How to rid your home of icky Bed Bugs without emptying your bank account

The old saying, “Hindsight is 20/20” has never been more truer than the case of my BED BUG attack. I am happy to say I fought a hard fight… and I WON!!!

When I first realized the little critters scooting across my bed were actually bed bugs, I freaked!! I panicked! I called an exterminator and willingly emptied my bank account to make these bugs disappear. Looking back… I see I over reacted BIG TIME.

In reality there was no reason to call in an exterminator. First and foremost… these bugs do not carry disease. Other than sucking your blood and leaving a small bite (which by the way I never encountered), they are harmless. They are annoying, multiply rapidly, spread rampantly and seem to live forever… but they don’t hurt you. Yes, I know… KNOWING something is crawling over you while you sleep IS CREEPY… but it won’t kill you.

I seriously doubt I will ever see another bed bug in my house… but if I do, this is how I would banish the little suckers…

Realize that it is going to take some effort and elbow grease to get rid of these bugs yourself. If money is no object, and you are either lazy OR a princess… call the exterminator. Otherwise head to the dollar store and purchase the following… Black plastic trash bags, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, a toothbrush, paper towels, and two small spray bottles.

Then go to your local hardware store or building supply store (Home Depot, Lowes, etc) and purchase a Bed Bug room fogger (usually cost about $10 for a package of 2 or 3), and a roll of double sided carpet tape.

Now it’s time to do battle!!!

These little guys are not going to be happy with you messing with them, and will try to move on to another room and settle in. Nothing is off limits for them… another bed, a sofa, a comfy chair. They are not fussy about where they go. So… stop them from traveling around the house by placing a line of carpet tape on the floor at your bedroom door. They get stuck to the tape as they try to cross it… ick.

Place all bedding, pillows, clothing that was on the floor, stuffed animals, area rugs etc. in black trash bags BEFORE removing from the room. Wash whatever you can on the hottest water setting and then cook them in the dryer. If you can’t wash an item… TAPE the bag shut… and place outside in a sunny location for a few days. HEAT kills them.

Fog the room. Following the directions on the box, place a fogger on a table in the middle of the room (protect the floor with a black trash bag), set it off, close the bedroom door and leave the house for the day. Take your pets with you!!

If you don’t want to use chemicals in your home… you can skip this step, but you will have to work harder on the next steps… being extremely diligent and knowing live bugs will be lurking in places you might not be able to get to.

Now it’s time to use that elbow grease! Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum!! Vacuum the mattress and box spring paying close attention to the folds and creases in the corners and under the trim around the edges. Vacuum the floors and base boards… really getting down on your hands and knees and sucking up everything you can. Don’t forget to vacuum behind your dressers too… and your closet floor.

Immediately remove the vacuum bag… TAPE IT SHUT… and throw it in the outside trash NOW!

Pour rubbing alcohol into one spray bottle and the hydrogen peroxide in the other. Gather your paper towels and toothbrush and get to work. Use the rubbing alcohol on the base boards. Make sure you spray in every crack and crevice… wipe down with a paper towel. Throw all towels immediately in a trash bag. The baby bugs are so tiny you can barely see them… and you don’t want them crawling around and hiding somewhere else.

Using the hydrogen peroxide… spray all the little black marks on your mattress and box spring. Magic will happen in a few moments as the marks disappear and your mattress will look brand new. Again, pay close attention to the folds, creases, and under the trim on the edges. This is where the little guys love to hang out. Using the toothbrush, scrub in those hiding places.

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