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How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Fact Checked
Up to date
Update: May 31, 2023
5 min read

Written by

Payal Singh
Content Writer
What Kills Bed-Bugs Instantly

When you finally hit the sheets after a long day, you don’t want bed bugs to keep you company. Unfortunately, bed bug infestation is common, and almost one in five Americans have experienced it at one time or another. And these pesky bugs have been around for centuries! So, what kills bed bugs instantly? Is it even possible? Yes! Before you elevate your blood pressure levels with stress. We are here to tell you how to get rid of bed bugs effortlessly. Read ahead.

What are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are minuscule insects that take residence in the seams and corners of mattresses, sofas, and other furniture. They are brown and oval and almost resemble tiny apple seeds. They tend to feast on human and animal blood. While they cannot fly, these creatures are fast and aren’t easily visible to the naked eye. 

In one lifetime, a female bed bug lays more than 100 eggs, which look like specks of dust. Bed bugs shed their skin five times before they reach the age of maturity. However, in favourable conditions, they can fully develop in a month. While they are an annoyance, they may not spread any diseases. 

Signs That You Have Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are small and hence may not be easily visible to the naked eye. So, the main signs of bed bugs include;


You may notice a musty and sweet berries-like smell if bed bugs are present. However, for this odour, the bed bug infestation should be large. 


Bed bugs bite. So, if you wake up to random marks, raised bumps in line, or zigzag patterns on the feet or arms, it is a sign of a bed bug. 


It can be dried blood from a bed bug if you suddenly see red or rust-coloured stains on your mattress or pillows. Sometimes, they may get squashed when you are asleep and lead to blood stains.

Faecal Marks

If random dark or blood stains appear on your mattress, it can be the faecal extract of the bed bugs.


Bed bug eggs resemble specks of dust and can be very difficult to spot. So, keep an eye on small white or ivory specks. 

Shell Casings

As mentioned earlier, bed bugs shed their skin almost five times. Therefore, there are chances that you may see shell casings. They look like the bug itself but smaller. 

Live Bed Bug

Finally, you may spot the bed bug itself. They grow as soon as they feed but even otherwise, you may be able to see them.

7 Home Remedies to kill Bed bugs instantly

Want to know how to get rid of bedbugs for good? Take a look at easy methods that can help you out.

1. Hot water

If you think bed bugs have taken over your mattress, it is time to wash everything. So, how to kill bed bugs instantly? Hot water is what kills bed bugs instantly in home remedies.

  • Wash your bedding, blankets, pillow covers to ensure all the bugs die.
  • Ensure the water is at least 118 degrees Fahrenheit; otherwise, they can withstand the heat. You must also ensure that all your beddings and clothes stay in the water for 20 minutes. 
  • Then wash them as usual and put them to dry. 
  • Always inspect them throughout before bringing them in. This is the best way to kill bed bugs.

2. Vacuum

One of the effortless bed bug treatments is to vacuum the mattress, bedding, furniture, and bed thoroughly. If you think there are tiny gaps in the bed, you can use an old brush to clean them before vacuuming. It will help you get rid of any eggs as well. 

When vacuuming, use the highest setting. However, ensure it doesn’t damage the mattress. Always remove the sheets before you vacuum the mattress.

After the vacuuming, ensure you seal the contents of the vacuum to prevent the bed bugs from escaping before disposing of them.

3. Steam cleaner

If you have a steam cleaner at home, it is the fastest way to get rid of bedbugs. According to research, intense heat is what you need to get rid of bed bugs. Steam offers more heat than hot water at around 212 degrees Fahrenheit. So, this method helps you exterminate them instantly.

4. Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is a chemical-free powder that’s readily available in online shops. This product sticks to the body of the bed bug and kills them. 

  • Make sure you sprinkle the powder generously on the mattress
  • Let it sit for an hour, and then vacuum it well
  • Wash the bedding with two scoops of powder 

This is what kills bed bugs instantly naturally!

5. Baking soda

What kills bed bugs instantly is baking soda. When you sprinkle the baking soda all over the mattress, it absorbs the moisture and dehydrates the bed bug. This kills them immediately. How to get rid of bed bugs fast with baking soda? Follow the below steps;

  • Sprinkle a light layer of baking soda all over the mattress
  • Let it sit there for a week
  • Then thoroughly vacuum it
  • If you think some are still alive, repeat the process

6. Tea tree oil

What kills bed bugs instantly in home remedies is tea tree oil. Bed bugs dislike the smell of tea tree oil. So, applying a few drops of it all over the mattress encourages them to leave the area. That being said, it is not just an annoying smell for them. But it also affects their exoskeleton. And this is an extremely hassle-free method since tea tree oil is easily available in stores and online shopping platforms like Amazon.

7. Cayenne pepper

What kills bed bugs? Try Cayenne pepper. This bed bug removal is incredibly simple. 

  • Take oregano oil and mix it with generous amounts of cayenne pepper
  • Add it to a spray bottle and fill it with water
  • Now, shake it well and spray it in the infested area

This method can kill bugs quickly.

Myths Around Home Remedies to Kill Bed Bugs

While home remedies can be beneficial in getting rid of pesky bed bugs, there are also some myths. 


Mothballs can prevent roaches and repel insects from snacking on your clothes or bedding. However, if you are using them to kill your bed bugs, sadly, it won’t work. And since they contain naphthalene, they can be poisonous for kids and pets.

Rubbing alcohol

Some people think what kills bed bugs instantly is alcohol. When you spray alcohol on the infested areas, bed bugs tend to run and hide in other places. The smell won’t harm them, and once the alcohol is dry, they may return to the same place again. Yes, there are chances that you may kill a few in the process. But that’s not nearly enough, is it?

Dryer sheets

One myth we came across was using dryer sheets to clean the surfaces of your furniture and mattress to prevent bed bug infestation. Sadly, this doesn’t work, and there is also no proof to corroborate the same!

Now you know how to get rid of bed bugs. We understand that a bed bug infestation can be frustrating as these insects multiply almost instantly. But don’t worry. Try the above-mentioned remedies, as they can help you out. That being said, if the infestation is severe, it is always ideal to call a pest control specialist.


What kills bed bugs instantly and naturally?

One of the best ways to get rid of bed bugs instantly is with the help of a steam cleaner as the heat it emits can kill the bugs.

What can I spray on my mattress to kill bed bugs?

You can use an insecticide designed to kill bed bugs, such as pyrethrins on your mattress.

What kills bed bugs and their eggs?

Try the above-mentioned methods, such as hot water, steam cleaner, vacuuming, and baking soda to kill bed bugs and their eggs.

Where do bed bugs hide on your body?

Bed bugs won’t hide on your body. But they feed on you for blood. Hence, you may notice bumps and marks on your feet and arm.

What chemical kills bed bugs permanently?

Pyrethrins and Pyrethroids are two chemicals that kill bed bugs permanently.


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Written by

Payal Singh
Content Writer
Bachelor's in English Literature and Health Sciences Previously wrote blog articles for various Doctors for their websites Familiarity with various content management systems and SEO best practices

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