How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs

Dealing with bed bugs in your home or business is more than unsettling. As you research ways to remove these pests and attempt each method, you’ll also face plenty of frustration if it doesn’t work. While a comprehensive approach is necessary, it’s essential to keep in mind that often, the best offence for bed bugs is a professional pest management company equipped with the expertise and tools needed to tackle the problem effectively. 

If you’re interested in learning how to remove bed bugs yourself, we’ll review all you need to know in this post. That includes strategies aimed at getting rid of bed bugs, from initial detection methods and understanding their behaviour to proven removal techniques. Let’s get started:

Can You Get Rid Of Bed Bugs By Yourself?

Getting rid of bed bugs using DIY methods and basic treatments is increasingly challenging due to the resilient nature of these pests. Bed bugs reproduce rapidly under the right conditions, turning a small issue into an insurmountable concern in a matter of a few weeks. Severe infestations require professional services for effective and long-term treatment. 

In any case, it’s crucial to be persistent, follow instructions carefully, and combine various strategies to increase the likelihood of successfully removing bed bugs from your home.

Bed Bug Removal (Step-By-Step)

From detection to removal, this concise walkthrough provides you with various strategies to deal with bed bugs, including how to get rid of them:

Step 1: Identify Infested Areas

Begin by meticulously inspecting areas where bed bugs are commonly found. 

  • Focus on the bedrooms, checking the seams, folds, and tufts of mattresses, along with box springs, side tables, lamps, bed frames, and headboards. 
  • Examine other areas like upholstered furniture, curtains, electrical outlets, and cracks in walls or floors. Don’t forget to check behind picture frames, wall-mounted items, and wallpaper as well.

Using a flashlight and a magnifying glass, if needed, ensures a thorough examination. It is important to refrain from disturbing any suspected areas until the presence of bed bugs is conclusively confirmed.

While early detection is the best way to ensure a bed bug problem doesn’t become an infestation, it can be challenging to identify these pests in the first place. If you are struggling to inspect infested areas, consider reaching out to our team. We employ bed bug detection dogs that are trained to confirm the presence of these pests so we can strategically and accurately plan for comprehensive removal. 

Step 2: Confirm They Are Bed Bugs

Distinguishing bed bugs from other insects is crucial before you begin to attempt any removal methods. At first, it’s best to inspect all suspected areas for the insects themselves: Bed bugs are reddish-brown, flat, and about the size of an apple seed. Look for their characteristic oval-shaped bodies, six legs, and antennae. 

However, these pests are nocturnal and may be hard to spot during the day as they hide in cracks and crevices. If you can’t find these insects, keep an eye out for the signs of them:

  • Bed Bug Fecal Stains: Look for dark, rust-coloured stains on bedding, mattresses, or nearby furniture. These stains are often a result of bed bug excrement and may appear in clusters or along seams.
  • Moulted Exoskeletons: Bed bugs shed their skins as they grow. Look for translucent, empty exoskeletons in areas where bed bugs hide, such as mattress seams, box springs, or cracks in furniture.
  • Blood Stains: After feeding, bed bugs may leave behind small bloodstains on sheets or pillowcases. These stains might be small spots or streaks and can indicate recent bed bug activity.
  • Musty Odour: In severe infestations, a musty or sweet odour may be present. This odour is often described as a combination of sweetness and a wet, towel-like smell and can be an indicator of a large bed bug population.

Ensuring that you identify these additional signs alongside the physical appearance of bed bugs enhances accuracy in confirming their presence, enabling you to take appropriate measures for effective removal.

Step 3: Contain and Prevent The Spread

Once you have identified these pests correctly, limiting the movement of bed bugs is crucial to prevent a larger infestation. 

  1. Encase mattresses and box springs in bed bug-proof covers, reducing hiding spots. 
  2. Clear clutter and vacuum thoroughly, paying attention to cracks and crevices where bed bugs hide. 
  3. Avoid moving infested items to other rooms, as this can spread the infestation.

Bed bugs are adept hitchhikers, easily transported through luggage, clothing, furniture, and even used bedding. Their ability to hide in tiny crevices facilitates their movement from place to place. Proper containment, including sealing infested items and minimizing movement, is crucial to prevent the spread of these resilient pests.

Step 4: Prepare For Bed Bug Removal

Before treatment, prepare the area by decluttering and removing items from drawers, closets, and surfaces. Clothing and linens should be cleaned, so seal them in plastic bags before taking them to be washed. If there is an overwhelming number of items to be cleaned, or items cannot be washed, you can be placed in the dryer on the hottest setting for at least 20 minutes to remove bed bugs at all life stages. Remove and disassemble furniture (if required) to facilitate thorough treatment access for more effective removal methods. 

Additionally, during this time, review the product instructions for chosen removal methods. This helps ensure the process will be effective and minimizes potential risks associated with selected treatments.

Step 5: Remove The Bed Bugs

Throughout this stage, ensure proper protocols are in place. Wear protective gear, follow product label instructions meticulously, and ventilate treated areas. Combining several techniques, consistent monitoring, and persistence are crucial for effective bed bug removal while ensuring yourself and your living environment are safe.

Heat Treatment

Utilize heat as an effective method by exposing infested items to temperatures above 120°F. Wash and dry bedding, clothing, and other washable items on high heat. For larger items, use steamers or professional heat treatments to target hiding spots like mattress seams, furniture, and carpets.

Cold Treatment

Extreme cold can also get rid of bed bugs. Freeze infested items at 0°F for several days. Place items like stuffed toys or smaller objects in sealed plastic bags and leave them in a freezer. Note that this method might take longer and isn’t always as effective as heat treatments.

Washing Sheets and Clothing

Wash bedding, linens, and clothing in hot water (at least 120°F) followed by high-heat drying. Ensure a thorough wash cycle to remove bed bugs and their eggs. Store laundered items in sealed plastic bags or containers until the infestation is resolved.


Vacuum infested areas, focusing on mattresses, box springs, carpets, and cracks in furniture. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to trap bed bugs and their eggs. Immediately dispose of the vacuum bag or clean the vacuum’s canister in a sealed bag outside your home.

Pest Control Products

Choose PMRA-registered treatments specifically labeled for bed bugs. Apply them according to the manufacturer’s instructions, focusing on cracks, crevices, and areas where bed bugs hide. 

Avoid using these treatments on mattresses or other contact surfaces; use a bed bug-certified mattress and furniture encasement instead.

Step 6: Look For Any Remaining Bed Bugs

After treatment, conduct regular inspections to ensure the bed bugs have been fully removed. 

  1. Conduct inspections weekly for the first month following treatment, then bi-weekly for the next few months to ensure effectiveness. 
  2. Focus on areas previously infested and bedding.
  3. If signs of bed bugs reappear (live bugs, fecal stains, moulted skins, or blood spots), take immediate action.

If bed bugs are found again:

  • Reassessment and Identification: Reevaluate the extent of the infestation and confirm the presence of bed bugs using visual inspections and additional methods, if necessary.
  • Reapplication or Further Treatment: Reapply treatment methods previously used if the infestation is localized and caught early. Follow product label instructions meticulously for the chosen treatment method.
  • Professional Assistance: For persistent or widespread infestations, seek professional pest management services like Orkin Canada. When contacting us, information regarding previous treatments and any changes observed are helpful.

Responding swiftly and systematically upon detecting bed bugs again is crucial. Timely action aided by professional help ensures effective management of any potential re-infestation.

Step 7: Prevent Future Bed Bug Infestation

Once bed bugs have been removed from your home, preventing them from coming back is an ongoing challenge. Short of inspecting the clothing and belongings of your guests and yourself every day, there isn’t a specific way to completely stop bed bugs from entering your home. As a result, early detection is key. Once inside, female bed bugs can lay multiple eggs in a day, and nymphs can hatch and reach the adult stage in a matter of weeks. That’s why it is important to treat these pests immediately to prevent a widespread infestation.

Here are some everyday preventive measures you can take to avoid future bed bug problems:

  • Regular Cleaning: Maintain cleanliness by vacuuming regularly, reducing clutter, and regularly washing bedding and clothing in hot water.
  • Inspect Second-hand Items: Carefully inspect used furniture, clothing, and other items before bringing them into your home.
  • Travel Precautions: Inspect hotel rooms and luggage thoroughly when traveling, especially in cities. Keep luggage elevated and away from beds to prevent hitchhiking bed bugs.
  • Seal Entry Points: Seal cracks, crevices, and gaps in walls, floors, and around utility pipes to prevent bed bugs from entering your home.
  • Professional Monitoring: Consider the use of commercially available bed bud monitoring devices or regular inspections by professionals, especially in high-risk areas or if you’ve had previous infestations.

By actively looking for any resurgence of bed bugs and implementing preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the chances of a future bed bug infestation.

Should I Hire Bed Bug Exterminators?

Hiring a professional pest management company can be highly beneficial, especially for severe infestations or persistent bed bug problems. Primarily, these experts, including our team at Orkin Canada, possess specialized knowledge, tools, and experience in effectively identifying and treating bed bug infestations. We understand the behaviour of bed bugs and employ targeted methods for their complete removal.

Although there are some commercially available treatments, professionals have access to commercially registered products that are more effective against bed bugs. In addition to this, we also use high-quality heat treatments, steam applications, and other applications tailored to the specific infestation. With these proven tools, we can reach inaccessible areas and handle severe bed bug problems more effectively.

Our team’s expertise, comprehensive treatment, and removal results make us an obvious choice when considering how to get rid of bed bugs. We make the process easy, no matter the extent of the infestation, to ensure your peace of mind. Contact us today to learn more.

How Orkin Canada Removes Bed Bugs

At Orkin Canada, our professionals employ the A.I.M. approach to ensure we complete a thorough and comprehensive response to all bed bug infestations:

  • Assess the Situation: Your Orkin Canada Pro thoroughly inspects your home to locate any bed bug infestations. During this stage, we utilize specially trained bed bug detection dogs to accurately identify the presence of bed bugs and pinpoint their locations.
  • Implement a Customized Treatment Plan: Every bed bug infestation is different; so is every treatment. Your Orkin Canada Pro is an expert on the entomology and life cycle of bed bugs and uses the appropriate treatment to match the extent of your problem. We use integrated pest control methods and apply products only when needed. 
  • Monitor Results: With our established Quality Assurance regimens, we will document our strategies and processes, following up regularly. We offer mattress covers once our job is complete and ensure a return visit from your Orkin Canada Pro to verify the maximum effectiveness of your program. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What bed bug treatments should I avoid?

While there is plenty of information available online regarding how to deal with bed bugs, there are a few methods that are best avoided if you are attempting DIY removal. No matter the extent of the infestation, avoid unverified treatments such as essential oils, vinegar, or untested home remedies. These methods lack scientific evidence of effectiveness against bed bugs.

On the other hand, not following the product label can lead to the misuse or overuse of treatments. Avoid applying excessive amounts or using products not labeled for bed bugs, as this may pose health risks.

What bed bug treatments are illegal?

Illegal treatments usually involve the use of unregistered products or the unapproved application of products. Using restricted products with unapproved ingredients by Health Canada or applying treatments in a manner inconsistent with their labeling (such as in excessive amounts or for unapproved purposes) is illegal and can pose health hazards.

What is the fastest way to remove bed bugs?

The fastest way to get rid of bed bugs involves professional assistance. The multi-faceted approach required to remove these pests effectively is best handled by experts who have experience dealing with these infestations and can accurately carry out the necessary steps to ensure full removal. 

Our trained team members employ methods like heat treatments or targeted applications, swiftly getting rid of bed bugs from all angles and in various spaces. Professional intervention ensures a comprehensive approach, addressing infestations promptly and effectively, decreasing the time needed compared to if removal was handled by an individual.

How do you permanently remove bed bugs?

Permanently removing bed bugs requires a thorough, integrated approach. In addition to professional removal services, you can also take several essential steps within your home to ensure bed bugs don’t come back. Start by cleaning and decluttering various areas, laundering bedding in hot water, and vacuuming meticulously. Ensure that mattress encasements are used as needed to prevent bed bug resurgence. 

Regular monitoring, consistent cleaning, and sealing harbourage points ensure sustained prevention, reducing the likelihood of future infestations and contributing to the long-term removal of bed bugs.

How do you get rid of bed bugs on a mattress?

Finding bed bugs on your mattress can be distressing, to say the least. In bedrooms, mattresses are a common area for these pests to hide in or around as it gives them access to hosts to feed on. As a result, these are the areas most often checked by professionals and individuals looking for signs of a bed bug infestation. Here are five steps to get rid of these pests on your mattress:

  1. Inspect and Isolate: Examine the mattress for bed bugs, focusing on seams, tufts, and crevices. If found, isolate the mattress by covering it in a bed bug-proof casing to prevent further spread.
  2. Vacuum Thoroughly: Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to vacuum the entire mattress surface, paying close attention to seams and crevices. Dispose of the vacuum bag or empty the canister immediately in an outdoor trash bin.
  3. Steam Treatment: Employ a steam cleaner to treat the mattress thoroughly. High temperatures from steamers can effectively get rid of bed bugs and their eggs hiding within the mattress.
  4. Mattress Encasements: Consider using mattress encasements designed specifically for bed bugs. These covers trap existing bed bugs inside and prevent new infestations.
  5. Regular Monitoring: Continuously monitor the mattress and surrounding areas for any signs of bed bug activity. 

Keep in mind that addressing a mattress infestation is part of a larger removal process. Our professional removal services combine mattress treatment with comprehensive strategies for complete bed bug management throughout the entire living space to prevent re-infestation.

What should I do if I slept in a bed with bed bugs?

If you have reason to believe a mattress you have slept on has bed bugs, there are several important factors to consider, in addition to contacting a professional bed bug removal company.

  • Inspect Belongings: Check clothing, luggage, and personal items for signs of bed bugs. Place clothing in sealed plastic bags to contain potential bed bugs or eggs.
  • Launder and Dry Clothing: Wash potentially infested clothing in hot water (minimum 120°F) and tumble dry on high heat for at least 30 minutes get rid of any bed bugs or eggs.
  • Inspect and Clean Luggage: Vacuum and clean luggage thoroughly, paying attention to seams and pockets. Consider using a steam cleaner to treat luggage surfaces.
  • Isolate Items: Seal non-washable items in plastic bags or containers until they can be properly inspected or treated.
  • Prevent Infestation: Avoid bringing items from the potentially infested location into your home immediately. Monitor and clean any items that were exposed to prevent the spread of bed bugs.
  • Monitor for Bites or Signs: Keep an eye out for any bites or skin reactions in the days following the exposure. Monitor your sleeping area for signs of bed bugs, such as bloodstains or fecal spots on bedding.