Killing bed bugs yourself can be a difficult process
In time, a full blown infestation might require a qualified exterminator. In any case, how many is to many? Before you choose to do something, there are a few things to bear in mind. Bed bugs can easily thrive a year without feeding on a hosts blood (typically you). A grown-up female may lay 200 - 700 eggs throughout her lifetime. It generally takes an egg 50 days to develop. So whether you're a do-it-yourselfer or get a pro, it will take a number of treatments and consistent observation. Having said that... In case the problem has not gotten to far out of control there are several strategies to win the battle against bedbugs. The 1st 3 listed here are necessary no matter what you choose to do next
1* Wash everything in site with the hottest water you can find. Begbugs begin dying off at about 114 degrees F. Then use a clothing dryer on its hottest setting. Not out on the line to air dry. Heat is key. In hot, dry places (Phoenix for example) it is just as effective to put your bedsheets and cloths inside a black trash bag and place it out in the sun for an afternoon.
2* Vacuum. Vacuum every single nook, crook and cranny. Vacuum the shades, the box springs, the furniture, and so on. Vacuum as if your life depended on it. Bed bugs are not unclean critters. They do not care about crumbs or old food like roaches. Nevertheless they will need vacuumed up and then take the entire vacuum cleaner outdoors to switch bags... Vacuum all over again.
3* Steam Clean. Now that you have their attention, combine #1 and #2. Put hot, HOT water in the steam vapor cleaner and go over the bedroom again.
4* Just as effective as high temperature is, cold works too. Trouble is that it needs to remain down below freezing for two weeks to be effective.
5* Biological warfare. Prior to WWII beg bugs were all but eliminated. About this time the us government outlawed DDTs. Sense then there numbers have been climbing and required tamer chemicals and traps. There are many chemicals available on the market but practically all of them are not meant to contact your skin. These are generally most reliable but meant for non-traffic areas, box springs, draperies, etc.
6* Mattress Bags. Depending on the degree of bedbug infestation, your best bet could possibly be to throw out the mattress all together. For milder cases, the chemicals from #5 can be spread on and injected into the mattress before you seal it in a watertight mattress bag. They start off at approximately $60 and go up depending on the dimensions necessary.
7* Diatomaceous Earth. This is the substitute to tough chemicals. It is an all natural dust ground up from small tiny fossils of single-celled plankton. They actually put it in commercial dog food as a preservative. On a microscopic level it has jagged edges which cut and kill the bedbugs when they crawl over it. In essence it's only dirt.
8* Tape and Traps. This is more with regard to monitoring but flypaper, roach traps and stuff like that allows you to keep an eye on on how successful your time and efforts have been so far. And then from any shipping supply store you can pickup double sided sticky tape to wrap around the sides of the mattress. Yet one more way to snare and observe bed bug traffic.
9* Thyme and tree leaf oil. These are a repellent more then anything else. It doesn't kill them. They get a whiff of it and run the opposite way. But don't forget that bed bugs could survive a year without eating so they will still be reproducing.
10* Neem. Neem essential oil and neem extract. If you learn that you've already been bitten by bed bugs, this will sooth the itchiness and moisturize your skin. Matter of fact it is good for your skin whether you have bed bugs or not. Bonus is that it keeps the bedbugs away from you while sleeping.
There we have seven approaches to kill bed bugs and a few solutions to monitor your progress in controlling bed bugs. The more you combine the above mentioned tips the better luck you will have before the need for an exterminator. Just a word of warning though... if you do break down and have to use an exterminator, they're going to ask you to tidy up anyhow before they even show up. Get rid of clutter. ' ziplock ' bag all cloths, bed linens, sheets, and so on. Vacuum and essentially do everything already stated in 1 though 3.
To summarize, understand that before you begin, it may need weeks and months of frequent cleaning, washing, monitoring, vacuuming over and over again to properly kill the bed bugs through there whole life cycle. And hopefully you can catch it before it spreads through the house. It just takes a couple of stowaways in the laundry washing, suitcase, sleeping bags or any material that you haul around.