How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs Yourself!

How to get rid of bed bugs yourself!

How do you get rid of bedbugs yourself?  A great question no doubt.  Bedbugs are a worldwide problem that has been resurging with a vengeance within the last couple of years.  Most experts believe the resurgence is associated with more international and domestic travel, a lack of knowledge on how to prevent bed bug infestations, the bed bugs increased resistance to pesticides and ineffectual pest control practices.

Bedbugs are blood-sucking insects in the “Cimicidae” family.  They can cause property loss, unwanted expenses and are a major inconvenience.  This problem has become such a big concern in the United States that a National Bed Bug Summit was convened for the first time on April 14 and 15, 2009 in Arlington, Virginia.

The good news is that bed bugs do not transmit disease, and the best way to prevent bed bugs is by regular inspection for signs of an infestation.  There are many ways to control bed bugs; unfortunately there isn’t a single “silver bullet” or “quick fix” solution.  Bed bug profileThe best approach on how to get rid of bedbugs yourself is to apply an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan with strategies for either non-chemical or chemical treatment methods.

Since this page is about how to get rid of bed bugs yourself, I am not going to cover how do you get bed bugs or signs of bed bugs in depth because there are excellent pages on these topics within this site that provide in depth, detailed information.

Now that you are sure you have bed bugs the question is how to get rid of bed bugs yourself?  Before the question can be answered I must post a warning.

WARNINGS:

The following list has been compiled with warnings and precautions that should be strongly considered and followed.

  • Do NOT use bug “bombs” or foggers to kill bed bugs!
  • Bed bugs aren’t roaches, they will not ingest the poison and die later, and so using them is only a waste of money.
  • A bug bomb, also known as a total release fogger, is a can of pesticide where the entire content comes out all at once in a spray.
  • Do NOTuse the “brush” attachments when vacuuming!
    • Eggs and bedbugs can attach themselves to the bristles.
  • Label everything that is being thrown away as “Infested with bed bugs”!
    • This should help prevent anyone else from unknowingly bringing bed bugs home with them.
  • Do NOT donate or re-sell bed bug infested furniture!
    • The best practice is to cut holes in the discarded mattress/box springs and destroy the furniture.
  • Pesticides
    • Before using any pesticide product READ THE LABEL FIRST and follow the directions carefully!
    • Do not use a pesticide that was intended for outdoor use indoors.  It is very dangerous and won’t solve your bed bug problem.
    • Make sure the product is effective against bedbugs!  If the product label doesn’t specifically list bed bugs then the pesticide hasn’t been tested or approved for them.  There is a good chance that it might not be effective.
    • Don’t use a product or allow a pest management professional to treat your home unless bed bugs are specifically named on the product label.
    • Note:  Any pesticide product without an EPA registration number on it has not been reviewed by EPA.  This means that the effectiveness of the product hasn’t been verified.
    • Note:  Using a non-specific pesticide incorrectly to treat bed bugs can make you sick.  It might not solve the problem and could make it worse by forcing the bed bugs to hide or flee to a place where the pesticide won’t reach them.
  • Pest management professionals will usually make two initial treatment visits and a follow-up visit to confirm that the bed bugs are gone.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

An Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach on how to get rid of bed bugs yourself that relies on a combination of common-sense practices that establish procedures for preventing pest entry and limiting food, water, and shelter available to pests.  The plan uses comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests (bed bugs in this case) and their interaction with the environment.  This information, in combination with non-chemical and/or chemical treatment methods is used to minimize and manage bed bug infestations by the most economical means, with a minimal hazard to people, property, and the environment.  The goal of this site is to raise awareness through education on the prevention and elimination of bed bugs.  It will cover everything needed to implement a successful Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan on how to get rid of bed bugs yourself.

The steps for a successful IPM plan for bed bugs include:  (For more information on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plans visit http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/ipm.htm)

  1. Correctly identifying bed bugs.
  2. Inspecting suspected infested areas, plus surrounding living spaces for bed bugs.
  3. When applicable, checking for bed bugs on or in luggage and clothes when returning home from a trip.
  4. When applicable, looking for bed bugs or signs of infestation on secondhand items before bringing them home.
  5. Cleaning everything within a bed bug infested living area.
  6. Reducing clutter where bed bugs can hide.
  7. Physically removing bed bugs through cleaning.
  8. Eliminating bed bug living and breeding environments.
  9. Using the correct pesticides carefully according to the label directions.
  10. Follow-up inspections and possible second or third treatments.
  11. Good record keeping that details dates when and locations where bed bugs are found.