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Do bedbugs clean themselves like other insects?

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  1. skrammi

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Nov 8 2008 1:24:30
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    You may think this a funny question, but most insects spend a lot of time cleaning themselves.
    I have not seen anything in the professional literature addressing this aspect of the life cycle of bed bugs.
    Most insect infestation in your house(ants, etc) can be resolved by using Borax as a powder application and as cleaning agent. As the insect moves around, it pick up Borax residue.
    When it cleans itself, it ingests this residue and consequently dies by dehydration.
    Any thought?

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Nov 8 2008 2:35:03
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    I do not think they clean themselves, dirty buggers. Not like roaches do.

    Diatomaceous Earth (food grade, freshwater) works as a mechanical killer on bed bugs. We have a FAQ on DE here. Make sure if you do go this route, you check with your PCO (if you have one), follow label instructions, buy the right kind of DE, and exercise care in application.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  3. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Nov 8 2008 5:48:59
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    Bed bugs are unable to ingest Borax or boric acid.

  4. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Nov 8 2008 18:31:49
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    Hi skrammi,

    As bed bugs are blood feeders they have piercing mouth parts rather than biting mouth parts. As such they would not consume any powder products left down for them in the same way that roaches or other insects might.

    This strategy will simple not work with bed bugs. They are a lot more conplex than that to control.

    David

  5. thebedbugresource

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Nov 8 2008 22:50:35
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    Actually boric acid will kill bed bugs.

    It can be absorbed through the exoskeleton and spiracles.

    The trouble with non-ingested boric acid is that it takes a VERY long time to work. For this reason it is not a practical method of controlling bed bugs.

    Sincerely,

    Sean
    Entomologist/Pest Professional
    http://www.thebedbugresource.com

  6. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Nov 9 2008 1:28:45
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    Sean,

    Thanks for the clarification.

    Is boric acid working systemically or mechanically when it is absorbed directly though the body?

    Would adding Borax to a cold water wash make it more effective for killing for bed bugs? Would bed bugs be affected by the dissolved boric acid in the wash water?

  7. thebedbugresource

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Nov 9 2008 13:38:21
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    Hello Doug,

    Boric acid's mode of action is not clearly understood. We know that it affects water balance, and it is suspected of interfering with digestion and perhaps respiration.

    For insects that ingest (eat) the boric acid it appears as though the boric acid eats away at the cellular lining of the gut (i.e. cockroaches) and iterferes with digestion (results in starvation). This approach of course does not work for bed bugs as they cannot ingest boric acid.

    Boric acid also possesses the ability to absorb oils and can act as a mild abrasive. This is very similar to amorphous silica gel (commonly found in DE). However, DE is much more effective on bed bugs than boric acid as it is a stronger abrasive and has stronger absorptive properties.

    There is some evidence that boric acid inhaled via spiracles can inhibit an insect's ability to absorb oxygen.

    Ingestion of boric acid kills insects quicker (days) than as a passive mechanical agent (weeks).

    So the long and short is that it can act both systemically and mechanically.

    There are not near enough studies on the efficacy of boric acid on bed bugs likely due to the fact that they cannot ingest it.

    Not a bad article here: http://www.beyondpesticides.org/pesticides/factsheets/Boric%20Acid.pdf

    Sincerely,

    Sean
    Entomologist/Pest Professional
    http://www.thebedbugresource.com

  8. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Nov 9 2008 14:14:39
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    Thanks Sean

  9. DLIH

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Oct 26 2010 12:28:20
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    This is very interesting to me. We've got some people saying Borax works (over a long time), some saying it doesnt...

    I recently had a dog come in and check my place out - no hits. However, this morning I wake up with little itchy bumps on my elbow, some red spots on my arm, bump on my back thighs. (More than I've ever had!!)

    I'm so sick and tired of this (checked cat for fleas - no fleas) etc. Looked up all other mites online.. I so I've been researching online and found this link someone posted about Borax 20 Mule Team..

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20101012103951AAKf5XN

    I dont even know what I have yet, could even be something with me (hives/stress)...

    But do any of you use Borax/Salt solution for their carpets or placing it in places?

    And if so, has it seemed to help? (with cleaning too, anyhow?)

    Is it safe for pets?

    Thank you in advance for anyone who feels lead to reply on this. : )


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