What Most People Don’t Tell You About DIY Bed Bug Treatment


Argh, you’ve got bed bugs! They are a huge nuisance for homeowners and business owners alike. Bed bugs are well-known for being hard to kill.

But calling the exterminator is an overreaction, right? There must be a DIY bed bug treatment that you can try to remove them with first?

Well, yes and no.

There are effective home remedies for bed bugs but how effective they are is the issue. This guide explains what a lot of people will not tell you about DIY bed bug treatment success. And it will answer the question, does DIY bed bug treatment work?

Does Washing Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs (and bed bug eggs) will die if exposed to 118°F for over 90 minutes. And since bed bugs are often found in bedding and clothing, it is possible to kill bed bugs this way.

But this DIY bed bug treatment method is not without flaws.

For washing to work, all the bed bugs would need to be hiding in your bedding. But bed bugs can hide anywhere from curtains to drawers, and even alarm clocks. And you would need to be able to wash your bedding or clothing at this high heat, one degree lower and the eggs may survive.

Does Baking Soda Remove Bed Bugs?

Some say baking soda is an effective at-home DIY bed bug treatment. If you sprinkle baking soda around the affected area and wait a few days, the bed bugs should die from dehydration. This tip is like sprinkling salt on slugs.

But it is a complete myth and does not work.

The shells of bed bugs are quite tough, so they are unlikely to die this way. Also, this tip assumes you know the whereabouts of your entire bed bug infestation. Again, if you miss one bed bug, the infestation will soon return.

Does Vacuuming Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

Vacuuming is likely to be the best DIY bed bug treatment. It can kill both bed bugs and eggs and it can treat all surface areas (not only fabric and bedding).

Along with plastic bags, a stiff brush, and insecticide, a vacuum is a crucial tool in a DIY bed bug treatment kit recommended by CustomBedBug.com.

Use the nozzle part of the vacuum (not the bristles where bed bugs can hide) to clean all the nooks and crannies in the affected rooms. This includes your bed frames, shelves, baseboards, everywhere. Afterward, take out the vacuum bag, tie a plastic bag around it, and dispose of the bag outside your home.

Do not leave the vacuum bag to sit in your home because the bed bugs may escape.

Do Some Essential Oils Remove Bed Bugs?

It is valid that some homeowners do not want industrial-strength chemicals used in their homes to remove bed bugs. Instead, some people prefer to use essential oils in combating an infestation.

Some of the most popular essential oils used as a DIY bed bug treatment include:

  • Tea Tree oil
  • Clove oil
  • Thyme oil
  • Rosemary oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Lavender oil

But you should stick to using tea tree oil on your face and clove oil in your cooking because essential oils are not effective bed bug treatments.

The belief is that bed bugs do not like the smell of essential oils so they will disperse. This mindset works when using citronella candles to remove mosquitoes. In this instance, mosquitoes will disperse into another garden, far away from your home because they do not like the smell of the candles.

But if bed bugs do not like the smell of your essential oils, they will only move somewhere else and spread around your house. And this could make the problem worse!

Does Freezing Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

Like hot temperatures, bed bugs also do not like cold temperatures. Bed bugs can sometimes survive -13°F for short periods of time, but if you store them somewhere at 0°F for a few days, they will die.

So freezing is an effective DIY bed bug treatment, but it is not a practical one.

If bed bugs infected one single object (a teddy bear, for example) then you could freeze it and the temperature would kill the bed bug infestation. The washing machine may ruin Ted forever, but he would be okay sitting in a freezer for a few days.

Although, the chance that bed bugs have only infected one object is small. And your freezer is likely not big enough to fit your entire bed frame!

Do Moth Balls Remove Bed Bugs?

Mothballs consist of either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. You store mothballs with items of clothing or fabric in tight containers to stop moths from eating the fabric. They are not ideal for closets or attics because the chemicals can cause respiratory problems.

Some think mothballs are a great solution to killing bed bugs and you should place them around your bed or affected areas.

But in reality, they are not effective at killing a whole infestation of bed bugs including young bed bugs and eggs.

Does Diatomaceous Earth Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

Diatomaceous earth is a type of powder consisting of broken-down sedimentary rock. It has health benefits but it is also an insecticide claiming to kill slugs, ticks, ants, fleas, cockroaches, and bed bugs.

Like baking soda, you sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the affected area which dehydrates the bed bugs and kills them.

Although diatomaceous earth is somewhat effective at killing bed bugs, it is not an effective DIY bed bug treatment by itself. Often, bed bugs will navigate around the diatomaceous earth.

Also, it can be a very harmful chemical to ingest which is a big problem if you have pets or young children.

So, Does DIY Bed Bug Treatment Work?

If you want to try a DIY bed bug treatment that might work, you have lots to choose from. You may get lucky if there are only a couple of bed bugs hanging around.

But if you miss one single bed bug, then your efforts were futile and the bed bug treatment will have to start again. That is why calling a bed bug exterminator is always the best way to remove bed bugs.

Like this article? Check out our other health and lifestyle posts for more tips and advice!


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