Common Home Remedies
Most people discover they have bed bugs through finding bites and welts on their skin or through the presence of fecal matter, blood spots or shed nymph exoskeletons on their linens or clothing. The first thing they do, then, is throw their bed linens and clothing in the wash on a hot water cycle. Hot water could kill bed bugs if they’re attached to these items, but it won’t kill them all because these items are not the source of the infestation. The source of the infestation will be somewhere else, hidden out of view and out of reach, like behind a headboard, baseboard, electrical outlet or wall crevice. Oftentimes the only person who can find them is someone who’s been trained to look for them, like a pest control technician or better yet, a scent detection canine.
Another common home treatment method is to spread a layer of boric acid or diatomaceous earth in the area where you suspect bed bugs to be. However, boric acid is completely ineffective against bed bugs, and diatomaceous earth may only kill a few, if any, bed bugs when applied correctly. Other DIY techniques include bug bombs, traps, foggers, vacuuming and using dryer sheets in laundry, but these techniques are mostly ineffective or based on myths about pest treatment. Bed bugs hide well and won’t necessarily even respond to any of these treatments. Bed bug problems usually require a more direct, professional solution.