3 DIY Bed Big Solutions that Never Work, And Why…

3 DIY Bed Big Solutions that Never Work, And Why…

A quick Google search will bring up hundreds, if not thousands of DIY methods to get rid of bed bugs.  Many of these results haven’t been tested, and nearly all of them are unconfirmed and not backed by any science what-so-ever.  These “old-wives-tale” methods could spread your bed bug problem to other rooms, making the problem much harder to treat, or they could cause major damage to you or your home due to fire, water damages or health risks.

Don’t fall for these hoax treatments! 

Foggers/Bug Bombs

Although there are many products on the shelf that claim to be effective against bed bugs, many are completely untested and ineffective.  Foggers and bug bombs are one of those completely ineffective treatments in eliminating a bed bug infestation.  In most cases where bug bombs have been used the infestation is spread out over multiple rooms or hidden inside walls and under carpeting.  Bugs will try to move away from the treatment area to avoid the annoying fumes.  This pushes them into places where they wouldn’t normally go, and makes future treatments much harder.  Depending on what was used and when the treatments were applied, this DIY methods can also make professional heat and other treatments impossible or dangerous.


Diatomaceous Earth

This DIY treatment is one of the top search results found online.  The substance is easy to find at animal feed stores and hardware stores which makes this method a popular one for people to try.  Diatomaceous earth works by dehydrating the bugs, however for bed bugs to be affected they must walk through the power multiple times to cover their body with the powder.  Also, nymphs and eggs are not affected by this method at all since they are usually well hidden inside furniture or your mattress.    Additionally, dust pesticides like Diatomaceous earth can harm humans and animals if breathed in.  This makes K-9 inspections impossible and could affect the ability to treat with heat or chemicals, especially if not cleaned properly.


Off-The-Shelf Pesticides

Like foggers and bug bombs, off-the-shelf pesticides may claim to kill bed bugs, but in most cases they are not properly tested and could be dangerous for your health.  Most people know that pesticides are not safe to breath in.  However that does not stop people from dumping them all of their bed and living areas in an effort to kill bed bugs.  Not only is this very dangerous to you and your families health, it can also cause the bed bug infestation to spread, making your entire home inhabitable.


So what does work?

IBBRA encourages you to never perform a DIY bed bug treatment unless the method has been tried and approved by actual pest professionals.  The most effective DIY treatment is rented bed bug heat equipment.  RentBedBugHeaters.com and IBBRA are dedicated to help those that want to perform DIY treatments make smarter and more effective treatment decisions.  Find a bed bug heater rental provider near you by searching our provider map.  IBBRA also offers other DIY options though our online store where you can find many IBBRA approved heaters and heat treatment accessories available for purchase.  All products sold in the IBBRA store have been tried and tested for effectiveness and quality!

Sniffing Out Bed Bugs

Sniffing Out Bed Bugs

Identifying bed bugs quickly and effectively a key aspect to a successful treatment.  Every room where bed bugs are thriving will need to be treated carefully.  Knowing exactly where bed bugs are hiding is very valuable knowledge and will give you or your customers peace of mind that treatments were correctly performed. The best way to achieve this is to hire a k-9 detection team to do a pre and post treatment inspections.

K-9 inspections have been performed for decades in crime investigations, drug bust, and bed bug treatment.  Dogs have highly sensitive noses that can sniff out substances with high accuracy.  Regardless of their tried and proven skills people still have questions and concerns about these services.  Below we have shed some light on FAQs regarding bed bug K-9 inspections.


How much more effective is a k-9 team over regular pest technicians’ visual inspection?

Even the best, most highly trained technicians are only about 30% accurate while performing visual inspections.  Humans can only inspect the areas they can easily see, which means that any bugs hidden inside furniture, walls, under carpets and are likely to go undetected.

K-9s, on the other hand, is up to 95% accurate.  Dogs are trained to only find live bed bugs and eggs, plus they can detect bugs living even where they can’t be easily seen.


How long with the inspection take?

For a standard room, you can expect a K-9 inspection to take 3-5 minutes.  For a human, that same room would take 20 minutes or more to complete.  Experienced K-9s have been known to search an entire hotel (up to 200 rooms) in 1 day.


Will a K-9 inspection hold up as a scientific instrument in a legal case?

This is a widespread question from business owners and managers.  Moreover, the answer is, Yes.  Trained and certified bed bug detection dogs are considered a scientific instrument and their findings will hold up in a court of law.  This could be the difference in owing thousands of dollars in settlements or walking away with a full wallet.  Legal cases can put companies out of business but adding an extra layer of support with k-9 inspections has saved countless businesses from going under.


How do I find a K-9 Detection team in my area?

This is where IBBRA is here to help.  We can help you find an experienced K-9 detection company near you.  Search for “Certified K-9 Detection” near you at https://ibbra.org/service-providers/.

Choosing the Right Bed Bug Professional

Choosing the Right Bed Bug Professional

When you’ve just found out that your home or business has been infested with bed bugs, there are probably a million thoughts and questions running through your head.  What do I do?  Who do I hire?  Where do I find the RIGHT pest professional? Should I try one of the DIY methods I found online?

IBBRA is here to help.  Below you will find everything you need to know or ask, before hiring a pest control company.

Questions to Ask
During your initial inspection or interview, the technician will not only be inspecting the area, devising a treatment plan and getting all necessary info but they will also giving you a chance to interview them.  You should ask any and all questions that come up.  Don’t be shy, your pest professional should be able to answer any and all questions easily.

  • First and foremost, what credentials does the company have, are they licensed and insured? Always ask to see their license and insurance. All pest professionals should hold liability insurance to cover any damages to your house or furnishings during treatment and “completed operations” coverage that covers for damages that occur or are discovered after the contractor leaves the premises.
  • Do they “specialize” in bed bug treatments? Ask how much experience they have and what methods were used?
  • What type of treatments and processes does the company offer? (Heat, Chemical, Fumigation, Other?) Which treatment option offers the most effective success ratio and why?
  • Which treatment would be best for your environment and why? (Children, elderly, sick, medical or mental situations, handicapped, pets, clutter level will all come into play)
  • Do you have to be involved in the treatment process and what is expected of you, your family, staff and/or tenants?
  • How many treatments will it take to get rid of your problem? (Be sure to fully understand the nature of the pest, the extent of the infestation, and the work necessary to completely solve the problem)
  • How much is this going to cost you? (When dealing with bed bug treatment it can be costly)
  • Do they offer or provide extended or extra services for preparation?
  • Do they offer a post-treatment follow-up?
  • Do they have or have access to a detection dog team?

Things to Be Aware of and Avoid

There are several red flags that might come up in your initial interview or conversation with a pest professional.  Trust your gut and get a second opinion if necessary. Here is a short list of things to avoid.

  • Avoid any person or company that does not or can’t show you a valid ID, company license and insurance.
  • Be aware of anyone who offers a treatment without confirming and “showing you evidence” of bed bugs or signs of them.
  • Be aware of exterminators that offer “too good to be true” bargains.
  • Stay away from anyone telling you, you MUST throw away all your furniture! (There may be exceptions for some furniture, but you should never be required to throw everything out)

Information You Should Have Ready For The Technician

To provide the most effective treatment possible, you will need to give your pest pro some background and additional info.  Be prepared to answer the following questions.  Remember, be honest and don’t be embarrassed.  Bed bugs can affect anyone and past failed treatment attempts shouldn’t be an embarrassment either.

Your pest professional will need to know:

  • When did you first notice the bed bug activity?
  • Have you been on any trips or vacations lately?
  • What is the current conditions (structures, age) of the dwellings?
  • Have you tried any previous treatment methods?
  • Are there any special concerns (health, environmental..ect) that they should be aware of?

scientific advisory board

The Pest Control Companies Responsibilities

As in any professional business, pest control is bound by business ethics and moral responsibility; and as professionals is expected to abide by them and provide the following:

You should be provided with well written/emailed educational materials on bed bugs that include realistic expectations, including warnings for impediments to the success of treatment (lack of client cooperation, reintroduction after treatment, etc.)

They should provide you with different preparation and instructions sheets required by the client or tenant dependent upon the service and treatment were chosen. (Dog inspections, preparation for heat or chemical and post-treatment instructions)

You should also be provided written agreements detailing the type of service, cost of service, fees for additional services if necessary, the time it will take, number of expected visits, estimated the success of the job and prevention tips)

What IBBRA Does For You

The IBBRA is dedicated to eliminating bed bugs by providing the most accurate educational materials, recognized product approval platform, and a network of trusted pest professionals. All of the pest professionals featured on the IBBRA website are required to uphold the most ethical business practices, remain current with all laws and regulations in their area, and be licensed and insured.  Use our provider map to find a professional near you.  You can navigate directly to their website for more info, or get their contact info right from their IBBRA listing.

The Pros and Cons of Bed Bug Treatment Options

We know that there are hundreds of treatment options that promise to get rid of bed bugs quickly and effectively.  But when you’ve got a bed bug infestation, you don’t have time to wait for treatments to work.  You need the fastest, most effective treatment that will get your life back on track.

To help you decide which treatment is right for you, we’ve compiled a pros and cons list for each treatment type and information on when those treatments are most effective.  Then, when you’re ready to schedule a treatment, you can call one of the IBBRA certified professionals, rent equipment from our approved heater rental providers, or purchase a DIY product in the IBBRA store.


Heat Treatments (Electric Heating Units)


  • Work quickly, usually between 8-24 hours
  • Kills all stages of the bed bug life cycle
  • Great for small, medium or spread out infestations
  • No need to pre-treat any items or rooms
  • Safe and eco-friendly
  • No chemicals
  • Usually only requires one treatment to solve the bed bug problems
  • Can be set up by a professional in minutes


  • Can be more expensive than other treatment options
  • Requires large heaters and fans that can’t be purchased anywhere
  • Usually requires a professional
  • Heat sensitive items may be damaged if proper preparation isn’t completed before the treatment

Most effective when applied by a professional and when a k-9 inspection is done before and after to ensure the treatment was successful.


Chemical Treatments (Professionally Sprayed Pesticides)


  • Cost effective (over 68% of people choose chemical treatments due to the affordable costs)
  • Initial treatments are completed quickly
  • Great as a follow up to heat and in conjunction with other treatment methods


  • Chemicals don’t kill the eggs, resulting in “reoccurring” infestations…over-and over again
  • Often requires multiple professional treatments before the infestation is gone
  • Bed bugs are resistant to many chemicals (and their resistance is always growing)
  • Chemicals, especially off-the-shelf varieties can be dangerous, causing an allergic reaction, illness, and other serious health effects.
  • If not applied properly, chemical treatments can spread an infestation rather than kill it

Most effective when applied by a professional and used as a follow up to a heat treatment.

IBBRA does not recommend anyone use off-the-shelf pesticides in an effort to kill bed bugs.  Chemical treatments should only be applied by trained professionals.


Portable Heat Chambers (Collapsible Heat Tents)


  • Treatment is portable and can be set up anywhere
  • Single items can be treated, rather than the entire room
  • No need to pre-treat any items
  • Easy to use, can be DIY
  • Safe and eco-friendly
  • No chemicals
  • Kills bed bugs in the treatment area in only one application
  • Fast and easy setup
  • Kills all stages of the life cycle


  • Can be more expensive than other treatment options
  • Doesn’t kill bed bugs living in the carpet, behind walls or in any non-treated furniture
  • Heat sensitive items may be damaged if subjected to the heating area
  • Usually takes a professional to complete the treatment
  • Spreading the infestation could be possible if items are not moved properly

Most effective for single item treatment and in conjunction with a professional chemical treatment follow-up. IBBRA does not recommend anyone use off-the-shelf pesticides in an effort to kill bed bugs.  Chemical treatments should only be applied by trained professionals.



Dust, Foggers and Off the Shelf DIY Treatments


  • Easy to find at a hardware store
  • Affordable


  • Can spread the infestation to other areas of the home
  • Some substances are not tested on bed bugs, therefore leaving them completely ineffective
  • Some products, if used, can cause professional treatments and inspections to become impossible due to health risks
  • Could take months to kill bed bugs, if at all
  • Chemicals can cause dangerous allergic reactions, illness, and other serious health effects. Pesticide dust, such at diatomaceous earth, can cause damage to the lungs if breathed in.
  • “Bug Bombs” can cause fire and reduced air quality in the home

Not effective – IBBRA does not recommend anyone use off-the-shelf pesticides, foggers, pesticide dust or other unapproved DIY methods in an effort to kill bed bugs.


Mattress/Furniture Encasements


  • Affordable & easy to buy online or instore
  • Nothing can get in or on your furniture or you
  • Provides instant relief against future bed bug bites
  • Locks in any existing allergens, bed bugs, and bed bug eggs preventing new infestations (in encased items)
  • Will keep furniture clean and protects against infestations in storage
  • Takes away bed bug hiding and breeding areas by covering seams, cushions, piping, pillows, and any crack or crevice
  • Saves you from throwing out your furniture



  • Can take months to kill bed bugs
  • Doesn’t kill bed bugs living in the carpet, behind walls or in any non-treated furniture
  • Reduces the look and feel of your furniture

Most effective when used in conjunction with heat or chemical treatments.  Very effective for keeping items safe during storage and moving.


Bed Bug Heater Rentals


  • Affordable daily rates
  • Work quickly, usually between 8-24 hours
  • Kills all stages of the bed bug life cycle
  • Great for small, medium or spread out infestations
  • No need to pre-treat any items or rooms
  • Safe and eco-friendly
  • No chemicals
  • Usually only requires one treatment to solve the bed bug problems
  • Easy setup and prep
  • Professional quality equipment


  • Packages include large equipment that requires set up
  • You’ll need to know the power capabilities of your treatment area
  • You may need to pick up the equipment from the provider
  • Heat sensitive items may be damaged if proper preparation isn’t completed before the treatment

Most effective when used as directed and after a k-9 inspection to ensure that all infested areas are treated.


Need a pro?  Search your provider map for a certified professional near you!

Bed Bug Bites

For some people, the first sign of a bed bug problem may be waking up with unidentified bites. These bites resemble those caused by many other kinds of blood feeding insects and can rarely be identified by the appearance of the bites alone. To positively identify the bites as bed bugs the culprit must be found.

Bed bugs are drawn by warm temperature and carbon dioxide and feed on the exposed skin while you are sleeping.   A bed bug pierces the skin of its host with two hollow feeding tubes called proboscis. With one tube it injects its saliva, which contains anticoagulants and anesthetics, while with the other it withdraws the blood of its host, yet the person seldom knows they are being bitten.

Bed bugs are known for “dining and dashing,” once bed bugs have a full blood meal they scurry off quickly to return to their hiding place dropping their last meal as fecal matter on the way as they digest their fresh blood meal. They will bite any exposed area of the body, such as the face, neck, arms, and hands. The act of biting is usually not felt.  Some people do not react to bed bug bites, and others can retain severe rashes or even blisters. Two people sharing the same bed can be affected differently.

Many people develop an allergic reaction to the saliva injected by the bed bugs as they feed. This reaction usually results in small, flat or raised bumps, red swollen and itchy skin. If scratched, the bite areas can become infected. The significance of medical intervention if any comes from secondary infections, swelling, and itching from the bed bug bite.

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

The number of bites does not always mean there are large amounts of bed bugs involved. Bed bugs are sensitive to any movement or slightest disturbance and may withdraw its mouthparts during the feeding, move a short distance and continue to feed again. This may cause multiple bites that may be in a row. This is sometimes called a “Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner” pattern.

Effects of Bed Bug Bites

A common concern is whether or not they transmit diseases. The bed bug has not been known to carry diseases, but they are known for reducing the quality of life of the bite victim. According to medical experts, the added stress from living with bed bugs can have a significant impact on the emotional health and well-being of certain individuals. Some of the effects of bed bug bites include:

  • Severe inflammation and serious rashes
  • Bulbous or blistering eruptions, staph infections or impetigo
  • Allergic reactions
  • Potential serious immune problems in sensitive people
  • Anemia and iron deficiencies (especially with babies and young children)
  • Anxiety and severe loss of sleep
  • Insomnia
  • Systemic Reactions

Repeated exposures to bed bug bites can increase your risk of developing one of these conditions.  Continued bites for weeks or months can cause some people to become more sensitized to the saliva and continued bites may result in increasingly intense allergic reactions.

Treating Bed Bug Bites

Most bites do not require any medical treatment and will go away with time.   However, bed bug bites can be pretty itchy. Doctors have determined that scratching damages and broke the skin. Constant scratching creates a cycle which causes the “itchy area” to spread, and healing takes longer than if you avoid scratching.

  • To relieve the itchiness, there are many over-the-counter (OTC) creams and lotions you can purchase. (E.g. Calamine Lotion, Hydrocortisone Cream, Lanacane, Dermarest Plus, Gold Bond Anti-itch, Benzocaine)
  • Aloe Vera is very soothing, and Tea Tree Oil kills germs and aids healing, as well as numbing an itch.
  • Use tepid water when bathing or showering. Hot water tends to increase the “itchiness.”

Young children have a hard time not scratching the bites. To help avoid opening the skin, keep their fingernails short and place socks on their hands.

NOTE: Call the doctor if you see any signs of an allergic reaction, or infectionNever disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it when it comes to any bed bug health related problem or remedy.

If you think you have bedbugs contact one of our professional bed bug elimination experts.  Or shop our DIY store and kill bed bugs yourself.  Don’t wait!  Kill bed bugs today!