How to Find and Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Your Home

Updated on November 2, 2017

So, Bed Bugs Really Do Exist?

How many times have you told your children, "Good night, sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite?" I'll bet you never REALLY expected them to be a problem and probably doubted that they even existed. However, I recently read a report on CNN saying that bed bugs are making a comeback. Won't that be fun?

Here's how you can get rid of those nasty little critters should you find that they have invaded your home.

What a Bed Bug Looks Like

An adult bed bug up close.   (Photo by dermrounds at
An adult bed bug up close. (Photo by dermrounds at
I know I've seen this guy before.
I know I've seen this guy before.

Where Bed Bugs Can Be Found

  • The first thing you have to do is find the bedbugs. The photographs used within this article makes a bedbug look about the size of an ugly roach, but they are actually quite small in size, so although they can be seen by the naked eye, it's probably best to go on your hunt using a magnifying glass. Check every place in your home where people sit for long periods of time, or sleep.
  • Also, you will need a good flashlight or you stand to miss them entirely. A grown bed bug is brown to reddish-brown, oval-shaped, flattened, and about a quarter to a half-inch in length. You won't find these little devils with just a casual prepared to do some serious inspection because their flat body allows them to hide in some pretty good locations.

Great Video on Bedbugs by National Geographic

They Are Not Always Found in a Bed

Click thumbnail to view full-size
And bed bugs just love to leave their eggs around...everywhere!Yes, those are bed bugs; and yes, that's a human that they are biting.
And bed bugs just love to leave their eggs around...everywhere!
And bed bugs just love to leave their eggs around...everywhere!
Yes, those are bed bugs; and yes, that's a human that they are biting.
Yes, those are bed bugs; and yes, that's a human that they are biting.


  • Once you find that you have a bed bug problem, you will need to clean, clean, clean, and, then, clean some more. Wash all of the bedding in extremely hot water to kill the bed bugs, but before returning the bedding to your bed, vacuum the entire area.
  • After vacuuming the area, make sure to take the vacuum cleaner bag out immediately and dispose of it. If not, they will just crawl right out and back onto your bed.

Run...Don't Walk, and Buy a Steam Cleaner!

  • The next step might require you to spend a little bit of money, but it is well worth the expense. Get yourself a STEAM CLEANER! I believe in the power of steam and use it to clean almost everything. The steam will kill the bugs and you won't be smelling insecticides while you are dreaming of exotic beaches. You can't steam clean a bed too much, so steam it until your arm is simply too tired to continue.
  • Turn the mattress and box springs over and steam clean beneath it, over it, around it and through it if possible. The more you steam, the cleaner your bed will be, so don't be shy. The very thought of one of these bed bugs continuing to live in my home just makes me crazy!

Overlook Nothing!

Don't forget your children's rooms and your pet's bed. They, too, deserve to sleep tight and not have the bed bugs bite. I use a steam cleaner on my carpet and drapes as well. Pesky little bugs can't compete with those strong bursts of hot steam, so don't be afraid to steam clean drawers, closets, and other surfaces.

Keep Those Dreadful Bed Bugs Away!

Repeat the above steps every week or so, then every month or so to keep the bed bugs away for good. If you kill all the bed bugs in your home, don't think that more won't come to visit because they travel on clothes, bedding, and even stuffed animals (which you should also steam clean) and they are just waiting to hitch a ride to your clean house. So, continue to keep it clean for your family.

Bed Bug Colony

Great close-up photo of a bed bug colony.
Great close-up photo of a bed bug colony.

Tips and Precautions

  • It is best to clean EVERYTHING in a room where bed bugs are found. Vacuum and steam clean even the dresser drawers if you find an infestation.
  • Use a brush to brush up the eggs and infestation so that you can see them.
  • Steam, steam, steam, then steam some more!
  • There are websites that suggest insecticides, but if you clean with steam, and clean often enough, you should not need those smelly chemicals. Personally, I prefer to do without them.

Adult Bed Bug, Cimex Lectularius

This is an adult bed bug, probably loaded with eggs that will grow up to be adult bed bugs if you don't get rid of them!
This is an adult bed bug, probably loaded with eggs that will grow up to be adult bed bugs if you don't get rid of them!

The Life Cycle of a Bed Bug


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    • profile image

      Arnisha 5 years ago

      Eeeww what if I spray cleaning spray all over the mattrise I've never bad a bedbug problem but I fear those things my house is clean so can they still come?

    • profile image

      pauline martinez 5 years ago

      i think there is a way bed bugs should come from dirty people should we let thoes people in our house i think not

    • profile image

      Bob B 6 years ago

      Thank you very much for this very informative and helpful site. This is the web at its best. The steam-cleaner manufacturers owe you a big thanks too!!

    • Casey White profile image

      Mike and Dorothy McKenney 6 years ago from United States

      Writing about bed's a dirty job but somebody's gotta do it. Thanks for taking the time to read. Sorry about the skin crawling thing...

    • peanutroaster profile image

      peanutroaster 6 years ago from New England

      This makes my skin crawl.

    • profile image

      John Collins 6 years ago

      Nice Hub. Good content and Great pictures

    • profile image

      darkscream 7 years ago

      I've only found two of the critters, both on me (YUCK!), but after reading up on it, I broke out my handy steamer and I've been dousing the couch, the bed, the carpets, corners, et al. I use a touch of bleach in the water. My cat's collar has a chemical in it that is [apparently] used by exterminators. That may be why I haven't found more bugs. But the key word is diligence. I've been steaming my place day after day just to be sure.

    • profile image

      Mary  8 years ago

      after a friend visited from California...i found some of the terrible bugs in the bed....I have been looking for info on steamers and came to your hubpage. What kind of steamer do you have? I found one on amazon that has lots of good reports for under $100. I need to get one soon. Also ordered some Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade that many have recommended.

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