How to get rid of bed bugs (Bed Bug FAQs)

by nobugsonme on March 21, 2007

The following FAQs explain how to determine if you have bedbugs, and how to get rid of bed bugs.
Bed Bugs 101: the following four FAQs should be read by everyone:
Think you have bedbugs? Some dos and don’ts

What do they look like? How do I know I have them? What else could cause symptoms similar to bed bug bites? How can I detect whether I have them?

What do bedbugs and their signs look like? Where can I see photos of bugs, eggs, cast skins, and fecal stains?

What do bed bug bites look like? Where can I see photos of bed bug bites?

How to determine if you have bed bugs:
Identifying the problem: do I have bedbugs, or something else?

What bed bug monitors can I use to help detect if bed bugs are present?

Here’s how to rule out fleas, and treat them if needed

Make sure you also read about bed bug detection.

Thinking of hiring a bed bug sniffing dog?  Here’s what you need to know.

Find out how to get a bed bug sample identified.
How to get rid of bed bugs:
pest control, treatment, pesticides, natural remedies, etc.

who pays for pest control treatment, and other legal issues

getting them out of your bed (and keeping them out)

Get rid of bed bugs in clothes, shoes, furniture, books, and other items

Miscellaneous (Traveling without catching bed bugs, how to deal with bed bug bites, and other FAQs)

travel: how to avoid getting bedbugs or giving them to others, what to do if you encounter them while traveling

How to avoid getting bed bugs from used furniture and other items

Skin and bed bug bites

What do bed bugs smell like?

How do I say “bed bug” in Spanish? Arabic? Swedish? Czech? (And 26 other languages…)

questions about and how to use it

To see a list and/or purchase products recommended on the site by Bedbuggers, see:

This page on Encasements and this one about other Useful Tools to help you get rid of bed bugs.

Comments are now closed. Please post a message on our Bedbugger Forums if you have questions or need support. If you have suggestions for improving the FAQs, you can contact me here.

1 nobugsonme November 19, 2007 at 4:51 pm

Read the Bed bugs 101 FAQs (at top, above) first. They should help.

2 tyrone knight November 19, 2007 at 4:48 pm

Lots of bites on my arms legs and back. Just appeared a couple of days ago. Itches like crazy. No signs of any bugs {yet}. How can I be sure they are or not bedbug bites ? How can I find out if I do or don’t have bedbugs? If not bedbugs what else could be the cause and what to do to solve this problem fast.

3 ladyindistress February 13, 2008 at 3:20 pm

Help! I really have no idea what I have. I see nothing biting me but then I get tiny red pinpricks of blood appearing in my skin after I feel the sensation of a sharp tiny needle being injected into my skin. The problem is that I have had an exterminator round to my apartment but he has found nothing. This has persisted now for three months. It has infected my clothes and I have found that the only way of controlling it is to dryclean my bedding (my mattress is now in an allergy cover) and drying my clothes even when they are dry. Can anyone advise me please? I have seen NO bugs at all.

4 barelyliving August 10, 2008 at 3:49 pm

I just found the ultimate bed isolation solution. If you google no see um tents you can find this travel tent thing that sits on top of your bed to protect you from bed bugs. There’s also a tent cot with the no see um netting around. Would the no see um netting be sturdy enough to keep them out?

Seems extreme, but might not be as extreme as some of the other solutions some of us have thought about like walking away from everything you own. You could do this and replace all furniture w/lawn furniture so it’s easily inspected and washed. Maybe this is our future with the lack of options available to some of us.

5 nobugsonme August 11, 2008 at 12:58 am


We’ve posted about the travel tent before:

This model seems like it would theoretically work because it is entirely enclosed.

On the other hand, I am not sure what the cot you’re describing looks like, but “no seeum neeting,” or mosquito nets, don’t work in and of themselves because they are not entirely enclosed. Bed bugs can walk under them. (Mosquitoes can’t fly under them, so they work for the purpose they’re designed for.)

Even though I say the travel tent will work in theory, it may not work for long in practice. Here’s why:

* You have to be entirely sure you do not carry a bed bug with you into the tent (yes, this is true of isolated beds as well).

* You have to be sure you do not lead any part of your body against any side, since bed bugs could then possibly bite you through the mesh.

* Ultimately, even the “ultimate isolated bed” does not keep bed bugs from biting in daytime. They will bite you in chairs. If they have to, they will even crawl up your leg as you stand on the floor. They will do whatever they need to to survive.

Therefore, I would say that this may be an option for the most fastidious Bedbugger, but bed isolation itself might be also, and is cheaper.

Ultimately, you must get bed bugs out of your home, or (if this is truly impossible) somehow a full-on bed bug infestation long-term is not an option.

6 Meblazin1 August 11, 2008 at 6:55 pm

i just recently started getting bedbugs again. It was a bit of a shock since i had gotten a new bed WITH a cover for bedbugs. i don’t know how they came back but they did and i can’t stand it. It’s only in one room, mine specifically, and no other parts of the house are infected. I killed about 4 of them and i thought i stopped them early, but there still there. what can i do besides hiring an exterminator? i’m a little strapped for cash right now….

7 burnthebugs August 11, 2008 at 8:48 pm

our family is going through an infestation of bedbugs and are being emotionally tortured by them. we fought them for weeks and they always seem to return. for example, we wash our clothes and hang them on a backyard clothes line. However, about a week earlier we had hung a matteress cover that was infested on the line, in order to get it out of the house ASAP.
the minivampires acually crawled into the clothespins and stayed hidden there until we used them to hang out our freshly washed clothes. we did not realize this was happening until our seemingly sterile home was re-infected.

we have patiently toiled out the bug attack from the beginning and are now at our absolute wits end. we are a low income family and are close to being in debt from all the remedies. any success stories would be much appreciated.

ps. we believe we picked up the minisatans from the America’s Best Inn in Lexington, Kentucky beware!

8 burnthebugs August 11, 2008 at 9:17 pm

please please please someone tell me that it is possible to be rid of these sanity suckers! :_(

i have burned everything, my furniture, clothes, and bedding, matresses and anything else that is not an absolute need. i used to have a very happily decorated room, but now all i see is grey walls and empty ugly space.
i wish i could take a match to everything, even the house. god, i need a miracle.

9 nobugsonme August 11, 2008 at 11:10 pm

I am sorry your bed bugs are back. While it is possible to get bed bugs from a brand new mattress, if you had them before, they could have simply come in however you originally got them. They may have even been there all this time. They do not just live in beds, and getting an experienced professional to treat your home is the best way to get rid of them. I also would not be sure they were not in other rooms. It’s best to have the whole place treated. Do you have attached neighbors above, below, or on any side? If they have bed bugs, this is a common reason why it’s hard to beat them. Everyone needs good, coordinated treatment.


I really hope you did not set your possessions on fire. That seems like a bad idea — both because it can be dangerous (and possibly illegal) but also because you will have likely lost a lot of things, and some or all may have been salvageable.

You can get rid of bed bugs but there are no short cuts. You need professional help if possible. It is hard to get rid of bed bugs but it is not impossible. It is usually necessary to get good, experienced help.

Our FAQS may help as you are deciding what to do:

Both of you should come to our forums and you will find lots of suggestions there:

10 burnthebugs August 15, 2008 at 9:26 am

thanks nobugsonme.
after reading your message I decided to bite the bullet and bring in the local pest control. he is a very professional man and he helped us alot. he told us that the best thing you can do is to do a through cleaning weekly and to not provide any hiding places.

Also, one of the biggest mistakes for a bedbugger to make is to not clean belongings that may or may not harbor the pests. if there is even the slightest chance that the object was in the infected area, do whatever you have to to sterilize it. we ended up taking all the clothes out of our house and taking them to the laundromat to be washed and dried on high heat at the same time.

we are for the time being, a bedbug free household.


knock on wood.

11 nobugsonme August 15, 2008 at 11:48 am


Your PCO should be following up in two weeks. One treatment is generally not enough, though it sounds like you’re in good hands.

12 Anxious and itching August 24, 2008 at 3:27 am

Your forum is brilliant Nobugsonme. Thank you for this great example of how the Internet is making it possible for people to work together to fight a common problem in a way that would never have been possible before.

I’ve just had a heavy bedbug incident in a hotel. Mercifully I discovered it before I came home. Horrendously I stayed with family after the hotel, though by that time I had sprayed everything (wheelie case, clothes and all items carried) with Rentokil spray which said it killed bedbugs. I told the family, though not before I had slept one night (arrived late and tired and didn’t know what to do. Phoned family doctor next day who talked some sense to me). I kept all my clothes away from theirs and in my wheelie, slept on their sofa-to-bed device. Now I am home and have tried to process everything as far as possible according to advice given before bringing it in. I’m devouring your forum like a bug at 3 am. Meanwhile my family are sitting around anxiously hoping they haven’t been hit, and I’m hoping my homecoming precautions have kept them out of mine.

I have one question after reading your FAQ, for starters. I’m sure I will be posting more soon.

My first reaction to the infestation posting sites was to do it, but then I had second thoughts. Although they seem like a “Do”, how do I know that they aren’t logging posting IP addresses and selling them to “The Mafia” (i.e. any branch of organised crime)? After all the mob “own” a lot of hotels and may find liquidating whistleblowers cheaper than liquidating bedbugs. Am I being paranoid?

Also please take care to thoroughly protect your forum site! I know from bitter experience elsewhere at a site which engages criminal activity that “they” don’t fight shy of turning over a forum website and ransacking IPs, e-mail addresses etc.

Anyway that’s just a minor aspect I mention now. Perhaps I’ll turn it into a more general “Bugs and crime” theme post later, but first I have to beat the bugs! If you can reassure me with an answer I’ll report the infestation. And don’t think I don’t notice or appreciate how much time and effort you are putting into this Nobugsonme and (hopefully) co.

By the way I won’t be doing this out of personal rancune against the hotel. It’s not their fault. They did what they could. They gave me another room straight away (oops, I know, not the right move according to the FAQ, not in the hotel’s own interests either. I did spray everything before transfer.) I also heard a manager talking to someone (PCO?) specifically about the infected room number. Of course a room-by-room approach won’t work, but how could a small hotel manage financially if they had to shut down the whole hotel for a few weeks? OK, the mob can afford it but an honest small business?

As you can probably tell, the itch-frenzied typing (my hands have masses of bites) at 3 am (I can’t sleep from the itching) is affecting my judgement…

13 nobugsonme August 24, 2008 at 10:28 pm

Hi Anxious,

Thanks for your comments and your kind words about the site.

You asked,

“My first reaction to the infestation posting sites was to do it, but then I had second thoughts. Although they seem like a “Do”, how do I know that they aren’t logging posting IP addresses and selling them to “The Mafia” (i.e. any branch of organised crime)? After all the mob “own” a lot of hotels and may find liquidating whistleblowers cheaper than liquidating bedbugs. Am I being paranoid?”

I guess I am not sure how to respond to that.

The Bed Bug Registry’s About page says,

“We do not release anyone’s information without their permission unless legally obligated (for example, if someone subpoenas us).”

Any website in the US is going to be bound by US law to turn over information if subpoenaed. (I assume those in other countries will be bound by similar laws too.)

Beyond that, most websites have terms and conditions and privacy policies (as this one does — see sidebar for links), and it’s worth reading these to see how your information is used.

I really hope it turns out you didn’t bring them to your relatives or your own home. Good luck and I hope you are sleeping soundly again soon!

14 Anxious and itching August 29, 2008 at 4:26 am

Thanks for your answers Nobugs. I’ve now entered the waiting and hoping phase, and I will continue posting on the forums. Just one postscript on registering hotels. “The Bedbug Registry” is U.S. only, my incident was in a hotel in London, UK. I tried to register it on “BedBugCity” (from an Internet café – I’m so brave) but whatever I filled in I got the error “not all required fields filled”. I double-checked and as far as I could see really had filled everything, tried various data layouts in case it didn’t like street numbers or postcodes, etc., but I couldn’t get it to work. May have been a problem in the café’s installation of course.

15 nobugsonme August 30, 2008 at 8:46 pm


I think there may be some bugs with Bed Bug City at this time. I am considering removing it from the links for this reason.

The Bed Bug Registry covers only the US and Canada. It was started by an individual. You might write and encourage him to include Europe as well.

You do have an option, though: has listings of hotels worldwide. It is possible to write a review there and thus warn others.

16 Monica September 11, 2008 at 2:51 pm

I had an exermination but still had afeeling i was getting bitten and seeing bed bug poop on walls

then I used DE.

and havent had a problem since!!!!
it worked for me!
i put it on the walls in a criss cross fashion including around all light fixtures and by doors ect. it took a while for tem to die and all the eggs to die but they did!!!!

I know its stressful but its just a momentary thing and they will be gone soon dont fret!

17 Jen September 13, 2008 at 2:48 am

I battled a bed bug infestation about 3 months ago in June. In August I received what I thought might have been more bites, and cleaned everything again.

This evening, I sat at my desk and worked for a while and felt a sharp prick on my thigh, and when I looked down there was a large circular welt. I recently also received two bites on my foot, but I thought that might be from fleas since I noticed them shortly after I took a walk.

Could bed bugs “disappear” and come back in a month or two?

18 Angrybugged September 15, 2008 at 9:40 pm

So, I just moved into a boarding house to save money, and then discovered the entire house is infested with bed bugs. They are even on a bed bug registry.

Fortunately, I can move out at any time, but will this help? I don’t have any furniture, and not too many possesions….what are the odds of me moving and taking the terrors with me? And can I take a bed bug with me just by leaving the house? Like, will they hang onto my clothes and attack my friends and co-workers?

This is awful and I am terified they will haunt me for the rest of my life!!! Help!

19 nobugsonme September 16, 2008 at 12:33 am


You can carry them about and spread them. Read the Travel FAQS for advice on how not to spread bed bugs.

Also, moving without taking them is especially hard. We don’t have a FAQ on how to do it–that’s how hard it is. Come to the forums for advice on this:

20 Angrybugged September 16, 2008 at 2:08 am

Thanks for your help…

I can’t believe this is happening..I live in Seattle, and I’ve never even heard of a case happening here!

I am going to go read some more horror stories and cry…

21 ThinkWeKOedBBs September 22, 2008 at 2:20 pm

Use DE. (Diatomaceous earth) Get a kit that has a duster. The one we used was $150 for a full house treatment. Also you must get the BB proof bed cover and NEVER remove it. We had an exterminator come 6 times and still had them. The DE kit comes with instructions on how to isolate your bed. We are on week 4 of the treatment and haven’t seen any (fingers crossed) for almost 2 full weeks. These thing are so miserable! I still flip on the light to check anytime I wake up at all! Don’t give up.

22 ThinkWeKOedBBs September 22, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Yes! They could be in ALL you belongings! Suitcases books etc. Put all your clothes in garbage bags and seal it. Wash them all in the hottest water possible. (I poured boiling water into our washer since our water didn’t seem truly hot). Dry it all on the hottest heat for at least an hour. Don’t use that bag again! Dry clean what you can afford to. I put delicates and sweaters into the freezer for 48 hours. Books and things are harder. I bought those vacum seal bags to isolate batches of things. Anything you can get rid of — trash.

23 Christie September 24, 2008 at 7:44 am

What is DE?

24 nobugsonme September 24, 2008 at 10:08 am

Christie, read this.

25 CentipedeSring September 27, 2008 at 8:45 pm

What about a device like the one used for mosquitoes? You know, those zappers with an ultraviolet light? Of course, it would need to be reworked for bedbugs. Maybe a strip (placed on the floor)that could circle around a bed, and draw the demons to their death by electrocution.

Also, what about those sonic pest repellers? They do work for many bugs and rodents. The ones I have, however, seem to do nothing for bedbugs. Could they modified, or is there one already being produced?

26 nobugsonme September 27, 2008 at 11:18 pm


We’ve heard the mosquito repellers and sonic devices don’t work against bed bugs.

27 Mark September 30, 2008 at 10:15 am

I had an infestation at my previous apartment. The apartment complex had an exterminator come in weekly for a few months. I dry-cleaned all my clothes at a total cost of almost $1000 and then stored my clothes in my car. I disposed of all my furniture and slept on the floor. I kept of of my clothes that I used daily sealed.

I then moved to a new place and put as much stuff in storage as I could. This morning I found two live bedbugs around my pillow. Talk about a sickening feeling. I feel like I did everything possible and I STILL have these awful creatures. I simply don’t know what to do…

28 Elizabeth Koster October 1, 2008 at 9:57 am

Try Pest Away in Manhattan.

29 CentipedeSring October 6, 2008 at 1:05 am

I hope my last post did not slow you up. The information I posted has put in a blog, so I will be able to update it as necissary.

Again, thank you.

30 heather October 28, 2008 at 4:42 pm

So I am still not sure what to do about my books? They are 2-4 feet away from the bed. Can I just dust them with DE? I am very concerned about this because I don’t want to throw them all away! (Many of them are textbooks I need for school!)

Any suggestions? Thank You

31 sam October 28, 2008 at 10:02 pm

i need help before i go crazy!!!i have big red bumps on my side and there realllllly ichy there all near each other and there starting to scab i havent ssen any kind of bugs but i have a rabbit in my room and a dog do i fogged it with a flea killer and gave my dog a collar but im still ichy i also have little red bumps all over me and im iching so muck i have no skin left. its bleeding and doesnt look to attractive i cant take this anymore so please
help if u can

ps. now im imaging bugs biting me while i lay there and i cant sleep i hate bugs and am flipping out please help

32 sam October 28, 2008 at 10:04 pm

sorry about the spelling mistakes i was typing while iching 🙁

33 nobugsonme October 29, 2008 at 12:20 am

Please read the FAQs. Get a plugin flea trap. See if you have fleas. And then try to determine if you have bed bugs (as well/instead). There’s advice in the FAQs on this. If you need support, please come to the forums!

34 Garen October 30, 2008 at 3:03 am

The diatect stuff actually works if you follow the instructions exactly, also wash and dry all your bed covers first. 25$ + no one coming in my house – bedbugs = win.

35 buggedindc October 30, 2008 at 1:36 pm

I have recently discovered that my bedroom has bedbugs. They have been there for about 6 weeks, but I didn’t believe they were bedbugs biting me because my wife never was bitten. We called Orkin and they came and sprayed our room 2 days ago and we have been washing all of the clothes that were in there. Since then we have been sleeping in the guest room and I have not (at least I don’t think) been bitten.
we have 2 small children and their room seems to be bug free, at least for now. I check their beds at least 2 x a day and have seen o evidence and they have not been bitten. I am really worried that the bugs will find their way in there and wouldn’t know what to do if they did. Their room is filled with stuffed toys and things like that and it would be a horrible tragedy to have to throw out things that are precious to them.
I am going to get a second treatment next week to be sure. In the meantime, how can I prevent the bugs (if there are anymore) from spreading?

36 nobugsonme October 30, 2008 at 1:40 pm


Within your home: don’t move stuff. Sleeping in different places is also a problem, since they may come to find you. I’d go back to your original beds in case they have not done so yet.

Outside your home: read the FAQs on not giving bed bugs to others (which also applies to not getting them in your car, taking them to work, etc.) They’re in the travel section:

If you need more help, come to the forums:

37 matel November 5, 2008 at 3:37 am

we found out we had bed bugs 2mos. ago we moved in in june and others around us moved out and no sooner did the bugs start coming. we have got treated like 6 times and tonite as i was siting @ my computer i got bit thought it was a spider my husband starts looking around and there is the nasty thing how horrible i seriously feel like throwing everything am very discussed and sad mad i have two small children and totally feel like a bad parent because of this and just want to be bug free again like is it a curse or wat?

38 nobugsonme November 5, 2008 at 10:21 am


It sounds like you are in a multi-unit building. If you have been treated six times, it is likely they are simply coming from other units. Your building management needs to get all infested units treated.

They should be carefully inspecting the whole building, and preferably treating all adjoining units (above, below, all sides), if not the whole building.

39 Bill S. November 28, 2008 at 7:28 pm

I recently found pretty bad infestations of bedbugs around the stitchings of my matresses. I aggresively used a portable steam gun (Which kills the little monsters almost instantly, hmm maybe my blood boils quickly) and as of two weeks later they have not taken residence in the stitching area anymore. I still have them in other areas of the house, i.e. couch but I can’t clean it as easily with my steam gun. How can I de-bug my couch?

40 nobugsonme November 30, 2008 at 12:56 am

Bill S.,
Getting bed bugs out of a sofa is no small feat. We recommend using a professional pest control operator with experience treating bed bugs, who will be able to help you treat it safely and aggressively, and who could also assess whether it was a hopeless case.

I hope your home is getting good treatment, and also, if you are in a multi-unit building, all adjacent or attached units are getting professional inspection and concurrent treatment if needed. Without this, the battle against bed bugs can go on forever.

Please come to the forums if you have further questions or want to discuss this:

41 killmenow November 30, 2008 at 7:03 am

im in montreal canada and we had the bugs for a year however for the most part we only had them in one room so we thought the lady in that room had bad allergies..only in the last few months they have they spread and we now realize what we have. since then i have moved in to the unit above and we definatelly brought them..we sleep on air matresses and foam on metal frames(cant climb on metal and they seem to not live in the foam) our landload is not the best(took us a month to get a front door knob) and according to the cbc link in the faq, the tennant is responsible to get rd of them here…we can barely pay the blls and have no money to spare (honestly…under a dollar a day for the most part) how can i get rid of these things…winters comming back and i cant survive another winter on the street
how expensive is the exterminator?

42 nobugsonme December 1, 2008 at 12:42 am


Sorry to hear about this.

Readers may have advice for you. Please repost your question in the forums. Click here:

43 whattheheckisthatthing?! December 2, 2008 at 3:36 am

First of all, thank you for this site – it’s VERY helpful.

But my main point…
HOW did I get a bedbug crawling across my livingroom carpet?

The bug itself is really flat – I don’t think it’s eaten in a while. I thought it was a dog tick at first and searched through every species of tick I’m aware of, and checked ‘bedbug’ just out of exasperation. Then there’s my little buddy’s twin brother… or sister. I don’t know. I’m going to take it to an exterminator – it’s in a glass baby-food jar – to properly identify it.

My backpack was near me on the living-room floor. I go to a large state university and my backpack comes with me, set on the floor, set on the chairs in the library. I live off-campus, but am concerned it may have come from the school. Tell me, are these little creepies known to be hitchhikers?

I stayed at a cousin’s house for the holiday, though they’ve never had bedbugs, so I don’t think it could have come from there.

I went to Europe 4 months ago, but stayed at my parents’ house for a month before coming back to my apartment. My parents’ house is unaffected. Could it have lived in my suitcase that long?

Could it have walked in under my apartment door from the hall? (There’s 25 or 26 other units in this building, mostly students.) There’s been a lot of maintenance work on this building – could it have come in on the clothes of those who’ve been in my apartment to work on things if they have them in their homes?

I noticed a few irritations on my skin – I chalked it up to my scratching my dry itchy winter skin, but now I’m not so sure.

I’ll pay for extermination in my apartment – I’ve been here for over a year with no problems. Can my landlord make me pay for bug extermination for the whole building? (I live in New York State.)

I’m totally freaking out right now and really don’t want to go to sleep, even though I’ve only seen one bug. I haven’t checked my bed, but will compare anything I (hopefully don’t) find with the photos you’ve provided.

PLEASE give me some advice here. I’m going to go rip the sheets off my bed. Should I throw them out or just wash them in hot hot hot water? What about my clothes?

44 Peter Wintz December 2, 2008 at 3:58 am

why isn’t there a search engine on this site?

45 nobugsonme December 2, 2008 at 2:55 pm

Peter, there is a search box at the bottom of the right sidebar. Perhaps I should move it to the top?

46 nobugsonme December 2, 2008 at 2:59 pm


I have some comments for you, but I am more or less the only one who’s going to respond on this thread.

Whereas if you re-post it in our forums, you can get a response from me and potentially hundreds of others. That’s better for you. (And posting there makes your questions and others’ responses easier for others to find and use too.)

So that’s my suggestion– please copy and repost it here, and you will get more of a response:

47 ineedrelief December 7, 2008 at 7:41 am

I’m sure there alot of people as irritated (to put it mildly) as I am. I live in a high rise for elderly and disabled and we had a bedbug incident on the 7th and 8th fllor of my building (I live on the 5th of 9 floors). They were found and all those people had to get rid of almost every piece of furniture they had and all the apartments in the building were inspected. I felt bad because I know they all had to replace all that stuff. I watched all day on the closed circuit cameras as everything was carted out all wrapped up in plastic. I was relieved my apartment checked out ok. this was in late august. Whew I thought I was safe. Apparently NOT!!!! Afew weeks ago I started itching like crazy!!!! I thought it was just my usual winter itch from the dry heat. But now I’m worried. I noticed last week a chair wrapped up out at the dumpster and a mattress wrapped up out there a few days ago. Ten to one alot of those people who are on limited incomes as we all are, had to buy used stuff.So now my dilema… do I actually have bedbugs or is my mind working overtime??? Don’t really think so. I know my building (being government housing and all) is required by law to take care of this, but what am I gonna do if I have to replace my bed. It’s actually an expensive innerspring futon, and I know they won’t replace that!!! I mean I only have a one room efficiency and the only real things that could harbor them are a bed and a 6 by 9 area rug. Is there anything I can do on my own that won’t cost an arm and a leg?????? Please can someone tell me??? Like I said I’m on a limited income, and barely make it month to month as it is. If anyone can, it would be Greatly APPRECIATED!!!!!!!!!!!! I just want to sleep. Oh sleep glorious sleep. again ANY advice welcome (except stupid advice of course…lol) Thanks in advance, looking forward to hearing from someone.

48 ineedrelief December 7, 2008 at 7:48 am

Oh and also they never actually treated ANY of the units that had them or anywhere else in the building for that matter except for the first floor hallway, community room and luandry room. What a #@%&!*% joke!!!! Sorry the more I think about it, the madder I get.

49 nobugsonme December 7, 2008 at 3:37 pm

Hi ineedrelief,

The landlord did not even treat the 7th and 8th floors, just had residents toss out furniture?!?

If you have bed bugs in an infested building, treating one unit on its own is not likely to make a big difference.

Moreover, the landlord needs to understand that the problem is spreading extensively. It sounds like they did not do a good job with the 7th and 8th floors, but eventually they are going to have to actually treat the problem, carefully.

We have an active forum here, though few people respond to comments on the FAQs. Please copy and click below to repost it on the forums page, and you will get more of a response:

50 Lamerica December 18, 2008 at 5:10 pm

I contacted Green Earth in New York, (I live in Brooklyn) and got an estimate of $395 for the entire 1-bedroom apartment. Anyone deal with them before? Any ratings. I’m so tired of sleeping on my couch, which now I read only spreads the bedbugs. Any advice is wanted.


51 nobugsonme December 18, 2008 at 7:03 pm

Hi Nick!

I don’t know this company — don’t think I have heard of them. Please come to the forums where you will get more responses — and, if you wish, see many threads on NYC PCOs.

52 Shane December 20, 2008 at 6:41 pm

I bought a mattress second-hand back in September. I remember my first week at my new job and I was itching like crazy on my arms. For some reason, I never really thought that I might have bed bugs (foolish mistake). I think I had a bite on me at all times since I had bought that bed. About two weeks ago I realized that I probably had beg bugs and I checked out my mattress. Sure enough I found some, about two on the mattress and about four or five on the box springs.

I threw out my bed (labeling that it contained bedbugs) and I threw out my chair. I emptied my desk and put all the possessions in a plastic bag and inspected my entire desk, spraying most areas with bleach. I washed nearly everything I own (except for a few pants that need dry-cleaning) and put them in ziplock bags, or plastic trash bags. While everything was in the wash, I bleached my closet. I washed my sheets, then put them in plastic bags out in the cold for one night, then washed them twice more. I then mopped the floors with bleach/water solution and sprayed the area where my bed had been with insecticide. Because my bed had been thrown out, I slept on the floor, in a sleeping bag on a camping mattress pad for about five days. No bites. Now I have an aerobed and so far no bites….

…But, I’m still worried. Especially about the aerobed and my roommates. Do you know of steps I can take to protect my aerobed? What steps should I take to kill the bugs that might remain? How about to prevent my roommates from having bedbugs if they are still in the apartment?

Also, I read somewhere that bedbugs cannot travel up or down metal bed frames, is this true?

53 nobugsonme December 21, 2008 at 2:12 am


It’s not true that bed bugs can’t walk on metal bed frames.

The most important thing, Shane, is that you need a professional to treat your home. Depending where you live, if you rent, the landlord may be responsible for treatment. It’s important to make sure they are gone from your home, since they don’t only infest beds, but walls, floors, and furniture.

You can read our FAQs to see ways to “isolate” or “protect” a bed during an infestation. “Isolating” is controversial and you should think carefully about whether to do it, in general. If done, it must be done carefully and you must be sure all items are bed bug free when you begin. For example, using a bed frame which might contain bed bugs would mean you had not really isolated the bed.

With an aerobed, I would assume that since you can wash the surface (yes?) and wash the bedding on hot and dry on hot, the bed frame is the main concern.

Please come to the Bedbugger forums if you want more advice or to discuss this further.

54 Eric December 26, 2008 at 1:03 am

I think I have bed bugs but I can’t find one, and the exterminator says that I have to have an actual bug before they can treat. I clearly don’t have a major infestation, but I am getting bitten, and it happened right after a trip to NY, so I do think it’s bed bugs. Can you give me any advise on how to catch a bed bug so that I can prove to the PCO that I have bed bugs? thanks!

55 nobugsonme December 27, 2008 at 5:30 am


Unfortunately, it can sometimes be hard to find bed bugs or their signs. This is often true early in an infestation.

Some PCOs do very detailed inspections which may take an hour or more. They seem to be few and far between. And even a close, detailed inspection may not yield evidence in a light infestation.

Another option would be to hire a good bed bug sniffing dog. They are not 100% accurate and their effectiveness varies depending on the team. However, they are often helpful in detecting a light infestation.

Please come to the forums if you want to discuss this or other questions further:

56 gonebedbugcrazy January 13, 2009 at 10:57 am

In august my daughter was complaining about being bitten at night. I finnaly realized that it could be bed bugs so i called a exterminator friend who told me he had just treated the apartment above me that was infested. I bought plastic covers and washed everything and he came and fumigated and she is no loger being bitten. But now i am being bitten in my living from. I think its my sofa. I informed my landlord and he said he would could have a exterminator come in but i would have to get rid of my sofa’s. I am going crazy. i find myself waking up early in the morning to inspect my sofa’s trying to catch the bugs. And i have caught some. I feel like a crackhead sitting on my desk chair starring at my sofa’s waiting for something to move while im scatching all over. I am the only one getting bit. Do i really have to get rid of sofa’s? Its not like i can really afford to get new ones and i dont want to end up sitting on the floor. The landlord says he has taken care of promblem but it wasnt untill third floor apt was infested and now im the last one. He also offered to change my carpets but i would have to get rid of everything. is there anything i can purchase myself to save sofa’s and myself.

57 Becky January 17, 2009 at 9:04 am

Thank you Paula,
One more question. This morning it is 8 degrees below zero F., If I bag items that can’t be washed and put them outside, will it kill them?

58 paulaw0919 January 17, 2009 at 2:13 pm

Hi Becky. I would not rely on cold temps to kill them. There are studies that show they can live a while (weeks, months) in much colder weather than that. Heat (above 120 degrees)is a good source for clothing. In the FAQ’s on clothing it describes there is a section that explains for “delicate clothing” such as some sweaters, leather coat, lingerie and what have you….you can just put them in the dryer on high temp for a good while to get them piping hot. You can do this with most of clothing I would think. Just don’t pack the dryer full. Leave it half full or less to ensure every part of materials get to death temp.Most dryers get over 120 degrees. I have read that people have used a dryer rack for shoes for many hours to heat through the shoe, and some have “baked” their shoes in the oven at low temp for a 1/2 hr or so to get them heated through as well. (that one sounds risky to me though) Best to you.

59 wondering January 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Help….our tenants moved in and now our house is infested with bedbugs….we never had them when we lived in the house over two years ago, then we had tenants for the past two years who never complained of bedbugs but then the new tenants move in and within a few days they are getting bitten by bedbugs….the one tenant has been bitten before from traveling, I understand she still travels but she and her roomate are trying to blame us for the bug infestation….ps, the tenants before them have moved and denies having bedbugs in his new place….what’s your opinion on this??? we believe the new tenants are responsible

60 nobugsonme January 17, 2009 at 8:17 pm

Hi wondering,

The problem is this: many, many people do not react to bed bug bites. It is fully possible your old tenants did not, but had them. It happens a lot.

It sometimes also happens that people have them but are ashamed and won’t tell the landlord, try to deal with a problem themselves, etc. Many people move for this reason. It happens a lot.

Your new tenants could have brought bed bugs in. They might even have gotten them from something like a new mattress or moving truck.

It is theoretically possible that you yourself picked them up somewhere, too. They make great hitchikers and people have gotten them from new purchases, movie theaters, restaurants, hotels, etc. Nice places, I might add.

But the bottom line is, it’s impossible to know who brought them in and when. You can obviously follow the laws of your town/county/state regarding whether you have to pay for treatment or not, but I’d recommend getting someone knowledgeable to get rid of them ASAP and completely.

Please come to the forums if you have more questions or want to discuss this!

61 nobugsonme January 17, 2009 at 8:24 pm

Becky, there’s no reliable way to kill using outside temperatures– the cold temps have to be maintained for a long time, without fluctuating. This FAQ should help.

62 Khamtan February 18, 2009 at 9:07 am

This is the only product which will get rid of Bedbugs for good.
DDT impregnated elastic bands. Legally packed for vector control.

[URL deleted]

DDT is still sprayed in open air applications in Africa which is dangerous to wildlife. It is perfectly safe in its impregnated form and being that it is residual, any bed bug that passes the band will die.

Since most other insecticides will only kill bed bugs while they are wet and applied directly. If you continually spray any kind of insecticide in a room you will notice, household birds dying and babies vomiting. I lived through it.

63 nobugsonme February 18, 2009 at 10:16 pm

Khamtan, you linked to a product being sold out of Thailand called “DDT bed bug bands.”

I am not sure of the legality of people in certain countries purchasing DDT from other countries, so I have deleted this link.

You should know, however, that even though DDT was once quite successful in killing bed bugs, they also showed resistance to DDT as early as 1948.

A recent report from the BBC said that when DDT was sprayed in African huts to kill malarial mosquitos, the bed bugs got excited and more active, but did not die.

64 shelly March 14, 2009 at 11:40 am

Help!!!!! I have moved into a infestation and I have tried so many different things. I am limited on money and the exterminator told me it would cost 500 dollars to come in and treat. I do not have that kind of money is there something I can do to kill these little blood suckers it is horrible.

65 zigga March 15, 2009 at 3:03 am

I am washing my laundry now but i have no idea where to go from there. I dont have any chemicals or a pest control person and i dont want to strip the bed and them scurry everywhere. any advice?

66 nobugsonme March 16, 2009 at 1:06 am

shelly and zigga,

We recommend a knowledgeable professional with lots of bed bug experience because bed bugs are really hard to treat (much, much harder than ants, flies, roaches, etc.)

If you rent, check out the local laws (this FAQ may help). It may be the landlord’s duty to get rid of the problem.

If not, read the FAQs and come to the Bedbugger forums where you will get lots of support from others.

67 BugsBeGone...Please April 7, 2009 at 3:05 am

I was attacked by bedbugs starting last week. At first I assumed it was allergies, until my cousin identified what it was that I had. Today The PCO came (Terminex) and sprayed the affected area… since this is a recent problem It has not spread. Yet I have done my research and found these helpful tips.
1. Matress encasing even if you decide to buy a new one.
2. CALL A PROFESSIONAL (home sweet home, bed sweet bed)
3. Wash all clothes and items in extremely hot water. Dry them and store them in bags until your visitors have gone to hell for all the misery they have put you through.
4. Spray alcohol on surface areas after scrubbing.
5. Vacuum EVERYTHING you can,
6. Apply diatomecous earth to everything you can in your house.
7. And keep cluster to a minimum.

If you live in NYC and have to take trains… I would advise everyone to prevent getting on crowded trains… as tired or in a hurry as we may be at that given moment. I rather get fired from work than to ever go through this again.

I hope this is helpful to all.

68 nobugsonme April 7, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Hi BugsBeGone,

Thanks for your succinct list of recommendations. We do have extensive FAQs here– the page you’re commenting on is the index page. Many of your recommendations come up and are elaborated on in more detail.

This one, however, is definitely very bad advice:

6. Apply diatomecous earth to everything you can in your house.

Some types of diatomaceous earth (DE) — namely food grade DE — may be used safely, but “applying it to everything” is NOT a safe use of DE.

I advise anyone considering DE or other types of DIY treatment to read as much as they can, perhaps starting with our own FAQs, esp. the FAQ on DE. Some types of DE are harmful in any type of situation (for example, pool grade DE). The safer type (food grade) still must not be inhaled, and should not come in regular contact with your skin. It should not be used in such a way that you will be kicking it up and breathing it.

Although we’d all like to give really succinct advice, sometimes more detail really is necessary to avoid people harming themselves and others.

69 Bugged in Dc April 10, 2009 at 6:06 pm

I just started getting bites a few days ago and I’m pretty certain they’re bed bugs. I purchased the protect-a-bed casings for my mattress, box spring and pillows and am waiting for them to arrive. I’m concerned about the washing all my clothes in hot water part though. First of all, I don’t know if my apartment’s washer water gets up to 120º even on hot, and second, can’t most dark/bright colors not be washed on hot? I’m worried that I’ll ruin all of my clothes. Are there any other options here? I.e., washing clothes with color safe bleach or sealing them up in garbage bags and leaving them in a hot car in the sun for a few days?

70 nobugsonme April 10, 2009 at 6:29 pm


If you’re going to dry the items in a machine on hot, then I would not worry about washing on cold. Drying alone on hot for the right amount of time will kill bed bugs.

Drying DRY items on hot for a short period (Michael Potter said 5 minutes for bed bugs in a dry sock) will kill bed bugs and eggs. 5 minutes makes me nervous, so I’d prefer more like 20 dried on hot minutes IF the items are already dry. If you’re drying wet items, then dry until dry (at any temp) and do 20 minutes on HOT.

This FAQ and its comments will be illuminating:

71 Brennan April 11, 2009 at 3:58 am


I am 16 and recently I have spotted bed bugs on my sheets and under my mattress. The mattress is brand new from the mattress factory so I don’t know how it could ALREADY be infested but apparently it is. Due to the fact I am extremely afraid of bugs I can’t sleep knowing there are blood sucking demons lying beneath my covers. I have sprayed an entire canister of Tick And Mosquito killer/repellent on every crevice of my bed / box spring and it seems to have killed the few bugs that I’ve seen ( less then 10 in the past 2 days ). I need to know how to fix this problem ASAP.

Thanks in advance.


72 nobugsonme April 11, 2009 at 9:18 pm


It is possible that the bed bugs came on the new bed, in the delivery truck, or from neighbors or another source. If you are in an attached home or apartment, they can come through a wall. They are often picked up in public places. But the possibility that they were in the delivery truck or on the mattress itself is a good one.

Please read the FAQs.
They will give you a lot of important information. it is important to know all you can before taking action.

Repellents are unlikely to help much. They may even spread the bed bugs around.

If you read the FAQs and have questions or need support, please come to our forums where you will get more of a response to further questions.

73 FreakingOutPleaseHelp April 15, 2009 at 7:00 pm

As you can probably tell by my username, I am FREAKING OUT! My boyfriend stayed at a hotel this past Friday – Monday and he saw 3 bugs the entire time he was there. However, neither of us knew what these bugs were. But since I am terrified of any bug I made him leave his stuff on our balcony when he came home. The next day (yesterday) he unpacked his stuff and brought it inside and put it away. Today I read an article about bedbugs in the newspaper and the picture was identical to the bugs he saw in his hotel room. Now I’m FREAKING OUT and am convinced that they must be in my apartment. Is it certain that if they were in his room they are now in my house? How long will it take to know for sure one way or the other whether or not we have them??? How soon is too soon to call an exterminator? I am so scared of bugs that I probably will not be able to sleep until this situation is resolved. I have put all of his things back on the patio and bought a mattress cover claiming it has bed bug protection and I am currently washing all of his clothes, our towels, sheets, etc. What else can I do? PLEASE HELP!!!!!

74 bedbugsinchicago April 16, 2009 at 12:06 pm

I am currently living in a furnished apartment and this is the second outbreak of bed bugs i’ve had in the past 4 months. The first time the landlord changed the bed (but not the couch) and a washed all my sheets and everything seemed to be fine. Also, the exterminator comes in every month, which I guess is not enough b/c I woke up this morning with bites on my back, neck and arms. It is extremely frustrating and makes my skin crawl.

I’ve done some research online and know that it has come from somewhere else, b/c I am very clean and tidy and clean my apartment every other day.

These bites are extremely irritating and I have been using Triamcinolone Cream on them, which I think is crap b.c the bites still itch like crazy. The worst part is the scar the leave on my skin- I don’t want to have scars all over my body for the rest of my life due to these pesty little things!

Are there any steps or procedures I should be taking to further increase my chances of getting rid of these things?

75 cachevalier April 16, 2009 at 4:34 pm a dog trained to sniff them out. i had a problem and thought i got rid of them. i wanted to be sure so rented a dog trained to smell them. he found more.i had my apartment treated with heat and its i sleep tight.

76 FreakingOutPleaseHelp April 16, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Where can you find these dogs? and how much does it cost?

77 nobugsonme April 17, 2009 at 12:50 am

Freakingout, bedbugsinchicago, cachevalier,

If you have bed bugs you need good knowledgeable treatment from someone who knows bed bugs.

I am sorry I can’t go into lots of detail here.

If you need to detect them and want leads on a local dog, please come to our forums and tell us your general location. Maybe someone will have a local recommendation.

If you’ve read the FAQs and have other questions, you can also get advice in the forums. Simply copy and paste what you wrote above to a new thread there.

78 tessa April 29, 2009 at 11:14 pm

i have bed bugs where i live i live in a apartment with no carpet..i get bit on my bed and on my couch occasionally i i trying very hard for them not to get in my babies’ matresses… my question is i am moving soon ..within a month or two…i have a two bedroom apartment… i am not taking my dressers , bed, or sofa in my move but i still have tons of clothes the large things i have is an entertainment center, kitchen table and chairs , and two several boxes….what can i do to prevent taking these basterds with me…i am gonna sleep on the floor at my new place to prevent my bed from bringing them i will spray the mattresses with bed bug killing spray just to be safe (made of plastic since they are from cribs),and wash what can be washed what else can i do to prevent these blood suckers from getting to my new place…

79 tessa April 29, 2009 at 11:17 pm

also i have diatomatious earth can i use it in any way to stop the bed bugs from coming with me

80 tessa April 29, 2009 at 11:21 pm

one more question i apologize can i bomb the moving truck with anything is there anything you can use to infumagte a area to get rid of it

81 nobugsonme April 30, 2009 at 1:30 am


The only reliable way to prevent taking bed bugs with you is to treat the moving truck with vikane TM gas fumigation (sulfuryl flouride).

You can find out more about this, or ask other questions in our forums:

There are no do it yourself methods for this.

DE can be helpful in fighting bed bugs, but since bed bugs must walk across it to die, and since it can only be used sparingly in cracks, where people will not breathe it or touch it, and since it takes 10 days ONCE bed bugs cross it to kill them, it will not prevent you bringing bed bugs to your new home. You will bring them and they may live a very long time without ever making contact with DE.

82 MARCY May 5, 2009 at 3:19 pm


83 MARCY May 5, 2009 at 3:24 pm


84 nobugsonme May 6, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Hi Marcy,

Glad you have found us. Be sure and get your PCO back for that follow up (about 2 weeks after the first treatment).

As for the bagged items, we always suggest people ask their PCOs when infested items in sealed bags should be removed from the bags.

The answer should not be “after treatment.”

Unfortunately, natural temperatures during a heat wave are not likely to hit 120 F. They need to do so — and to stay there long enough until the core temps of everything in the bags has hit that point. It can take a long time.

Even bags in a hot car can not be reliably expected to reach bed bug killing temps long enough to heat everything to its core.

Instead, I suggest you consider a Packtite, which would allow you to de-bug smaller batches of items. Here’s a FAQ on it.

Here are additional FAQs on removing bed bugs from your stuff.

85 MARCY May 6, 2009 at 10:28 pm


86 nobugsonme May 6, 2009 at 11:41 pm

Hi Marcy,

For things which cannot be put in a hot dryer, I am afraid the packtite is one of the cheaper options which will reliably kill bed bugs in your stuff. Another is having a truck of stuff gassed with Vikane TM fumigant. The option existing before these ones came along was to wait up to 18 months with the stuff sealed in bags.

The best idea is not to do anything in between treatments, as self-treatment can actually sabotage the work of the PCO. It’s best to ask them before you do anything else.

If you want more input, please re-post your question in the forums, where many more will see it and may respond:

87 bitallover May 11, 2009 at 12:47 am

i live in airzona and the temp gets well over 120 in car or left in a bag out side…. will this work 4 me?

88 bitallover May 11, 2009 at 12:59 am

i have been spraying this stuff called suspend sc it contains delta gard. is this stuff any good? HELP ME PLEASE!!!!!!

89 nobugsonme May 11, 2009 at 1:02 am

bitallover, no, I do not think you can rely on your car. Please read this comment above.

As for the suspend SC, I cannot advise you on pesticides. There are some licensed PCOs in the forums who may be able to comment. Please click here to go to our forums.

90 bitallover May 12, 2009 at 3:45 pm

im all out of $$$$$ it’s me and my 3 boys we have alot of clothes! how mouch are these zip lock bags? or can i buy the big storge bins and keep them out side?

91 nobugsonme May 13, 2009 at 2:23 am


Sorry you are dealing with this.

The XL Ziplocs run in the $5-6 range for four bags, in the US. If you simply need to store clean, dried clothing (drying on hot in a dryer will kill bed bugs and eggs (you can seal in a black contractor’s bag (3 mil thick, thicker than reg. garbage bags). Make sure you seal the bag in an airtight manner. Normal twist-tie as for garbage may not be sufficient.

If you want to store outside, you could seal in garbage bags inside the bins — I would not use bins on their own as they generally are not AIRTIGHT.

92 on bugs August 17, 2011 at 11:21 pm

I need to know if one apt has bed bugs can they go to another apt that has not been treated I need to Asp

93 nobugsonme August 18, 2011 at 2:07 am

on bugs,

Yes, bed bugs can spread from one apartment to another.

Comments are now closed. Please post a message on our Bedbugger Forums if you have questions or need support.

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