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DIY Bedbug Treatment

Posted: October 26th, 2010 | Author: | | 4 Comments »

When you find that you have bedbugs, your first instinct is to throw out everything you own and set off the mother of all insect bombs.   The war is on and you want maximum casualties.  However, as we have pointed out previously on this site in relation to preparing for extermination, the most extreme sounding measures are not necessarily the most effective.

When an inexperienced person attempts to treat their own home with insecticide, it can be a dangerous business.  According to the AP:

In Cincinnati, an unlicensed applicator saturated an apartment complex in June with an agricultural pesticide typically used on golf courses. Seven tenants got sick and were treated at the hospital. The property was quarantined, and all tenants were forced to move. Authorities are pursuing criminal charges.

Desperate people have been using toxic chemicals not approved for indoor use.  From the same article:

“…authorities around the country have blamed house fires on people misusing all sorts of highly flammable garden and lawn chemicals to fight bedbugs.”

Setting your house on fire may be one way to defeat bedbugs, but it clearly has its downsides.  So does inappropriately dusting your floors with suspected carcinogens.  Bug bombs top the list of things to NEVER do when you have bedbugs.  The fumes cause the bugs to scatter and actually helps them spread.  If you bomb your apartment, they will head to your neighbor and then come back to you when the air has cleared.  Here is a list of other no-nos for home pesticide use:

-do not use pesticides that are not labeled for bedbugs or for the treatment area you mean to apply them.

-follow the directions precisely.  More is not necessarily better.  In fact, it could be worse.

Essentially, the use of chemicals should be left to professionals.

But you want to DO SOMETHING.  Of course you do, Col. Kurtz. There are some things you can do, but they should be undertaken with the knowledge and approval of your exterminator or PCO.

Steam treatment.  Temperatures of over 120 degrees suffice to kill bedbugs and their larvae on contact, which makes steaming a very handy option for killing them.  The type of steamer a professional uses for bed bug treatment is the same type used for sanitizing floor drains.  One option for the home market is the Vapamore Steamer.

The goal is to expose the bedbug directly to the high temperatures with as little moisture as possible.  You don’t want to give them a cozy steam bath or risk that they can flee to a lower temperature area.  Keeping the moisture low will also help you prevent starting a mold garden in your mattress.  Specific instructions for the operation of steaming equipment in the best method to kill bedbugs can be found here.

Steam can be used to treat almost any area where you suspect bedbugs may be hiding, including your furniture, baseboards and molding, the edges of carpeting and flooring, and within any furniture in the living area, particularly near the bed.

Vacuuming. Vacuuming is not the most effective way to remove bedbugs since they hide themselves pretty well in your crevices, but it will make you feel better!  Bedbugs are pretty clingy creatures and cement their eggs in place, so the best method of vacuuming is to scrape the nozzle along the area you are treating.  Dispose of the vacuum bag outside of your residence because you don’t want bugs or hatchlings creeping around.  Make sure you consult your expert if you plan on vacuuming after or during periods of treatment so that you are not sucking up material that has been set down to kill bedbugs.  This is perhaps a good opportunity for you to also reduce clutter.

Sealing cracks. Well, you have vacuumed and steamed.  Your floors are clean and your skin feels soft, your pores open and clear, your rooms free of bedbug hiding clutter.  But the cracks are still showing. What else can you do to ease the Bedbug Madness?  Look around your apartment for ideal bedbug habitats and seal them with a sealant, like the Pro Caulk Complete Caulking Kit.  You can go the extra mile and place diatomaceous earth into cracks, crevices and behind moldings, and then seal with a sealant.  Sealants are recommended over caulking because caulk will crack over time.  Look for areas where pipes are running through the walls or floors into other apartments, or any other gaps in your stronghold.  You will want to seal those as well, to keep bedbugs from invading from other units.

Good work, soldier!

4 Comments on “DIY Bedbug Treatment”

  1. 1 Nix Bedbugs » Blog Archive » Did I do that? said at 3:01 pm on October 29th, 2010:

    […] totally called it.  We tried to tell you that setting stuff on fire to combat bedbugs “has its downsides.”  Well, New York’s own winner, Miriam Ortiz, ignored our […]

  2. 2 Bed Bug Killer said at 9:24 am on July 1st, 2011:

    Unlike vacuuming, steam cleaning is generally very effective at killing any bed bugs or eggs that come into contact with it. Extreme heat will kill them quickly (anything over 120 degrees Fahrenheit or so), and most steamers will exceed this temperature. The Vapamore steam cleaners produce a whole lot more steam. I have learned that it actually stays hotter as well when compared. At a steady 250 degrees average, thats a lot of heat in the vapor. The heat is a big point to make, because the temperature of the steam is a huge requirement when it comes to steam cleaning in this way. – Rica

  3. 3 bed bugs said at 9:40 pm on August 29th, 2011:

    So embarassing I know. Even though I am now hearing that many places are getting them these days. My brother brought it into my home because his apartment building had them. We haven’t been able to get rid of them, even though my dad sprayed and I think it got rid of most of them for a long time. We first had them in January of this 2009! Immediately we dumped all of our furniture. All couches, all beds. That got rid of most of them.

    We have other couches now, and my mom has a bed, but guess what, they are still here! Getting rid of everything in my room now. I moved into my dorm in January 2010 and I didn’t bring any with me THANK GOD! I moved all of my things to another room, washing them, carefully inspecting everything. Dumping photo albums, papers, etc. Putting photos into ziploc bags. What else can I do?

    I’m thinking since there are less people in the home now, there have been significantly less bugs because they have no one to feed off. Will they eventually die off because there is no one to feed on? Me and my sister are going back on campus in a few days. We currently have all of our possessions in a side room, and I haven’t gotten a bite in about a year because there are none in the side room near my kitchen. Only my brother and dad are home most of the time now.

    Any tips?

  4. 4 Charles Fowler said at 11:04 pm on October 18th, 2012:

    http://www.diychatroom.com/f51/bed-bugs-87203-new-post/Bed Bugs can’t walk on smooth plastic. Encase your mattress. Place a clear plastic sheet between the mattress and box spring. Plastic is on rolls at Osh hardware. The plastic overhang should be about 4 inches all around the boxspring. The Bed Bugs cannot get to you and will starve. Your bed must be a proper bed. No covers touching the walls, etc. Also this treatment works well with Subdued light.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/52538874@N05/7318050308/http://www.flickr.com/photos/52538874@N05/7318050308/ If, you can kill the eggs at your bed, that is the key. If you determined heat treatment is too dangerous or expensive, now what ? The big picture is you have a ranch, your’re raising Bed Bugs and using your bed as a corral. First, spray your bed or encase the bed to kill the eggs so you won’t be overwhelmed. Second, Make sure there are no problems with your bed. Nothing about your bed can be allowed the touch the wall or floor, but the caster wheels. Third, the new corral for the Bed Bugs is a dim light going 24/7 where the Bed Bugs can be drawn to and removed with masking tape. Fourth, you spray the ceiling-wall line on two of the most distant walls from the dim light to move the Bed Bugs toward the light. Notes: Do not spray near the dim light or any other location, that will create a barrier to keep them from coming to the light. This dim light is most likely for life. As new Bed Bugs arrive at your home they will go to the light. Bed Bugs are drawn to you like Bees, by your Co2. A fan moving air near your bed will mix your Co2 evenly in your bedroom, making it hard for Bed Bugs to find you. Every other day a light spray on your bed caster wheels will protect you. Those in the Bed Bug business won’t be needed anymore. Please beware of baised replies from them.This method seems to be the “Silver Bullet” for Bed Bugs. This lure will provide detection, control for the home and car. The poorest people will be able to handle their infestations. This DIY project can be done for a very small cost of parts. This is a very “Green” method. For all living places and whole house treatment, the hallways will become giant traps. The lights are there, a $5.00 dimmer switch is needed and spray. Lightly place DE on hall traffic areas where people put their foot down. Careful: My new kitten made a mistake, near the light. I moved the litter box there. Later I found a live Bed Bug in it. When the Bed Bugs stop coming to the light, they’re gone, for now. If you have total control, you’ll have complete relief. The Dim lights double for night lights and Bed Bug control. Bed Bugs are not exclusively Nocturnal. When light is used as a lure, this will lead to the downfall of Bed Bugs. Bed Bugs like darkness and subdued light. When you provide subdued light in the darkness they will go there. Search Google… Bed Bugs+ Subdued light. Bedbuggers Bed Bug forum is Overrun with Pest Control Operators who control the site to promote their Bed Bug Businesses. The web site is run by a host who has no knowledge of Bed Bugs and has sold her soul to them for information from them and to give herself credibility.Anybody who has any information to offer, that might interfere with Pest Control Operators ability to promote themselves will be surpressed to keep the information from being made available to the public. All treatments for Bed Bugs must be done by a professional and victims who suffer can do nothing to help themselves,is a lie. The public is being terrorized with false information. Persons making money from Bed Bugs,don’t want, DIY Subdued lighting treatment, to be true. What is it? Has there been a cover-up? How could so many people in the Pest control business not know that Bed Bugs are attracted to light. Don’t they look? Don’t they want to know? How could they let so many people suffer? It’s a scandal. How could reseachers not know? Is this how the World is? It’s disgusting. Insects having negative phototropism show an identical reaction, but only when they are subjected to a rapid increase of light. The bedbug is, as we know, energetically photophobic; it hides in the darkest cracks and leaves only during the night. In the daytime, says Bohn, if an accident has brought it from the shade into the light, it immediately executes a rotation of 180 degrees, which brings it into the shadow. On a sheet of paper it walks away from the luminous rays and turns about immédiately when one holds a candle toward it. “It is very difficult,” adds Bohn, “to make a bedbug which is on black paper pass over upon a piece of white paper. Anytime a Bed Bug is startled with a handheld candle or light of course it’s going to run and hide. A Bed Bug chooses a white paper over other colors when not disturbed. Negative phototropism testing is flawed. Bed Bugs have Positve Phototropism. Vintage – “Bedbugs”, US Dept of Agriculture, 1937
    Leaflet No. 146. Great 8 page, illustrated leaflet stating, “Bedbugs are normally nocturnal. When the lights are out they emerge from their daytime hiding places and seek to feed upon their host. Sometimes, when very hungry, they will feed during the daytime in subdued light. Their normally nocturnal habit is modified necessarily when they infest furniture in rest rooms in stores, theater seats, desks in offices, and similar situations that are not frequented by man throughout the night. In such places bedbugs often bite persons during the day.” Bed Bug Statements:Bed bugs are nocturnal, but may feed during the day in areas with reduced lighting such as theaters when no hosts are present at night. Currently. Cornell University says, “Bed bugs can be enticed to bite during the day if light is subdued and they are hungry.”

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