Would this be an effective way to kill bed bugs?(7 posts)
I had an idea to kill bed bugs. I don't know where they are in the house, but my roommate is still getting bites. My idea is to attract them to a place where they will meet their doom.
I have the house lined with Food Grade DE at this point, but what if I was to put a big pile of it in the middle of each room. and in the middle of the pile put a little bit of dry ice. Bed bugs are attracted to carbon dioxide so would this attract them to walk into the pile and kill themselves? Or is this a horrible horrible idea and I should be ashamed of even thinking of it?
I wouldn't be ashamed or thinking of it. Part of the dynamic on these boards (or really, anywhere online) is that people who are newer and who maybe don't yet know as much about the topic come in full of enthusiasm and get creative, like you're doing.
When the topic on the board in question is how to write a short story, enthusiasm and creativity pretty much get to run wild. With a few rare exceptions, trying an idea for a new way to write that doesn't work doesn't hurt anyone but you and your story. And if a newbie finds out that his or her brand new idea for a story has been done before, that's not a big deal because chances are that his or her take on the subject will be different. No harm, no foul.
Here, however, when people come up with new ideas on these boards, the solutions often involve pesticides and mechanical killers of bugs. Not only do all these substances pose a health hazard if mishandled, but they can make the bed bug problem worse in some cases, and worse infestations are harder and more expensive to treat. As a result, on these boards, there's a little bit more reason for old timers and pros to advise against trying some of those ideas than if we were talking about short stories.
Here's the thing. We know that if DE is overapplied, bed bugs will avoid it. So mounding the DE in the center of a room won't work because the bugs will go around it. (In some infestations, we've heard of bugs climbing the walls and dropping from the ceiling to get to food.)
Secondly, dry ice can work with monitors, but those work best if you remove more tempting food sources at the same time (for example, the residents of the house go out of town and leave the dry ice monitor in place while they are away overnight.)
Thirdly, if you're in a multi-unit building, given that dry ice surrounded by a mound of DE is a less tempting target than a person in an adjacent unit, trying this might cause the bugs to move to an adjacent unit, which can make getting rid of your infestation much harder.
Fourth, DE still takes up to 10 days to kill bed bugs, so while it's working, the bugs can go back to their hidden harborages and lay eggs, and then you'll be doing this all over again with the nymphs when they hatch in a few weeks.
No one should be ashamed of trying to come up with new ways to kill bugs.
But I don't think this plan is a particularly good one only because it not only is likely not to work but because there are some risks of it making the problem harder to deal with.
I'm debunking it not because I want to shut you down--either in terms of talking on the boards and/or because I want people to stop coming up with creative propositions for killing the bugs. I'm debunking it because I want you to have a solution that works, I want your problem to get better (not get made worse), and because I want you to have the information you need so you can keep getting creative and maybe with more info, come up with an innovative solution that can help you and other people.
It's just that this particular plan isn't that.
Nothing to be ashamed about. DE can work as part of an integrated bed bug program, and quite possibly work alone with a non-chemical approach (adding a lot of vacuuming and steam wouldn't hurt) depending on how it is applied and the extent of the infestation.
You don't want to "pile" it on, however, and you might search for a recent video (from Canada I think) that showed a proper application. A CO2 trap surrounded by an appropriate application of DE in an appropriate setting might help things along, although C02 traps work best when no one else is in the room. Even better would be to use yourself as the C02 trap and then use an appropriate DE barrier between.
There's a product on the market called ClimbUps that more or less does that either with DE or just plain talcum powder. The advantage of the ClimbUps is that they can actually catch bed bugs which is important especially in the case where the only signs of bed bugs are bites.
So, if that is the case -- only bites -- I'd start with something like ClimbUps to make sure you really have bed bugs. Either that, or a good PCO who will give your house a thorough inspection. There was a recent thread here started by a PCO and the gist of it was that the majority of people calling PCO's for bed bugs actually don't have them. Hopefully, that is you as well!
One key point to note is that the various CO2 traps are intended for detection, not eradication. They might attract some of your bugs, but in most situations, experts advise they will not trap all your bugs. So, regardless of whether or not you treat the approach to your trap, don't expect to get them all.
BTW I just put the ashamed line in there in jest. Just a bit of hyperbole.
Second, I absolutely have bed bugs. I found 3 of them crawling on my wall killed them and bagged them.
I have a layer of DE around my wall that I applied with a paint brush. There is also a layer around my bed. I haven't gotten bitten in a few days now, which I guess is a good sign. I didn't think of them dropping from the ceiling. Does anyone think flypaper on the ceiling over my bed is a good idea to stop that approach of biting me?
Not unless you can put something yummy on the fly paper.
Using dry ice with a pitfall trap will be more effective than a pile of DE... A Climb Up Interceptor or the Rutger's dry ice design utilizing an inverted pet food bowl with cloth tape on the outside edge will capture bed bugs that are drawn to the CO2... DE does not work well as a barrier and should be properly applied to avoid health issues as the other members have already pointed out.
Climb Up Interceptors and BB Alert Passive monitors utilize humans for bait... Obtaining dry ice on a daily basis can be an expensive hassle.
My main concern is the statement that you have placed it around your bed... DE should only be used in cracks, crevices or locations where it won't be disturbed and made airborne... DE should not be used in visible locations or piled on the floor in the open.
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