30 Home Remedies and DIY Bed Bug Treatment
Bed bugs are likely at the top of the “most dreaded pest” list for millions of homeowners. One reason why bed bug infestation is so troublesome is that the bugs are hard to detect, and once you do spot them, you typically have a big problem that’s hard to control.
Although bed bug infestations are inconvenient and stressful, you can get rid of them. While hiring a professional pest control company is your best option for getting rid of the pests, you might want to know how to get rid of bed bugs naturally. Check out these natural remedies for bed bugs.
1. Use Hot Water to Wash Bedding and Clothes
If you ask any pest control expert who deals with bed bugs regularly, they will recommend washing all bedding and clothing in hot water. This home remedy for bed bugs is an essential, and often the first step when trying to get rid of bed bugs.
Once you spot an infestation, wash all bedding, clothing, and other cloth items that are safe to wash. The water temperature needs to be 120 degrees F or higher to kill the bugs.
2. Vacuum Your Entire House
Vacuuming up any trace of bed bugs may not seem much like a home remedy for bed bugs, but it’s another essential step in eliminating them. Not only can vacuuming get rid of dead bugs or casings, but it may suck up bugs that are hiding as well as bed bug eggs.
Use a crevice tool to reach the more difficult to reach spots and make sure to empty your vacuum bag or canister immediately and toss the contents into the outdoor trash receptacle.
3. Steam the Bugs Out
Washing items in hot water is one of the most popular home remedies for bed bugs, but you might need a way to clean items that cannot go in the washing machine like carpet and furniture. As long as a steam cleaner gets hot enough, it’s an effective way to get rid of bed bugs from things you can’t toss in a washing machine.
If you don’t own a steam cleaner, you can rent one, but make sure that you don’t rent a carpet cleaner by mistake, as they don’t get hot enough.
4. Sprinkle Baking Soda
Almost every household has at least one box of baking soda in their cupboards, which makes it one of the more convenient and inexpensive bed bug remedies. Try sprinkling some baking soda on your carpeting and around your bed, leave it to sit for a few days, and vacuum thoroughly. Baking soda can cause bed bugs to dehydrate or damage their shells.
5. Skip the Soda and Try Silica Gel
If you live in a kid or pet-free home, you can opt out of baking soda and try sprinkling silica gel. Silica gel crystals are designed to suck out moisture and works similarly to baking soda. Silica gel is easy to find online.
6. Try Talcum Powder
You should always use caution when using talcum powder, but it’s a popular bed bug remedy for many people who are looking for a natural way to get rid of the bugs. The application process is virtually the same as silica or baking soda.
7. Kill Bed Bugs with Mothballs
If you have a box of mothballs sitting around at home, you might want to place a handful of them on the floor of your bedroom. It’s not the most pleasant-smelling option, but it’s a home remedy for bed bugs that works for some homeowners in reducing the pest population.
8. Try Out Dryer Sheets
Scented dryer sheets can deter many pests and might be effective in killing off bed bugs as well. It’s also a better-smelling option than mothballs.
9. Brush Them Out
If you aren’t sure if your vacuum sucked out all the pests, you can try brushing the crevices of your mattress, furniture, and other hard to reach spots with a stiff bristle brush. The bristles can kill bugs of all stages, as well as eggs. Make sure to throw away the brush when you’re done.
10. Freeze Them Out
Similar to extreme heat, extreme cold can effectively kill bed bugs. Pest control companies often use liquid nitrogen to freeze bed bugs to death. By freezing your clothing and other items in a freezer, the results are similar. This bed bug home remedy works best if you have a large chest freezer.
11. Sprinkle Borax
Borax is a powdered laundry booster, which is a popular ingredient in many pest control home remedies. Similar to baking soda, silica gel, and talcum powder, borax can suffocate and kill bed bugs.
12. Spray Bleach
We all know the power of bleach and the damage it can do at full strength. The tiny pests won’t be able to live long with bleach on their bodies but be careful where you spray so that you don’t wreck your furniture, carpeting, and clothing.
13. Kill Adult Bed Bugs with Vinegar
If you use a lot of different home remedies, you’re probably accustomed to using vinegar in many remedies. Vinegar is effective at killing adult bed bugs, but it’s less effective if you spray vinegar on bed bug eggs.
14. Spray Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide works similarly to bleach but is safer overall. It’s important to remember that if you do use peroxide in a spray bottle, avoid spraying it on areas that can discolor because peroxide will “bleach out” certain fabrics.
15. Rub Them Out with Rubbing Alcohol
If you have a bottle of hydrogen peroxide in your medicine cabinet, you probably also have a bottle of rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol will dry out a bed bug and kill it. Keep in mind the higher the percentage, the better, but don’t forget that you are increasing your risk of a flammable space, so use with caution and responsibly.
16. Use Double-Sided Tape
If you put double-sided tape in high-traffic areas where bed bugs are likely to travel, such as your bed frame, they will probably get stuck before they reach their preferred destination (like a mattress or your body).
17. Place Interceptors Under Furniture
Bed bugs are fast and great at hiding but not as good at climbing. Interceptors are small disks that you can place beneath furniture, such as bed frame legs, and will catch and trap the bed bug after it slips or falls as it climbs.
18. Apply Quick Heat
Washing your bedding in hot water and tossing it in the dryer is a good way to kill bed bugs, but maybe you wake up in the middle of the night to a bug bite or think you see a few crawling across your bed. A hairdryer on the highest and hottest setting may work at killing bed bugs in a pinch, but it’s not likely the best or most convenient option.
19. Sprinkle Spices
Many pests don’t like cayenne or cinnamon, and some people have success by using these spices on bed bugs. An effective recipe for killing bed bugs is to mix equal parts cayenne powder, ground ginger, and oregano oil (about 1 tsp of each). Strain the mixture into a spray bottle, mix with water, and spray.
20. Protect and Encase Your Bed and Pillow
While many people encase their bed and pillow after their home is treated for a bed bug infestation, it’s never too late to encase your bed and pillow in a bed bug proof cover. If there are any remaining bed bugs or eggs, they won’t be able to escape and will eventually die.
21. Try Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth, or D.E is a naturally occurring siliceous rock that is beneficial to humans. When you apply D.E. to areas of your home, much like powders or borax, it can destroy the outer shell of the bed bugs. For best results, make sure that you’re not using food grade D.E.
22. Spray Buggy Areas with Saltwater
Some people have tried sprinkling salt as one of the many home remedies to get rid of bed bugs, but you would have to sprinkle a lot of salt to dry out your bed bugs. Salt is safer than other chemicals; however, a saltwater solution with frequent applications is likely a more effective home remedy.
23. Try Tea Tree Oil
Essential oils play an integral role in many home remedies, and tea tree oil is a popular and effective choice as you’re exploring a home remedy for bed bugs. Tea tree does an excellent job of disinfecting, and the bonus is that it can eliminate a small bed bug infestation. For best results, mix about 20 drops of tea tree essential oil with water in a spray bottle.
Spray areas as you would with other spray solutions and repeat weekly. If you live with pets, consider using a more pet-friendly essential oil because tea tree oil is potentially dangerous to dogs and cats.
24. Get Rid of Them With Lavender
If lavender is one of your favorite essential oils, you’re in luck. You can enjoy the scent and relaxing properties and get rid of bed bugs in your home. Spraying your bed, linens, and other areas of your room with lavender oil and water (or rubbing alcohol) is a safer solution than other insecticides and can also be just as effective.
25. Peppermint Leaves or Oil
Peppermint oil is another essential oil that can help you get rid of bed bugs. Try using it on its own by mixing with water or other essential oils like lavender. Crushed and dried mint leaves sprinkled in areas where bed bugs are present can help minimize the population.
If you use natural insect repellants, you might notice that lemongrass oil is one of the main ingredients. While lemongrass deters many bugs, it’s too much for bed bugs to take and can prove fatal for the small pests. Look for products with lemongrass or mix some of the essential oil in a spray bottle.
Similar to oregano, lemongrass, lavender, and mint, thyme is a tasty and pleasant herb to us humans, but bed bugs won’t last if you use thyme. While thyme oil is less common than lavender or lemongrass, some people find good results by burning thyme much in the way that you would with a bundle of sage. For best results, smudge with thyme regularly.
28. Use Black Walnut Tea Bags
Black walnut tea is not the most popular tea flavor on the market, and unless you’re a tea aficionado, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of it or brewed a cup. Some tea drinkers have success with placing used bags of black walnut tea in or near spaces where bed bugs like to hang out.
29. Add Neem to Your Bathwater
While this remedy might not get rid of bed bugs, they will reduce the chance of bed bugs feasting on you and can also help heal bed bug bites. Try boiling neem leaves (or Indian lilac) and add it to your bathwater. For better results, crush neem leaves and sprinkle them in spaces where your bed bugs like to hide, much like you do with other dried leaves.
30. Ultrasonic Devices
Ultrasonic devices are effective at deterring a variety of pests. While this device is easy to use and requires little maintenance, it gets mixed results as a natural remedy. It plays an important role in getting rid of pests, but you might need to combine this remedy with other types to kill bed bugs.
Some bed bug remedies work better than others, and you may find that some are completely ineffective. Most people who battle bed bugs with natural remedies strongly recommend trying more than one remedy or mixing some ingredients together. While most natural remedies are safe to use with others, always read and follow labels.
If home remedies aren’t effective at eliminating your bed bug infestation, call a professional pest control company, and ask for some advice. Once you treat your bed bugs, some of these natural remedies are great options for preventing future infestations.
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