How do I save my Scandinavian style mattress ?(9 posts)
let me first intoduce myself. I am determined when it comes to these types of things. I live in a 360 sq. foot apartment that was covered and crawling with cockroaches when I first arrived. And as of now my neighbors have so many they are crawling in piles under thier mattresses even (I've seen). I now have yet to see more than one tiny roach more often than in a 2-3 month period. Just by common sense I caulked, cleaned, rebuilt (pooped on and full of gaps) kitchen cabinets. I also removed all the carpet and painted (partly re-painted) the wood floor. I had help from family as my health isn't the best and they were able to help at the time. I also taped over the light sockets and around the front door.
Now I have bed bugs for maybe 2-3 weeks or less. My weaknesses are.... some things are financial, others are severe allergies (especially to the smell of things).
I have been checking all my caulked areas to be sure they're tight. I have been cleaning and de-cluttering. I smell the bugs in three pieces of furniture. 2 I want to replace, they are hollow. One is a computer desk of pressed wood. the other a pine armoire I will miss very much. I collect linens and French or Italian (and sometimes Geman) interior design magazines. I want to save these things (even if I have to store them 18 months in the case of the magazines)
I think (not 100% sure) I got the problem visiting a neighbor and setting my knapsack on thier second hand sofa.
The ONE piece of furniture I want to save is my Scandanavian style mattress. It is a wood and slat frame with stapled on steel coils covered in protective cloth and then foam. I got it from IKEA when they were $299.00 for queen size. The only replacement I'm aware of now is Hästens and they are $10,000. I have SEVERE dust mite allergies - and the style of this mattress is that I can change the foam as often as needed (I just use egg crate foam mattress pads) and then wrap the matress top and bottom in fitted sheets. Now I can smell them inside (but they are too small to see yet). I want to take it apart and scrub it with dishsoap and then caulk and maybe whitewash and/or clear seal it. I want to buy a steamer (can anyone recommend one?)I have a heat gun and staple gun. I need also to know how to treat the coils. Then I plan to encase it after I have finished. But I want/need to get them ALL in the mattress because of my allergy to the smell. Then I want to cover it only to protect it in the future.
Including than the mattress, ANY tips would be appreciated.
Thank you so sincerely,
p.s. my only vacuum is a shop vac with left over insertable parts that fit into it from a 'real' vacuum, the kind that is only a hose attachment. Can I use it safely or no? Thanks again.
p.p.s. While fixing the bed I plan to sleep on a folding camping cot made of aluminum and tough green cloth. How shound I treat it after?
If you can smell them you could make a fortune - I paid a special dog to try to do that. Bedbugs are good hiders but have you seen any evidence at all on your mattress? Blood spots or fecal spots? I have little more than a few spots, one bug, a few casings and several bites so I know the search for evidence can be tough, I'm not trying to impy you don't have them only that a thorough search for visual evidence can help you figure out exactly where they are an target your treatments properly.
The thing is if your neighbours have them in the building and don't get treated it may be difficult to successfully treat your place, even with all the caulking you've done to isolate your apartment vents and things are connected. When multiple units are infested it seems necessary to have a coordinated effort, which may be difficult if they have not taken the same pains to rid themselves of cockroaches.
Steaming the bedparts is a good idea. There is a lot of info about chosing a steamer here: http://bedbugger.com/faqs/pestcontrol/faq-killing-bed-bugs-with-steam/ I have a Reliable and it is pretty good although a little wet for my liking and supposedly it is "dry steam". Vapamores are more affordable and are supposed to be good. The info there will tell you what to look for.
Instead of cleaning with dishsoap I would try Murphy's Oil, it's rumoured to be a contact killer.
You can use the steamer to clean the camping cot, just read up on the suggestions for which attachment to use and how long to use it for.
I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but there are experts and PCOs on here you'll find a lot of topics already covered and the good ideas become clearer as they are repeated and verified.
If the cot is BB free, read up on isolation to prevent any invasions.
I really wanted to say thank you for the advice. I am going to get a steamer and I will try Murphy's oil soap. I have been using Ajax with Grapefruit. As far as my smelling them...how I could make a lot of money - I only know how to explain that I am weird in terms of what I can smell I also cleaned up a mold infection and the way I found it also was smelling, literally stud by stud behind the wall. This was also possible because the building isn't drywall as mold eats cellulose - most drywall is paper backed (except fiber glass backed drywall - DensArmor) and paper of course is made of wood/ i.e. cellulose. I am so tired of all these cleanups through the years but I love my place.
I do believe you that if my neighbors don't take care of this issue it could end up being not possible to fix. And yes, they actually have roaches scatterring throughout if you lift thier mattress.
I also believe that it was removal of the food source that contributed greatly to my success with roaches. I literally stopped cooking what they like. That is meat, grease, peanut butter I throw away/ clean up/ instantly dispose. If I were to leave anything within the sink it wouldn't work, they come in through the drain. I even saw bleached roaches, yes, white-ish when I had bleach in my drain but peanut butter on some knives in the sink.
As far as vents, they are shut off/ taped/ caulked/ covered. even for heat.
But how will I make my blood go away (?) I can't. In the case where I am the food source I am afraid.
The steamer I was thinking to get is by Wagner. It isn't as highly praised on this site but I hope it will work. If anyone knows about it I am very grateful to learn.
here is a link - and I'll share if it works.
other questions I have;
- I really wish to know how to make or buy a carbon dioxide trap. I saw the video but I can't remember seeing where to buy it. And dry ice each day could be hard to do but I would try that also.
-would boiling laundry be good enough if I don't have a dryer?
-If my apartment is caulked and sealed properly, as well as the gas is turned off, would a bug bomb be effective and also safe? Does anyone know? I don't want to drive them more into the neighbors, which is the reason against it. But in the case of this place being close to a 'trap', is it safe? I only ask because I am getting sicker from the smell as this goes on. And the smaller bugs (which I read aren't killed by this method) are not as bad of a smell. If it seems all I can do is move, maybe so. But I hope to work at this first.
Thank you again so much,
It's been two months, what evidence have you seen of increased activity?
Washing at 120F will kill all stages, but without a dryer, you're opening yourself up to a big hassle and you're exposing your stuff while it dries.
CO2 traps called "beacons" are now on sale from US Bedbugs, which is a big site advertiser. Note that traps are for detection, not eradication and that they are compromised by an occupied space (you are more attractive than the trap).
Caulking is good. The word on foggers is not just that they might cause spread to neighbors, but that they might drive bugs deeper into your own stuff (like your couch, table, bookcase, whetever). There are various other dusts, powders and thermal techniques available.
Please read up on the Resources page (like Doggett's practice guide or the U of MN guide) to get a better understanding of the full spectrum of tools available to you or the pros you hire.
I don't know what to do about odor, perhaps check with someone who does mold, flood or fire damage remediation.
Best of luck.
To cilecto & Nobugsonme
I really thank you for your advice. Firstly about how a fogger will drive them deeper into my stuff. I didn't know that. You really helped me as I was not sure and maybe would have tried a fogger. Thank You!!
I will go to the links to assess my steamer. Thank you for telling me about that. As far as boiling the laundry, I agree. It could be exposed while hanging to dry. I was just hoping it might be an option. I wish I could buy a dryer. I found online a ventless washer dryer in one tub and also can be made portable.
It is listed as costing $697.50 here:
and the portable kit is here:
If I can find a way to afford it I will. It is better than always going to a laundrymat. I also thought maybe other members on this site might like to know about it.
Also, thank you so much for telling me how to buy the detection/trap with carbon dioxide.
I have a lot to learn....these bugs are so much harder to deal with than even roaches I can see. I am glad I have help and advice.
CSC, I wonder if in considering installing a combo WD, you are not overcomplicating your situation. These things do cost money, they may not be big enough to accommodate all your stuff and they may not work efficiently enough so that you're not spending weeks on this and burning up electricity (plus you have one more item to consider, should you move). Instead, you could "triage" your fabrics into three classes:
- 1. Things you need now. Take these to the laundry and do the (wash if necessary and) dryer thing.
- 2. Things you want, but don't need now. Seal up for either 18 months or pace yourself with weekly trips to the laundry with a single bag until they're all done.
- 3. Things you are willing to lose. Dispose.
Yes, there are people who claim to be able to pick up the bedbug (cilantro) scent, even in minute quantities. (I believe David Cain is one of these people.) Are you smelling cilantro (or berries, as some describe it)?
Thank you so much. You have a very methodical way of dealing with things such as laundry. . . I appreaciate it very much. As far as the smell - hmmm....Not cilantro, No. I have only seen two. One is the day after I sat on the neighbor's second hand couch. It was full with blood. I didn't smell it and killed it not knowing for sure what it was (but a sinking feeling somehow led me to suspect).
The only other time I saw one, it was tiny and clear with a bit of green. (could it also be one (?)) But IT smelled like fresh grass. That doesn't bother me though. It is something they leave behind I think. A pheromone, or feces, or likely both maybe (?) It has the coppery smell of blood mixed with something else. Maybe pungent. It makes me feel very sick by now. It built up gradually. First affecting my respiratory system but then affecting other things. Too hard to get into. I know it makes my stomach feel very queasy as well. And also if I get away from it awhile I get better. Awhile is weeks, or at least days though. Hours are not always helpful.
I'm willing to lose much more of my things by now...I have furnture I know I can wash, and I have been with this;
. . . after that it's gone. And I will steam clean everything too. I can afford the steamer within the next few weeks.
I really thank you.
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