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Is there any natural or other way of getting rid of bedbugs? Is there any kind of chemical with another purpose that also works to kick out the bedbugs that is available in the market?

I know that there are pest control services available, but they are costly and we have to totally pack the room for at least 12 hours.

  • I'm not going to post this as an answer, but Malathion (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malathion) is what I used to get rid of my infestation, after struggling with it for years. Whether it is legal for indoor use varies by country, but it is easy to buy and was very effective. Be very careful with the fumes (vent your home thoroughly and do not use if you have pets or children in the home!). Dilute according to the instructions and spray known infestation sites and on beds and other furniture. Put a waterproof mattress encasement on first to prevent absorption (it smells bad). – M Miller Nov 28 '18 at 1:43
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    Nuke 'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure. – Lee Daniel Crocker Nov 28 '18 at 18:29
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    12 hours of your room being packed is the least of your problems... be ready to live out of plastic bags for a few months. – djechlin Nov 28 '18 at 23:38
  • youtu.be/TYACvmm5zAE – Creepy Creature Dec 17 '18 at 1:15

13 Answers 13

42

Get an exterminator/pest control expert, especially if you are living close to other people. It is not just your problem if your natural remedy doesn't work, it is their problem too. The only effective way to stop an infestation is to attack it as strongly as possible as quickly as possible. This is not something you should try to lifehack your way out of.

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    No, pyrethroids are the most commonly used insecticide against bed bugs and they are generally harmless to humans (but toxic to cats). Your neighbours finding out that YOU are responsible for their bedbug infestation is much more harmful to your health. – llama Nov 27 '18 at 18:40
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    @CreepyCreature If you can find some way to heat your entire house to 60 degrees or higher for several hours without an exterminator, then go for it. Maybe they will rent you the special heaters and you can do it yourself. But this really is a job for professionals. – Michael Hampton Nov 27 '18 at 19:14
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    I know people who have had to move because of bedbugs. Spare no expense in destroying them. Don't be scared of "chemicals" just because they have names that are scary sounding: YOU HAVE LITERAL MONSTERS EATING YOUR BLOOD AT NIGHT. – thumbtackthief Nov 27 '18 at 22:10
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    Dammit, cyanide is natural. Arsenic is natural. "Natural" and "safe" are NOT SYNONYMS. Now I'm all angry. – thumbtackthief Nov 27 '18 at 22:16
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    @CreepyCreature Correct, this question will help someone later—if they come here and see that the only answer is to call in professionals. – KRyan Nov 27 '18 at 22:18
14

Heat, cold, and diatomaceous earth all kill bedbugs.

Cold -- I've successfully rid a home of bedbugs by turning off the water, blowing out the pipes, pouring antifreeze in toilets, tanks, and u-traps, then opening the windows in January to let the house freeze (this in a northern climate). Temperatures in the house hovered between -20F and 40F for two months. Not extremely practical, but nobody was living in the house. And it worked. The infestation was crazy (millions) and this apparently killed the bugs and the eggs. I think the important thing here might be (and this is conjecture) that eggs likely hatched on warmer days, then it would freeze again and kill the starving critters.

Heat -- Close your windows, remove any aerosol cans, gas cans, hydrocarbons, clean out and turn off your fridge, get your food out. Common sense things. Take off your baseboards to allow air to circulate better there. Then heat your house to 60C for a few days, using fans to blow the air around. I've never tried this, but logic says it would work. Problem, there may be leaks to the outside, e.g. in a wall, that keep a space cool and the bugs don't all die. Probably best to get an infrared camera and use that to make sure everything is heated enough. Or, get a pro to do this.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) -- This is like micro glass shards, and totally natural (shells and remains from dead ocean diatoms). Take off baseboards and remove outlet covers. Sprinkle DE everywhere, including in your sheets, on your pillow, on your mattress, in your drawers, in the outlets, and blow it under the drywall. Walk around in the stuff for a few weeks, making sure that your sheets have it every night. This kills by bleeding out the poor bastards, poking them so they loose all their moisture, but it will be soft on your skin. You need to have it around for each hatch, and gotta get enough of it so it kills them before they lay eggs. Hence several weeks.

As you can see, anything other than concentrated chemicals is a PITA.

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    It’s not unheard of for professionals to use these methods, either—and you should still call them. When I was a little kid, our apartment got infested with bedbugs, and while they fumigated the apartment itself, it was decided that my stuffed animals—which were infested, but which I slept with and might well have put in my mouth at that age—were instead put out on the balcony for a good long time, through a Northeast US winter. – KRyan Nov 28 '18 at 0:02
  • I have heard that people use dry ice to freeze the portion of the house that is infested. They start hibernating during the cold and there activity also decreases. I think cold will work. And luckily it's November now. – Creepy Creature Nov 28 '18 at 4:45
  • Diatomaceous Earth (DE) looks interesting. – Creepy Creature Nov 28 '18 at 4:53
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    About DE, it should be noted that exposure to it significantly heightens the risk of lung cancer (hazard ratio around 2) as well as NMRD (hazard ratio close to 4) with elevated mortality. That's admittedly number for people working in DE production for at least one year, but still... pouring the stuff in your bed sheets is not precisely low-exposure either. So, if someone like the OP is afraid of having pest patrol shed a few chemicals, I don't think this is really the to-go solution. Natural or not. I mean, asbestos is perfectly natural, too. – Damon Nov 28 '18 at 15:22
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    Using DE is an absolute nightmare. It works if you do it right, but it's basically impossible to clean up afterwards. If you have vinyl or similar flooring, it will embed itself into it forever. Most household vacuums won't work properly on it with carpet, and you'll probably ruin the vacuum trying. Sweeping it up from hardwood mostly just kicks it up into the air again, while taking days to settle back down for another attempt. It stays around for months and months afterward, and is basically impossible to explain to any visitors without looking crazy. But yes, it did kill the bedbugs. – TIO Begs Nov 28 '18 at 15:42
5

Tough thing, you probably want to swing the chemical mace. There are mainly two natural ways of getting rid of bed bugs that actually work, but neither one is really easy or straightforward.

  1. Starve them. This takes time. A lot of it. You can starve lice within a day or two, and flea within 4-5 days. Bed bugs, uh... more like 2-3 months. So unless you have a summer residence and can move there over the summer you're out of luck.
  2. Heat them. Bed bugs are moderately sensitive to temperature. What does "moderately" mean? Well, 48-50°C (around 115-120°F). Keep that for an hour or two, and your problem is gone. No, I'm not joking. What can I say but: be grateful it isn't 75°C. I'll admit that heating up your bedroom to that temperature can be a challenge.

So, all in all, chemicals aren't the worst option, really.

  • My mom earlier used to place all the bedsheets and other thing outside in the sun. The sun used to heat up everything and kick out those bugs and remove the smell also. This method worked. But now living in building, makes it difficult to get some sunlight. – Creepy Creature Nov 29 '18 at 4:08
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Safe fungus wipes out bedbugs from little exposure.

The researchers discovered that they only needed to expose a small percentage of a bedbug population to their new fungal-based biopesticide to achieve nearly 100 percent infection.

Bedbugs exposed to Beauveria bassiana, a natural and indigenous fungus that causes disease in insects, is harmless to humans and doesn't damage furniture. They become infected and die within four to seven days.

The researchers made a company and sell it here.

  • Tanath, welcome to LifeHacks! Your answer has some issues that make it hard to consider an good answer. First, it is only a summary of the article linked above. Second, even with the summary, the facts are not easily read; the bullet points are a bit disjointed, and the detail becomes confusing. Third, I would suggest some editing, as you have duplication of information between the second and third bullet points. Otherwise, thanks for the answer -- I believe with some editing, this answer can be much more helpful. – Paul Beverage Dec 8 '18 at 1:03
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    Fair. I reworded it. – Tanath Dec 8 '18 at 1:26
  • Tanath, thanks for your contribution and openness to suggestions! I think this answer can be quite helpful. FYI, here are some more details about referencing material from other sources, just as background information. – Stephie Dec 8 '18 at 8:06
  • Lovely! We’ve had a bit of trouble (across the network) with users that, well, let’s say “struggled with the concept of intellectual property”, so thanks again for your support. – Stephie Dec 8 '18 at 20:15
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What did I (with success):

  • Used a steam generator to process all the beds including the smallest holes.
  • Surrounded all the beds' legs with the dry boric acid making sure that the only way for the bugs lays through it (when they go towards their food - sleeping people).
  • Bugs contact with acid and die some time later (not instantly). About a month may be required for getting rid of all of them.
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Three words. BORIC ACID POWDER. Period.

works for small roaches and other insects as well. The powder has long life and is not harmful for humans. Even children. Be sure to spread in the right areas i.e. all around, inside, under beds, electric sockets etc.

Also second natural ways by leaving house to extreme cold temperatures. Usually a warm area problem so this solution will not be applicable most of the times. In warm climates take all furniture, beds, sheets, Clothing and put under direct sunlight during daytime.

0

I know one of the process of getting rid of bedbugs but you need to spend some energy. It will take a week but it is very effective. You can call it a natural way or may be other.

Everyday make a strong diluted solution of detergent powder (we use surf excel or Ariel here) not detergent liquid after which you have to wash your entire floor with that solution. If not possible then sweep with that solution everyday. Also make a strong concentrated solution of detergent powder and pour it in a liquid sprayer bottle. Evenly spray it in infested area everyday.

A slight contact with this solution instantly kills the bedbug and even it's eggs get infertile.

The detergent powder solution is alkaline. But I never understood why they were killed?

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I covered the lot in anti bed bug powder that I found in the shop, not sure what it was made off, but I also wrapped all my mattresses and pillows in clingfilm for a couple of months, also covering them in the powder.

Also used celo gel, the stuff you find in new shoes, on the floor under the bed mixed with the powder.

And used a spray of places like keyboards etc.

All that seemed to work, but I lived in a small flat and caught infestation early.

0

Don't over look the simple solution. We leased an apartment here in Tulsa for almost five years and until we moved out. The cat lady upstairs had bedbugs (and fleas). The bedbugs would occasionally get through the electrical conduit holes from upstairs, arriving in our bathroom. Until then, I didn't even know what a bedbug looked like.

What kept us from getting bedbugs was that we put all our mattresses and box springs in bedbug-proof covers. Then get the bed out from touching any wall, or foreign object. Spray the legs of the bed with bedbug spray. Always make the bed up tightly, so insects have difficulty crawling into the bed clothes.

  • A good post but keep to the point. Remove material not pertinent to bedbugs. – RedSonja Nov 29 '18 at 12:50
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You should seek professional help as @llama suggested. However, I just wanted to add another answer with some references I found from UMN and Cornell due to the lack of references in the other answers and my rep is too low to comment.

https://www.bedbugs.umn.edu/bed-bug-control-in-residences - Suggests ways to control bedbugs

https://www.bedbugs.umn.edu/what-not-to-do AND https://nysipm.cornell.edu/whats-bugging-you/bed-bugs/bed-bug-faqs/#15 - These mention various examples of what not to do when an infestation strikes... Like throwing out the mattress since this can cause further contamination or using chemicals when not a trained professional for health reasons.

  • Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. I edited your post to remove the "please edit your post"; we need no encouragement to do so. Keep posting! – Daniel Griscom Dec 2 '18 at 6:09
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You can kill bedbugs with heat, but using your thermostat or a space heater won't do the job. Special equipment and very high temperatures are necessary for successful heat treatment(47-50 degrees Celsius). If it's hot enough outside, belongings can be put in black plastic bags and left out in the sun for several hours.

Bed bugs can also be killed by exposing them to freezing temperatures for 12-24 hours.

If you want to keep your mattress cover it with a mattress encasement. While it could take up to a year, the bedbugs living inside of the mattress will eventually starve to death.

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After talking to my neighbor, I got this insecticides & it's definitely going to work & it costs less than a 1 $dollar.

Name :- Thiamethoxam a.i 25% w/w

Broad Spectrum Insecticide.

Mass:- 5 or 10 gram

Odourless.

Requirement: -

0.5 to 1 L water,

Spray bottle

Close the home at least for 3 hour after spray.

After a week you will spot the difference.

-9

Funny thing no one will vote this answer up but this is the only answer that works (worked for me).

You could keep popping them spraying them even heating the whole room up will not help kill them all and a few will survive anyways.

You could try killing these bedbugs for years but every couple of days they will replenish back to numbers again.

Anyways the only way to get rid of them is to throw the mattresses out, that's like throwing out their lifesource that puts them into a depression and you have to move living in a uninhabitable room (living room) they wont walk from one room to the other because they will be in a depression and just die out from hunger after a year or so and you could move back in there.

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    Tell me again how you know bed bugs experience depression? – mkautzm Nov 27 '18 at 23:13
  • I already explained it when they lose their main source of food and shelter they go into depression and just go into the walls and die out there they don't try to go to the next room they think its all over. – SSpoke Nov 28 '18 at 0:08
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    I encourage you to substantiate that claim with research of some kind. – mkautzm Nov 28 '18 at 0:47
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    Well, your experience is wrong. There is no evidence to suggest that bed bugs become 'depressed', and there is a lot of research to suggest that they definitely have no problem moving from location to location in a house. – mkautzm Nov 28 '18 at 1:30
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    @SSpoke I don't think someone who can't tell the difference between whales and bedbugs should be commenting on anyone else's intelligence. – thumbtackthief Nov 28 '18 at 19:30

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