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Home Remedies and Killers for Bedbugs

Like tiny vampires, bedbugs hide during the day and come out at night to feed on your blood. Bedbugs do not pose much of a threat beyond skin irritation, but few people want a parasitic infestation in their bed. If you are adverse to chemical treatments, there are a handful of home remedies for killing bedbugs.

Hot Water

Wash all washable items, including bedding, curtains and any other items near the bed, in the hottest water possible. Carry the items to the washing machine in a plastic bag so the bugs don't jump off on the way. Before starting up the washing machine, pour boiling hot water over everything.

Diatomaceous Earth

Used to kill all kinds of little pests, including ants, fleas and ticks, diatomaceous earth is made up of crushed fossilized algae. The microscopic abrasive particles work to lacerate and kill the bedbugs. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth throughout the room. Diatomaceous earth is environmentally friendly and will not harm people or animals.

Steam Cleaning and Vacuuming

Steam clean the entire mattress, the box spring and the floor around the bed. Hardware and carpet retailers often rent steam cleaners if you do not own one.Vacuuming bedbugs is not a permanent solution, but it will get rid of eggs in the short term, until you can get your items steam cleaned. Be sure to get into cracks and crevices, as bedbugs lay their eggs in very tight spaces. Clean any attachments you use thoroughly with hot, soapy water and be sure to dispose of the bag.

Freezing Temperatures

If it is wintertime and you live in a cold climate, stick your mattress and any other infested items outside for a couple of weeks. Temperatures below 30 F will gradually kill bed bugs.

Plastic Mattress Cover

Cover the entire mattress in plastic to trap the bedbugs. They will eventually starve and die. Leave the plastic on for at least six months, as bedbugs can survive for a long time without feeding.

About the Author

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.