Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Bed bug bites, skin, etc.

Neem Oil to stop BB's from Biting

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  1. Anstas

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sat Aug 28 2010 8:28:06
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    I was bitten by something that looked exactly like bed bug bite photos 2 months ago, but no evidence of bb's. However, the bites I got a couple months ago came at NIGHT! Red bit, with pale red welt circle around the bite. After researching, washing everything in hot water and drying on high temp, and spraying bed and carpet with bed lice spray, I didn't get another bite for 2 months. (Be careful spraying because I heard it can spread them, but I didn't see any to spread or see an egg or anything, but heck I got scared).

    Last week I think I got bit again, but these don't look as bad as the first bites 2 months ago, they look more like hives and only 2. But after the first bites two months ago, on my legs and lower back, I'm sure I have them. I've never seen anything like these bites, and they were in a line in groups of two or three: breakfast, lunch and dinner as they say.

    Long story short I told my Aryurvedic Doctor, which is ancient East Indian medicine and he told me Neem oil repels them and is safe for humans and has been used for thousands of yrs I believe for beauty and insect repellent. It's from the the Neem leaf or seed of the Neem tree. You can get it at an Indian Deli or online. I have been using it a week and a half and no bites. I put it all over my body, exept eyes and "other" sensitive areas.

    The bad news is I I became allergic to the oil as I have a horrible body rash from it since yesterday. You cut the oil with 2 parts sesame oil or olive oil. For example 2 tablespoons sesame and 1 part Neem oil. This can also be used to repel them: you need to research Neem and see where to spray to repel them (and how to make spray). I heard it doesn't kill them unless you spray it right on them.

    But if your body can handle it you won't get bitten. Some people object to using it to repel them because then they will go else where, but my gosh! My sanity! I have been scared to death to sleep in my own bed, pushed over the edge mentally and emotionally--- this is a nightmare and if Neem oil stops the biting and repels them and my skin can take it, then on my skin it goes! Just shower it off right away in morning.

    It's used for skin emolient purposes too. It's been used forever for many things, but it's definitely a BB repellant that works. I do sheets weekly, and if I get bitten again without the Neem oil since I became allergic to it, I will get a new matress and try a bed bug steamer and diamacious (sp?) earth. Some people say to iron the mattress corners or seems keeps them way. I won't bother with that, but if I took that approach, I'd iron the whole mattress top.

    My house is very minimal and clean, but I am still becoming extra vigilant in constantly vacuuming, etc., and I lift the mattress and box spring every week and inspect and not a one. These are awful pests that nearly did me in, until I told myself:

    I can do this, I will do this, and I will enjoy doing this. Meaning enjoy doing what it takes to get rid of them. That is the only way to keep my sanity. I'd rather learn to enjoy the process of getting rid of absolutely everything I don't need than let these tiny pests get the best of me. (Although you can be the cleanest, minimalist person in the world and they still can come in through the wall from another dwelling from something like an electric socket or a wall radiator, or smoke detector, it's truly a nightmare). I have had to tell myself that there are much worse things, even though this is a bit of a nightmare. I figure when this is over I will be able to cope with most anything, God willing.

    Google bed bug steamers and also there is something called Packtite to put things in and heat to thermal death pt. for adults, nymphs and eggs. Google it and you can buy it online. I haven't yet because I've yet to see evidence, but the bites are all the evidence I need.

    Good luck to everyone. I hear they hate smell of B vitamins and garlic too. Crush several cloves and put under the bed. And I've heard some people had success with mega garlic tablets, but Neem is what worked for me.

  2. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sat Aug 28 2010 12:06:35
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    Bed bugs cannot be diagnosed based on bite appearance alone.

    Most primary care docs, and even many dermatologists, don't have the experience to tell you what kind of insect or arachnid made a particular bite, with a few notable exceptions (lice, body and hair, can be inspected for. Scabies can be tested for.)

    Experienced docs can tell you if a certain group of bugs made a bite or not, but within that bite, docs cannot diagnose with accuracy which species made the bite.

    Everyone's skin response is different, so the bites that you had are not, in and of themselves, proof of bed bugs. Carpet beetles, for example, have larvae with hairs that can cause bite like responses. Fleas and mosquitos can also cause bites.

    I generally don't suggest Neem oil to people as we've heard about it before on these boards. There's no good data to suggest that it's an effective deterrent to bed bugs. Ditto with garlic and any kind of vitamin.

    In addition, deterrents aren't a good way to go with bed bugs. For starters, if it is bed bugs, if they get hungry enough, eventually they'll come after you no matter how bad you smell to them. (Think of it this way. If you hadn't had a meal in 4 or 5 days, would an unpleasant odor in the air prevent you from eating when food was placed in front of you? )

    The best, most reliable, and most cost effective method for dealing with bed bugs is to get an experienced pest management professional in to inspect and identify the particular pest you're dealing with and then treat for that pest (or those pests.)

    You might consider some passive monitoring devices like the Climb Up interceptors, plug in flea traps, David Cain's new passive monitor device whose name I cannot remember, and/or if you can be somewhere else for a day or two, the do it yourself Rutgers design dry ice monitor.

    Once you get samples, those can be identified by a PCO or an entomologist.

    Also keep in mind that many bug bites don't appear immediately after we've been bitten. It is possible that you're being bitten by something else somewhere besides your home.

    Hang in there, and I wish you luck finding what's really going on in terms of where your bites are coming from so that you can get some relief from them.

  3. Anstas

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sat Aug 28 2010 20:01:26
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    Thank you oldtimer. I am not suggesting Neem oil as a solution, but since it worked for me and others I spoke with, to stop the biting that 2 months ago was happening every night for 3 weeks I do think it's bed bugs as there are no fleas or mosquitos in this apt. And 2 people I know who saw the bites who had had bed bugs, said they were definitely bed bug bites. They also look like it to me from the welty red photos on the internet. Listen, I would love to be wrong. But in addition there was the breakfast, lunch and dinner pattern of biting.

    And for people who are going through terrible mental agony and stress, something that works to stop the biting until you can get the situation under control and eliminated is not a bad thing. It was a very good psychological break to use the Neem oil, a time out from bites for me to calm me down, because I wasn't getting bitten. I still got an ocassional bite with Neem oil, but 1 or zero bites as opposed to several bites a night is easier on the nerves.

    I'll take a bite every couple or more days as opposed to several a night anytime. If I skin test Neem oil and my skin is okay with it, and it works I will use it unless like I develop an allergy to the oil, as I did.

    And again it should be cut with another oil so it is not so strong. This doesn't mean I'm not going to take proper procedures to eliminate the problem oldtimer. I'm hearing you loud and clear and I've already spoken with an exterminator, taken him samples, which he said were 2 nymph ear whigs, but then I showed him my bites, which he sees all the time and he said: You may have a problem, but said not to jump to conclusions, but sleep in my bed and say that.

    But I know bite identification can be tricky and I went to the Dr. Again it the breakfast, lunch and dinner pattern along with the bite appearance that has me convinced, but again it would be wonderful to be wrong.

    I agree with all the solutions you mentioned and have many in place, and have researched this to the pt. I know every method for elimination. And thermal heat PCOs are supposed to be the best. But it's very expensive and in a multi-dwelling they can come right back through the wall. It's a bit of a conundrum.

    Also I have read story after story about these so called professionals, (none of whom will give you a guarantee), that the bugs still come back after thousands of dollars spent on a PCO.

    I would get a professional if I could afford one, but I can't. I am not against professionals and I have read of many good ones and even ones with dogs that sniff of the critters, but many don't even know what they are doing with bed bugs as they have not been a problem for decades until recently.

    We're on the same page. I just don't think there is anything wrong with an oil that can keep you from getting bit as it has for the most part with me.

    I appreciate your comment and thank you for the support oldtimer.

  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sat Aug 28 2010 20:04:24
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    I am going to quote something from another thread:

    Nobugsonme - 1 year ago  » 
    This pro-Neem website notes that Neem is a bed bug repellent. I have also heard this mentioned elsewhere.
    Although that might seem like a nice idea, you do not actually want to repel bed bugs, because repelling bed bugs does not make them LEAVE your home. It just makes them retreat and find a nice hideout. They later come back and bite you.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  5. Anstas

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sat Aug 28 2010 20:51:22
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    Hi nobugsonme, putting Neem oil on the skin and keeping them from biting you is not repelling them from the living quarters unless you treat the living quarters with Neem oil. I have not treated my apt. with the oil. I have just used it on my body.

    Again, I am just saying that using on the body to prevent biting which doesn't repel them from the apt. just repels them from you is not a bad thing to protect your body from being bitten. Of course this is not a solution to eliminate them. But what about mothers with children that are covered in bites?

    What about insect repellants for hiking or camping? They keep them off of you but they don't repel them from the woods. People have a right to protect their body and not be told it's wrong. What's wrong with using something that stops them from biting and sends them back to their hiding place until you can get rid of them? Is it better to have them bite you and then go back to their hiding place?

    I don't understand this resistance to something that will stop the biting until the problem is eliminated. I've heard the arguments of you and and oldtimer, and I still think it's fine to put something on your body to protect yourself or your children if you patch test for allergic reaction first.

    With all due respect I think this is a personal decision just like using insect repellant when camping. To me it is obviously better they go back to their hiding place without biting me, than to bite me and then go back. Either way, they go back to their hiding place so why not avoid being bitten? Again I think it's a personal choice.

  6. cilecto

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sat Aug 28 2010 23:00:58
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    Hello, Anstas. I learned of neem oil from Wikipedia, when I first entered "the world of bed bugs". I have not used it and can't vouch for it. If this does repel BB, perhaps it can be of use in certain situations, such as; the baby scenario you described (with someone else in the home acting as bait) or you in a hotel room or the movies, to avoid being bit. That said, I'd like to artculate some concerns (and explain why I believe you've received a chilly reception).

    As you noted, neem oil, might keep bugs from biting you. But for many people (especially those who don't react to bites, the bigger problem is keeping from bringing them home, keeping them from breeding and spreading in your home (and to your visitors and the places you go) and getting rid of them. (This is different from the "hike in the woods" situation, where all you want is to come home unscathed.) This can be a lot more complex, costrly, time consuming and traumatic. Often times, especially in rentals, fights esue as to who's responsible. We've seen before when something that has a specific use (like dry ice traps) gets amplified on the 'net to be a cure all. An article appears about the problems BB are causing and one or more commenter pipes up and says "why don't you just use X (eg, a bucket of dry ice)?"

    So, products like neem oil can be abused. Either by people themselves, applied beyond the body, or by landlords who shoo off a tenant's complaints with "leave me alone, just use X, I swear it works".

    BTW, I've seen the BB entry in Wikipedia change over time, with all sorts of substances coming and going that "are said" to have some positive effect. Wikipedia being open to anyone who wishes to edit, there's nothing stopping someone who's selling "X" to drop a favorable blurb about it in a Wikipedia entry.

    People with BB often go into panic mode, spending lots of money and energy to try and dicreetly eradicate the problem. Sometimes it may work, others, it's time and money (and valuables) lost. Here on the board, we try and look out for these people. So, when someone joins the board and theor first post is an endorsement of a product, lots of "antennae" go up.

    Back to you. Neem oil or not, I hope that you don't have BB. If they are BB, and they're in your home, you will likely need to treat your home and belongings, not just your body (oh, don't we all wish we can apply something to our bodies that will just kill them). As others have noted, if in your home, they will eventually come out to feed, on you (oil or not) or someone else and they will breed. I encourage you to browse the [url=http://bedbugger.com/links/ ]Resources[/url] page for one of the info sheets or a comprehensive guide (I'm a fan of the 20-page U of Minn guide.) These will help you to be a better BB fighter and consumer, I hope.

    Welcome.

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)
  7. Anstas

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Aug 29 2010 1:27:35
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    Hi Celecto, I know the bigger problem is keeping them from breeding and spreading in my apt. into [b][i]everything I own, and of course to my visitors and the places I go. And of course to get rid of them. My God, do you think I don't understand the enormity of this situation?

    They can even get into clocks and your computer tower. Do you think I don't take this seriously? You have no idea what I've been through. So please don't talk to me like I don't know anything. I've read up on everything and it is daunting when you are ill what has to be done to be rid of them. I am already preparing to treat the apt. and I have been figuring out the best strategy for myself with the money I have. I would do ThermaPure but it's beyond my means. My 77 yr old mother has been coming over and helping me do what we can.

    Did I say that I thought Neem oil would solve the problem? No--- I said it would stop the biting, because it stopped most of it with me. I have been through hell with health setbacks and now as I am getting well I have to deal with this! It has truly made me want to give up when I have gotten really scared until I get things back into perspective and realize material things are just things, and that these are just bugs. But to properly treat or dispose of my belongings when I am sick? Yes, I get this goes way beyond a little Neem oil to stop the biting.

    What you called an endorsement of a product by me, is my compassion to share what I wish I would have known about in the first week of being bitten. I have a women's genetic autoimmune and the bites wreak havoc on my system and I become achey. I'm mentioning the Neem oil to help anyone who can't tolerate bites, not as some cure that will eliminate bed bugs. Of course whether a person is still being bitten or not, the problem still has to be dealt with.

    I hope I will learn some helpful things on this board. BTW, I can't even use the Neem oil anymore as I had a full on entire body reaction to it. I am in my 3rd day of an entire body rash and swollen face. But it may help someone besides me.

    But I do get the bigger picture, believe me.

    I've lost 10 lbs in a short period from the stress of this. I am afraid to sleep at night. And being a tenant with an unethical landlord, how do you think I feel? I have researched L.A. law on the bed bug situation and a tenant can lose in court. I know this is a much bigger deal than applying Neem oil to not get bitten.

    I am also having survival fears. I am on disability and I don't know what I can afford except D. earth and the best insecticide and all the other "things" I've read about. This has been very traumatic for me, to the point I have lost weight and can't even think as much about dying members of my family who have little time left. I am not on here because I just read one article about them and am advertising Neem oil. I know while I go through the process of treating this apt and sealing and caulking everything that this oil helps me stay sane. Can you understand how someone might feel this way? And of course this is not the same as bug repellant in the woods. You leave the woods and go home. But what do you do when your home becomes a war zone at night?

    No one here is listening to what I am saying, which is that Neem oil is a deterrent to getting bitten. That is all I am saying for people who have severe allergic reactions to the bites as I do. And I know it's traumatic as I've wrapped, sealed and disposed of many treasured possessions as I am sure I have BB. My goal is to get out of this apt. and not take any with me or pass any on as I dispose of things.

    I am sure this bldg. is infested as the last three tenants who moved out, tossed their mattresses and now there is a mattress outside the apt. across the street. I only thought about that recently and put two and two together.

    Believe it or not I understand how serious and overwhelming and traumatic this is. I cannot understand why God would create such insects that would ravage your nervous system, cause you untold distress, drain your money and in my case has put my life on hold as I was getting ready to move before the problem and for the first time in nearly a decade I feel strong enough to work. But now I can't as too much stress will cause me to get sick again and all I think about everyday is this BB situation.

    I'm sorry if I sound angry (and I am truly sorry), but this is very traumatizing and when I get bit I swell, my head hurts and the daunting task of treatment is overwhelming and I have to go about this as I am able to do a little at a time because of lack of funds.

    I want to know the best least expensive steamer. The best insecticide for them, and remember where and how to spread D. earth, and on and on and on. I get it, okay. I even researched the best heaters as I live in hot SoCal. And the best space heaters begin with an L as I have recorded somewhere. My place is small and I know you heat slowly and all the rest and the remote thermometers. My family and I are taking this very seriously to get my problem solved because it has changed my life to be honest. All my spare energy goes into constant over-laundering and treatments of whatever sorts and on and on.

    I am a wreck and I am not on here to promote an oil but to help anyone for whom bites are problematic. I am ready to walk away from everything except some clothes and shoes that have been through the packtite. That's how badly this has affected me.

  8. uggnobugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Aug 30 2010 10:43:23
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    Anstas - 1 day ago  » 
    Hi Celecto, I know the bigger problem is keeping them from breeding and spreading in my apt. into [i]everything I own, and of course to my visitors and the places I go. And of course to get rid of them. My God, do you think I don't understand the enormity of this situation?
    They can even get into clocks and your computer tower. Do you think I don't take this seriously? You have no idea what I've been through. So please don't talk to me like I don't know anything. I've read up on everything and it is daunting when you are ill what has to be done to be rid of them. I am already preparing to treat the apt. and I have been figuring out the best strategy for myself with the money I have. I would do ThermaPure but it's beyond my means. My 77 yr old mother has been coming over and helping me do what we can.
    [b]Did I say that I thought Neem oil would solve the problem? No--- I said it would stop the biting, because it stopped most of it with me.
    I have been through hell with health setbacks and now as I am getting well I have to deal with this! It has truly made me want to give up when I have gotten really scared until I get things back into perspective and realize material things are just things, and that these are just bugs. But to properly treat or dispose of my belongings when I am sick? Yes, I get this goes way beyond a little Neem oil to stop the biting.
    What you called an endorsement of a product by me, is my compassion to share what I wish I would have known about in the first week of being bitten. I have a women's genetic autoimmune and the bites wreak havoc on my system and I become achey. I'm mentioning the Neem oil to help anyone who can't tolerate bites, not as some cure that will eliminate bed bugs. Of course whether a person is still being bitten or not, the problem still has to be dealt with.
    I hope I will learn some helpful things on this board. BTW, I can't even use the Neem oil anymore as I had a full on entire body reaction to it. I am in my 3rd day of an entire body rash and swollen face. But it may help someone besides me.
    But I do get the bigger picture, believe me.
    I've lost 10 lbs in a short period from the stress of this. I am afraid to sleep at night. And being a tenant with an unethical landlord, how do you think I feel? I have researched L.A. law on the bed bug situation and a tenant can lose in court. I know this is a much bigger deal than applying Neem oil to not get bitten.
    I am also having survival fears. I am on disability and I don't know what I can afford except D. earth and the best insecticide and all the other "things" I've read about. This has been very traumatic for me, to the point I have lost weight and can't even think as much about dying members of my family who have little time left. I am not on here because I just read one article about them and am advertising Neem oil. I know while I go through the process of treating this apt and sealing and caulking everything that this oil helps me stay sane. Can you understand how someone might feel this way? And of course this is not the same as bug repellant in the woods. You leave the woods and go home. But what do you do when your home becomes a war zone at night?
    No one here is listening to what I am saying, which is that Neem oil is a deterrent to getting bitten. That is all I am saying for people who have severe allergic reactions to the bites as I do. And I know it's traumatic as I've wrapped, sealed and disposed of many treasured possessions as I am sure I have BB. My goal is to get out of this apt. and not take any with me or pass any on as I dispose of things.
    I am sure this bldg. is infested as the last three tenants who moved out, tossed their mattresses and now there is a mattress outside the apt. across the street. I only thought about that recently and put two and two together.
    Believe it or not I understand how serious and overwhelming and traumatic this is. I cannot understand why God would create such insects that would ravage your nervous system, cause you untold distress, drain your money and in my case has put my life on hold as I was getting ready to move before the problem and for the first time in nearly a decade I feel strong enough to work. But now I can't as too much stress will cause me to get sick again and all I think about everyday is this BB situation.
    I'm sorry if I sound angry (and I am truly sorry), but this is very traumatizing and when I get bit I swell, my head hurts and the daunting task of treatment is overwhelming and I have to go about this as I am able to do a little at a time because of lack of funds.
    I want to know the best least expensive steamer. The best insecticide for them, and remember where and how to spread D. earth, and on and on and on. I get it, okay. I even researched the best heaters as I live in hot SoCal. And the best space heaters begin with an L as I have recorded somewhere. My place is small and I know you heat slowly and all the rest and the remote thermometers. My family and I are taking this very seriously to get my problem solved because it has changed my life to be honest. All my spare energy goes into constant over-laundering and treatments of whatever sorts and on and on.
    I am a wreck and I am not on here to promote an oil but to help anyone for whom bites are problematic. I am ready to walk away from everything except some clothes and shoes that have been through the packtite. That's how badly this has affected me.

    i definitely hear what you are saying, and honestly, it makes total sense. it seems as if the belief held by some is that...if you have them, you may as well let them bite you until you can afford a professional to rid your home of them for you. for some people, that may make sense...especially when there are tons of people who get bitten on purpose for the simplicity of "sharing" their stories...but for some of us, who are heavily allergic to the bites, and suffer physical scars and itching/pain for weeks after a sole bite...the neem oil is ONE OF MANY things you can do to HELP YOURSELF in ADDITION TO the other millions of treatments listed on this website, and if it at least repels the bugs to stay OFF of us while we are sleeping, it's worth it to try.

    in my area, a child will get SENT HOME and NOT allowed to come to school for a situation such as bed bug bites all over the face, hands and body. i REFUSE to send my children to school with bodies swollen from the nastiness of bed bug bites. there is research that suggests *you have to be careful with wording on bb sites because there are a ton of bedbug chiefs and no indians* that bedbugs are more attracted to young children and females than adults and males. there must be some truth to this for us, because my older daughter gets bitten but her bites pale in comparison to my youngest baby, who woke up one day with AT LEAST 25-35 bedbug bites on her *all of which were swollen to diameters over 3/4 inch and bright pink* and easily gets bitten the most of all of us. a school would have NEVER allowed my child entry when our problem first became out of control, and i cried when i saw her at her worst...i would have been way too embarassed to take her to school like that, she would have missed the entire week. this happened at least 3-4 months ago and her legs and arms are still scarred up badly from the bites and we have resorted to putting capris on her on the warm days instead of shorts to hide many of the scars. she will NOT be going to preschool this year, at least not until the bites clear up considerably, and heck, i may keep her home even then because i am not sure about the cleanliness of daycare centers around here. i may have to have a prescription cream given to her to help clear the scars up some. on myself, i used to easily wake up with 5-10 bites on me on any given day while my husband would wake up looking at me like im crazy, because he wouldn't have a SINGLE bite on him *and yes, he has gotten bitten before and on him, like the rest of us, the bites turn into huge welts that last for days and itch like hell, and yes, we know for a fact it's bed bugs and yes, we've already gotten pictures of them and no, we didn't need a professional opinion because we compared them to pics on the internet of yes, bonafide and true bedbugs*. so there must be some truth to the information that bed bugs prefer a certain human host over others.

    so if neem oil protects the body and doesn't cause a reaction...then i say go for it. there must be some truth in neem oil usage for some people because well, people swear by it and IT WORKS FOR THEM. id rather have a floor full of bed bugs than a bed full of them. truth is, there is NO ONE TRIED AND TRUE method of eradicating bedbugs EXCEPT patience and perserverence and a mixture of methods at aiming to control and rid your home of them. everyone has their own stance and that's fine...but all you can do is do WHAT WORKS FOR YOU, and share the wealth. people can like it or lump it, and if they lump it...more power to them, again each case is differently handled. not everyone is you, so no one person can TELL YOU about your reaction to the bug bites, , some people have infestations and have no clue about them because the bites never leave a mark and they never itch (like my childrens dear old grandma...who was infested and passed the infestation to us but swore she wasn't because her bites never bother her). that's great for them, but some of us unfortunately carry the emotional, mental, financial AND physical scars of these nasty things for many many months/years. and i say if you can at least alleviate one of the four, you're doing good. there are some that struggle with these bugs for YEARS and never get rid of the problem...despite spending money on dogs, professionals and whatever else is in the book. i have had these bugs for a few months, and if they were bad enough to leave dozens of bites on us daily and we have gone down to seeing the occassional bed bug, we are doing pretty ok, at least. and like you, our budget is SO very tight it's nearly impossible to afford professionals on our own. that DOES NOT MEAN that there is NOTHING we can do to help ourselves, and we'd be stupid to just sleep in a bed full of bugs (because the truth is according to at least one professor at a well regarded university, heavily infested beds almost never become bed bug free. the easiest solution is just to dump the bed as soon as possible and start over with a new, clean, bb free and protected bed...) just for the hell of it.

    trust me, when it comes down to who knows the most about bedbugs, would seem to me that everyone but the professionals are on the same level, especially if after x amount of time, they're still dealing with bed bugs.

    oh, and on the mattress discarded on the curb note...my hubby and i have made it a *game* to actually count the number of mattresses and couches we've suddenly seen discarded since we have had bedbugs ourselves. about two weeks ago we counted 8 mattresses and a couch. now of course it could just be that everyone decided to redecorate at the same time, but hmm...i have a better and more interesting theory as to why so many people are throwing away their beds/furniture. yesterday we went to restock on mattress encasements and shook our heads when we saw the price went up 1.50 for them, from 3.50 each to 5.00 each, and that they were just putting out a fresh shipment of them. when we asked why the price went up *as if we didn't know*, the saleswoman said, "people really love coming here to buy them, and they sell out everyweek, so the company decided to up the price i suppose". she was young and perhaps didn't know about the bb problem, however we have a hunch as to why they're suddenly selling like hotcakes *especially since we buy enough to own stock in the company*!

  9. Anstas

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    Mon Aug 30 2010 19:25:56
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    I am so glad you understand. No one seems to understand why some might not want to get bitten, but I noticed how many hits this post has gotten, so though they are not posting, they are certainly reading how not to get bitten. Many people are allergic and some even go into anaphalactic shock. I was almost at that point when I walked into the Doctor's office.

    In the last two days there have been 3 mattresses tossed to the front curb on our street, that is in addition to the one thrown out to the curb directly across the street. And I didn't even think of couches, as there have been so many couches in these last 2 weeks I can't count, maybe six. And I am sure everyone in this economy is not suddenly redecorating.

    I'm glad you understand the distress of just not wanting to get bitten while you work on eliminating the problem. Remember with Neem oil you have to cut it, like two tablespoons olive oil to one Neem. And then I would skin test the same spot for a week and a half every night before beginning use with it.

    After a week and a half I had an allergic reaction (big time), but many don't have allergic reactions. I am so sorry for your suffering as I am going through it too, and the panic of not being able to do enough with the limited funds is turning to depression. Mattress sealers out in L.A. are $79 dollars for friggen plastic. Yes... let's take advantage of the people who are in severe emotional distress and charge them $79 for what probably costs them $10 or less to make. What would the mark up on that be?

    And I agree with the comparing of internet photos, and the redness and huge welting, and the unprecedented itching that lasts for weeks and the scars! I don't need a professional to tell me what it is. Although an exterminator who I went to speak with, who saw the bites said I "may" have a problem. Like no kidding. BTW, keep the scars out of the sun.

    I am grateful for the anti-bite repellant posts as they are making me sick and I am allergic to Neem oil, so I will try another repellant.

    Thank you for posting, as I felt as if I was some villain not wanting to get bitten.

  10. uggnobugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Aug 30 2010 23:08:18
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    i have to be honest...some people ive spoken to about bed bugs make it seem as if theyre not a problem, and i think some people actually like the attention they get from "battling" their bed bugs. me...i want to get rid of them.

    i am going to find some neem oil *im big on organic/natural body care* and try to cut it for us...to see how it works. it may be a bit strong for the littlest one, who we have resorted to putting between us to sleep since our bed hasn't produced a bed bug bite in about 4 months...but it's worth a try in a small inconspicuous area on the rest of us.

    i will keep the bites out of the sun, thanks so much. trust me, you're not a villian for trying methods to see what works. so long as you're not spreading the bugs around to other people on purpose...hey. it's life. people are very quick to shoot others down (and not here neccessarily, i was on another bb forum and the people there were attacking each other like mad...yet EVERYONE still had bedbugs!!! uhmm....OK!), usually to make themselves "appear" better.

    have you pulled your bed away from the wall and put the feet in little cups with oil in them? or you can put DE on the bottom of the cups and a thick layer of vaseline around the top inch of the cup to make them stick to it should they climb into the cup and try to get out. this prevents bugs from climbing into your bed. and from that point, it should be better and easier to keep them out of the bed with you. any bed bug bites we have recieved in the past 4 months have not come from our beds because i take MANY precautions when it comes to them.

  11. cilecto

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    Tue Aug 31 2010 7:39:25
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    Anstas & Uggnobugs: People here are not telling you that you or your kids must allow yourselves to be bit. We've dine the best we can based on what we understand to tell you (and others who may follow) about the limits of repellents.

    Uggnobugs: I'm particularly upset at how your school is treating your kids and in your place would seek out some advocacy. They seem to be applying the "head lice" paradigm. But a few important points they miss:
    - Even doctors can't diagnose BB based on the bites. People on these boards have reported spending $$$s and months only to realize they had an issue other than BB.
    - BB do not usually travel on the body. The school cannot verify from bites alone if your kids are carrying BB in their book bags. Conversely (as many people do not react to BB bites), they have no way of knowing if the "unbitten" non-reacting kid at the next desk doesn't harbor a little secret. And as it can take weeks or months to fully resolve a BB issue, what do they propose you do with your child? (and you should do what you can to protect him/her).

  12. uggnobugs

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    Tue Aug 31 2010 23:43:34
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    cilecto - 15 hours ago  » 
    Anstas & Uggnobugs: People here are not telling you that you or your kids must allow yourselves to be bit. We've dine the best we can based on what we understand to tell you (and others who may follow) about the limits of repellents.
    Uggnobugs: I'm particularly upset at how your school is treating your kids and in your place would seek out some advocacy. They seem to be applying the "head lice" paradigm. But a few important points they miss:
    - Even doctors can't diagnose BB based on the bites. People on these boards have reported spending $$$s and months only to realize they had an issue other than BB.
    - BB do not usually travel on the body. The school cannot verify from bites alone if your kids are carrying BB in their book bags. Conversely (as many people do not react to BB bites), they have no way of knowing if the "unbitten" non-reacting kid at the next desk doesn't harbor a little secret. And as it can take weeks or months to fully resolve a BB issue, what do they propose you do with your child? (and you should do what you can to protect him/her).

    my daughter isn't in school...i gave that scenario to explain why i wouldn't take my daughter to school if she WAS in school when she got those horrid bites all over her body. but honestly, i am not disappointed in their policy and i will explain why. the school only makes a "guess" at what the problem COULD be to aid you in figuring out the problem, but it doesn't make any diagnosis at all either way--they simply require that you go to a doctor, and have your doctor make a diagnosis, and you are to return that slip back to the school. until you do, your child cannot return. now, there has to be SOME sort of answer on that paper. a doctor may not be able to say "bed bug bites", but a doctor MUST say something...after all...the child is coming to school with a body full of bumps. so upon inspection, a doctor MAY simply say, "insect bites, allergic reaction, prescription cream given" etc. and the child can return to school. if this issue pops up again, you may be called in for a conference with the teacher and the principle. ANY noticable and troublesome bumps, rashes, blisters, etc. noted on a student *particularly in an area where other students come into contact with them* will get a child sent home from school.

    the only reason i don't take issue with this is simply because in a school environment, yes children carry many things. but there are many parents (and i am one of them) that do not want OBVIOUS issues to be sent to school without proper treatment/evaluation. it makes sense. i went through this with my older daughter. she had an infected mosquito bite that turned into a highly contagious fungal rash (if my daughter would have touched a child in an area with an open sore, fungal spores could have gotten into the sore) that spread across her ENTIRE body. if the school hadnt refused her entry once the rash began to spread *i thought it was eczema, i didn't know it was a FUNGUS on her!!!* she could have easily spread the fungus to other students, which kept my daughter out of school for 4 weeks.

    now you're definitely right--the child next to my daughter may as well have bugs but no signs...and well...that child slips through the system. not every case will be caught. but for the ones that are noticed, i think the school only has everyone's best interest at heart.

    as a sidenote--i came across an article on another bb forum i frequent, about bb's in my city....how one of the local schools had a student who came in and other students noticed there was a SINGLE bb on his clothing. the child's parents were notified and called in (privately of course) and this weekend that just passed, the entire school was treated by a PCO. this is simply how schools around here operate.

  13. uggnobugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Aug 31 2010 23:48:17
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    oh, and i definitely understand the limit of everything with bb's...including PCO's and their chemicals as well. all im saying is, bugs with no bites is way better than bugs with bites. and if you can go from 20 bites per nite to say 3 from neem oil...i think it's worth it. if it doesn't work, it doesn't work..but if it does, why not use it??

  14. Anstas

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    Wed Sep 1 2010 17:55:37
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    Hi Uggnobugs, thank you... yes I have pulled the bed away from the wall, and I have put heavy vaseline at the top of the metal frame legs and duct tape (which soon was worthless), but the vaseline is good. I haven't done DE in cups, although I tried talc in cups and they kept tipping as I needed help as I couldn't do it myself. I will do DE when my mother comes to help me again.

    BTW, I have started strong B Vitamins and I take an extra vitamin B1 a couple hours before bed and I haven't been bitten since stopping with the Neem oil. My pharmacist and others told me they hate they smell of B's especially B1. Apparrently B1 is the active ingredient in the Bed Bug Patch. They say taking it orally doesn't work, but it's working for me.

    I would caution anyone though, that even normal doses of the different B's affect people and children differently. I did some research b4 taking the B vitamins in strong doses. Normally I would take low dose B's but this is as I said my sanity.

    I have surround the bed with baby powder with TALC, but I DON'T RECOMMEND TALC at all to anyone, as I heard though it cuts their bodies, it's similar to asbestos on the lungs.

    I just became so broken and afraid and tired from the whole thing, I just wasn't ready to do DE so I went to the stores and searched till I found a baby powder with talc instead of corn starch. No one should use talc. I have several health issues and this is very hard for me physically and I admit with the talc I took the route that was easiest for me, and I again I don't recommend talc to anyone. I am just feeling rather broken and very tired from this ordeal.

    Can you tell me the methods you have used to rid yourself of them. It sound like you are doing pretty well in reducing them. I have a problem in that my ceiling is a wood beam ceiling and I am afraid if they have crawled up there and are dropping down at night. Someone told me to spray the ceiling with somthing.... honestly it's atleast 13 feet high... you can't even reach it with a normal ladder and I'm overwhelmed that whatever is up there will fall down on everything.

    Someone said spray it with rubbing alcohol and another said Neem, another said paint it with DE, (sure and have the DE in fall back down it the air). I can't even reach it and I have very debilitating Fybromyalgia if I overdo.

    Any methods you can share that have worked for you, I would appreciate hearing about. I'm going to get a packtite and I think perhaps that VaPamore steamer. But the steamer is truly out of my budget, as is the Packtite, but I must atleast do the steamer and begin with DE instead of talc. I'm just afraid as my apt. is hot and I'm afraid of the fan blowing around DE which I heard can cut up the lungs. Do you know what the most effective insecticide is? I have heard read so many different opinions.

    Also you might read up on different suggestions for cutting Neem and try it on adults b4 children as my reaction was huge when it finally hit me. But for those helped by Neem or B1 or whatever, I agree while ridding yourself of the bugs, for many of us who have huge reactions to the bugs, it's much better to not be bitten if we can avoid it.

    Remember if you're swelling on the outside, you are swelling on the inside as my doctor told me. Head bites or not it can affect how you feel in many ways... irritability, feeling emotional, etc. as I asked him and he told me yes there can be swelling in the head. I told him I felt my scalp itching and my head felt very pressured and I just didn't feel right and he said allergic reactions affect the inside too, not just the outside of the skin.

    I am wishing all of us on here the best, and riddance of these pests. Which the word "pest" seems to mild for them.

  15. Anstas

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Sep 1 2010 18:26:48
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    Uggnobugs, I am having trouble accessing this site, so if you don't hear from me, that's why. I will however access from a friends computer if necessary, and read anything you post. I am going to need this site in this battle.

    I also think I have found a work around to help me access this site when it says unable to access. I just follow my computer's instructions and it seems to get me here. Take care.

  16. uggnobugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Sep 2 2010 11:09:48
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    anstas both of your last posts posted well to the site. if there's another post you made other than 2, then that one didnt post.

    i have read here that most say...if youve been able to keep bugs out of your home for 2 or more months, you're *free*. with that being said...while i havent been bedbug *free* yet (ive been BITE free for a while, but not BUG free), i am able to basically live my life without running into them more than 2 x per week on average, and always a sole bug, never a group like i had months ago.

    but my bed has been bug free for about....4 months. probably longer than that. one thing i do EVERY night is sleep soundly. i don't worry about bugs in my bed, right now im worrying about *mysterious* bugs somewhere along the baseboards in one of the bedrooms. as a matter of fact...thats the ONLY place we have spotted a bug in the last 2 months...this room *where they actually started*.

    anyway. the way i was able to keep my bed bug free is by changing the sheets every other day in addition to the encasements and thorough inspection of my beds (the way i cared for my clothing/bedding some say is ok, some *not recommended*, but all worked for me and none was outrageously dangerous. i have children, im not trying to blow myself or my home to the moon over bugs...heck even if i did, i'd be on the moon and they'd still be there with me LMAO). now i know this is costly if you dont have access to a regular washer/dryer...but when i didnt have a dryer...yes i made it a schedule to have my clothes dried at the laundromat. i was able to get my dryer fixed for the bedbug cause and now i can wash and dry to my hearts content.

    i read people here recommend you change your sheets 1x-2x a week. to me, that's honestly the amount of time we change our sheets ANYWAY, so it seemed as if most people change their sheets less than 1x a week on average? i would up that ante to every other day. if you cannot wash the sheets/dry them immediately...or at least throw them in the DRYER for a while to save washing money, then bag them up securely in one area. me personally, any bags that contain clothes that need to be cleaned are taken out of the house (i hear putting them in the tub is a great idea too--bugs cant climb up the sides). i dont want bugs to be unknowingly on the bags while im transporting them, and they drop in other areas of the house. so i take everything out asap. like others have said, if there's no place in your home that's bug safe, then put the clean stuff in another secured bag for usage later. this can go in the tub if youre afraid of bugs infecting the clean stuff...just keep clean and dirty seperate.

    if you have an older bed with wooden frames, etc. it might behoove you to take apart as much as you can and discard it. try to make your home as anti wood as possible. if you have to, simply use a metal box spring frame (one that you can clean easily--we believe we had a small group of reproducing bugs living in a circular tube bed frame--and here i was, thinking they dont hide in metal), with no fancy smancy head/footboards or other decoration. the idea is to keep the bed off the floor, not neccessarily have it look beautiful at this point in time. we dismantled 2 beds in our house and got rid of them totally. great idea...bedbugs were hiding in the parts. when we did this, wrapped our mattresses and kept the sheets cleaned every 48 hours, our bug population in the bed reduced so much it only took about 3 weeks for them to be never spotted in a bed again. we didnt have to go so far as the cups in oil *which im afraid to try because oil stains*, but we DID have to remove EVERY THING from under the beds. bugs will hide in anything they can despite having preferences. underneath our bed isnt messy, but there's lots of documents, shoes and boxes. all had to go. your bed should be totally clean underneath and swept or vacummed thoroughly. it gives them less of a hiding space. if you have a bed with wooden feet, then its gonna definitely help when you have the cup idea put in place.

    our problem is wooden slats that we have to hold up our bed mattress. (we have an ikea bed...i love ikea because their stuff is incredibly ANTI BED BUG) we inspected them carefully, since they were all in great condition we were able to keep them...no bugs anywhere that we saw. the slats in my daughters bed were sort of old and splintered and split...and small bugs were able to fit in between the slats so they had to go. it's imperative to have things be in good condition around your home. consider getting rid of things in poor condition, including the bed if need be. it gives you more living space while giving the bugs less. i have thrown out ALOT of stuff...but my home is probably cleaner than many and more comfortable now. i have been called out for engaging in, "unneccessary work". uh...there is NO such thing as unneccessary work when it comes to bedbugs. and honestly, because we dont have money to get rid of them, and alot of people cant offer your non-costly ways to control/eliminate them but can offer only ways that involve spending hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars, i have done it the best way i know how, and honestly, it has given me LOTS of rest and sleep and a huge piece of mind...even if i am still battling a small infestation. it's better than battling that monstrosity i was this spring.

    i took off all dust ruffles. limited the pillow usage to what i absolutely needed to be comfortable...dont give those bastards lots of folds and creases and soft materials to hide in is my motto. i make sure my encasements are in excellent condition...yes theyre vinyl and cheap but they work just as well as 70.00 each piece encasements when cared for. we take our baths right before bed and ensure that our nightclothes are bug free when we get into the bed (which is really easy to do because we have VERY good cleaning habits with our personal stuff and things we wear). i made sure old, ripped bedding and pillows are discarded. bugs will crawl into slits and holes and nest there until we fall asleep. i threw away ALL of my old pillows (some of which were tattered on the ends) and invested in clean hypoallergenic pillows and covers at 6.00 each for one pillow and a cover. and the covers are washable so the pillows stay protected from bugs and eggs. it's made a world of difference in the look and feel of my bed. and they're cheap and can be replaced as needed and are crisp and clean so i can spot bugs, even nymphs that may be crawling around. my bed is my pride and joy lol...it hurt to take it apart. lol...but i was able to eventually put it back together with modifications...and i have gone back *cautiously* to using my regular number of pillows...6.

    although it's not *scientifically proven*, there is evidence that suggests *after all, people were doing it for hundreds of years before those little white cones and experiments in a lab with a white coat were invented* that patchouli is a smell bedbugs avoid. it's very strong and woodsy/spicy...and it relaxes many people. you can try a mixture of essential oil and water *MIX WELL!!! lol* and spray it on the sheets at night. if it doesnt keep the bugs away, at least it will help you to relax. but it might just help them to leave the bed, and you...alone at night. if it works, you may also consider using the oil on your clothing. another thing you can do is sprinkle real patchouli between the mattress and the boxspring for additional scent. now i know we dont want to spread the bugs around, but heck...we dont want them in the bed with us either.

    for me, its imperative to avoid the bites also. im already emotional, i dont need extra drama from bug bites.

  17. spideyjg

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    Thu Sep 2 2010 11:25:34
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    A lot of yesterday the place was sketchy for access.

    Wasn't just you.

    Jim

  18. uggnobugs

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    Thu Sep 2 2010 11:38:57
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    as far as the ceilings go...theyre so high up it seems as if ONLY a professional can get up there. are the ceilings in good condition? are there places up there where the bugs can actually fall down from? have you seen bugs crawling around on the walls/ceiling? it's hard to treat walls without messing them up somewhat...but i made sure to wash ALL blinds and curtains in the house, and keep the walls clean with hot soapy water. this helps to move dust and dirt, and may even dislodge some eggs on the baseboards of the walls. are you just afraid that bugs are in the ceiling or are you positive youve seen them up in there? one thing i find is...it helps to only worry about what you have to worry about and THINK towards other things, but dont give yourself fears over what may NOT be in existence...what you KNOW is an IMMEDIATE problem is one thing, but try not to overthink or overpanic the issue *i know it's hard but work on conciously calming yourself down when this happens and it will help*. i am not sure how well a bedbug on a 13 foot high ceiling can smell you on the bed, and take great aim and fall directly into the bed for food. maybe someone with some scientific knowledge on the subject can share? as far as i know...the bugs only travel a few feet away from and to food sources willingly. if this is true then a ceiling is not an ideal place for bugs to make their home.

    because light sources will not deflect hungry bed bugs...eventually any bugs that just might be there will HAVE to either come down to eat or go up higher to find a person to bite if there is an apartment above you (their floor is your ceiling). if you keep the lights on throughout the night maybe once or twice a week...eventually after a few days anything hungry is going to come down regardless of the light and time...and you can spot them, if theyre up there. the reason for leaving the lights on throughout the night is to see any bugs that may try to come down during those hours. bugs like the wood but they need food to survive. wood doesnt outtrump blood!

    but until you can determine if bed bugs are actually IN the ceiling...

    try to clean/declutter the bedroom as much as possible. think about it this way...it's better to battle bugs if they are in the ceiling than to have to sit around and battle bugs ALL AROUND the room yanno? for me, it feels good to have to only tense up when i enter into one bedroom versus when i enter the entire house. while cleaning you may come into an area with bedbugs, and you can work quickly and efficiently to get them cleaned up. for this task...have a spray bottle with the 91% isopryl alcohol available for immediate killing. you may move a picture frame for instance, and there are 8 or 9 live bugs behind it. you have the spray to immediately kill them versus letting them scurry. and since its just a bottle of alcohol in a spray bottle, it's easy and affordable to have on hand. as you clean the bedroom daily...keep the alcohol. one mistake i made is assuming once an area is clean bugs wont go back for a while. i have cleaned an area and the next day went back and found bedbugs there. so cleaning is a DAILY process that will definitely help you control the bug population. its helped me immensely with peace of mind AND actual bugs.

    whatever you do...caution with the DE!! it sounds to me as if people who cant adequately control its spread *like you since you have health problems that prevent you from moving much to keep it contained* and me because of my children and pets...should avoid the stuff at ALL costs if they dont have proper help in laying it down or cant monitor it daily. some things work for others, but not us, and vice versa. the only way i see DE being plausible is if you can apply it correctly and ONLY to the border of the bedroom, ensuring NO one comes into contact with it. this will help prevent bugs crawling up the walls to get to the ceilings and kill many on the floors too.

    is there a person living in an apartment upstairs from you? is there any way to find out if they have bed bugs? seems like their floor and your ceiling would be sharing the same problem...

  19. uggnobugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Sep 2 2010 11:40:11
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    spideyjg - 13 minutes ago  » 
    A lot of yesterday the place was sketchy for access.
    Wasn't just you.
    Jim

    i was on yesterday but couldnt click any links. i thought it was my hubbys video gaming system that blanked out. LOL, bedbugger.com almost made me call his game trash HAHA...now i know it was the site...i owe the game an apology.

  20. buggyinsocal

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    Thu Sep 2 2010 12:22:03
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    Just in case anyone reading this post is thinking about whether and how to use any repellent as a part of their bed bug strategy, I will try to say what needs to be said in an easy to read form. (We all know Im long winded, so this may be doomed, but here goes anyway.)

    1. For some insects, like mosquitos and deer flies, insect repellents whether manufactured chemicals made for that purpose, like DEET, or naturally occurring, like citronella, may be effective.

    2. Bed bugs, for reasons that as a layperson I don't understand, do not seem to respond to repellents in the same way.

    Part of this, I suspect, is behavioral. Mosquitos do not harbor in the home of their food near the sleeping area.

    We know, for example, that bed bugs "feel" safe when they're crammed into small spaces. I've seen entomologists or PCOs report that the bugs seem to like the feel of something on both sides of them.

    Mosquitos are an outdoor pest with a very large feeding ground to hunt in.

    Bed bugs, on the other hand, have adapted over time to feed only once every few days when their prey (that would be us) is most vulnerable. They can't jump or fly, and they're not even great climbers. For those reasons, they usually harbor in places that are easy for them to access.

    If nothing is done to discourage them, they will not hide deep in places that are tough to access. They will stick close to their prey. (For reasons I won't bore you with, the bugs in my bedroom when I had them set up shop in the following places: my curtains, which touched the bed at the time; under the pillow on the side of the bed I didn't sleep on; in some clean sheets I had stacked on the side of the bed I wasn't sleeping on. I saw others in other places, but that's where they made themselves most comfortable in the largest numbers. I did see some hanging out on the edge of the mattress or box spring in the folds between things where they could hide.)

    3. When we use any chemical--natural or man made--that repels bed bugs, this will drive them deeper into hiding. We know that bed bugs have an alarm pheromone that they will release to warn other bugs that something dangerous exists.

    The reason that using any repellent that works against bed bugs--Neem oil, certain chemical pesticides, even heat used in a single room improperly--is a bad idea long term is this: when bed bugs sense danger and release that alarm pheromone, they will run away from the alarm.

    The will not flee the property. But they will be driven deeper into hiding in places that are harder to access and therefore much harder to treat.

    The harder to access the bug populations are, the longer, harder, and more expensive the fight to get rid of them is going to be.

    4. The most expensive to treat infestations--as oldtimers and professionals will tell you--are the ones where the bugs have hid the best from their food. When the bugs get into places that are harder to reach, it makes the pesticides we have less effective.

    Remember, there are no pesticides that even if sprayed directly on the bugs and eggs can be counted on to reliably kill all the eggs.

    As a result, what you're basically waiting for is the eggs to hatch and the new young hungry bugs to come out of hiding, feed, and then cross the pesticide on the way back to their hiding place. (The post feeding crossing of the residual is important. Because before feeding, their physiology comes into very little contact with the places the residual pesticide has been applied. Post feeding, they come into more contact.)

    If you deter them from feeding, they're more likely to stay in those hard to reach hiding places and/or less likely to come into contact with an effective dose of the residual or mechanical killer you've left for them.

    For all those reasons, using a repellent is a bad idea that it likely to drive the bugs deeper into hiding, prolong the infestation, and make that hidden population harder to eradicate.

    It is absolutely true that people who have a particularly severe allergic reaction to the bugs are in a bad position.

    But in that case, seeking medical help and support to try to manage the allergic reaction while you're being bitten is important. Isolating the bed can also help, but people should be aware that isolating the bed can make infestations slightly harder to get rid of (or make it take slightly longer to get rid of the bugs) in the long run, if the information I've posted above is indeed correct. (I'm a layperson. It's always possible that I've misunderstood what the pros here have said.)

    People are individuals and adults, and esp. in bad situations , we each have to make the best decisions we can in our particular situation. However, I do want people who are going into a fight against bed bugs to understand the particular evidence-based reasons that we generally argue against the use of repellents of any kind in the battle against bed bugs.

    We don't say that because we're immune to the suffering of people who have bad reactions to the bites. We say what we say because we're looking at the bigger picture and worried about the likely negative consequences of using repellents.

    In fact, we don't want people to suffer with bed bugs for longer than they already are. We don't want them to have to pay for more expensive treatment. We don't want treatments to fail because the bugs, exposed to the alarm pheromones, to set so deeply into a structure that it becomes very, very difficult to eradicate that population.

    I freely admit that I was lucky. I found a PCO who would do thermal. Even though I live in a multi-unit building, it's a small one, and we neighbors all know each other well. My neighbors all cooperated, and the PCO inspected all the adjacent units. (All but two of the units here are adjcanet to one another, so, you know, that was most of them.)

    In fact, the PCO basically said thermal was the only option in my case. Through blind luck, I hadn't disturbed the bugs, and one treatment later, I was bed bug free.

    My PCO gave me a six month warranty on the treatment. I had a bed bug scare a few months later, and the PCO came back out and inspected and found nothing. (Best guess: I was bitten by bed bugs at a movie theater--that I haven't been back to since.)

    I rent, so I didn't have a lot of choice in the matter.

    But it is possible to find good PCOs who will give warranties.

    I'm not suggesting that all PCOs are good, or that good PCOs are available every where.

    But I do think sometimes the fact that people post most heavily on the boards when they are in the worst, most stressful situations gives a lot of people a skewed perspective about how many PCOs are how bad.

    It's important to remember that you might be unlucky and not have a PCO who excels at bed bugs where you are. But you also might be lucky and have one in your area.

    So, again, if anyone is reading this thread trying to figure out whether to use repellents in your battle, and you haven't yet done so, I urge you not to use repellents. I know it seems to make sense, but this is one of those counter intuitive times when what seems to make sense won't, in fact, help. And a lot of people seem to think that a strategy that doesn't help won't actually make things worse, but in the case of repellents, they generally do exactly that.

    Bed bugs are not analogous to mosquitos or deer flies. Bed bugs are a very different pest in terms of behavior and physiology.

  21. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Sep 2 2010 14:50:01
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    Anstas - 20 hours ago  » 
    Uggnobugs, I am having trouble accessing this site, so if you don't hear from me, that's why. I will however access from a friends computer if necessary, and read anything you post. I am going to need this site in this battle.
    I also think I have found a work around to help me access this site when it says unable to access. I just follow my computer's instructions and it seems to get me here. Take care.


    Anstas
    and spideyjg,

    I did not have any trouble logging in yesterday and no one brought this problem to my attention, so I was completely unaware. I will look into it.

    Note: if you're having trouble with the site, email me! nobugs at bedbugger dotcom.

    If anyone can take a screenshot of the error message, that's even better.

  22. Eve

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Sep 2 2010 15:35:51
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    Hi, Nobugs, there was no error message. I just got the generic "cannot connect" message. It lasted for an hour or two for me.

    Eve

  23. Anstas

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Sep 2 2010 16:48:43
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    Uggnobugs and BuggyinSocal, I have done most of what you said Uggnobugs. I have removed everything from under the bed, launder every week, which I already did, and I actually lift the box spring and matress off the metal frame and vacuum every week under the bed and inspect the frame and box spring and matress. Nothing is ever there. I do not have encasementns nor did I know you can buy them cheaply which I will do. I launder clothing and bedding to excess, and have removed excess pillows which I launder too, but though I try to keep them in white clean trash bags I haven't room to separate the clean stuff as I don't know where the buggers are and I've looked everywhere almost and I keep looking . BTW, I have yet to see a bug, an egg or a nymph.

    I haven't been bitten since stopping Neem Oil. I switched to B vitamins and I take an extra B1 a few hours before bedtime. I also have not seen one on the ceiling but I can't get up high enough to check it out.

    I have to run and will try to respond more thoroughly later. ty to everyone and ty Uggnobugs for your time to help me rid myself of this problem.

  24. Anstas

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    Thu Sep 2 2010 16:50:43
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    Nobuggsonme, I will copy the error message and send it to you or post it. I am having to run out the door at the moment.

  25. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Sep 2 2010 21:01:39
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    Thanks, Anstas and Eve,

    I've started another thread here so people can weigh in on access issues.

    As I said there, I understand the server had some issues between 5 and 7 pm EST on Wednesday. I'm curious if your trouble occurred roughly during that timeframe?

    If so, it was an isolated incident. Thanks!

  26. Eve

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    Thu Sep 2 2010 21:04:40
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    I would not normally have even commented on it because I know that systems go down periodically for various reasons (I suppose it would be tasteless to describe the process as blowing the bugs out of the system ). I wish the websites I need for work had such an impressive record of always being up.

    In other words, no complaints from me.

    Eve

  27. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Sep 2 2010 21:10:35
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    Thanks, Eve!

    If there's anything beyond a normal server issue, I do want to fix it. And if the server was having a lot of issues, of course, that might need to be changed.

    I think the site could be a bit faster at times, but it doesn't go down often (knock wood)!

  28. cilecto

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Sep 2 2010 22:37:14
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    Are you experiencing spikes in usage due to the prevalence of BB reporting in the US media?

  29. buggyinsocal

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    Fri Sep 3 2010 11:18:47
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    Anstas,

    If you haven't seen a bed bug or eggs, are you sure it's bed bugs you're dealing with?

    I ask only because bugs are impossible to identify by bites alone. That's not to say that bites aren't important evidence in figuring out what is going on. But everyone's immune system is different. For some people, bed bug bites can show up 9 days after being bitten. Some people never react. Others react immediately.

    Even the most experienced dermatologists who've seen a lot of insect bites can only narrow things down by looking at most insect bites. Scabies are an exception; there is a test a doc can do for scabies. Beyond that, however, even a dermatologist or primary care doc with the training and experience to examine bug bites can only tell you the particular group of bugs that made the bite, not the specific species of bug within that group.

    Now, as I said, that's not to say that bug bites can't help us out, and it's not to say that individuals who've had experience with a particular pest can't know what their own reactions to that pest have been in the past.

    For example, we know that flea bites most often show up on humans around the ankles. If a person is getting a bunch of bites around the ankles, the place I would start would be ruling fleas in or out because fleas seem the most likely based on the data we have about where the bites occur on the body.

    Having been bitten by bed bugs before, I have a clear memory of how my body responds to those bites. I have a good idea about how those bites are different from other skin conditions I've experienced like mosquito bites and folliculitis and the irritation that comes from the stubble growing back in after I'd shaved my legs.

    However, those previous experiences should also be taken as a guideline not a hard and fast rule because allergic responses do change over time. (My uncle, for example, used to have the same kind of mild allergy to cats that I have. Later in his life, his allergy got worse. Some people have allergies as kids that go away; others develop allergies for the first time in their 60s or 70s. The allergic response in humans is complicated and little understood by medicine in many, many ways. Medicine knows how to treat most allergies, but it doesn't understand where those allergies come from--why one person's immune system senses tree pollen as an evil invader and overreacts while another person's doesn't is still very much a mystery to docs.)

    But, again, all of that is useful data to get to the heart of the problem.

    I did notice that in this post you said that you hadn't seen a bug or an egg--none of the stages of life.

    Beyond the bites that you're getting--which are an important piece of evidence--what makes you suspect bed bugs? Have you seen fecal matter? Have you found the skins cast off by the bugs as they molt and grow?

    There are plenty of other pests that can cause bites or bite like responses, and if you're battling something else instead of bed bugs, often the treatments for those are less of a hassle.

    For example, many people are allergic to these hair like things on carpet beetle larvae. Carpet beetles and their larvae don't bite, but those hair like things can irritate skin and cause something that looks exactly like a bite. I should add that they are also badly named; it's perfectly possible to get carpet beetles even if your place doesn't have carpet, just as bed bugs can live places other than beds, and people without pets can end up with fleas in their home.

    I also know that you've mentioned before that you have a disability, so I also don't want to assume that when you say you've seen no evidence that you've been able to inspect everywhere in your place as much as you would like to. Depending on your particular challenges, inspecting everywhere might be hard. As someone who is currently able-bodied (but perfectly aware that that could change at any time in my life), *I* had trouble moving some of my furniture because, no matter how much I work out, I'm still one woman, and a short one at that. My dressers, which were originally my grandparents' dressers, are heavy, solid wood that I can't move without help. So I know that if someone had expected me to flip those over and examine any screw holes in the bottom, that would have been impossible for me without help.

    I want to be clear; I don't think it means that you're not trying if you haven't done those things.

    I'm just trying to give you a list of steps that you can take (probably with the help of others) to get to the bottom of what's really causing the bites.

    If you haven't seen any evidence of bed bugs, there are basically four possibilities I would want to examine if I were in your position. I realize that some of these may be things that you can't do on your own, but to get to the bottom of the problem, here's what I would consider if I were you.

    1. It is possible, if you don't live in a detached single family house, that an adjacent unit is the source of the bugs. Someone next to you has them, and you're getting bitten by the occasional straggler. This is one of the hardest situations to confirm since, really, it involves the adjacent units being inspected by a professional.

    2. You're being bitten by bed bugs somewhere outside your home.

    Several months post bed bugs, I developed very itchy, really red insect bite-looking things that itched as intensely and were about the same size as the bites I knew were bed bug bites. I panicked on an epic scale. I freaked completely at the thought of going through all that hell again. (So, really, I do get it. I remember vividly what it was like. I just try not to write from that emotional place because, well, in general I'm not big on sharing private emotions in public, but also because I figure with bed bugs other people are already stressed enough, and my stress isn't going to make it any better.)

    My PCO came out because the place was still under warranty, and he inspected and found nothing.

    My best guess is that I got bitten by bed bugs at a movie theater I didn't normally go to.

    At any rate, it is possible to be bitten by bed bugs someplace other than your home if that place is infested. Remember, bed bugs will feed and then leave, so being bitten by bed bugs somewhere else doesn't necessarily mean bringing them home with you, so particularly if the bites follow a really intermittent pattern, that's possible.

    3. You have bed bugs but haven't found their hiding place just yet. Even if that's the case, if you can search thoroughly, you should find evidence of them being there. Bugs can hide, but they still have to poop, and that poop will get left behind, even if they are harboring somewhere you cannot access.

    There are a couple of reasons that even though you've worked very hard, you might not have found the bugs or evidence yet. Inspecting for bed bugs is actually harder than it sounds. Most people don't do it effectively unless they've been trained. Jeff White's bed bug tv is a good place to start to watch some video of professionals inspecting a room. It gives really specific tips about the kinds of places bed bugs are most likely to hide.

    Again, I'm not saying that I'm some sort of bed bug guru who knows everything, I'm just relating my experience. It wasn't until a PCO co-inspected a suitcase with me that I felt confident inspecting myself. I knew what adults and nymphs looked like by that point, but I hadn't really seen their eggs. (Or rather, I hadn't realized that I'd seen their eggs.) Having a pro walk me through it gave me a much better sense of what I was looking for. Not everyone can have a pro walk them through it, but there are some good videos online that might be helpful if you haven't already seen them.

    It also may be the case that things are preventing you from searching thoroughly. (I'm not saying it's a given that you haven't searched thoroughly. I'm just trying to list all the possibilities. I'm also saying that I can imagine some disabilities making it impossible to search thoroughly. My friends who have fibromyalgia or EDS, for example, could never search in the way it would require because their bodies wouldn't let them. I also don't want to pry about your disabilities, so I won't.) If that's the case, enlisting the help of someone who can help you search or search for you is a good idea. A friend or family member could do it. However, if you don't have one of those you trust, you might consider getting a professional in for an inspection.

    If you have confirmation of the pest that you have, you can make sure that you're treating that pest effectively. Pest management these days is pest-specific, so if you don't know exactly what you're treating, you cannot treat it effectively. Twenty years ago, PCOs used broad spectrum chemicals that killed most insects, but that's not the case today. Without that confirmation, you're going to continue to be stressed, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

    4. You're being bitten (or having a bite-like response--which is not to say that you don't have itchy welts that suck. It just means that the naked eye cannot tell the difference between a bite from a bed bug, a bite from a mosquito, and the skin's reaction to a hair like thing from a carpet beetle) by something other than bed bugs. Whatever that other pest is, it's in your home. The good news about this last one is that almost any pest is easier to eliminate than bed bugs. (It's also possible that you have multiple pests. Finding carpet beetles doesn't mean you don't have bed bugs necessarily, but if you find carpet beetles and no evidence of bed bugs, I'd deal with the carpet beetles first.)

    I'll cross my fingers that what's causing your bites is something that is much easier to eradicate than bed bugs. Hang in there.

  30. uggnobugs

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    Fri Sep 10 2010 10:09:15
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    i have to agree *HEHE!!!!! * with buggy in socal! LOL, first time for everything eh?

    anstas i'm beginning to wonder IF these are really bedbugs you're dealing with? it would seem that at this point, with so many bites affecting your health and home in so many aspects, that you would have seen at least ONE bug by now!!! buggy is right--the bites alone are hard to identify as a bedbug, and we waited until we saw a bedbug *wrong move!!!!* to take any action against them...it was a bad idea because the bugs spread over the months we waited!

    i don't blame you for taking action, but in your state of health, it may be overexertion (for me, it's an everyday thing ANYWAY so i don't mind) on your body, especially physically and mentally, especially for a pest that like buggy said--may be easier to eliminate than the bed bugs.

    the only other thing i can think of if you are POSITIVE that you DO have them *sometimes people have gut feelings about bb's--for me it was a gut feeling after a few weeks that i just IGNORED because i never saw a bb--WRONG MOVE!!!* is if they are in the unencased beds moreso than anywhere else! perhaps they haven't gotten to spread all over the house because of the precautions you're taking yet? definitely get your beds encased asap! i could only afford the cheaper encasements because of money woes, and sometimes they tear and need a replacing, but the vinyl ones are better than NOTHING, and so long as you're gentle on the bed, they won't tear to the point of needing replacements say, weekly. ch martin has them and i have even seen a local grocery store carrying some that look to be a bit better quality (and they were about 30.00 MAX for the king size). good old grandma did it and her bug infestation IMMEDIATELY began to improve. it literally was like night and day. she went from having bugs crawling across her sheets *it got THAT bad to the point where they were out during the DAY looking for meals on the grandkids!* to where you could actually fall asleep on the bed and only worry about the occassional bug finding you. it's been nearly a month since she encased her beds and none of the children have reported being bitten there.

  31. buggyinsocal

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    Fri Sep 10 2010 11:00:05
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    If you're not dealing with cats, kids, or other behavior of your own that make them likely to tear, cheap encasements can work with the following warnings:

    1. The weakest part of any encasement is the zipper. More expensive encasements make the zipper harder for bugs to get into or out of. In a pinch, if money is an issue, duct tape reinforcing the zipper section can work pretty well.

    2. They have to stay on for 18 months for 2 years, and they have to stay completely sealed that whole time. So if one tears, get another one. Some people put it right on over the old one. And then start the 18 month to 2 year clock over again on the date you re-encased.

    3. The vinyl ones don't breathe nearly as well as the more expensive ones. Esp. in the heat, I felt a little bit like someone was marinating me to toss me on the grill the next day. (I had a vinyl encasement on the futon in my living room which is where I slept for months after treatment because I was so traumatized.) But as long as you can live with that, it's not going to make the encasements ineffective. I only mention it because people need to know going in that it's what will happen with the vinyl ones. If it bothers you and you take them off, you risk being right back at square 1.

  32. uggnobugs

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    Fri Sep 10 2010 13:40:28
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    i actually have learned to seal the weak areas beforehand with silver tape to reinforce them to make replacements needed less. for me, the weakest areas are the zippered portions where spaces reside (honestly mine don't have ANY open areas--they're pretty well crafted) and on the bottom portions right around the edges where the seams meet (so i reinforce those). the tape doesn't matter since sheets will cover it anyway.

    also, i have a washable pillow top mattress that i use on top of the vinyl covers. so actually my bed is layered like this: mattress, vinyl cover, vinyl cover *put on in the opposite direction so the zippers aren't rubbing together* fitted mattress protector *not an encasement*, sheet, pillow top mattress, sheet, comforter.

    it works amazingly well and i never feel the vinyl. the layers could be a problem for someone else, but my bed is about 3 inches higher and way softer than it would be normally and i can wash EVERYTHING that is on the mattress in one sitting so i'm not too concerned about any bugs harboring in the layers for long *since everything is stripped weekly anyway*.

    the best thing i did for my bedroom though was to start off with a clean, bedbug free bed. some people have beds riddled with bedbug waste. i've seen mattresses outside TOTALLY browned on ALL edges and undersides from bedbug waste, blood and moltings. unsanitary, unsightly and unhealthy imo, encasement or not. i'd rather spend my last 300.00 on a new bed if i had to...i can't even imagine sleeping on a bed full of even dead bedbugs, especially for 18 months.


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