How to Get Rid of Bedbugs Using Household Items

Sarah Rodriguez
By Sarah Rodriguez July 30, 2019 07:19

How to Get Rid of Bedbugs Using Household Items

Bed bugs are a tiny insect that is about the size of an apple seed. They are reddish-brown in color and can be flat, or more like a little brown balloon if they have recently fed. The bed bug doesn’t discriminate and can be picked up about anywhere. A guest can bring them into your home, or a stay in a hotel. Even a visit to the movies can cause an unwanted infestation. It doesn’t matter how clean you are; the bed bugs don’t care.

The bed bug is hard to see as it hides very well in soft places, and can fit into tiny cracks and crevices. Bed bugs are active at night, making it even harder to see because you are generally  sleeping. The bugs tend to hide in the seams of your mattress or in your furniture. They can also fit through cracks in your walls, making it easy to go from one room to another.

Bed bugs feed on human and animal blood. When they bite, you the hollow tube used to pierce your skin and suck your blood contains a painkiller so you won’t even feel being bitten until morning when you wake up and are itching. The bed bug will bite you over and over in a straight line, as that is the way it travels up your legs or arms.

A sure sign of an infestation, besides actually spotting bugs, is being bitten and finding blood smears from you on the bed. You will also notice little droppings on your bed or furniture, as with all living things they must use the bathroom. The feces look like a dark pencil point where they have been. A female bed bug lays anywhere from one to five eggs a day, and the eggs are usually found clustered together. They look like a grain of uncooked rice, as they are long and white to semi-transparent in color.

There are ways to get rid of this pest on your own at home. These home remedies are much more cost effective than hiring a pest control company. You need to be diligent in your treatments to be sure that your work is successful.

In a SHTF situation bed bugs will become a horrible problem. The amount they can multiply will be astonishing. In the means of treatment you will only have home remedies to fall on, as there will be no easy “call an exterminator” solution. It is a good idea to always have a stockpile of some home remedies to get rid of an infestation.

Preparing The Rooms

Before you start your treatment, there are steps that you will need to take to make the treatment easier and more efficient. You will need to prepare the rooms that need treated, including any room that shares a wall with the one that is infested. This needs done because bed bugs can easily escape into the next room by a crack in the wall.

Remove any of the items from the room that cannot be treated. How to Get Rid of Bedbugs Using Household ItemsCover those items in plastic to keep from spreading bed bugs to another room. Remove any pictures or decor from walls. Be sure to check the items thoroughly for any hidden bugs. This lamp can be sprayed with alcohol and wiped down. Due to it having so many little hiding spots, it is best to put the lamp in a plastic bag and store it while you are battling the bed bugs.

Steam Treatment

High heat kills bed bugs and their eggs. The heat from the hot steam treatment will kill any that it comes in direct contact with it. You can easily steam your mattress set, furniture and carpets to kill the bugs.

Slowly move the steamer over the areas that you are treating. You should steam treat before you cover with plastic or bed bug protection covers. Temperatures exceeding 140 degrees Fahrenheit will kill the bugs and their eggs.

Washing and Drying

When treating a bed bug infestation it is best to wash all items that you can in hot water. If the items cannot go into the washer, then you can still do a thorough washing with very hot water. Tumble dry on high heat in your dryer what you can.

You will want to be sure to wash and dry all of your clothing and any bedding that has come into contact with the bed bugs. Items that can’t be dried in the dryer can be blasted with the heat from your hair dryer to aid in killing them.


Using a powerful sweeper and hose attachment you can suck up the bugs. You will want to be sure to vacuum everything; from the floors, furniture, and any cracks or crevices in the area.

Bed bugs will even hide out in your electrical outlets and even in electronics. It is a good idea to give it all a good sweeping. Start at one point and slowly vacuum the entire area or room. You can also run a stiff brush along any seams to knock loose any clinging bugs. By doing so, you will be able to vacuum them up.

Once you are finished, take the vacuum outside and remove the bag or empty the canister into a double bag and discard it into the trash outside of the home. You need to stay on top of the vacuuming and do so everyday or at least every other day.

Make sure to get in between all of the cushions and in the crevices to vacuum any bugs that may be hiding.

Rubbing Alcohol

How to Get Rid of Bedbugs Using Household ItemsPour rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle and spritz everywhere. You need to spray the items directly using 91% isopropyl alcohol.

The alcohol will kill the bed bugs on contact by dissolving the cells of the bugs. It is also a drying agent, so it will dry out the eggs of the bed bugs preventing them from hatching.

Be sure to spray into all of the cracks and crevices to kill any that are in deep hiding.

Silica Packets or Baking Soda

The use of either one of these items absorbs moisture. The silica packets are what you find in your shoe boxes or purses to help keep the contents dry. Open the packet and grind or crush the little beads. Now take the powder from the crushed beads and spread it around any of the infested areas. Inhaling the silica can be harmful to kids and pets, so you may want to consider this before use.

Another powder that you can use is baking soda. It serves the same purpose, you just sprinkle it around and let it do its work. Vacuum the powder and reapply every few days to be sure that it is effective.

Essential Oils

The smell or flavor of certain oils tend to repel bed bugs.

Tea tree oil is a cleaning agent and it kills bacteria and fungi. It works on the bed bugs by suffocating them with the oil being on them.

You can also use lavender oil . It is said that the smell of lavender makes a bed bug nauseated. Humans tend to like the smell of lavender. You can wash your clothes and bedding with it, and you can diffuse the oils making your home smell nice and ridding the bugs at the same time.

Peppermint is said to do the same as lavender. You can even spread mint or lavender leaves around your place to deter the bugs. Be sure to sweep up the leaves after a few days and redisperse as you like.

Related: Plants You Should Grow Around Your House To Repel Insects And Bugs (Including Termites)

Diatomaceous Earth

How to Get Rid of Bedbugs Using Household ItemsAll types of bugs tend to dislike this product. Diatomaceous earth is made from naturally occurring rocks that has crumbled into a fine powder. The powder has tiny shards that kill insects.

Simply spread the powder all around and be sure to put it in all of the cracks and crevices. It can take up to ten days to kill the bugs, but it is a natural way to kill the bugs.

Do not put it on your mattress as the little shards can be inhaled and cause damage to your lungs.

Double Sided Tape

Take some double sided tape and place it on the posts of your bed, at the seams of the mattress and on the floor along the bed. The tape will catch the bugs as they come out at night to feed on your blood.

Be careful to not drag your blankets or clothes along the floor as the bugs can skip the tape and get a ride up onto the bed to bite you.

Mattress Covers

After you have treated your mattress, it is recommended that you purchase a bed bug mattress protector. By doing so, you keep the bed bugs from reinfesting, or from escaping the mattress in case there were any missed. You should put covers on all of your mattresses as a precaution.

Another idea to keep in mind is once you have washed and dried your stuffed toys and any extra bedding, you can place them in plastic bags and put into storage for a while.  This way you will make sure the bugs have died. They must feed on human blood to survive, and if they aren’t near any humans they will starve; that is if they survived the treatment beforehand.

When treating your items be sure to read labels and to follow directions, so that you do not ruin or destroy them. Bed bugs are hard to get rid of. The best way to get rid of them is to catch the infestation early, so that they do not have time to reproduce. If you have a bad infestation you will need to stay on top of the treatments, to be sure to kill them and keep them gone. It takes one missed bug to restart the whole infestation over again.

Some of the methods listed above will kill the bugs immediately, while others will make them flee the area or even discourage them from moving in. It is always a good idea to take the extra precaution and pack your luggage with some of these items. Even vacuuming your items on return from any stays or visits to prevent an infestation from happening is always a good idea. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

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Sarah Rodriguez
By Sarah Rodriguez July 30, 2019 07:19
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  1. Trixi July 30, 10:28

    I’ve always used the isopropyl alcohol. Works wonders!

    Reply to this comment
    • Serena July 30, 18:33

      I used rubbing alcohol mixed with some cedarwood essential oil. spray everything and the smell drives them out of the home. I just repeat once a week after there were no more bites to keep them from coming back.

      Reply to this comment
    • Hippyearl August 13, 14:23

      I have a mom on oxygen and is repeatedly in the same spots everyday, I’ve been trying for a year to rid the bedbugs, I started using a popular insecticide, seems to rid them only for a few days, it’s a nightmare, I have a brother that lives there as well, he did the alcohol but drunkenly, his best friend has bedbugs worse than you think. How can I combat this?

      Reply to this comment
      • red August 19, 04:34

        They do love the taste of a sick person. I do not and never have had bedbugs. But, flies and mosquitoes, yes. One or two incense sticks burned make most insects run. Southern Nationalist uses an old trick, pans of water under the bed’s legs, with some oil in the water. bugs will try to cross the oil and drown. niio

        Reply to this comment
  2. left coast chuck July 30, 17:58

    Lice and fleas are also major vectors for disease in humans.

    Several workers at Los Angeles City Hall have come down with typhus in the past year because city hall is infested with fleas that have come from the rats that are attracted by the numerous bum encampments with garbage around Los Angeles City Hall. One deputy city attorney has been out on disability from typhus for almost a year. Yeah, that’s right, she is getting workers compensation based on her exposure to the fleas. Of course, the pols don’t care. The cost is just passed on to the taxpayers.

    What I don’t understand is why the city doesn’t have its sanitation department pick up the garbage. It almost seems to me as if the pols are deliberately encouraging the filth, rats and disease. To what end, I can’t comprehend.

    Reply to this comment
    • red July 31, 04:00

      I wonder how much they get paid to vote. five bucks? 20? When still a kid, Joe Kennedy’s father-in-law was top dem vote runner in Boston, holding the record of voting in 27 different precincts in one day. niio

      Reply to this comment
  3. Faxxs July 30, 19:16

    We used the diatomaceous earth on our son’s carpets, put things that couldn’t be washed into black trash bags and put them in the car and had him park in the sun for 3 days. This worked for him. You can also get dry ice and put it in a cup inside a bowl by the bed, put some baby powder inside the bowl to make the inside slippery. Supposedly the CO2 will attract the bugs and they will be unable to climb out of the bowl. You can find pictures of how to make your own bedbug traps online.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Iguana July 30, 22:33

    I turn on a TV in the room where I want to kill the bed-bugs, tune it to CNN, turn up the volume to MAX, and after about 3 minutes of being forced to listen to that drivel the bugs can’t stand it any more and they KILL THEMSELVES rather than listen to just one more second…SURE it’s cruel, but hey, they’re just a bunch of crummy blood-sucking insects…on the TV, I mean – the bed-bugs DO deserve better but it’s a cruel cruel world folks, and the bed-bugs just shoulda known better than to come infest MY abode…and at least for 3 minutes CNN actually had SOME one actually LISTENING to them…so there’s that,anyway…har!

    Reply to this comment
    • Miss Kitty August 3, 02:48

      And if that doesn’t work, tune in to PMSNBC!

      Reply to this comment
      • red August 5, 04:10

        Kitty, you are one cruel lady! Mind you, the bugs might file on you with the ASPCA! niio 🙂

        Reply to this comment
        • Miss Kitty August 5, 12:45

          I just leave them tiny nooses and an hour of Mika and Joe. The rest is up to them… although I found one wearing a tiny pink hat and carrying a picket sign. That one I stepped on and flushed down the toilet.

          Reply to this comment
          • red August 6, 06:48

            Sigh. Terrible, just terrible. these gentle woodsland critters, foully murdered for no reason. All of Kali-fornia will be at your home to protest and probably beat on you. You know how peaceniks are. Peace loving, until infected with a mental disorder called liberalism. niio 🙂

            Reply to this comment
            • Miss Kitty August 6, 11:13

              Right? That’s what happened….the bedbugs held a protest march and invited the other bugs. The red ants showed with a tiny Communist flag, the roaches held a sit-in under the fridge, “Antsifa” came and dumped the sugar bowl on the floor and the roaches swarmed it until “Antsifa” started busting heads….lively times!

              Reply to this comment
  5. Right July 31, 01:43

    I found a really simple method of getting rid of bedbugs. After cleaning the sheets, I sprinkled diatomaceous earth over the mattress and around every leg of the bed. Then put the bottom sheet on but didn’t tuck it. Being fitted it curled up and there was the “safe” island. Your top sheet, pillows and blankets need to stay in the safe Island. You are the bait, so they will come to you, but they won’t make it. Slept that way for a week plus. Took care of it. Found the critters around the legs.

    Reply to this comment
  6. red July 31, 03:57

    No bedbugs here. We have something even more fun: Kissing bugs. Kissing bugs have one redeeming quality, they love the taste of bedbugs more than do human blood. they also carry a deadly parasite in their feces, so. Unlike most night invaders, they’re attracted to lights. Cedar oil, incense, and peppermint oil drive them out, and pretty near anything that ‘bugs’ you. niio

    Reply to this comment
  7. Peach July 31, 05:36

    I have had bed bugs in the past. I also used the *Diotomaceous Earth Food grade. # Do Not Inhale it, wear a mask if need be. I found a great multipurpose spray (Lavender scent) called Fabuloso, it Kills on Contact ! (Wal-mart.Employee) I also used it when I washed bed clothes 1 Cup in both wash & rinse cycle. Dryer is your best defense, high heat for 1 hr. Itching of skin can be Helped in using a Deo. solid rubbing it on the bite sight, for relief. Body lotion also good after bath or Shower. Vacuuming of mattress a Must. Then a 5 sided mattress Protector- Lifetime warranty from Mattress Firm.
    This is where I purchased the * Diotomaceous Earth,food grade.
    402-371-6111 eastern
    A family owned business
    You can also use the D E. on pets dogs and cats. Remember to cover there Eyes when you put it on there coat. They will shake it off. Stand clear and keep dogs Eyes covered while they shake.

    Reply to this comment
  8. TheSouthernNationalist July 31, 10:50

    I had a battle with these little devils once, never did really know where they came from since I dont go anywhere except work then back home.

    I suspect they came from a neighbor that likes to visit and his hygiene is somewhat questionable.

    I did all the things listed in this article to get rid of the little buggers but I also put the legs of my bed inside of a bucket, filled it about 1/4 of the way with vegetable oil, and taped a strip of paper towel to the top of the bucket. The bedbugs would crawl up the paper towel strip and fall into the oil killing them.

    Needless to say, I dont allow this neighbor back inside my home and I havent had bedbugs since.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Mark August 1, 01:19

    When l got them in my town hous condo, l mixed food grade demetrious earth with castor oil and after 2 nights they were gone.

    Reply to this comment
  10. Miss Kitty August 3, 02:57

    Bedbugs can also be brought in in used books, furniture or clothing, so be sure to check out any items you buy at thrift stores or tag sales.
    Also, many retail stores have had problems with infestations.

    When I worked for Christmas Tree Shops, (a subdivision of BBB), we got a directive about checking returns for bedbugs before putting items back into stock. We referred to the notice as “Bedbugs and Beyond’!

    Reply to this comment
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