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Bed Bug Removal Checklist Outline

Melody is a volunteer for the Center for Disease and Control Prevention. She enjoys sharing her personal experience with others.

Professional or not, everyone needs to have a written bed bug plan.

Professional or not, everyone needs to have a written bed bug plan.

Planning Against Bed Bugs

It's a good thing we have so many tools right at our fingertips. Bed bugs are a creature of swiftness. Human response must be equally as swift.

Bed Bug Checklists

These checklists outline the different ways bed bug removal impacts everyday life. Using a checklist can speed up bed bug extermination. Let the outline act as a guide to help you through the step-by-step process.

Hopefully you will be working with a professional exterminator. Using treatment preparation sheets will help you become informed, thereby improving the chances of getting rid of bed bugs.

If you are checking into a hotel, then you will only need some of the checklists in this informational article. If you are a homeowner or, in some situations, a renter, then you may need each form. I suggest hiring a pest control company, because it's almost always needed.

Can You Remove Bed Bugs Yourself?

DIY bed bug removal is a big responsibility, and for some, it may not be possible. The amount of mental and physical exertion experienced during infestation becomes overwhelming quickly. Calling an exterminator is often the best option, but not everyone can afford one.

Conditions Under Which You Can Kill Bed Bugs Yourself Are:

  • Be willing to be uber-dedicated to the monumental task. Do your research, understand the process, collect supplies and then kill those buggers.
  • Ask a professional for advice. They often give useful tips away for free.
  • Ask yourself if it's really possible for you to eliminate bed bugs on your own. It will depend on your situation.
  • Use your money to collect all necessary supplies. Put extermination in your budget.

Next Steps

Research is the first obvious step. Be vigilant in demanding that your sources are giving you the most honest and truthful information possible. Inaccurate information in the bed bug world only leads to additional pain and suffering.

Major search engines, such as Google, are working to protect you from negligent information. But readers must become informed to recognize honest advice and learn how to extrapolate facts.

If you are working with a professional, make sure they are ethical people. In the bug removal industry there are reports about professionals who lie about the severity of problems. Exterminators could pull a diverse range of scams. Find out who you can trust by educating yourself on both bed bugs and professionals.

According to Consumers Advocate, the best exterminators are:

  1. Terminix
  2. Local Pest Control Pro
  3. Found on local service sites such as Home Advisor

Once you know what you are looking for, you are ready to perform a bed bug inspection. It's essential to check all rooms in the house. Don't forget to look for bugs in the bathroom, office, and closets.

Below is a long “to-do” list. Occupant responsibility is emphasized, but if you rent some steps fall under landlord responsibility.

Feeling anxious? Don't try to tackle this alone if you can call a professional. The cost is worth the service, because it will take a heavy load off your shoulders. If you have time, dedication and the 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 following your bed bug removal plan. 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.

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Read More From Dengarden

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

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

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

Bed Bug Extermination Checklist

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.

Daily To Do ListAdditional Info


Day 1




Bed bugs can hide anywhere! Clutter provides these tiny creatures with a place to hide.



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

Start in the bedroom, move to living areas, and tackle closets.


Pull all furniture away from walls.



Remove bedding.

Wash the following items, and dry on high heat: sheets, pillowcases, blankets, bed skirts and other linens.


Remove curtains.



Empty Dressers.

Wash all cloths, and dry on high.


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 Oxygen products to loosen eggs.

Oxyclean is a good choice.


Clean the room, including windows, cracks and crevices.

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.

Some furniture can be saved by using mattress and couch protectors.


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 diatomaceous 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 bed bug traps on or under the bed frame and mattress.

Under bed posts, if not using Damascus Earth, under mattress and under couch cushions.


Days 5 - 11



Begin sealing your home 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 perimeter 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 diatomaceous 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


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 specific purpose 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. Your prices may be higher or lower depending on the cost of living in your area.

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 GetAdditional InfoiEstimated 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

Bed Bug Inspection Check List

To DoAdditional 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

Research Bed Bugs and Removal Process

Bed Bug Research Checklist

To DoAdditional 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


Do You Have What It Takes?

Most people recoil at the sight of bed bugs. Eradicating them becomes priority number one. But don't jump the gun. Keep your wits about you so that you won't miss important steps.

Understanding the entire process is indispensable. If you do not follow a specific process, you may make the bed bug infestation worse. Don't panic or act rash. Eradicating bed bugs may be stressful but it can be done!

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.

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.

Creating a Bed Bug Schedule

A schedule is a fundamental piece of any eradication plan. Even professional exterminators require adhering to a specific timeline.

When choosing a professional, expect them to be clear about your responsibilities. If they can't do this, then it is a red flag.

If you are good making schedules, then this will be the easy part. Clear two weeks from your calendar (go to work, but make time for the process). I find that a proper bed bug extermination process can be done in around two weeks. But preventing reinfestation may take lifestyle changes.

Giving up social gatherings, games and outings 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 provided here takes 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 checklist of what you have already been doing, including the name of the pesticide.


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.

Questions & Answers

Question: Do you have to seal up computers, TVs, or refrigerators when fogging for bugs and fleas?

Answer: No. Never try to seal appliances. If you do that you will damage the appliance itself. Remember that most electronics get very warm. Bed bugs won't want to invade them unless they have no other choice.

If your attempt to drive them out has driven them into these appliances, they won't stay there for very long before the heat gets too high.

Again, do not ever seal your appliances or electronics.

Question: What responsibility does the landlord have to bed bug infestation?

Answer: Each country, state and even sometimes city set their own regulations in regards to landlord responsibility to bed bugs. Although there is no federally regulated standard the first step is to report the problem to your landlord. In most states expect the landlord to bring in a qualified exterminator to do an official inspection. This inspection is not just to confirm that there are bed bugs present. The CDC and other agencies recommend inspectors to measure the depth of bed bugs. This number is an indication that may become legally important in some situations. One of the best places to get information on the exact responsibilities of your landlord is the same material that state legislators reference. The National Conference of State Legislature has an online resource that explains state bed bug law. It even has an interactive, searchable table so you can find the information specific to your state.

© 2012 Melody Collins


my Name WasAlreadytaken on February 22, 2020:

To Stratovangelist,

Where exactly do you suggest that one lives while "starving" the bugs?

I would like to know.

Also, Strato, are you aware that

Bedbugs can survive 18 months without a meal. They sort of hibernate (for lack of a better word) until a food source comes along. That is their 2nd choice of evolutionarily driven responses, BUT their 1st choice, is, to move. The bugs travel on and on, following the scent of carbon dioxide.

and yes, bedbugs can move quickly, 4 feet per minute, so crossing a room is only a few minutes work.

and yes, bedbugs can move on carpeting,(oooh, don't i wish your guess that bugs can not move over carpet actually 'was' true, but, Strat, it is not true, at all)

Bedbugs also easily move over rough knitted blankets, your pants leg, up your walls, most any surface.

Strat, your focus on if the bugs are "smart" or not, seems like an irrelevant waste of your words and our time.

Whether one calls their amazing ability to survive and multiply as a form of "intelligence"(? probably someone is using humor)

or whether we call it their natural behaviors driven by all creatures built-in, innate sense to survive?---- The auto-pilot of most creatures is quite powerful, and does help ensure that most creatures successfully find meals.

Despite your mocking the notion, yes, I do believe the creatures actually ARE trying to get you. For sure, getting to you IS actually 80% of their goal for the day.

Yes, You ARE their meal. I do not ascribe that effort as "satanic" (?) or driven by "hate". (?). I think it is their nature, same as a lion taking down a gazelle, it is not done because of satan or hatred.

Bedbugs do not eat daily. Some only eat every 5 to 10 days. There are plenty enough infants to keep waves of them coming on.

You can go sleep on the sofa, to escape them, but, they will find you, following the smell of your exhaled carbon dioxide, as well as your body heat.

Most are resistant to poisons, and this effort TAKES A LOT OF TIME (not 18 days as the Original Poster suggests, rolling eyes)

and the effort has to be almost daily between vacuuming, poison, dusts of cymexa, as diatomateous earth does NOT work, washing and drying everything daily, etc.

ANYONE READING THIS, do skip the diatomateous earth. It is horrifically messy, impossible to 100% remove again, ruins your vaccuums, floats all over the home and gets in your lungs, dries up your hair, and has a faint musty odor to it that is hard to get rid of. I still smell it whenever i come home, it is now embedded into the carpetting and sofa, and i will have to get rid of those things because that dust just does NOT really ever come back out again. IF you get diatomateous earth WET? oh what a mess, it becomes yellow putty.

I deeply

REGRET that I ever ever ever used diatomateous earth, and wish i could retract my earlier advice that anyone use it. WAste of time, and ruins your home. I am STILL Finding that dust everywhere.

Cymexa dust DOES work, as does bagging and storing everything in bags lined with poison, Cyonara, BEdlam, i used them all, so i am not sure which one did the trick, but, i think it was constantly vaccuuming and sprayig poison and drying Everything. I Used blow dryer on furniture, too.

plugging up all outlets,


skip the diatomateous earth dust, wish i knew that back when i first started this