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.

  • 2
    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
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 1:43
  • 6
    Nuke 'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure. Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 18:29
  • 2
    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
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 23:38
  • youtu.be/TYACvmm5zAE Commented Dec 17, 2018 at 1:15

13 Answers 13


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.

  • 27
    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
    Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 18:40
  • 5
    @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. Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 19:14
  • 20
    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. Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 22:10
  • 37
    Dammit, cyanide is natural. Arsenic is natural. "Natural" and "safe" are NOT SYNONYMS. Now I'm all angry. Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 22:16
  • 14
    @CreepyCreature Correct, this question will help someone later—if they come here and see that the only answer is to call in professionals.
    – KRyan
    Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 22:18

I bought a house for a needy family member and it came with free bedbugs. Did a lot of research and ended up using cold and diatomaceous earth. Here is what I found from doing this and reading a ton about it:

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) -- First, see warnings in comments below. DE is like micro glass shards, and totally natural (shells and remains from dead ocean diatoms - but 'natural' doesn't mean it is safe to breathe). Take off baseboards and remove outlet covers. Sprinkle DE behind baseboards and inside outlets, cracks in floors and walls, and blow under drywall. Use other methods for your bedding because you probably don't want to breathe DE. It kills by bleeding out the poor bastards, poking them so they loose all their moisture. 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.

  • 4
    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
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 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. Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 4:45
  • 12
    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
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 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
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 15:42
  • 1
    @miguelmorin: A pretty well-known rule of thumb is, anything that is "fine mineral stuff" (e.g. asbestos, glass fiber, silica powder, DE, concrete dust...) is bad. That's because there's no one to clean up that stuff. How are scavenger cells supposed to digest that stuff? They can't. So it stays there forever, causing permanent irritation (and tissue change). For an official source, see e.g. first hit on Google for silicosis: lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/silicosis/… (or just throw a few words at Pubmed, will give hundreds of hits).
    – Damon
    Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 11:00

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. Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 4:08
  • On leaving items in the sun, this page from the University of Minnesota says that it will fail: "Do not wrap items in black plastic and place in the sun. It will not get hot enough to kill all the bugs."
    – emonigma
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 17:33

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. Commented Dec 8, 2018 at 1:03
  • 1
    Fair. I reworded it.
    – Tanath
    Commented Dec 8, 2018 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
    Commented Dec 8, 2018 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
    Commented Dec 8, 2018 at 20:15

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.

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
    Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 12:50

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.

  • This materials datasheet for boric acid powder from CDHfinechemical.com mentions: "May damage fertility. May damage the unborn child. Obtain special instructions before use. Wear protective gloves/ protective clothing/ eye protection/ face protection." I might use it for treatment of existing pests, for prevention in high-risk environments, but not for day-to-day in a neighborhood without record of pests.
    – emonigma
    Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 10:35

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! Commented Dec 2, 2018 at 6:09
  • These references from the University of Minnesota are comprehensive and authoritative and I am happy I spent an hour reading them. For example: exposure to cold or heat needs to be immediate to be effective, and you need to leave stuff in the freezer at below 32ºF (0ºC) for 30 days to kill the eggs. If you could include a summary or excerpts from the references, other readers would be grateful and it would improve the answer.
    – emonigma
    Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 11:41

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


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.


I know one process to get rid of bedbugs but you need to spend some energy. It will take a week but it is very effective. I would call it a natural way.

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 its eggs become sterile.

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


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.


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.

  • On leaving items in the sun, this page from the University of Minnesota says that it will fail: "Do not wrap items in black plastic and place in the sun. It will not get hot enough to kill all the bugs." On exposing items to freezing temperatures, the same source mentions a longer period: "Quickly expose items to 32 ºF or below and leave them there for at least two weeks. All crawling life stages will die. To kill the eggs, 30 days is needed."
    – emonigma
    Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 12:05
  • On mattress covers, this page from the University of Minnesota mentions that they need 18 months, and recommends "a mattress cover that is labeled specifically for bed bugs as covers designed only to reduce allergens may not stop bed bugs." Another page from the same source recommends "Inspect them often to be sure they don’t have rips. If you find holes or tears, seal these completely with permanent tape or buy a new bag."
    – emonigma
    Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 12:08

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.

  • 11
    Tell me again how you know bed bugs experience depression?
    – mkautzm
    Commented Nov 27, 2018 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
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 0:08
  • 4
    I encourage you to substantiate that claim with research of some kind.
    – mkautzm
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 0:47
  • 8
    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
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 1:30
  • 3
    @SSpoke I don't think someone who can't tell the difference between whales and bedbugs should be commenting on anyone else's intelligence. Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 19:30

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