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Free DIY Bed Bug Extermination Checklist

Updated on August 09, 2016
Bedbugabscond profile image

Melody is a CDC Committee volunteer and activist who has been fighting and educating others about bed bug infestations for years.

Is Your Plan Full Proof?

Profesional or not, everyone needs to have a written bed bug plan.
Profesional or not, everyone needs to have a written bed bug plan. | Source

Is DIY Extermination Right For You?

The tables below can act as your action guide for self a extermination, or in tandem with professional bed bug treatments. This guide takes you step-by-step through the entire bed bug removal process.

Do it yourself bed bug removal is a big responsibility. It takes an investment of time and brain power.

Calling an exterminator is often the best option, but not everyone can afford one.

You can kill bed bugs yourself, IF you are willing to be ubber dedicated to the task.

Do your research, understand the process, collect supplies and then kill those buggers.

If you are sure that the do it yourself option is best for you, then get ready to dig in to the proccess.

Use the following bed bug killing check lists to make sure you thoroughly eradicate bed bugs.

Besides research, the first step is doing a bed bug inspection.

Know what the following look like:

Then you are ready to inspect.

When inspecting for bed bugs, you should check ALL bedrooms and living/family rooms.

You may also want to check any adjacent living spaces where people spend time, such as offices.

Be warned, this is a long “to-do” list and takes an investment of time and money.

If this list looks intimidating, and you are not likely to follow through with every step, you should call a professional.

It will cost more to call a professional, and you may still need to do some things on this list, but it will take less time.

If you have time, and ability to make a small investment, then you may consider doing it yourself if it is legal in your area.

It is important to keep your head on straight while you develop a bed bug plan.

This is true if you do it yourself, or you call a professional. Bed bugs cause anxiety, and can get emotions running on high.

Take a few deep breaths, stay calm and buckle down; you will beat your bed bug problem.

The following checklists can be printed. The first box is intentionally left empty so you can check off each item as you go.

Bed Bug Extermination Checklist

Daily To Do List
Additional Info
Day 1
(if you horde, you may need more time)
If you do not clear the clutter before you begin, you will drive the bugs in to the clutter, creating a bigger problem.
Day 2
(This needs to be done in every bedroom and the living room areas, so you may need more time. For larger infestations in houses with carpet that needs to be removed, this will take more than one day).
Pull all furniture away from walls
Remove bedding
Clothi items should be removed and laundered. Place the clothing and bedding in to large Zip lock bags (trash bags do not work because they do not seal. If you use trash bags, duck tape them closed. This is important, so any bed bugs in bedding and clothing do not spread to the laundry area, all of these items will need to be washed and dried on high heat.
Remove curtains
Empty Dressers
Take apart bed frame
Use the wire brush to scrub any areas you suspect bed bugs and eggs
(this might damage your furniture, so you may need to use another method, such as steaming)
Scrub any suspected areas with window cleaner or liquid Oxy products to loosen eggs.
Clean the room, including windows, cracks and crevices with the window cleaner or OXY product.
These products are usually ammonia base, which kills bed bugs and eggs. (do not use straight ammonia, it is a dangerous product, especially to asthmatics)
Thoroughly vacuum everything!
(Remove the vacuum bag right away, place in zip lock and dispose of bag, otherwise the bugs will escape from the vacuum.)
Throw all furniture you intend to throw away at this point.
(Especially couches!!!) - This should be near trash day or a bulk pick up. Items should be seald in large bags. If not scheduled near trash day, plan to go to the dump. It isn't very expensive. You MUST seal items before you put them in a vehichle to prevent spreading to the vehichle.
Day 3
Clean carpets in bedroom and living area, or remove it.
If you have a steamer, steam everything at this point. (Not windows in the winter, they could crack)
Day 4
Apply bed bug killer according to package directions
For Hot Shot Products:
Spray perimeter, cracks, based boards, inside dressers and so on first, and then fog.
For Damasucs Earth:
Apply in cracks and crevices and any place the bed meets the floor.
For sprays you mix yourself:
Spray perimeter, and mattress (if approved for that), base boards, cracks crevices, inside dressers and so on.
Immediately put zippered mattress and pillow covers on mattresses and pillows
Keep duck tape handy at all times. You will need to inspect the cover regularly and duck tape any tears. You want to keep this mattress sealed tight, so any bugs inside will die instead of escape.
Place Glue Traps
Under bed posts, if not using Damascus Earth, under mattress and under couch cushions.
Days 5 - 11
Begin sealing your home up tight, inside and out.
Base Boards
Floor, wall and ceiling.
Including rubber molding
If needed
Repair and fill any holes in the wall
Even small ones caused by nails.
For Wall Paper:
Repair any torn edges, regluing any raised part.
Seal outside perimiter of home
Work on the laundry in the ziplock bags
Do not remove or open the bag until the item is being placed in the washer.
Days 12 - 17
Spot spray as needed
Don't overdo it
Blow dry areas of beds where you suspect the small, white baby bugs
(Don’t melt your mattress cover or catch anything on fire).
Remove bedding and wash it on a regular basis
Inspect your sealing job
Look for areas you may have missed, or places that have peeled or cracked
Check and replace traps or Damascus earth as needed
Do not permit the travel of blankets around the house
Continue to vacuum every day.
Inspect all areas for bed bugs.
At this point, bed bugs will try to find areas you did not spray to live. You need to find these areas and use the spot spray to spray them.
Day 18
Spray a second time, for any eggs which may have hatched.
Day 19 and on...
Chang linens 1 x a week
Vacume regularly
Check Traps
Inspect beds
Bed Bug Schedule - Disclaimer, this is a schedule I created from my experience with bed bugs. If you have a schedule from a professional, you should use it.

Collect Items You Need

One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to eradicate bed bugs is starting before they have all the supplies they need.

You need all supplies because they each have a spesific purpouse in the process. If you skip a step because you don't have the supplies, you could just set yourself back.

This list should be coupled with a personal bed bug plan. You also need a schedule to improve chances of succeeding in getting rid of bed bugs.

I am including an estimation of the cost, to give you an idea on what to budget for.

If you are trying to use this estimation as a cost comparison for getting a professional, the numbers won't be quite right.

Many professionals, will still have you get many of these items, such as zippered pillows and mattress covers.

Some professionals will seal for you, but that will cost more.

That means that you might be responsible for sealing, which raises the cost.

Sealing can also lower your energy bills, so you will likely recoup the money spent on it.

There are thousands of supplies on the market, so it is important to understand which ones are essential for DIY extermination.

Bed Bug Extermination Supply List

To Get
Additional Infoi
Estimated Price USD
Bed Bug Killer
Natural, pesticide or powder
$50 - $200
Some pesticided come premixes, such as Hot Shot Bed bug spray and Eco Bed Bug spray. Some you mix yourself.
$15 -$20
Large Zip Lock Bags
3-4 per family member, possibly more
$30 - $50 (depends on family size)
Stiff bristle brush
$6 - $10
Vacuum cleaner
Assuming you already own one.
For sealing
$50 -$100 (depending on number and size of bedrooms)
Caulk gun
For Sealing
$5 - $10
Old rags
For cleaning and cauling.
Make from old shirts and towels
Zippered Mattress covers
One per matress
$30 - $210 (depending on number of beds)
Zippered Pillow Covers
One per pillow
$5 - $50 (depends on number of pillows)
Duct Tape
Window Cleaner or Oxyclean spray
By the gallon if possible
Fore planning and scheduling
Print one free from the net
Trash Bags
For cleaning and decluttering.
$15 (more if there is a lot of clutter)
Optional Items
Steam Cleaner
$100 - $150
Bed Bug Protective tents
$90 per bed
$409 - $693

Inspect for Bed Bugs

(click column header to sort results)
To Do  
Additional Info  
Check seams on all sides of mattress
Inspect and remove all bedding
Place any bed bug infested items in a large Ziploc bag while in the que for the washing machine, otherwise the laundry room could become infested with bed bugs.
Inspect mattress
inspect bed frame
You may want to take the bed apart and inspect crevices were joints meet.
Pull furniture away from regular spot
Inspect dresser
Inspect inside and undersite of drawers
Inspect T.V. Stand
Inspect Shoe racks
Inspect Closet
Under boxes, in boxes, behind boxes. This is a good time to clean out your closet!
Inspect night tables
Inspect couches, chairs and foot stools
Inspect under wall sockets
Inspect walls
Check for holes caused by nails or other damage.
Inspect all walls where they meet trimwork.
This includes wall and cealing trim.
Check base boards and rubber molding
Inspect floor
In between carpet fibers
around edges where bed bugs could slip underneeth
Wood Floors
Around edges, and in between floor boards
Bed Bug Inspection Check List

Research Bed Bugs and Removal Process

To Do
Additional Info
Look at bed bug pictures
Look at bed bug bite pictures
Research spray options
Compare pesticides, natural sprays and dusts
Dusts, such as Delta Dust and Damascus Earth
Understand your budget
Decide which bed bug killer you want to use
Bed Bug Research Checklist

Do You Have What it Takes?

Many people tend to jump the gun at the first sight of bed bugs.

You will likely find the bed bugs, and want to do something right then.

It is important to understand the entire list before you begin.

Eradicating bed bugs may be stressful but it can be done!

Don't panic or act rash. If you do not follow a specific process, you may make the bed bug infestation worse.

If you are not careful you may cause the bed bugs to scatter around the house. They might end up in odd places.

That can lead to disastrous results, which requires a professional.

If you spray too soon, you may not understand what needs to be done.

Bed bugs will avoid areas you spray, and might be driven deeper into your home.

This might make the infestation worse.

Make sure you understand the entire process, and have all of the supplies before you begin.

Understanding the do it yourself bed bug process is important when trying to decide if you should take this process on or call a professional.

Choose Your Weapon Wisely

There are many bed bug sprays on the market. It is  imperative to choose wisely.
There are many bed bug sprays on the market. It is imperative to choose wisely. | Source

Creating a Bed Bug Schedule

You must create a plan; if you do not want to do this step, call a professional.

I know I am drilling these points, but they must be drilled to assure total express.

Professionals, such as Orkin, have premade plans that tell you what they will do, when they will do it, what you need to do and when you need to do it.

If you are good at list making and scheduling, this will be the easy part.

Clear two weeks from your calendar (go to work, but make time in your day for the process).

I find that a proper bed bug extermination process can be done in around two weeks.

Giving up social gatherings, games and outtings for a few weeks is worth it.

There need to be at least two people involved, and each of them must dedicate time every day.

If you can not devote time for this process, you are better off with a professional.

I am not trying to talk you out of doing it yourself, I just want to impress the importance of being prepared.

The schedule is over 18 days, but most of the work is in the first two weeks.

If you draw the process out for too long, you risk the bed bugs being driven in to areas which you may not even realize are an issue.

Dedication to this project will be your true relief.

Some people can spend a lot less time than two weeks, although there needs to be a second spray two weeks after the first.

Others must spend more than two weeks.

I have cut the steps up in to days; however, you should modify what needs to be done, when, in accordance to your own situation.

Again, this list can be printed if you want a hard copy to check off as you go.

Expected results

If you follow this plan, you should be bed bug free by the end of the second week, or nearly. If you skip steps, you are likely to have to start again. As you can see, this is a long and difficult process, so if you cannot do EVERY step, call a professional. Remember, sealing is NOT optional and must be done thoroughly, read more about that here.

If you still have bed bugs after this, call a professional. If at any point during this process you decide to call a professional, provide them with a check list of what you have already been doing, including the name of the pesticide.

Go Get Em Tiger!



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    • pat green 7 months ago

      I have researched and worked the web until I am crossed eyed. We got these bugs from a new (supposed new bedroom suite) the company is going out of business. I have just about had it. We are just beginning to bed bust. Hubbie and I are frustrated to the max. I just want to blow up the house and forget it. ROFL

    • jkc133 10 months ago

      Thank you for all the bed bug knowledge! I'm at the beginning of this disturbing battle! I can't believe how smart these little f***ers are! How they know to come grab meal and hide so successfully...I hate em, I am having anxiety and stress. I can't afford a professional, so I'll go at it by check list.

      I'll let you know the progress here.

      I'm in central Texas, husband noticed the bites first, about three months ago, but we just couldn't find anything! Then we started seeing adults. Now after researching, I have started seeing a few first stage nymphs. OMG they are soooo tiny no wonder we couldn't detect them sooner. So I've started gathering the supplies and washing everything like crazy...

      I pray we get ahead of these bastards

      p.s. We've had real success using rubbing alcohol full, strength in a spray bottle, as a contact killer, no residual effects of course, but we spray down the bed area -WELL VENILATED!! let it dry a while before bed. Seems to help

    • Jaze66 23 months ago

      Will this work for multi-family dwelling units? (four-plex)


    • Bedbugabscond profile image

      Melody Trent 4 years ago from United States

      Thanks for the comment. It is really involved process, which is why a lot of people are better off calling a professorial. To do it yourself and succeed it takes a lot of time, work and dedication.

    • klurbauer profile image

      klurbauer 4 years ago from Brink of Insanity ;)

      Geez, I didn't realize exactly how involved the whole process was. I don't think I've ever read such a thorough explanation. It seems like every article you read tells you a little bit about various parts of the process. This was really a good explanation of what to do, the order, etc. From some of the prices you listed, it looks like bedbugs can end up being a pretty expensive problem as well. Yikes. Voted up!

    • Christion 4 years ago

      Thank you!.. Dodson Pest Control can not be trsuted..

    • Bedbugabscond profile image

      Melody Trent 4 years ago from United States

      Thanks! I am the sort of person who likes lists and flow charts. I hope those who are suffering from bed bugs will find this helpful!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      This is really a detailed list of information. You have posted some great ways to look at this problem and how to solve it before it gets out of hand. Voted up.

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