If you get one bug in your house, it's big trouble. It's reported that a single female bed bug can lay up to 12 eggs a day and 200 hundred or more in a lifetime. They lay their eggs in dark, uneven places, in tiny crevices, under the edge of carpets, in the edge of picture frames, the underside of drawers, in the seam of anything, in a wall socket, the cracks in your floors, bedding, pillows, mattresses, curtains...you're getting the picture right? The eggs hatch in six to seventeen days, they feed and they lay more eggs.
To get rid of them you must strip the beds of all linens, take down your curtains, remove all your clothes from drawers and closets, wash and dry them on high heat for 30 to 60 minutes as high heat is the only thing known or believed to kill the eggs. Things that cannot or don't need to be washed must be run through the dryer on high heat for 30 to 60 minutes as well. So all those clothes you had with you while you were traveling, whether you wore them or not, need to be treated with high heat. Yup, even the dry cleaning stuff. No, you can't take everything to the dry cleaners or charities without treating them first because if you do you are just passing on the problem. And yes, you will purge as it's really the only thing to do in some cases and it's just too overwhelming to address it all in your home. Take a second and look around at everything you have there that might get contaminated. Me, I was a saver, had a lifetime of little mementos of love, friendships and adventures. I am a minimalist now. And honestly why my dryer didn't light on fire after days of running it nonstop is truly beyond me -- trust me, I wasn't sleeping but a few short hours. As you remove things from the dryer you need to immediately store them in large, clear, sealable, plastic bags until you are sure that all the bugs in your house are gone. I have in fact cleaned out Home Depots and Wal-Mart's supply of large clear sealable plastic bags! Plus, I have spent hours rolling those bags around looking for a pair of shorts, a bathing suit, or something that I needed to wear. And I have washed and dried things so many times now that I wonder why my clothes aren't three sizes smaller than they were before. You will learn that clothes are more resilient to heat than you thought. If you live in one of those hot climates, pack things into your car and bake them in the sun for a few hours or more. Nothing can live in the heat inside a car. Leave your suitcase in there when you come back from a trip. Open them up and bake the crap out of your things. I've had bedspreads, down quilts and the likes in my car for weeks now!
You must move all your furniture 18 inches from the wall, open wooden drawers, stand mattresses and box springs up on their side, remove the wall plates from wall sockets, so that everything can be sprayed. Some things cannot be treated and thus clocks, stereos, artwork, fabric chairs and sofas need to be carefully vacuumed along all the edges with a crevice tool and you're just beginning "the process." It will cost you thousands. You'll dread nightfall, you'll be looking for them everywhere, you'll feel them crawling on you even when there's nothing there. You will be overwhelmed, even depressed and it takes weeks or months to rid yourself of them. And the worst part is that they can lay dormant up to 18 months although their infants will die relatively quickly without biting someone, so I am told.
Your suitcases and bags that remain outside must be sprayed lavishly with a Pyrethrum bug spray and left outside until you are sure that any bugs in them are dead. My house has been sprayed twice already and it has taken me a couple weeks to even be willing to sleep in my own bed again but when I did they were beck! You can move into other rooms, where you think they aren't, but they'll follow your exhaled carbon dioxide and they'll find you eventually! I moved from room to room before my first spraying and I basically dragged one, some or many all over my house by doing this! We've clearly made progress in war but we are not done yet. And it will take me a long time to get over this, and put my life and my house back together after I am sure that these critters are really, really gone. And I'm not sure when that will be.