Dry cleaning removes bed bugs

Fight bed bugs in 14 steps

If the suspicion of a bed bug infestation has been confirmed, the begins second phase: Fight bed bugs.

Anyone who as a layperson does not know their way around at all, has little time for detailed research and implementation of recommended control methods, and is financially sound, should definitely think about one professional pest control to contact.

Because the Bed bug control is very labor-intensive and many components have to be taken into account so that all "infested" rooms or objects are taken into account and so that further spread of the bed bugs can be prevented.

A professional who is familiar with these unruly insects will be able to solve the problem more effectively and faster than a layman. However, the decision is up to you.

Fighting bed bugs - overview of the methods & means

In order to be able to fight bed bugs effectively, be different methods and means used.

There is no such thing as a “miracle solution” for the bed bug problem, but above all the application of one combination the different remedies against bed bugs can lead to lasting success.

The methods and remedies used against bed bugs are roughly summarized in the following table. It is divided into the three main areas of action against the unruly pests. The table does not claim to be complete, but rather serves as an overview of what can in principle be done or used against bed bugs.

Note for the use of pesticides (especially insecticides / pesticides): use biocides carefully. Always read the label and product information before use.

One detailed comparison The available remedies against bed bugs with description, advantages and disadvantages, as well as further links to recommended bed bug products can be found here:

➜ Comparison of the best bed bug remedies

Fight bed bugs - step by step

Now to the complex part: If you think that bed bugs should have made their way into your own four walls through luggage, used items or some other reason, then you can do the following Step by step think about fighting bed bugs.

Which means you ultimately want and can use depends on you. Keep in mind, however, that bed bugs are very stubborn little insects and that careless behavior can spread them further.

Useful equipment for fighting bed bugs

The following list provides an overview of useful equipment that can help you in your bed bug mission.

These are products that I have used myself or that I still have with me as a preventative measure when traveling. There is of course a lot more than that, but maybe it will help one or the other to make an initial selection.

Download checklist (PDF)

Last update of the list: December 20, 2020

1. Recognize bed bugs

First of all, you should definitely be sure that it is actually about bed bugs acts. I have already described in another article how you can recognize a possible bed bug infestation.

Many people who have come into contact with bed bugs absolutely want to avoid dragging bed bugs into their own homes.

If you feel the same way as me, then you will understand that you can get a little paranoid quickly.

Finally, it is also possible that you won't see your body's reaction to bed bug bites from a trip until a few days later. So if you're happy, you didn't bring the live bed bugs with you.

>> Article: How to spot bed bugs

2. Analysis of bed bug problem

If the suspicion is confirmed, it makes sense to find out about possible ones Causes and extent to worry about the bed bug problem.

You should also think about which remedies against bed bugs you have available, which remedies you might want to buy, or whether you'd better get a bed bug control professional to help.

  • When did it start?
  • Who is all bitten? How many bites?
  • Which rooms could be affected?
  • What could be the cause?
  • What options do I have to control bed bugs?
  • Maybe should I use a professional pest fighter?

Probably the most common cause of bed bugs in your own home is luggage. Maybe you just wondered about a few strange bites during the trip or labeled them as mosquito bites. Very often this can really be the case.

If you - like me - react a little more strongly to bed bug bites and you have had to deal with the problem seriously several times, then you will of course be a little more cautious (optionally also paranoid) at the slightest suspicion of bed bugs. Otherwise, as unwanted passengers, they can get into their own apartment via suitcase or backpack.

In general, it is recommended that you contact a professional pest controller. Because the professionals are of course best knowledgeable about how to effectively control bed bugs in different environments.

If you dare to fight it yourself, you will come into contact with agents that you should only use with extreme caution (insecticides, diatomite, ...). In addition, you can otherwise contribute to the fact that the bed bugs (accidentally) spread further or develop resistance to some of the insecticides used. This can also make work more difficult for a pest controller.

3. Preparation

Before actually fighting, preparation is the most important step. Therefore, I recommend that you inform yourself extensively.

On this website I have put together a lot of information about bed bugs. But beyond that, there are now some other extremely helpful resources for you to check out. It was completely different many years ago when I started this website due to a largely lack of information for those affected.

I have collected some of these resources for you here:

Even if you've hired a pest controller, a lot of preparation is required. This is the only way to maximize your chances of getting rid of the bed bugs as quickly as possible. Daniel Krämer from MIBABS Pest Control analyzed the quality of the preparation of those affected once over a year and calculated the success rate from this.

A single visit from the exterminator was only sufficient for operations where the customers prepared some points well to very well, with a probability of 87-100%.

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4. Clean up

The fewer places bed bugs have to hide, the better. Therefore, first of all make the ship really clear before taking action. It makes the further procedure easier.

The chances are not that bad that the bed bugs have "only" made themselves comfortable in and around your bed for the time being. At least if the infestation has not progressed too far.

It also allows you to see where they crawl better, in case you give them a chance to escape while fighting bed bugs. You can also catch bed bugs with strong adhesive duct tape, for example.

During the tidying up process, however, do not simply move untreated items into other rooms. This can spread the bed bugs even further if there are some bed bugs or bed bug eggs hiding somewhere.

Tip: You can store various things temporarily in large and sturdy plastic garbage bags. You can also collect clothes so that you can use them to go to the washing machine later. Backpacks and suitcases are best emptied in the bathtub (if available), then fleeing bed bugs cannot escape so easily (smooth walls).

5. Vacuuming

Carefully but thoroughly vacuum the affected room with a vacuum cleaner in all corners and edges. You should treat the entire bed frame including all cracks and the mattress.

A flat-bladed screwdriver will help check the cracks. Since thoroughness is the key to success, you should also empty all furniture and check for bed bugs.

It is also advisable to move the furniture to check the back and the wall behind for bed bug marks.

Important: At the end of the entire treatment, dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag well packed in an extra plastic bag (without a hole). Otherwise they could find their way to freedom again.

>> possible hiding places for bed bugs

6. Wash clothes

If you come across bed bugs while tidying up and vacuuming your closet, you can throw your clothes on at least 50 ° C wash and, if necessary, put in the tumble dryer afterwards.

Until the end of the treatment of your room, stow your clothes in another place, such as in a storage system made of plastic boxes or in large garbage bags, which are best sealed airtight.

7. Handle non-washable items

That turns out to be a little more difficult. One possibility is to remove bed bugs and bed bug eggs from the items one at a time.

Depending on the object, different means such as a vacuum cleaner, steam, kieselguhr, no-pest strips, a special anti-bed bug / anti-insect spray or others are suitable.

Warning: use biocides carefully. Always read the label and product information before use.

Another option is to pack the things airtight in a large plastic bag and place them in the sun.

With a wireless thermometer you can monitor the temperature, which should be more than 50 ° C over a long period of time to kill the bed bugs, which is especially a method for hot summer months.

It is also possible to imitate this principle (heat> 50 ° C) by other means. Because it can also be reached in a car in the sun, a greenhouse, a sauna, an infrared light cabin, etc. corresponding temperatures.

However, the heat and any moisture that may arise is not compatible with all objects and it is important that the heat really penetrates into the depths.

8. Treatment with steam

If available, a steam cleaner is suitable for treating carpets, mattresses and the like to effectively kill bed bugs of all stages of development - including bed bug eggs.

The steam should have a temperature of at least 65 ° C. You should also note that not all materials can be treated with steam.

The steam also leaves moisture behind, which could contribute to the formation of mold. Allow treated materials such as mattresses, carpets and curtains to dry and ventilate the room well.

9. Attach mattress cover

Bed bugs like to hide on and in the mattress and a bed bug cover prevents exactly this. It is therefore advisable to cover the mattress with a bed bug cover after treating it.

10. Move the bed away from the wall

If possible, move the bed away from the wall. This will reduce the bed bugs' access to you via the wall - important in combination with the next step.

11. Install bed bug barriers

If your bed has a bed frame, you can finish the legs with petroleum jelly or double-sided tape. This prevents bed bugs from crawling onto the bed by the bed legs.

Since the bed bugs stick to it, this method can also be used to monitor the bed bug problem for a few weeks. However, both the petroleum jelly and the adhesive tape must be renewed regularly.

Another possibility is, for example, to use a special sheet or hut sleeping bag treated with permethrin. Because these bed bug barriers are not only suitable for preventing bed bugs when traveling.

In addition, there are now bed bug traps that can be set up under the bed posts, which act as a climbing barrier to the bed. Of course, this only works if the rest of the bed with the bed frame and mattress has really been completely cleared of bed bugs.

After these bed preparations have been made, it is also important to sleep in bed. If only the bedroom has been affected so far and you go to another room to sleep, this can lure the bed bugs into the other rooms.

12. Diatomaceous earth for holes, cracks and other openings

Diatomaceous earth is an environmentally friendly remedy against bed bugs, which can be distributed as a powder in possible hiding places and along typical bed bug routes.

These include holes and cracks in the wall, areas behind the edge of the carpet, cracks on the sides of electrical outlets, and other areas that allow access to voids in the wall.

The fine and microscopically sharp shell fragments of the kieselguhr damage the chitin shell of the bed bugs and cause them to dry out.

Diatomaceous earth is only safe for humans and pets if you have the Do not inhale dust. Therefore, please make sure to use a face mask and really only use kieselguhr for cavities and not for openly accessible corners. Don't spread kieselguhr liberally directly in the living or sleeping area, where the agent could be inhaled.

13. Regular checks

Even when a professional pest controller has been hired, bed bug infestations are rarely resolved in one treatment.

It is therefore important to check the affected room for signs of live bed bugs and some of the for a long period of time Repeat treatment steps.

If you 50 to 60 days If you got along without any further signs of bed bugs (bites, live bed bugs, ...), you have probably made it and you are bed bug free again.

Now it is important to ensure that it stays that way in the future.

14. Prevent bed bugs

This is easier said than done, of course, but there are a few things you can do to reduce the chances of bed bugs getting into your home in the first place. This step could therefore also come first.

>> Articles prevent bed bugs
>> The best bed bug remedies in comparison (advantages and disadvantages)

The most important articles on bed bugs in the post series:


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