Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Bed Bug Success Stories

We did it! Without the chemicals and exterminators

(7 posts)
  1. newyorkguy

    newbite
    Joined: Apr '16
    Posts: 2

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Sat Apr 9 2016 12:58:11
    #



    Login to Send PM

    So we got bed bugs - we couldn't BELIEVE it. This was 9 months ago - i have been waiting to be absolutely sure they are gone before posting our experience.

    I am sure i picked them up in a hotel in South America. It was an expensive ski lodge and i do remember seeing a few small red smears on the sheet one day and thinking no more of it. 3 weeks later i see the same smears on the sheets back in New York, lifted the mattress and there they are. we also had a few bites. Live ones everywhere and the fecal stains stuck to the mattress. I had brought them back in the luggage

    My wife and I completely freaked out. I called an exterminator, texted them a photo, and confirmed our worst fears. They wanted to come and spray insecticide everywhere (an astonishing list of chemicals); in the kids bedroom, in all the furniture etc. Even then they would only offer a limited guarantee and the whole apartment had to be completely decluttered and all clothes etc put in bags. They said i had to tell the landlord and the neighbors in case anybody had adverse reaction to the fumigation. Nightmare!

    First instinct is to get exterminator in immediately. But we took a deep breath and thought through all our options. I realized that our apartment was way overdue for a declutter before the exterminator could even get into all the spaces anyway and be effective. We decided to try and get rid of them ourselves by completely cleaning apartment, decluttering, and isolating the problem. If we still had them in a month then we would try the exterminator (at least we would be ready then). We did the following;

    Isolated the bedroom. Dont spread them around. We already had bedbug proof cases on the mattress - we bought new ones and recovered the mattress. I then disassembled the wooden bed frame and took it out to the curb (but i think that risked spreading them around in retrospective). Got a new frame immediately and placed the legs in 4 bedbug saucer traps. Continued to sleep in bedroom

    After a massive purge of stuff we didnt need, we put all the clothes and other items into plastic bags and slowly worked through a mountain of laundry putting clean clothes into bags and keeping everything separate (it helps to have a washing machine) - high heat for wash and dry. Everything under and around the bed has to go into plastic bags. If the items cant be washed, put them in the ThermalStrike for 6 hours (see below)

    Read a ton on Bedbugger.com. We bought a huge bag of food grade diatomaceous earth, an applicator, and respirator, and then put the stuff down EVERYWHERE. sprayed into all the cracks along floor boards and along walls, power sockets, all over the floor except where we walked (in the bedroom). The respirator was only really necessary while spraying it around as it gets into the air but settles quickly. Very messy though. The first few nights we slept on the new bed frame and in the morning there were tracks everywhere and a few caught in the traps. I think it was very important to draw them out each night (using yourself as bait) so they drag themselves through the DE. Each night there were less and less tracks and no more bugs in the traps. We kept up same routine for 4 weeks and after 2 weeks there was another burst of tracks presumably because any existing eggs had hatched. Again it dissipated and then there were no further tracks after that

    TIP: Check the bottoms of mattresses in the other rooms religiously for the fecal spots to see if they have spread. If you are anything like us you will be going crazy thinking that every piece of fluff and dust is a fecal stain. In reality, the fecal stains are unmistakable - it is like a little tar dot and almost impossible to remove (and leaves a stain behind when you scrape it off). If you can brush it off with your hand with no stain it is just dust. Get a magnifying glass

    TIP: For the first few weeks you will probably feel that there is something crawling on you when you are sleeping. Its purely psychological - there is nothing crawling on you. The human mind can be very imaginative!

    TIP: Dont tell anybody. Not your friends, even your closest ones, or family, or the school, anybody at work etc. This is tough because you really need counseling through the whole thing - i only told my mother who lived outside the country. No matter what anybody might say, they will be repulsed by the whole thing. On the other hand, do everything in your power to make sure that you dont spread bed bugs to other people's homes. That mainly meant no kids sleepovers for several months or taking bags or clothing to their homes. We had a absolute ban on anybody sleeping at our place but we did let our kids sleep at their friend's place after a while so long as they wore a clean set of clothes and pyjamas when they went and didnt take a bag. Our kids knew about the issue (as they are a little older) so they could keep it quiet. I wouldn’t tell kids younger kids what is going on as they will surely spill the beans to somebody

    CONCLUSION: Nine months later they are gone and all the DE has been cleaned up long ago, and our apartment is much less cluttered! It is entirely possible to do this yourself as long as you have patience. Psychologically it is tough – but keep strong and you will get through it – it could even bring you closer to your spouse. Practically, I really believe the key is to not chase them in to the walls with insecticide/other repellents where they could go into their dormant phase. It seems to be very important to draw them out at night by continuing to sleep in same room (on the raised base with the traps on the legs) until at least one egg cycle has passed (2 weeks to a month). The DE was amazing and really worked – just dried them out immediately. For future prevention we bought a large electric heated bag (Ranger by Thermalstrike) and all luggage goes in there for 6 hours when we return from a trip. Make sure all mattresses have the bed bug proof protectors casings just in case - then you dont have to throw out mattresses if you do get them

    I truly wish everybody the best of luck.

  2. FoundASpot

    junior member
    Joined: Mar '16
    Posts: 60

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Sat Apr 9 2016 13:52:44
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Wow, congratulations. How long did it actually take to get rid of them?

    Were you living out of bags for the whole 9 months just in case?

  3. newyorkguy

    newbite
    Joined: Apr '16
    Posts: 2

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Sat Apr 9 2016 13:56:53
    #



    Login to Send PM

    FoundASpot - 1 minute ago  » 
    Wow, congratulations. How long did it actually take to get rid of them?
    Were you living out of bags for the whole 9 months just in case?

    In reality, I think they were gone after the first egg cycle (about 3-4 weeks) or so. We used the plastic bags for about 2 months. Clean clothes in one set, dirty in another. Maybe overkill

  4. idkbutfreakingout

    junior member
    Joined: Feb '16
    Posts: 62

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Sat Apr 9 2016 22:47:24
    #



    Login to Send PM

    This is great! Thanks for sharing.

  5. venicebugs

    newbite
    Joined: May '16
    Posts: 6

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun May 29 2016 13:00:43
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Did you continue to reapply the DE?

  6. theyareoutthere

    oldtimer
    Joined: Sep '11
    Posts: 3,255

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun May 29 2016 19:42:49
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Venicebugs and any other "newer" members, I'm not an expert (far from it). But, when there are methods discussed, it's always a good idea to wait for an expert to weigh in.

    I'm not saying the OP is incorrect, but I've been on this site for 5 years and haven't read about BBs leaving tracks in DE. That seems like a thicker than normal application.

    They
    Are
    Out
    There
    = TAOT
  7. Nobugsonme

    your host
    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 22,251

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon May 30 2016 8:49:00
    #



    Login to Send PM

    As TAOT said, it sounds like the DE was pretty thick -- and "everywhere". That's not the labelled use of the product. You do need to be concerned with over and misapplying DE, because even food grade DE can be harmful for your lungs if inhaled.

    My understanding from pros here who have used it is that such a thick application may deter bed bugs from walking through it.

    Anyone reading this and considering using DE should read our FAQ on DE: http://bedbugger.com/2007/03/30/diatomaceous-earth-de/

    Note that DE does not kill bed bugs "immediately." We're told it can take ten days once they walk through it, and of course, that will only happen if and when it happens. Applying it correctly may help it happen.

    Note also that many of the pros here who once used DE are now using Cimexa, which may be helpful for those who live where it's available. More on that in the Useful Tools page:
    http://bedbugger.com/useful-tools/#DEbuying

    I want to stress that I am very pleased the OP had a good experience and got rid of bed bugs using this method. However, while DE can be a useful product and many here have used it safely, it's not usually used as a sole method of treating bed bugs, since that can be a slow process if it works at all. It should be stressed that DE is not inherently "safer" than chemical pesticides, and has its own risks if not used properly and safely.

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

RSS feed for this topic


Reply

You must log in to post.

291,416 posts in 48,817 topics over 151 months by 21,435 of 21,838 members. Latest: dc8184, bedbugtoronto, stinson