Bedbug populations are on the rise in the U.S. Bedbugs are typically found in places with dense human habitation, such as apartments, hotels and dorms. You can also pick up bedbugs when moving into a new place or purchasing a piece of used furniture that is infested with them.
You might discover bedbugs because you've noticed the welts on your body where they've been feeding or you've found their husks and dung. The best way to get rid of them is to throw out your mattress and get a new one. But if you can't afford this option, remove all of the bedding from your bed and vacuum your bare mattress on both sides. You should also vacuum the box spring and around the frame. Purchase a vinyl cover for your mattress and zip your mattress inside it to starve any lingering bedbugs on the mattress. Then vacuum the entire bedroom, paying special attention to corners and places where the walls meet the ceiling and floors and behind furniture—good hiding places for bedbugs.
Bedbugs can stay alive and breed in your bedding, so wash your bedding in hot water with detergent. Bedbugs and their eggs should be killed by the hot water and detergent and a full cycle in the dryer. Don't return your bug-free bedding to your bedroom until you have thoroughly vacuumed the room and the mattress and box spring.
To ensure that you kill any rogue bedbugs that escaped your frantic cleaning of your bedroom and bedding, place sticky traps—the same kind used to catch mice—around the room where the bugs were living.
It's important to be vigilant after a bedbug infestation by continuing to regularly vacuum the places where the bugs were found and by washing bedding in hot water. Bedbugs don't confine themselves to bedrooms. If you purchased a secondhand futon to use as a couch in your living room, it might also be infested with bedbugs. In that case, the entire living room will need to be cleaned as carefully as the bedroom was. Check out any used furniture for bedbug husks and dung before you buy it.