorboard
- Window and door frames
- Upholstered furniture at your home
Bed bug infestation can happen in some of the cleanest homes as well. According to the TIME magazine, the cities with maximum bed bug infestation in the US include Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit and Columbus, Dallas – Ft. Worth, Ohio, Seattle – Tacoma, New York, Kansas City, Mo, San Diego, Minneapolis – St. Paul, Boston – Manchester, Nashville, Tenn, San Francisco – Oakland – San Jose, Denver, and Cincinnati among others.
If your home has a bed bug infestation then there are a variety of remedies that will help you to get rid of these nocturnal insects and also protect your home from future infestations!
30 Home Remedies to get Rid of Bed Bugs
The long list of 30 home remedies are categorized into three
- Chemical Methods
- Non-Chemical Methods
- Organic Remedies to bed bugs
- Essential Oil remedies to bed bugs problem
Chemical Methods to get rid of bed bugs
1. Integrated pest management
Integrated pest management is required when bed bug infestation is on a large scale. If you think that bed bugs are almost in every corner of your home then it is time to call in the experts.
Integrated pest management is a complete process including the use of over 300 different products that have been registered by EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) for use in homes against bed bugs.
The most widely used among them include Neonicotinoids, pyrrole pesticide like Chlorfenapyr, and Pyrethroids and Pyrethrins (synthetic chemical insecticide).
2. Bed Bug Sprays
Bed Bug sprays can be used for smaller infestation. The bed bug spray contains Insect Growth Regulators (IGR) and is a type of insecticide that disrupt the growth and reproduction of insects. This type of spray has to be used along with other home remedies as the spray is only capable of affecting the eggs and larva and not adult bedbugs.
3. Insecticidal Dust
Insecticidal dust is considered as one of the most effective treatments for bed bugs. Insecticidal dust damages the exoskeleton or hard outer skin of bed bugs and thus kills them. They are extremely effective as they can be applied to some of the unreachable corners of your home including cracks and other places along the frame of your bed, behind headboards, and under the baseboard.
4. Aerosol Sprays
There is a wide variety of aerosol sprays available that have been created specifically to terminate bed bugs. This is a type of insecticide that is available in a bottle or can and comes with different specifications and ingredients. It is important to read the label carefully as some sprays can be used directly on mattresses or bed sheet while others can be used only in cracks and crevices.
5. Pesticide Strips
Pesticide strips can only be used for items that are heat-sensitive or fragile. You can place such items in airtight containers along with pesticide strips like dichlorvos or DDVP strips (as known in Michigan). The DDVP strips release odorless vapors that are build-up within the container and kills bed bugs over a period of few days. pesticide are good bed bug killers.
Non Chemical methods to get rid of bed bugs
6. Extensive Cleaning
One of the commonly suggested home remedies for getting rid of bed bugs is cleaning. Firstly, you need to clean up all the clutter in your home. The second step is to clean everything from blankets to bed sheets, bed spreads, blankets, pillow cases or covers, and any clothing that touches the bed or the floor.
7. Kill bed bugs with heat
One of the DIY (Do-it-yourself) methods of killing bed bugs is heat. High temperature heat treatment is required and one of the ways is by keeping your bed sheet or bed covers in direct sunlight especially on the roof. When the body temperature of bed bugs reaches 113°F (45°C), they die automatically.
8. Using a vacuum cleaner
The vacuum cleaner is one very reliable tool when it comes to removing bed bugs. Of course, there are two aspects to consider:
- You need to know where the bed bugs are hiding
- You need to ensure the bed bugs sucked into the dirt tank are disposed off away from your home or right into the garbage bag
9. Highly Effective Steam Treatment
This is another type of heat treatment and is extremely effective in killing bed bugs in different life stages right from eggs to adults. A steaming machine is used for this type of treatment. Steam can be used for mattresses, upholstered furniture, under the bed etc. The most effective steaming machines are low-vapor or dry-steam machines because they use less moisture. Check Bed Bug Steam Cleaner Reviews here
10. Sealing of cracks
The favorite hiding place for bed bugs is cracks and crevices. Sealing of cracks and crevices can not only weaken the infestation but also ensure future protection. You can use caulk to seal crevices as well as gaps in shelves or behind window or door frames.
11. Dispose heavily infested items
It may not be an easy or wise idea to dispose your bed just because there is severe bed bug infestation. What you can really do is dispose of anything that is small and can be enclosed in a garbage bag like bed sheets or pillow covers.
12. Use of bleaching agents
Cleaning of floors and walls is a necessity if there is bed bug infestation. In such a scenario, you can use a range of strong bleaching agents for killing any bed bugs hiding under cracked floor or wall.
13. Spraying of alcohol
Since alcohol can evaporate rapidly, you need to use it several times in a week. One of the most effective is 99% isopropyl alcohol. Rubbing alcohol will not only act as a bed bug repellent but will also kill them by dissolving the cells.
14. Boric acid
Boric acid is being used for a long time as an antiseptic for cuts and burns and now it can be used as a remedy for bed bugs. These small creatures get repelled by boric acid and hence can be used for small infestations. Just spray the powder around and in the infested area like clothes, cabinets, and mattress and get rid of them.
15. Silica Gel
Silica Gel is available in small packets and you would normally find them with every type of packaging like camera boxes, clothes etc. As for bed bugs, all you need to do is grind the silica gel and apply it in the infested places and that includes the walls and bed frames and mattress. The bugs will be stuck on this gel, dehydrate, and die.
16. Scented dryer sheets
Scented dryer sheets may not kill bed bugs but will definitely repel them. They can be placed between mattresses, under pillows, and under the bed.
Organic Home Remedies to get rid of Bed Bugs naturally
17. Diatomaceous Earth Powder
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is available mostly in powder form. It is created from the fossilized remains of a particular type of algae. It is one of the natural ways of killing bed bugs as it doesn't contain synthetic insecticides. It can be easily applied to crevices and cracks using a bulb duster.
18. Kidney bean leaves
The kidney-bean leaf is a remedy that has come all the way from the Balkan Peninsula. You need to scatter kidney-bean leaves on the floor and bed bugs in your room would get trapped on this leaves. This works great for small infestations.
19. Beauveria Bassiana Fungus
Just when you thought fungus was bad, here comes the meanest of them all! The Beauveria bassiana fungus is bad news but only for bed bugs. The fungus has to be sprayed on linens, cracks, and even floors and the next thing you know is dead bugs!
20. Everyday Cayenne Pepper
Yes, what is food for us is a repellent for the bed bugs! The remedy can be prepared by boiling Cayenne Pepper along with grated ginger and oregano in water. You can then strain and use water spray bottle to spray the Cayenne Pepper solution in the infested areas of your room and home. The smell helps in driving away the bed bugs from your home.
21. Sweet Flag Herbal remedy
Sweet Flag is a herb, which is also known as calamus. It has anti-microbial properties and is available in powder form. You can buy a packet and prepare the solution as per instructions and then spray it in the infested area to eradicate the bugs.
22. Indian Lilac remedy
Indian Lilac is also known as "Neem" and the leaves have antiseptic, antibacterial, analgesic, antiviral, antimicrobial, antipyretic, antifungal, antidiabetic, spermicidal, and blood-purifying properties. Crushed leaves or solution made from leaves of Indian Lilac can be used for effectively eradicating bed bugs.
23. Black Walnut Tea
It has antibacterial and antifungal properties and when sprayed in the infested area, it can effectively eliminate and control bed bug problem.
Although Thyme is considered as one of the healthiest herbs in the world, it can be poison for the bed bugs. Fresh thyme leaves when put under mattress or bed can repel the bugs. Burning of thyme sticks will also repel them.
25. Turmeric Powder
Turmeric powder used in food has the ability to kill bed bugs. It contains a chemical called Curcumin, which has anti-microbial properties. It has to be sprayed in beds and mattresses to kill the bugs.
Essential Oil Remedies to Bed Bugs Problem
26. Lemongrass Oil
Lemongrass oil can be sprayed around the area of infestation to kill bed bugs. The oil increases the acidic level of bed bugs so much that it becomes fatal.
27. Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil is effective in homes with small infestations. When sprayed in the area of infestation including beds and mattress, they can repel bed bugs with ease.
28. Lavender Oil
Although Lavender Oil is used in aromatherapy for humans, it has the ability to repel bed bugs. It has to be sprayed near and in the area of infestation.
29. Clove Oil
Clove Oil is a bed bug killer. Cloves contain Eugenol, which is the chemical responsible for the odor and acidic pH in cloves. When sprayed around and in the area of infestation, it can effectively kill bed bugs.
30. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint Oil is best used in aromatherapy but it can be used for killing bed bugs. It needs to be sprayed around and in the area of infestation. Bed bugs get choked by the fragrance of peppermint.