Bedbugs: treatments, symptoms, causes and prevention

Bedbugs are currently on the increase, whether in our homes, in tourist establishments or in places open to the public (nurseries, cinemas, etc.). So how do you recognise bedbugs and get rid of them ?

Bedbug repellent essential oils

Treatments: how do you get rid of bedbugs?

There are several treatments available to get rid of bedbugs: natural treatments or, conversely, chemical treatments. Whatever treatment is used, it should be complemented by a thorough clean of every part of the affected room. Here are all the solutions you need to get rid of these pests.

Natural treatments: how do you eliminate bedbugs naturally?

Natural solutions include natural insecticides, baking soda, diatomaceous earth, essential oils and bedbug traps and covers.

  • Natural insecticides

Natural insecticides are an effective solution for controlling bedbugs, while protecting the health of people living in infested homes. With this in mind, Sereni-d has developed the Natural SOS Bedbugs treatment that eliminates 100% of bedbugs, while being FREE of synthetic permethrin, DEET, flammable propellants and endocrine disruptors. This ready-to-use spray contains plant pyrethrum flower extract combined with a complex of essential oils with insecticidal properties. Once sprayed, it neutralises, intoxicates and dries out bedbugs present on the treated surface. Its effectiveness is immediate and long-lasting, lasting up to 12 days in optimal conditions of use.

  • Other natural insecticide: Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth can be used as a repellent and insecticide. Originally made from microalgae, diatomaceous earth, sold in powder form, is effective against bedbugs. But use with care. Although not toxic to humans or animals, diatomaceous earth is irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract in particular. Diatomaceous earth is sprayed onto infected surfaces, freezing bedbugs as they stick to the product.

Find out all you need to know how to use Diatomaceous Earth on bedbugs in our specialised article.

  • Baking soda treatment

Baking soda is another natural solution for getting rid of bedbugs. It can be used in powder form or diluted in water. This natural treatment, which is harmless to humans, is lethal to bedbugs. In fact, it causes intense irritation in bedbugs, which end up dying of dehydration. When used as a powder, simply sprinkle on infected surfaces and leave for a few days before vacuuming up. Baking soda can also be diluted in water and sprayed into every nook and cranny of the room to be treated.

Baking soda against bedbug bites

100% natural insecticide

SOS Anti-Bedbugs treatment

SOS Bedbug Repellent Treatment is a natural insecticide effective against bedbugs for immediate, safe and long-lasting protection.

SOS Bedbugs remedy
  • Eliminates 100% of bedbugs
  • Pyrethrum flower extract and essential oil synergy blend
  • Does not stain
  • Pleasant fragrance


  • Anti-bedbug essential oils

Essential oils that are effective against bedbugs include Lavender Aspic EO, Tea Tree EO, Java Lemongrass EO and Clove EO. Lavender Aspic essential oil has anti-parasitic and insecticidal properties. Tea Tree essential oil also has anti-parasite and repellent properties. Java citronella essential oil is a repellent, anti-parasite and insecticide. Finally, clove essential oil acts as an insecticide. Take care, however, to use the correct dosage, and ask your pharmacist for advice if you have any doubts about use.

  • Anti-bedbug covers

To avoid bedbugs, you can also buy special anti-bedbug covers. These sealed covers protect and form a protective barrier against parasites. Anti-bedbug covers come in the form of mattress, pillow and bedbase covers. For more information, don’t hesitate to check out our article on bedbugs in mattresses: inspection and processing.

  • Bedbug traps

All kinds of bedbug traps are available. There are 3 main categories of traps: attractive sticky traps, interceptor traps and detector traps.

sticky attractant traps contain a nutritive or hormonal substance (pheromones) which attracts bedbugs and neutralises them with an adhesive base (sticky or glue). Once trapped in the sticky case, these insects cannot escape and die within 48 hours. The only drawback is that you have to place numerous traps in the room to be treated, and keep replacing them.

Another category of anti-bedbug trap: interceptor traps. These traps don’t use any products to kill bedbugs. They come in the form of domes to be placed under each footboard. Their specific shape captures bedbugs as they climb in and out of bed, trapping them inside.

Detector traps can be used to detect the presence of bedbugs in the home. This type of trap attracts bedbugs and allows you to monitor whether they are still present. Carbon dioxide traps are the most common. Bedbugs are attracted by CO2 and come out of their hiding place.

Find out more in our article on bedbug traps: efficiency, instructions for use, home-made traps.

Bedbug traps
Bedbugs: how to get rid of them

How do you treat bedbugs chemically?

There are many chemical products on the market, some of which can be used by private individuals, while others are reserved for professionals.

Over-the-counter chemical bedbug repellents often include Improthrin- and Cypermethrin-based products. These are active substances that act on parasites through direct contact. Most of these products remain active for 3 months. They must be used with great care, as their composition is irritating and highly toxic to aquatic organisms.

Chemical products against bedbugs come in different forms: smoke bombs, sprays, bedbug tablets, impact insecticides, growth regulators…

Finally, if you need to use chemical insecticides, make sure you follow the application recommendations. Some products can cause poisoning, so avoid using them if you are at risk (pregnant women, babies, the elderly…).

Professional treatments against bedbugs

When the bedbug infestation becomes unmanageable, , you can call on a pest control company. Generally speaking, the professional protocol consists of chemically disinsecting the dwelling with 1 to 3 rounds of biocidal treatment at 15-day intervals. The treatment can involve low-pressure spray, atomisation or fumigation.

Another solution proposed by professionals: steam treatment (180°C) or cold treatment (-17°C). Bedbugs die as a result of a thermal shock. Please note: Steam treatment is more effective than cold treatment, which can take longer to eradicate bedbugs.

Professionals can also use canine detection to accurately identify where bedbugs are hiding and then apply the treatment in the right place for a better success rate.

Bedbug infestation
How do you get rid of bedbugs?

How do you kill bedbugs for good?

In addition to a bedbug treatment, whether natural or chemical, it’s imperative to thoroughly clean the bedbug-infested room. Here are the various tasks to be carried out to get rid of bedbugs:

  • Vacuum cleaner: Vacuum up all bedbugs visible to the naked eye, and empty the vacuum cleaner when finished to prevent bedbugs from spreading.
  • Steam cleaner, vaporetto, karcher: steam burns bedbug eggs and adult bedbugs. A steam cleaner or karcher is ideal for killing pests hiding in cracks and crevices. Steam is one of the best and most environmentally-friendly ways to kill bedbugs.
  • Wash at 60°C or freeze: wash all the linen in the room that can be cleaned at 60°C and put the rest in the freezer to eliminate any bedbugs.
  • Tumble dry for 30 min on high heat
  • Potential treatment on the building: cracks and crevices are ideal hiding places for bedbugs. If you notice any cracks in the walls, fill them in.

Signs and symptoms: how do you know if you have bedbugs?

There are certain signs that indicate the presence of bedbugs in the home. Here’s where bedbugs usually hide, how to recognise them and how to spot their bites.

Where bedbugs hide ?

Bedbugs prefer dark, narrow and inaccessible places. They generally establish themselves in bedrooms. They can be found on bed bases, mattresses, headboards, bed frames, pillows and sheets. They also like to nestle in nooks and crannies, skirting boards, wallpaper and cracks, or behind pictures and frames. They can be found in carpets, rugs, sofas, chairs, furniture (wardrobes, dressing rooms), on clothes…

Where bedbugs hide ?
How to recognise a bedbug

How to recognise a bedbug

Adult bedbugs can be spotted with the naked eye. They are between 4 and 7 mm long, brown in colour and look like a flattened apple seed when gorged with blood. Thanks to its flat, oval shape, it will slip in just about anywhere. It doesn’t jump or fly. It comes out at night to feed and generally hides during the day. They have a lifespan of 5 to 6 months and reproduce rapidly.

Bedbug eggs are oval, cream, yellowish or whitish in colour, and 0.5 mm to 1 mm long. Bedbug eggs are generally arranged in clusters and fixed in small nooks and crannies. The eggs hatch after 10 to 14 days.

The larvae are flattened and oval, 1 to 2 mm long and translucent brown in colour. Bedbugs are haematophagous insects, i.e. they feed exclusively on human blood.

How to detect the presence of bedbugs?

Bedbugs can be found with the naked eye for adult-sized bugs. If you are infested, there are several warning signs: blood stains on the sheets, excrement, empty shells or a sweet, unpleasant smell and, of course, the appearance of bedbug bites on your skin.

Bloodstains on the sheets: indeed, bedbugs feed on blood. Once gorged with blood, it’s not uncommon for bedbugs to be crushed while you sleep, leaving small traces of blood on our sheets.

Excrement: you can find their excrement that looks like small black dots. They can be found on walls, bed frames, mattress seams, sheets and pillows.

Empty shells: bedbugs moult as they develop. The moulted skin resembles small, empty, transparent shells. They can be found near places where bedbugs hide.

A sweet, unpleasant smell: the presence of an odour often described as a strong ammonia smell can also point to the presence of bedbugs.

Detecting bedbugs in the home
Photo of bedbug bite

How to recognise bedbug bites

Bedbug bites are similar to mosquito bites, they form small red marks or spots on the skin that can be itchy.

The bites are frequently aligned or grouped, and are located on certain parts of the body such as the arms, legs and back.

A person can be stung 50 to 90 times in a single night. By the time you start to get bitten, the infestation is usually already well advanced. The spots may itch for 3 to 10 days, depending on the skin.

To find out more, view how to recognise and treat bedbug bites.

How do you treat rashes caused by bedbug bites?

Bedbug bites are not generally dangerous to health, but some people can suffer allergic reactions.

If spots cause itching, apply a soothing lotion. Sereni-d has created the Anti-Bite Roll-On made from a 100% pure and natural organic essential oil synergy blend. Its soothing action immediately calms itching. Healing is accelerated thanks to its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Sereni-d Roll-On Bedbug Repellent can also be used for prevention, thanks to the repellent properties of its oils. Before and after bedbug bites, this Roll-on can be taken with you wherever you go.

Finally, an estimated 30% to 40% of people are allergic to bedbug bites. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to bedbug bites include itching, redness and swelling around the bitten area. In this case, ask your doctor for advice.

100% natural solution

Anti-Bite Roll-On

Sereni-d Roll-On Anti-Bite immediately relieves itching and repels bedbugs thanks to its essential oils with repellent properties.

ROLL-ON ANTI-BITE Treatment against bedbug bites - 5ml
  • Preventive and curative action
  • Immediate and long-lasting effectiveness
  • Antiseptic, soothing and regenerative properties
  • Alcohol- and preservative-free


How do you sleep with bedbugs?

What are the consequences of a bedbug infestation?

A bedbug infestation in the home can have an impact on sleep. In fact, the presence of bedbugs in the home can cause psychological problems, with sleep difficulties and anxiety at the thought of being bitten during the night. The presence of bedbugs in the home is still very much frowned upon, even though this infestation is by no means due to a lack of hygiene.

There is no risk of transmitting a serious disease, but bedbug infestation can have psychological consequences that are often underestimated with sleep disorders, anxiety, post-traumatic syndromes linked to disinfection, and even social isolation in some cases. The French government has set up a support scheme to deal with bedbugs.

Causes and prevention of bedbugs

Here’s what attracts bedbugs and how to avoid bringing them home.

Causes: what attracts bedbugs? Where do bedbugs come from?

Bedbugs are attracted by heat, odours, vibrations and the carbon dioxide released by human breathing. Bedbugs have reappeared all over the world in recent years. In fact, travel encourages the movement of bedbugs. When travelling, it’s possible to bring bedbugs home without realizing it. They hide inside suitcases or on our clothes and infest our homes. Be sure to check the sheets and bedding when you’re away from home to prevent the spread of bedbugs. These parasites can live without food for weeks. Other causes of propagation: buying second-hand furniture and objects, or second-hand clothes that may be infested. When moving house, you should also check your new home before moving in.

Where do bedbugs come from?

Preventive treatment

Shield Bedbug Repellent

Sereni-d Shield Bedbug Repellent is a natural repellent treatment. Used as a preventive solution, it repels bedbugs for long-lasting, durable protection.

  • Plant-based active ingredients and essential oil synergy blend
  • NO synthetic permethrin, NO DEET, NO endocrine disruptors, NO flammable propellants
  • Immediate and long-lasting effectiveness


Preventive solutions to avoid bringing bedbugs home

To avoid infestation in your home, here are a few preventive tips:

  • Do not put your suitcases on the floor or on the bed. Place them on a the luggage rack provided or in the bathroom, as bedbugs hate slippery surfaces such as tiles.
  • As a preventive measure, use a bedbug repellent sprayed on clothing, bags and luggage. At Sereni-d, we have developed the Shield Preventive treatment against bedbugs. Made with plant pyrethrum flower extracts and essential oils, this natural repellent spray repels bedbugs. Its scent disturbs the olfactory receptors of bedbugs. It guarantees high preventive efficacy with an activity period of up to 7 days.
  • You can also apply a body repellent to avoid bedbug bites, such as our Anti-Bedbug Spray. This body spray is a ready-to-use natural repellent that offers effective protection against bedbug bites. Anti-Bite Spray contains geraniol extract combined with a complex of essential and plant-based oils with repellent, moisturising and soothing properties.

Places frequently infested by bedbugs

Public places are frequently infested with bedbugs. They can be found in tourist establishments (hotels, Airbnb rooms, B&Bs, mountain refuges on GR footpaths, etc.), in places that welcome the public (dormitories, children’s day-care centres, sports halls, movie theaters, student housing, etc.).

Read our article on bedbugs in mountain refuges and how to prevent them.

Mountain refuges and bedbug infestations

Get rid of bedbugs, efficiently!

At the first sign of bedbugs, use our shock treatment SOS Bedbugs. Thanks to this plant-based insecticide spray composed of essential oils and pyrethrum flower, eliminate bedbugs at all stages of development: eggs, larvae and adults.

Ideal for immediate, safe, long-lasting protection!

SOS Bed bugs XXL

CHOC Insecticide Treatment, eliminates 100% of bed bugs

• Curative spray against bed bugs
• Eliminates 100% of all bed bugs (eggs, larvae, adults)
• Immediate, safe, long-lasting protection
• Over 50,000 satisfied Sereni-d® customers



Standard delivery free from 35 € of purchase
Plant-based active ingredients Plant-based active ingredients
Pleasant fragrance Pleasant fragrance
Does not stain Does not stain
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