Mosquitoes flying around

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs: Taking Action When You Spot Pests

March 31, 2023

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

Bed bugs can find their way into even the cleanest, tidiest of homes. When you see the signs of an infestation, take steps to deal with it quickly. Read on to learn more about what to look for and how to get rid of bed bugs in a house.

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are tiny insects that have round bodies that look like apple seeds. They typically measure less than 0.25 inches in length and have six legs. 

As parasites, they feed off the blood of humans and other mammals. Although they typically don’t spread diseases, bed bugs can cause itchy allergic reactions in some people. In some cases, the reaction may be severe enough to require emergency medical care.

Close up of a bed bug

How do bed bugs get into your house?

Bed bugs typically stow away on animals, people, and objects. They can jump great distances, and their small size makes them hard to spot. You could bring home bed bugs in your luggage after a stay in a hotel or pick them up on your clothes, bag, or shopping when you’re out and about. Bringing used furniture, clothing, linens, or draperies into your home can also lead to an infestation.

Once they get inside, bed bugs may infest:

  • Beds
  • Couches and other upholstered furniture
  • Baseboards
  • Door hinges
  • Electrical fixtures
  • Electronics
  • Drawers in dressers, tables, and other furniture

Signs of a bed bug infestation

Because bed bugs are tiny, nocturnal, and fast runners, you may see warning signs of an infestation without spotting any insects. Look out for:

  • Small blood stains on your clothes, skin, or bedding caused by bites
  • Tiny dark spots created by smeared bed bug feces
  • Musty odors coming from places where bed bugs tend to hide
  • Empty skin casings or shells
  • Small red bumps on your skin, particularly on your legs

bed bugs with shells, casing, and feces in the bottom of a wooden dresser draw

How to get rid of bed bugs 

When you spot signs of an infestation, take action quickly. Bag up or wrap up anything infested with bed bugs in plastic and then follow these tips to deal with the problem.

Best home remedies to get rid of bed bugs 

Many people wonder how to get rid of bed bugs naturally using home remedies. While you can find many tips using natural substances, these remedies often don’t work well. They may eliminate only a small part of the infestation or fail to produce results at all. Meanwhile, the pests continue to reproduce, and the infestation may worsen.

Calling a professional pest control service is the best way to deal with bed bugs. Knowledgeable professionals know how to get rid of bed bugs safely and can seek out pests wherever they’re hiding to deliver optimal results.

How to get rid of bed bugs in a mattress 

If you find bed bugs on your mattress, vacuum it thoroughly using a hose attachment. Steam cleaning may also help. However, in many cases, mattresses simply can’t be saved after an infestation. A pest control technician can advise whether you should clean or replace an item.

How to treat bedding for bed bugs 

Heat is typically an effective way to treat bedding for bed bugs. The pests begin to die at temperatures above 113 degrees Fahrenheit. Set your washing machine at this temperature or above and then tumble in the dryer on a similar heat setting. However, check the labels on your bedding first. If it requires dry cleaning, must be cleaned in cold water, or isn’t safe to tumble dry, you may want to simply replace it.

pest control specialist removing bed bugs with a specialized vacuum cleaner

How to clean up after bed bug treatment

After bed bug treatments, a thorough cleaning can help get your home back into shape and potentially reduce the risk of future infestations. Follow these bed bug cleanup tips:

  • Seal mattresses in a pest-proof cover
  • Open windows and use fans for ventilation
  • Clean all hard surfaces 
  • Vacuum your home daily for the first five days
  • Change the vacuum bag or clean out the canister after every use and dispose of it outside
  • Keep inspecting your home for any news signs of pests

Pest control professionals may provide you with additional bed bug cleaning procedures to follow.

Pest control services

If you need to get rid of bed bugs in your home, trust Hawx Pest Control. Our licensed pest control technicians can conduct a thorough inspection to find bed bugs wherever they hide. They’ll develop a treatment plan that uses high-quality products, advanced tools, and state-of-the-art technologies to address the problem. After the treatment, our technicians will share cleaning and prevention tips and recommend a maintenance schedule to keep pests at bay.

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