Bed bug infestations can be found anywhere, from hotels to dorms, schools and shelters. If you stay at a location where bed bugs exist, you can easily transport them back to your own home. Bed bugs are small, brown insects that suck on human blood. They like to hide in dark crevices near where people sleep, such as mattresses and box springs. To get rid of bed bugs, try some at-home steps first before hiring a professional.
Tidy up any areas where bed bugs can hide by removing clutter such as stacks of paper, piles of toys or dirty laundry on the floor. Get rid of anything that isn't functional and store knick knacks, magazines and other items in airtight containers. Bed bugs prefer crevices and dark places they can easily crawl into, so check any of these for the bugs before storing away any items you wish to keep.
Wash and dry bed linens and clothing in the hottest heat possible. Do not take them to a laundromat or dry cleaning service, however, because you may put someone else at risk of picking up a bed bug in the process. Repeat this step often until the bed bugs have been completely eradicated.
Place any other items that may be infected, such as toys and backpacks, in a dryer and set the temperature on medium or high. Heat these items for at least 10 to 20 minutes. Repeat this step until there are no longer signs of bed bugs in the home (bites on the skin, droplets of blood on mattresses, bed bug waste, or the bed bugs themselves) or a professional has come into the home and exterminated the bugs.
Put any items that cannot be washed or dried in a plastic bag. Place the bag outside in a hot location for at least one day in a location where the temperature consistently is 120 degrees or more, such as inside a vehicle. Do not pack the bag with too many items, because the bed bugs might find a cooler place to hide inside the bag.
Vacuum infested crevices where bed bugs remain. This likely will not completely get rid of the bugs or the eggs, but it may remove some of them. Use the suction part of the vacuum for the best results.
Throw out any items that are too infested or cannot be cleaned. This may include beds, mattresses and furniture. Wrap these items in bagging, and consult a pest control firm to determine where the best location is to discard the infested furniture.
Call a professional. Hiring a pest control specialist can increase the odds of completely eliminating the bed bugs.