How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs Without An Exterminator

by | Jun 7, 2023 | 0 comments

Bed bugs are notorious pests, causing discomfort and stress to homeowners worldwide. But dealing with a bed bug infestation doesn’t always need to involve costly professional exterminators. Many homeowners are increasingly turning to do-it-yourself (DIY) solutions. This blog post aims to guide you on how to be your bed bug exterminator, from identifying signs of an infestation to using homemade solutions.

Top 5 DIY Bed Bug Removal Methods

Method Description
Wash clothes and bedding in hot water Wash clothes and bedding in hot water for 30 minutes. Then, tumble-dry them for 30 minutes at maximum heat.
Use a steamer Use a steamer on, couches, mattresses and other places where they hide to kill them with heat.
Get rid of bedbug hiding places Pick up magazines, books, clothes, and anything else lying on the floor or under the bed. The mattress and box spring should be encased in a bedbug-proof cover.
Use bed bug sprays Use bed bug sprays to kill bed bugs on contact. Make sure to read and follow the instructions carefully.
Use bed bug traps Place bed bug traps under the legs of furniture and bed frames to trap bed bugs before they can climb onto furniture. This is also a good way to monitor an infestation.

How to Be Your Own Bed Bug Exterminator!

Understand the Bed Bug Life Cycle

Knowing your enemy is the first step to a successful bed bug extermination. A bed bug’s life begins as an egg, matures into a nymph, and finally becomes an adult bed bug. Understanding this lifecycle can help in choosing the right extermination strategies.

Using the Right Tools

You don’t need to own an extermination company to have access to the right tools. Many bed bug extermination tools like vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters, steam cleaners, and even common household items like rubbing alcohol can be highly effective in controlling these pests.

Keep an Eye Out for Signs

The best time to exterminate bed bugs is at the first sign of infestation. Regular inspections of your beds, couches, and even wood floors can help you catch an infestation early, making the extermination process easier.

Signs of Bed Bugs to Look For

Physical Signs

Adult bed bugs are small, brown insects about the size of an apple seed. Bed bug eggs, on the other hand, are much smaller and can often be overlooked. They also shed their skin, leaving behind bed bug shells that can help identify an infestation.

Unusual Marks

Bed bug poop often appears as tiny black or brown spots on your mattress or bedding. You might also notice blood stains if you accidentally crush a bed bug in your sleep.

Bed Bug Bites

Bed bugs are nocturnal and typically bite when people are sleeping. Bed bug bites may appear as small, red, and itchy bumps, usually in a line or cluster. However, not everyone reacts to bed bug bites the same way, so knowing the other signs is essential.

Different People React Differently


Variation in Reactions

Everyone’s immune system responds differently to bed bug bites. While some people may develop itchy, red welts, others may not exhibit any symptoms at all. In rare cases, people may even experience severe reactions requiring medical attention.

Delayed Reactions

Not all bed bug bites show up immediately. In some cases, the bites may take days or even weeks to appear, leading to a delay in identifying a potential bed bug problem.

Misidentification of Bites

bed bug bites

Because bed bug bites can resemble bites from insects like mosquitoes or fleas, so they’re often misdiagnosed. It’s essential to be aware of the unique characteristics of bed bug bites, like their tendency to appear in a line or cluster.

Remember, bed bugs are stealthy creatures and can often go unnoticed until there’s a significant infestation. Regularly checking for signs and reacting promptly is the best way to tackle these unwanted house guests.

Don’t Throw Everything Away Yet


Many people panic at the first sign of bed bugs and consider discarding infested furniture, but this isn’t always necessary or cost-effective.

Can Infested Furniture Be Saved?

old couch

In most cases, yes! Furniture infested with bed bugs doesn’t always need to be discarded. With a bit of effort and the right methods, saving your precious items is often possible. For instance, putting your fabrics in the dryer can kill bed bugs, thanks to the heat.

Treat Before You Trash

Before resorting to throwing things away, try treating the infested items first. Solutions like diatomaceous earth, vinegar, or heat treatment can effectively eliminate bed bugs from the furniture.

Infested Doesn’t Mean Unsalvageable

Just because something has been infested doesn’t mean it’s unsalvageable. Even items with significant bed bug presence, like a mattress, can be saved with the right mattress cover.

Check Everywhere

Bed bugs aren’t limited to beds; they can hide in many other places, making a thorough inspection critical in combating an infestation.

Bed Bugs on the Move

Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers. They can travel on clothing, luggage, and even on cats, so don’t restrict your inspection to just your bed.

Common Bed Bug Hideouts

Bed Bug Removal

While beds are the most common hideout, these pests can also be found in places like wood floors, couches, and even electronics.

Why Bed Bugs Choose Certain Spots

Bed bugs prefer places close to a food source (you!). Therefore, they tend to stay within 8 feet of where people sleep but can travel to other locations if necessary.


Dealing with bed bugs involves more than just killing the bugs you can see; it’s also about managing the environment to make it less hospitable to them.

Managing Your Environment

This can involve simple steps like reducing clutter, using bed bug mattress covers, and regularly vacuuming your home, especially in areas where you’ve seen bed bugs.

Using Bed Bug Killers

does vinegar kill bed bugs

An array of options are available for killing bed bugs, from homemade solutions like vinegar to commercially available products. Remember, though, no product is a magic bullet. Success often comes from using a combination of methods.

Prevention is Key

Preventing an infestation is just as important as getting rid of one. Actions like inspecting used furniture before bringing it into your home and taking precautions while traveling can significantly reduce the risk of an infestation.

Dealing with bed bugs can feel like a never-ending battle, but with patience and persistence, it’s a winnable one. And remember, if the infestation gets out of hand, there’s no shame in calling in a professional. They’re equipped with the experience and tools to handle significant infestations effectively.

Put All Fabrics in the Dryer

Understanding the Importance

One of the most effective ways to eliminate bed bugs from your fabrics is by using heat, specifically through your dryer. Heat is a proven method of killing bed bugs in all stages of their life cycle – from eggs to adults.

By putting your fabrics into the dryer in a high-heat setting, you ensure that any bed bugs hiding within the folds of your clothing or bedding are exposed to temperatures that they cannot survive. So before you panic and consider throwing away your mattress infested with bed bugs, remember that your dryer can be a useful tool.

Preparation and Precautions

It’s essential, however, to take precautions. Bed bugs can easily spread from infested items to other parts of your home. Therefore, seal your fabrics in plastic bags before transporting them to the laundry area. Once the items have been dried, don’t return them to the same bags, as these could still harbor bugs. Instead, use new, clean bags.

Also, remember that not all items are safe for the dryer. For fabrics or items that cannot be placed in the dryer, consider other treatment methods, such as using steam or a professional bed bug heat treatment.


The Power of Suction

In your quest to be your own bed bug exterminator, your vacuum becomes a valuable weapon. Bed bugs can hide in a variety of places like your mattress, carpets, furniture, and baseboards. With its powerful suction, a vacuum can pull out bed bugs from these deep hiding spots, making it an essential tool in your battle against these pests. It’s important to vacuum bed bugs with a bagless vacuum, as bagged vacuums can provide a new home for these bugs.

Proper Disposal

vacuum filter

After vacuuming, cleaning your vacuum thoroughly is essential to prevent any surviving bed bugs from crawling out and re-infesting your home. If your vacuum uses a bag, seal it tightly and dispose of it in an outside trash bin immediately. If your vacuum is bagless, empty the contents into a sealable bag and dispose of it properly. Always wash the vacuum cleaner’s container with hot, soapy water to ensure no bugs or eggs remain.

Use Rubbing Alcohol

A Quick Solution

Rubbing alcohol can be a valuable tool in your arsenal against bed bugs. It is a desiccant, drying out the bugs and ultimately killing them. It also has a cooling effect that can numb the area bitten by bed bugs, providing temporary relief from the itching.

Despite these benefits, remember that while alcohol can kill bugs on contact, it is not a long-term solution as it does not affect bugs hiding deep within your furniture or flooring.

Application and Safety

When using rubbing alcohol, applying it directly to the bugs or their hiding spots is essential. You could use a spray bottle for this purpose. However, safety should be your primary concern. Rubbing alcohol is flammable, so avoid using it near open flames or heat sources.

Moreover, it can damage certain materials and surfaces, so it’s wise to test it on a small, inconspicuous area first. For a more long-term and effective solution, consider methods such as diatomaceous earth, which can effectively penetrate the hard exoskeleton of bed bugs and kill them.


No one ever said dealing with bed bugs was easy. They are sneaky, hardy, and just downright irritating. But armed with knowledge and the right tools, you can effectively rid your home of these unwanted guests and reclaim your peace of mind.

Remember, the key to defeating bed bugs lies in understanding their behaviour, life cycle, and vulnerabilities. This guide has armed you with the basics, but the journey to a bug-free home is one of constant learning and vigilance.

Take time to educate yourself further, applying the resources mentioned above. Should you notice signs of an infestation, react swiftly. Utilize the methods discussed in this article and continue exploring more ways of countering these pests.

Remember, maintaining a clean and clutter-free home is essential, but there’s no shame in facing a bed bug infestation. They are not a sign of poor hygiene or housekeeping; they are opportunistic pests that can invade even the cleanest homes. Always be vigilant, and remember that you can be your own bed bug exterminator.

The fight against bed bugs might be challenging, but it’s a fight you can win. Stay informed, stay prepared, and soon, you’ll have a bed-bug-free home.


What kills bed bugs immediately?

To kill bed bugs immediately, you can use chemical insecticides specifically designed for bed bug extermination. It is important to follow the instructions on the product carefully and take necessary safety precautions.

What is the easiest home remedy to get rid of bed bugs?

One of the easiest home remedies to get rid of bed bugs is to vacuum your home thoroughly, paying close attention to the areas where bed bugs are commonly found, such as mattresses, furniture, and cracks in walls. After vacuuming, dispose of the vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag.

What can I do to get rid of bed bugs for good?

To kill bed bugs permanently, it is recommended to hire a professional exterminator who can effectively treat your home using a combination of methods such as heat treatment, chemical sprays, and steam cleaning. They will also provide guidance on preventive measures to avoid future infestations.

What is the strongest thing to kill bed bugs?

Professional-grade insecticides and pesticides, such as those containing pyrethroids or neonicotinoids, are considered some of the strongest products to kill bed bugs. However, it is crucial to use these chemicals safely and according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

What scent kills bed bugs?

Certain scents are known to repel bed bugs, such as lavender, tea tree oil, and peppermint. While these scents may help deter bed bugs, they are not typically strong enough to kill them entirely. It is best to use these scents in conjunction with other bed bug control methods.

What kinds of odours do bedbugs try to avoid?

Bed bugs are known to avoid certain smells, including those of lavender, tea tree oil, peppermint, and cinnamon. These scents may act as natural repellents, making your home less attractive to bed bugs. However, they are not foolproof solutions and should be used alongside other preventive measures.

What brings bed bugs out overnight?

Bed bugs are primarily nocturnal insects and are most active during the night. They are attracted to body heat and the carbon dioxide we exhale while sleeping. The presence of humans in bed, along with the warmth and the release of carbon dioxide, can draw bed bugs out of their hiding places.

Can vinegar stop bed bugs?

Vinegar is not considered an effective method to control or eliminate bed bugs. While it may have some repellent properties, vinegar does not have the necessary strength to kill bed bugs or eliminate an infestation. It is best to use proven bed bug control methods recommended by professionals.

What attracts bed bugs to mattresses?

Bed bugs are attracted to mattresses primarily because they provide a warm and cozy environment, ideal for their survival and reproduction. They are also attracted to the carbon dioxide and body heat that humans emit while sleeping. Additionally, bed bugs are drawn to the presence of dark crevices and hiding spots, which mattresses often provide.

Duane Cepeda is a highly skilled and experienced bed bug exterminator with a passion for creating pest-free living spaces. With a keen eye for detail and a thorough understanding of bed bug behavior, Duane is dedicated to providing effective and tailored solutions to help clients rid their homes of these persistent pests. Trusted by many, Duane Cepeda is committed to delivering top-notch pest control services that ensure peace of mind and a good night’s sleep for his customers.


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