Dealing with bed bugs is a daunting and stressful task, but with the right approach and tools, you can effectively get rid of bed bugs yourself. Those who have dealt with bed bugs know the nightmare they can be and how hard it is to get rid of them. At Good Cleaner Co., we understand the stress that comes with a bed bug infestation and are here to provide you with expert advice on how to tackle this problem. Our professional cleaners in Ottawa have years of experience and a wealth of knowledge to share. In this blog, we’ll walk you through the steps to get rid of bed bugs on your own and ensure your home remains pest-free.

Understanding Bed Bugs

Before diving into the methods of elimination, it’s crucial to understand what bed bugs are and how they operate. Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. They are nocturnal and often hide in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and other furniture. Despite their name, bed bugs can be found in various places around your home.

According to Health Canada, bed bugs are not known to spread disease, but their bites can cause discomfort, allergic reactions, and secondary infections due to scratching. They can also lead to psychological effects such as stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Bed bugs are highly resilient pests and can survive for several months without feeding, making them difficult to eradicate once they have infested an area.

Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation

Identifying a bed bug infestation early is key to controlling and eliminating them. Here are the main signs to watch out for:

1. Bite Marks

Bed bug bites typically appear as small, itchy red bumps on your skin. They often occur in a line or cluster, as bed bugs tend to bite multiple times while feeding. The bites can be mistaken for those of other insects like mosquitoes, but they often appear in patterns, such as rows. According to Mayo Clinic, some people might develop an allergic reaction to the bites, causing more severe itching and swelling.

2. Blood Stains

After feeding, bed bugs can leave small bloodstains on your sheets or pillowcases. These stains may appear as small red or rust-colored spots. The stains are often the result of a bed bug being crushed after feeding, but they can also be from the bleeding bite sites.

3. Fecal Spots

Bed bugs excrete digested blood, which appears as dark, rust-colored spots on your mattress, bedding, or walls. These fecal spots are usually found near the bugs’ hiding places. Healthline notes that these spots can be smeared, making them look like small ink stains.

4. Shed Skins

As bed bugs grow, they shed their exoskeletons. These exoskeletons, or shed skins, are often found in or near bed bug hiding places, such as mattress seams, cracks in the bed frame, and crevices in furniture. The shed skins are translucent and can vary in size, correlating with the life stages of the bed bugs.

5. Live Bugs

The most obvious sign of an infestation is seeing live bed bugs. Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and can be seen with the naked eye. They are usually brown but turn a reddish color after feeding. Bed bugs can hide in many places, including the seams and tags of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, and even behind wallpaper and picture frames. If you see live bugs, it is a clear indication of an active infestation.

Other Indicators

6. Unpleasant Odor

A large bed bug infestation may produce a musty, sweet odor from the bugs’ scent glands. This odor can be quite noticeable, especially in heavily infested areas.

7. Eggs and Eggshells

Bed bug eggs are tiny, about 1mm in size, and are white. They are often found in clusters in cracks and crevices. Empty eggshells left behind after hatching are another sign of bed bugs.

Steps to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Yourself

Dealing with bed bugs can be challenging because they are excellent at hiding in small cracks and crevices. To effectively eliminate them, follow these detailed steps:

1. Reduce Clutter

Clutter provides hiding places for bed bugs, making it harder to spot and eliminate them. The first and most important step is to declutter your home, especially in your bedroom. Throw out as much as you can, particularly items that cannot be easily cleaned. The less clutter you have, the fewer places bed bugs have to hide. This will make the following steps more effective.

2. Clean Your Bedding and Clothing

Thoroughly cleaning your bedding and clothing is crucial in the battle against bed bugs. Here’s a detailed process to ensure effectiveness:

  1. Remove All Fabrics: Gather all bedding, including sheets, pillowcases, blankets, and mattress covers, as well as curtains, rugs, and any clothing that may have come into contact with the infestation.
  2. High-Temperature Washing: Wash these items in hot water at a temperature of at least 60°C (140°F). Bed bugs and their eggs cannot survive high temperatures, so it’s essential to ensure the water is hot enough. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this temperature is effective in killing bed bugs.
  3. High-Temperature Drying: After washing, dry the items on the highest heat setting for at least 30 minutes. The high heat from the dryer will help ensure that any remaining bed bugs or eggs are killed. Items that cannot be washed, such as certain fabrics or stuffed animals, should be placed in a dryer on high heat for at least 30 minutes as well.
  4. Sealing Clean Items: Once the items are clean and dry, store them in clean, sealed plastic bags or bins to prevent re-infestation while you continue to treat your home.

3. Vacuum Thoroughly

Vacuum your mattress, bed frame, and surrounding areas thoroughly. Pay special attention to seams, cracks, and crevices where bed bugs may hide. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to ensure that bed bugs and their eggs are captured effectively. After vacuuming, immediately empty the vacuum cleaner into a sealed bag and dispose of it outside your home to prevent any bed bugs from escaping back into your home.

4. Use Bed Bug Covers

Encase your mattress and box spring in a bed bug-proof cover. These covers prevent bed bugs from entering or escaping, helping to contain and eventually starve them. Make sure the covers are securely zipped and free of any holes.

5. Inspect and Treat Furniture

Examine all your furniture, including sofas, chairs, and nightstands. Use a stiff brush to scrub mattress seams to remove bed bugs and their eggs. Consider treating furniture with a bed bug spray that is safe for home use. Follow the instructions on the product label carefully to avoid any health risks.

6. Seal Cracks and Crevices

Seal any cracks and crevices in your home where bed bugs could hide. Use caulk to seal gaps around baseboards, light switches, and outlets. This will help prevent bed bugs from finding new hiding places and make it easier to spot and treat infestations.

Additional Tips for Effective Bed Bug Control

  1. High Temperatures: Bed bugs are highly susceptible to high temperatures. Washing items in hot water and drying them on the highest setting can effectively kill bed bugs and their eggs. Steam cleaning can also be an effective method for treating mattresses, furniture, and other infested areas. Ensure the steam reaches temperatures above 50°C (122°F).
  2. Regular Inspections: After initial treatment, regularly inspect your home for signs of bed bugs. Early detection is crucial for preventing re-infestation.
  3. Professional Help: If the infestation is severe or persists despite your efforts, consider contacting a professional pest control service. They have access to more effective treatments and can ensure that bed bugs are completely eradicated from your home.

By following these steps and maintaining a vigilant approach, you can successfully eliminate bed bugs from your home and prevent future infestations. For more information on bed bug control and prevention, refer to Health Canada’s guide on bed bugs.

Preventing Future Infestations

Once you’ve eliminated bed bugs, it’s important to take steps to prevent future infestations. Here are some preventive measures:

  • Regular Inspections: Regularly inspect your bedding, furniture, and other areas for signs of bed bugs.
  • Travel Precautions: When traveling, inspect hotel rooms for bed bugs and avoid placing luggage on beds or floors.
  • Second-Hand Items: Be cautious when bringing second-hand furniture or clothing into your home. Inspect and treat these items before use.
  • Maintain Cleanliness: Keep your home clean and free of clutter to minimize hiding places for bed bugs.

Dealing with bed bugs can be stressful, but with the right knowledge and professional support, you can effectively eliminate them from your home. Remember, early detection and prompt action are key. Follow these tips, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help if needed. Trust Good Cleaner Co. for all your cleaning needs in Ottawa and enjoy a bed bug-free home.

Choose Good Cleaner Co. for your cleaning need

At Good Cleaner Co., we pride ourselves on providing top-notch cleaning services that help keep your home safe and comfortable. While we do not specialize in bed bug extermination, our professional cleaners in Ottawa are trained to maintain a high standard of cleanliness and hygiene, which is crucial in preventing infestations and ensuring a healthy living environment. We use eco-friendly products to ensure your home is clean without compromising your health or the environment.

Keeping your home clean and clutter-free is an essential step in preventing bed bug infestations. Our team can help you with regular cleaning tasks, making your home less attractive to pests. Whether it’s deep cleaning, regular maintenance, or organizing your space, we are here to assist you.

For more information or to schedule a cleaning service, visit our website at or call us at 613-664-5678. Let Good Cleaner Co. help you enjoy a clean and comfortable home.