I know I'm gonna get blasted for saying this but:
I have been self-treating for almost three months and with very good results. It took months to find a bugger and get it identified, and by that time I had lost faith in the few pest control operators in my area.
That said, I recently found a VERY acute bed bug PCO in the area, talked with him at length on the phone and he's coming by next week to access the situation and see how many bugs are left.
As far as self-treating, it CAN help.
However, it isn't easy. You can't just pick up a can of Raid and spray madly away. You have to do your research, and that means reading everything you can find on treatment and bugs and also calling and talking with experts and emailing experts and reading up on pesticides and dangers and dosages, etc.
It also means leaving your emotions behind and tackling the problem with logic and good sense.
That's the hardest part.
I haven't eliminated my bed bugs but I have vastly reduced their numbers to the point that I feel comfortable inside my own apartment again. I walk in the door and feel welcomed. I still get bit at night sometimes and so does my son, but I've managed to confine them to the beds (or so I believe).
I'm not going to list what I've done or what I've used because I DO NOT want people to do the same unless they've put in the same amount of time and research. Chemicals shouldn't be used lightly, and if you use the wrong kind you're just going to end up spreading them to another location (and I can't stress this enough).
Some things I will mention that have helped (most of this is old news, too):
-Bagging clothes and magazines
-DE around baseboards, corners of rugs and around all furniture
-Sticky paper beneath bed posts
-Sprayway's Good Night, which is the same as Bedlam, is a great tool. I spray all the couch and living room pillow seams a few times a week (caught a few small ones doing this too), our computer chairs and bed frames. I also use it to spray the edges of the dog's foam bed
-Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum
-Wash bedding and dog's bedding every other day
-Items that I think are infected or can't bag for 18 months I've bagged with mothballs (the old fashioned kind with naphthalene) for 2 weeks
-My laptop, which was infected (caught three nymphs strutting out of it a month ago) I bagged with mothballs for a weekend. I then used it only in the day in bright light and bagged with mothballs each night. It seems to have done the trick. I can now write late at night in the dark with no bugs dancing across the screen or squeezing out from between the keyboard. So far this hasn't harmed my laptop one bit (except that it smells a bit like an old closet)
-Wash the wood floors with Murphy's Oil once a week and then reapply and mixture of DE and Delta Dust around the baseboards and just DE around all furniture
-I've also made it a point to spray and keep dust around all areas where pipes connect, cable wires come in, etc. I've caulked but don't trust that very small cracks might still exist
-I know this is illegal per say, but I sprayed and dusted outside of my apartment door (the water pipes run right above my door, and there are very big gaps) and made a type of barrier both outside and inside the door.
One last thing that I can't stress enough: Treatments take time. DE takes time. I've noticed that each two weeks after I sprayed my chemical combo, the bites would worsen as the bugs were forced out of hiding and crossed the poison to get to us. We got bit, but they died, hee, hee.
Don't you just love it when you find a dead one!
I too have been self treating. I bagged a lot of things in black garbage bags and wrapped my wood bed in black plastic and put out in the sun for a few days. I still hesitate bringing the bed back into my house. I have it in storage shed. I took down all my baseboards and sprayed with safe solutions enzyme cleaner, I put DE behind all the baseboards, I took all the dressers and sprayed with safe solutions inside and out, I put DE under all the dressers. I am currently sleeping in a metal bed (just a frame) with mattress and box spring covers. I've had one bite in the last 2 weeks, because the blanket touched the floor. But even with all the cleaning, I have not seen any. Oh yes, vacuum, vacuum, vacuum and even shampooed the carpeting with the safe solutions. I think it's working, I just wish that I knew it was working. At least I'm not getting bites!
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