Lifehack is powered by Vocal creators. You support Scott Allen Ham by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

Lifehack is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

And Not Spend a Fortune

It's embarrassing to admit, but I had a bed bug infestation. They ate my girlfriend up every night. We weren't even sure what they were until we did some investigating.

Bed bugs. Yuck.

Where did they come from? Honestly—no idea. They could have come from a kid who had some on their clothes at day care or school. Could have come from guests. Maybe the dog? Passengers in my car? We still don't know. But that's not too important.

Friends will tell you to burn your mattress and get all new sheets and bomb the place or call in an exterminator—costing you well over a grand. This will have the same results, but at only a fraction of the cost.

Bed bugs can't fly or jump. So they crawled from one place to another until they ended up on your mattress. They are attracted to your carbon dioxide you breathe out while you're asleep.

This is what you'll need:

  • 1x bag of Diatomaceous Earth
  • 1x 16oz can of Sprayway Good Night Bed Bug and Dust Mite Spray
  • 4+ bed casters (one for each leg of your bed)
  • 1x plastic mattress cover
  • 1x hypo-allergenic vacuum cleaner
  • 1x box of garbage bags

Apart from the vacuum, these will be cheap and easy to find. Forty or so bucks. I'd recommend Home Depot for most of it. To have an expert come and treat your bug problem, it would cost 10x that or more—and they'd do pretty much the same thing.

I had to buy a new vacuum for this. Hopefully you already have one or a friend or a family member does that you could borrow it from.

Take every damn sheet, mattress cover, pillow case, and blanket off that bed immediately and put them into garbage bags. Do this with your laundry hamper, too. If your infestation is really bad, then you're going to have to wash your entire wardrobe. I recommend taking everything to a laundromat since you're probably going to have more than one load to do all at once. Once the garbage bags are empty, immediately throw them away. As you throw away each garbage bag, you must ball them up and toss the empty bag at the garbage can while shouting, "Kobe!" I can't stress this enough.

Your pillows, teddy bears, etc, will need to go directly from a sealed garbage bag into the dryer to burn these fuckers out. The heat from the dryer will kill the bed bugs and their eggs.

After everything has been cleaned and/or dried, put them into fresh garbage bags—or at least don't bring them into the house just yet. If you do, then the bugs that are still alive can jump right back onto the clean clothes and now you've wasted your time. So leave them away from the house or room until you're done with the rest of the treatment.

Before we begin, be sure to have the room well ventilated! Wear a mask! Wear goggles if you need as well!

After the sheets and linen are removed from the bed, lift the mattress and box spring up and lean them against your wall. Next, you'll need to spray them both down with Sprayway. Make sure that you concentrate the spray along the seams of the mattress especially. As for the box spring, spray around the inside especially. If your box spring has some fabric or plastic in the way, tear it out—it does nothing anyway. Then spray the corners of the inside of the box spring with a nice coating. For both the mattress and box spring, look for holes in the material. The bed bugs will nest in their and that's where their eggs are. Give these areas some extra attention.

You should be able to see them now. They are brown and flat and smaller than an apple seed. They'll be trying to escape. Feel free to spray them directly, while insulting them. They'll be on your walls and ceiling, too.

Good news though: you can already see that it's working!

When you're satisfied, place the plastic cover over the mattress and zip that sucker shut. No bed bugs can get in or out. They make these for pillows as well.

While the mattress and box spring are against the wall, you can now spray the carpet or floor with Sprayway as well. Then vacuum up everything. Repeat this process at least two more times. When you spray, the bed bugs will rise to the surface of the carpet. They can hold on tight, but that's why we're repeating the process.

Next, the bed frame will need some attention. If you don't have a bed frame, then all of this may be in vain. Keep in mind we're going to want to have your new bed placement six inches away from any wall or nightstand. We are limiting the ways that bed bugs can return. Lift the bed frame up, placing a caster under each foot of the bed. Now, put a small amount of diatomaceous earth in the depression of the caster. Now, when the few bed bugs that survived the apocalypse try to come back onto the bed, they MUST go through the poison powder and immediately die.

Make sure to keep children and pets away from the powder as it can be harmful to them as well. For the older kids, simply explain what it is and point out to them the dangers of touching it or roughhousing on the bed.

Your bed will be a bit higher than before—depending on how high of a caster you find.

If you are satisfied, you may now return the box spring then the mattress to your bed.

Now you may return all of the clothing and linen to where it needs to go.

The clothing you wear—not just for this cleaning—can not touch the bed. When you climb into bed, only wear your underwear and check them out. To be safe, I recommend putting on new underwear each time you go onto the bed. Anything that touches the ground—including you—could pick up a bed bug and once you're on the bed, all of your hard work was for nothing. This also means that your sheets and blankets also can not touch the ground either.

Continue keeping old clothes and linen from touching the bed for at least a week to ensure that what remaining eggs survived, can not get onto your bed.

With my situation, we both found only one bed bug each the next day. One was alive, the other already dead. Those two were the last we ever saw.

Humans: 1

Bed bugs: 0

Kneel before your destroyers, bed bugs, and weep at the demise of your family and eggs! Mwahahahahahahahahaaaa!

I heard that in Professor Chaos' voice.

Now Reading
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Read Next
Roommate Lifehacks Every Apartment Dweller Needs to Know