Bed Bug Dust – Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Natural Solution

One of the most popular and environmentally safe ways to kill bed bugs is by using bed bug dust AKA Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE), also called bed bug dust. DE is a fancy name for fossilized water plants (algae-like plants called diatoms) that are ground to a fine dust and used to kill bed bugs. It’s popular because when placed in a spray bottle (duster such as a plastic ketchup container) and dusted into infestations, you avoid paying added fees for commercial (and often toxic) pest control solutions. You can find this product at almost any feed and supply store or online from a number of companies.

Tip: Are you sure you have bed bugs but being told you don’t or can’t find them? Read how Mimi found bed bugs using a bug sniffing dog when the pest control companies could find them!
Warning! The diatomaceous earth you find at the pool supply store is NOT what you want to use! You want Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth which is a safe all natural pest control which you can find at your local feed store; you can also look for Fossil Shell Flour at other stores.
Another Warning! Bed bug dust (DE) works by absorbing lipids from the waxy outer layer of their exoskeleton causing the bugs to die from dehydration; this absorbent quality will also cause significant drying of your hands if applied without gloves. It is also dangerous to breathe, so MAKE SURE TO WEAR A DUST MASK!
This is a completely natural, environmentally safe way to win the war against bed bugs (also called chinches), so let let me explain how it works.

When the bug comes in contact with DE’s microscopic razor sharp edges, their protective covering becomes damaged; without protection and exposed to the elements, the bug becomes dehydrated and quickly dies.

bedbug spray non-toxic
How to Apply Bed Bug Dust (DE)
You’ll need three weapons. First, create a mixture of %40 alcohol (ethyl alcohol works), %40 water and %20 dish soap [the spray]. Second, you’ll need to place your diatomaceous earth in a duster [the dust] and third, you’ll need a powerful vacuum with attachments – used for sucking loose bedbugs out of their hiding places.

Bedbugs love to hide and do a great job at it! If you read the comments throughout my site, you’ll see case after case where the victim went months without finding signs only to discover later that there was an infestation right next to them! Know where to look, see my bed bug checklist; I’ll cover some of their hiding places below.

Phase One – Cleaning: We need to clean, and good. Wash bedding and surrounding material with hot water that is at least 120 degree in temperature. Items such as pillows, toys, extra blankets should be cleaned and sealed in plastic bags for further decontamination later.

Start by vacuuming the baseboards, cracks in the floors and furniture (bed frame, dresser, headboard, picture frames, etc). Don’t forget about electrical outlets, but BE CAREFUL to make sure not to get the area wet or use conductive attachments!

Inspect that bed, again! Take the mattress and box spring off the frame and stand them on their side, vacuum along the seams, under tags and everywhere that bugs could hide. Take that frame apart and vacuum any cracks or openings such as where the frames connect – bugs love making their home there!

Bedbug hideout in electrical outlet
Don’t forget the surrounding areas, such as your dresser, night stand, under the carpet, chairs, electrical outlet and even in your clock! MAKE SURE to discard the vacuum bag immediately after use!

Once you’ve vacuumed everywhere, it’s time to have fun and spray (which kills them on contact!). Spray the mixture on/in all the seams, cracks, handles, buttons and labels (tags) of your mattress and box spring; if there are bugs, those that don’t get wet may become agitated and show themselves. Use a flashlight while doing this and look for signs of bugs, such as eggs, stains (looks like someone dotted the area with a black marker). If you find eggs (they look like tiny rice, use a fine tooth comb or masking tape to collect them. Make sure to place any eggs in a zip-lock bag with a little DE and get them in the trash immediately (outside trash!)

Phase Two- Heat Treatment: Okay, it’s not the type of treatment that you would receive from a professional exterminator, but it’s good enough to further agitate the bugs into showing themselves :)
Take a hair dryer set to high and start blowing heat into all those cracks and crevices you vacuumed earlier. As bedbugs start to pour out of their bunkers, take that opportunity to spray them with your alcohol mixture and vacuum the fallout.

inexpensive bug dust duster
Phase Three – BedBug Dust: Now take the duster, filled with your food grade diatomaceouse earth, and dust into the bottom of the box spring – you can choose to make a small hole in the fabric or simply dust through the fabric to prevent damage. I prefer making a small incision and getting the dust into the box spring rather than having a film of white powder on the outside. MAKE SURE you are wearing a dust mask and gloves!

You’ll want to spray the bed bug dust into all the crack and crevices you vacuumed – a light dusting will do fine. Placed under the carpet along the edges, it will help prevent future infestations. Bed bug dust can also be used to kill ants, mites, fleas and more, plus it’s safe to humans (again, don’t inhale it) and easy handle.

After your treatment, you’ll want to make it as difficult as possible for future infestations to occur by doing the following:

  1. Prevent the bed bugs from climbing up your bed by placing the legs of the bed into a plastic bowl with an inside coating of Vaseline. When they try to climb up the bed, they’ll become stuck. If you have a large infestation and catch a good number of bugs this way, please, send me the picture! I helped you, please help me show others how successful this DIY treatment can be!
  2. Fill cracks and crevices with the appropriate filler
  3. Tape any holes that would allow bugs to enter your box-spring
  4. Use a mattress cover that completely seals – one made for dust mites will work just fine
How Long Before Bed Bugs Die from DE Dust?

Changlu Wang, Timothy Gibb, and Gary W. Bennett from Purdue University did an excellent study on the cost and effectiveness of using Diatomaceous earth (also called DE, diatomite or kieselgur/kieselguhr and bed bug dust) on bed bug infested (1000′s of bugs) apartments. Also tested was chlorfenapyr spray but it was not as effective as the all natural DE.

They treated by using mattress encasements (including the box spring) and the steam treatment I outlined above. They also made sure to put the legs of chairs, sofas, nightstands and anything else into bed bug intercept traps like that shown in the image above.

It took ten weeks and they re-steamed and reapplied Mother Earth-D (food grade DE) when necessary; because death is not immediate, the females may be able to deposit eggs which will hatch and become active. It is these hatchings (instars) that you need to stay on top of.

The study found that bug interceptors trapped an average of 219 bed bugs per apartment and were an extremely effective part of the treatment program.

In the study, 16 equally infested units were selected and half the units were 100% bed bug free while the remaining units were 98% free; another application would likely have taken care of the rest (but the study was limited to 10 weeks). Total bed bug extermination costs average $470 but this amount can be great reduced using generic products, such as:
  • Using dust mite mattress encasement rather than one made for bed bugs
  • Using food grade DE found at feed and supply stores rather than something labeled “Bed Bug Dust”
  • Making your own bed bug climb up protectors rather than buying pre-made devices.
  • Buying a generic steamer (or renting) besides one made for bedbugs.
There are many success stories of DIY treatment using DE here on this site. The thing to keep in mind is that these pests are not going to die overnight; it can take a couple of months for a large infestation to be eliminated but in the end, you will win!

Visitors have successfully eliminated bed bugs using this exact same method, and truth be told, you’ll have to do most of this anyway if you were to hire a professional exterminator!

Bed Bugs in Used Furniture

Here is a great example of why you should not bring used furniture into your home without first making sure it isn’t infested. Bed bugs in used furniture can lead to a complete infestation of the home as Leah123 explains. I have listed Leah123′s story below and would like to thank her for taking the time to submit her story and pictures! By the way, you can click on the thumbnail to see the full picture.

Several months ago we were given a chair and around the same time my husband bought a used bed at a yard sale. Around May I think I was in the chair watching TV and saw a bug I had never seen before crawl out. Over the next few weeks I saw them maybe one or two is all, hadn’t a clue what they were.

My husband also noticed some specked spots on the bed he had bought and put in guest room and he sprayed it w/raid or something. Well next thing we know we have bites between our thighs that itch and welt. Then in next few weeks I see more and more on the chair I mentioned. I found this site and bought a steamer and steamed the chair like crazy, took it apart and thought I got it good but I think my steamer isn’t top of the line, it was 39$ at walmart.

bed bugs in used furniture on headboard
A few weeks ago one of our kids fell asleep in the chair then went to my bed to lie down. I went up 30 minutes later, turned on the light and there were 5 on pillow around her! I thought they attached to her and went up on her pajamas! Then I remembered reading a post here about dots on wooden headboard and realized my wooden headboard has those unique wooden markings…yeah….so I go in the dark with flashlight and there’s 3 hiding in cracks of headboard!

I made bleach/dawn/water mixture (I think its supposed to be alcohol, but this works on contact too) and killed them, also took razor blade and ran through cracks and it came out with blood on it! So during the last few days I put Vaseline smeared on headboard and caught a few trying to get to me lol….they got stuck trying!

picture of bed bug feces on mattress with casting shells and fecal matter
About 3 nights ago I did that and was reading this site in the dark in my bed and guess what? Like 5 came 1 at a time at me, and I just happened to be reading the story of a dim light attracting them, go figure!! So tonight I took mattress and box springs off and to my dismay I found them, several on boxsprings, mattresses, etc!!!!

I sprayed a ton of the bleach mixture all any used furniture, my headboard, everything in fact! They were even in the slats of bed…it sucks!!!! I probably found and killed 50, after only seeing 20 total for months in either the chair, the guest bed and now here!! Tomorrow I’m getting DE (Bed Bug Dust) and showing them whose boss!

Thanks for posting this, and what’s amazing is I didn’t know there was a nymph in the pic of the one on my headboard, eww!! Tonight I tried to puff DE around the baseboards, headboards, box spring, mattress etc and also did the bleach solution again.

I’ve not been sleeping in there or going in my room for a few days really. I need help figuring out how to get the DE out of the bag and into the puffer thing without making a mess, I tried rolling up a piece of construction paper…and I tried a funnel but its like it was too thick and wouldn’t flow into the bottle? So I’ve gotta finish tomorrow.

Thanks for posting my story..oh btw I rechecked all furniture everywhere else in my home and all seems ok, and the chair is nothing but ashes now, just dealing with my bed and hopefully that will be it. I only found about 5 alive tonight.

Also, an extremely helpful tool is a sticky lint roller!! Great for those bed slats that had tiny eggs and nymphs on them and also good for the crevices in the bed frame and seams on mattress after the dawn/alcohol/water spray….hope this helps someone!

Bed Bug Traps

Bed Bug Trap using Dry Ice
Bed Bug Trap step 1
We are going to place a thermos with dry ice on top of a glass bowl sitting inside a litter box. Bed bugs zero in on the CO2 you give off when sleeping which is exactly what dry ice gives off as it warms. Being heaver than air, the CO2 drops down into the box and overfills into the room – it’s like a loud dinner bell!

The bugs climb up the box, fall inside and can’t get out. The outside cloth helps them climb up and drop into the box but once in, the power and plastic sides prove too slippery to escape and they become trapped.

It takes less than an hour to make and you can do it with products from your local dollar store. You’ll need a plastic cat litter box, glue, white paint, baby power (avoid powder made with cornstarch), scissors, cloth, foam brush, dry ice, insulated thermos with spout on top and small round glass bowl.

Bed bug trap step 2
Note, I already had some products, but when I went to the dollar store, I found they had everything I needed ($1 each) except for the dry ice which I purchased from Meijer’s grocer for $2.00.

Let’s get started building your bed bug trap.
Paint the bottom of the litter box white (I used white gloss) so that the trapped bugs are easy to identify. I used fast drying paint and a hair dryer to speed up the process.

Once the paint has dried, cut the top of the box off so that edges are straight. My top had a lip that would have made it difficult for the bed bugs to climb inside.

Bed bug trap step 3 and 4Bed bug trap step 5 and 6Bed bug trap step 7

With my $1 towel, I cut sections that would fit on the outside of the box and glued them in place taking care to not leave any gaps between the cloth and side where the bugs could hide. Make sure the cloth goes the entire length of the side so that as you lay the trap on the floor, it touches the carpet (or wood, etc). This makes it easy for the bed bugs to climb up the side.

Once you have glued the cloth on, apply a light dusting of baby power to the bottom and insides of the trap. Also apply a light coating to your glass bowl. The small bowl will sit on the inside of the trap acting as a base for your thermos and prevents the bed bugs from climbing up the thermos.

bed bug trap in action

Dry Ice CautionThis next part can be Dangerous as dry ice can severely burn your skin; use thick insulated gloves, grill thongs or pliers to handle the ice. Placing dry ice in a sealed container without ventilation will cause pressure to build until the top blows. Dry ice releases carbon dioxide which could cause asphyxia so only use one of these traps per average sized room. A 1/3 gallon bug trap is said to be the equivalent of two adults sleeping. Keep away from children.

To test your trap, place some dry ice in the thermos, add a quarter cup water, close the lid and learn the spout angle to determine levels (closed, part way and completely open).

Completed bed bug trap
The final step is to place the dry ice in the empty thermos, screw on the cap, open the spot half way and place it on the glass base inside the litter box around 10:00pm. Place the bed bug trap next to the bed. Note: if the spout directs the CO2 away from your trap, you can hang a piece of paper over the spout to redirect the flow downward and into the trap (without blocking the spout).

In the morning you’ll see any bed bugs that were in the area. You should set the trap multiple times over a two week period. NOTE: If you move this trap to another room, make sure to seal it in a plastic bag and freeze it to make sure you don’t accidentally transport the bugs to another room!

Bed Bug Trap w Alka-Seltzer®

Did you know that Alka-Seltzer when placed in water creates Carbon Dioxide (CO2), yup, those bubbles are filled with it and it’s the same stuff that tells bed bugs food is on the table (that being you!).

You’ll need a plastic litter box and materials used to finish the box (shown in the image used for the Dry Ice trap), wet sponge, disposable hand warmers, a plate and 4 Alka-Seltzer tablets and DE. Make the box as shown in the image above. Activate the hand warmer and place it in the center of the plate. Place the wet sponge on the hand warmer and then the tablets spaced evenly on the sponge. Now take the plate and everything that’s on it and place it inside the box.

The moisture in the sponge will keep the Alka-Seltzer reaction active and continually release CO2; this should be enough to attract any bed bugs in hiding close to the trap. Once they are in the trap, they will be unable to leave and you’ll have the proof you’re looking for :)

Note: Placing the tablets in room water will cause the CO2 to release much faster but won’t last nearly as long (you need to give them time).

I’ve Trapped Bed Bugs, Now What?

When you have captured the bugs, please, take a picture and share it with others! Simply email the picture to and I’ll edit it before placing it on the site (I’ll clean it up, remove any identifying information and size it for the site).

Know that you know you have an infestation, you need to get rid of them, it’s war, but war doesn’t have to be expensive :) See my page on using bed bug dust to eliminate an infestation, it’s inexpensive, easy to do and works great!

Thanks to Dr. Changlu Wang, an entomologist from Rutgers University who came up with the idea of using dry ice to trap bed bugs and Richard Fagerlund, a board- certified entomologist at the University of New Mexico for covering the use of Alka-Seltzer in traps.

Trap or kill other pests:
A peanut butter covered Alka-Seltzer tablet will put an end to mice, rats and other rodents. Combine the tablets with soap and water to catch fleas from pets and mosquitoes looking for food.

Duct Tape Bug Trap

I receive the comment below from Richard in Dallas (Thanks Richard!) and had to add it to the page, it’s an excellent example of how you can trap bed bugs with duct tape:

Duct tape worked for me.
I had bed bugs for over a year. The guy came in and sprayed the apartment every week. The poison sort of worked but no poison ever killed them all.

The bed bug guy suggested petroleum jelly because the bugs have very small legs and would get stuck in it. I rejected that solution because I knew from previous non-bed bug experience with petroleum jelly that it was very messy.

After waking up several times the previous two nights with those critters all over my pillow, I decided to set a duct tape trap for them. One of those times when they woke me up I determined from what direction they were coming from.

The next night I positioned duct tape so that they would have to crawl over the duct tape to get to me. The next morning thirty some odd bed bugs were caught in the tape. None got to me.
The next night I put new duct tape out. Again, the next morning there were thirty odd bed bugs caught in the duct tape.

I kept doing this every night. By the forth morning no adult bid bugs were caught in the duct tape. But I kept putting new duct tape out every night to catch the baby bed bugs.
After about a month I stopped putting out the duct tape.
In the past year I have seen only one bed bug. He ended up not only Cloroxed but entombed in duct tape inside a dumpster.

Bedbug Checklist

Here are some quick tips to make sure your room (hotel rooms, bedrooms, living areas, etc) isn’t infested with bedbugs! Most people who end up having their home infested with bedbugs could have prevented it by looking for the signs below.

Staying at a hotel? If so, the first thing you should do is check your hotel for bed bug complaints – this is a completely free service we provide and could possibly help you prevent infesting your own home! Keep in mind that a report about one hotel does not mean the issue wasn’t isolated to one room, or that hotel management hasn’t taken the necessary steps to exterminate the bugs, but it is a great way to get management to promise you’ll sleep bedbug free!

When staying at a hotel, hang clothing in the closet that is farthest from your bed, place luggage on the folding rack usually found at hotels and always place your luggage in a plastic bag (hotel provided dry cleaning bags work great).

When you inspect a room for bedbugs, make sure you wear disposable medical gloves! Bedbugs gorge on the blood of humans, so much so that they can easily pop with very little pressure. When a bedbug pops, it will splatter blood and you may be exposed!
Picture of Bed Bugs, their eggs, shells and feces! This is a high resolution photo of what a bed bug infested mattress looks like including their shells, eggs and feces. You can zoom in on the picture if you need to.
  • After you arrive at your hotel, the first thing you should do is to spot check the bed. Peel back the bed sheets and check the mattress, running your fingers along the upper and lower seams. Make sure to check the mattress tag and plastic around the edges (see the picture above); bed bugs often hide there.
  • Check for tiny black spots (smaller than the size of poppy seeds) behind the headboard, translucent skins or actual bedbugs. Bed bug spots (fecal matter) are dark brown to black in color and stick to the surface. If it falls off, then it’s not a bed bug spot. You can also take a wet towel and wipe the spot to see if it smears and if so, then it may be fecal matter.
  • Check the bedside table or any other furniture or fixtures near the bed. Bedbugs don’t like the light, so they’ll be hiding in areas that are usually dark or have very low light.
  • Are there shed skins – as the bed bug develops, it sheds the skin which looks like the bug. Also look for tiny white eggs (like rice) along the edge of the mattress.
  • During the early stages of infestation (if you or someone just brought one home), the bug bug(s) usually hide out in the mattress ( and headboard). If this is your home and you’re concerned you might have a few in bed with you, it would be wise to buy a mattress cover; this will seal in the bed bugs and over time, they will die. See our section on Mattress Covers to learn exactly what type of cover you need (standard covers will not work).
  • Utilize the luggage stand in the hotel room to keep your bags off of the floor where bedbugs can easily get into your things and end up hitching a ride home with you.
  • If you see powder in the drawers or on the headboard, it is likely that the room has already been treated for bugs by an exterminator.
  • If you do see a bedbug or signs of one, inform a manager immediately. You may request another room but remember the bedbugs could easily be in other parts of the hotel as well. Personally, I would leave and find another hotel if there is any sign at all of bedbugs.
  • Other signs of bedbugs may include itching or a foul smell. The odor has been described a number of ways, most say it resembles spoiled raw beef, musty odor or a sweet odor such as fresh red raspberries.
  • Just because the room or hotel is new does not mean it’s free from bedbugs; bedbugs find rooms by riding on the cloths or luggage of others and may have been been hitching a ride on the last occupant.
  • When you’re ready to leave double check your luggage as well as individual items within your suitcase. This may seem cumbersome, but preventing a bedbug infestation is a LOT easier than dealing with one!
  • If you spot a bedbug within your luggage, wash the item in hot water and blow dry on high heat for 20-30 minutes. Then place the item in a zip lock bag, which should keep any bedbugs out.

Areas bugs bugs like to hide

Bedbugs love gaps in just about everything, so check:
  • behind baseboards
  • around door and window casings
  • around window sills and frames
  • behind electrical and telephone switch plates
  • between flooring and wall components
  • where materials meet to form a gap
  • around pipes (water, drain, electrical conduits
  • seams, creases, tufts, and folds of the mattress and box spring
  • bed frames and head board
  • under night stands and drawers
  • storage units
  • items such as furniture that may have hollow legs
  • between upholstered furniture
  • between the folds of drapery or curtains
  • in your alarm clock
  • inside loose wallpaper

Hotel Room

This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but it covers the basics and should help you sleep bedbug free.

How to Treat Bed Bug Bites

I explain how to treat bed bug bites below, but if you don’t get rid of them, you’ll just end up treating your bites again.

Bed bug bites can range in severity based on the person being bitten. Some don’t even notice the bite while others swell or even become infected. Take Julio’s picture below for example, this is was a bad reaction to bed bug bites and it wasn’t just his arm, his entire body looked like this! Think that was bad, check out these other bed bug bites! How to treat bed bug bites? By far, the most popular answer is with baking soda and water to make a paste that you then place on the bite and let dry.
Horrible bite marks on arm from bed bugs

Here is exactly how to treat the bites…
  1. Make sure to wash the bed bug bites with soap and water.
  2. Make a thick sticky paste with the water and baking soda, not too runny and thick enough that it will stay.
  3. Let the paste stand until completely dry and then wait an hour or so. Some let it stand for hours while others find that an hour or less is fine.
  4. Gently wash the paste off and pat dry.

Other natural remedies for treating bed bug bites include: Witch hazel, St. John’s Wort and Lemon juice – all work by removing the desire to itch (Astringents). The gel from the Aloe plant is how many treat bed bug bites and contains anti-fungal and antibiotic properties that work great! Simply trim a tip and apply the exposed area to the bite.

Handed down from generations is the bath with peppermint oil, fill the tub with bath water, then add a half cup of peppermint oil to relieve the itching.

How to Treat Bedbug Bites using OTC or Over The Counter medication.
  1. Cortisone cream to stop the itching
  2. Calamine lotion
  3. Just about any topical anesthetic containing pramoxine
  4. Hydrocortisone cream
  5. Naproxen or Ibuprofen or a anti-histamine like benadryl to help reduce swelling
  6. Light paste of aspirin and water like you would with baking soda and water
Have a home remedy or tips on how to treat bites? Feel free to leave a comment below!

Bed Bug FAQ

We receive a log of questions about bed bugs, such as what is a bed bug, where do they come from, are they dangerous, etc.. We have taken the most popular questions and posted them here with their corresponding answers.

What is a bed bug?

Picture of a bedbug

A bed bug is a small nocturnal insect of the family Cimicidae that lives by hematophagy (or in other words by feeding on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded hosts). Bed Bugs can be found all over the world, generally in human inhabited environments. The reason bed bugs are normally found in these areas is because they feed off the blood of humans.

Bed Bugs are fairly small; an adult may grow to be the size of 4-7mm. They are a reddish-brown color and their shape is flat and oval.

Although misconceptions have led people to believe that they are not visible to the eye, they are in fact visible and easy to spot because of their slow movements.

Where do Bed Bugs come from?

Bed Bugs can come from a variety of places. But typically one of the most common forms of infestation is through contacts with infested furniture in hotels, motels, and other places of temporary accommodation. Bed Bugs can be passed on from used clothing or furniture. Cleanliness does not arrest the spread of infestation directly. The idea that dirt causes Bed Bugs infestations is a misconception. However cleanliness, by depriving the bed bugs some of their hiding places, does slow down the infestation. Apartment complexes often have Bed Bugs because they can get from apartment to apartment easily.

What are the feeding habits of Bed Bugs?

As previously mentioned Bed Bugs feed on the blood of humans. When a bed bug bites a human it injects two hollow tubes into the skin. With one tube the bed bug injects a anti-coagulant, anesthetic and with the other tube it steals your blood. Generally a bed bug will feed for about five minutes before returning to its hiding place. Also, Bed Bugs typically are active only at night (they start appearing at dusk) because they are nocturnal, but can be seen anytime especially if a chance to feed occurs. An important bit of information to know about the feeding habits of Bed Bugs is that they can survive for up to eighteen months without feeding even though they seek blood every five to ten days. A hungry bed bug looks slightly different from one that’s just been fed. A hungry bed bug typically flat with a circular shaped abdomen while a blood fed bed bug is elongated with a tapered abdomen.

Are bed bug bites dangerous?

Typically one can’t feel a bed bug bite until minutes or hours later. The bite may look like a flat welt or a raised, red bump and are often times very itchy. Luckily their bites aren’t dangerous but rather annoying. They can cause skin irritation or rashes if bit frequently so it’s a wise idea to get rid of them as soon as possible. If you end up itching or your skin gets irritated you may be allergic to bed bug bites due to the chemical they release when they bite you. However, doctors often misdiagnosis bed bug bites due to the fact they look like other skin conditions. The bites may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to go away on their own.

How do I stop the itching from bed bug bites?

One that will help out is anti-itching cream for insect bites. You can usually find these at a drug store over-the-counter. Other people say that taking Benadryl or using calamine lotion will help with it. It’s important to remember that even though these methods may help reduce itchiness they will not get rid of the Bed Bugs, so it’s important that you seek help to get rid of the Bed Bugs or they will still find and bite you. Our Bed Bug Treatment section has a list of all treatments that worked for our visitors.

How can I tell if I have Bed Bugs?

Check out our Bed Bug Checklist for a comprehensive list of ways in which you can check for bedbugs – generally, the first thing you may notice is a peculiar pungent odor, this odor is often times very familiar to building inspectors and tenement dwellers. If you think you may have Bed Bugs it’s a good idea to visually check your bed, as Bed Bugs can often be spotted. Other things you may notice are blood spots, fecal stains or cast exoskeleton skins. Take extra care in checking the mattress itself and the corners of bed nets. Bed Bugs typically will hide in old furniture, behind peeling paint, wooden floorboards as well as seems and folds in a mattress, bed frames and bed springs. Remember, just because they are called Bed Bugs doesn’t mean they are only in your bed. Although in most cases Bed Bugs are in a small, concentrated area and usually within 10-20 feet of where you sleep. Make sure to look at our Bed Bug Checklist for more information on this!

What do I need to know if I have Bed Bugs?

If you think you may have Bed Bugs don’t bring anything else into the contaminated room because it may become contaminated. Also remember not to start sleeping in a different bed, the sofa or with another family member or friend because there is a chance that the Bed Bugs may follow you to the new location and therefore contaminate another area. Don’t throw anything out, try to get rid of the Bed Bugs yourself or try and treat yourself, wait and seek help from a professional. Make sure you don’t bag anything unless it has been washed in hot water and dried on hot for one to two hours. Remember, if you bag up clothing or bedding that has not been washed and they contain Bed Bugs when you open the bag the Bed Bugs may contaminate your living space again as they can live up to 18 months without feeding. To be safe just assume everything in that room is infested; also, make sure to review our bed bug treatment section.

How do you get rid of Bed Bugs? 

It’s a good idea to get rid of Bed Bugs as soon as possible because each individual bed bug can lay four to five eggs a day, so if you do the math that’s a lot of Bed Bugs you don’t want around (Consider this: in a room that is around 70 degrees and there are 40 bugs six months later there would be 5,905 bugs!). Consider the help of a pest control company as they have much experience in dealing with Bed Bugs. If you decide to go that route save any Bed Bugs you may find to show pest control so they can help you identify the specimen; again, check out our bed bug treatment section to find out what else you can do.

Do Bed Bugs ever bite private parts?

They sure do – they don’t care what part of the body they feed on, but they don’t like hair and will move to the area that is free from hair.

Do Mattress covers work?

Mattress covers will seal the mattress and keep bedbugs that are in, locked in (and those ‘trapped’ bugs will eventually die) and will also keep bed bugs out. The bed bugs hiding around the bed frame and other areas will still find their way to the top of the mattress and bite you. Don’t be fooled that this is a cure all, which it is not, a mattress cover simply protects the mattress (not you).
If you are looking for a mattress cover, you don’t have to spend a lot if you know what to look for! mattress cover for bed bugs

Do Bed Bugs smell?

Most people say that bed begs smell like raspberries and in cases where the place is infested, it can smell like moldy shoes.

I’ve heard that bedbugs rest on the ceiling and fly to their target, is this true?

Not true, BUT, Bat Bugs which are exactly like bed bugs except for the hair on their head, feed on bats. If the infested bats residing in your home are removed, these bugs may move down and start feeding on you.

If I have a pet in the room with me, will the bed bugs feed on it instead of me?

No, you are the Filet Mignon and your pet is ground beef. Humans are the preferred host for feeding!

Is it true that a bite from a bed bug can take up to 14 days to show?

From what the California Department of Public Health Vector-Borne Disease Section says, a bed bug bite may not show for up to 14 days!

Everyone reacts differently to bed bug bites, but if a reaction does occur, it usually happens by late morning.

Can I take legal action against the hotel for being bitten by bed bugs?

Yes, there are a number of examples, but three of the most popular include a woman who filed a lawsuit against Catskills resort for $27 million; bitten so bad that she can no longer stay in hotels. Because this is a critical part of how she makes her living (she’s in entertainment booking), she can no longer continue her lifestyle.

The second involves a woman staying at the Hilton hotel in Ohio; Sai Kim filed a lawsuit for more than $5 million claiming that she ended up with a 150 bedbug bites on her hands, feet, face, fingers, toes, legs, neck, back, chest, stomach and genitals, see picture below.

Bed Bug Bites on Sai Kim who filed a 5 million dollar lawsuit

The claim reads like this: “As a direct result of exposure to bed bugs, she was left physically scarred and emotionally damaged and that these consequences were a direct result of the defendant’s negligence and that the hotel breached its duty to provide reasonably safe accommodations that eventually led to “embarrassing injury and tremendous emotional distress”. The first claim was also similar to that above.

The last case and probably the biggest bedbug case ever settled out of court, was a woman who was bitten more than 400 times while staying at a Ramada Plaza Hotel in San Francisco. It’s reported that she received $71,000 to settle her bed bug claim. Note: The reports on the net claim information about the lawsuit came from the City Star, a local paper, but in trying to find the actual case, no information was available.

What is the size of a Bed Bug?

The picture below shows the size of a bed bug compared to a paperclip

What is the size of a bed bug?
If you have a question, please don’t hesitate to ask!