How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs | Detection, Treatment & Prevention

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Your guide to killing bed bugs and getting rid of them forever

They are back…hungrier and more prevalent than ever before. The humble bed bug may appear small and innocuous, but these blood sucking critters are prone to breed at a rapid rate taking over homes and even cities all over the United States. And, with bed bug infestations on the increase, once these mini vampires have a foot in the door, they are notoriously difficult to evict.

While there are no quick fix strategies, the good news is that there are a number of effective ways to prevent, control and eradicate bed bugs using chemicals and other non-toxic methods. Here we’ll tell you everything you need to know about bed bugs and the best ways in which to kill them, in this comprehensive guide to getting rid of bed bugs for good.

Included in this guide to getting rid of bed bugs:
  • Identify

How to identify bed bugs

Bed bugs are considered a public health pest by the EPA and although they are not known to spread disease, they can cause skin irritations due to their incessant bitting. It is therefore important that we stay vigilant and look out for signs of bed bugs invading our homes.

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are tenacious critters who, as their name suggests, like to feed on us whilst we are fast asleep. Difficult to identify, and a teeny 4-5mm in length, they linger out of sight, waiting for their next feed.

Bed bugs are drawn to us as we offer cosy dwellings in which to reside. At night as the temperature drops, they seek out our warm bodies in order to enjoy a good feast. Like most nocturnal animals, bed bugs have bad eyesight and therefore rely on signals that we give off in order to locate us. Our bodies radiate heat, we breathe out carbon dioxide and release kairomones when we sweat, all of which bring bed bugs running like kids to a candy store.

Most bed bugs feed on average every 3-7 days and require 5-10 minutes of blood sucking time. Once they are adequately full and their bodies have swollen in size, they will scamper off back to their hidey hole – leaving us none the wiser (bar a nasty, itchy rash and a few inconspicuous bite marks). 

Where do bed bugs come from?

Since human creation began it is believed that bed bugs existed. Infestations of these pesky pests were problems we simply endured as these bugs seemed impossible to wipe out. That was until the late 1930’s, when a Swiss chemist discovered an effective chemical solution called DDT which was manufactured for pesticides and proved effective in eradicating bed bugs for good.

For years people used DDT as an efficient means to keep bed bugs at bay, until the 1970’s when it was banned due to its declining benefits and the environmental and toxicological effects it had on wildlife, pets and humans. New insecticides continued to be developed but in 2000, a strain of pesticide-resistant bed bugs began to appear and an epidemic hit America!

Today, the number of bed bug infestations in the United States continues to rise as they invade our homes and businesses. Bed bugs are non-discriminate and don’t care if your home is messy or clean. As long as there are good hiding places and a fresh food source then they are perfectly happy.

You are most likely to be exposed to bed bugs when travelling in areas that have a high turnover of people such as hotels, hostels, apartment buildings, hospitals, laundromats, and nursing homes. But that doesn’t mean that if you visit a convenience store or a gym that you are safe, because you aren’t – bed bugs can infest almost anywhere. And thanks to a boom in international travel, you can now take your little sleeping companions with you, even on a foreign exchange! For we are the pied pipers of the bed bug world and wherever we go, they follow.

What do bed bugs look like?

Bed bugs are tricky to discover at the best of times as the are tiny, reclusive and nocturnal, and once found they are hard to distinguish as their appearance can change. Depending on when they last fed, they can either be flat or inflated, are reddish brown in color and have a long-oval shaped body.

Fully grown adult bugs can grow up to 4-5mm so are more likely to be visible, whereas newly hatched nymphs are around the size and shape of an apple pip (¼ inch long) and will be white or tan in color until they start to feed. Bed bug eggs, however, are around the size of a pinhead and milky white in color. You may also notice an eye spot if you look close enough as these appear if the eggs are more than 5 days old.

Although bed bugs are wingless and can not fly or jump, they do have the vestiges of wings, referred to as wing pads, however they never develop enough to enable them to take flight.

If you are struggling to locate bed bugs via sight, there is a chance that you might smell them, as a severe infestation can create a musty, yet sweet odor that permeates the room.

What are the differences between bed bug and fleas?

One of the most common signs to look out for of a possible bed bug invasion, are bite marks. However, bed bugs are not the only parasites within the home that are known to enjoy a nibble of human flesh. Fleas, although predominantly associated with pets, aren’t picky and will bite humans in order to get a blood meal. So what are the differences between bed bugs and fleas?
  • Both bed bugs and fleas are both classified as insects, yet ticks are part of the arachnid family.
  • Bed bugs do not carry diseases whereas fleas do, including typhus, plague and cat-scratch fever.
  • Bed bugs prefer humans to pets and fleas vice versa.
  • Adult bed bugs can live up to a year without a host whereas adult fleas only survive for two weeks.
  • Bed bugs lay around 35 eggs a week, but fleas lay between 150-300!
  • Bed bugs cannot fly or jump, however, a flea can jump almost 200 times their body length putting the likes of Carl Lewis to shame.
  • Bed bug bites are raised and generally left in a straight line. Flea bites are randomly placed in a cluster.

Regardless of which type of parasite you think you may have, it is important to get rid of it straight away!

what do bed bugs look like

What is the lifecycle of a bed bug?

A female bed bug lays between one and five eggs each day and can lay up to as many as 500 eggs in their lifetime. Eggs are laid singly or in groups and are placed inside cracks or crevices and they are difficult to detect as at this point, they are similar in size to just two grains of salt. Within a couple of weeks, the eggs hatch and immature bed bugs begin to emerge.

These young bed bugs are known as nymphs, and they will pass through five molts, shedding their skin each time, before reaching maturity. Smaller in size they are not yet sexually mature. In order to complete a molting stage, each nymph requires a blood feed. The entire process from nymph to adult bed bug, if the temperature is favourable, usually takes around 5 weeks.

Upon reaching maturing an adult bed bug will feed every week. During the blood sucking process their bodies will start to swell as their abdomen grows to accommodate their meal. Having enjoyed a good meal, they will head back to their hidey hole to digest, mate or simply relax.

Most bed bugs live for between four to six months, although it is not uncommon for some to live to over a year without food, by hibernating. During a bed bugs relatively short lifetime, the average bed bug grows a family of over five generations. And, if each bed bugs goes on to successfully achieve the same thing, then you could have hundreds of inbreeding bugs in your property!

This scary rate of population expansion makes it easy to see how an infestation can quickly grow to chronic levels, so it is vital to act fast.

Are bed bugs a threat to our pets?

Just like fleas, bed bugs will feed off anything given the opportunity of a free meal. Although bed bugs prefer their blood without hair, when a human host is not present, they will attach on to the next best thing… pets such as dogs and cats.

The good news is, that bed bugs struggle to move through textures such as hair, so although they might latch on to your pet for a quick suck, they are unlikely to hang around which is why flea collars are ineffective to bed bugs. They are, however, more likely to make themselves at home in your pets bedding or carpet.

If you do suspect your pet has brought bed bugs into your home, then you must act quickly. You should start by bathing your dog in the tub with a bed bug shampoo. Place all bedding on a hot wash and inside a hot dryer, as extreme heat is known to kill bed bugs. Next, make sure that you vacuum your pet’s crate or carrier to suck up any bed bugs or eggs that might be hiding in it. You will need to be thorough to ensure that you do not miss any lurking in the creases and corners.

Once these steps have been taken, it is important that you treat the rest of your house for bed bugs to stop an infestation.

There are many misconceptions surrounding bed bugs but understanding their motives and how they move around could help you banish these persistent pests for good. Take a look at this article to discover the truth about bed bugs.

  • Detection

How to detect bed bugs

Bed bugs mostly enter buildings undetected through luggage, clothing and second-hand furniture as their flattened bodies make it easy to slip through small gaps. But once in the property, bed bugs are challenging to eradicate.

Therefore, the moment you suspect that you have some night time squatters, it is important that you seek them out. As your home offers plenty of places to hide, inspections must be in depth.

Signs that you have bed bugs

They move in the dead of night so bed bugs often go undetected, but there are certain signs and symptoms you should look out for.
  • Bite marks (as detailed below)
  • An uncomfortable night’s sleep
  • Blood stains that resemble small rusty spots.
  • Skin sheds. Exoskeletons left each time a bedbug molts.
  • Strong and musty smell.
  • Bed bug excrement which is black in color.

Best bed bug interceptors

One of the most useful devices that has been invented for bed bug detecting is the bed bug interceptor. This is a simple device that consist of a plastic dish or cup, large enough to contain a bed leg.

Interceptors have been designed on the principle that bed bugs are not very good at climbing slippery, smooth, vertical surfaces. Therefore, these cups scoop up the bed bugs as the fall back down the bed legs, catching and retaining them for you to see.

Bed bug interceptors can be bought online, with the most popular manufacturers being ClimbUp® and Blackout™ bed bug interceptors which can be purchased here:

Bed Bug ClimbUp Interceptors
465 Reviews
Bed Bug ClimbUp Interceptors (pack of 12) passive traps for bed legs
  • Pesticide-Free: Monitor traps live bugs for early detection.
  • Dual-Well Design: Shows you which direction bedbugs are crawling.
  • Helps determine which furniture is still infested after treatment.
  • Versatile Design: Fits all furniture with posts/feet 3.75 in. diameter or less.
  • Made in the USA: Follow all included directions closely for optimal performance.

Last update on 2019-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

best Bed Bug Interceptors
64 Reviews
Bug Snarer Bed Bug Trap | Bed Leg Protection and Bedbug Prevention | Eco Friendly and Baby Safe |...
  • 24/7 BED BUG PROTECTION FOR YOUR FAMILY. Each package includes 4 chemical free interceptors. The traps are specially engineered to prevent bed bugs from climbing up bed and furniture legs so that you and your children can sleep at home with no worries. Easy to climb in, impossible to climb out.
  • DURABLE, STURDY, AND EXTRA WIDE. Custom mold interceptor can withstand up to 800 lbs. of weight. The extra large 3 x 3 inch trays are designed to subtly fit under most furniture legs. Best for hotels, dorm rooms, nursing homes, hospitals, hostels, and residences where bed bugs can show up without warning. Ditch the nightwatch bed bug monitor and sleep soundly in your house.
  • EASY TO USE AND SAVES MONEY. White coating makes it easy to see if bugs are caught. Use it on multiple types of furniture, not limited to only beds. Simply place the traps under the legs of your bed, table, patio, crib, chair, and sofa and pour the trapped bed bugs out of the catcher and into the trash afterwards. Say bye to bed bugs and toxic bedbugs killers!
  • CHEMICAL AND PESTICIDE FREE. No additives or powders, safe to use around babies, children, and pets. With bed bug traps you don't need to evacuate your home or fear for your children's health like you do with bombs, foggers, aerosols, and repellent sprays. If immediate extermination is needed and toxens are not a concern, pair the traps with a mattress cover, pillow protector, bedbug spray / killer, flea bomb, fogger, powder, heater, or other products.
  • GUARANTEED DETECTION. With sprays and other harmful methods you still suffer the risk of uncaught insects crawling up your bed and biting you. With Bug Snarer's specially designed natural indoor interceptors you can sleep with a peace of mind and be 100% sure any bed bugs heading your way will be caught before they reach you and your children.

Last update on 2019-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How do you know if bites are from bed bugs?

Bed bugs usually bite people at night while they are blissfully unaware in the land of nod. That is not to say that they don’t feed during the day, because they do. Hungry bed bugs will feed anytime the thirst takes them.

Bed bugs feed by piercing the skin with their elongated beaks, which then act like a straw, allowing them to suck up your blood. Engorgement of the bed bug takes roughly three to 10 minutes and because the bite is painless, most people sleep right through.

Bed bugs do not live on us like headlice or fleas might, instead preferring to head straight back to their hiding place once they have had a good feed.

Depending on the person, symptoms of bed bug bites vary. Some might develop an itchy red welt within a day or so of the bite, whilst others will have little or no reaction at all. Sometimes the reaction can be delayed for days or even weeks making it difficult to determine when, how or where the bites came from.

Unlike flea and mosquito bites, which mainly occur around the lower legs and ankle areas, bed bugs feed on exposed skin. This tends to be the face, neck, shoulders, arms and feet when sleeping. For this reason, infestations often go undetected, with people misattributing their bites to other causes – such as mosquitos.

So, if you wake for a restless night’s slumber with new itchy lumps and bumps, then you should investigate where these came from further.

pictures of bed bug bites

Pictures of bed bug bites:

  • Treatment

How to treat bed bugs

Bed bugs are infamously persistent, so it is important that you use the correct treatment in order to exterminate them.

More people than ever before are up for the challenge of controlling bed bugs using do-it-yourself methods and off the shelf products in order to avoid the expense of hiring a professional pest control service. Below I provide a summary of the best methods of treatments for tackling bed bugs safely and effectively.

Natural oils and remedies for bed bugs

As we all become more aware of the impact of toxins and chemicals on the environment and wildlife, we are constantly seeking alternative solutions to solving our bed bug problems.

Although pesticide-free products are available on the market I personally believe that they are not an effective stand-alone method for riding your property of bed bugs. That said, essential oils are good for treating bed bug bites and have even been known to repel bed bugs from biting, however as bed bugs can live for up to a year without feeding, this is not a long-term solution.

Essential oils that repel bed bugs

Also referred to as aromatherapy oils, essential oils are thick, strongly scented liquids that are made from parts of natural substances like flowers, fruits, leaves, bark or spices. 

Certain essential oils such as tea tree oil and lavender, have been proven to repel other biting insects, however there is no conclusive evidence to back this up when it comes to bed bugs.

  • Citronella
  • Thyme
  • Peppermint
  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Lavender
  • Tea tree
  • Lemongrass
  • Blood orange
  • Cedarwood
essential oils for bed bugs

The myth of vinegar and baking soda

Using vinegar and baking soda is another myth when it comes to killing bed bugs. Although it has been proven to kill roaches, it does not have the same poisonous effect on bed bugs. The same can be said for bleach which can be added to laundry, which can kill bed bugs eventually through drowning, but should never be considered as a stand-alone solution.

Getting rid of bed bugs requires a multi-faceted plan, and whilst essential oils and the cleaning of sheets and clothes regularly all help to prevent bed bugs, they will not eradicate them for good. If you are keen to use non-toxic methods, then we would strongly suggest that you look at natural sprays, steamers, vacuums, mattress encasements and interceptors as these have been proven to be much more effective in the fight against bed bugs.

Bed bug sprays

If you have tried the non-toxic methods with little or no success, it may be time to bite back against bed bugs and bring in the sprays.

Bed bug sprays tend to come in two different forms – contact and residual. A contact spray does exactly what it does on the tin! Once sprayed directly on to the bed bug itself, it will die within a matter of minutes. This is great for those active bed bugs you see wandering around but will have little effect on those that you can’t – including bed bug larvae and eggs. A residual bed bug spray, however, tends to work more effectively as it continues to kill post application.

When looking for bed bug sprays we recommend choosing one that contains deltamethrin, as you can apply it liberally to your couches, chairs, carpets and mattresses without the worry of damaging or staining your soft furnishings.

Do bed bug sprays actually work?

The main ingredient in most bed bug insecticides is deltamethrin, a chemical that works by attacking the nervous system of the bed bug by paralyzing it. However, there has been some debate as to whether bed bugs are becoming resistant to the chemicals used within sprays and the research conducted appears to support this claim. For this reason, and based on the dramatic rise in bed bugs over the past few years, we would strongly advise using bed bug sprays in combination with other treatments such as liquid insecticides and powders to stop them from spreading. Also, by using a variety of sprays, helps to avoid the problem of bed bugs building up chemical resistance.

Things to consider when buying bed bug sprays

There is very rarely one bed bug spray that can be used in every area of your home. For example, some insecticides come in cannisters and have nozzles for those hard to reach cracks and crevice’s, whilst others have been specifically produced to be sprayed near electrical outlets or are safe to be squirted around children and pets. You should consider how and where you will use a bed bug spray before purchasing. Below we list our top three.

Recommended bed bug sprays available to buy

Sale
A tough and odorless spray – Harris Bedbug Spray
440 Reviews
A tough and odorless spray – Harris Bedbug Spray
Harris are one of the most trusted and respected pest control brands on the market and provide a plethora of dependable solutions for killing bedbugs. This particular spray is popular due to its long-term protection, with the ability to continue to kill 16 weeks post treatment. It has also been known to work on bedbugs that have become immune to other types of chemicals.

An odourless spray, this is particularly good for those who have limited ventilation or are sensitive to overpowering smells. EPA registered, this bedbug spray is considered safe to use around people and pets although caution should always be taken, and instructions fully read and understood before use.

Last update on 2019-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sale
bedbug patrol bed bug spray
359 Reviews
Best odorless bed bug spray – Bedbug Patrol
If you are looking for a bed bug spray that smells good and works great, then we strongly recommend the Bed Bug Patrol. Made from 100% natural ingredients, including plant extracts, once sprayed you can inhale the subtle aromas of peppermint and clove oils. As the active ingredients in this spray are non-toxic, the scent is not only positively pleasant, but it is safe to use around children and pets.

This product promises to kill bed bugs on contact, yet still has a residual effectiveness that can continue to kill over 90% of bed bugs within a 10-day period post treatment.

Last update on 2019-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Bedlam bed bug spray
269 Reviews
Most effective chemical bed bug spray - Bedlam
For those with a strong sense of smell be warned – this spray stinks – and unfortunately not of the rose’s kind. Often likened to smelly feet, this spray can knock you out with its stench alone which could be why it is so effective at killing bedbugs!

Favoured by professional pest control experts, this spray kills bed bugs throughout their lifecycle from eggs and nymphs to adults, thanks to its residual effects which last for up to 2 weeks. This bed bug spray does contain chemicals however, so it is recommended not to be used in homes with children and pets.

Last update on 2019-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Bed bug powders

Just like bed bug sprays, powders are one of the most commonly used methods for pest control.

Bed bug powders work by having a residual effect. The powder, when sprinkled, clings to the waxy exoskeleton of the bed bug itself, absorbing the nutrient-rich oils on their skin and causing them to dehydrate. 

One of the biggest drawbacks to using bed bug powders, however, is that they are only effective on adult bed bugs and will not kill nymphs or eggs.

Powders do not work instantly, and it could take a number of days before you start to see any results.

How to apply bed bug powders

Resist the temptation to liberally throw the powder around, hoping to cover as much of the ground, carpet and soft furnishings as possible. This is just a waste of powder and will be less effective than focussing your efforts in hidey holes, crack and crevices where the bed bugs are much more likely to be lurking.

Places like door frames, furniture, headboards and the meeting points between carpets, walls and floors are good examples of access points for bed bugs and powder is well suited here since it can settle deep down into the fibres and joints in a way that sprays can’t. Some powders can even be applied in electrical outlets and around light switches, although make sure you check the instructions first. Find out more about how to use bed bug powders.

Diatomaceous Earth – a natural solution

Like most treatments, Diatomaceous earth won’t work on its own but it’s an important tool in your armoury to stopping bed bugs for good.

Diatomaceous earth is a powder made from natural soft sedimentary rock. We recommend that you purchase the Food Grade version as this is manufactured to be used like talcum powder and any inhalation is no worse than dust to humans. It should be dusted over furniture and carpet as well as sprinkled into cracks and crevasses.

This substance is used to control insects because it’s abrasive, feels uncomfortable to walk over, and strips the lipid layer from insects’ exoskeletons. This constant barrier helps prevent bed bugs from spreading and slowly helps to kill adult bed bugs. Because it only affects adult bed bugs, however, this is not a short-term solution as you must continue to use it regularly in order to attack the eggs and nymphs that are immune until they reach adulthood. It also takes a good 2 days before it starts to work, so it is important that you build this into your timeframe!

Recommended bed bug powders available to buy

In addition to diatomaceous earth, there are a number of bed bug powders available to use at home. Below we list our 3 best recommendations:
Sale
Harris Bed Bug Killer Silica Powder
52 Reviews
Great value for money – Harris Bed Bug Killer Silica Powder
This bed bug powder may be cheap but it’s effective, thanks to its special ingredient - silica powder. Made from silicon dioxide, it works like a sand preventing bed bugs from retaining moisture by absorbing the wax rather than stripping it away, so unless the bed bug can indulge in a blood meal it will die through dehydration.

This powder also contains a puffer and a brush which provides more flexibility for reaching difficult places.

Last update on 2019-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Rockwell CimeXa Insecticide Dust for bed bugs
86 Reviews
Reliable results – Rockwell CimeXa Insecticide Dust
CimeXa insecticide dust is more expensive than most powders and contains the exact same ingredients as the Harris bed bug killer - silica powder. It also comes equipped with a puffer for a more precise application and delivers excellent and reliable results when used correctly.

Last update on 2019-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sale
Jt Eaton bed bug powder
40 Reviews
Long lasting powder – JT Eaton Crawling Insect Powder
This powder uses a combination of diatomaceous earth and extra elemental oxides, in order to speed up the desiccation process once a bed bug has been exposed to the powder.

What’s clever about this powder is its long-lasting formula. Once applied you don’t need to replace it every couple of weeks like other products as long as it remains dry and is in a well-ventilated room. This powder is slightly more expensive than other bed bug products and does not include an applicator.

Last update on 2019-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Bed bug heat treatments

If you have ever been in a sauna then you’ll know just how extreme heat can be. Heat treatment for bed bugs works by raising the temperature within the affected areas to such intense temperatures, that the bed bugs either dry out and die or find an escape route to flee the property. Either way, you should be left bed bug free. Click here for a full review of these bed bug heat treatment products and many more.

Things to consider when using heat treatment

The most important things to consider when choosing to use heat treatment to tackle your bed bug problem are (1) how air tight is your property and (2) are you able to vacate the property whilst the treatment takes place?

You will need to make sure that you home is air tight so that the heat does not escape. Therefore, you should ensure that you seal all of the cracks and holes around your home and check that doors and windows can close securely. As it takes a while for the heat to permeate each room, you should set aside enough time to not only carry out the treatment, but to evacuate the property as the temperature will not only be unbearable for bed bugs but for people and pets too.

how to get rid of bed bugs with heat treatment

Recommended heat treatment machines

zappbug bed bug heater
151 Reviews
Cheap yet effective - ZappBug Heater
The ZappBug Heater is the smallest and least expensive in the product range and although you can only fit one item in at any given time, it has many pro’s for usage.

This small and nifty machine is made of soft material which make it easy to fold away when not in use and is incredibly lightweight to handle. It has an automatic shut-off timer and once setup, is highly efficient at killing both adult bed bugs as well as eggs and larvae. Please note however, that this machine requires additional time in order to reach optimum temperature so make sure you schedule this in as part of your treatment plan.

Last update on 2019-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

ZappBug The Room bed bug heater
16 Reviews
Effective in large areas - ZappBug The Room
If you have a large infestation of bed bugs, then treating each item one at a time is not feasible, however, this product has been designed to fumigate entire rooms. Designed to reach temperatures of 155 degrees F, it claims to kill both adults and larvae alike.

Just like the smaller ZappBug version, this machine has collapsible sides for easy storage and comes with a one-year warranty. Its price tag makes this machine an expensive purchase, but one well worth paying in order to see the back of those bothersome bed bugs for good.

Last update on 2019-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Industry recommended - Prevsol Bed Bug Heater
For those who require something that will blast through commercial properties with ease, then this industrial strength machine can heat up areas of up to 300 square feet and can be moved from room to room with ease.

Simple to setup, the Prevsol bed bug heater works quicker than most other heat treatment machines, killing bed bugs in just seven hours. That said, it does require a lot of electricity to run and the machine itself is an expensive purchase. So, unless you are likely to use this for multiple properties you may want to consider other options.

Last update on 2019-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Bed bug steamers and vacuums

As mentioned above, the best way to eradicate bed bugs is through either heat or steam as these extreme temperatures will not only kill bed bugs on contact but will also destroy all eggs and larvae.

Although a vacuum cleaner or steamer may be considered to be a costly purchase – especially when compared to other pest control solutions – they are effective methods for combating bed bugs long term.

To find out more about the different types of bed bug steamers and vacuum cleaners available to buy check out our post on the best ones.

Recommended bed bug steamers available to buy

Whilst a steam cleaner will get rid of bed bugs by exposing them to extremely hot temperatures, just like a heat treatment machine, it allows you the flexibility to target specific areas. Able to penetrate through fabric and linen you can direct steam into the hardest of hiding places.
Sale
Vapamore MR-100 bed bug steamer
396 Reviews
Great for attachments – Vapamore MR-100
Available with myriad attachments, from extension tubes to brushes and scrapers, this device can produce steam of over 200 degrees F.

A pricey purchase, you certainly get what you pay for with this steamer as it is versatile enough to remove all sorts of mold and stains in addition to bed bugs. Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty for the main machine and a one-year warranty for all accessories as well as a childproof locking mechanism for added peace of mind.

Last update on 2019-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sunbeam Handheld Travel Steamer for bed bugs
190 Reviews
Compact portable steamer - Sunbeam Handheld Travel Steam
If you are a frequent traveller, then this steamer is great for sanitising your room wherever you go. Lightweight and easy to manoeuvre it is the perfect, discreet travelling companion. This steamer heats up quickly and can pump out a steady stream for up to 15 minutes. Multi-functional, it can also be used to cleanse and refresh linen as well as banishing bed bugs.

Last update on 2019-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sale
McCulloch MC1275 bed bug steamer
3,559 Reviews
Recommended for deep cleaning - McCulloch MC1275
Although this steamer may look unimposing, it is quite simply a bed bug killing machine. More expensive than other steamers on the market, it has the advantage of not only allowing you the ability to control the amount of steam it emits, but allowing you to change the attachments, depending on how extreme and where your infestation may be.

It also has a light display, allowing you to detect when it has reached its optimum temperature. Once achieved, you can lock it in place for a continuous jet of hot steam.

Last update on 2019-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Recommended bed bug vacuum cleaners

Vacuuming allows you to suck up live bed bugs before sealing and disposing of them accordingly, and most machines often come with additional attachments. This allows you to rub down infected areas whilst scrubbing and loosening eggs and larvae.
Housemile Anti-Dust Mites UV bed bug Vacuum
191 Reviews
Best portable vacuum - Housemile Anti-Dust Mites UV Vacuum
Bed bug vacuum cleaners work by scooping up these nasty pests and depositing them in a securely sealed bag. However, most vacuum cleaners do this without the ability to kill the bed bugs first. This machine, however, has the functionality to allow you to do both.

Able to emit a combination of both heat and UV light at the same time, bed bugs are killed outright before being carried away through the strong suction nozzle. Plus, this vacuum is incredibly lightweight, which enables you to take it with you, in or out of the house.

Last update on 2019-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

hot wind bed bug Vacuum
27 Reviews
Super suction ability - Euleven Hot Wind Anti-Dust Mites UV Handle Vacuum Cleaner
Stylishly designed, this vacuum can exterminate bed bugs at the touch of a button. Relying on a combination of heat and UV light to detect and dispose of bed bugs, this device has a high-powered suction hose that can penetrate deep into mattresses, cushions and other soft furnishings.

Easy to maneuver, this lightweight vacuum can be moved from room to room with ease.

Last update on 2019-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sale
Atrix HEPA bed bug Vacuum
241 Reviews
Great for large infestations - Atrix Bug sucker HEPA Backpack Vacuum
If you have a commercial property or a chronic bed bug infestation, then you may require a more powerful machine.

This device is incredibly versatile as it sits comfortably on you back, allowing you to move around with easily, whilst its utility belt is great for affixing attachments. This machine works by using a filter which forces a stream of air through a thick mesh trapping bed bugs and eggs in the process. Its powerful suction not only cleanses your property of bed bugs but purifies the air in one go.

Last update on 2019-05-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Mattresses and box springs encasements to protect against bed bugs

If you have discovered that you have been sharing your bed with bed bugs, it may be tempting to throw your mattress out, but this can be costly and won’t necessarily solve the situation.

How do mattress encasements work?

Whether you have discovered bed bugs in your home, or you are looking for preventative solutions, we recommend purchasing a bed bug proof, mattress encasement. This super smooth cover can be placed over the mattress and box springs to prevent bed bugs from getting in or out, whilst starving them of blood in the long run.

Although mattress encasements are effective for killing bed bugs that are located on or around your sleeping area, they will not resolve the situation for good as chances are there are more lurking in the headboard, fibres of your pillow and within furniture nearby. Therefore, we always recommend you use other methods of pest control in conjunction with mattress encasements to eradicate bed bugs for good.

“One size does not fit all” and this is the certainly the case when it comes to mattress encasements, which can vary due to their protection level, noise sensitivity and whether it is waterproof or not. In order to help you select the best one for your bed bug problem, I have listed our top 3 recommendations.

protect mattress from bed bugs with an encasement

3 recommended bed bug mattress encasements available to buy

To find out more about the different types of mattress encasements to protect against bed bugs, how they work and how to use them, please read our informative post on the top 5 available to buy.
Sale
Securing you a good night’s sleep - Sleep Defense System
5,090 Reviews
Securing you a good night’s sleep - Sleep Defense System
Although this mattress encasement is not the cheapest on the market, it is well made and waterproof. Covering the entire mattress and sealed with a zip tie and Velcro patch; this mattress encasement shields you not only from bed bugs and dust mites but protects against spillages and bed-wetting.

Preventing against the build-up of bacteria and other mites, if you suffer from any respiratory problems then this 100% thick polyester sheet is perfect. And the good news is that it’s soft, comfortable and breathable too.

Last update on 2019-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Lucid Mattress Encasement Protector
1,282 Reviews
15-year warranty guarantee - Lucid Mattress Encasement Protector
This mattress encasement not only comes with a 15-year warranty, but is 100% waterproof and odor free. Hypoallergenic, it’s good for those with allergies or breathing difficulties and is machine washable at high temperatures so can be reused.

It is probably not the quietest of covers, when compared to others available to buy, and this is due to it being made from polyurethane material. Because of this, it is probably not the strongest and you therefore need to be careful when placing it on the bed that is does not tear.

Last update on 2019-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sale
Linenspa bed bug Mattress Encasement
5,385 Reviews
Great value for money - Linenspa Mattress Encasement Waterproof
This mattress encasement is great value for money, 100% waterproof on every side and is made from a lightweight breathable fabric that has a premium look and feel to it. Soft to touch and dreamy to sleep on, you can enjoy a good night’s rest knowing that you are protected against the dreaded bed bugs.

Just like many on the market, this cover encases the mattress 360 degrees and zips closed to seal any possible entry points. Hypoallergenic and crinkle proof, you don’t need to worry about sounds of rustling at night either.

Last update on 2019-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • Prevention

How to prevent bed bugs

When you consider just how time-consuming and costly it can be to kill bed bugs, it’s important that you take precautions to avoid an infestation even starting. A bed bug infestation is difficult to treat once bought into the home but much easier to prevent. Remember that bed bugs are hitch hikers and will seek a lift through furniture, bedding, boxes, clothing and luggage.
  • If you are staying away overnight, try not to put your luggage near the bed. Suitcases are best stored in the bathroom or kitchen as bed bugs struggle to climb up slick surfaces. For this reason, we would always recommend travelling with a hard suitcase, as it prevents bed bugs from hooking on or climbing inside.
  • Inspect the bed as soon as you arrive, scrutinizing for any marks, stains or signs of bed bugs.
  • Wash your clothes as soon as you get home on a hot cycle and dry in a dryer for at least 20 minutes. Remember heat is the most effective way to kill bed bugs.
  • Make sure you check any second-hand furniture or mattresses thoroughly before even thinking about bringing them home.
  • Clean on a regular basis, especially around soft furnishings, rugs and beds. Once you have vacuumed, dispose of the contents in a sealed bag immediately.
  • If you live in a shared building, you should take extra steps to protect yourself by installing door sweeps and sealing cracks around light sockets and baseboards. Bed bugs can move through voids in the walls, so try not to place your bed directly up against one and use interceptors on your bed legs to trap bed bugs that attempt to climb.

When to call in professional pest control for bed bugs

There are many natural circumstances that may lead to bed bugs entering your property, and it is important that you fix and repair the cause as well as treating the problem, in order to stop the situation from re-occurring. But sometimes, the problem can prove to be too overwhelming or persistent, and if this is the case, and DIY products have failed to work, then it is time to call in help in the form of professional pest control.

A pest control expert will know and understand your bed bug habits and use this knowledge to apply the most effective form of killing control for your property. If you are a business, it is important that you seek assistance straight away, as the implications of bed bugs on your reputation could be detrimental.

Bottom line

Bed bugs are back in a big way and they are one of, if not THE hardest pests to get rid of. Encounter them once and there is a good chance you’ll remain friends for a very long time, seeing each other regularly. But, if you are unwilling to put up with sharing your bed with these mini vampires any longer, then it’s time to kill your bed bugs off for good. Why not try these simple but effective DIY solutions for yourself or if you feel your infestation is too established, seek advice from an accredited pest control expert.
how to use a mcculloch steam cleaner
Bed Bugs

How Do You Use the McCulloch Steam Cleaner?

Table of Contents0.1 How Do You Clean a McCulloch Steamer?0.2 Can You Use McCulloch Steam Cleaner on Carpet?0.3 Can You Use McCulloch Steam Cleaner for Bed Bugs?1 Which McCulloch Steamer Should You Buy?1.1 McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Cleaner with 18 Accessories2 McCulloch MC1375 Canister Steam System3 McCulloch MC-1385 Deluxe Cannister Steam

Read More »
mcculloch mc1275 heavy duty steamer review
Bed Bugs

McCulloch MC1275 Heavy Duty Steam Cleaner Review

Table of Contents1 McCulloch MC1275 Review1.1 McCulloch MC-1275 heavy-duty steam cleaner2 The review2.1 Kills bed bugs in hard to reach areas2.2 Covered by a 2 year warranty3 McCulloch MC1275 uses3.1 Pros3.2 Cons3.3 How long will it last during each clean?3.4 Where can you buy this heavy-duty steamer?3.5 Overall Review Verdict4

Read More »
vapamore mr-100 review
Bed Bugs

Vapamore MR-100 Steam Cleaner Review

Table of Contents1 Vapamore MR-100 Overall Review Rating1.1 Introduction to the Vapamore MR-100 Primo Steam Cleaning System2 Vapamore MR-100 review2.1 Superior thermal heating element 2.2 No toxic chemicals and no foul odor2.3 Superior steam cleaning performance3 Vapamore MR-100 uses3.1 Pros3.2 Cons4 Vapamore MR-100 vs McCulloch MC12754.1 How Do You Use

Read More »
best bed bug steamers
Bed Bugs

Best bed bug steamers and vacuum reviews

Table of Contents1 Using heat or a steamer to kill bed bugs1.1 5 best bed bug steamers reviews1.2 1. Vapamore MR-100 Review1.3 Best bed bug steamer for attachments1.4 2. Sunbeam Handheld Travel Steam Review1.5 Best portable steamer for bed bugs1.6 3. Conair Extreme Steam Review1.7 Best steaming system for bed

Read More »
can bed bugs fly or jump
Bed Bugs

Can Bed Bugs Fly or Jump Like Fleas?

Table of Contents1 Bed Bugs Used to Fly Like… Well, Like Flies2 Are Bed Bugs Attracted to Dirty Homes?3 Can You Get Bed Bugs From Visiting A Friend With Bed Bugs?4 Do Bed Bugs Jump From Person to Person?5 Are There Any Good Bed Bug Repellants?6 How Easily Do Bed

Read More »
Scroll to Top