How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Carpet

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Bed bugs infesting your carpet can quickly transform your comfortable, peaceful home into a hotbed of skin-crawling anxiety. 

This article offers an effective guide on reclaiming your carpet—and your home—from these unwanted, nocturnal nuisances. 

Ready to wage war on these resilient, blood-sucking invaders? Our article will discuss essential preventive measures like vacuuming, bed bug-proof encasements, steaming-cleaning and heat treatment, along with cautionary habits to maintain while using second-hand furniture or staying in hotels.

Key Takeaways

Bed bugs can infest carpets as they are versatile in finding hiding places within homes and can burrow deep into carpet fibers.
To remove bed bugs from carpets, start by clearing the room and floor completely and vacuuming the area thoroughly to remove eggs. Dispose of the contents of the vacuum into a sealed bag and put it in an outdoor trash can.
Thoroughly steam clean using high heat all impacted carpets. Vacuum again after the steam cleaning.
Repeat the removal process regularly to ensure thorough elimination, and practice preventive measures like using bed bug-proof mattress encasements and avoiding used furniture and bedding.

Can Bed Bugs Infest Carpets?

Yes, bed bugs can indeed infest carpets. 

These tiny, nocturnal parasites are known for their versatility when it comes to finding hiding places within your home. Any large carpet or rug offers an ideal sanctuary for them. They can also live for many months without any blood meal. 

Bed bugs can burrow deep into the fibers of your rugs or carpeting to shelter themselves from detection and anything they deem hostile.

They’re drawn to dark, undisturbed areas, making your carpet an attractive home base. It’s also impossible to spot tiny little brown flecks on a colored rug—meaning they can spread and multiply from the carpet fibers with ease. 

Bed bugs can survive on (or in) carpets for extended periods, making it even more crucial to detect them quickly. Moreover, bed bugs are quite mobile; they easily move around upholstered surfaces in your home, making an infested carpet a springboard launchpad for a larger household invasion.

Recognizing signs of this unwelcome guest’s presence is essential in initiating elimination measures.

Steam Cleaning a Tan Carpet

Step-by-Step Guide to Removing Bed Bugs from Carpets

You’ll need to have all hands on deck if you start to notice bed bugs in any area of your home—including, but especially, your carpet. 

Clear the room and floor completely before starting any removal or treatment process. Vacuum the area thoroughly to remove any eggs that may be present in the fibers of the carpet.

Clear the Room and Floor

Before delving into the step-by-step guide to removing bed bugs from your carpet, it’s crucial to clear the room and floor completely. The aim here is to prevent these tiny parasitic insects from seeking refuge in other areas of your home while you’re trying to eradicate them.

Start by removing all furniture, rugs, drapes, and other possessions; remember that even small items can provide a hiding spot for bed bugs. This may seem extreme, but anyone that’s dealt with a bed bug infestation before knows this level of prep is required to ensure proper removal. 

Once the room is cleaned out, ensure any loose debris or dust on the carpet is picked up. This allows for more intensive steam treatment or heat treatment down the line, if necessary.

During this process, be vigilant—as stated previously—pay attention specifically around upholstered furniture as well as under beds because these are prime hiding spots for bed bugs.

By fully clearing and preparing your space initially, you set yourself up for thorough extermination and successful pest control against insect infestation in carpets.

Sweeping Underneath a Very Dirty Carpet

Vacuum Thoroughly

Initiating the process of bed bug removal requires thorough vacuuming of your entire living space, focusing particularly on those areas most susceptible to infestation. Once you’ve ensured that all personal belongings are safely stored and no clutter remains, get started with your vacuum cleaner.

Pay special attention to rugs, floors, upholstered furniture pieces and bed frames while ensuring a detailed cleanup around chair legs and underneath any fabric—these are prime spots for bed bugs to nestle into.

Integrating some diatomaceous earth before starting can help trap any live bed bugs or eggs and work to dry them out prior to vacuuming. This enhances effectiveness of treatment measures—and is often recommended even by professional pest control companies as a simple DIY remedy.

It’s crucial to remember that while vacuuming is an excellent initial step against these persistent invaders; it is not enough for complete eradication. Not even close. 

Post-vacuum disposal measures should be given particular care – replace your vacuum bag promptly after cleaning each infested area since mishandled waste could harbor surviving parasites ready for re-infestation. They’re hardy and resilient, and you don’t want them lurking in a dust bag ready to crawl back into the dark corners of your living room or bedroom.  

Use Steam Cleaning and High-Heat

Steam cleaning and high-heat treatment is the number one most effective method that can be utilized to permanently eliminate bed bugs from your carpets. 

Using hot steam, you can directly kill bed bugs and their eggs without chemical treatments. At 20 minutes of exposure to 118°F, bed bugs will die. Unfortunately, their eggs are a little more resilient, and require this same temperature sustained for 90 minutes. 

This is often why many homeowners rely on professionals who can heat-treat entire rooms with professional gear that would otherwise cost a lot more to rent. 

Steam cleaning removes the need for exposure to harmful pesticides and allows you to treat surfaces such as carpets, baseboards, and furniture. It’s important to note that direct contact with hot steam is necessary to combat bed bugs or their eggs effectively.

Consider using a specialized bed bug steamer for optimal results when treating mattresses, box springs, and other infested areas. Additionally, steam from an iron has the potential to kill these pests as a DIY solution if you can’t shell out the money for a heavy duty steamer or treatment right away. 

Steam Cleaning a Dirty Carpet

Apply Diatomaceous Earth

To effectively eliminate bed bugs from your carpet, consider using diatomaceous earth

This natural and safe substance works by cutting through the outer coating of the bed bug’s exoskeleton, ultimately causing them to dehydrate and die.

It is made from the fossilized remains of exceptionally small aquatic organisms—think amoebas—called diatoms. The skeletons of these organisms are very high in silica content, which has been naturally used for decades to kill insects and mites. 

Applying diatomaceous earth to the affected areas can be an effective solution for killing these pests in carpets. It is important to follow the proper application process to cover all infested areas thoroughly.

Clean up any excess diatomaceous earth every seven days with a vacuum and reapply as needed. Utilizing this completely non-toxic pest control method can successfully combat bed bugs without compromising your safety or exposing yourself to harmful chemicals.

Diatomaceous Earth on a Red Spoon with Small Amount on Table

Repeat the Process

To effectively eliminate bed bugs in your carpet, it’s crucial to repeat the process regularly—at least until you have no clear signs of infestation for several months. Bed bugs can be persistent, so a one-time treatment might not eliminate them.

Regular repetition ensures that any surviving bed bugs or eggs that may have been missed during previous treatments are eradicated. It also helps to disrupt their life cycle and prevent reinfestation.

Preventing Bed Bug Infestations in Carpets

To prevent bed bug infestations in carpets, regularly vacuum and clean your carpets. Use bed bug-proof mattress and box spring encasements, avoid bringing used furniture or bedding into your home, and be cautious when staying in hotels or other accommodations.

Regularly Vacuum and Clean

Regularly vacuuming and cleaning your carpets is essential for preventing and controlling bed bug infestations. Bed bugs can easily hide in the fibers of your carpet, making it crucial to maintain a clean environment.

By regularly using a vacuum, you can remove any visible bed bugs and their eggs and nymphs that may be lurking in the carpet. Vacuuming should be done multiple times to ensure thorough removal.

Additionally, incorporating steam cleaning into your routine can help eliminate any remaining bed bugs or eggs that may have survived the vacuuming process. Remember to dispose of the contents of your vacuum properly by using a sealable bag to prevent re-infestation.

Use Bed Bug-Proof Mattress Encasements

To prevent bed bug infestations in your carpets, it is crucial to use bed bug-proof mattress and box spring encasements. These specially designed covers create a barrier preventing insects from escaping or entering your bedding.

The encasements should be tight-fitting, rip-resistant, and durable enough to last without tearing for at least a year. Sealing your mattresses and box springs with these encasements makes it extremely difficult for bed bugs to enter or escape, effectively controlling their spread.

Moreover, these encasements protect against dust mites and other pests while being waterproof. So invest in high-quality bed bug covers to ensure a peaceful sleep free from these pesky intruders.

Avoid Used Furniture and Bedding

Bringing used furniture or bedding into your home can unknowingly introduce bed bugs and lead to a frustrating infestation. These pesky pests are great hitchhikers and can easily hide in secondhand items, waiting for an opportunity to invade your living space.

That cozy-looking couch you found on the curb or that bargain mattress at a garage sale may seem like a deal, but they could come with an unwanted bonus – bed bugs! To prevent these creepy crawlers from infesting your home, it’s crucial to avoid taking any furniture from curbs or dumpsters where bed bugs may be lurking.

Instead, consider purchasing new items or thoroughly inspecting and treating any secondhand pieces before bringing them inside. Being cautious about what you bring into your home can significantly reduce the risk of a bed bug invasion and keep your carpets bug-free.

Be Cautious When Staying in Hotels or Motels

When staying in hotels or other accommodations, it is essential to be cautious and safeguard yourself against bed bug infestations. Bed bugs have a knack for hiding and can easily hitchhike from one location to another, making hotels their preferred hangouts.

Inspect the room thoroughly before settling in to avoid encountering pesky pests. Look for small dark stains or spots on the carpet, check for shed bed bug skins or a foul odor in the area.

Keep your belongings off the floor and use luggage racks or sealed plastic bags when storing clothes. By taking these precautions, you can protect yourself from unwanted encounters with bed bugs while traveling.

Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation in Carpets

If you notice small dark stains or spots on your carpet, see shed bed bug skins, or detect a foul, musty odor in the affected area, it may indicate a bed bug infestation.

Small Dark Stains or Spots

Small dark stains or spots on the carpet can be a telltale sign of a bed bug infestation. These stains are the fecal droppings left behind by the bugs as they feed on blood and digest their meals.

The droppings may appear as rounded bumps or blackish, soaked-in stains on the carpet fibers. It’s important to note that these stains typically occur near edges, baseboards, or in dark carpet areas where bed bugs hide during daylight hours.

Presence of Shedding

One of the key signs of a bed bug infestation in carpets is the presence of shed bed bug skins. As these pests grow, they molt their old exoskeletons, leaving behind their shedded skins. These discarded shells can be found near areas where bed bugs dwell, such as under furniture or along carpet edges.

If you spot these molted skins on your carpet, it’s an indication that a large infestation may present.

Shed bed bug skins are distinct and recognizable. They often have a translucent appearance and are similar in size to adult bed bugs. You may also notice that six legs are still attached to the shed skin, more easily visible under a magnifying glass.

Foul, Musty Odor

One unmistakable sign of a bed bug infestation in carpets is the presence of a foul and musty odor that permeates the affected area. This odor is caused by a combination of factors, including pheromones released by the bed bugs, their fecal matter, and dead bugs.

The scent can be described as “musty” and becomes more intense as the infestation grows larger. Think of a sickly sweet smell, reminiscent of a musty garage or damp basement. Bed bug feces contains digested blood, which oxidizes and emits an unpleasant smell similar to that of ‘stink’ bugs.


Getting rid of bed bugs in carpets requires a thorough and systematic approach. You can effectively eliminate bed bugs from your carpet by following our step-by-step guide above and implementing continual preventative measures, such as regular steam cleaning and vacuuming.

Remember to seek professional help and prioritize proper hygiene practices to keep your home permanently bed bug free. Don’t let these pesky pests disrupt your peace of mind—take action today.

Photo of author
Sean is the founder of Conquer Critters. With more than 17 years of experience in dealing with various pests, he is passionate about spreading his knowledge to help everyone manage their pest problem in the fastest, most effective manor possible.

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