How to Exterminate Bed Bugs

Updated April 17, 2017

Bed bugs are small creatures that can reside in your mattress and bedding. They can vary in size from a pinpoint to about one-quarter inch long. Generally, bed bugs are flat and brown in colour. Since bed bugs live off blood and waste, they can survive for months in your bed frame, mattress or bedding. Thankfully, you can get rid of bed bugs quite easily, by hiring a professional exterminator or by exterminating the bed bugs yourself.

Strip all bedding off your bed. In addition to sheets and pillowcases, take off your bed skirt, mattress pad, blankets and throw pillows.

Wash your sheets, pillowcases, bed skirt and mattress pad, using the hot water cycle on your washing machine. Dry them on the hottest dryer setting, as heat effectively kills bed bugs.

Get all blankets and duvets professionally dry cleaned, if they are not machine washable. Most dry cleaners can also clean traditional and throw pillows.

Vacuum your bedroom, concentrating on the area surrounding your bed. Use the vacuum's attachments on the mattress and to get into the bed frame's crevices.

Cover your mattress in a plastic cover. Zip the cover closed and place a piece of tape over the zipper. This will prevent bed bugs from entering the small opening there. You can find such plastic covers at most bedding stores.

Contact a professional exterminator. In severe cases of infestation, an exterminator may need to tent your home to kill all the bed bugs. The exterminator will use toxic insecticides to kill the pests. Some exterminators can use citrus oils for a non-toxic treatment method. In some cases, you may need to get rid of current mattress and furniture.


If you rent, contact your landlord regarding your bed bug issue.

Things You'll Need

  • Washing machine
  • Dryer
  • Dry cleaner
  • Vacuum
  • Mattress cover
  • Tape
  • Exterminator
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author