I got rid of bedbugs!(5 posts)
I have waited a while to post this, as I was sure I might jinx my success...but I wanted to be sure to share with everyone, there is hope and you CAN get rid of bedbugs...naturally!!! I went through all the fear, panic, dread and hopelessness that I think everyone else feels when we find out we have bedbugs. I thought it was important to share that you can get rid of them, and you don't need to spend too many sleepless nights as I did!
I found the bedbugs first last summer, and am not sure how they arrived. I had had friends housesitting and also had been at several hotels, so it could have been any number of ways. I first figured out I had bedbugs when I found bites on my skin during the day, then I started noticing I would wake up around 2 or 3 am. scratching my arms or legs. I panicked!
I started doing research online and trying to figure out what to do. Complicating matters was the fact that my son has asthma and I didn't want chemicals in my house. I did not want to hire an exterminator, due to the chemicals....AND my house was for sale, so I couldn't do too many obvious things...if people were coming in and out of my house on a frequent basis! I panicked even more!
I spent a number of nights not sleeping...but then I decided I needed to do something that would change things. I am going to briefly outline most of them...and hope that they help someone else get rid of bedbugs for good!
1. I bought mattress and box spring bed bug protective covers at Walmart. These were about $50.00 a piece and I thought, rather expensive, but certainly worth every.single.penny. Don't scrimp on these! The one thing I would warn everyone about is that they do rip fairly easily, so be careful unless you want to buy new ones. If you do rip them while putting them on, use a sticky, clear packing tape to patch them and this may work if you haven't damaged them too much.
2. I washed sheets and pillow covers, duvets and duvet covers weekly for several weeks. I also dried them in the dryer.
3. I took everything out of my room that wasn't essential. I left my dressers, and my mattress and boxspring and took out the bedframe. Everything that I took out, I wiped down with alcohol and dusted with diatomaceous earth powder.
4. I placed a light layer of DE around the edges of the room and behind dressers. I also placed between the mattress and boxspring. In addition, I sprinkled a layer of it around the entire bed....so no bugs could go from bed to other parts of the room without walking through the dust. (Be careful with this dust as it is not meant to be inhaled, and especially if you are asthmatic. You need to be cautious, not touch it or disturb it....it is not "kid-friendly").
5. I continued to wash sheets and bedding and pillows periodically. For about two weeks, I rubbed lavender oil on my legs and arms before bed. Apparently the bugs hate lavender. This also seemed to help.
A combination of all of the above seemed to work. I truly think the mattress covers and getting rid of hiding places for the bugs was what made it work. It took several months of work, but it wasn't unmanageable and it WORKED! And it didn't cost a fortune!!! Don't despair, don't panic....the internet is a great resource if you use it wisely! good luck!
Thanks for this! Your story is appreciated!
Thanks for sharing your experience.
I would not encourage people to try to treat bed bugs with only DE. It is likely to take a long time if it is successful at all.
If someone does need to self-treat, a combination of steam/pesticides/DE may be effective. However, people should get expert advice directly from expert sources like the pros on the forums and the Comprehensive Guides in the Resources page. We have a FAQ on DE and a FAQ on steam which may also be helpful.
Reading a post like this isn't likely to be enough.
Two additional comments:
I can confirm that lavender oil does NOT work.
Also, I would be concerned about applying DE to the floor as you did. When a family member has asthma, it seems like one would be as concerned with how dusts are used as with pesticides, or more.
Thanks for posting..I'm doing a similar treatment I'm only 2 days into using DE...I bought the wrong size box spring bed bug protective covers ...so its a bit of delay....I have them on mattress
My landlord is returning from vacation tomorrow and I hope they will cover my costs....
Where did you find lavender oil ? I was using some baby powder around my air mattress.
I'm a 13 year cancer survivor who also didn't want to use chemicals if all possible..to date I've found 14 adult bugs in two weeks... only two since I've used DE...saw one climbing the wall and it fell right into my DE along my baseboard...
Please see my post above. Lavender oil does not keep bed bugs from
biting. Unless, perhaps, you drown them in it. Much costlier than most contact kill sprays on the market.
If you want to self treat and avoid chemicals, I would look into dry vapor steam also.
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