D.E. & my success *so far*(6 posts)
So, tonight I finally find myself able to sit down and rather than research, write my own story. "Phew", it's been a rough month!
I'll apologize now for what will probably be a long, boring, and very detailed story, that could possibly be made into a Novel. (Ha!)
Friday September 9th, was a normal Friday night in our home. Daddy and our big boy(New Preschooler!) were watching movies on the couch, and our poor little guy (2yo) wasn't feeling well, so I let him rest in our bed and watch some 'toons'.
As usual, I went in to check on him and move him from our bed to his own, and to my surprise the first thing I notice is a little black spot on the bed, but wait, it wasn't a spot... it was CRAWLING. Toward my babys head nonetheless.
My first instinct was to grab a sock and pick that sucker up and smash him. But wait... I see smashed guts(blood) and the d*** thing starts crawling again. Next, I take a mechanical pencil the only thing in sight, and stab him through the body. (Just so you all know, that little f***er lived for HOURS as I researched and dreaded that moment we all don't want to have, where you realize that you just can't deny what it is!
For 2 days, I stripped each bed in our home numerous times a day, searching for a sign, anything. But to no avail... Mind you in those 2 days I may have slept a combined time of 45 minutes total. Sunday afternoon, my fiancee went fishing, completely disregarding my extreme anxiety with the whole situation. And off to search I went... Low and behold, at the middle of the top seam of the foot of our bed, I found a one inch area which I could clearly tell had fecal stains, one dead adult, and many living new hatchlings.
I instantly went into crazy mode! Called my fiancee and told him to get home NOW. I wanted that bed out of my house NOW! With the help of my father in law, they quickly removed the whole bed. Now here's where the story gets messed up. After getting the bed to the alley, they head in for plastic, duct tape, and spray paint to deter anyone from taking our problem home with them. But by the time (10mintues) they got out there, it was GONE. Although I feel responsible for this, I can't and wont let that drag me down, I still had problems of my own. And the way I feel is that anyone stupid enough to take a mattress off the street, well, I wont finish that one on the chances of sounding like an a**.
Again, another dumb moment. With it being a Sunday and no PCO's open. In a moment of weakness I went out and bought HOT SHOT Bed Bug and Flea spray and bombs(I know, mistake)... So I come home, and bomb our bedroom while home, air it out, vaccum, spray, and then prepared to leave the home for the night and bomb the rest of the house.
Monday morning, I return home and open windows to air out... After speaking to our landlord, whose husband manages apartments in our area, she suggested Diatomaceous Earth, and committed to bringing me some the next day. But, unwilling to wait an entire day for these blood sucking creatures to comtinue on, I went out and bought some myself along with a duster made for the garden.
(I know now, that wearing a respirator is necessary, however the first initial spray, I just put my shirt over my mouth... I know, MISTAKE!)
For an entire month now, we have been what seems like bite free, and bug sighting free. I am still very vigilant with laundry, cleaning meticulously, having company, visiting others, sending my stepson home to his mother, etc.
I'm not sure if I will ever feel free of this terrible experience. I am very much phobic about pests; bed bugs, roaches, lice, etc. Although, I must admit, bed bugs have been and always will be one of my greatest fears!!!
As for the details I'm sure that I missed, we do know where they came from. We made the mistake of trusting a friend and taking a used mattress from his home. I want to say that we caught this early, since the mattress was in our home only 10 days. But thoughts still linger in my mind about how "lucky" we were, or how "early" we caught it. We are not trained professionals, and could not afford them.
On the mental side of this, I wouldn't necessarily say that I will ever feel "sane" about this. There were many nights that I wished we had renters insurance and I just wanted to burn the place down and start over. Of course hubby tried to kill my dreams, but I "knew" in my not so sane mind that I could make it look "accidental" LOL
The worst part of this, was the mental anguish of knowing that they were biting my children and there was nothing I could do to make them stop biting them. Just treat, and hope and pray that the problem was well on it's way to being erradicated.
I guess at this point, I am hopeful that we have success. Still not to the point where I can say I know I've won... I hope to someday feel that way, though, I'm not sure I will.
Again, I have to apologize for the craziness, and unorganized post I've put together here, maybe someday my mind will be clear enough to make more sense of it.
Most of all, I want to thank ALL of you for your posting, it gives me hope that someday I will live a normal life again. Although, I still can't shake this itchy feeling!
"good night, sleep tight, and ... never bring bed bugs home!"
Hopefully you got it early enough so that the main infestation was on the bed and the DE caught the stragglers. I know how that panic mode is, as we spread them initially by going all Rambo with Rest Easy (organic contact killer) when we first found them, as well as not sleeping in the infested rooms for several nights. We killed a lot, but the survivors headed for the hills so it added to the ordeal to have to deal with them.
You may need additional treatment if the DE turns out not to be enough. I'm a big believer in it, but we combined that with chemical treatment for the "hot spot" room, mattress/box spring covers, and diligent vacuuming. We also disposed of some pieces of infested furniture. The couch has been an ongoing battle (combo of steam/Rest Easy/DE) because of hiding spots, but we have pets so don't want to use the chemicals.
You may want to order some passive monitors just to make sure the little buggers are not gone and that you doing have some DE-avoiding stragglers in hiding.
I'll have to check into the "rest easy" product.
This has been and continues to be quite the adventure... But I'm muddling through.
The stragglers is a huge concern for me, I worry daily that there's one freaking female just prancing around. My main concern though is that in throwing our bed away, we have now not slept in the room for over a month. The living room futon is now our bed, as even if we could afford one, I'm not ready to declare victory and bring ANYTHING new into the house.
Thanks for your tale of DE success. It's inspired me to go wage diatomaceous earth war on the remaining population holding out in my bedroom after 3 sprays over a month and a half.
I haven't seen or been bitten outside my bedroom for over a month now and the only bugs appear on my bed. However, they seem content to be living there and getting a regular snack every night. So tonight, I covered every surface and every crack in my bedroom, in a light dusting of DE. I also made a perimeter around my bedroom.
One advantage humans have over bedbugs is that we're intelligent beings and we know that they are predictable. They'll go to where the host is. Given that I'm the only one living here, they will follow me where I sleep... and they'll have to cross the DE to get to me.
I look forward to continuing to hear your success story as you pass the one week mark, then 2 weeks, then a month then two and can relax that you've won!
I am just starting the fight. After coming home and finding out we have BB I want to try DE.
Where do you purchase it and what is the most effective way to apply DE and in what quantity?
Noone, not sure if you will be checking back with this post, but if so hopefully by now you've found some DE and started the war against them.
I purchased my DE at Menards here in town. It was a 4.4lb bag for around $10.
I do know that Lowe's carries this product as well, you would just need to call ahead and make sure it is in stock, especially this time of year!
As for spreading it... my first application, I didn't have anything to spread it with so I sprinkled it with a cup, after the fiasco and HUGE mess I made, I went back out and found a powder 'sprayer' works kinda like a syringe, you fill the container with powder, pull the lever back and push forward and it "puffs' out sort of. It is made for spreading powders in gardens. Hope that helps.
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