How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Permanently: Everything You Need

Written by Austin S.
Updated: August 4, 2022

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Key Points:
  • Bed bugs are parasitic insects that feed on human blood, which can result in a person getting painful bites and possibly diseases. They like to inhabit cracks in walls or the seams of bed mattresses.
  • A bed bug infestation is hard to fight, as the critters are hard to find with conventional equipment. Many people must hire professionals to rid their homes or professional places (like hotels) of bed bugs.
  • Multiple methods can be used to fight bed bugs such as spraying, UV vacuums, traps, bed blockers, mattress encasement, and even mattress replacement.

Bed bugs are tiny parasitic insects that belong to the genus of Cimex. They come out at night to feed on human blood, which can cause painful bites and spread diseases. Once these annoying pests infest your home, they can be very difficult to eliminate, because they can survive for up to 70 days without feeding. They prefer to inhabit small secluded crevices such as cracks in the wall or seams in a mattress which can be difficult to reach with conventional tools. You can expect to spend a lot of time and/or money on the entire removal process. This article will cover some important facts about the identification, prevention, and treatment of bed bugs, both with and without an exterminator.

The Best Way To Get Rid of Bed Bugs – What To Get

If you are confident you have a bed bug infestation, the best way to get rid of bed bugs is a multi faceted approach. Bed bugs are persistent, and simply placing traps or changing your sheets is not enough. We recommend a full battery of solutions including spraying, mattress encasement, traps, UV vacuums, bed blockers, and even a mattress replacement if encasement is not effective. Our top picks for the best products to get rid of bed bugs are:

A-Z-Animals Top Picks for Products to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

  1. Bed Bug Killer by EcoRaider 16 oz
  2. Bed Bug Killer by EcoRaider 16 oz
    • USDA BioBased formula is child and pet friendly
    • 100% effective per recent study
    • Kills bed bugs at all stages - adults, nymphs, and eggs
    Check Amazon
  3. SureGuard Bed Bug Mattress Encasement
  4. SureGuard Bed Bug Mattress Encasement
    • Effective encasement against bed bugs
    • Waterproof - doubles as a mattress protector
    • Invisi-Zip and SureSeal enclosure ensures no bed bug entry
    • 100% Cotton top - free from phthalates and other unhealthy chemicals
    Check Amazon
  5. HARRIS Bed Bug Traps - (20-Pack)
  6. HARRIS Bed Bug Traps - (20-Pack)
    • No chemical option to confirm bed bug presence
    • Catches other bugs and pests as well
    • Easy detection coverage for 2-3 rooms.
    Check Amazon
  7. Bed Bug Interceptors – 8 Pack
  8. Bed Bug Interceptors – 8 Pack
    • No chemical solution to block bed bugs
    • Easy application
    • Effective blockers for other pests like spiders
    Check Amazon
  9. Queen Mattress, Novilla 10 inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress
  10. Queen Mattress, Novilla 10 inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress
    • 10 inch gel mattress is very comfortable
    • Easy to apply encasement compared to wood frame mattresses
    • Fast shipment and easy to install vs traditional optionss
    Check Amazon
  11. Housmile Bed Vacuum Cleaner, UV Handheld
  12. Housmile Bed Vacuum Cleaner, UV Handheld
    • Powerful 10Kpa suction sucks up dust mites
    • Specialized design for cleaning mattresses
    • UV lamp eliminates moisture and kills bacteria


    Check Amazon

Step 1 – How to Identify Bed Bugs

Identification of the adult phase is fairly straightforward. The adult bed bugs are extremely small insects, measuring no more than a quarter of an inch long. They are characterized by a brown oval-shaped body with sharp puncturing suckers, a four-part antenna, and short hairs. When they feed on blood, their body inflates like a balloon and turns a reddish-brown color. The pre-adult phases, by contrast, look completely different. Nymphs have small, translucent white to yellowish bodies that make them very hard to see with the naked eye, while the pearly white eggs are about the same size as a pinhead. The eggs are marked by a prominent eyespot after about five days old.

If you suffer from an infestation, there’s a good chance you will feel the effects of the bed bugs before you actually see them. Red bites or blisters on the skin are the most common early signs of a bed bug infestation. These marks usually appear in one day, sometimes as little as just a few minutes. They can cause pain, itching, and even sometimes fatigue and fever because of the anticoagulant effects of the bed bug’s saliva. Rashes and hives can also occur after multiple bites. Exposed areas of the body such as arms, legs, face, and neck are most likely to be affected by bed bug bites. In some cases, however, symptoms may not appear at all, which can make identification more difficult.

If you suspect you’re dealing with an infestation, then one easy way to identify bed bugs is to purchase an at-home detector or glue trap. The common chemicals to which they’re attracted, including carbon dioxide, lactic acid, and sex pheromones, act as a lure to trap the bugs in a container. This will confirm the presence of an infestation in your home. Once you’ve trapped the bed bug, you can either ID it yourself or take it to a professional. However, the lure is not necessarily an effective means of eradication, so don’t use it for that purpose.

A-Z Animals recommends the Harris 20 pack Bed Bug traps as the easiest, fastest way to identify if you have a bed bug infestation.

#1 Bed Bug Trap
HARRIS Bed Bug Traps - (20-Pack)
  • No chemical option to confirm bed bug presence
  • Catches other bugs and pests as well
  • Easy detection coverage for 2-3 rooms.
Check Amazon
Get rid of bed bugs - bed bug with eggs
To get rid of Bed bugs, one first of all needs to clean out the infected area thoroughly.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

The first thing you need to do (whether you aim to proceed with or without an exterminator) is to clean out the infected area. You will need to remove all the clutter from the room where the bed bugs could be hiding. Do not move the items to another area of your home. This could just serve to spread the infestation. Instead, place the infested items in a plastic bag and then treat them with one of the methods listed in the next section. If the item cannot be treated, then you may have to let it sit for months at a time or just dispose of it completely (do not give it away to other people).

The next step is to eliminate the most common hiding spaces around the wall and bed. This will involve a long and difficult process. You should caulk any cracks or crevices around the baseboards; repair any damage to the walls, and check the electrical outlets for activity, and then tape or caulk the outside rim as needed. You should then move the bed at least 6 inches from the wall; replace your current covers with bed bug proof covers or liners; put bed bug interceptors under each leg of the bed; remove any objects from underneath the bed, and otherwise ensure there are no bed bugs lurking in a mattress. You should also vacuum the infected area and empty the bag after each use. We recommend the Dibea bed vacuum cleaner. It is a straightforward design specifically for cleaning beds, and has a power 10Kpa suction rating.

Best bed vacuum
Dibea Bed Vacuum Cleaner
  • Powerful 10Kpa suction
  • Specialized design for cleaning mattresses
  • Simple and easy dust container with HEPA filter
Check Amazon

Once you’ve treated the items and cleaned out the infected area, you should continue to look for signs of a bed bug infestation every few days. If you spot signs of an infestation, then you may need to go through some of the treatment steps again. In order to save yourself time and effort, you may want to hire a pest control professional to take care of the problem for you. This is a more expensive option but also has a higher chance of success. You will still need to clean out the infected area before the full treatment, but a professional may have access to equipment and tools that are beyond the ability of the average consumer.

How to Treat Bed Bugs

This section will feature some important facts about how to treat infected items and eliminate bed bugs. Keep in mind you should always follow the safety instructions thoroughly. Some of these treatments could endanger you and your home if not properly followed.

  • Cold Treatment: Place the affected items in a sealed back and leave them in the freezer for at least four days. Use a thermometer to make sure the temperature inside of the freezer is set to no more than zero degrees Fahrenheit (that’s -18 degrees Celsius).
  • Heat Treatment: Bed bugs can be killed with the use of a portable heat chamber, a clothes dryer, or other instrument that produces enough heat.
  • Steam Cleaners: Wet or dry steam cleaners set to least 130 degrees Fahrenheit can seep directly into cracks and fabrics, as well as the seams in a mattress, in order to get rid of bed bugs. A diffuser will prevent the bed bugs from scattering all over the place upon contact.
  • Chemical Treatments: Pesticides should be used as a last resort once other options have proven to be inadequate. You should always look for EPA-approved products specifically tailored for bed bugs. Check the label for basic facts about the product, and never buy anything that hasn’t been thoroughly tested for consumer safety. Some chemicals may work as little as in one day. Dessicants (drying chemicals) may be particularly effective against bed bugs, but they can also take months to fully have an effect. Foggers should be used only with particular caution, because they can cause a fire or explosion. They are also unable to reach cracks and crevices where the bed bugs are most likely to be found.f
Get rid of bed bugs - pest control
One of the ways to get rid of bed bugs is to have pest control workers spray pesticides in the bedroom.

How to Prevent Bed Bugs

Unfortunately, there is no one simple trick for the prevention of bed bugs. Contrary to popular opinion, bed bugs are not necessarily attracted to places with poor hygiene. They do tend to be attracted to densely populated areas with lots of places to hide in, but any home can be affected. It’s all too easy to accidentally bring home bed bugs if you’re returning from a hotel room or lodging that also has an infestation. Clothing, bedding, and any other contents of a suitcase can be a potential vector for bed bugs. This means all objects entering the home should be inspected for an infestation and possibly even decontaminated fully before they’re used again. As mentioned previously, sealing up all holes and crevices in your home is also an excellent prevention measure. Always be vigilant for early signs of an infestation so you can stop it early and prevent it from spreading.

One of the best ways to prevent future bed bug issues are by either encasing your current mattress after cleaning, or buying a new one entirely. We recommend the following for either option:

SureGuard Bed Bug Mattress Encasement
  • Effective encasement against bed bugs
  • Waterproof - doubles as a mattress protector
  • Invisi-Zip and SureSeal enclosure ensures no bed bug entry
  • 100% Cotton top - free from phthalates and other unhealthy chemicals
Check Amazon
Queen Mattress, Novilla 10 inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress
  • 10 inch gel mattress is very comfortable
  • Easy to apply encasement compared to wood frame mattresses
  • Fast shipment and easy to install vs traditional optionss
Check Amazon

Summary of Bed Bug Products

RankBest ForProduct
1Bug KillerBed Bug Killer by EcoRaider 16 oz
2Mattress EncasementSureGuard Bed Bug Mattress Encasement
3TrapsHARRIS Bed Bug Traps – (20-Pack)
4Bug BlockerBed Bug Interceptors – 8 Pack
5Queen MattressQueen Mattress, Novilla 10 inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress
6Bed VacuumHousmile Bed Vacuum Cleaner, UV Handheld

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About the Author

Growing up in rural New England on a small scale farm gave me a lifelong passion for animals. I love learning about new wild animal species, habitats, animal evolutions, dogs, cats, and more. I've always been surrounded by pets and believe the best dog and best cat products are important to keeping our animals happy and healthy. It's my mission to help you learn more about wild animals, and how to care for your pets better with carefully reviewed products.