Bed Bug Treatment – How To Kill Bed Bugs For Good

Bed Bug Treatment

Common Bed Bug Infestation

If you scour the internet for a few hours looking for bed bug treatment options, you’re guaranteed to find about as many treatment options as there are bed bugs in the world!  The big problem?

Many of these bed bug treatment strategies are just scams and don’t work at all.  In fact, some can even spread the bed bugs out more!  With that said, how do you know what bed bug treatment options really work, and which don’t?

That’s exactly why we created this website, to help you choose the best treatment solution for your needs and budget.  We’ve spent numerous hours researching the various treatment options and sorting through which ones work, and which don’t.

Each bed bug treatment strategy has its own sets of pros and cons.  One of the most important aspects of treating a bed bug infestation, and one that we cannot express enough is:

>>> Don’t use just one form of bed bug treatment.  Use multiple treatment techniques!

Treatment Topics:

  1. Hire a professional
  2. Do you have bed bugs?  Are you sure?
  3. Treating Bed Bugs using multiple techniques
  4. Bed bug sprays
  5. Heat treatment
  6. Bed Bug Vacuums
  7. Bed Bug Steamers
  8. Wrapping Up

Hire a professional

Pest ControlThe most effective and painless way (well, as painless as it gets) to treat bed bugs is to hire a professional bed bug exterminator.   These are companies that specialize in killing bed bugs.  If you pick the right exterminator, they’ll have the equipment, resources and knowledge to rid your home of bed bugs as quickly as possible.

The problem?  Professional bed bug exterminators can be expensive.  Don’t misunderstand us, they are worth the money spent, but the fact is many people that have bed bugs just can’t afford a professional exterminator.

The good news is with the growth of bed bug infestations worldwide, and especially in the United States, more and more pest control companies are purchasing the necessary equipment to exterminate bed bugs and additionally have staff that are highly experienced in dealing with them.  This drives costs down.

In other words, bed bug treatment costs, using professional exterminators, are lower than they were a few years ago.

We would highly recommend getting a few price quotes from local exterminators first, just to see if the cost is within your budget.  If not, than you can begin to explore some of the do it yourself treatment options we discuss in great detail below.

>>> Get Free Bed Bug Exterminator Price Quotes using our Comparison Tool <<<

Do you have bed bugs?  Are you sure?

Before we jump into the various recommended treatment options, we want to help you verify that you actually have bed bugs, as there are lots of misconceptions about them and what they look like.   Our bed bug detection page goes into great detail on this, but here’s how to confirm you have bed bugs:

  1. bed bugsVisually seeing bugs – During the day, bugs are often hard to find and see.  If you think you may have them, wake up in the middle on the night and have an LED Flashlight handy.  Pull back your covers, and turn the light on.  See if you see any bugs.  The photo to the right is what they look like.
  2. Signs of bed bugs – If you have bed bugs bugs, you’ll often find signs of them on your sheets and pillows.  This includes left over body shells and excrement.  Excrement is generally black dots, and smears when touched.  We recommend using white sheets to make both the excrement and shells stand out.   Shells and even bugs can often be found in the folds and seams of your mattress.
  3. Bites – If you are waking up with multiple bites on you, it could be sign.  Unfortunately bed bug bites resemble the bites of many other insects, to using bites alone isn’t conclusive.   One thing about bed bug bites though, is that they are often clustered together or in a line.  See our photos page for real pictures of bed bug bites.

Again be sure and visit our bed bug detection page for more detailed information.  Once you’ve confirmed you actually in fact have bed bugs, it’s time to start looking at treatment options, and determining the one that’s best for your situation.

Treating Bed Bugs using multiple techniques

The most success occurs when multiple treatment methods are used at one time.  Where one bed bug treatment method may not work 100%, the other methods will pick up the remaining percentage.

Bed bugs are resilient, and some may not be effected by just one treatment option, but might die from others.  This is particularly true of treatment options that only recommend using bed bug sprays.

Bed bugs are quickly becoming immune to more common bed bug sprays and associated chemicals.  This immunity is one reason experts think there has been a large resurgence in bed bug infestations over the past 10 years.  Additionally, some sprays can be dangerous to pets and children.  As a result, when pets or children are in the house, other treatment methods such as Diatomaceous Earth and Steaming are far more effective and safer options.

Before we jump into the details of treatment options, the single most effective option for treating and killing bed bugs is to use a professional exterminator and more specifically, one that uses heat treatment.  But, while highly effective, using a professional is also very costly and often beyond the financial means of the average person.  Given the high cost, we recommend trying to treat the issue yourself first, as the treatment strategies generally very well work if done correctly, and can save you some significant cash.

On average, the cost of a one time treatment of bed bugs from a professional exterminator is around $1500.00 !  Don’t forget too, that completely removing your bed bug infestation often requires multiple treatments.


Here are the primary and most effective bed bug treatment options currently available:

Bed bug sprays

Various manufacturers make and sell bed bug sprays.  Some, like EcoRaider work really well, others like Raid don’t.

Many of these sprays contain the same products and pesticides used by professional exterminators, just in less concentrated solutions.  When you buy a reputable and proven product,  the product will come with a full set of treatment instructions.

Effective use of these spray products requires that you follow the instructions exactly.  Failure to do so, can result in just spreading the bugs further into your home as they run away from the chemicals.  Also, regardless of what anyone tells you, never…never use a fogger or “bug bomb”.  They don’t work, and will in fact escalate the problem and cause the bugs the infest additional areas of your home.

Effective bed bug treatment often requires more than one treatment.  In fact treating bed bugs often involves multiple use of sprays and pesticides.  This holds true for professional exterminators as well.  Read more about bed bug sprays here.  You can also see our top picks for most effective sprays.

While highly effective, sprays can be dangerous, especially if not used correctly or when children or pets are involved.   If you have children or pets in your home, we would recommend using different treatment options, or trying one of the natural spray options.

Heat treatment

Heat is a very effective bed bug treatment option as bed bugs don’t live long in temperatures over 120 degrees.  Heat treatment of anything beyond your luggage or clothing is difficult unless you use one of the larger heat treatment systems which are ideal for beds, dressers, couches, and mattresses.

Heat bed bug treatment for clothing and luggage also works great though to insure that you aren’t bringing bed bugs into your home after traveling.

Heat treatment products include:

  • The PackTite Max Portable Heater Unit, which is great for luggage, clothing, sheets, pillows and more.
  • The PackTite Closet Heater System, which is a new an improved version of the Portable bed bug heater.  The Closet bed bug heater is larger and gets hotter quicker.
  • For those wanting something larger, the ZappBug Oven is more than 200% larger than the Closet bed bug heater.
  • If you want the ultimate heating system, and one that can handle furniture, and lots of household items, the The ZappBug Room fits the bill, and is similar to what professionals use.

These heating products can be effectively used to minimize bed bug introduction into your home and used as a highly effective treatment option.  Heat has proven to be the single most effective solution available right now.

Bed Bug Vacuums

Vacuums will not resolve your bed bug problem, but they are an effective strategy when combined with other treatment methods, especially if you can physically see the bed bugs.  You can certainly use a regular vacuum, but you run the risk on infecting it and the rest your home.  If you do use your own vacuum, be sure to immediately remove the vacuum bag and place it into a sealed plastic bag.

Various manufacturers make bed bug vacuums that are specifically designed to deal with bed bugs.  An important note about these vacuums is that they are highly effective against bugs that you can see, they are not effective at removing the bugs you can’t see or for removing bed bug eggs.  Bed bug eggs are sticky, and can often get trapped in the vacuum cleaner or not picked up at all.  A really effective and highly rated bed bug vacuum is the Atrix VACEXP-IPM Express Plus Hepa IPM Vacuum.

We recommend using vacuums only for live bugs, excrement or left over body shells.  Sprays and bed bug steamers are far more effective at killing eggs.

Bed Bug Steamers

Most professionals use a combination of steam, heat, and pesticide when treating bed bugs.  But steam alone can also be very effective and has the benefit of being environmentally friendly as well.

Similar to heat, a bed bug steamer works by killing bed bugs and their eggs through excessive heat.  Steam has the additional advantage of penetrating cloth surfaces and can be used on larger items such as furniture, mattresses and box springs without the danger of fire.

You can read more about bed bug steamers, including pros/cons, how to use them, and our personal list of recommended steamers on our bed bug steamer page.

Wrapping Up

There really isn’t any one “best” treatment technique.  The best one will be the one that’s most effective for you, with the least amount of cost.  The trick of course is determining what that “magic” combination is.   To start out, we recommend using a combination of Diatomaceous Earth, Steaming, and an effective and safe spray.  If you can afford it, add heat treatment into the mix as well or replace the sprays with heat.  Be sure to check out our bed bug tips as well.