MY SUCCESS WITH CURING A VICIOUS INFESTATION--non-toxic(9 posts)
i made this info sheet for my apartment manager to give to other people who have infestations in other buildings. i had to deal with a very large and very disgusting infestation in my neighbors apartment (he is mentally ill) that was creeping into my own. after about a year of repeated exterminator visits to his apartment, the problem continued so i took it into my own hands. after all was said and done, i think the diatomateous earth is the real winner and it's cheap. i checked on his apartment not to long ago and everything is still clear amazingly enough. Please feel free to pass this on.
BEDBUG PREVENTION AND TREATMENT
Bedbugs can be anywhere, even in fancy hotels. They don’t thrive on filth like roaches, so cleanliness is not necessarily a factor. When traveling, inspect pillows, headboards, and mattresses of rooms. Use the luggage stand to keep your bags off the ground. Don’t bring your own pillow, don’t stash anything near the headboard or nightstand. Take a hot shower upon waking. Wash all your belongings in hot water before you get home if you can, and inspect your luggage. For prevention in the home, do the diatomaceous earth regimen and the sealing of cracks described in the treatment. Inspect used furniture and items before bringing them into the home. Bedbugs can travel from apartment to apartment, especially when exterminators do a treatment since they scatter. Let your landlord know if you have a bug problem.
Wash your bedding every 3 days in the hottest water possible and then a hot dryer. Nightclothes should be changed daily, and laundry kept bagged up in plastic until they can be washed in hot water--adding an enzyme detergent if possible. Anything that can’t be washed in hot water, freeze for 3 days. Bag up any articles (books, papers, boxes, etc.) under or near the bed or couches (anywhere you hang out a lot). A mature bedbug can go without food for up to 18 months—a baby, about 3—so, seal it well leave it bagged for this long. If there is a large infestation, consider throwing things out, and bagging just what you can’t part with. Bag the mattress and box spring in vinyl mattress covers. Pull your bed away from the walls. Apply diatomaceous earth between mattresses and any crevices around the bed, in couch creases, floor, and any places you’ve seen them hanging out. Basically, you want to create a moat so anything that wants to get to you, has to go through the dust first. Also, it should be applied around baseboards, inside electrical outlets and light switches. Take away their hiding places by sealing up cracks in the walls and floors, and around electrical outlets and light switches with caulk. If you are dealing with a heavy infestation, have some Orange Guard spray (also non-toxic) on hand to kill on contact. To keep them off your body in the meantime, take a bath with neem oil added to it before bed. It’s stinky, but it works to repel them and it is good for the skin. Shower your body--especially hair--with hot water every morning as soon as you get out of bed. There are many treatments and sprays (which can unfortunately create mold if sprayed too much) for eliminating bed bugs, however, using hot water for laundry and using diatomaceous earth seems to be most effective, time efficient, cheapest, and least toxic.
Diatomaceous earth is non-toxic, however you do not want to breathe it. Wear a dust mask when applying and try not to apply in a way that disperses it into the air. Diatomaceous earth, made from fossil shells, has tiny sharp edges that is not harmful to humans, but acts as tiny razorblades to insects. It will also kill roaches, ants, fleas, spiders, etc. Usually, you only need a thin layer to be effective, but if you don’t get results, use more. It lasts forever as an insect killer as long as it stays dry. If you are going to do just one thing about a bedbug problem, this is it. In fact, if i were to go back in time, i would have tried just applying DE everywhere first as described previously and skipped all the bagging and repeated laundering. I really think it is the magic ingredient.
Bedbugs are nocturnal, however, leaving the lights on at night does not discourage a hungry bug. They are inactive and hide during the day. Guests are safe unless they are rummaging through or sitting on infested items. Bedbugs can hitchhike, but they lack the hooks on their legs to grip onto a person and live on the body. They are attracted to humans by breath (CO2) and body heat. They like to hang out in wood and cloth most often at the head of the bed. You don’t need to throw away your mattress. They do not burrow into them, but rather hangout in the seams and fitted sheets. At 1/8-1/4 inch, bedbugs are visible to the eye, even the light-colored nymphs. They do not carry infectious diseases. Bedbug bites can vary from person to person. Not everyone in a household may get a reaction to the bites. Some say this is because bedbugs are particular to body scent or simply don’t have an allergic reaction to the bite. Welts do not show up immediately and can appear magically up to12 hours later. This is because the bedbug injects an anesthetic into the skin before it feeds (feeding time is 3-10 minutes). Bites usually happen in a line pattern on the skin but not always, and they are very itchy. Some get large welts, some small. They can last for 3 weeks and leave long-lasting marks. Clay and mint oil can help with healing and itchiness of bites, but go easy on the mint if you have sensitive skin.
Glad to hear you are bed bug free ... I will not get into everything you posted as there is a lot I disagree with.
But 1 thing I will comment on since I'm guessing you never treated a hotel room as a professional.
NEVER! AND I MEAN NEVER! use the luggage stand! This is the first location the bed bug gets to view his new location. Most all luggage racks are made of wood & fabric straps not to mention usually less than 5 feet from the bed. I have found plenty of bed bugs on racks at hotels. If you come on hear telling people how it’s done... More knowledge is needed. A safer approach for a hotel visit would be taking along 2 large 4 or 6 ml. contractor trash bags and placing your luggage inside it, sealing it, and placing it into the bath tub. Use a second bag for dirty cloths.
I’ll keep it at that as I don’t want to rip your post apart or the vinyl encasement!
*come on here*
This is kind of an old topic, but this is just another piece of hope that the DE I ordered will work. I know it's more about being persistent and diligent than anything else. It's going to be a long task that will span for weeks, but thanks to stories like yours, it's a much easier road to travel. For those who cannot afford $1000+ for PCO treatment (which can vary greatly depending upon your PCO's personal experience with bed bugs), DE seems to have the most positive reviews when it comes to completely ridding the infestation. I, personally, cannot speak in personal experience because I just recently ordered the DE and I am waiting for the delivery. But, I do want to bring it to people's attention because I would have never even researched the product if it weren't for this forum. Hopefully others who also experienced success from this product will continue to post their strategies and results. I will definitely do so once I begin treatment.
Lots of these suggestions are things people bandied around when bedbugger.com was first created but there is more knowledge available now and I would suggest people avail themselves of it.
I would not use a vinyl encasement. I'd use one proven by scientific testing.
I would not worry about adding anything to the wash if I was washing in any temp and drying on hot. See this FAQ.
I would not rely on freezing anything for 3 days. (Temperatures and times are very specific.) See this FAQ.
Though some PCOs have protocols recommending this I would not personally bag anything for 18 months since there are better -- and cheaper -- ways. See this FAQ on various methods.
Throwing things out is very dangerous (since neighbors will not be deterred by warning signs) and not usually necessary.
If you really need to be sure your items are bed bug free (for example, you are moving, or staying put but know your home -- for sure -- is bed bug free) -- consider commodity fumigation with vikane gas. One service provider is Bed Bugs and Beyond. Yes, it can be costly, but probably costs less than tossing out your furniture and belonings, storing them for 18 months, doing without or replacing them for 18 months, or being reinfested in a new home.
For anyone dead set on self-treatment, I would recommend steam. See this FAQ. And consider carefully your tools and methods, to avoid mold and mildew and other hazards. As with any self-treatment, research and information is of utmost importance.
i have to say...after using vinyl encasements, they have worked wonders for me. i use more than one per bed however...and am not about to even waste time purchasing a 1,000.00 scientifically tested encasement for a bed, especially when people LOVE to make money off of other's ignorances. i see alot of disagreements about the vinyl encasements, but so far for us they have worked...and we havent spotted a bed bug in our BEDS for at LEAST 4 months...since we got the encasements. not sure how scientific that is...but it works for us.
I'm not a big fan of encasements.
This is partly because I have a cat.
In order for encasements to work, they must remain completely sealed for the maximum length of time that a bed bug trapped inside the encasement could live.
That means that the bed bugs would have to stay sealed up inside an encasement that had absolutely no failures for at least 18 months.
The cheap vinyl encasement I had on my futon until I could get treated ripped within the first few months of it having been put on. (It was a moot point by then as I'd had thermal, but even so, when it ripped I had a few less restful weeks worrying that perhaps a bug was somehow still alive and my infestation was going to start all over again.)
In addition, if you have pets or kids who are hard on the furniture, even if the encasement doesn't get torn, it might get punctured. A small puncture from a claw mark or pencil hole (or if you're a clutzy adult like me, having grown up klutzes in the home) can let the bugs out.
Keeping inexpensive encasements whole for 18 months is tough.
In addition, if you're just adding more and more encasements on each time you're worried about one beneath, by the time you reach 18 months, you will have spent more on the cheap ones than it would have cost to get a good one up front.
Finally, the vinyl encasements, frankly, are not comfortable to sleep on. We sweat in our sleep. Vinyl does not breath or allow moisture to evaporate at all.
I felt a little like I was being marinated in my own sweat during the week I spent sleeping on top of the vinyl encased futon. (Granted, it was the summer, and a heat wave, but no amount of bedding between me and it made me any less soggy.)
The more expensive one I have on my bed now--more for dust mites than bed bugs. It does make the bed easier to inspect in terms of bed bugs--is far more comfortable in terms of breathability.
Again, to each his or her own. Maybe other readers out there are okay with marinating in their own perspiration each night more than I am.
However, I do think it's important that people consider all the pros and cons of a particular approach when they decide about their particular strategies in their war on bed bugs.
Yeah, I've got the vinyl ones too and they rip like nobody's business. My pco declared the mattress and box spring "clean" when he came but he treated them anyway. We put the encasements on when we came back later that evening to vacuum. I'm taking them off before he comes again (and he has to treat again, I found a live one yesterday) and replacing them with a protect-a-bed encasement for my mattress and a different brand for the box spring (due to expense and inability to purchase standard box-spring encasements due to my low profile box spring. I'd REALLY rather go with quality.
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