What to Do About Bed Bugs?

Bedbugs are small, parasitic bugs that live off the blood of their hosts. They most commonly choose pets and humans as their main source of food. Since bedbugs inject a numbing solution as they feed (along with an anticoagulant), you might not feel them biting you during the night. However, the itchy bite marks you discover in the morning are a sure sign that you have an infestation that needs to be taken care of.

  1. Freezing

    • One of the first actions to take when you discover an infestation of bedbugs is to freeze any materials that may be affected. Items like sheets, pillowcases, pajamas, stuffed animals and anything else that may provide a potential home for bedbugs should be securely placed into garbage bags and placed in the freezer for at at least 24 to 48 hours.


    • Another option for potentially affected items is to wash them. If you normally wash your clothes in lukewarm or cold water, be sure to change your washer settings to hot. According to the Mayo Clinic, the washer temperature must be at least 97 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure that all bedbugs have been killed. You may want to repeat the process before placing the clothes in the dryer. If the clothing is dryer-safe for high heat, using the highest heat setting on the dryer will give you an extra edge of protection.

    Insecticide Sprays

    • For more serious bedbug outbreaks, you might want to hire a professional to come in and use an insecticide spray. You can spray your home yourself as well, as long as you ensure that the product you buy contains dichlorvos, malathion or permethrin. Remember that many of these products are harmful to pets and children. To be safe, it is recommended that you hire a professional to safely and effectively wipe out your bedbug infestation.


    • If you've been bitten by bedbugs, there are a few treatment options to help relieve the resulting discomfort. Bedbug bites often itch. To treat this, use an anti-itch topical cream on the area of the bite. Anything with cortisone should effectively relieve the itching. If an infection occurs at the site of the bite, your doctor may need to prescribe an antibiotic. To avoid infection, resist scratching the affected area.

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