DIY Guide: Cleaning Bed Bugs
Obviously you are not discouraged by what you have read above and still want to undertake a "do it yourself" cleaning bed bug project. I am going to reveal step by steps the process I would undertake to eliminate the bed bugs.
Step 1: Proper Identification: You must be 100% certain that the bugs are bed bugs. If you aren't sure, please review our bed bug identification guide.
Step 2: Gather the right tools. You will need the following:
- HEPA shop vac with a crack and crevice attachment.
- Steam Cleaner with a crack and crevice tip.
- A disinfectant spray-- we recommend Sterifab.
- Tools to disassemble bed frames and perhaps couches.
- Magnifying glass
- Plastic seal-able totes.
- Large Plastic Bags
- Buy Bed Bug Mattress Encasement's Box Spring Covers for your beds. (All beds in the home.)
Step 3: Create a Plan: Decide what room you are going to start working in and set aside 90 minutes per room.
Step 1: Gather up all of the loose clothing on the floor and put in plastic bag. Take these clothes to the laundry room and if they need to be washed start a load of laundry, but be sure to dry everything on high heat for 30 minutes.
Step 2: Gather up all of the bedding. Pillows, blankets, sheets, stuffed animals, etc. Bag these items and make sure they get put in the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes.
Step 3: Immediately after pulling stuff out of the dryer-- fold them and put them in seal-able plastic totes. You can be confident items in the plastic totes are bed bug free. Only pull out the items you need as you need them and never put anything that isn't bed bug free in the totes!
Step 4: Install the mattress encasement's and box spring covers. (This is usually a 2 person job.)
Step 5: Lean the mattress and box spring against a wall.
Step 6: Liberally apply disinfectant to bed frame, baseboards, window brackets, etc. (Follow label instructions.)
Step 7: Attack the cracks and crevices of your bed, nightstands, baseboards with your HEPA shop vac. (You may want to flip items over--we live in a 3 dimensional world and the bed bugs can hide in lots and lots of spots.)
Step 8: Use the Steam Cleaner along all the cracks and crevices of your bed frame and baseboards.
Step 9: Double check your work.
Step 10: Put the room back together.
Treating a Livingroom:
The process is similar to cleaning bed bugs in a bedroom. Attention to detail is essential and flipping your couches and possibly removing the cloth backing from the underside of the couch is advised. As you use a steam cleaner to treat the couch be certain to go over every spot twice. There are lots and lots of hiding spots for bed bugs in couches. Vacuum diligently and liberally use the disinfectant spray (again, follow the product label). We also recommend installing dead fall traps beneath the legs of the couches.
Do it yourself bed bug treatments are possible, but very difficult. Even if you choose to do most of the heavy lifting and cleaning I would highly recommend hiring a licensed pest control professional to visit the property and apply the long lasting residual pesticides that are best for bed bugs. Hiring a pest control professional to apply these products is required by the product label and a licensed pest control professional will apply them correctly.