How to Sleep with Bed Bugs? – Don’t – Get Rid of Them

How to Sleep with Bed Bugs

Bedbugs the very thought of them make most of us cringe. Let alone sleeping with them. I am actually feeling itchy writing right now. Argh!!!

Once you know they are there most of us would be scared to sleep because of the bed bugs and will be running to another room or the sofa to sleep.

How to sleep with bed bugs, I don’t believe there is a way to sleep with them. If it is an infestation you will need to call professional pest controllers. Just one or two you may be able to eradicate them and any eggs yourself by following the steps outlined below.

There are measures you take to kill and repel the bed bugs if they have not taken over your bedroom or home.

If you have an infestation you will require a professional to treat it. The chances are you will not have someone available to come to your home immediately. If this is the case there are various tasks you carry out while waiting for a professional inspection.

How to Sleep with Bed Bugs

If you know nothing about bed bugs like what are bed bugs, how you get them, where they hide, what they are attracted to, what they do I will give you a little information about these.

We will then look at how to keep bed bugs out of your home. Lastly, we will look at what you can do yourself if you find a bed bug and/or eggs.

What Are Bed Bugs?

The scientific name for bed bugs is Cimex Lectularius which is Latin for a bed bug.

The bugs grow to about 1/8 of an inch and are the shape of small seed (sunflower or apple). Their colors can range from clear to a rusty color.

Unfortunately, these tiny bugs only form of nourishment is the blood of humans and animals and this takes place while you are asleep.

When the bug bites you it injects you with an anesthetic which stops you from feeling the feeding process. As well as an anticoagulant so that your blood flows freely.

The feeds last up to 10 minutes and the bugs can consume 3 times their size in blood.

The bugs can also live for up to a year without a feed. They do need a blood feed to molt and move on to the next stage of their life. They will molt 5 times before they are mature.

Females can lay up to 12 eggs a day or 300 eggs in a lifetime. Bed bugs live for quite a long time.

Bed bugs only mode of transportation is to walk, they do not fly or jump.

The good news is that these bugs are not known for transmitting diseases.

bedbug IMAGE
Bed Bug Feeding

How Did I Get Bed Bugs?

Unfortunately, bed bugs will hitch a ride on just about anything and as they are so small you will not see them.

You could be traveling, staying in hotels for work, taxi, train, and bus travel, out at the movies, buying clothes, at a restaurant, visiting relatives or friends.

They will get into your handbag, your coat or scarf, suitcase, hide in your clothes, or your bedding if you have taken your own to a holiday destination.

Getting into the habit of checking clothing, luggage and any other items you travel. This habit will vastly assist in your not bringing the bugs into your home.

Check your bags outside or in the garage.

If you want you can wash all your clothing in hot water and dry them at a high temperature.

Any other items put into a well-sealed garbage bag and put out in the sun for 1/2 to 1 day. Bed bugs will die from the heat.

It really only takes one fertile bed bug to make start an infestation in your home, she will settle in and then lay some eggs.

Unfortunately, general pesticides that you use around your home for other pests will not touch bed bugs. This is why professionals are needed if you have an infestation.

How Do You Know If You Have Bed Bugs?

You could see them if you are lucky!

If you are unlucky your first encounter will be discovering 1, 2 or 3 bites on your body usually in clusters or a straight line. Those areas are generally exposed during the night while sleeping.

These include hands, arms, shoulder, neck, and face. In summer if your legs and feet are exposed you may find bites there.

Bed bug bites can also be difficult to identify because we all react differently to the bites. Some bites will look like small specs, others like mosquito bites and some will present blister-like.

As with all other types of bites some of us will not react at all.

By looking at your mattress you may see signs of the bugs. They leave tiny black fecal spots that are on the mattress or box spring. You may find small dry blood spots on bedding or clothing.

Bedbug exoskeletons shed skins or shells can be found in and around the mattress or carpeting. The eggs are tiny very sticky and will be hidden out of sight.

bedbug after feeding
Bed Bug After Feeding

Where Do Bed Bugs Hide

The name bed bugs is a little deceiving because they not only live in the bed but in a plethora of other places. These include:-

  • box springs
  • mattress
  • pillow
  • bed head
  • furniture (not only bedroom)
  • carpets and rugs
  • couches and throw rugs
  • scatter cushions
  • crevices
  • baseboards
  • picture frames
  • behind the light switch or power outlets

What Are Bed Bugs Attracted To?

Human’s carbon dioxide emissions and body temperature.

The bed bugs will follow you wherever you sleep because you are their life source. This is the reason you need to treat the problem because they will not just go away.

Do Bed Bugs Only Bite When You Are Sleeping?

No, they do not. They generally are active from 2 am to 5 am while you are still.

But if you have a nap during the day this is good enough for them also.

You can also be bitten sitting in your living room, at the movies, at work, or traveling on a train or bus.

How Much Does a Bedbug Exterminator Cost?

Prices will vary depending upon the extent of the infestation, for example, one room or the whole house. Also what treatment is to be carried out.

Eradication of bed bugs can cost up to $1,500.00 or more.

When searching for the right pest control company for your needs. Be sure you find an established company that can give you a guarantee that they actually have the means to dispose of bed bugs.

There are many one-man operators out there that may not have the experience to eliminate bed bugs.

What the Professionals Will Carry Out

If you have an infestation of bed bugs you will have to consider getting a professional pest controller in to treat them.

There various types of treatments available include dry steam cleaning, deep heat, and chemicals. Or a combination of all three.

Some pest controllers even use trained dogs and heat sensors to detect the bed bugs. Others may offer the freezing option by using Cryonite.

Costs can vary greatly so seek advice from friends, relatives or neighbors who may have reliable contacts. This is where I would start.

Otherwise, start telephoning local professionals for advice and costs. Don’t stop at a couple you need to become well educated on all things bed bugs. It can become very expensive to rid your home of these pests.

The heating option requires a heater to be bought into the room and the room is heated for 24 hours. In this time the heat can rise as high as 140 degrees or more depending upon the size of the heater.

The outcome should be that the bed bugs and eggs are dead.

Remember this top tip – one treatment may not eradicate all bed bugs because they lay eggs. Ensuring that the pest controller does at least one follow up inspection to check for any more bugs. You may then require further treatments.

Heater To Kill Bedbugs
Heater To Kill Bed Bugs

What Can You Do If You Find Bed Bugs? – Heat is the Best Killer of Bedbugs

Never try to use chemical sprays and bombs yourself.

They will not kill the bed bugs only make them move to a different part of your home.

It will also make detection and eradication more expensive.

Do not try heat treatments yourself either.

Try the following:-

1. Call a professional as soon as possible before the bugs spread.

2. Try not to spread them right through your home – keep them contained.

3. Clothing into a dryer at 140 for 1/2 hour.

4.  You can store your clean clothing in a sealed garbage bag after heat treating.

5. Bed linen can either be put in a clothes dryer on 140 degrees for 1/2 an hour or put in a well-sealed plastic garbage bag and lay it in the sun for a few hours.

6. You can put items such as pillows, mattress toppers, underlays, scatter cushions and throw rugs in a well-sealed garbage bag out in the sun for a few hours as well.

7. Vacuum bed and surrounds – preferably with a vacuum with a bag. Seal the bag and put it in the trash when finished.

8. Bagless vacuum make sure you check the vacuum when finished for any strays.

9. Pillow protectors with zippers should be fitted to your pillows after treatment.

10. Mattresses and box-springs can be fitted with encasings which will prevent bugs from getting into these areas.

Carry out regular inspections to make sure that these do not become damaged, if so replace immediately.

You can see the mattress and pillow encasements here and box spring encasements here.

11. Isolating the bed by moving it away from the wall and furniture can stop the bugs from entering your bed that way. Don’t let the bed covers hit the floor during the night because they will climb up them into the bed.

12. Possessions that can’t withstand high heat can be put in bags in the freezer. For no less than five days this process should kill the eggs.

How to Keep the Bedbugs Away

Start small by beginning with everyday chores and move on to the larger jobs that will take a little more time.

Implementing these strategies in your home will not only assist you in being able to identify bed bugs if they enter your home, but you will also be able to control cockroaches, ants and other pests easier.

Light Cleaning – as you go through your day

  • Do not leave your dirty dishes laying around. Wash, dry and put them away. Or rinse and place them in the dishwasher
  • Wiping down your sinks and benches (bathroom and laundry as well)
  • Cleaning up any spills on the floor
  • Take out your garbage (and recycling) every day
  • Don’t leave dirty clothing laying on floors

Weekly Cleaning

  • Sweep, vacuum and wash floors
  • Clean bathrooms and other wet areas
  • Change bed linen and wash them in hot water and dry in the clothes dryer on a hot setting

Declutter Interior of Your Home

Decluttering your home will not only assist you with an existing or potential bed bug infestation it will also help keep other insects at bay. Such as cockroaches, ants, lice, termites, spiders, and mosquitoes.

  • Do not keep your clean laundry laying around ready for bugs to make a home in. Clean, dry, fold and put away
  • Do not leave newspapers, magazines, and books laying around – these provide an easy place for the bugs to hide and lay eggs
  • Do not store anything under your bed. As well as the furniture and bedding this is the perfect home for bed bugs

Around the Outside of the House

  • Keep trash cans away from the house
  • Do not stack or store any items close to the outside of your house including firewood

Maintenance (Repairs)

  • If you have had movement in your home you may want to seal any crevices that have appeared. For example around tiles, cupboards, sinks, shower screens, and toilets
  • Water leaks inside or out
  • Check that pipes, chimneys, roofs, windows, and vents are in good condition

Please remember that these little pests hitched a ride into your home.

The cleanliness of your home or yourself does not determine whether or not you will have an infestation.

Certainly keeping your home uncluttered will allow you to have the advantage of visibility. So maybe you can catch a bed bug or two before it becomes an infestation.

Can Scents Keep Bed Bugs Away

No there are no scents that will keep the bugs away.

It is also strongly advised that you do not lather yourself in insect repellant or other chemicals to avoid being bitten.

You could actually be harming yourself more with these chemicals.

Keeping Bed Bugs out of Your Home

Avoid secondhand furniture or soft furnishings. Especially those left on the sidewalk or in or near dumpsters. If you do check them thoroughly for bugs and eggs before bringing them into your home.

If you frequent thrift stores to buy clothing and linen check your purchases for bugs and wash them in hot water straight away. Dry them in a hot dryer – 140 degrees for 30 minutes.

Avoid Sharing the Bedbugs

If you have bed bugs you do not need to isolate yourself just take some precautions when leaving the house.

  • Let your neighbors, family, and friends know you have bed bugs
  • Check makeup bags, handbags, luggage and computer bags for bugs
  • Wash dry clothing and linen (if taking with you) in hot water
  • Dry in a clothes dryer at 140 degrees
  • Check your shoes, jacket, scarf, and hat
  • When disposing of items with bedbugs seal them tightly in garbage bags
  • Disposing of mattresses, box springs or furniture write over it in black marker – “Contaminated with BED BUGS”

Final Thoughts – How to Sleep with Bed Bugs? – Don’t – Get Rid of Them

You should also be aware that the EPA (The United States Environmental Protection Agency) keeps a close watch on bed bugs and their activities.

Good luck with eradicating your bed bugs!

Nighty night sleep tight don’t let the bed bugs bite.

Categorized as Bedroom

By Michelle D.

Meet Michelle, founder of Tip Top Sleep, a website dedicated to helping you achieve the best sleep possible. With over 50 years of combined experience in the realm of sleep, Michelle and her team provide easy-to-follow tips and strategies to help you feel better, function better, and live better through optimal sleep. Let us help you prioritize your sleep and discover the power of a good night's rest.