Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs are found throughout the world and are becoming more common in New Zealand. They are found particularly where there is a large turnover of visitors; places such as backpackers, hotels and motels etc., but you are also at risk in your home.
Bed Bugs hiding in the seams behind a bed headBed Bugs hide in cracks and crevices during the day and come out at night to feed on our blood. They are attracted to the food source (us) by body heat and carbon dioxide from in our breath. They feed by using their hypodermic like mouth parts to penetrate skin and suck up the blood. They then inject you with saliva containing anaesthetic and anti-coagulant proteins to stop your blood clotting. It is these proteins that cause itchy reactions and the raised bite marks that you might wake with.
The Bed Bug is wingless and slow moving it is therefore likely to be found near to where the host sleeps; in the mattress or bed frame, behind wallpaper and in furniture. They will hide in spaces behind skirting, the seams of mattresses, curtains, furniture etc.

Because they can ingest up to seven times their body weight in blood in one feed, they can survive long periods without feeding. After mating takes place, Bed Bugs will lay up to 200 eggs. The nymphs that hatch out are miniature versions of the adult. There is no larval stage. The nymphs will moult several times over a period of 6-18 months before becoming an adult.
Bed Bugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of because they hide so well. There is also some evidence that they have become resistant to some insecticides, but they can be controlled with thoroughness and persistence.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Control of bed bugs requires a four pronged attack.
  1. Control of bed bugs requires very thorough examination and treatment of all the possible places where they might hide. Check around seams of mattresses, bed base, bed heads, curtains and other furniture. Also check around the edges of carpets, behind skirting, edges of wallpaper and picture frames and in all other crevices within the room and adjacent rooms. Bed Bugs leave tell-tale blackened smears of blood which look like ticks made with a black pen.
  2. Carefully collect all bedding from the room and place in a plastic bag for transport to your washing machine, being careful to make sure no insects are dropped on the way. If possible wash the clothes in a hot wash.
  3. Spray all areas where signs of infestation are found and all cracks crevices and seams with NO Fleas Total. This product contains a residual insecticide and a growth regulator which will help prevent young Bed Bugs reaching maturity and continuing the life cycle.
  4. Release NO Bugs Borafume Fumigators (2 for an average sized room). The fumigant produced will kill adult bed bugs and penetrate into areas that cannot be treated directly. Lean the bed mattress and bed base upright against a wall in the room to improve exposure to the vapour.
  5. If the Bed Bug infestation has become established it may be necessary to repeat this treatment. Always follow the instructions on the products carefully.
The keys to controlling bed bugs are thorough searching for their hiding places and persistence.

A bed bug walks into a bar and says to the bartender. “A Bloody Mary please.”
The bartender says. Do you want a straw with that?”
The bed bug replies. “No. I brought my own. But can you spit in it for me?”


  1. I think getting rid of bed bugs is not really a hard thing to do. Just always put them under the sun and I think that will be okay.

  2. Hello Tempurpedic,

    I am afraid bed bugs require much more than putting the mattress in the sun to control them. They hide during the day and will survive for months without needing to come out to feed.

  3. Getting rid of that annoying insect is very difficult, but not impossible. Following proper guideline we can do it properly. Thanks for sharing your useful guideline for controlling that tinny but dangerous insect. bed bug traps can also be used for controlling them. Boiling the washable clothes is one of the best way of killing bedbugs.

    1. Hi Lima,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Bed bug traps are useful as monitoring devices and will catch bed bugs but they are unlikely to get rid of an infestation on their own.

      Boiling clothes will kill bed bugs and eggs but a hot wash (60C) is usually sufficient.

  4. Hi, are the spray and fumigator products safe to use around babies/children and where can I buy them? We live in Otautau, Southland. I have a 14-month old who sleeps with me and we're both getting bitten. She seems to be getting quite a severe allergic reaction to the bites (swelling up to look like blisters).

    My husband, on the other hand, doesn't seem to be getting any bites, maybe because he sleeps in the adjacent room. Also, I've read that some people may not have a reaction to bed bug bites.

    I've just done a thorough check of our beddings and mattresses, but found no bed bugs in the seams etc., but I have spotted 5 at random so far, once on the mattress when I was changing the sheets, once on top of the duvet cover, on a towel and just today another two on the window sill.

    I bagged up and sealed my daughter's soft toys and put all the linens through the wash and vacuumed the room, including the edges where wall meets floor.

    However, I still can't sleep easy knowing that they are hiding somewhere, but I don't know where. There are simply too many possible hiding places (cracks, crevices, switch plates, picture frames, ceiling light fixture), all of which our room offers, plus I'm actually terrified of what I might find. I'm also becoming paranoid that every dot I see is a bed bug, bug shell, faecal or blood stain. Just the thought of them crawling out of their hiding places at night to feed on us is enough to drive me nuts, so much so I'm dreading to go to bed.

    There seems to be no easy way to get rid of bed bugs ourselves, especially without the use of pesticides, and even then you don't know for sure if you've got every last one of them. I don't know how much it will cost to hire an exterminator or if we can afford to hire one. HELP!

    1. Hello,

      The Kiwicare sprays and fumigators are safe to use where there are children and pets. Naturally one should keep them out of the area while carrying out spraying and fumigating but once dry the area is safe.

      I estimate that it takes 1-1.5 hours to thoroughly check all the places in the average bedroom for bed bugs. Thoroughness is key. Search and spray ALL the hiding places you find, whether bed bugs are found there or not as this will deny them those as hiding places for some months.

      I also find that home owners are the best at searching because they know the rooms best and they tend to be well motivated to put the effort required in.

      Good luck in your battle with these bugs.


  5. its been a year now, since weve figured out weve got bed bugs!!! weve tried multiple flee and insect bombs, NO bed bugs spray, hovering the hot iron over the carpet, couches, bed and wrapping our bed mattress and base but STILL have bed bugs! we are having NO luck with killing these blood suckers..

    1. Hello,

      Have you found and positively identified bed bugs? If you have then there is somewhere the bed bugs are hiding that you have not found yet. Finding and sealing or treating all possible bed bug harbourage is the 'trick' to eliminating them. It might take a few hours of searching but it will save you time and irritation in the long run.




Please feel free to ask me a question or comment on this blog.

You may find information you are looking for here.