Is suffocation a viable option?(8 posts)
I recently discovered that I have bed bugs. Unfortunately I have no car, and access to a laundromat is a huge ordeal-- the thought of getting all of my things to one is totally overwhelming and I really couldn't pull it off all at once.
I have very little money for food at the moment, let alone an exterminator, and I've been thinking of more creative ways to handle my problem.
I'm buying a vinyl mattress cover, which apparently can suffocate the bedbugs in the mattress... so can I suffocate them in other things? I saw this informercial for a vacuum sealer for storage. It allows you to store bedding and clothing in smaller spaces by sucking all the air out and sealing them in plastic. Would this sort of thing kill the bugs in my comforter and clothing? At the very least I think it would contain them so I can do the laundry little by little. I was thinking about vacuum sealing everything and (making sure I was bedbug free) crashing elsewhere for a few days.
can you suffocate eggs?
Once that's out of the way, I really don't have much more stuff they could hide it. I'd love some advice if anyone sees any gaping holes in my logic :p
It's not really about suffocation. It's about holding them hostage in your clothes so they can't get out. However, they'd have to be kept sealed for months until the bed bugs die. That's why they recommend cleaning and drying on hot before sealing. So, you can bag your stuff until you are able to do laundry little by little. Just make sure your belongings are sealed in securely without any openings or holes that they could get through.
I'm using Space Bags (the ones you mentioned that you vacuum air out) on certain items, such as extra bedding. Although they are great, some air is still trapped in and bed bugs and eggs are so small they may live with that little space/air. So, I don't think they will really die by suffocation.
**"It's about holding them hostage in your bed and bagged clothing and bedding.."
ok-- thanks for your help!
Haven't heard that much about it, but there is a product on the market called BB ALERTï¿½ O2PM that claims to kill bed bugs by depleting their oxygen supply.
You cannot suffocate bedbugs. If you do seal them, garbage bags sealed completely with tape will do the trick. You WILL have to wash and dry everything, but you can do it little by little. Just make sure to keep the clean things sealed as well until after extermination. The only way to kill bedbugs in a sealed bag is to leave it sealed for 18 months until they die from not eating. Do you rent? If you do, may landlords will exterminate for you to keep the problem from infesting their building.
I am a home health nurse and I have much experience with bedbugs as I come into contact with them every day. I also currently have them myself and have hired Orkin to professionally exterminate as I have been unable to treat them on my own. I have not seen more than 2 bedbugs since my home was treated on Mon. and I have a follow-up treatment in 2 weeks. Orkin guarantees that they will rid the home of bedbugs (they will retreat at no additional cost until they are gone), but the cost was an astronomical $750 for a 3 bedroom house, not including the high cost of mattress and boxspring covers. I am now late on several of my other bills, but I don't care. The bugs have to go before they get really bad.
It will be EXTREMELY difficult for you to get rid of them on your own.We started out with a few in the couch. We actually threw away the couch at that time and still, within 3 months, we had them in all of the living room furniture and my son's room became infested as well. The exterminator told me that you can go from one female bug to a pretty bad infestation in just a couple of months as each female lays 5 eggs every few days. I highly recommend that you or your landlord hire an exterminator no matter what it takes. If you really can't spend the money, then do exactly what my professional exterminator did:
1) Empty all closets and drawers. Wash and dry every linen (including curtains and clothes) in the house on high heat, then leave them in trash bags. Anything that can't be washed like rugs, stuffed animals or pillows, dry on high heat for at least 20-30 min, then leave in trash bags.
2) Seal any gaps between the walls/celings/floors with caulk. Caulk any holes or deep crevices. Remove all light switch covers and picture frames or decorations from walls and spray with alcohol. They hide in these places too.
3) Clean all of the kids' toys/belongings with alcohol and leave them in trash bags. We actually found bedbugs in my son's football helmet and in DVD cases and drawers. Open and clean all VHS/DVD cases with alcohol or hot, soapy water. Basically, anything that the end of a credit card fits in needs to be cleaned with alcohol.
4) Apply bedbug-proof mattress covers to all mattresses. You can traet them first, but, once they are on, no bugs can get in or out unless they get torn. They will die inside after about a year.
5) If there are several bugs are in any of your other furniture, you will likely have to throw it away unless you call an exterminator. Anything that is very infested, GET RID OF IT!
6) Vacuum every piece of furniture (get in the crevices and padding),mattresses, crevices of walls, and all carpet just before treatment. Immediately dispose of vacuum bag.
7) Move all furniture to the center of each room and remove the drawers. You do not need to spray the centers of carpets/floors after vacuuming as bedbugs rarely live there. They live toward the edges.
My exterminator used Phantom, Onslaught, Bedlam, and Steri-Fab. I saw that all of these can be purchased on the internet. You should use all of them as some cannot be used on mattresses. Some have no residual effect (like steri-fab) and some kill on contact while others are IGRs (disrupt the reproductive system of the bug so that they can't lay eggs). Completely saturate the furniture (crevices and open pads and covering on bottoms as well), edges of rooms, inside drawers, and all bed frames/box springs. Bed frames must be disassembled as they live deep in the cracks that you can't get to. Leave the house for at least 2 hours after treatment.
9) Leave as much as you can bagged up and disassembled for two weeks, then repeat the entire process again. Continue to repeat every 2 weeks until you are bedbug free.
This is very hard work. It took us a week just to prepare for extermination. It has to be done right or it will not work. All you need is one bug and you could keep having this problem. It sounds like the pesticides and matress/box spring covers alone will be expensive for you. I live in a house and it was $750 and I called one of the most expensive exterminators because of the guarantee. If you live in an apartment and you call a cheaper exterminator, you might be able to get extermination for $300- $400 dollars and actually SAVE money in the long run.
Do you live in a house or an apartment? If you rent, find out your state laws regarding bedbug infestation and whether the landlord is legally obligated to pay for PCO visits. It's very hard and time consuming to deal with this without professional help.
lmertz, what a GREAT and informative post! THANK YOU!
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