Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Reader questions (do not fit into other categories)

Bathing in alcohol?

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  1. sleepingstandingup

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Aug 9 2008 23:47:01
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    What if you dipped your night clothes in 90% alcohol, let it dry, then rubbed alcohol all over your body, then put your bed clothes on, would that keep them from biting you in bed?
    What if you put a trench around your bed or sheets of vaseline, then slept on top of the bed with a sheet not touching outside of the trench?
    What if you put vaseline on your body, then put on long sleeves and pj bottoms, would they not bite you then?

    What if you leave your light on, put a moving device, such as a neck massager, and leave that on all night. Would that keep them away or at least give one night of sound sleep?

    How do you stop freaking out every time you get a little itch? How do you function with only several hours of sleep a night?
    Do BB's REALLY only come out around predawn (between 4 & 6 am) or do they come out as soon as you are motionless? What if you just leave your light on all night?

    Other than isolating your bed, does anyone have ANY INFO on defensive measures in the event the monsters DO GET PAST the isolation? My bed is isolated, encasements, all clean linens, PCO sprayed, DE'd on frames, headboard, baseboard, even encasements, but STILL get occasional bites, that still freak me out so I can't sleep!
    There HAS TO BE SOMETHING that will repel them from getting on us or biting us!

  2. beerbeast

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Aug 10 2008 12:03:12
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    Try a flamethrower, napalm maybe.

  3. parakeets

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Aug 10 2008 13:20:57
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    You are still coming up with ideas. Good for you. It's our brains and imagination that will help us win the war.

    As for the alcohol, it is only good as a contact killer so the best thing for clothes is simply to wash (and particularly dry) your clothes on hot-hot-hot. That will even kill the eggs. Alcohol has no residual nature, and most pesticides with residual effects come with warnings that they are not to be used on mattresses, let alone on clothes.

    Like you, I tried keeping the light on and it didn't work. They bit no matter what time or what degree of darkness. My bedbugs will bite me if I take a nap during the day or am sitting quietly studying. They just need me to be not moving or not be very alert. You're right that they wait until we are motionless. The motion they are afraid of is a swipe or a swat that would kill them.

    Now Vaseline did work well for me on my bed, and you might have something with the trench. That goes along with the principle of isolating your bed. If you use vaseline on the legs of your bed, you have to re-vaseline the legs since it slides down and bedbugs find a circuitous way to climb up. I don't know if Vaseline would work as a barrier on the body. I somehow doubt it since I've been bitten on my face when wearing face creams that are petroleum-based.

    I also keep hoping there is a way we could stop them from biting us. They are so stupid and blood thirsty, so predictable and puny-brained. We should be able to come up with something. I wondered if I would wear a Tyvek suit, with boots, gloves and face mask, to bed. I wondered if I could get a cow's liver or a juicy steak and put it on a heating pad along with some dry ice for the CO2 in the bed with me. Would they go for that concoction? If they did, could I inject poison into the meat and let them eat it and die?

  4. death2allbbs

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Aug 10 2008 13:58:13
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    quote by parakeets:

    "I also keep hoping there is a way we could stop them from biting us. They are so stupid and blood thirsty, so predictable and puny-brained. We should be able to come up with something."

    death2allbbs:

    Good point, parakeets. Also, I hate to say this, but we humans(especially the scientists and the experts) seem to run around like the Keystone Cops when it comes to bedbugs. I just seem to hear too much: "We can't"..."it's too hard"..."they're too difficult to kill," etc., instead of hearing about innovative ways and ideas to combat and protect ourselves from bedbugs.

  5. spideyjg

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Aug 10 2008 14:06:53
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    I know the little vermin cannot be very smart but they are resilient.

    Someone eleshere mention the sticky insect traps and putting the feet of the bed right in them. Brilliant IMHO. Provided there is 360 degree coverage they can't get over it.

    Sadly there is only so much you can do to set up defenses. If your bed it truly isolated there must be a population beyond the isolation line or you have a gap. Is there a headboard be it metal or wood? If so take it off and see what happens.

    They are not brilliant creatures so it seems odd that we have to be so creative and resolute to beat them.

    Freaking vermin of Satan!

    Jim

  6. BeeBee

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Aug 10 2008 16:21:42
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    They are NOT smart critters, they're insects, they basically don't have a brain. But they're operating on instinct and we're operating on intelligence--which one seems to be working best?

    Sleeping with the light on does NOT deter them. They bite regardless. They bite if you nap during the day. They bite when you're lounging on the floor watching a good movie. They bite when you're sitting at your desk checking your email.

    I didn't have much success with Vaseline on the bedposts, it was too much of a mess and the pets kept leaning against it and rubbing it off. I have taken the advice of someone (thank you, whoever you are, can't remember right now) about putting glue trap paper beneath my bed posts and that has REALLY worked.

    Face cream on the face hasn't worked. Vics VaporRub has, but it made my skin blotchy and wasn't worth it. I put Off on my face before bed and that deters them from my face but not from biting: They simple munch on my neck instead. And will also find that one spot where I missed with the Off.

    They are VERY determined. I try and think of it this way: If I were hungry, really, really hungry, what would I do for food? What chances and risks would I be willing to undertake to find a food source? That's basically what the BBs are doing.

    Another tip: I also have glue trap paper beneath my computer chair and haven't been bitten at my desk (which is surrounded by a thin layer of DE) since I put them there.

  7. spideyjg

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Aug 10 2008 16:55:56
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    Are you catching evidence BeeBee? Whatcha getting in the traps?

    Jim

  8. sleepingstandingup

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Aug 11 2008 1:44:29
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    Weird thing is ever since I got treatment, the bites have all been INSIDE my clothing area! No bites on hands, neck, legs,. ears. neck.
    All of which i got bit before the treatment.
    Anyone know what's up with that????

    I was figuring if I put on a REALLY THICK layer of vasaline, they wouldn't want to go through it to get to my skin. Also it would make them sticky and unable to run away of get back in to their hiding places.

  9. parakeets

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Aug 11 2008 8:56:38
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    As for bites inside the clothing, I was able to reduce that by washing my clothes and then immediately drying on a hot-hot-hot dryer for 90 minutes and immediately sealing up in a ziplock bag. I kept the clothes in ziplock bags inside the drawers or on my closet shelf and only took them out of the ziplocks when I went to wear them. This reduced the bites I got inside my clothing tremendously. You might already be doing this, but it really made a difference for me.

  10. sleepingstandingup

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Aug 11 2008 11:09:27
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    YES ! I've been living out of bags for week now!
    I thought maybe they would get on my shorts leg while I am sitting up and then bite me once I go to bed.
    THe only "sign" other than bites we have found is 3 little blood spots on the sheets. Nothing else!!

    I don't want to vacuum because I am Afraid I';ll suck up any evidence!
    I'm going NUTS here!!!!! I am doing all I can and it is not good enough!
    If I got a steamer I wouldn't know where to steam! My bed comes up clean!!!

  11. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Aug 11 2008 22:19:49
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    The steam FAQ points to some good resources with how-to tips on steaming:
    http://bedbugger.com/faqs/pestcontrol/faq-killing-bed-bugs-with-steam/

    ps Bathing in alcohol or even spraying it all over is not a great idea. It is extremely drying (dry skin itches MORE). And you might even be flammable! Your clothes would be if you doused them. Anyway, it's a contact kill. Bed bugs could crawl on you again a minute later.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  12. death2allbbs

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Aug 16 2008 22:34:08
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    death2allbbs - 6 days ago  » 
    Also, I hate to say this, but we humans(especially the scientists and the experts) seem to run around like the Keystone Cops when it comes to bedbugs. I just seem to hear too much: "We can't"..."it's too hard"..."they're too difficult to kill," etc., instead of hearing about innovative ways and ideas to combat and protect ourselves from bedbugs.

    I wanted to say that I know that there are a lot of professionals and experts who come to this forum and I hope that my "Keystone Cops" analogy didn't offend anyone.

    Also, I recently read this about a Town Hall Meeting in Cincinnati from last year at bedbugger.com:

    "The Bed Bug Town Hall meeting was very confusing. Obviously the people on the Bed Bug Task Force did not compare notes before they presented their information. The Commissioner of Cincinnati Health Department stated you do not need a professional, you need an integrated plan that would include the use of soap and water. Another official stated temperatures of 98 degees will kill all bed bugs. Even another stated that pesticides do not work. Hamilton County Health Director said to sleep with the lights on (this would prevent bed bugs from biting). He also said to use 90% isopropyl alcohol (there are legal issues with this in Ohio). The information pamphlets that were handed out contradicted all of this and said home remedies do not work."

    http://bedbugger.com/2007/11/12/last-weeks-town-hall-meeting-in-cincinnati/

    Therefore...

    But I have to give credit where credit is due because I also read an article that said that Cincinnati is doing a whole lot more than other cities in the United States:

    http://bedbugger.com/2007/09/07/action/

    Which I was happy to hear.

    BTW, Nobugsonme, will you be doing a story on the 08/14/08 Duke Energy Center meeting in Cincinnati? I wasn't able to attend.

  13. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Aug 17 2008 1:56:28
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    death2allbbs,

    The quote above is not from me, but from entoman who was a reader that attended that conference last year.

    I have a brief post up about the conference Thursday, but I am only able to report what's in the media, unless one of our readers has attended it and can report in:

    http://bedbugger.com/2008/08/14/todays-bed-bug-conference-in-cincinnati/

    I'd love to hear more about how it went!

    Re: last year's conference -- to be fair, I would not have said most of those running the conference that entoman cited were "bed bug experts," not yet at the time, anyway.

    In fact, I think the true bed bug experts are doing wonderfully in working for solutions, and I think they are simply being honest with us when they state that bed bugs are hard to kill. If you look into the research, you'll see that there are real factors (like pesticide resistance) in play.

    I'd much rather experts emphasized how difficult it is to fight bed bugs, rather than promising (as many non-experts do) that one treatment, or a simple round of pesticides, will do the trick.

    And yes, while the situation in Cincinnati is hardly perfect, a lot more is being done there than in New York City, where I am. My fellow New Yorkers would do well to get behind New York vs. Bed Bugs. Join those of us working to change that situation!

    http://newyorkvsbedbugs.org/take-action/

  14. death2allbbs

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Aug 22 2008 22:39:31
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    Nobugsonme - 5 days ago  » 
    I have a brief post up about the conference Thursday, but I am only able to report what's in the media, unless one of our readers has attended it and can report in:

    http://bedbugger.com/2008/08/14/todays-bed-bug-conference-in-cincinnati/

    I'd love to hear more about how it went!

    And yes, while the situation in Cincinnati is hardly perfect, a lot more is being done there than in New York City, where I am. My fellow New Yorkers would do well to get behind New York vs. Bed Bugs. Join those of us working to change that situation!

    http://newyorkvsbedbugs.org/take-action/

    Nobugsonme, I still can't find any coverage on the internet about the conference(only the announcements for the conference). Also, I hope that things start to improve in New York.

  15. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Aug 23 2008 0:00:43
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    death2bbs,

    If you click the link to bedbugger in your last post, I updated that article with a link to a video from a local news station on the conference. It is not much, but is is after the event.

  16. gedhrven

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Aug 23 2008 1:47:26
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    Huh. I just registered with the specific aim of asking the exact same question - soaking things in alcohol. Just now, I verified that 70% isopropyl can kill what looked like an adult or late nymph in about 5-10 seconds (couldn't quite be sure when it stopped moving), discovering which was quite a change from the mood of gloom and general damnation regarding being eaten alive by little brown lentils for all eternity.

    I hear what people are saying about it being only a contact kill...but my case is basically an evacuation operation - landlord refused to do anything about them, and I'm moving anyway, so all I want to do is clean my stuff once (but positively), throw it in my car (once that's verified to be clean), and go somewhere else. A one-time contact kill like alcohol may be exactly what I need. The largest item I own aside from vehicles is a 50x55x20cm guitar speaker cabinet, so in terms of getting a big enough container and enough alcohol to submerge things, I won't have a problem. I was thinking something like an oil drum or big plastic bin - put stuff in, possibly using a deep-fat fryer basket, slosh it about to make sure it all gets covered, take it out, fan to dry, put in car, repeat.

    However, this leaves one big question: Does (70% isopropyl) alcohol kill eggs?

    It also leaves a few much less important questions, chief among which is this - will alcohol damage disconnected circuitry (a computer, mainly)?

    My experience regarding light and motion - I've seen them come out with a bright light on, but me relatively motionless and recently unbitten (meaning they're hungry). I've never seen them come out when I was moving, but the threshhold of movement is a bit higher when it's dark. They also seem to ignore red light, making that a good way of seeing them in action. If placed on a sheet of paper or such, they'll crawl towards the darker side. If discovered, they'll sometimes freeze (playing dead?) regardless of motion, but once poked will realize their cover's gone and will attempt to flee.

  17. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Aug 24 2008 22:53:16
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    gedhrven - 1 day ago  » 
    ...my case is basically an evacuation operation - landlord refused to do anything about them, and I'm moving anyway, so all I want to do is clean my stuff once (but positively), throw it in my car (once that's verified to be clean), and go somewhere else. A one-time contact kill like alcohol may be exactly what I need.

    The thing is, bed bugs can easily hide in the space the thickness of a piece of paper. They can slip into the cushion of a piece of furniture (or a comforter or pillow), slip into cracks and crawl inside an instrument or frame. They can even hide in a book binding.

    I think you will have a hard time not moving bed bugs and eggs even if you spray everything you own with alcohol. Even if you submerge it.

    If you want to be done with this, treating the packed moving truck with vikane gas is probably the only safe option. (Thermal would work too, but I have not heard of anyone offering this service on a moving truck.)

  18. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Aug 25 2008 2:29:30
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    When I was a teenager working at a summer camp, I got asked to help build the big end of session campfire. This involved sticking my hands repeatedly into the wood pile. After we got done, I looked down and wondered why my freckles were moving.

    It turned out they weren't freckles at all but a whole nest of baby ticks I had disturbed. (You know, the more I think about it, I really, really hate bugs, but despite that, I keep having run ins with all sorts of species I would prefer never to know anything about.)

    Obviously this totally skeeved me out. (I wasn't super worried about disease the way I would be now as I was well east of the Rockies and this was before people really knew about Lyme disease, and I was south of the Mason Dixon line). I did my best to "bathe" in alcohol in the shower, since it was a camp with showers not tubs.

    It was not an experience I would care to repeat. It's very tricky to get at all your skin with alcohol as certain places are, um, shall we say, too delicate to put alcohol on. And it's murder on your hair. (They were ticks. I wasn't taking any chances. I dumped the alcohol into my hair, which is how I found this out.)

    Based on that experience, I'm not going to be endorsing the bathing in alcohol approach any time soon.

  19. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Sep 4 2008 22:59:01
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    Stumbled on this thread and actually laughed out loud. Man I needed that. Scared to sleep - dozing and waking up again. Hoping ziplocs help...Am putting one pair of slacks with one shirt in each bag out of hot hot (90 minutes) dryer, repeating process. We'll see... still on apt quest - btw - if any of you have been following my saga, I am quitting the weekend hotel job, got an interview at a nice clean linoleum tiled small gas station that I can work on weekends. Now worried that I am bringing them to my mon-fri office job - will take DE with me to office in the morning and start discreetly sprinkling just in case. Still looking for apt in Northern KY plan is to drive around all day Sunday scoping out potential apts.

    Thanks again for the laugh....

  20. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Sep 4 2008 23:03:37
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    Ha - napalm and flame thrower - YEsss! Ah laughter - i have missed you!

  21. livinginahorrorfilm

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Sep 4 2008 23:35:47
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    FreakingoutinNY - I also worried I will bring them to work! When I stupidly could not figure out what was going on I was very open with the non-stop itching! I am very annimated so everyone knows that I had a problem...oddly I am not as itchy - but now I am going to start taking benadryl every day just in case people are watching me.

    Sadly, I thought my dog had fleas....my vet actually suspected bedbugs and I mentioned this to a coworker.....

  22. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Sep 4 2008 23:42:19
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    My plan tomorrow - discreetly sprinkly DE around my work area - Ziploc bags - plant your smile on your face and act normal. You can do this. Staying busy at work all day is a great distraction from the nightmare at home.

  23. livinginahorrorfilm

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Sep 4 2008 23:44:58
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    It totally is just like that - fake smile! All is alright! I would be to scared to sprinkle stuff.....not in my office could I get away with that. Sadly, I have not organized clean clothes for tomorrow and our dryer is unhooked....

  24. livinginahorrorfilm

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Sep 5 2008 1:34:02
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    One thing I have read somewhere and have been doing is putting neem oil on. I read about it the same day I found out (2 days ago)Apparently bedbugs wont go near it. In some countries they are actually putting some kind of neem oil right into mattress (can't recall). Anyways, there is some that you can ingest, and some you can put on your body. I have been doing both. It is not expensive - around $5 each. The oil you put on your skin is apparently used in India for beautiful perfect looking skin, and it stops itching. I figure other than the nasty smell, it is an all around win win situation even if it does not keep the busgs off......it's not like there is anything "fun" going on at night lately ;oP

  25. (deleted)

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    Fri Sep 5 2008 14:07:53
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    Made me laugh again.

  26. hoo2677

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Jan 29 2009 2:00:08
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    Ok, I'll try. My uncle offered this suggestion. Cage a small animal(?)(a rodent, hamster?) and leave it on the bed as bait. I had previously suggested in jest, a decoy pet. I thought his idea of getting a substitute was pretty clever, tempting even....

  27. gangstalking

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Jan 30 2009 9:32:37
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    Hi there,

    I am from Gang Stalking World, I am really sorry about the bedbug problems you are having. I have never had them myself, but I am in full sympathy with what you are going through.

    I was reading these posts, I find them interesting, and I am wondering if you have tried cocobutter to see if that would keep them off your skin? Not the cream kind, but the sort of butter lotion type, it's pretty oily, good for the skin, and it might keep them off you at nights, just a suggestion. It looks like a yellow butter, and is oily to the touch, but it might work.

    Also I know that bedbugs are bad, but there are things worst in the world, what does not kill you will make you stronger. I wish you all well with your efforts to get rid of these bedbugs.

    http://gangstalking.wordpress.com/2008/10/13/bedbugs-vs-gang-stalking/

  28. losingit

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    Fri Jan 30 2009 13:22:10
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    I think we have to get a reptile of some kind, one that eats bugs. Like an anteater only for bedbugs...

    Ok I actually just googled 'bedbug eating reptiles' nada, nothing, zilch. So much for that idea:( But there must be something we can manipulate/use to our advantage for heavens sake, we're humans it's what we do best?!

  29. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Feb 1 2009 2:02:36
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    hoo2677 - 3 days ago  » 
    Ok, I'll try. My uncle offered this suggestion. Cage a small animal(?)(a rodent, hamster?) and leave it on the bed as bait. I had previously suggested in jest, a decoy pet. I thought his idea of getting a substitute was pretty clever, tempting even....

    Those of us who have pets AND who were bitten by bed bugs will tell you this won't work.

    Sorry.

  30. notsleepingverytight

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Mar 17 2009 22:29:13
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    Oh my goodness! I was just on the forums researching what to do in preparation of treatment and came across "gangstalking"'s post. If you have not been affected by these dispicable creatures, then you have absolutely no idea what we are all going through! Please keep your comments to yourself unless "you have walked in the shoes"! And you know what?! They come pretty darn close to being one of the worst things in the world! Again, please keep to yourself unless you have first hand knowledge! Sorry, but I am sick of people giving advice who are not educated on the subject. Unless you are experiencing the problem yourself, you have absolutely no clue with what the rest of us are dealing with!

  31. bugged18

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    Thu Mar 19 2009 21:47:50
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    hi sleepingstandingup, it seems many people have the same problem as you. I did for a very very long time. A few things not mentioned may help. One the alcohol may work but I think it absorbs through the skin, I got sick from that or the fumes one. It is toxic because of the poison used in it to keep people from drinking it plus all alcohol is toxic in large amounts.

    I put murphy's on the ceiling and around the bed frame each night after cups of mineral oil on the new metal framed matress encased bed failed to stop them. It had to fresh or it did not work. It cut the bites down to twice a week. Then I started getting bites in my nose... I think part of it was the murphy's hide my co2 smell? I also sprayed orange guard on the mattress.

    Then I read the post regarding the vaseline method ( search the forum ). Put that on the ceiling and around the bottom of the mattress leaving the legs in cups of oil. That worked! My ceiling paint is high gloss so it did not soak in.

    They have been in my hair ( I am not the 1st person on this board to have this problem, I figured out it was real by searching here and found others ) at times so then nothing works. My water pressure is low and I have been unable to fix it. I just keep trying kleen free, peppermint, and alcohol ( until the alcohol poisoned me ) to get them out. Then they drop in again,so watch out for that. Also I know it is not lice, I went to a dermatologist, and spoke to 3 professional nit pickers and all agreed they have never heard of them biting anywhere but the head and the doc would have found the eggs.

    Now they drop from the ceiling during the day over other places I sit for a while but I am using the same method and it seems to be working.

    Lastly I sprayed the liquid DE/soap/alcohol/water mix jeanette ( search forum )suggested all around my floor. It does not get air born ( and in your lungs ) that way but the bugs do not like it. The de mixture and the vaseline were a turning point for me. They are not gone but it is better.

    I just wonder, are they being killed by the de or just circling around waiting?

  32. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Mar 19 2009 23:46:28
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    bugged18,

    I would strongly recommend you get a very experienced professional to treat your bed bugs. You do not say if you live in a multi-unit building, but it sounds like you may be getting reinfested from neighbors.

    Of course, if all you're using is contact kill sprays + DE, and they do not walk through the DE, you will not kill them. DE is tricky for this reason. Yes, it can kill bed bugs, but I think it is rarely a good only-method simply because you have to wait for them to walk through it. They may never do so depending on how you've applied it and where.

  33. goingcrazy1234

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Jan 19 2015 18:35:26
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    I dont know where to post this but can a Bed bug leave its beak in you, I got bit last night and today it felt like a sliver so i got tweezers and pulled out this what looks like a eyelash but thicker and sharp. is that possibly left from the bug, I woke at 4,40 am to my hand feeling all numb and a pin dot of blood in the middle and today pulled something out of the bite, what could this be?

    I am new to this site i dont know where to post a ?? My PCO could not find any bugs in our home or evidence of bugs but i found 1 bug on my couch so he sprayed he has sprayed twice but im still getting bites, Myself and my 3 month old baby are getting bites but my husband is not, PCO will not spray again unless i find a bug and i cant find one

  34. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Jan 20 2015 1:10:21
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    goingcrazy1234,
    Please start a new thread for your topic and repost what you wrote there.

    This FAQ answers the question of how to start a new discussion thread, and many more.


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