Most Effective Way to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

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Remove bed bugs by cleaning sheets in hot water.
Remove bed bugs by cleaning sheets in hot water. (Image: bed room image by Stephen Orsillo from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Bed bugs are flat reddish insects that enjoy biting skin and sucking on blood. They hide in the folds of bed linens and mattresses during the day and attack at night, leaving itchy red marks on the skin. Transferring bed bugs from a hotel or hospital to your home occurs when the tiny bugs take a ride in a suitcase or clothes, then find their way to the bed. Eradicate the insects as soon as you discover their presence in your home.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy-duty laundry detergent
  • Sweeper attachment
  • Plastic bags
  • Pesticide

Strip the bed of sheets and bed covers. Pour 2 tbsp. heavy-duty laundry detergent into the wash. Place the items in the washer and launder on the hottest water setting. If the bed covers are too large, take them to a laundromat and wash in the large commercial washing machines. Wash pajamas and any other clothing suspected of having bed bugs in the same manner as the bed sheets.

Vacuum the mattress with a sweeper attachment. Run the attachment over the top and sides of the mattress. Flip the mattress and vacuum again. Use the sweeper attachment to go over drapes, furniture and the bed frame. Vacuum the carpet in the room and under the bed. Remove the vacuum bag and discard it in an outside trashcan.

Place toys, games, books and other items that have come in contact with, or in close proximity to the bed, into plastic bags and seal tight. Leave the items in the plastic bags for two weeks, to allow the bugs to suffocate.

Spray a pesticide onto the mattress, furniture and carpet in the room. Use eye protection and a painter's mask when applying the spray.

Tips & Warnings

  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions when using the pesticide spray.

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