No matter how clean and well-maintained your home is, you’re still at risk of being invaded by bed bugs. Once they enter your dwelling, these pests live off the body fluids of both humans and animals, such as blood, sweat, and carbon dioxide. If not addressed appropriately, they can turn your home into their own long-term abode.

Regularly cleaning your bed linens can reduce their population. However, if you want to completely eliminate them, please follow the following DIY treatment remedies.

DIY RemedyAverage Equipment CostEffect
Vacuum Cleaning $120Removes bed bugs
Extreme Freezing $650Kills bed bugs
Extreme Heating $1,150Kills bed bugs
Applying Borax$3Suffocates bed bugs
Diatomaceous Earth $22Repels bed bugs
Rubbing Alcohol$3Kills bed bugs on contact
Applying Hydrogen Peroxide$31Kills bed bugs on contact
Applying Tea Tree Oil $18Hides sweat odor from bed bugs
Spraying Lavender and Peppermint Oil$40Repels bed bugs
Applying Cleaning Vinegar$13Kills bed bugs on contact
Using Cinnamon Powder and Sticks $20Repels bed bugs

Vacuum Cleaning

Vacuum cleaning should be the first thing you do before trying any other remedy. Ensure you remove any litter in your house before thoroughly vacuuming it. This will remove both the bed bugs and their eggs.

All upholstered fixtures, beddings, drapes, boxes, carpets and shelves should also be thoroughly vacuumed. Make sure you use your vacuum hose to access and suck up any bed bugs hiding in cracks, corners and crevices.


Extreme Freezing and Heating

Washing all bed bug-infested beddings, stuffed animals, soft items and clothing using a hot water soap solution is a great way to get rid of bed bugs. The temperatures should be above 60 degrees on a washing machine for this remedy to be effective. Larger items like your furniture and mattresses should be steam cleaned at the highest temperatures available.

Freezing bed bug-contaminated materials below a temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit is also an effective treatment. You can do this for items that cannot be washed at high temperatures. You should place such items in plastic bags and leave them in the freezer for up to four days. Shake them during removal to get rid of any dead bed bugs and eggs.


Applying Borax

Borax is a white compound that is used as a household antiseptic. When applied on bedbug-infested surfaces and materials, it usually kills the bed bugs through suffocation. You can therefore get rid of bed bugs by sprinkling borax in large quantities over items like your mattress. Make sure you wait for 24 hours before cleaning the borax off.

Adding borax to your washing machine when cleaning your garments is also recommended. This is because it will function as an acidic salt and dehydrate the bed bugs. When selecting your borax, choose one with smaller and finer particles over one that is larger and coarser. Finer particles enhance suffocation while larger particles allow bedbugs to creep through.


Diatomaceous Earth

Bed bugs dislike diatomaceous earth because it is a naturally produced sand that is highly rough and spiky. It is known to rip the fragile exoskeletons of bed bugs apart when they attempt to crawl into or over it. For effective results, sprinkle your diatomaceous earth on infested surfaces and materials and leave it for two days.

You can then vacuum it off along with the lifeless bed bugs. Although this is a relatively long procedure, it has been proven to be extremely effective in killing bed bugs. It is better to go for a pest-control diatomaceous earth over a food-graded one. This is because a food-graded one lacks enough lead and arsenic to work effectively.

It is also advisable to keep your diatomaceous earth away from children and animals because consumption will kill them. The best way to use your diatomaceous earth as a remedy for bed bugs is in conjunction with other treatments. This is because it cannot get rid of all the bed bugs when used alone.


Rubbing Alcohol

You can use alcohol to destroy all kinds of pests and insects including bed bugs, their larvae and their eggs. Spraying an alcohol dilution above 90% will eliminate your bed bugs on contact. It is therefore advisable to apply such a solution in the cracks and crevices where the bed bugs live and lay their eggs.

Examples of such crevices include your bed frame’s edges and below your furniture. Handling alcohol should however be done with caution because it is a highly flammable substance. It is also advisable to use alcohol in conjunction with other bed bug remedies to obtain optimum results.


Applying Hydrogen Peroxide

You can spray hydrogen peroxide on bed bugs when you want to kill them on contact. This treatment is however not as deadly as an alcohol dilution above 90%. It is also known to stain your materials and surfaces because it is used for bleaching.


Applying Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is generally considered to be better and healthier than rubbing alcohol. This is because it is non-toxic and can be used to get rid of fungal, viral and bacterial infestations. Although it has a strong odor, you can apply as much tea tree oil as you want on your bed bug-infested areas.

Tea tree oil works by effectively deterring and hiding the sweat odor that is known to attract bed bugs. If you are extremely sensitive to its strong scent, you can dilute your tea tree oil with a little bit of water.

Undiluted tea tree oil should be kept away from children and pets because it can be harmful to them. Make sure you use tea tree oil together with other bed bug treatments to obtain optimum results.


Spraying Lavender and Peppermint Oil

The smell of lavender and peppermint is known to repel many pests and insects including bed bugs. Applying a lavender and peppermint solution will therefore keep bedbugs away from your house instead of killing them. If you want to apply this treatment, combine 10 lavender drops with 10 peppermint oil drops and 20 water drops.

You can then put the solution in a spray bottle and apply it generously in the areas where the bed bugs are hiding. It is advisable to buy essential oils like lavender and peppermint oil in health food stores for quality purposes. You should also spray lavender and peppermint oil along with other bed bug remedies for optimum results to be achieved.


Applying Cleaning Vinegar

You can apply undiluted vinegar directly on bed bugs if you want to kill them on contact. You can also spray it in the corners and crevices of the surfaces in which they are hiding. This technique should however be combined with other remedies like diatomaceous earth for maximum impact. This is because it cannot kill bed bug larvae.


Using Cinnamon Powder or Sticks

Cinnamon has a strong spicy aroma that bed bugs cannot tolerate. You can therefore place some cinnamon powder or sticks in the bed bug-infested areas around your house if you can tolerate their strong scent. Cinnamon should also be used together with other bed bug-killing remedies like diatomaceous earth for optimum results to be achieved.


DIY vs Professional Bed Bug Control

Hiring professionals is the most effective way to eradicate the bed bugs in your house. Expect to pay an expert bed bug exterminator an average of $300 per room or $1500 for the house. These costs can however vary based on the extent of infestation and the size of your home. You can opt to tackle bed bug control yourself, but you might have varying degrees of success. is a great tool that quickly matches you with the best pest removal specialists in your locality. You can get three estimates from local pest removal professionals in a matter of two minutes. Kindly follow the steps below to enjoy this great service:

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No, they do not. Although mothballs are believed to be a bed bug remedy, they cannot repel or kill bed bugs. They are actually quite dangerous for children because they are made up of a toxic chemical called naphthalene. You should therefore not place them near your house’s bed bug hotspots in the hope that they will remedy such an infestation.

Baking soda is believed to repel bed bugs by drying bed bug-infested areas and making such places uninhabitable for them. There is however no scientific proof to support the use of baking soda as a bed bug remedy. The idea that baking soda can absorb the thick secretions from a bedbug’s shell is also quite questionable.

This is because it is known to disintegrate in the presence of water. If you have access to other bed bug remedies, do not go for baking soda. Apart from being ineffective, vacuuming it up afterwards may also prove to be quite inconvenient for you.

The most popular substances used by experts to control indoor insects and pests like bed bugs are pyrethrins and pyrethroids. Pyrethrins are natural insecticides extracted from the blooms of chrysanthemums. Pyrethroids are synthetic insecticides that mimic the functions of pyrethrins.

Scott Williams
Author: Scott Williams - Scott is a pest control expert and has worked in the industry for over 20 years, most recently in NYC, where he runs a pest control business. Scott loves to write articles, share his knowledge on exterminator services, and advise on safe DIY method.