As much as a person may wish otherwise, bed bugs will not go away if they are ignored. An individual that finds out that they are sharing a home with these horrible little insects must go on the offensive and kill every last one of them in order to be free of their midnight snacking. While bedbugs do not generally present a serious health risk to the humans they cohabitate with, the bites that they leave behind can be painful and embarrassing. In some instances, there is some risk for infection, but usually the sheer aggravation of having bedbugs is enough for a homeowner to declare war on them.
The first step to living bedbug free is to vacuum everything. Once bedbugs have been discovered in the home, a homeowner should begin thoroughly vacuuming their complete home. While adult bedbugs can be fairly easy to identify, the nymphs are translucent and almost impossible to see. A good vacuuming will do more to get rid of the unseen bugs than just about any other step. It is not just carpet that needs to be vacuumed. Draperies, the hidden spaces of the bed frame, and any nooks and crannies that are hidden from view should all be vacuumed.
Once the vacuuming is done, it is crucial that a person dispose of the vacuum bag or carefully empty out the container of a bagless vacuum. Bedbugs in a vacuum can get out and move into a home all over again if they are given the opportunity. A mattress and box spring should be enclosed in a thick plastic or vinyl bed cover if they are going to be kept. Any bedbugs within the mattress or box spring must be completely sealed off. These insects can live for months without consuming a single drop of blood so it is generally recommended that a mattress and box spring be sealed up for at the minimum 18 months.
Anything that can be thrown into a washing machine should be. The washing action is not nearly as deadly to these bugs as the dryer is. Running everything by a hot wash and hot tumble dry will completely destroy any bugs, nymphs, and larvae that have gotten away unscathed so far. A minimum of 10 minutes in a hot dryer is necessary, but an hour is already better. Anything that cannot be washed should be sealed up in a large plastic bag of some sort and left outside to bake in the hot sun or freeze in the winter weather.