Bed Bug Treatment - How To Kill Bed Bugs For Good
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Bed Bug Treatment – How To Kill Bed Bugs For Good

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

The Big Problem?  Many of the bed bug treatment methods you find are scams.  They don't really work. 

When you can't trust what you find, 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 methods work, and which don't.

You have our personal 100% Satisfaction Guarantee that we only promote products and treatment methods that work.

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!

Hire a professional - The best option

The most effective and painless way (well, as painless as bed bug treatment gets anyway) to treat bed bugs is to hire a professional bed bug exterminator.

Professional Bed Bug Exterminators 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, if you get a good one, 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 they 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, then you can begin to explore some of the 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:

  • Visually 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. 
  • Signs of bed bugs - If you have bed bugs, you'll often find signs of them on your sheets and pillows. Signs includes leftover 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.
  • Bed Bug Bites - If you are waking up with multiple bites on you, it could be a 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

Preparing for Bed Bug Treatment

Before you begin bed bug treatment, you'll need to prepare the room you'll be treating.  Properly preparing and prepping the room will make the treatment far more effective at killing bed bugs, and much safer for you to use.  The following steps apply, regardless of what treatment method you are using.

  1. Begin by removing any and all clutter and personal items from the room.  You'll need to be very careful here, as the clutter has a high chance of being infested with bed bugs.   As you remove each item, inspect it very carefully for bed bugs and or bed bugs eggs.  If you find either, place the item in a trash bag  We'll deal with them later.  If they are washable, follow the same steps found in 2 and 3 below.
  2. Remove off bedding, drapes, and linens, and place them in a dissolvable laundry bag or trash bag.  Immediately take the bag to your dryer, and dry it on the longest setting at the highest temperature.  We recommend doing this twice.  The heat from your dryer will kill any bed bugs and bed eggs.
  3. Remove all clothing from closets and furniture and place them in a dissolvable laundry bag, or trash bag.  Again, take them to your dryer, and dry them on the longest setting at the highest temperature.  Again, we would do this twice.
  4. Cover your Mattress and Box Springs with Bed Bug Approved Covers.  This will seal in any bed begs, and keep new bed bugs out.  It will also protect your mattress from any treatment products you may use.
  5. Remove any wall hangings, again, carefully inspecting them for bed bugs as you do.   Place them in plastic bags.  Again, we'll deal with these later.  Wall hangings are a common hiding place for bed bugs.
  6. With everything out of the room except your bed and furniture, begin looking for signs of bed bugs, bed bug themselves, or bed bug eggs.  We recommend using a LED Light Equipped Magnifying Glass.  Be sure to look in corners, cracks, and on the underside of items.  While inspecting, look in electrical outlets (be sure to turn off the power before removing electrical outlet covers), look around moldings, and in carpet.  For more tips and ideas, visit our Detection Guide.
  7. As you find locations with bed bugs, write them down and/or mark places were you found bed bugs or signs of bed bugs.  If you prefer to Vacuum before treating the room, now is the time to do that.  Vacuum as much as you possible can.
  8. If you will be using a bed bug spray, be sure to pen the windows of the room you'll be treating, and close the door.  This will ventilate the room, and protect the rest of your home.   
  9. Read over the manufacturer's instructions for the products you will be using and understand them.
  10. If you are using a bed bug spray, be sure to purchase and wear a respirator (follow the manufacturers instructions).
  11. Begin Treating the room (see below).  Wait 24 hours, do another thorough inspection.  If you still find bed bugs or signs of bed bugs, repeat the treatment.

A couple of important points:

  • NEVER spray before steaming - The steam will cause the chemicals in the spray to go airborne, which could be very very dangerous.
  • If you will be using Diatomaceous Earth, use it last.

How to Treat Bed Bugs

The most successful bed bug treatment 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 affected 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, as we previsouly mentioned,  is to use a professional exterminator and more specifically, one that uses heat treatment.

Professional Bed Bug Exterminators 

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.

"Do it yourself" Bed Bug Treatment Options

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.  See our Best Bed Bug Sprays for our top 3 picks.
  • Heat Treatment - Heat is a highly effective bed bug killer, as bed bugs don't live long in temperatures over 120 degrees. Do-it yourself heat treatment of anything beyond your luggage or clothing can be a expensive and difficult, although there are some really good options available now (see below)
  • 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. 
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    Bed Bug Steamers - Steamers are one of our personal favorite treatment options, as it is relatively inexpensive, and has all the advantages of heat treatment. 
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    Diatomaceous Earth - This natural product is Highly effective, inexpensive, and relatively easy to apply.  It's not often 100% effective, when used by itself, but is an excellent treatement to combine with others

Bed Bug Sprays

Bed Bug Spray

Many of today's over the counter bed bug 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 and also a guarantee.  Be sure you read over these instructions, as proper use is important not only for safety, but also to make sure the productive is effective.

Regardless of what anyone tells you, never ... NEVER use a fogger or "bug bomb".  They don't work with bed bugs, 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 uses of bug bug sprays. This holds true for professional exterminators as well. 

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

Heat Treatment

Bed Bugs Heat Treatment

Bed bugs can't take the heat, and exposure to temperatures of 120 degrees and above for a time will kill them, this includes baby bed bugs, and bed bugs eggs as well.

Bed Bug heat treatment is highly effective for treating whole house or whole room infesatations, but professionals with the extremely expensive equipment.  But even as a do-it yourselfer, you can use heat treatment as a supplementory treatmen.  

Bed Bug heat treatment for clothing, luggage and smaller items works very well.  ZappBug makes excellent products, that house your items and heat them up to the appropriate temperatures.  We highlight them below.

Heat treatment also works very well as a preventation strategy, as you can place your items in a portalbe heater when returning from traveling to ensure that you aren't bringing bed bugs into your home after on your return.

Heat treatment products we really like include:

  • The ultimate bed bug heating system, and one that handle furniture and other household items is the The ZappBug Room.  This is very similar to what professionals use. 
  • For larger Items, but a little more affordable is the ZappBug Oven works very well.
  • The PackTite SC Portable Bedbug Heater, is great for luggage, clothing, sheets, pillows and more.
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    The PackTite Closet Heater System, which is a new an improved version of the Portable bed bug heater.

We DO NOT recommend trying to perform heat treatment on your entire, by yourself, and without the proper equipment.   The risk of fire is very high, and whole house heating should only be done by professionals with certified equipment.


All of 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 bed bug treatment solution available right now.

Bed Bug Vacuums

Specific vacuum products for bed bugs are highly effective at removing bed bugs, left over bed bug skins, and bed bug fecal matter.   Bed Bug Vacuums are generally HEPA compliant, and filter out very small particles, do they don't just get spread out into your home.

You can certainly use a regular vacuum, but you run the risk of infecting the vacuum itself 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 leftover body shells. Bed Bug Sprays and Bed Bug Steamers are far more effective at killing eggs.

Bed Bug Steamers

Bed Bug Steamer


Bed Bug professionals often use a combination of steam, heat, and professional grade sprays when treating bed bugs. But steam alone can be very effective at killing bed bugs 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 extreme 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 or damage.

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

Wrapping Up


So what is the best bed bug treatment?

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. 

Best of luck to you, and if we can help, be sure to reach out to us!

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