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How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Yourself?

Cimex Hemipterus (bedbug) on corrugated recycle paper

Cimex Hemipterus (bedbug) on corrugated recycle paper

Back in the old days of our grandparents and their grandparents they commonly lived with an infestation known as bed bugs. Hence the saying, “Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.” Although, it was quite common then it seemed as if we didn’t have to live with some bedtime bloodsucker living in our darkened bedroom. Wake up, because bedbugs have made a new appearance and sharing our nights with them is just plain disgusting. Here are some tips if you’d like to know how to get rid of bed bugs yourself?

Bed bugs may be hard to see since they are very small; full grown they are only ¼ to 3/8 of an inch long. If they are small, flat and brown they haven’t gotten to your blood yet. But if you see a small oval body that is dull red and resembles a baby cockroach or even a common tick—they have had a blood feast somewhere.

These bugs have a life span of a year to a year and a half and during that life a female will lay close to 500 eggs.

It only takes the younger bed bugs about 3 minutes to make a meal out of your blood. The adults take about 15 minutes. Then these night thieves will hide for a few days, just reveling and digesting what they have consumed.

You may see signs of bed bugs but not really know what it is. The fact is that, although it is positively disgusting, bed bugs do not cause any real threat to the majority of people. They won’t crawl under your skin and live, they also don’t carry any diseases. They are also not aggressive in the least, but despite all of this you do need to get them out of your home immediately.

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If you do suffer from any allergic reaction you can use an antihistamine to reduce these reactions. If the bites are noticeable and itch excessively then you don’t want to scratch your way to an infection. An antiseptic or antibiotic cream will help prevent any infections. You can also use calamine lotion for the relief of itching.

It isn’t easy to know how to get rid of bed bugs yourself because you may never see them. Look for tiny reddish, brown or black dots in the creases of your mattress or linens. They also like to leave their spots, which is fecal matter, in the creases of wallpaper. You may also notice a strange and offensive, musky odor if the infestation is heavy.

You have to first find out where the bed bugs are living and hiding before figuring out how to get rid of bed bugs yourself. They love to hide in the folds and seams of mattresses. As the infestation increases they will get into the box springs of your mattress, the casings around your windows and doors and even inside other household furniture.

It isn’t an easy job to rid your home of bed bugs, because it requires heavy cleaning and making several changes and then treating all areas of your home to rid yourself of these pests.

Two of the best products that you will need when you want to know how to get rid of bed bugs yourself are two very common household items. These two items are Clorox bleach and alcohol.

You will first want to vacuum all carpets and upholstery and the mattress. Then steam cleaning is advised, but not on mattresses because the moisture can cause a mold problem. Use the Clorox to clean walls, floors, bedding and clothes.

Use alcohol to wipe down all furniture and electronics. You want to take your bed apart so you can clean all the crevices that the bed bugs could be hiding in, especially where the bed is put together at adjoining seams.

Since you cannot clean the mattress with Clorox or alcohol you need to purchase a very good mattress cover. The best kind to use for this is one that fully encases the mattress and then zips up. This needs to be left on the mattress for at least a year because although bed bugs can survive without blood for that long they can’t survive without oxygen.

Don’t live with bed bugs, live without them.


Allan Thomes has been a professional writer for 1 &1/2 years. He joined the THF Team in May, 2011. Along with the numerous other hobbies he enjoys, Allan spends many hours doing home remodeling projects, entertaining family and friends, and gardening.

  • Bernadette

    Bleech and alcohol. Works for bedbugs and vacuum vacuum. Away constant everytime u think about it go get some sleep I am. (Smile)

  • Alveskim02

    alcohol will kill bed bugs GOOD LUCK ALL

  • PennyV

    Thanks for the advice, Bernadette and Alveskim02!  Rubbing alcohol and bleach do help to reduce a bedbug infestation, as does vacuuming frequently.  However, you have to be very cautious and not spread the infestation by improperly disposing of the vacuum bags.  The alcohol loses it’s effectiveness once it is dried, so must the treatment must be repeated quite often.  The alcohol can also mess up the lacquer on finished wood products, so it should be tested in a small, out-of-sight area before being applied to headboards.  All sheets, blankets, stuffed toys, and clothing should be sealed up tightly in a plastic bag before being carried to the laundry room.  Then they should be washed in very hot water and dried in a hot drier to kill off any remaining bedbugs.

  • hji


  • PennyV

    Hi, Hji! Are you saying Ew to the methods of eliminating bed bugs or to the idea of having them around?

  • douglas

    im so sad bed bugs are controlling my life i always feel as something is crawling on me and i never get sleep i always clean my bed but they keep coming bacc i wish they never exsisted i hate them!!! it makes me so mad ill try your method today hopefully ill be able to live comfortably

  • PennyV

    Douglas, I’m sadden by the fact that bedbugs are making your life so miserable. I wish you the best of luck with getting rid of your infestation. I sincerely hope the information provided on this site helps you. You may want to join in on our forum discussion relating to getting rid of bedbugs by going to:

  • worried

    hi! my roommate has bed bugs in her room (we live in an apartment). we had a dog come and inspect the entire apartment and the bugs have only been found in her room. her room has since been chemically treated twice and the dog will be coming back to check everything again. i am very scared and paranoid the bugs will spread to my room. can the bugs make their way to my room or their own? or do they have to be carried here via clothes? our rooms are somewhat far apart and our rooms do not share any walls. she has no been staying in her room since, and i have not sat on any communal areas since—i have only stayed in my room. I am just extremely worried these things will spread to me. thanks for any information.

  • PennyV

    Worried, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but bed bugs can travel on their own, even through electrical wiring and air ducts. Please see the discussion of our forum and the video I have posted there:

  • Sick to death

    I have seen only one bedbug in 6 days does that mean im close to getting rid of them and it had not fed

  • PennyV

    Sick to death, I would say that seeing only one bedbug in 6 days is a good start, but you still have to keep treating the area for bedbugs. Here’s a good video that I’ve found that tells you more about how to know when you’ve gotten rid of the bedbug problem:

  • ronj

    I just sprayed my house down with clorox bleach and vacuumed everything plus got a new bed .. should my bed bugs be gone?

  • PennyV

    Ronj, it will probably take several treatments to get rid of all of the bedbugs in your home. You have to account for the possibility that the bedbugs just went into hiding and will be back once the bleach dissipates. You also have to consider the possibility that you didn’t kill/get rid of all of their eggs, so you could have some hatching. The most common theory is that if you don’t find any bedbugs and don’t get bit by any bedbugs. in 50-60 days, then you probably have got rid of them all. But since bedbugs travel on people and pets, it’s easy to get a new infestation too. Please visit the forum we have started regarding bedbugs and/or read some of the comments on some of the other articles that THF has posted about bedbugs. I have posted a couple of good videos in the forum and in a few of my previous comments that may also help you out.

  • rita

    I vacuumed first the mattresses and box springs. I took them outside afterwards scrubbed them down sprayed them with pesticides that are ok for mattresses and let them sit in the hot sun all day. The heat kills them. Inside, I emptied all rooms scrubbed all walls and furniture with alcohol and bleach and vacuumed alot. I sprayed the rooms and ordered DE food grade powder from home depot. I sealed all clothes in bags and all other items and started washing. In the meantime I took all the remaining items and put them in our company truck and bombed the stuff in there. This was all done in one day. I also went to bed, bath, and beyond and bought bed bug mattress and box spring encasements and covered them. They were approx $220. I put them on put the beds back after I took all the frames apart scubbed them with dawn dish soap, bleach, n sprayed with alcohol, and safe pesticide wearing a mask. I lubed vaseline on the legs of the bed and anything else touching the floor. Check behind pictures too. I didnt see anymore. This was on day one. A few stragglers came out on day two. I vacuumed again and sprayed again. Day 3 I shampooed all the carpets, vacuumed again and don’t forget to lsy your clothes that r waiting to be washed in HOT water out in the sun. Then the powder came. I took off all outlet covers n put de powder with a make a large make up brush everywhere. Mattresses, furniture, carpet etc. Walls, inside outlet covers. Everything. Its safe but wear a mask whenapplying. Stay diligent. Put powder down every 3 months and use the spray only I the Initial phase while waiting for the powder. Its not easy to find in a store. Don’t assume their gone once u don’t see them anymore. They r hiding and hide for a long time. The powder works but don’t use bombs, take apart your vacuum and clean before using anywhere else in your house. I am free of bed bugs. 3 rooms were affected upstairs and we caught it early. We purchased the beds from the same place and they were allready infested but they were new temperpedic beds. They won’t admit they were there but I didn’t want to argue so I took care if it. Treat the entire house no matter what and keep cleaning and vacuuming no matter what. Ive heard if they get in your couches u have to throw them away because u can’t take them apart and find them all. I have a 5 bedroom house over 3100 square ft. If I did it you can too. Just get focused, get to work and get online and get the bleach, dawn, sprays, and order your DE food grade powder and get those mattress n box spring encasements asap N forget lots of vaseline. They get stuck in it.

  • PennyV

    Thanks for the inspiring story of how you got rid of your bedbug problem, Rita! It sounds like you went through every one of the recommended steps for getting rid of bedbugs!