Get Rid Of Bed Bugs On A Tight Budget

The Best Way To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs On A Tight Budget

This Guide includes resources, tips, and the best way how to get rid of bed bugs on a tight budget. In case you’re infected with bed bugs, but can’t afford an exterminator, this guide will save you.

This guide will teach you a 6-step method to get rid of bed bugs from your home without hiring a professional.

Moreover, you will also discover the myths about getting rid of bed bugs by yourself. These activities are never recommended.

Why is bed bug treatment so expensive?

The cost of getting rid of bed bugs is pretty high, let’s face it.

US data shows that the cost of treating one single room for bed bugs is $300.

If you were to treat your entire home or apartment, this can quickly escalate to at least $2000 – $2500.

How come bed bug treatment costs are so high?

There are two reasons for this.

The first reason is that bed bugs are hard to detect.

They hide in the smallest of cracks, and can easily blend in with the surroundings.

It takes years of experience to track bed bugs by zeroing in on their hiding places and tracing their signs of infestation (which you can easily ignore).

The second reason is that bed bugs can return after treatment.

In order to determine whether bed bug treatment is successful, the exterminator must make several follow-up visits to your home. You will need to pay for those appointments as well.

You can find a fairly accurate estimate of bed bug treatment costs for a typical two-bedroom home in the table below.

Company NameAverage Bed Bug Removal CostsGuarantee Period
Orkin$400 – $300030-day
Terminix$500 – $350030 days – 90 days
Ehrlich$650 – $300030 days
Arrow$500 – $400030 days
ThermaPureMinimum $2000At least 180 days
Get Rid Of Bed Bugs On A Tight Budget

However, there is some relief for you. Local bed bug exterminators can be found for a low price in your area.

You need to make sure you vet the local bed bug exterminators by asking relevant questions before you hire them.

Let’s move on to how to get rid of bed bugs quickly and cheaply.

How to kill bed bugs without hiring an exterminator

You’ll find ways to kill bed bugs yourself in your home in this section if you can’t afford bed bug treatment.

It is imperative that you mirror what the professionals do in order to get rid of bed bugs in your home.

You don’t need to panic. This doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of money on equipment and bed bug sprays.

However, you must purchase certain items so that your efforts are not in vain. 

You probably already have some of the things you’d need to kill bed bugs without spending a fortune!

You don’t have to spend a lot on them if you don’t have them.

So, what can you use to kill bed bugs on your own? Only five things

  1. Steam Cleaner
  2. Desiccant dust 
  3. Plant-based safe to use bed bug sprays
  4. Bed bug-proof mattress encasement
  5. Bed bug interceptors

You will learn more about the roles that each of these products plays in eliminating bed bugs from your home as you read on.

But before we get to that, let’s do a reality check. 

In order to get rid of bed bugs on your own, you need to be persistent. For the best results, you’ll need to repeat the process for at least 2-3 days.

Let’s now move forward with the process.

It’s important to emulate what the pros do to get rid of bed bugs, as you have found out.

The pros kill bed bugs through a four-step process. There are four steps:

The Signs Of A Bed Bug Infestation

Before you can begin anything to get rid of bed bugs, you need to spot infested items in your home.

You’ll find out which rooms have been infested by bed bugs and what things are showing signs of an infestation.

The rooms where people sleep are usually infested with bed bugs. 

Without isolating the infested items, bed bugs will spread from room to room to escape treatment.

Be on the lookout for signs of bed bug infestation.

Bed bug infestations are characterized by the following symptoms:

  1. Bedsheets, mattresses, and pillowcases show tiny blackish-red dots
  2. Bloodstains on the bed caused by bed bugs crushing under your body 
  3. Bug shells found in beds
  4. Baby bed bugs (these are extremely hard to spot) are translucent white and less than a quarter of an inch long.
  5. You have bed bug bites on your body

At least four of the first five signs of bed bug infestation can be found in any room where people sleep. 

Bites from bed bugs may not be painful for some people. Bed bugs bite them, but they do not get itch marks and bite marks.

That’s why people wonder why I have bed bug bites while the person next to me doesn’t.

Where do you need to look for bed bug signs?

Start from your bed. Look for these signs on the mattress, bedsheet, and pillow case.

The bed is the obvious place to hide from bed bugs. 

Approximately 70% of bed bugs hide in headboards, mattresses, box springs, and bed frames.

The search for a new bed shouldn’t be limited to just your own. The reason is that bed bugs hide within six to eight feet of their primary host. 

Therefore, they can be found in rugs and carpets, upholstered furniture, and even in dresser drawers in your bedroom.

Look for signs of bed bugs on areas such as the couch, carpet, accent chairs, wardrobe, and dresser drawers.

After the bedroom, the living room is the next most likely place for bed bugs to hide. 

The reason?

Because bed bugs are good hitchhikers, they can latch on to your clothing and products to travel.

Bed bugs may also be present in the sofa and carpet of the living room as you sit on the couch. 

Consequently, you should be diligent about checking your home’s soft furnishings for bed bugs.

An infestation of bed bugs starts in one room and spreads quickly to other rooms, especially when multiple people are living in one house or if you sleep in different rooms.

Therefore, you shouldn’t skip any room in your house when checking for bed bugs.

Once you’ve identified the rooms and items in your home with bed bug infestations, it’s time to isolate them.

Isolate items infested with bed bugs

Isolation is the next step. Getting your home ready for bed bug treatment is like this stage.

Taking bed bug-infested items out of your home or into a room with enough space is your job.

Keep all fabrics in sealed plastic bags if you find any with bed bug signs in your wardrobe or drawer.

To get rid of bed bugs, isolation is a crucial step. 

Isolating bed bug-infested items stops bed bugs from spreading into different rooms and areas of your home.

Please use your discretion when it comes to isolating the bed bug-infested items. 

You shouldn’t put everything in plastic bags since this will increase your workload.

Most of the time, you wouldn’t need to isolate anything other than your bed, couch, accent chairs, and padded or cushioned furniture.

In case the infestation has gotten out of control, you will need to isolate items in your dresser drawers and closet.

Here are 6 steps to get rid of bed bugs on a tight budget

Now you’re at the meatiest part of how to get rid of bed bugs cheaply. 

Here’s how you can kill bed bugs or all of them with the tricks you’re about to learn.

To get the best results, follow along with the steps.

Step#1 – Steam Clean Your Isolated Bed And Other Soft Furnishings To Kill Bed Bugs

To get rid of bed bugs, we don’t recommend using a vacuum cleaner on the bed.

The reason is because vacuum cleaners don’t give you the best results.

The reason?

In spite of their ability to remove a few bed bugs hiding in the bed, vacuum cleaners fail to kill adult bed bugs, their nymphs or baby bed bugs, and adult bed bugs.

Heat is the only thing capable of doing these tasks. 

Bed bugs are killed instantly by heat if there is anything.

Furthermore, steam cleaners generate heat at temperatures above 113 degrees F, which roasts bed bugs and kills their eggs.

It’s not surprising that professionals use heat treatment as a primary method to get rid of heavy bed bug infestations.

Take off the bedsheet, pillow covers, and comforters, and clean your bed with a steam cleaner.

Make sure you clean every inch of the mattress with the steam cleaner. You should cover the mattress seams and folds on the edges.

Those are the places where bed bugs hide on mattresses.

To clean the other side of the mattress, flip it over and use the steam cleaner as you did before.

After that, steam clean the box spring, the headboard, and the bed frame.

Before steam cleaning, you can clean these areas with a brush. Then, any bed bugs hiding in the smallest of gaps will be driven out.

You should do the same with other soft furnishings that you have isolated. 

It is also important to steam clean the couch’s underside, especially its legs.

Spend some time steam cleaning your soft furnishings and your bed. 

During steam cleaning, you should not leave any corners or inches. Otherwise, you are likely to leave bed bugs behind. 

Step#2 – Use Mattress Encasement To Cover Your Mattress

An encased mattress that is bed bug-proof is an absolute necessity to avoid bed bug bites.

To protect your mattress after steam cleaning, you should cover it with a mattress encasement. 

Your skin won’t be able to contact any bed bugs (after steam cleaning, it’s unlikely that any bed bugs will be left).

Although it won’t choke the bed bugs, it’s a great way to prevent them from biting you once you start to sleep on the bed.

Furthermore, the bedbug-proof mattress encasements are smooth with no folds or creases. There’s nowhere for bed bugs to hide, so they can’t get in.

Step#3 – Seal Any Gaps And Cracks On The Bed Frame And Headboard

In the thin gaps and cracks of the wooden bed frame and furniture, bed bugs hide.

Therefore, sealing these gaps after steam cleaning the bed frame and headboard makes perfect sense.

Not only will it choke any bed bugs hiding in these gaps, but it will also deny them a place to hide.

If you have cracks in your furniture, it would be best if you sealed them.

Seal the joint with a silicone-based sealant. A silicone-based sealant is highly resilient, lasts at least a decade, and most importantly, bugs can’t chew through it.

Step#4 – Scatter Desiccant Dust In Your Home, Especially In Your Bedroom To Kill Any Hiding Bed Bugs

Now that you’ve picked up the items, you need to isolate the rooms where you found them.

It is possible to find bed bugs hiding in the floors and furniture of these rooms.

Hence, scatter desiccant dust, primarily made up of diatomaceous earth and silica aerogel. Neither humans nor pets can be adversely affected by these dusts.

A bed bug’s body is penetrated by desiccant dust, which dehydrates the bug from within. Desiccant dust also works on other insects.

Dehydration causes the exoskeleton of the bed bug to collapse, resulting in their death.

However, there’s a catch. For the dust to work on bed bugs, you would have to wait at least thirty minutes.

Then you can proceed to the next step.

Step#5 – Vacuum Clean The Rooms To Remove Dead Bugs

It’s time to use the vacuum cleaner. 

Vacuum your room’s floor and furniture slowly. 

(Seal all cracks and gaps in the hard surfaces of your room before vacuuming)

If there are any live bed bugs, that will also remove all the dead ones. 

Eggs laid by bed bugs cannot be found on hard surfaces. In the event that they do, they’ll do it in the tiny crevices. 

Due to the fact that you’ve sealed those minute gaps, there’s no chance of bed bugs coming out of those cracks.

Step#6 – Repeat Step 1 to Step 5, At least Once In A Week

Even after bed bug treatment, professionals come back to your home to check for bed bugs.

As you cannot afford to hire a professional, you must do the work yourself.

Although you follow all these steps, you still need to be on the lookout for bed bug signs. 

You’ll learn how to do it in the next section. However, for now, keep in mind that you need to repeat the process at least once a week for four weeks.

In that way, you’d ensure that you’re thorough with your process, and that bed bugs are nipped in the bud before they can become a problem again.

Afterward, you can use plant-based bed bug sprays such as Eco Raider and Bed Bug Patrol on your bed, dresser drawers, carpets, and couch to ensure that any hiding bed bugs are killed.

Studies done at Rutgers University have shown that these two sprays are highly effective in killing bed bugs.

Tracking if any bed bugs return after treatment

Tracking bed bugs is easy, but you need a strategy for success.

Professionals do it when they check your home after treatment to see if any bed bugs are present.

What is their method?

The company uses bed bug interceptors.

In fact, bed bug interceptors are nothing more than cheap cups placed under each leg of your bed by pros.

Is it because?

Because, when a bed bug tries to reach you, it is only able to use the bed’s legs for climbing up on your bed to feed on your blood.

Bed bug interceptors provide feedback on the effectiveness of your bed bug treatment.

The fewer bed bugs you catch on the interceptors, the better.

Bed bug traps are also known as bed bug interceptors. In bed bug interceptors, the interior is slippery and sticky.

This prevents the bed bugs from climbing up the bed.

When the interceptors are not catching bed bugs for two-three consecutive weeks, voila! Your house is now bed bug-free.

You should always remove bed bugs trapped in interceptors. Make the interceptors slippery again with a small amount of talcum powder.

Myths about DIY ways to kill bed bugs

After learning how to get rid of bed bugs on a tight budget, it’s time to find out what activities you must avoid when you take control of the situation.

Because you are on a tight budget and you cannot afford a bed bug exterminator, you must not waste your time and money on methods that don’t work. 

This section aims to dispel myths that are making their rounds on the web and spreading like wildfire by word of mouth. 

Here are seven myths you should always avoid when getting rid of bed bugs on your own. 

Myth #1 – Ultrasonic Devices Kills Bed Bugs

The use of ultrasonic devices to combat pests, especially bed bugs, has been quite popular for a long time. 

You should never buy them, not even for mosquitoes. Ultrasonic devices have no impact on bed bugs, according to research conducted by the University of Kentucky. 

As far as killing bed bugs is concerned, ultrasonic devices are useless. 

Myth #2 – Baking Soda Kills Bed Bugs

Other pests can be controlled with baking soda, but not bed bugs.

Is it because?

When baking soda comes into contact with moisture or water, it dissolves. The fact that bed bugs have a moist exoskeleton makes baking soda ineffective against them. 

Myth #3 – Mothballs or Naphthalene Balls Kill Bed Bugs

Although not a complete myth, but mothballs are not 100% effective. 

Rutgers University’s research has found that mothballs could kill only 44-60% of adult bed bugs. Mothballs didn’t have any effect on nymphs and eggs. 

Myth # 4 – Talcum Powder Kill Bed Bugs

Talcum powder does not kill bed bugs. Ever. 

Talcum powder, like baking soda, cannot penetrate the exoskeleton of bed bugs. Therefore, it does not affect them. 

Diatomaceous earth powder is one of the best methods for killing bed bugs. 

Myth # 5 – Dryer Sheets Kill Bed Bugs

It is possible to repel bed bugs with dryer sheets, but dryer sheets do not kill bed bugs. However, bed bugs will eventually find a way around the smell of dryer sheets to bite you. 

Myth # 6 – Essential Oils Kill Bed Bugs

The bed bug is one of the most challenging pests to eradicate. Bed bugs have even developed immunity to many types of insecticides.

Among these are pyrethroid sprays that kill many insects and bugs.

However, essential oils are also not bedded bug killers. They are bed bug repellents, however.

Many biting bugs, including bed bugs, are repellent to peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils. Apply them to your skin while sleeping to keep them away.

However, essential oils won’t get rid of bed bugs in your home.

Myth # 7 – Bed Bugs Like Cold Rooms

The origin of this myth lies in the experience of many people who have gotten bed bug bites while their air conditioners were on during the summer.

Most homeowners have their ACs set at a temperature that makes bed bugs active.

However, that does not mean bed bugs like cold rooms.

Bed bugs can withstand cold temperatures longer than heat.

Can You Get Rid of Bed Bugs By Disposing Of Beds And Couches?

Unless bedbugs have infested them beyond repair, you shouldn’t. 

The soft furnishings affected by bed bug infestation will be covered in reddish spots, bed bug shells, and even have dead bugs.

When bed bugs are severely infested, they release an unpleasant pungent scent.

You don’t have to throw away these signs if you don’t notice them. When you take appropriate safety measures, you can also sleep on a bed with bed bugs.

Bed bug assistance from the government

Government assistance for bed bugs is often requested by low-income families.

Does the government provide financial assistance to help people get rid of bed bugs from their homes?

Unfortunately, the answer is no.

However, many local health departments offer information on bed bug prevention and extermination. 

You can visit the websites of the local health department of your state to know more. All states have bed bug laws and regulations to protect your home from bed bugs and expensive bed bug treatment costs. 

If You Live In Section 8 Housing, What Should You Do? How Much Does Bed Bug Removal Cost?

It is common for Section 8 housing to be infested with pests, especially bed bugs. There is a high turnover of tenants in section 8 housing and poor hygiene makes them prone to infestations.

Section 8 housing is governed by federal laws, and you are not responsible for bed bug treatment as a tenant. 

As per Notice H 2012-5, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to pay for the bed bug treatment, not you. 

If you’re moving into Section 8 housing, you should have an exterminator check for bed bugs. 

Some pest control companies offer free services, while others charge.

Even so, the cost is much less and it’s always best to get it done before you move in so that you won’t regret it later.


This Guide includes resources, tips, and the best way how to get rid of bed bugs on a tight budget. In this guide, you learned how to get rid of bed bugs even if you do not have money and cannot afford an exterminator.

The tricks you learned in this post will help you get rid of bed bugs in your home.

When professional bed bug exterminators treat your home for bed bugs, they follow all four stages religiously.

There’s a detailed plan for killing bed bugs in your home using heat, pesticide sprays, and desiccant dust.

The guide also explains how to measure your success with bed bug interceptors, as well as what you should do if bed bugs return.

Can you please forward this guide to anyone who is facing the menace of bed bugs? The solution will save them money and prevent a lot of headaches and sleepless nights.

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