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Can I Get Rid of Bed Bugs Using a DIY Method? Spoiler Alert: Probably Not

Can I Get Rid of Bed Bugs Using a DIY Method? Spoiler Alert: Probably Not

Can I Get Rid of Bed Bugs Using a DIY Method? Spoiler Alert: Probably Not

March 31, 2022

Bed bugs are some of the peskiest and most bothersome uninvited house guests you will ever have. They can spread to multiple areas of your home and are not always easy to find as they tend to hide in tiny crevices. A bed bug feeds on blood, usually at night which causes the skin to itch and will sometimes cause a rash. Decontaminating the bed bugs can be quite challenging as they can go for months with no food and they like to spend time in the dark. If you suspect you have a bed bug infestation, you may have heard that it’s possible to get rid of the problem yourself. It’s time to investigate these methods and prove if they are actually successful or just a waste of time. 

Wash Your Linens

Regardless of how your bed bugs are removed, the first step would be to wash your bedding in the hottest water possible. If the fabric can withstand being put in the dryer, this should be done as well. This will kill the insects and keep the linens sanitary until you can safely put them back on the mattress. While this is certainly a necessary step when eliminating bed bugs, it is NOT a permanent solution as this will only remove the problem from the surface and not the source. 

Sprinkle Baking Soda on Your Mattress

Baking soda is a common household product that serves many useful purposes. It is very absorptive and works well to eliminate odor and moisture from fabrics. If you were to sprinkle baking soda on your bed bug-infested mattress would the compound dehydrate the bugs? The answer is NO. Even if some baking soda were to land on a bed bug, it would not really do anything to it except maybe stick to its exoskeleton for a short while. Additionally, baking soda is non-toxic so even if the bed bugs were to somehow ingest it (which is highly unlikely), nothing would happen to them.

Vacuum the Infested Areas

  If you have identified specific areas in your home where the bugs are hiding, you can try eliminating them with a vacuum. Run the vacuum over carpets, floors, or anywhere the bugs are hiding several times to remove the insects and eggs. While this may seem like an easy and quick solution, it will only completely get rid of the problem if you manage to vacuum up every single insect and egg. If even only a few bugs remain, they will slowly reproduce and you will be right back where you started. 

Kill the Bugs with Extreme Temperatures

 It is true that very high heat or extreme cold will kill the bugs. This will work for anything that can be put into the dryer or freezer. Unfortunately, there are likely bugs living in other areas of your home. Turning the air conditioner or heat to the lowest/highest setting will not replicate the temperatures needed to kill the bugs. And since you cannot put walls and cabinets in the washing machine, this method will not effectively work.

Spray the Bugs with Insecticide

This is probably the most successful DIY method but it is not recommended for a few reasons. One, the chemicals in pesticides can be tremendously toxic and need to be operated with extreme caution. Spraying insecticide on your mattress and then sleeping on it can be dangerous to your health. Additionally, this will only fully work if you manage to spray every area of your home where bed bugs are hiding. Since professionals are trained to locate bed bugs and kill them at the source, it is unlikely that you will be able to pinpoint exactly which areas you need to cover. Sometimes bed bugs manage to find a new hiding place if you have discovered them and will continue to populate there.

While many of these techniques may work temporarily, they will not fully eliminate the problem at its source and the bed bugs will likely return. We always recommend consulting with a pest control service that will remove the infestation professionally and effectively.

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