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How Do You Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Your Bed?

Jun 11, 2018

by editorial team and Sophia Ruan Gushée


As moms, we do the seemingly impossible: Juggle our kid’s schedules, work full-time jobs, maintain our households, get dinner on the table, and tuck our kids in at night. We’re masters of “doing it all” and making it look seamless.

When bed bugs appear, it can throw a wrench in our seamless juggling.

It’s a problem that needs our immediate attention and takes time to resolve.

Places that have bed bugs near you

Bed bugs are a global problem, found in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. They have been found in 5-star hotels and resorts, despite the level of cleanliness. Bed bugs, as their name indicates, are found in, and near, beds, or other places where people sleep. Here are a few places bed bugs have been found: (1)

  • Apartments
  • Shelters
  • Hotels
  • Buses
  • Trains
  • Dorm rooms

Within those locations, bed bugs hide in both expected and unusual places that are within 8 feet of where people sleep including: (2)

  • Mattresses and box springs
  • Bed frames and headboards
  • Dresser tables
  • Cracks and crevices
  • Behind wallpaper
  • In clutter

How do bed bugs spread?

Bed bugs spread from clothing and luggage. While bed bugs are rarely found in planes, trains, and motor vehicles, they do travel from place to place on people. If you have bed bugs, take precautions not to spread them while traveling. (3)

Symptoms caused by bed bugs

When trying to determine if you have bed bugs, look for itching, excessive scratching, and loss of sleep. Sometimes bed bug bites will be visible on the skin as just a small bite; and other times it can result in an allergic reaction.

Typically these bites are anywhere on the body and happen during sleeping times. The bites can take up to 14 days to show, so it’s important to pay attention to all signs and not just the bites themselves.

Here are 5 indicators that you may have bed bugs: (4)

  1. Bites on the skin
  2. Bug exoskeletons after molting
  3. Bugs in the fold of mattresses and sheets
  4. Rusty-colored blood spots
  5. Sweet musty odor

How to get rid of bed bugs in your bed

Professional bed bug extermination companies commonly use insecticides to kill bed bugs. Unfortunately, most solutions for getting rid of bed bugs involve chemicals that may be toxic to our health. There are treatment options that advertise being “less toxic” that may minimize health effects of insecticide use.

Here are a few steps you can take to minimize chemicals to get rid of bed bugs: (5)

  • Double bag your bedding and wash it in hot water and dryer for 30+ minutes.
  • Vacuum the bed, and then empty the vacuum bag or container outside.
  • Encase your mattress and box spring in bed-bug-proof encasements. Find cotton encasements if possible.

These nontoxic steps will likely need to be done in combination with other solutions. Consult with a professional exterminator to determine the best strategy for your bed bug situation, and ask what nontoxic (like extreme heat), or less toxic insecticides and bed bug removal methods are available.




(1)(2)(4) Center for Disease Control

(3) New York City

(5) Texas A&M Agrilife Extension



Deconstruct to reconstruct.

In 2020, we're deconstructing our home, habits, and things to reconstruct a practical nontoxic and healing lifestyle. We're bringing consciousness to unconscious choices.



This article is for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that it features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. Views expressed in this article by an expert are the views of the expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Nontoxic Living or Ruan Living.

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