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How I Got Rid of Them Quickly and for less than $100 (centipedes!)

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  1. dire

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 6 2009 14:29:11
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    I can't guarantee that this will work for everyone, and many people will not opt to do it, or simply can't. But here goes.

    First, check the corners of your bed, it's very likely you will find that there are BBs nesting there. Clean that out with isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol), a brush/vacuum, whatever.

    Now either wrap the mattress in plastic, or toss it out (I did, but I wish I hadn't), or just keep it to the side of the bed. Clean the ENTIRE bed frame as best you can. You want to get rid of bed bug feces (important because seeing new feces will serve as a sign that they're back, eggs, shells, etc).

    Take everything in the infested room down. This means clothes, pictures on the wall, etc. I wasn't that strict with this myself. I took down my books and looked behind furniture, etc, but I kept most of my hanged clothes hanged, and one of my shelves still had clothes on them.

    Take all that stuff out and place it in a bag or just in the corner of your room. You're looking for signs of where bed bugs might be. You want to eliminate where they nest in big groups, but that's usually not how they live, so you can only destroy so many colonies. After that's done and you don't have any signs of where they group, they're probably in the walls or bed frames.

    Your next task is to figure out where the heck they come from and go to at night. I suggest waking up at different times of the night and checking around you, the floor/carpet, walls, ceiling, and any door frames. Walls are VERY important. I spent 2 weeks checking everything but it wasn't until I looked at the wall that I saw that BBs were just climbing up and down every night. First night I checked, I caught 5.

    Great. Now you know where they come from. Every day from now on, wake up at the same time (for me it was 3-4 AM) and kill as many as you can, but your main task is to see their behavior. WHERE exactly do they go, etc..

    Now we begin the extermination. If you're dying (literally) or have kids/old people in the house, you probably shouldn't do this, but if you're relatively healthy, it's OK.

    I covered the carpet with diatomaceous earth (DE) powder. Primarily a thick line around the perimeter of the room, around the legs of the bed, etc.

    Now mix water with DE, it will turn brown(ish). Put that in a spray bottle and spray the areas you saw them on the wall, primarily corners and little holes in the wall. Around power outlets, door frames, etc. I basically stuck the spray nozzle inside each hole in the wall and sprayed like a mad man.

    The spray is brown but will turn white when it dries - no damage to walls or wood or anything, and it's not too noticeable when it's dry.

    DE doesn't kill insects right away. In fact, it takes a few days or even weeks to work, so just be patient.

    Keep the powder on for a few days, sleep in the room (important, you want to lure them out). Then vacuum everything (walls, carpet) and after a few more days put more powder in the same fashion. Again, keep it on for a few days before vacuuming.

    So now you have 2 regular regimens, checking for BBs nightly and vacuuming/using DE.

    Now buy A LOT of isopropyl alcohol. It's cheap and FUN, but very flammable. This is important .. it's FLAMMABLE, keep that in mind.

    I won't tell YOU how to use it, but I basically sprayed everything in the room except my clothes (fearing fabric damage, though unlikely). Soak the carpet, soak the corners of the room/walls, soak EVERY single area in the wall that's open, such as cracks etc. DO NOT spray around power outlets or where you know there's no electricity.

    Don't keep a window open for 10 mins after you spray, you don't want it to evaporate so quick. Stay out of the room, breathing becomes difficult. Keep pets out, though cats just run out on their own.

    Do this when ever you feel like. Some days I did it 3-4 times a day (it's not that hard, you just spray around and walk out of the room), some days I didn't do it at all. In total I only sprayed about 4 standard 32oz containers of the stuff.

    Make sure you spray/check behind stuff hanging on the wall. I found a BB once behind a wall clock.

    While I was doing the above, I noticed I had centipedes again. I haven't seen them in my house in a decade. I feared them, was disgusted, but after reading up on them, they're awesome creatures. They feed on insects. They don't bite humans, and they're relatively out of sight. The only time I really see them is when they're standing on a wall stalking out a spider web. Usually standing still for 4 hours.

    I think I began getting them because they found my room a suitable home - lots of food to hunt (BBs), so I kept them around.

    Now while the DE/alcohol method I used above reduced my BB problems by 90% (I was only seeing maybe 1 BB a day, and having 0-1 bites a day), the centipedes more than likely played a part in eliminating the BBs completely. If I still have BBs, then they aren't a problem. I'm more concerned about the ants getting on my cat's food than I am about BBs at this point. And I'm somebody who was so distraught I considered getting black market (illegal) pesticides.

    BTW By centipede I mean HOUSE CENTIPEDE. If you google for images, most of the ones that come up are the freakishly scary looking giant ones - so DON'T. It'll freak you out. If you must, look for "house centipede" but read up on them. They're magnificent. Super quick too. House centipedes are relatively small. Much smaller than the roaches we have here in NY, no doubt.

  2. dire

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 6 2009 14:31:02
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    Oh and I forgot to mention. Centipedes are pretty easy to get rid of. I noticed they appear much less if you don't have any insects around (dont let spiders build webs in open areas), but RAID literally causes all their legs to fall off and kills them instantly, so if you end up with a centipede problem - like I had when I first moved here, just spray RAID in nooks and crannies. That did it for me. Though I'm keeping them healthy this time around.

  3. spideyjg

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 6 2009 14:40:41
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    Dude! While I applaud your investigative ideas to track them down, the idea of dousing the place in flammable liquids is way over the line!

    Jim

  4. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 6 2009 15:01:41
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    You also don't mention that people using DE should be sure to take precautions to protect themselves from inhaling even the food grade kind, esp. when it is liberally applied in places that it can easily be kicked up into circulation.

    I'm glad that you're rid of the bugs. But when suggesting methods of getting rid of the bugs to other people, keeping the health and safety of others in mind is in general a good idea.

  5. spideyjg

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 6 2009 15:27:11
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    buggyinsocal - 17 minutes ago  » 
    You also don't mention that people using DE should be sure to take precautions to protect themselves from inhaling even the food grade kind, esp. when it is liberally applied in places that it can easily be kicked up into circulation.

    Well the huge risk of fire/explosion from the alcohol soaking kinda over rode it.

    Jim

  6. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 6 2009 16:01:07
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    Buggyinsocal and spideyjg are spot on.
    This is not a good treatment plan-- spraying flammable liquids everywhere.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  7. Aris

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 6 2009 16:15:28
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    I guess this is heresy on this website, but if the choice is between living with house centipedes or with bed bugs, I might have to go with the bed bugs.

  8. DragonFlight

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Aug 7 2009 7:33:36
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    Why did you kill your centipedes ? You ended up killing your centipedes and you got bed bugs, you wouldn't have had any bed bugs with what sounds like the amount of centipedes you had. Then you could have controlled your centipede problem and yet still had some around.

  9. DDavid

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Aug 7 2009 9:31:32
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    Oh those house centipedes are big in NYC. Scared the heck out of me and used to kill them. Now I steel myself and let them be on the wall or wherever they happen to be. I suspect in that nook below my headboard they've been keeping the BB population down. I agree leave them alone and whatever remains they'll take care of.

  10. dire

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 13 2009 2:58:56
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    I killed off the centipedes because they used to freak me out. At the time I didn't do any research on them and didn't know whether they bit humans, were poisonous, etc. This was years ago though, and as long as I don't have other bugs crawling all over my house, I don't see centipedes around often. Since they hunt bugs, they only appear where bugs are, i.e., in corners squatting outside a spider's web, circulating areas I used to see bed bugs, etc. Get rid of those and the centipedes go deeper in the walls or on the floor to find food.

    I agree with your comments on the safety issues of DE and alcohol. I personally was careful and outweighed the benefits to be greater than the risks. This may not be the same for others. i.e., if you have kids around or you're a smoker.

  11. Tamales

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 13 2009 7:23:20
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    I used to see them all the time in my apt. and would kill them. They were huge! I had no idea they ate bugs. I wish I had known. Since I've been treated for bed bugs, I've unfortunately seen a few dead ones. One dead one in a climbup interceptor and still have not seen any dead bed bugs!

  12. Emmm

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 13 2009 10:24:33
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    I can't actually vouch that Centipedes took care of our problem, but I do think if any bugs managed to get in our walls, the centipedes took care of 'em. We always had problems with them, winter or summer, thanks to an unfinished basement. I almost (almost) miss them on the third floor of a building.

  13. DragonFlight

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 13 2009 11:34:52
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    I used to see them all the time in my apt. and would kill them. They were huge! I had no idea they ate bugs. I wish I had known. Since I've been treated for bed bugs, I've unfortunately seen a few dead ones. One dead one in a climbup interceptor and still have not seen any dead bed bugs!

    You saw a dead centipede in your climb up interceptor because it was wanted to get to your bed because there are bed bugs in it, the odds are if there were not many bed bugs they could have been eliminated via the centipede, arrrgh saving you grief. All insects will bite if they feel trapped.

  14. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 13 2009 19:33:35
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    DragonFlight - 7 hours ago  » All insects will bite if they feel trapped.

    Hmmmm, I have not heard of anyone being savaged by a cornered fruit fly yet so I am not sure if the All is that accurate. Sometimes the devil is in the detail.

    David

  15. DragonFlight

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 13 2009 20:54:27
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    Well obviously not a fruit fly. The word all was a exaggeration. When a fruit fly bites someone though, then it won't be an exaggeration.

  16. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Aug 14 2009 2:41:36
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    DragonFlight - 5 hours ago  » 
    Well obviously not a fruit fly. The word all was a exaggeration. When a fruit fly bites someone though, then it won't be an exaggeration.

    Thankfully that will only happen when someone is made of fermenting fruit which I think may take a time even for human evolution to achieve.

    David

  17. O Buggery

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Sep 19 2010 2:54:42
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    BBcoukHome - 1 year ago  » 

    DragonFlight - 5 hours ago  » 
    Well obviously not a fruit fly. The word all was a exaggeration. When a fruit fly bites someone though, then it won't be an exaggeration.

    Thankfully that will only happen when someone is made of fermenting fruit which I think may take a time even for human evolution to achieve.
    David

    (I'm not so sure, David - I've been doing all kinds of sweaty physical labor since my last shower: I just might smell like fermenting fruit. )

  18. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Sep 19 2010 4:33:58
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    eeeeeeeeeeewwwwwww....yucky


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