How to Kill Bed Bugs On Everything You Own

Despite what their name suggests, bed bugs don’t just live in your bed – they can live anywhere, including your clothes, furniture, your alarm clock, your picture frames and even your laptop!

So if you really want to eliminate bed bugs once and for all – you’ll want to treat everything that’s in a bed bug infested area.

Don’t worry – it’s not as hard as it sounds, especially when you’ve got a handy little guide. Here’s how to kill bed bugs on everything you own!

How to Kill Bed Bugs in Your Mattress?

Bed bugs can live anywhere, but their favorite spot?

Your bed.

Treating your bed is one of the biggest steps you can take toward eliminating bed bugs since it’s likely to be home to the majority of the bed bug infestation in your home. Gross, yes, but also convenient because killing bed bugs in your mattress is not that difficult.

Find out how to get rid of bed bugs in your mattress in just 3 steps!

How to Kill Bed Bugs in Upholstered Furniture?

The best way to kill bed bugs in your upholstered furniture is to heat them up.

So how hot to kill bed bugs? It depends how long the heat is sustained. Bed bugs will die at 113 degrees Fahrenheit if it’s sustained for 90 minutes or more. But they’ll die in just 20 minutes at 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Bed bug eggs are a little more resilient – to get rid of them, you need to expose them to 118 degrees Fahrenheit for 90 minutes to reach 100% mortality.

Since furniture is too big to toss in the dryer – which is one of the most effective ways to kill bed bugs in fabrics – you’ll need to use a bed bug heater or a steamer.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in a Mattress

Bed bug heaters heat up to around 160°F, which is more than enough to kill bed bugs in all life stages. They’re very effective and convenient since all you have to do is stick your furniture in there and turn it on.

Large heaters like the ZappBug Room are huge enough to fit in furniture like mattresses and couches, as well as entire shelving units so you get rid of bed bugs from pretty much everything you own in a couple of hours.

The only downside is that these units are pricey – around $1,500. If that’s out of your price range, you’ll want to go with steam, which is a great way to kill bed bugs fast.

A professional heat steam treatment costs $300 to $1,200 but you can pick up a home steam cleaner that you can use again and again to clean and sanitize your house, even after you get rid of bed bugs. We recommend the Vapamore Primo Steam Cleaning System – it produces steam at a temperature of 214 degrees, which will kill bed bugs and more importantly, their eggs. At $300, it is pricey but it’s great quality and also comes with a lifetime warranty. 

What Can Kill Bed Bugs in Solid Furniture?

Bed bugs generally prefer soft fabrics over wood or metal, but because they like to live close to where you sleep – they can hide out in solid furniture like your bed frame, headboards, nightstands, and dressers. Pay particular attention to wooden furniture since bed bugs find it easier to climb wood than they do metal.

If you have a large heater, you can kill bed bugs on your solid furniture simply by sticking it all in the heater and turning it on.

If not, start by thoroughly vacuuming the furniture, concentrating on any nooks, crannies, and crevices that bed bugs can be hiding out in. Follow it up by steaming so the heat can kill bed bugs and their eggs. Remember that bed bugs can hide out in places as small as screw holes and vacuum/steam everywhere.

best way to get rid of bed bugs in a box spring

Afterwards, sprinkle food-grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) into all of the nooks and crannies. Use a paintbrush to make sure you spread it evenly around. This will prevent bed bugs moving back in as well as kill the bed bugs the vacuum might’ve missed.

How Do You Kill Bed Bugs in Your Clothes?

Getting rid of bed bugs in your clothes is the easiest. Pretty much all you have to do is wash and dry all your clothes on the hottest allowable setting. Washing will only kill some of the bed bugs, but the high dryer heat will kill off remaining bed bugs. If you’re not sure how hot your dryer gets, get some Thermal Dot Stickers so you can measure how long you need to leave your clothes in there for.

Otherwise, leave the clothes in the dryer for 90 minutes, just to be safe you’ve killed all the adults and the eggs as well.

After you wash and dry your clothes, you want to make sure they don’t get re-infested by following a simple system.

Seal the clean clothes in clear bags marked “Clean.” Ziploc’s double-zipper big bags are perfect for this.  After you wear clothes, place the dirty clothes in clear bags marked “Dirty” until they’re washed. And so on.

Stick to this system until the bed bug infestation is eliminated.

How Can You Kill Bed Bugs in Other Fabrics?

Here’s how to get rid of bed bugs (and keep them off) on all your other fabrics…

  • Pillows, comforters, stuffed animals and other bulky items: Wash and dry these at the local laundromat – the commercial dryers there reach very high temperatures and are perfect for penetrating into the bulkier fabrics. Encase the clean pillow in a bed bug-proof pillow protector.  Same thing with the comforter – into a bed bug-proof duvet cover it goes.
  • Fabrics you don’t currently use: For all your fabrics in storage – summer/winter clothes, extra sheets and comforters, etc. – wash and dry them all on the hottest setting and then pack them in bags. Vacuum-sealed storage bags are ideal since they’re air-tight and bed bugs won’t be able to get in.

What Will Kill Bed Bugs on Travel Gear?

Backpacks can easily be treated in the dryer, but carry-ons are a little too bulky for that.

The best way to kill bed bugs on suitcases – which is one of the most common ways bed bugs spread – is to get a portable heater, like the ThermalStrike Ranger. 

It’s big enough to sit a carry-on inside and it’ll also fold up to fit easily inside a carry-on so you can take it with you when traveling to avoid bringing back souvenir bed bugs from your vacations.

What Can I Use to Kill Bed Bugs in Electronics and Appliances?

Now that we’ve got the bed bugs out of all your furniture and fabrics – let’s get to saving the rest of your stuff from bed bugs and eliminating the blood suckers from your life once and for all.

The easiest way to kill bed bugs in laptops, computers and other electronics and appliances is to pick up some Nuvan ProStrips or if you prefer a natural option, Proof 100% Effective Bed Bug Spray.

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Simply stick the strips along with the bed bug infested items inside an airtight plastic bag and keep it sealed up for at least a week. Make sure you leave this bag in a part of your house you and your family don’t use since the active ingredient, dichlorvos, can be harmful to humans.

If you’re using Proof Spray, saturate a washcloth with around 40 milliliters (3 tbsp) of Proof and place it in a sealed plastic bag along with the items you want to de-bug. Leave it for a week. You’ll also want to place it somewhere you can’t smell it – it’s not known to be toxic but it is really stinky.

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