Getting rid of bed bugs, the quick, easy & cheap way!(3 posts)
First off, I've had bed bugs not once, not twice, but three times. Thanks to new room mates and my landlord constantly bringing them over, I'm no stranger.
But I know two ways where you will spend absolutely no more then $6, and it takes no more then a half hour.
WalMart has a plastic matress cover for $6, make sure you get one that zips COMPLETELY closed, otherwise they'll just come right through. All you have to do is vacuum the bed, and put the cover on, viola! Make sure after you vacuum you empty it out immediately, or they'll come right back.
Vacuum any dark spots or known bug areas.
Go through and pick out every extra bug you see (make sure you look real close for babies) I just put on gloves and use my fingers, I just filled a cup up with some water and dropped them in there, they drown almost instantly.
Go through and spray every inch in lysol.
I did some tests tonight on my fast little friends, and when sprayed directly with lysol, they stick their "butt" up in the air and just ... die.
I just used the lysol disinfectant spray and made sure I got every single inch, I wasn't shy about it either.
Windex also works great when sprayed directly on live bugs.
If anyone who is new to the boards comes across this message, I just want them to be aware of a few things before relying on the methods listed here as a reliable form of bed bug control.
There are many inexpensive substances that will kill bed bugs on contact. One of the cheapest is 91% isopropyl alcohol.
There are also many mechanical means of removing bugs like vacuuming them up and them drowning (or smashing if you prefer that method) them.
However, used alone, neither of these is necessarily the most effective long term strategy for dealing with bed bugs.
There is no substance currently on the market that kills all bed bug eggs. So while the methods described above can kill all the live bugs, if you're persistent enough and lucky to vacuum them all up, you won't make a dent in the eggs, and when they hatch, you'll need to meticulously repeat these procedures.
It's also important to know that relying on any mattress and box spring encasements (and if you're using encasements in an active infestation, you'll need to encase both the mattress and the box spring, not just one or the other) means completely sealing the both of them up for a minimum of 18 months.
Many PCOs do use encasements as part of an overall strategy. (I have one on my mattress to make it easier to inspect, but I didn't use it as part of treatment.)
There are two ways that the cheaper ones described in the post above can be vulnerable to failure: the zipper and the quality of the encasement itself.
Duct taping the entire length of the zipper to make sure that smaller stages of bugs cannot crawl out can solve the zipper problem, as long as the duct tape remains intact.
However, the cheaper mattress encasements are very prone to tearing. (I experienced this myself as I had a cheap one on my futon in the living room.)
If even once in the 18 months it will take to starve the bed bugs, the encasement tears even a little-- if there any any live bugs still trapped inside the encasement and it opens--at the zipper, through a tear, or even through a small puncture from a piece of jewelry or a cat's claw, then you're right back to square one with a new infestation and the need to reseal the entire mattress and box spring and restart the clock at 18 months all over again.
I am not saying that no one should use the method that the original poster describes here.
I am saying that the method the original poster describes here has a very high chance of failing as a long term control strategy.
The method will absolutely take more than 30 minutes if you live a larger residence and/or have a lot of stuff. In fact, if you live in a fairly cluttered place, I'm not sure it would work at all. It would definitely take me more than half an hour just to vacuum my apartment thoroughly enough to suck up any possible live bugs, and I live in a fairly small one bedroom apartment. (I just have a lot of stuff crammed into it.)
If you're really broke, and you're okay with doing what the original poster describes over and over for months on end, it might eventually work. However, most people cannot tolerate that much work for that long while they are sleep deprived and stressed from the bugs. And the chances of it not working are very high since you're not dealing with eggs and risk reinfestation when the encasements fail.
We generally define success in the war against bed bugs as being bed bug free for a minimum of 60 days with no subsequent reinfestations. I think peoples' chances of doing that are much more likely if they hire a good PCO who knows bed bugs. I realize that that's not possible everywhere, but a lot of people who rent don't legally have to hire PCOs since their landlords are legally required to do so, so I strongly encourage even renters to check their local laws before they assume that they personally can't afford professional treatment since it may be the case that their landlords are required to treat.
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