Algoma Public Health
When you first find bed bugs in your home:
- Tell the landlord right away.
- Clean up and de-clutter your home.
- Use a good vacuum and empty the vacuum into an outside garbage can or put the bag in a sealed bag in the freezer so the bugs cannot climb back out into your home
- Don't throw out your bed - it may be saved with mattress encasement.
- Don't change where you sleep; if you sleep on the couch the bed bugs will follow you there and infect more of your home.
- Don't spray all over your home; it leaves toxic chemicals on your things and scatters the bed bugs to other areas. Also, most bed bugs are resistant to current bug sprays.
What You Can Do
You have Bed Bugs? Don't Panic! There is a lot you can do:
Don't Bring Them Home
- Never bring discarded bed frames, mattresses, box springs, upholstered furniture or electronics into your home. They may be infested with bed bugs.
- Make a safe bug spray by mixing 7 ounces water, 1 ounce rubbing alcohol, and 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap in a spray bottle. Spray directly on the bed bugs for it to work. Rinse and dry sprayed surface thoroughly.
Clean Them Out
- Remove clutter and unnecessary items from your bedroom to reduce hiding places and make cleaning more effective.
- Mark any items "bed bugs" before throwing them out or take items directly to the landfill. To stop others from taking the bed bugs into their home and spreading the problem.
- Use a crevice tool to vacuum everything thoroughly, such as crevices on mattress, bed frame, baseboards and all objects close to the bed. Vacuum daily. Throw out the vacuum bag into an outside garbage can or seal it in a plastic bag and place it in the freezer for several days.
- Wash hard surfaces (like bed frames and headboards) with warm soapy water (test first on a small surface to ensure no water damage, such as wood)
Kill Them With Heat
- Wash clothing and linens in hot water and dry in a hot dryer. Throw clean clothing and linens in a hot dryer for 30 minutes. (Clean items can just be put through the dryer cycle)
- Discard bags used to transport laundry. Do not reuse these bags. They may re-infest your laundry.
- Place heat treated clothing and linens in a large clean bag and seal. Zipper-type and clear bags are recommended.
Seal Them Out
- Seal cracks and crevices between baseboards on wood bed frames, floors and walls with caulking.
- Seal or remove wallpaper seams. Tighten the switch plate covers. Seal openings around pipes and wires, especially between apartments.
Starve Them To Death
- If you prevent them from biting you or anyone else (including pets) for about four months, they will not survive. "Make your bed an island" so they can't get to you and bite you while you sleep
Make Your Bed an Island
Date of Creation: June 1, 2015
Last Modified: February , 2016