10 detailed steps to get rid of bed bugs permanently

bed bug magnifying glass

It’s a nightmare come true when you see a bed bug crawling on your bed sheets in the middle of the night. Bed bugs are tiny insects that feed on human blood. They mobilize and feed in the dark and will surely make you lose your sleep.

Not only bites and itches, bed bugs can give you severe mental trauma as well. A bed bug infestation can have a severe impact on your productivity at home and at work.

In my personal experience as exterminator in Toronto GTA, I have observed that most people always first try to to get rid of bed bugs by doing home remedies before calling-in a pest control company.

This is why I thought that I should write an article that will genuinely help you in doing this DIY pest control in an effective and scientific manner. This will also make sure that you don’t waste precious time and don’t end up with an explosion in bed bug infestation.

This is a detailed, easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide on how to get rid of bed bugs permanently from your house, condo or apartment. I have included very effective professional tips that will make this DIY bed bug treatment successful.

Before getting into the details, let me answer the most asked question about bed bugs.

How did bed bugs get into my home?

  • Bed bugs are sneaky and can get transported into your home by hitch hiking onto your handbags, travel luggage, clothing etc. from infested places you may have visited.
  • They can get-in through infested furniture and furnishings that you may have brought into your home.
  • Bed bugs can crawl into your home from infested neighbours.
  • They can also hitch hike onto you from public transport, movie halls, restaurant seats, hotel beds or Uber seats.

Now, lets begin with our DIY home remedy to get rid of bed bugs permanently.

1. Identify and Inspect for Bed bug infestation

Pest Control for bed bugs

Bed bugs are reddish-brown in colour and about 1 to 5mm in size. They are comparable to apple seeds in appearance and have a flat circular body with horizontal groves on their backs.

Bed bugs lay tiny white elongated oval-shaped eggs that are generally clustered together. The eggs firmly stick to the surfaces on which they are laid upon. the video below shows bedbug eggs, and will help you in identification.

A very good indicator of bedbug activity are the tiny black dots which are the fecal droppings of bed bugs. These can be found on your mattress seams, bed frames, electrical outlets, etc. See the image below.

Bed bug droppings

Bed bugs can bite you and they can give you a lot of discomfort. Some people’s skin reacts to the bites while some people’s does not.

Bed bug bites may give you a prickly itch or they may give you itchy red welts. Please see the image below.

bed bug bite marks

Bite marks, itches and welts can be good indicators of a bed bug infestation. But, it cannot be concluded with complete surety that there is a bed bug infestation just on the basis these indicators alone. Many other insects like dust mites and fleas leave similar bite marks, itches, welts and reactions on the skin. Hence, a physical inspection of your home is absolutely necessary.

Bed bugs like dark and cool places to hide. Use a torch or flashlight for a thorough inspection of your house starting from your bedroom. Your cell phone torch should also do the job. It is a good idea to use a magnifying glass as bed bugs and their eggs are very tiny.

They love to nest very near their prey, that is near you. So start inspecting your bedroom first and then move-on to the living room.

Bed bug inspection

This is a list of all locations where bed bugs hide and nest:

  • Bed bugs nest deep inside the seams, creases and corners of your mattresses, box springs and couches.
  • They love to hide inside the bottom covers of your box-springs and couches. Tear-off the bottom covers to access them if necessary.
  • The headboards of your beds and specially on the rear side of head-boards.
  • Bed bugs can nest inside or behind any artifacts, paintings, posters or mirrors hung above the headboard.
  • Legs, joints, corners, bottoms and backs of bed frames and couches.
  • Cracks and crevices of the side-tables in the bedrooms.
  • Electrical switches and outlets are very good nesting spots and entry points of bed bugs.
  • Bottoms and backs of all furniture.
  • Curtains and curtain rods are convenient spots for bed bugs to hide.
  • Wooden ledges in the wardrobes or closets.
  • Inside the cracks, crevices and joints of baseboards, especially behind or besides your bed.

You may also use bed bug interceptors and insect glue traps to determine if your room is infested.

Insect glue traps attract and trap the bed bugs. These devices will help you determine where and how severe the infestation is.

This is a link to Catchmaster insect monitoring glue traps available on Amazon.com, that I recommend. The glue traps are easy to use, safe for kids and pets and quite inexpensive.

Place glue traps below your bed towards the headboard wall. Also at baseboards in all corners of your room. The number of bedbugs caught on traps will help you determine the infestation. It can also help you determine which spots of the room are infested and how high the infestation actually is.

2. Declutter and minimize

Declutter for bed bugs

Decluttering and minimizing will help in restricting the growth and recurrence of infestation. It will also give you better control of your surroundings in getting rid of bed bugs. Lesser the number of items, lesser will be the hiding spots for bed bugs.

Remove all items from under and the sides of your bed. Reduce the number of items in your wardrobe. Throw away items that already have severe bed bug nesting.

Move all the furniture including your bed and headboard at least 6 inches (150mm) away from the walls.

Do not throw away your mattresses or other furniture right away. Consult us or any good pest control professional before taking such a drastic step. A good pest control service will cost you much less than the cost of the furniture.

3. Get rid of bed bugs from clothes and fabrics

washing for bed bugs

Remove and wash all your clothing from closets, all bed sheets, bed covers, mattress protectors, pillow covers, all the curtains and all other fabrics. Wash all these fabrics at the hot water setting of your washing machine and heat dry at the highest temperature for at least 40 minutes. This will kill any bed bugs that are hidden inside the fabrics.

Place all these fabrics and clothing in tightly sealed garbage plastic bags before returning them to the rooms.

Tip: DO NOT return your clothes and fabrics to the closets for at least 2 to 4 days after completing this DIY process. Keep them sealed tightly in garbage bags so that no bed bugs can crawl back into the the clothes. This procedure never gets highlighted. Do not ignore it.

4. Vacuum to remove bed bugs​

Vacuum for bed bugs

The next step is to vacuum and discard the bed bugs and their eggs as much as possible. This will significantly reduce the bed bug population and prevent their migration to other rooms.

Do not vacuum at night as bed bugs disperse for feeding at night. You want them to be at rest and clustered together so that the bugs get vacuumed without getting dispersed.

The areas to vacuum are the same as the list mentioned in the section above i.e. ‘This is the list of locations where bed bugs hide and nest’.

Use a suitable vacuum cleaner for sucking up bed bugs. A vacuum cleaner with high suction power and multiple attachments should do the job. Multiple attachments will help you reach the hard to access joint, cracks and crevices. Vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter will make sure that you get rid of the bed bug eggs too.

This is the link to a suitable Kenmore vacuum cleaner that has suitable attachments, convenient dirt bags which can be disposed right away and a Hepa filter. This vacuum cleaner is inexpensive and available on Amazon.com.

Tip: Before starting the vacuuming, add a suitable Bed bug pesticide or Bed bug powder into the cannister or the vacuum bag. This will kill all bugs or eggs that get vacuumed into vacuum bag.

5. Steaming to kill bed bugs and their eggs​

Steaming for bed bugs

Exposure to heat is a scientifically established method to instantly kill bed bugs and their eggs. Steaming is a no-chemical, natural, quick and easy DIY method to get rid of bed bugs permanently.

Use a suitable steamer that can deliver steam of about 110°C with high steam output.

The spots to steam are the same as the list mentioned in the section above i.e. ‘This is the list of locations where bed bugs hide and nest‘.

Your speed for steaming should not be more than 1 inch per second. Try to be slow, detailed and thorough. Hold the steam longer at joints, cracks and crevices so that heat can penetrate deep inside.

To get rid of bed bugs from mattresses and bed frames, be slow and thorough. Especially if you don’t want to spray the mattresses with chemicals. Reach inside each and every crease, seam and piping.

Koitat pressurized steam cleaner produces enough steam, does not require a lot of space to store and does not break the bank. This product available on Amazon.com is perfect for steaming for bedbug elimination.

Steaming is the last stage of DIY process if you want to avoid use of pesticides. Specially if you have senior citizens or babies or people who are sensitive to chemicals in your home. It is advisable to steam at least once every week till you get rid of bed bugs permanently.

6. Pesticide spray to kill bed bugs instantly on contact

Pesticide spray

Your battle to get rid of bed bugs is half won after vacuuming and steaming. You should now spray a pesticide that kills the bed bugs and destroys their eggs instantly on coming in contact with the pesticide.

MGK 1852 Crossfire, available on Amazon.com, is the best pesticide to get rid of bed bugs. It can kill all stages of bed bugs i.e. eggs, nymphs and adults. It will also kill bed bugs that are resistant to pyrethroids. Read the label thoroughly before use.

Do not spray the pesticide randomly on surfaces. Be specific, target live bugs, their eggs and their nests. Also spray the spots as mentioned in the section above i.e. ‘This is the list of locations where bed bugs hide and nest‘. Try to get the spray deep into seams, openings, joints, cracks and crevices.

This pesticide spray treatment will substantially reduce the population of bed bugs and help you get rid of the bed bug infestation by about 99%.

While using pesticides, always read the label, follow the safety instructions and follow application procedures exactly as mentioned on the label.

Can you sleep in bed after bedbug spray treatment?

It is safe to sleep in bed after bed bug treatment using off the shelve pesticides once all the surfaces are dry. The best decision can be made after completely and carefully reading the label on the pesticide. The label will specify all precautions, safety requirements, re-entry time etc.

Below are links to a very effective insecticide and tank sprayer that I personally recommend.

7. Pesticide-powder application for long term prevention of bed bugs

Bulb duster

There is a high possibility of getting re-infested if we miss-out on killing even a few of these bugs. Also, the possibility of transporting them into your home from outside sources always exists.

To stop bed bugs from re-infesting your home, I highly recommend using pesticide-dust, I recommend Drione Insecticide dust, available on Amazon.

Whenever a bed bug crawls over or comes in contact with this powder, the micro-crystals stick to the legs and exoskeleton of the bug. These micro-crystals crack open the exoskeleton and dehydrate the bugs and kill them in about 2 to 3 days after contact.

Use a bulb duster of good quality to blow minute amounts of this pesticide dust into electrical outlets, crack and crevices and in spots as mention in the section above i.e. ‘This is the list of locations where bed bugs hide and nest’.

The duster makes it very easy to blow the powder deep into cracks and crevices. It also helps spread it evenly on surfaces.

Tip: The powder will not be effective if you apply it in excessive amounts. Do not create mounds or thick lines of powder. Spread the powder fine and even. The bulb duster will help you in doing so. Thoroughly read and follow the label.

Below are links to the pesticide powders and bulb-dusters that you can buy online on Amazon.com.

Pesticide-powder remains active for months or even years if it is left undisturbed at spots where it is applied properly.

This is the step that should get you rid of 100% of the bugs.

8. Bed bug interceptors

Bedbug interceptor

Bed bug interceptors are simple devices that restrict bed bugs from reaching your bed or couch. They also help in monitoring the bed bug activity. You can easily keep tack of number of bed bugs that get trapped in the trench and determine if the activity is growing, decreasing or if the activity has stopped completely.

Interceptors trap bed bugs that try to reach your bed or couch. Bed bugs get trapped into the trench of the device. Interceptors are coated with very fine powder that makes it impossible for the bedbugs to crawl out.

Just simply place the bed bug interceptors under the legs of your beds and couches as seen in the image above.

Below is a link to bed bug interceptors that you can buy online on Amazon.com.

9. Mattress protector for bed bugs

bed bug mattress protector

The final step to keep bed bugs away permanently is to encase your mattresses with a mattress protector. This will protect your mattresses from getting infested by bed bugs.

A good quality protector is made of anti-infestation material and has no seams. Due to which bed bugs do not find any creases and corners to colonize into.

Below is a link to mattress protectors that I recommend and you can buy online.

10. Awareness and vigilance

Bed bugs are stealthy bugs that have been lurking around and feeding on humans since the time when humans lived in caves.

It very important for us to always be aware of our surroundings and be vigilant towards any bed bug activities.

Whenever you check-in into a hotel room, immediately inspect for bed bugs under the mattresses and headboards.

After vacations, business travels, staying over at friends and relatives, right away put your clothes into the washing machine.

Keep an eye for any evidence of bug activity in your home from time to time. This will make you take prompt action on the problem without it going out of control.


  • If you follow all the “10 detailed steps to get rid of bed bugs permanently with pro-tips” in utmost detail you will surely get rid of bed bugs permanently.
  • There is no magic trick to getting rid of bed bugs quickly. It takes a lot of effort, time and patience.
  • Invest in good pesticides and equipment so that you can do a successful bed bug treatment and you are ready to mitigate any possible infestations in the future.
  • If you have any questions or want to request a free quote or inspection, you can reach out to me on (Toronto, Canada)+1 437-985-5552 or email me on info@reliefpestcontrol.ca

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