Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs

Posted 4 months ago by Vani Kambali in

When we say these two words, "Bed Bugs", we are sure most of you end up cringing. And we understand why. Afterall it is something that can leave red inflamed spots all over your body and cause a lot of irritation. Who likes that anyway? These are insects which are supremely easy to get but the most difficult when it comes to getting rid of them. We understand that when you spot the very first bug, all you want to do is throw out your furniture and mattress in order to avoid them, but wait. Hurry not. 

There is a way to treat them and all you need for that is a little patience. But before jumping onto the option of how to treat these leeches, it is important that you know what exactly bed bugs are.

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs

What are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are an insect which looks like a combination of cockroaches and bugs. They survive by sucking onto the human blood. Their life cycle begins right from their egg stage and goes on till 6-12 months which is their average life span. They love playing hide and seek with humans and it is important to spot and kill them before they get onto the nerves. When they are in the egg form, it is very important to get rid of them. However, if they are full grown, they can become a pain. You must take careful measures to keep them away as much as you can in the first place. 

Now that you know a little about them, let's look at the methods through which you can get rid of these insects and save yourself all the discomfort.

Methods For Removing Bed Bugs

There are some specific methods through which one can help get rid of bed bugs. Following them will help in removing them permanently and will also help in treating them from the roots. If you are also someone who gets goosebumps with just listening to the word bed bugs then you surely need something to treat it ASAP. Follow these methods and you will be all set. 

These are some of the methods which are something which is done post the actual procedure of removing the bed bucks. Make sure you remove the clutter of the area which is affected before trying out anything. Also, seal these products in a bag so that the bugs don't transfer from one place to another.

  1. Vacuuming And Washing
  2. Steam Treatment
  3. Rubbing Alcohol
  4. Diatomaceous Earth
  5. Silica Gel
  6. Baking Soda
  7. Tea Tree and Lavender Oils
  8. Professional Help
  9. Double Sided Tape
  10. Scrub The Bug Off
  11. Pyrethrum
  12. Thyme
  13. Sweet Flag Treatment
  14. Kidney Bean Leaves
  15. Clove Oil

Vacuuming And Washing

This is the first and foremost step that you must take before you try anything out. It is an effective way to combat the bugs[1] and getting rid of them for one and for all. The nature of a bedbug is to stick to surfaces and the vacuum cleaner can be a great source for it. The best part about this method is that the bugs will directly go to the bags and nowhere else. This way you can be 100% sure about the place it is going to. 

You can for starters vacuum it to make sure that the bed bugs are to the maximum percentage gone. This can be then followed by a proper washing method. This can be performed with a hot laundering technique where you will have to heat the water and then use it on the area that bed bugs are found. Bed bugs cannot tolerate high temperature and using hot water in that area will bring the situation under control. 

Thoroughly wash whichever items you can wash in hot water and the things you cannot wash in hot water, just use a hair dryer on them. A bed bug in whichever life cycle it may be will die with this procedure. Repeat this every week once till you see the change. 

Steam Treatment

As we mentioned, heat is the best way to help get rid of the bed bugs. They cannot tolerate heat one bit and will end up dying. Steam treatment hence is one of the best ways to treat the bed bugs. Bedbugs tend to die at temperatures of 50° Celsius and above. If done in the right way, a steamer can kill 100% bed bugs because it usually provides a temperature of 100° Celsius. If you don't have one at home, you can always rent it out. You can kill bed bugs in whichever stage of their life they may be with this method. Even bed bugs in the form of eggs can be killed using this method. 

It is also a great way to get rid of them when compared to the vacuum and hot wash because steam is something that can get into places where nothing else can. Be it under your carpet, wallpaper as well as in cracks. If you are concerned about the moisture of it then you can also opt for dry steam[2]. This will keep your upholstery in place and will not harm it. 

The best way to do this is to first remove everything from the area and sealing it properly in a bag so that it does not transfer to other places and go beyond it. Now opt for your steamer and once you steam the respective area, quickly wipe it off using a cloth to not leave any moisture behind. Steam the bedding first and make sure you go through the sheets, pillows and blankets followed by the mattress. Make sure everything dries up before you place everything back to its place.

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol[3] is also one of the best ways to treat bed bugs. They don't just disinfect the area but also kill them from the very root. It can also be used as a great application for the bites of bed bugs. Just rubbing a little alcohol on the bite will cure the pain as well as the effect of the bite. This works on all life cycles of the bed bug, the egg, adult as well as the nymphs. If you have bed bugs and you want to stop them from laying eggs in the first place then you can spray some rubbing alcohol everywhere and this will stop them from laying eggs. 

If you don't want to use rubbing alcohol, you can instead use dish wash solution for the same as well. They are also great insecticides which help in killing these bedbugs. You can either use it as is or you can combine it with rubbing alcohol to further intensify the effect. However, one drawback with this method is that the spray will need to come in contact with the bed bug to actually kill it. Hence when they are hidden, this method will not be useful at all. 

All you have to do is take a spray bottle, mix 2 parts water, 2 parts rubbing alcohol and 1 part soap dish through fennel. Close the bottle and shake it well so that the ingredients mix well with each other. Now all you have to do is spray it onto the bugs and they will for sure die. Spray it till you see them completely vanished.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth[4] is once again the most effective non-contact measures that work on bugs. It is mined from the fossilized remains of diatoms, which basically is a microscopic plant. When the bedbugs come in contact with this non-contact measure, it makes lacerations in their exoskeletons[5] and dehydrates them. This is how it actually gets killed. It is trusted to combat the bedbugs in the most cost-effective way. The best version to use would be the food grade Diatomaceous Earth. The reason being, it is the safest and does not contain any sort of additives which can harm anyone who comes in any sort of contact with it. 

Sprinkle DE wherever you spot the bedbugs till you see them completely gone. Do it for beds, mattress as well as the bed frame. If you have a lot of them then we recommend spraying it on the floor. Make sure you reach the corner as well on the walls too. Carpets and upholstery shouldn't be overlooked either. Make sure you use an applicator to apply this Diatomaceous Earth on walls and fixtures. 

The trick is to let them stay for a couple of days if possible or at least for a couple of hours. Use a vacuum with a filter to clean up the DE along with the dead bedbugs when you are done with the procedure. Clean the DE from the floor using a mop and sweep.

Silica Gel

Silica gel[6] is an amorphous and porous form of silicon dioxide (silica), consisting of an irregular tri-dimensional framework of alternating silicon and oxygen atoms with nanometer-scale voids and pores. Sounds very complicated right? Well, this is what will keep the bugs away so it will work in your favour if you understand what it is. It is a great drying agent and that is how it attacks the bed bugs. You must have noticed the small packets that come with shoes and other products that you buy, well this is that. It is initially used to protect the packaged electronics, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and powdered foods from moisture, but it can also be used to kill bedbugs. 

Just like the DE, the silica gel also helps in killing the bed bugs by drying the area up. The difference between both of them it that DE is a naturally occurring source of silica while the Silica Gel is artificially made. Another huge difference between both of them is that Diatomaceous earth dehydrates the bed bud due to its abrasive properties, while the Silica gel is more like a sponge, absorbing the moisture from the bug. 

All you have to do is take some silica gel and grind it into a powdery form. You can also directly buy the powdered version too. Sprinkle it up on areas where you have absorbed the bugs and leave it on for a couple of days and then vacuum it up with the dead bug later.

Baking Soda

If you thought all these ingredients are too difficult for you to fetch, you can always take help of baking soda[7]. Everyone has it stored in their kitchens and you can use it whenever you want. The reason how it helps the baking soda is by being a desiccant. This is also a great ingredient when it comes to dehydrating them and killing them that way. 

Making this is super easy. all you will need is a big container. Add in baking soda and water into it. Mix them really well. It should be a runny paste and not a paste. This will make it easier for you to apply it onto surfaces. Unlike the powdery consistency, this will be better when it comes to sticking to the surface. This will increase the efficiency of killing the bed bug. Take a paint brush and dip it into this paste and apply it onto the floor, the fall and even on the corner of your beds. Leave it to dry for a couple of days. This will attack the bug and kill them. Make sure you clean it after. You can also reapply it later till you absorb it completely gone.

Tea Tree and Lavender Oils

Essential oils contain anti disinfectants which are great when it comes to working on bed bugs. Tea tree oil[8] and lavender are our most favourite pick. And maybe if the other methods seemed to weird and not so interesting, this one sure will not upset you. It is oiled after all. They smell great and is also not harmful when it comes in contact with the hands or skin. Essential oil is great when it comes to killing the bed bugs and also to prevent them in the first place. Just like any insect, bed bugs also detest the smell of essential oil and when they accidentally also come in contact with it, they will die. However, one drawback here is that the bug must come in contact with the oil to die. Plus they will have no effect on eggs. 

All you need to make this solution is to add 2 tbsp of Water, 8-10 drops of Tea tree essential oil and 8 to 10 drops of Lavender essential oil in a small spray bottle. Shake it well so all the ingredients mix well. Now all you have to do is spray this mix on your bed, mattress, floor, walls and even curtains. Considering it is an essential oil, you can quite easily work with them, even on bedsheets.

Professional Help

If you think doing all of this is too difficult then you can always take help from a professional. Bed bugs are very sneaky and you will need a great amount of attention in order to completely get rid of them and ensuring that they will never come back. When you do it in the initial stages it is great. However, when it goes out of hand you should call for an expert and take help from them instead. The annoying part about bed bugs is that they spread really quickly. 

Find out the best company who can help you out with it and get it done from them. You can always discuss the methods that they can use to eradicate it and choose for the one which best suits your preference. They also work with natural ingredients and treat it that way. Or you can also opt for chemicals, they will work the fastest. From your end, you can always ask them about the post-treatment before it. What you can do before they do the actual treatment. You must also ask about the precautionary measures that you might have to follow after the procedure. Also, to fasten the process up, we recommend clearing the thing up and storing them packed. This will help them to spray the area and then the bed and mattress as well as the rest of the house or room.

Double Sided Tape

The double-sided tape[9] is the easiest and the most non-chemical way to deal with bed bugs. It will not harm anyone and still catch the bugs. This will not kill the bed bugs but it will definitely help you in trapping the bugs. The way it will help you is that it will make the bed bugs stick to the tape and this way you can then spray one of the above-mentioned solutions on them and they will die. It is very difficult to trap the bug in the first place, but when you do it in the first place, killing it will become easier. 

All you have to do is apply the double sided tape all over the room, under the bed as well as on the walls. Cover all possible areas. This way, when the bugs will come in contact with the tape, they will find it impossible to release themselves from there. All you have to do is keep checking on the tape and whenever you find a bug stuck to it, you will have to use either the DE, the Silica gel, essential oil or even the baking soda. These methods will help kill them from the roots. Make sure that you cover all the areas which are possible to get attacked by the bugs.

Scrub The Bug Off

Another way to deal with bugs is to scrub them off from the layer. However, this is possible only if the bugs are full grown and big in size. It will not work with smaller or bugs which are in the egg cycle. The way to deal with this stage would be to do it in an open space instead of a closed space where the bug has an option of escaping and hiding in a corner. This will not just bring them back but also continue the issue of bed bugs for a really long time. We recommend moving all the furniture out and away from the room where the bugs are spotted. 

Move it to an open area like a yard or a terrace and then use one of the methods mentioned above to use it on the furniture. Spray the same in the entire room as well to ensure that the bugs leave the smallest of cracks and corners. You can look for a different arrangement for your accommodation till you clear the bug because you will have to leave the solution on for a couple of days before you move in again.


Most of you must have not heard of this term in general but it is quite effective when it comes to treating the bed bugs[10]. Pyrethrum[11] is nothing but extraction from the dried flower heads of Tanacetum or chrysanthemum with chrysanthemum being a potent natural insecticide[12]. They pretty much work like how tea tree or any other essential oil will. The reason why it works is that it creates a disruption in the functioning of the bugs nervous system. When it effects in larger amounts, it causes them to eventually die. The way it works is it creates a nervous breakdown for the bed bug whenever it comes in contact with it. This is in a lot of ways very torturous for them and it leads for them to die. 

It is very safe for pets as well as for your family members. So all you have to do is opt for this method and you will have the bugs out of your site within no time. They are also economical so it will not be too much when it comes to using it a lot of times. It is a natural insecticide and you can use it mixed with water, oil or even dry in the powdered form. All you have to do is leave apply it onto the corner and under the beds and leave it on for a few days, you can then vacuum it to clean it up. We recommend mixing it with oil or water as it will become easier for it to stick to the surface.


Thyme is yet another treatment for bed bugs. They work very similarly to how essential oil[13] works. Their insecticidal properties are what helps in keeping the bed bugs away. They are yet again a natural and economical way of treating the bed bugs. You can buy it from a market as they are quite easily available or as a few people, you can also choose to grow it and use it. They are great for improving the overall health as well. 

There are two ways you can use this method to get rid of that trouble making bugs. The first is wrapping a cotton cloth right on top of the thyme stick and burning it. What this does is that the fumes of it cause the bugs to come out of there hidings and die. This is one of the most effective ways because this way doesn't have to go into corners, they will pretty much expose themselves. If you have kids at home and you don't want to deal with fumes for whichever reason possible, you can also opt to just place fresh thyme into a muslin fabric and placing them wherever you see spot the maximum bugs. This should be enough to treat it from the very roots.

Sweet Flag Treatment

The sweet flag is a flowering plant which has been used in the past for treating digestive problems. Its toxic property is what works on the bed bugs and erase them forever. Sweet flag is an aromatic herb which is disliked by the bugs community a lot. The best part about it is how economic this treatment is. The sweet flag is mostly available at everyone's house and if not, then procuring it is very easy too. 

All you have to do is fill it in a bottle and spray it in all the places where you have spotted the bug. The process with this is also pretty much the same. You will first have to clear the room entirely. You will have to remove furniture from there and shift it to an open space and then you will have to spray the solution made using the sweet flag on the entire room. Make sure you spray curtains, mattresses[14] and even other upholstery.

Kidney Bean Leaves 

Once again, a natural and effective way of treating the bed bugs. Kidney Bean leaves contain hook like hair and when a bug comes in contact with it, it tends to trap them. Killing the bug then becomes very easy. The trap is so strong that no bug can go without getting trapped into it. All you have to do is spread the kidney bean leaves in the room where you have spotted the bugs and that's about it. That is what it needs. 

The Kidney Bean Leaves help in trapping the bug but not killing them. For that, you will need to choose one of the methods mentioned above and you will be able to get rid of the bugs permanently. Trapping the bugs is the difficult part, killing them is not. So, the kidney bean leaves will help in trapping the bugs while you can opt for a method suitable to you to kill those trapped bugs.

Clove Oil

Clove oil has been a great ingredient when it comes to health and beauty. We all are well aware of its ability to work on something as severe as a toothache but something that a lot of people don't know is how effective it is when it comes to treating the bed bugs. The way it helps in treating the bed bug is because of its acidic pH which makes it impossible for the bugs to survive. 

Working with clove oil is extremely easy. Most of us already have this lying at our home but if you don't have it then procuring it is not very difficult. It is economical too and you can use it whenever and how many ever times you want to. Leave a couple of drops of this clove oil wherever you spot the bugs and the acidic pH will be enough to treat kill it permanently. You can also put the oils drops on a cotton ball and leave it everywhere in the infected room. Considering it is in an oil form, leaving it on the beds and mattress will also be very easy.

Tips To Getting Rid Of Bed Bugs

You might have all the detailed information about killing the bed bugs by now but there still are some tips which you can follow to prevent them from happening again. Follow these and you will not only be successful in killing them but you will also be able to prevent them for the future.

  1. If you opt for using the vacuum method to clearing the bed bugs, we recommend using any preferred attachment other than the bristle one. There is a huge amount of chance that few of the bugs can get trapped in these bristles and this will lead to them getting transferred from one place to another.
  2. If you opt for using the steam method then I recommend keeping it away from the sockets. There is a huge chance that if this method is used on switchboards, it will electrocute the person performing this method.
  3. Same goes with rubbing alcohol. Using it on the switchboard will cause and electrocution.
  4. If you opt to go for the DE method of killing the bugs then we recommend covering your mouth with a piece of cloth or with a mask because if inhaled, it can dry the mucous glands and cause irritation.
  5. Make sure that the method that you choose to dispose of the bugs is fixed and is without a loophole. Otherwise, the effort will totally go in waste.

Now that you are well aware of the methods through which you can treat the bed bugs[15], choose the one that best suits your convenience and work accordingly. However, we recommend you to opt for the option which is natural as well as economical.

This article has been medically reviewed by Dr.Nagakeerthana S, MD (Dermatology) on 28/06/2019 

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs

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