How To: Get rid of bed bugs

Get rid of bed bugs

It truly is hard to sleep tight when the bed bugs bite, since these insidious creatures are very real, and very nasty. You'll have to be persistent to get rid of them.

Step 1: Know your enemy
Know your bed bugs. They're flat, oval-shaped, wingless, brownish—but will swell and be a bit reddish after feeding—and grow to be about the size of an apple seed.

Step 2: Spot the signs
Spot the signs. One is being bitten, usually in the night and in rows, but some people don't wake up. Look for other clues—rusty spots on sheets or mattresses (from crushed bugs) or dark spots (from their droppings, eggs, and shed skins).

Step 3: Look for bugs
With a flashlight, look for bugs in: the folds of mattresses, box springs, furniture, curtains; cracks in bed frames & headboards; under chairs, couches, beds; in dresser drawers; behind baseboards; under rugs & around carpet edges; crevices near doors & windows; behind loose wallpaper or wall hangings; in cracks in your plaster; & in electronics.

Step 4: Confirm your findings
Verify that you've found bed bugs by getting a pest control expert to visit your home, or sending a dead bug to a university lab, which will let you know if it is in fact a bed bug.

Step 5: Clean up
The less clutter you have on your floor, under your bed, and throughout your home, the fewer hiding places for the bugs.

Step 6: Vacuum daily
Vacuum up dirt, bugs, and eggs. Vacuum your mattress, box spring, and furniture thoroughly every day until you're sure the bugs are gone.

Step 7: Cover your mattress
Purchase a plastic or plastic and cloth encasement for your mattress.

Step 8: Clean clothes
Clean all clothes, linens, blankets, pillows, and drapes.

Step 9: Isolate your bed

Step 10: Hire a pro

Step 11: Seal your home

Step 12: Repeat

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