You may have heard the common myth that bed bugs reproduce quickly.

While it may seem like these nuisances pop up fast and out of nowhere, the truth is that they take a while to produce eggs—which can make it easier to get rid of them on your own.

If you’ve got a headache-inducing infestation on your hands, you might be worried you’ll never get rid of them for good. Fortunately, a few simple steps can help you kill these pesky little hitchhikers. Here’s how to get rid of bed bugs permanently.

Fleas vs Bed Bugs

1. Prepare the Area to Be Treated

Before you actually start working with the bed bug killer treatment, you’ll need to remove any clutter that you don’t want treated.

However, keep in mind that any items you move elsewhere may spread bed bugs throughout the area. Ideally, the only items you’ll remove from the infested room will be valuables and electronics.

2. Wash All Fabrics

Heat is an effective way of getting rid of bed bugs, so wash any fabrics in the room in hot water. This includes bedding, mattress toppers, clothes in drawers and dressers, towels, stuffed animals, and pet beds.

You should also dry any fabric items in the dryer at high heat, if possible. This also works for any items you don’t want to toss in the washer, like shoes.

3. Deep Clean Your Mattress

If your mattress is the culprit when it comes to bed bug bites, it’s time to figure out the next steps.

If you see very few signs of bugs, you may be able to get by with a deep cleaning. Remove the mattress and use a stiff brush to scrub at the seams, which will shake loose any eggs and shells nestled in these tight spaces. From there, you’ll want to use your vacuum cleaner to vacuum the fabric of the mattress and remove any live bugs.

Alternatively, you can grab a bed bug mattress encasement to both seal in and suffocate existing bugs, as well as to protect yourself from future infestations.

4. Clean All Surfaces

At an absolute minimum, you should take the time to dismantle your bed frame and any other furniture that can be taken apart. Clean this furniture with your chosen bed bug treatment spray.

Whatever can’t be cleaned should be sealed in plastic. Bed bugs will eventually suffocate and die in airtight containers, so this is an effective strategy for valuable items that shouldn’t be damaged with cleaning products, or for antique furniture you don’t want to pay to have cleaned professionally. Store these things in a clean room or outside your home.

Don’t forget to also wrap your vacuum cleaner in plastic as well if you’ve used it to clean the infested area.

You can also use heat treatments like high-heat steam cleaning, especially on your carpets, to kill both eggs and bed bugs for good.

5. Consider Calling In the Experts

Bed bug infestations are notoriously hard to contain, and it’s easy for them to expand from one space to another. If you wake up to find that the contamination has spread beyond your bedroom and into your home at large, you may need expert help.

Consider contacting a company like Affinity Pest Control, which specializes in bed bug extermination. This type of company has the experience to ensure total elimination, which means you won’t find yourself right back where you started if you miss a few eggs during your DIY cleaning.

Decide How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Permanently

Whether you opt to get rid of bed bugs on your own or with help, make sure that you take every opportunity to avoid re-infestation. While an expert will know how to get rid of bed bugs permanently, smaller infestations may be easier as a DIY. Even simple cleaning treatments and fabric washing can be effective ways to take back your home and earn yourself a little more peace of mind.

On the hunt for more of the critical life tips you should know? Check out our other posts for more helpful insights.

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