Bedbugs are a major pest that seems to come out of nowhere. There are theories of how bedbugs continue to be a major problem in the United States, but for now, bedbugs find their way into your home mainly through infested furniture from rental places, used furniture stores or buying furniture from friends or strangers, and suitcases from traveling. Although bedbugs don't spread diseases, it is still important to immediately remove them from your home so they can't reproduce, ruin your furniture and leave bites on your skin.
Ascertain if there are actually bedbugs in your home, since there are other biting pests such as spiders and ants. To identify bedbugs, use a flashlight to look for little flea-like bugs with flat bodies. Bedbugs are one eighth inch to one quarter inch long and are brownish-red in color. Fortunately, bedbugs can't fly, but they do move quickly. Bedbug eggs are tiny; one alone is about the size of a pinhead, although they usually appear in sticky clusters. Bedbugs prefer living in temperatures of 70 to 80 degrees F, which is the temperature inside your home. Check for bedbugs under mattresses, behind picture frames, tucked behind wall and floor moldings and in other tight, but hollow, crevices. Bedbugs are active at night and suck your blood in order to feed, leaving behind swollen, itchy welts.
Figure out which rooms have bedbug infestations. Bedbugs hide as passengers in possessions, bags, shoes and clothing; they might even be found in a room far away from your bedroom, if transported there through your possessions.
Seal off infested rooms. Put all bedding, sheets and clothing in tied bags for laundering or tossing, depending on the severity of the infestation. Take your bed apart and put mattresses and box springs outside. Take apart sofas and take down window drapes. Check behind pictures, under and inside crevices of your alarm clock, inside your bedroom phone, behind mirrors, in dresser and nightstand drawers and behind and under all furniture and possessions. Toss all heavily infested possessions, especially those that are porous such as wood and from which may be difficult to remove all bedbugs and their eggs. Remove your headboard and check it for bedbugs. Also, remove all items from underneath your bed and secure them in plastic bags.
Launder clothing, bedding and window drapes at least at 120 degrees F to kill the bedbugs. Toss fabrics in the dryer for a minimum of thirty minutes. Put in a new vacuum bag and vacuum all surfaces, especially carpeting. Vacuum your sofa, chairs and inside of your dresser drawers and closet with your vacuum's attachments. This allows you to reach places your vacuum itself cannot reach. Heavily infested sofas and chairs need to be tossed. Remove the vacuum bag, seal it off and then wipe down your vacuum with a damp rag dipped in bleach. Scrub surfaces in the infested rooms with bleach and warm water; use one cup of bleach for every gallon of water. If desired, go over your floors again with a steam vacuum.
Use caulk to fill in any crevices where bedbugs and their eggs may be hiding, such as under molding, uneven flooring and in wall cracks.
Check often for signs of new bedbug infestation after treatment.