Bed bugs can be a real pain to get rid of. Many insecticides are only minimally effective against them, and though heat treatment is effective, it can get pretty expensive. If you have patience, however, you should be able to eradicate bed bugs yourself using a product called diatomaceous earth, or DE. DE is made from the shells of tiny, sea-dwelling creatures known as diatoms. Though it is safe for humans (when you buy food-grade DE, at least), it cuts into the exoskeletons of insects like bed bugs, causing them to dehydrate and die. Here's how to use DE to kill bed bugs.
Step 1: Vacuum and launder everything.
Start by vacuuming your bedroom floor, along with your mattress and any other plush surfaces. Also, launder your bedding, drying it on high heat. These measures will help remove bed bug eggs and hopefully a few bed bugs so that you have fewer to worry about going forward.
Step 2: Scatter the DE.
Diatomaceous earth is a very fine powder, and it will be very messy. Arm yourself with gloves, as it can dry out your hands, and also put on a face mask so you don't end up inhaling the powder. Pour some of the DE into a shaker-style bottle like an old Parmesan cheese container. Then, sprinkle the DE over the surface of your mattress, and also all over your carpet. You only need a fine layer. Use a broom or brush to really work the DE into the material. Once you've coated the mattress, put your bedding back on the bed.
Step 3: Wait, and vacuum.
Let the DE sit for a week. During this time, many bed bugs will come into contact with it, and it will kill them. After a week, vacuum up the DE. You may see some dead bed bugs as you're vacuuming -- suck them up, too!
Step 4: Re-apply DE.
After you've vacuumed, scatter a new layer of DE over everything. Do not skip this step and just leave the original DE on for more than a week. As the DE sits, it absorbs moisture and becomes less effective. So, it's important to vacuum it up and put new DE down each week.
Repeat this process weekly for about a month. It takes bed bug eggs a few weeks to hatch, so this way, you'll have DE in place to kill the new bugs as they hatch. After a month, you can back off using the DE. However, if you notice any subsequent bites, you'll want to treat your bedroom again.
If you're still having bed bug problems, contact a pest control company specializing in bed bug removal for help.