How to Deal with Bed Bugs?

How to deal with bed bugs? I'm getting bitten by bed bugs and I was wondering how anyone else dealt with them without calling in a pro (costs a lot of money).

There was a lot near my window so I vacuumed them all up and do that daily, thinking it'll get rid of them, but I'm still getting bitten. I can't find where all these bed bugs are hiding. Even though I moved my bed away from all walls (center of the room), I still wake up finding bed bug bites + several of them near my pillow and corners of the bed.

I bought bed bug mattress cover + pillow cover, which just makes it easier to find them.

Does anyone know how effective bed bug climb stoppers are? The ones you put on your bed legs to stop bed bugs climbing over.

I have a clothes steamer, so I've been steaming my bed sheets, clothes and tiny carpet I have to kill off any eggs.

Is there any products that're good for bed bugs? To kill/stop them when you don't know where they're coming from.


  • +2

    Pyrethrins and pyrethroids are the most common chemicals used to kill bedbugs.

    • Yes, but any poison used on them must be used with a Desiccant as their exoskeleton is resistant to chemical penetration, ant rid watered down (contains a desiccant) alone kills them.

    • Looks they're bed bugs that're Pyrethrins and pyrethroids resistant in Australia according to the Code of Practice document.

      Probs not a good idea for someone who has no idea what they're doing to spray chemicals either hmm.

  • Wash bedding in really hot water

    • Already steam my bed sheets, that's enough to kill them.

      • +3

        You might be leaving spots that aren't heated and wouldn't be drowning the adults

  • +2

    Do you have carpet? I would vacuum, then steam clean it, then spray over it with a surface spray, also on walls,

    • Just a small square of carpet, I do vacuum and steam it now.

      By surface spray, do you mean bed bug spray like the purple one sold at bunnings?

  • +3

    Search "diatomaceous earth bed bugs."

    • I seen that, seems pretty good.!5115!AU!-1

      Did you know if that product (Amorphous Silica), which seems to be marketed with the same effect, works as well?

    • +2

      should be able to buy it for around $10 a kilo online. I think bunnings don't sell it because it kills every crustacean insect that comes in contact with and everybody likes lady beetles

  • +10

    Burn the whole house down!

    • +1

      Hahha tempting :) Not sure how I'd write that one off on insurance though xD

      • I'm sure you figure out a way

      • +1

        Sorry.. I had nothing constructive to add. 😋

        Bed bugs is one of those things I think about every now and then (particularly after each time I come back from travelling around and staying at hotels etc) and hope that I never have to deal with the situation! lol

        Good luck with it! (It might take a few tries to get rid of it).

        • +3

          When getting back from travels, I unpack my bags like a hawk, looking for illegal aliens, dumping everything in the washer.
          Never had been bugs but the thought freaks me out.

          • @reactor-au: I used to never care about bed bugs and just pack and go, but now, I'm terrified haha.

            There's bed bug monitoring traps, I think I'll always carry them around when I travel from now on.!5115!AU!-1

  • +3

    you seem very casual about this!

    +1 to diatomaceous earth. don't put too much down, just a fine dusting. be aware that vacuuming it up in a regular hoover will probably break the hoover. i would definitely dust the legs, but if you can put them on plates / in jars then that would be good also.

    there's some good bed bugs resources / forums online.

    • Haha, I'm only casual about it online :) It's not fun waking up and seeing all the bed bug bites.

      Regardless of how I act, the fact is that I'll need to deal with bed bugs.

  • Going to try using this bed bug trap before buying diatomaceous earth. Hope that and bed bug climb stoppers (for beds) at least prevents them climbing up my bed.

    Bought the bed bug spray from Bunnings Warehouse, one comment said it didn't work at all where they came back in 24 hours, hope they were wrong.

    Also, somebody on youtube said they applied Vicks on themselves to prevent bites, they did it for 6 months straight and then all the bed bugs died off because of no food strat, that sounds insane. Anyone know if that works? I suppose the logic is that Vicks applies heat to yourself, making you too hot to bite.

    Anyone know if Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth works?, based on Ozbargin forum as a decent place to buy

    • +1

      The finer grade it is the better it will penetrate in the insect and dehydrate it to death.
      I'd find out the life cycle of the mite and leave it there for longer so eggs hatch and die before they can bread again it's harmless to humans you can drink the stuff.

  • +5

    They don't live in your sheets, they live in the cracks and crevices of your bed frame, mattress, and possibly the surrounding furniture. At night they come out and bite you.

    Remove your mattress and give it a good spray all over with bug spray. Most bug sprays for spiders and flies should work. Spray the bed frame and any nearby furniture all over too. I have also heard of them living in cracks on the cornices and walls, so spray there.

    Then give your sheets one more wash.

    That should take care of it.

  • after vacuuming store the vacuum out of the house, they can escape

  • +4

    they can escape

    Where to Pam?

    Wouldn't they return home when it gets dark?

  • +2

    You can use backpackers to lure them out (their favourite food). As soon as they have loaded on the backpacker you quickly usher them outside. Then put them up for the night in a mainstream branded hotel (they will know what to do). Alternatively you could keep some Guinea fowl in your room?

  • +3

    Nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

  • +4

    Sleep tight, Don’t let them bite.

    • +1

      You know that saying, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite. I never knew what that meant until now… I really REALLY wished I never knew.

  • +7

    You absolutely must read this start to finish and you will have a much better chance at beating them.
    It's the Code of Practice for treating bed bugs in Australia, written to inform and educate pest controllers to have the right approach.

    • Will defs read that all and see how well I go from there! Thanks

    • Actually a decent read, more orientated towards the service industry (especially hotels) rather than DIY bed bug control though.

      Most information on there has been repeated in this forum, congrats ozbargin, we're experts :)

  • +1

    Washing all bedding, pillow, treat mattress. All your clothes and linen needs to be treated. And look for bugs. They don’t get on well with silica, I floated an idea to a friend that had bed bugs. Maybe cat litter could also do the trick. Some are silica based.maybe cat litter silica gel will also work as it removes the moisture. Bed bug can’t survive without moisture. Maybe even grind up cat litter and this may work.

    • Silica Gel (Crushed version) seems to be the same as Diatomaceous Earth (DE), seems more people say to use DE, not too sure why. A bed bug ebay seller sells some form of Silica Gel (Crushed version) instead of DE for bed bug treatment.

      I steamed my clothes just recently, I had a look into my jacket and saw many spots, I wished it was lint but they were definitely bed bugs!!! I'll have to do that every day from now on as well.

      • +1

        Took my friend 2 months to get rid for his bed bugs. He wash and clean everything and separated out the stuff he doesn’t wear or use item and bag them after he washed them. Some of the stuff are still bagged a year after.

        And gradually move from one part of the house to the other part. Maybe do the same. And also avoid visiting others as it may spread to other people.

  • The worse thing about bed bugs is how they take over your life. Honestly, you ain't gonna care about shit when you have a red rash on your arms, waist etc and they're itchy as hell.

    Not to mention the fear of sleeping, because when I do sleep, I know there's going to be bed bugs biting me.

    • Can you sleep in a sleeping bag and wash it every day? Maybe they won't be able to get to you.

      • +1

        I thought about this, but they'll still crawl through the open hole where at the top.

        You'll need like some form of sleeping bag with absolutely zero holes, it needs to be bed bug proof graded as well (fibers small enough so they can't crawl through or bite through) then hook yourself up with an oxygen machine. Of course, I don't think this exists xD

        • You can get sleeping bag liners that are bed bug proof.. typically made from silk IIRC - essentially a silk sack that you sleep in. Might be worth a shot to give you some sanity whilst you get the situation under control.

  • Anyone know how prevalent bed bugs are in Australia?
    OP what state are you in?

    • South Australia.

      From my research, bed bugs have became increasingly common in Australia, especially Victoria. Not exactly sure about the numbers.

  • +1

    Have you treated your mattress? I thought they lived in the mattress.

    • They spread through out the house. Live in gaps, they survive on moisture alone for up to 2 years.

    • I have a bed bug mattress cover on now, so they can't get through that. I do steam it as well just in case.

  • +6

    Really sorry you are going through this mate. I know what you are going through. I've been through it three times, once when living overseas, years ago and one of my house mates brought them back from staying at a hostel. The others bringing them home from holiday destinations.

    They do indeed take over your life. You go to bed knowing those little bastards are going to be crawling all over you in your sleep. It's absolutely terrifying.

    Only thing I can suggest, is bite the bullet and get a professional in. It's the only way. If you don't have the money, see if you can borrow of family or friends. Trust me, owing money to someone is far better than having those little shits in your house. The first night of sleep after they have been eradicated is absolutely bliss.

    Before the professionals visit, strip all linen from beds, take all your clothes from the cupboards and if possible remove all covers from your couches. Put them all in big plastic bags, then go down to a laundry mat, and wash them on the hottest setting, then put them in a dryer with the hottest (allowed by the items) setting. Then throw the old bags away. Use brand new plastic bags to store the freshly washed items in. Then, if possible, leave the bags in the hot sun for a day.

    After the professionals have been, sleep in sleeping bags on your mattress for two nights (don't bring in your washed items into your house during this time). Then repeat the washing steps above for the sleeping bags.

    Then after all that, check for signs they still remain (spotting in between the mattress folds or bites on your skin). If they no longer remain, you are good to go. If not, get the experts back in.

    From memory, the experts I got in cost around $500-$600. But they are worth it!

    It all sounds extreme, but it's honestly the only way to get rid of these little spawns of hell. Otherwise it will continue to take over your life.

    Good luck my friend!

    • Haven’t had them, but agree this is what I would do.

    • +1

      The biggest pain is removing all the clutter from my room! Oh there is clutter alright.

      I'll need to bring in the pros after one final go.

      • That is to use bed bug climb stoppers on my bed,
      • sealing off the bed ensemble (which has the factory plastic cover on it so sealing it means nothing can get out),
      • using bed bug monitoring traps to divert their attention,
      • creating a carbon dioxide bed bug trap,
      • finally, applying amorphous silica in corners, cracks, crevices.

      If all those don't work, in addition to vacuum + steaming, it's clear that my rookie efforts just aren't enough and the big boys need to come in.

    • 3 times! Damn that's intense. This is my first time dealing with bed bugs and it's already hell.

  • +2

    Worked for many years as the maintenance manager for a large hotel chain, BB's as we called them (in case a guest was listening) will hide in the cleats of a mattress, under the mattress between the base and under it, between any fabric cleat or join, behind and in between the folds of a curtain, behind anything hanging on the wall, in dusty dark corners and under furniture, in drawers and any space where a drawer maybe cheaply made like the base sheet and the sides often have thin gaps where they slide together … they once got into the workshop of one hotel and while I was there they got onto my bag and I took them home, I had to live at one hotel for several weeks while my home was sprayed several times, we hired a pest controller and it took 3 goes before a rooms were able to be placed back in to inventory, They die above a certain temperature, I once purchased a 3 phase commercial fan heater to heat rooms infected to the temperature needed to kill them, but the thing smoked up and the fire trucks lined one of the busiest streets in Sydney causing insane havoc, the manager was not keen on continuing with that idea and even though an upgraded (guaranteed not to fail) replacement arrived, the same chemical that kills ants in ant rid was used by a back office staffer who took the bugs home on her bag,Ant Rid has a desiccant, a desiccant alone will kill them, her and her husband watered the stuff down and sprayed it where they are most likely to reside, this hotel had a small lobby and anyone looking to hang around were encouraged to store their bags there in the back office so people could move around, they are moved around the world this way and there's a major resurgence of them, my oldest friend somehow ended up with them in his bedroom, he somehow made a set up with moth balls, somehow he got them to release a mist that pervaded every where in the room, apparently, and that killed them, I'll ask him later … strip your bedding, wash all clothes whether clean or not and and take down curtains and hot wash, the hotter without damaging them the more effective it will be, then hot dryer till completely dry and hot to the touch, for as long as you can, carry bedding and curtains and any washing in a hampers, even your washing from other rooms etc and all clean clothing in drawers (leave drawers out of furniture and Spray the drawers inside and out) from bedroom in plastic bags and throw bags in the bin, look in every corner, behind every wall hanging, leave wall hangings off the walls and away from walls and spray them also (including removable mirrors, if any wall attached thing is not removable you will need to check for gaps between it and the wall and get the product you use in behind those gaps) turn mattress and base on their sides, look between every cleat, fold or crease in the fabric etc, if you have holes in the fabric of your bed or base throw them out or burn them (if you find them, squash them between thumb nails) take down all things hanging on walls so you can spray the back of them, move furniture and look for them then spray under and look for cracks in furniture they can hide, they hide in the smallest of cracks and are one of the hardiest and pervasive bugs pests around, except if you apply heat, around 48 minimum and 50celcius being optimal, the ant rid compound is the cheapest way, it breaks down their exoskeleton which is extremely tuff if you've ever tried to squash one, being thorough is essential, these bugs can survive more than a year without a feed.

    • I thought about heating the room, but it's rather difficult to get an even application of heat throughout the room. Since it's nearly summer and it's likely to be 35 degrees for at least a week, if I could just not turn on the aircon, shut the door and let it heat up to 50 degrees. Heard it won't properly work because external vs internal temperature is different.

      That mist your friend used might be a bed bug bomb (explodes mist everywhere), according to what I read it just disperse them instead of killing them, thus making the infestation more annoying to deal with.

      • +1

        If you get your internal temp to a certain temp it does not matter what the external temperature is, your rhetoric is defeatist, just close the room and heat it, does not relate at all to external temperatures except that the hotter is outside the more likely your internal temperatures will rise … … geezus! … the thing my friend did was pour boiling water on crushed moth balls and it reacted and somehow killed them, they had to quickly leave the room as the fumes caused them to gag … this is what he told me.

        • Hahah rather than defeatist I don't reallly know how external vs internal heating works, just watched youtube vids that say external vs internal temperatures are different.

          I was mainly talking about external only heating (via the sun) not internally heating up the room, I'd need to hire some 3 phase commercial fan heater like you did if I were to do that.

    • Will clean up my drawers and spray it down, it's a old and wooden table so there's most definitely a lot of hiding spots!

  • +1

    Garbage bags are cheap to load clothes, bedding. curtains to the washer, use new one when done

    • Yeap doing that now. Conveniently, my Samsung washing machine has a 60 degrees temperature button!

  • what about a heat gun, can blast them with that

  • Anyone know how effective vacuum storage bags for killing bed bugs. Let's say I have bed bugs in a piece of clothing, if I place it in a vacuum seal bag and vacuum out all the air, will it die off? Or do I have to wait until I staves to death?

    • +1

      They can live more than a year without a feed, vacuum bags do not create true vacuums, they just remove most of the air, certainly not enough to kill a bed bug.

  • +1

    Try something like this. It won't kill them but they might give up and try to find another food source if they can't get to you. You also might sleep a little better.

  • +1

    I was just at Aldi and bought Atlas Barrier spray and noticed it kills bed bugs. 5.99. Lasts on surface

    • I tried the bunnings bed bug spray and it did kill them, but there's no residue effects. In addition, they seem to all be hiding now, which makes life so much more difficult. I actually regret spraying them. Before they were climbing down the wall near my window and hanging out near the window ledge, but now? I got no clue.

      In theory, if those bed bug sprays had perfect barrier effects, there would be no bed bug exterminators. After all, why would someone pay $600+ (according to someone else in this forum) when a $5.99 bottle can do the trick?

      In terms of killing them, it seems that 91% alcohol (rubbing alcohol) works on direct contact, haven't tried it yet though.

  • Does anyone know if throwing items outside in the sun (black plastic bags) will reach 45-60 degrees? According to the code of practices for dealing with bed bugs, that practice isn't recommended as it doesn't always work for large items, like mattresses.

    However, what about smaller ones like clothing, various books/paper?

  • +1

    Yes, that would work, if you covered the bigger stuff with clear plastic and insulated the bigger stuff with blankets at dusk and brought it inside where it was warmer then blankets off while outside in the sun and turn the items at least once a day while in the sun again for several days the cumulative effect should get them, they are also sensitive to strong light.

  • Anyone else just getting a bit itchy all of a sudden out of the blue?

  • Give this a try:
    Worked for me but ymmv. I caught a bed bug infestation early and had it limited to one room.

  • Coopex synthetic pyrethroid did nothing for my roach infestation except waste my time. BASF Seclira worked a treat and is also being used on bed bugs.

    These guys offered me a lot of help in selection.

  • +1

    Nearly a month later - how are you going OP? Get rid of them?

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