Home Remedy to Kill Bed Bugs

Father and son (9-11) loading washing machine in laundry room
A father and his son are putting clothes or bedding in the washing machine. (Image: Andrew Olney/Photodisc/Getty Images)

A bed bug is a brown insect that measures less than 1/2 inch long even as an adult. The insect does not have wings and likes to burrow in dark places, such as in bedding, in cracks in the wall, and behind peeling or loose paint and wallpaper in the wall. Bed bugs feed by biting humans, leaving a liquid behind that can become itchy and irritated at the site of the bite. Bed bugs can be controlled by calling a professional exterminator but can also be killed through home remedies.

Step 1

Wash your bedding on a regular basis to kill any bed bugs that are hiding within. Bed bugs cannot withstand high temperatures over 90 degrees F; wash your linens on the hottest setting available. The Mayo Clinic recommends washing in water that is at least 97 degrees F in order to kill bed bugs.

Step 2

Sprinkle your mattress, cracks in the wall and other holes you may see in your home with baby powder, preferably one that contains talc. The powder will suffocate the bed bugs.

Step 3

Caulk cracks and holes in your walls and floors. Sealing the openings after distributing the powder is an extra safeguard so that any surviving bed bugs will not infest your bed.

Step 4

Vacuum your home weekly to control and kill bed bugs. Clean the carpets, curtains, upholstery and mattresses. Use a steam-cleaner or a wet-vac if possible to ensure that the bugs do not survive.

Step 5

Set your vacuumed mattress out in the sun for several hours. The heat of the sun will kill any bugs that resisted the vacuum and may still be hiding.

Step 6

Treat your mattress with an insecticide spray if all other measures fail to kill the bed bugs. The College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University suggests using a spray that contains chemicals such as allethrin, pyrethrins, or mesrethrin. Do not saturate your mattress, but rather lightly spray around it.

Things You'll Need

  • Washing machine

  • Baby powder

  • Caulk

  • Vacuum cleaner

  • Insecticide spray

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
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