The bed bug epidemic seems to get worse by the day. More people are waking up to discover bed bug bites on their children. More people are spending thousands of dollars on exterminators to have them check their homes for pests and then exterminate them, only to discover that the extermination methods used were not effective.
The entire process can create chaos in a person's life, and often leaves a person feeling embarrassed to have company over—fearful of going to sleep and doing so with an empty bank account. It doesn't have to be that way, though. If you've got a minor infestation, here are several ways to eradicate them once and for all.
6 Common Household Products That Will Kill All Bed Bugs
- Acetone (Nail Polish Remover)
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Diatomaceous Earth
- Steam Mop
Method #1: Acetone (Nail Polish Remover)
That's right, the same kind of acetone that you use to take off that amazing gel nail polish that doesn't chip for two weeks. Acetone fingernail polish remover—it has to be 100% acetone—kills bed bugs on contact. As soon as you see a bed bug, pour some of this on them and watch them dry up. You will still have to vacuum up the dead bed bug, but at least it will be dead.
You can find this online, at most dollar stores, and at any other store that sells fingernail polish remover. Unfortunately, however, this does not kill bed bug eggs.
Method #2: Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol works just like acetone fingernail polish remover does. It dries up the bed bug and kills it on contact. All it takes is pouring some on live bed bugs and relaxing while they shrivel up. Then, clean up the mess and go on with your day.
This is also widely available in almost any store. They sell larger quantities of rubbing alcohol online, too. Keep in mind that this does not kill the bed bug eggs either.
Method #3: Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth can kill any insect with an exoskeleton, like bed bugs. This works by dissolving the skeleton and the bug. The nice thing about this method is that there is no mess to clean up. The bad thing is that it can take a day or two to kill the bug.
When applying diatomaceous earth to kill bed bugs, it is important to remember that bed bugs have eyes. If they see a pile of white powder, they will not crawl through it. Instead, they will simply crawl around it, rendering this method completely ineffective. To make sure this does not happen, sprinkle a fine layer of diatomaceous earth where bed bugs are seen to make sure they crawl through it. Once again, keep in mind that this also does not kill bed bug eggs.
Method #4: Vacuum
A vacuum is not going to kill bed bugs, but it will still help get rid of them. Vacuums are a great tool in the battle against bed bugs simply because the baby bed bugs can be clear, making it hard to see them and even harder to kill them.
With a vacuum, you don't have to be able to see them. Simply vacuum everything, and then make sure to empty the vacuum or change the bag. When emptying or changing the bag, make sure that everything that comes out of the vacuum is in a tightly sealed bag until it goes out for the trash to guarantee that bed bugs don't come crawling back inside.
Method #5: Dryer
Bed bugs cannot withstand heat up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Most dryers reach this temperature during a normal cycle, effectively killing bed bugs. Throw curtains, clothes, and anything else that can be dried in the dryer.
Make sure that loads are small- or medium-sized so that the heat can reach every area. For example, when you throw a larger comforter in the dryer, the heat doesn't always reach the middle because it is so big. Large loads of clothes may work the same way. This is why it is important to make sure that loads are small. For comforters and blankets, dry them once. Then, rearrange them in the dryer and dry them again to be safe.
Heat can effectively kill both bed bugs and their eggs.
Method #6: Steam Mop
A steam mop is more expensive, but it is well worth it. The steam on most steam mops gets hot enough to kill both bed bugs and their eggs, and you can use it on anything. Only certain things can fit inside of a dryer, but a steam mop with a portable steamer doesn't have those limitations.
The portable steamer can be used to treat bed frames, couches, baseboards, cars, and so on. Heat is one of the only ways to kill bed bug eggs, aside from finding them and scraping them off to throw them away.
As a bonus, after the bed bug situation is over with, steam mops get a floor amazingly clean. So you will still get some additional use out of it. Just make sure to get one with a steamer that is detachable.
Try Using All of the Above Methods
One single method is usually not enough to get rid of bed bugs in one treatment or to kill them all, unless you heat the entire house up to kill all of the bed bugs and eggs inside of it.
This is why so many people think that they get bed bugs over and over again. The fact is, most people never get rid of them in the first place. The bed bugs get scared because of the treatments, go into hiding, and then resurface to feed a few months later.
Instead of dealing with that, use a combination of these treatments to make sure that everyone in the home can sleep through the night without waking up covered in bed bug bites.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2017 Amber Lynn
Amber Lynn (author) on November 29, 2020:
Curly Sue, try demand CS. It works wonders.
Curly Sue on May 05, 2020:
Everyone on the internet says they don't live in yards and lawns. May be not but they apparently hunt there. I have them coming in under windows and doors and cracks from crawl space. I get them out of our house and sprinkle powder by windows and find dead ones and sprays are killing them outside. I have used everything. Now I am thinking I need to spray my lawn, they are coming from neighbors home, I am pretty sure. Any ideas what will kill bed bugs in the yards.
prout on September 13, 2018:
how will I no if all bedbed are gone