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Success at last

(6 posts)
  1. Matt K

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Jun 9 2015 12:44:04
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    I had a serious infestation, probably well over 100 bed bugs (dead and alive) by the time I discovered it. I had wondered for months why I found streaks of my own blood on the sheets in the morning. Of course, I freaked out when I figured out the cause.

    It was not easy, but over the course of 10 to 12 days, I got rid of them without calling in a professional exterminator, who would charge $2,450.

    Here is what I did:
    1. I threw out the bedding on the bed that day (pillows, sheets, comforter, comforter cover, mattress cover, etc.) as well as some shoes and clothing close to the bed. (That may have been an overreaction.)
    2. I got the clean sheets stored in the linen closet, and ran them through the washing machine for two cycles in hot water, then an hour in the dryer on high heat.
    3. I moved the bed away from the wall and all furniture and electric cords to prevent the bed bugs having a bridge to the bed.
    4. I vacuumed the entire room and all furniture; then sealed the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag and threw it out.
    5. I disassembled the platform bed (no box spring), and sprayed mattress and the bed frame with Rest Easy, a bedbug insecticide not toxic to humans purchased at my neighborhood hardware store. (You can cover the somewhat unpleasant scent of Rest Easy by burning a scented candle.)
    6. I put a bed bug mattress protector on the mattress, and bed bug pillow covers on the pillows.
    7. Regrettably, I made up the bed that night and slept in it (with lots of fear). Next morning there were still bed bugs, although far fewer.
    8. Repeated hot water and high heat laundering of bedding. Repeated application of Rest Easy. Repeated the vacuuming.
    9. Purchased plastic trays to put under the legs of the bed. They're called something like bed bug interceptor trays. Got them from a professional exterminator company in the city. They did catch some bugs. I continue to use them two weeks later.
    10. Slept elsewhere that night. Found live bed bugs on the bed frame and mattress next morning. I washed everything down with a rag saturated with hot water and Ivory soap dishwashing liquid. I had read on this site that soapy water kills them.
    11. Made the mistake of sleeping in the bed that night. Still found some bed bugs in the morning.
    12. Repeated all above steps daily for three days.
    13. Reluctantly I slept in my bed. No signs of bed bugs since then. That was two weeks ago.

    I made an assumption that there were not bed bugs in rooms other than my bedroom, and that apparently turned out to be true. I have to confess I was at my wit's end, and decided I would have to cough up the money for a professional exterminator if my last steps were not effective.

    Finally, I will note that I am an Airbnb host, so I have short-term guests sharing my home with me intermittently. After a careful inspection, I was pretty confident that the guest room and bed were not infested. (That's on a separate floor of my home.) I had put a bed bug mattress protector on the guest room mattress three years ago. Now I added bed bug protector pillow covers.

    I felt traumatized by this experience. I keep my home spotlessly clean, so I felt embarrassment and shame about this infestation. But, like they say, it can happen to anyone. With perseverance, I was successful. But it's not easy.

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Jun 9 2015 13:50:37
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    Just curious:

    At what point did you kill the 100 bed bugs?

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  3. Matt K

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Jun 10 2015 10:06:57
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    When I discovered the infestation, I found probably 50 - 60 dead bed bugs on the bed frame. After my first attack with insecticide, I found another 20 - 30 dead ones. And 5 to 10 live ones crawling on the bed frame and mattress, apparently forced out of their hiding places by the spray. I squished them. After each of my subsequent efforts, I found more dead bugs as well as live one crawling on the bed frame and mattress. Each time there were fewer.

  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Jun 10 2015 18:02:26
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    Thanks.

    "Finally, I will note that I am an Airbnb host, so I have short-term guests sharing my home with me intermittently. After a careful inspection, I was pretty confident that the guest room and bed were not infested. (That's on a separate floor of my home.) I had put a bed bug mattress protector on the guest room mattress three years ago. Now I added bed bug protector pillow covers."

    Getting bed bugs again form AirBnB guests is a real risk, as is spreading them to guests if you don't notice a problem swiftly. I would urge you to implement a monitoring system and inspection routine. (See our FAQ on bed bug monitors). Hotels are doing it if they're smart and small-scale hotels like yours should too.

    Not to sound alarmist but treatment costs aren't the only concern. Lawsuits from guests or attached neighbors/building owners might be in the realm of possibility for AirBnB hosts too.

  5. itchyscratchybug

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Aug 12 2015 20:03:32
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    Did it work? Do you have any signs of bed bugs now?

  6. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Aug 12 2015 23:26:13
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    Itchy, that's a good question. I just looked and Matt hasn't posted in 2 months. So, you may not get an answer.

    I've read several people who post success stories and then never come back. I don't know if it means that it worked or that they called a professional. Most of the postings of DIYers that I read state that they tried and tried, and then finally hired a professional. But, there are early cases where a DIYer has been able to do it. A lot of the experts know of many others who have been able to effectively DIY. But, you also read of people who tried to DIY and they were told that the issue may have been more quickly solved with a professional.

    Hope that makes sense.

    They
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    Out
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    = TAOT

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