What kills bed bugs? Answers to the urgent question

what kills bed bugs

Bed bugs, yikes! Just the sound of their name can give any sane person goose pimples! Who in their right mind would want to have a blood-sucking bug live right under their nose?  So what kills bed bugs? Read on, and you will be enlightened on how to get rid of the bloodsucking bugs!

What is a bed bug? And what kills bed bugs?

Before understanding how to kill bed bugs, you need to know what they are. Bed bugs are small brownish insects that need blood to survive. They can feed on animal or human blood to survive. They are small, about the size of an apple seed and they are oval with flat bodies when not fed. If they are fed however, then their bodies tend to swell and become reddish.

To understand what kills bed bugs, you need to know just how bad the problem can get if left unchecked. A female bedbug can deposit 1-5 eggs on any given day and for as long as it lives; you are looking at well over 200 eggs being laid! That is a nightmare! Given the right conditions of normal room temperatures and plenty of food, a bedbug can live for over 300 days in your home! Now that is scary!

Luckily, there are some ways to get rid of bed bugs. You can do it the natural way, or you can make use of chemicals. Both methods come with advantages and disadvantages. If you choose to go the natural way, then you can do things such as washing and drying your bed linens in boiling water, making use of lavender oil or tea tree oil. The natural remedy for bed bugs that you choose will in most cases be efficient depending on the level of infestation.

How do you know that you have an infestation?

In case you have not physically seen the bed bugs in your home, you may be forgiven for living in bliss and not knowing that they are there. However, there are some signs that you have a bedbug infestation in your home. As such you need to pay close attention to your bed sheets, your mattresses or even your walls.

Since bed bugs are rather small, they can fit into tiny spaces.

You can tell you have a bedbug infestation if:

  • You notice blood stains on your bed sheets or pillowcases-especially if you know that you don’t have mosquitoes flying around!
  • When you notice excrement on your bed sheets, mattresses or even your walls. Their droppings will look like tiny cluster spots on your bed or mattress. They take on a dark color that is rusty thanks to the blood the bed bugs digested.
  • When you notice egg shells, fecal spots or even shredded skin in places where bed bugs are most likely to hide-such as on the walls, mattress or bed clothes.

What kills bed bugs best?

As stated before, depending on your infestation, you can try different ways to get rid of bed bugs. You may need just to wash all your linen with hot water, and the problem will be solved. If the infestation is terrible, however, you may have to try different methods to get rid of them.

If you decide to use chemicals in your bedroom, be sure to use chemicals that specifically state that it is safe to use in your bedroom-on your bed or mattress.

What about transmitting diseases?

Luckily, much as they can be a pain when in your home, bed bugs don’t transmit diseases. Yes, they carry diseases, but they don’t transmit the same to humans. They only suck blood and become a nuisance until you decide to get rid of them.

What temperatures kill bed bugs?

Depending on the degree of temperature, both hot and cold temperatures can kill bed bugs. Temperatures of 0°F will effectively kill bedbugs, and the same applies to hot temperatures of between 117°F and 122°F. If you are thinking of using your home freezer to kill bed bugs then the items would have to be inside for a long period since unfortunately, temperatures may not be ideal enough to kill them. You may have to wait for days before you can safely assume that the bed bugs have been killed!

What kills bed bugs naturally?

The natural remedy for bed bugs according to most people is to wash the linen in boiling water. However, there are other options.  Before trying to get rid of them, however, you need to find them.  Normally, you will find them in your bedroom playing house on your headboard or your mattress. However, bed bugs can make themselves comfortable in just about any part of your home.

Carefully check your mattress for signs of bed bugs. You should also check your walks, drawer joints and in between your cushions. In essence, you should check any tiny space that the flat, oval bug is likely to hide.

The list of remedies

Once found, then you can make use of any of the following natural remedies to get rid of them:

  • If you notice them on your mattress or cushions then you can use a vacuum cleaner to wipe them away! If you find that bedbug eggs are not being removed by the vacuum cleaner, then you can make use of a stiff brush. When done with vacuuming, don’t forget to carefully seal the bag before getting rid of it!
  • If you notice the bed bugs on small items such as your pillowcase or small cushions that can easily fit in the freezer then you can only freeze said things to kill the bed bugs. This method may require a bit of patience since it may take hours if not days for the bugs to die.
  • If you are not into throwing items that are ridden with bed bugs into your freezer then you can only make use of hot steam to get rid of them. Simply introduce hot steam into areas such as your mattress or wall and watch the bed bugs become history.
  • Make use of tea tree oil spray. Bed bugs just hate the smell of tea tree oil. That’s why when sprayed with it; they look for other places to infest.
  • If you are not into tea tree oil, then you can opt for lavender oil spray. Just like they can’t stand tea tree oil, bed bugs can’t also stand lavender oil. This oil will effectively repel bed bugs from your home.
  • You could also try peppermint oil to help repel bed bugs from your home.
  • Make use of Diatomaceous earth (DE). This powder is effective in getting rid of bed bugs naturally. Once sprinkled in areas infested with the bugs, it works in such a way that it dehydrates the insects thus killing them. It is important to understand however that this powder is not fast-acting. It is slow but sure in helping you get rid of bed bugs. Since this method is safe, you can conveniently sprinkle the powder in the bedbug infested areas until you are sure that you have killed them all! As a tip, be sure to use food grade diatomaceous earth so that you don’t have to worry about your pets or children.

What repels bed bugs?

Essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, and tea tree oil are a great way to repel bed bugs. Unfortunately, once the scent disappears, the chances are high that the bed bugs will come back home! If you wish to kill bed bugs, then besides chemicals, you can make use of diatomaceous earth.

The best chemicals that kill bed bugs

What kills bed bugs? Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth kills bed bugs effectively

Thanks to its lethal combination, chemicals tend to kill bedbugs faster. However, caution must be taken when using any given compound for your overall health and that of the household. Professionally trained people should be left to handle such chemicals when the need arises.

Of all the products on the market to get rid of bedbugs, the Diatomaceous earth (DE) is the most spoken of thanks to its effectiveness.

Natural remedies are available to get rid of bedbugs, but sometimes you may be faced with a resilient strain of the bugs and need advanced solutions. This is where the right pesticide comes in, and if that fails then there are plenty of other medicines in the market to take care of the problem

Which pesticides kill bed bugs?

Although not many people wish to use chemicals to kill bed bugs, chemical kills bed bugs the best. Some chemicals can be comfortably used by the end-consumer; however, there are those that must be used by trained professionals.  There are different chemical classes to help kill bed bugs and these include; pyrethrins, desiccants, pyrethroids, neonicotinoids, and pyrroles among others.

Each class makes use of certain actions to get rid of the bed bugs. For example, desiccants work in such a way that they dehydrate the bed bugs thus killing them. This is made possible by destroying the bedbug’s protective outer coating thus causing it to slowly dry up and eventually die.  Diatomaceous earth is a good example of Desiccants. Another one is boric acid. For efficient and safe use, however, it is important to use the product as advised. Generally speaking, desiccants are meant to be used in cracks and crevices.

If you are looking for an immediate solution to your bedbug problem, then you can make use of the pyrethrins and pyrethroids class of chemicals. This is because such substances are designed specifically to help flush out the bed bugs from the hiding places and kill them! On the downside though, you have a serious infestation-one that of resistant bed bug strains then you are in big trouble because they will simply vacate the area where they have been flushed out and make a home in another area! The good news is that when faced with such a scenario, you can employ the use of a combination of other chemicals or products.

Which leaves kill bed bugs?

You will be forgiven for scoffing at the idea of a leaf killing a bedbug – but it is possible! Studies show that the bean leaf can help trap and inhibit the bedbug’s movement thus eventually killing it. The bean leaf works in such a way that its microscopic filaments with wrap around the feet of the moving bedbug thus inhibiting its movement. When found, the leaves and bed bugs can then be burnt.

If you don’t have access to plenty of bean leaves or if you find that they tend to dry out thus requiring you to have a fresh supply handy then you will be happy to know that there are steps being taken to ensure that synthetic materials can be adjusted to mimic the bean-leaf trap effect.

Other leaves to consider include the Indian lilac leaves, neem tree leaves, mint leaves, Eucalyptus leaves, walnut tea leaves and Thyme leaves.

What kills bed bugs on contact?

If you want to go the natural way, then boiling water or steam will kill the bed bugs on contact. This is because bed bugs can’t stand temperatures above 60 degrees. Ideally, if you wish to kill the bed bugs in contact, then you should opt for temperatures beyond 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

How about bed bug sheets?

What kills bed bugs? Bed bug sheets

Bed bug sheets for killing bed bugs

There is a product on the market that can help you prevent bedbug infestation, and that product is the bed bug sheet. The question is – is it an effective remedy to the problem?  And the short answer is, yes! However, much like most products in the market, it is important to ensure that you get an ideal one. Otherwise, you will be wasting a lot of your time and money!

Ideally, the bed bug sheets should be made using the bite-proof material. This way, even though you may have some bed bugs inside the mattress itself, they will find a hard time making their way through the bite-proof fabric.

Besides looking for bite-proof fabric, you should also look for fabric that is waterproof-think vinyl and polyurethane-lined fabric in this instance.

If you find a bite-proof and waterproof material, don’t stop there! Instead, investigate and find out where the zipper stop is located. This will help you avoid the nightmare of buying the bedbug bed sheet only to have the annoying creatures creep through the zipper stop location! Besides the zipper stop location, you should also pay close attention to the zipper teeth. This is because as mentioned above, bedbug and flat and oval making it easy for them to slip through tiny cracks. As such, you should opt for sheets that come with tiny teeth to prohibit entrance.


Ultimately, much as bed bugs can be an annoying nuisance, it is possible to get rid of them and live in a clean, healthy and bed bug-free environment.  All you have to do is make use of one or more of the methods mentioned above. If one method doesn’t work out, you can try other methods until you remove the blood sucking creatures from your home!





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