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99% isopropyl alcohol really does work on bed bugs!!

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  1. bedbugfighterstartingnow

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jun 22 2014 4:30:18
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    I've just recently got a bed bug problem and haven't been able to sleep the past couple of days after seeing a live bed bug for the first time with my own eyes.

    I just purchased 99% isopropyl alcohol yesterday afternoon (the drugstore only carried 70% and 99%, no 91% for some reason) so I put some in a little spray bottle once I got home and got some tissues for tonight.

    It was greatly emphasized that I remain in my bed as bait to prevent spreading, but I just couldn't stand the thought of having these creepy ass bed bugs on me so I ended up pulling an all nighter yet again, but tonight I was prepared for the fight with my little bottle of 99% isopropyl alcohol in one hand and tissues in the other hand.

    Yesterday night and the night before, I've been having to catch them with just tissues, and I had to make sure that I got my timing correct so they don't escape. It was really stressful because I was worried they were going to escape before I can catch them. Tonight was completely different! They've been so easy to catch with this alcohol stuff!!

    All I had to do is give the bed bug a quick 3 squirts (sometimes 2 squirts did the job, and sometimes they'll still move a bit after being sprayed) but generally 3 squirts will guarantee that they die. I then waited for 10 seconds or so (I think they shrivel up a bit too lol), so I just picked them up once they stop moving with tissue paper and the job's done!

    I know I look totally ridiculous right now but I have gained confidence with this alcohol stuff and just wanted to let other people know that this stuff actually works!!
    I've confirmed that the alcohol works both on nymphs AND adults, and generally 3 quick sprays were all I've needed to kill them off. =D Just be careful to not inhale this stuff and make sure you're not inhaling when spraying (try to time your breathing with the spritzing)

  2. NY Bug Man

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jun 22 2014 6:04:35
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    Glad it's working for you. Everyone please realize no matter how natural, or easy to purchase that once your exterminating insects it basically becomes a pesticide. Overuse of anything is bad. Rubbing alcohol can really damage the lining of your lungs so if your doing this at home open all the windows and wear a respirator. ALSO please don't forget how flammable this is. I would say do this during the day and cut off all electricity to your place before doing so. I have seen too many accidents with this stuff

  3. No More Bites

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jun 22 2014 11:50:29
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    NY Bug Man - 5 hours ago  » 
    Glad it's working for you. Everyone please realize no matter how natural, or easy to purchase that once your exterminating insects it basically becomes a pesticide. Overuse of anything is bad. Rubbing alcohol can really damage the lining of your lungs so if your doing this at home open all the windows and wear a respirator. ALSO please don't forget how flammable this is. I would say do this during the day and cut off all electricity to your place before doing so. I have seen too many accidents with this stuff

    Seriously? You expect people to wear a respirator , open all windows AND turn of all electricity before squirting a bug? Might as well tell them to wear a hazmat suit also.
    Just use common sense. Do not inhale the spray. Do not smoke while spraying. Do not spray near an open flame. Do not spray on to a hot object. Do not spray around a gas stove.

  4. No More Bites

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jun 22 2014 11:52:51
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    70% alcohol works just fine also. I even dilute it a bit with water. Kills them bed bugs dead.

  5. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jun 22 2014 14:01:58
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    No more bites, every year, we see stories of people who burned down their homes after treating for bed bugs with rubbing alcohol. Many of these involve smokers, but lighting a candle or even a spark from an electrical appliance can start such a fire. NY Bug Man is right to suggest caution.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  6. No More Bites

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jun 22 2014 15:37:25
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    Nobugsonme - 1 hour ago  » 
    No more bites, every year, we see stories of people who burned down their homes after treating for bed bugs with rubbing alcohol. Many of these involve smokers, but lighting a candle or even a spark from an electrical appliance can start such a fire. NY Bug Man is right to suggest caution.

    A caution is what I suggested. It is in my post.
    His post is way overboard. Might scare someone into thinking Isopropyl Alcohol is extremely dangerous. So dangerous it should not even be in the home.
    So far I am not finding any articles on Isopropyl alcohol house fires. Can you provide them for me?

  7. Koebner

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jun 22 2014 15:49:56
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    Given that isopropyl alcohol is only a contact killer, ie only kills the bug you can see & on which you score a direct hit, here's a great money-saving tip that's just as effective;

    Hit 'em with the bottle.

  8. Daylight

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jun 22 2014 16:58:07
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    Koebner wrote,

    Given that isopropyl alcohol is only a contact killer, ie only kills the bug you can see & on which you score a direct hit, here's a great money-saving tip that's just as effective;
    Hit 'em with the bottle.

    Love it!!

  9. ClutterFree

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jun 22 2014 17:32:42
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    Koebner - 1 hour ago  » 
    Given that isopropyl alcohol is only a contact killer, ie only kills the bug you can see & on which you score a direct hit, here's a great money-saving tip that's just as effective;

    Hit 'em with the bottle.

    While this is highly, highly cathartic -- and as someone who killed her first caught-BB with a hammer, trust me I know -- it doesn't work so well if you want to save a specimen to share with the class or your PCO

  10. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jun 22 2014 17:35:16
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    ClutterFree - 2 minutes ago  » 

    Koebner - 1 hour ago  » 
    Given that isopropyl alcohol is only a contact killer, ie only kills the bug you can see & on which you score a direct hit, here's a great money-saving tip that's just as effective;

    Hit 'em with the bottle.

    While this is highly, highly cathartic -- and as someone who killed her first caught-BB with a hammer, trust me I know -- it doesn't work so well if you want to save a specimen to share with the class or your PCO

    Clutterfree, hope all is well with you!

    They
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  11. ClutterFree

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jun 22 2014 18:03:16
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    Hihi, TAOT. Uh...I have an update to my Update! thread which tells the tale in detail.

  12. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jun 22 2014 19:51:51
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    No More Bites - 4 hours ago  » 

    Nobugsonme - 1 hour ago  » 
    No more bites, every year, we see stories of people who burned down their homes after treating for bed bugs with rubbing alcohol. Many of these involve smokers, but lighting a candle or even a spark from an electrical appliance can start such a fire. NY Bug Man is right to suggest caution.

    A caution is what I suggested. It is in my post.
    His post is way overboard. Might scare someone into thinking Isopropyl Alcohol is extremely dangerous. So dangerous it should not even be in the home.
    So far I am not finding any articles on Isopropyl alcohol house fires. Can you provide them for me?

    To be honest, I am not sure people should use a respirator or cut off their electricity, but I am pretty sure that using rubbing alcohol as a primary mode of treatment is a bad idea because it's just a contact killer as Koebner notes. It's not very effective. The flammability and fumes are not great outcomes either.

    If people must DIY, and we're not just talking about spraying the odd bug, they should probably use a more effective contact killer (dry vapor steam has a slightly longer reach than an alcohol spray, without the flammability and fumes) and should probably also use dusts like DE and maybe residual insecticides (which one of our experts such as P Bello might advise you on).

    As for the flammability issue, some articles about fires caused by treatment with isopropyl alcohol are linked from this recent Bedbugger post.

  13. NY Bug Man

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jun 22 2014 19:56:15
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    @Nomorebites, i am not sure if you've ever introduced your self. If you have, sorry i didn't see the post. Are you a pro? Someone who used to have bed bugs?

    I don't think its being excessive. I think when day in, day out you've seen people use blow torches, sleep in latex body suits, sleep outside in the cold -- at wits end with being bit by bed bugs then you understand the stressful mind frame that some could be under when dealing with these problems. If you've had the problem i am sure you can relate. Sometimes these do it yourselfers don't use caution. What some people (like yourself and i) might consider common sense, others don't have. When some are stressed they don't think.

    Have you ever stood in a room and emptied a whole bottle of rubbing alcohol onto a frame with a spray bottle? It can stink quite a bit and make you cough. I don't think theres anything wrong with telling people to be overly cautious with a pesticide. You do realize its a pesticide?

    Better be safe than sorry. Overly cautious is better then under preared. So what, its a respirator and the windows are open.

    edit: I looked at your history, and saw you are an ex-infestee and hope you no longer have a problem!

  14. NY Bug Man

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jun 22 2014 19:59:07
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    @Nomore bites when you said "Seriously? You expect people to wear a respirator , open all windows AND turn of all electricity before squirting a bug? "

    I think this is our misunderstanding. If you have seen some of the levels that these infestations can get, its more than just squirting a bug. Some people have bad infestations which causes them to spray their mattress, box spring and all furniture with rubbing alcohol out of fear.

  15. No More Bites

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jun 22 2014 20:06:05
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    I guess you missed the part where I said use common sense.

  16. No More Bites

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    Sun Jun 22 2014 20:31:40
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    Oh yea, I still have bed bugs. I deal with them everyday.
    I was at my wits end at one point.

    My post about my infestation
    At Times I use steam and other times use a spray bottle with 70% Isopropyl alchohol and water mix.
    I vacuum and wash clothes and sheets all the time. I have cut their numbers drastically.
    I also use mosquito repellent on myself. Keeps the damn things off me at night so I can sleep.
    It's an on going battle.

    Now onto the isopropyl alcohol. It will not burst into flames all by itself. There needs to be a combustion source. If you smoke a cigarette and spray the alcohol you risk starting a fire.

    More about isopropyl alcohol. It is a great cleaner and disinfectant. people use it all the time for cleaning. In fact I did that today around the house.
    I was not in any kind distress as far as my breathing goes. I also do not smoke. I did not turn of my electricity. I even used the alcohol on the light switches.
    No problems at all.

    I followed those links and read the stories.
    Those people are idiots. Smoking while spraying.
    But those are very, very isolated incidents.

  17. NY Bug Man

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jun 22 2014 20:31:44
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    I may have @nomorebites. I just come on here to put in my 2 cents, as you do too. This forum is really such a great eclectic mix of seasoned pros, bed bug sufferers, paranoid people, worried people, people (like yourself) who used to have bugs. With all of that jumbled into one I don't think we'll all ever see eye to eye, but I think we all mean well and are here for the same reason. To learn from others and give our experienced opinions.

    I like people to be safe! I drive a Volvo cause it's supposed to have a good crash rating and change my smoke detector batteries more often then I should. Not sure either of those things will ever save my life, but i do what I can.

    I think you get my point

  18. theyareoutthere

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    Sun Jun 22 2014 20:50:18
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    NY Bug Man - 17 minutes ago  » 
    I may have @nomorebites. I just come on here to put in my 2 cents, as you do too. This forum is really such a great eclectic mix of seasoned pros, bed bug sufferers, paranoid people, worried people, people (like yourself) who used to have bugs. With all of that jumbled into one I don't think we'll all ever see eye to eye, but I think we all mean well and are here for the same reason. To learn from others and give our experienced opinions.
    I like people to be safe! I drive a Volvo cause it's supposed to have a good crash rating and change my smoke detector batteries more often then I should. Not sure either of those things will ever save my life, but i do what I can.
    I think you get my point

    I get your point. Also, sleep deprived people may not have common sense. And, you are a professional, so I'll try to be polite to you

  19. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Jun 23 2014 13:48:03
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    No More Bites,
    It is possible for non-smokers to have a fire start (e.g. with a spark).

    In any case, in your situation, the larger point would seem to be: is your treatment method effective? You've told us you've been fighting bed bugs for a while, using isopropyl alcohol and steam. Maybe upping your treatment game will help speed things along for you.

    Steam is a more effective contact killer than alcohol because it has a longer reach (and bonus: it avoids the whole fumes/flammability issue). Dry vapor steam (see FAQ on killing bed bugs with steam) is recommended so you don't cause mold/mildew issues.

    However, it is a lot harder to fight bed bugs with just a contact killer. You might want to look into using a dust like DE and a residual pesticide, in order to speed things up. Be sure and use DE safely (our FAQ is a good place to start), note that most people new to this over or misapply DE. Some pros here like P Bello seem willing to give suggestions re: residual pesticides.

    These approaches don't have to be very expensive but if they help eliminate the problem, may save you many months of bed bugs.

  20. iwantosleepinpeace

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Dec 8 2014 7:00:52
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    this may be a very stupid question. but is it still dangerous after it dried out? like after a day or 2.
    i tried steaming once and got annoyed by the fact that that night i got a lot of bites. so i want to try this.

  21. Decahedron

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Jan 14 2015 7:30:51
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    alcohol can kill a bed bug - but if you have 1 you have 500 - you cant fill your room with alcohol

  22. cilecto

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    iwantosleepinpeace - 1 month ago  » 
    this may be a very stupid question. but is it still dangerous after it dried out? like after a day or 2.
    i tried steaming once and got annoyed by the fact that that night i got a lot of bites. so i want to try this.

    It's not dangerous once dry, but at that point, it's also no longer effective. Alcohol (also detergent and other "contact" killers) will kill only the bugs (and not the eggs) that you hit directly with your spray.

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night...
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)
  23. windowsill814@gmail.com

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    As far as I have been able to tell the alcohol trick does the trick. Woke up itching abnormality this morning to find bed bugs scurrying for cover. Needless to say I freaked out. Threw all of my pillow cases sheets and blankets immediately into a garbage bag for quarantine and along with my pillows threw it all outside. Found 2 small nests in the 2 head corners of my new sheets that I recently got. Live in a not so greatly sealed apartment where another apartment had been infested come to find out today. After removal and quarantine of bedding I broke out the Lysol multisurface cleaner and went to town on every one on the walls I saw and around. The Lysol was very very useful. Went and bought 1 1/2 gallons of 70 and 80% isopropyl and sprayed every last bit except for a small amount for follow up on my mattress box spring walls and floor around my bed. Soaked everything. There should not have been a single living thing anywhere near my bed besides me when I got done. Took over four hours for my bed and pillows to dry. Did them also. I washed all bedding related twice. First wash was with hot water and literally an entire 32 oz bottle of Lysol multi purpose and second with detergent. Also dried twice on high for about 45 mins each. I pulled the bed away from the wall and put small Pyrex containers filled with olive oil on the bottoms of my bed frame legs so it makes it impossible for the bugs to get back on my bed. They don't climb well and definitely can't swim through Olive oil. Bed is isolated completely. I also found online that lavender works as a natural repellent for them and bed bugs don't like it at all. Not sure if there is truth to that but since I had lavender essential oils for my oil warmer anyway I mixed some with water and have that in a spray bottle that I have sprayed on the bedding mattress pillows walls floor and even up to the ceiling. Lavender is also great for helping with sleep so if it truly helps to repel bed bugs it's definitely good all around. Some may see my actions as over reactions but I beg to differ. Everything I have done so far has helped one person or another or many so implementing them all should do the trick. Wish me luck lol at least until the exterminators get here from their lovely weekend off. Hope something of my experience can be helpful

  24. Banes

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    I am considering using 91 proof alcohol to kill the bed bugs on my cat? I know she has them, because I see them when I flee comb her. I used the alcohol to kill the bed bugs in her brush and comb.
    Odd thing though, its seems like all of them have left her for ME! Ain't it great to be special LOL!
    Alcohol on her skin should not hurt her right? I just want to care for her.
    Banes

  25. BuggedOutInLV

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    Banes... Please,please, please do not use alcohol on your cat! I am a retired veterinary technician and I can tell you this is a VERY bad idea! First of all bed bugs do not live on animals such as cats or dogs, they are bite victims just like us. Yes ,you may find the occasional bug when you brush your cat but this is because they are hitching a tide on them just like they do us when they are on our clothes.Regular brushing and bathing your kitty is the best thing you can do,especially before kitty is allowed on the bed or other surfaces you are trying to prevent kitty from spreading bugs to.

    Secondly, alcohol has a very strong toxic odor for animals, their sense of smell is much stronger than ours so just the smell alone would be torture for kitty! Not to mention the harm it would most likely to to her repiratory system, cats are prone to respiratory sensitivity as it is,alcohol could cause serious respiratory distress and may even be fatal if she inhales to much of the fumes!

    Third, alcohol is absolutely horrible for skin and fur! It is extremely drying and could cause serious skin conditions! Most people don't realize that cats actually have very thin, delicate skin and are very sensitive to products and chemicals that they come in contact with.

    I would strongly recommend speaking with your veterinarian before using anything on your fur baby! Again, please do not use alcohol on kitty cat!

    And to the op,I hope you are able to find a more permanent solution to your bb problem, sending exterminating thoughts to you!

  26. Banes

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    Well looks like a bought a cat muzzle for nothing. But okay, I will not use the alcohol on my cat. Besides I was worried it would hurt her many bite scabs. That seem to be finally healing. And oddly enough she seems to be overcoming them, while my bites are getting worse!

    I just spent over $200 on stuff to kill those little pests! But it will not be here until July the 8th. I intend to clean, bomb, spray, dust, and burn them in to the bed bug after- life. And then do it again every two weeks for a month and again in 90 days, again in 12 months and again in 90 months! I hate itching all the time!

    I am even going to take all my clothes to a commercial dryer and cook them for over 90+ minutes.
    2 weeks ago I thought they were a myth. Now all I do is research ways to kill them!
    Banes

  27. Banes

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    Fri Jul 3 2015 18:32:44
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    "As far as I have been able to tell the alcohol trick does the trick" That's what I will do with all the alcohol I bought to soak my cat in. Spray the whole house with it! Thanks for the idea!
    Banes

  28. BuggedOutInLV

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    Banes- The cat muzzle may be used useful when trying to bathe kitty I also forgot to mention that cats groom themselves by licking so kitty would actually be ingesting the alcohol... Another reason not to use it on her...

    You can use a little hydrogen peroxide on a cotton ball for her scabs,this will help with drying out and healing them as well as preventing infection... You can also use an antibiotic cream such as neosporin... You can do this on your bites as well...

    Alcohol does work but like others have said, please be careful!

    Good luck!

  29. afraid112

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    Just to be clear, once alcohol has dried it is no longer dangerous as a fire risk? I'm just wanting to wipe some stuff down, but I burn candles, so if there's a long-term risk it's a bad idea.

  30. Banes

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    Thank you! BuggedOutInLV

  31. Winston O. Buggy

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    The warnings are in keeping with some of the overkill precautions on a number of pesticide labels, which include things like unplugging refrigerators for fear of ignition. Alcohol used to be recommended by a number of Health departments till the downside like flammability and respiratory issues arose and now they responsibly no longer make that recommendation. Unfortunately there is no shortage of people who do foolish things.

  32. Banes

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    I intend to be one of those foolish people. My research tells me that foggers are only 50 percent effective. So I am going to use twice the regular amount and 3 times the amount in my bedroom.

    I even bought a hazmat suit and an Israeli gas mask so I can come in the house and spray manually, while the foggers are still working. And then I am going to dust the buggers. When I am done the atmosphere in my home will pure death for bed bugs!

    After that I am sealing up my pillows and mattress's in bed bug proof covers, then setting bed bug traps.
    BTW. Utube has a clever video on how to make bed bug traps with yeast, water, plastic bowl and paper towels. I recommend seeing it. Cheap and easy to make.
    Respectfully
    Banes

  33. Winston O. Buggy

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    While you will not significantly increase the overall mortality of protected/peripheral bed bugs by increasing the recommended dose by 2x and 3x you will increase exposed pesticide residual for non target organisms such as humans and pets. But you seem to have your course of action already chosen and proudly so it seems. As long as no other persons, plants or pets are involved and you don't mind spreading bed bugs to others or at that level of concentration endangering first responders if you succeed in remodel by rapid expansion, ..........
    Can't wait for the headline

  34. Nobugsonme

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    Banes - 9 hours ago  » 
    I intend to be one of those foolish people. My research tells me that foggers are only 50 percent effective. So I am going to use twice the regular amount and 3 times the amount in my bedroom.

    Banes,

    Foggers are ineffective not due to the amount of product contained in them, but due to their delivery methods. Doubling up won't work better and will create a hazardous situation. Please follow all label instructions when using pesticides. Winston is an expert on pesticides.

    Also, your post is considered "hijacking the thread". It's not on the same topic. Please read what the forum rules say about this: http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/forum-rules-please-read

    Thanks.

  35. Banes

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    My apologies, I meant no disrespect.
    Banes

  36. Nobugsonme

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    No problem, Banes!

  37. menudoboy

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    bedbugfighterstartingnow - 2 years ago  » 
    so I ended up pulling an all nighter yet again, but tonight I was prepared for the fight with my little bottle of 99% isopropyl alcohol in one hand and tissues in the other hand.

    Next time use clear packaging tape to catch them.

    Tear off a piece, stick it down toward the bug to catch it with the sticky side. Once the bed bug is stuck to the tape then fold it to sandwich the bug inside.

    Here comes the gross part....

    With the bug lock-sealed inside the tape, you can now smush it to see if any or how much blood spurts out.

    Note that the blood will not escape thru the package tape so no worries.

    I can't tell you how very few I killed that had absolutely no blood. Even the little teeny tiny ones had my blood!

    Doesn't really solve any problems other than letting you know what's been feeding upon you while you were asleep. You'll be shocked if you have a lot of bed bugs as we did.

  38. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Sun Sep 4 2016 23:53:47
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    menudoboy - 17 hours ago  » 

    With the bug lock-sealed inside the tape, you can now smush it to see if any or how much blood spurts out.
    ....
    Doesn't really solve any problems other than letting you know what's been feeding upon you while you were asleep.

    It also doesn't actually tell you bed bugs were what was feeding on you. There are other insects which have red blood inside if you squash them. Getting an ID is best.

    Also, as I wrote to another poster above,


    Also, your post is considered "hijacking the thread" . It's not on the same topic. Please read what the forum rules say about this: http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/forum-rules-please-read

    This thread is also several years old which is another reason you may want to start a new one instead, next time.

  39. menudoboy

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Tue Sep 6 2016 1:10:16
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    This thread is also several years old which is another reason you may want to start a new one instead, next time.

    That's because they are being found on the internet, not by coming to this board. The other poster probably found the thread as I found mine by searching our BB problem thru Google not knowing when they were posted and then saw we needed to sign up in order to Reply.

    I'm sure this board gets a lot of that.

  40. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Wed Sep 7 2016 1:47:49
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    menudoboy - 1 day ago  » 

    This thread is also several years old which is another reason you may want to start a new one instead, next time.

    That's because they are being found on the internet, not by coming to this board. The other poster probably found the thread as I found mine by searching our BB problem thru Google not knowing when they were posted and then saw we needed to sign up in order to Reply.
    I'm sure this board gets a lot of that.

    Yes-- I am always glad when people find us via the Internet. You're welcome to participate in the forums.

    That said, do consider the value of responding to a post from several years ago. The people you're responding to (who posted earlier) are most likely not reading now.


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