Get Even More Visitors To Your Blog, Upgrade To A Business Listing >>



Bed bugs have invited themselves into your home without an invitation.  You ask them to leave nicely, but they refuse to go.  At this point you have many options.  One option in my opinion cannot be to do nothing.  These bugs multiply rapidly and will take over your home before you can blink.  You must take action quickly. 

If I had done this myself, my infestation possibly would not have lasted 18 long months.  Since they refuse to leave you have only one other option and that is in my opinion to declare war. 

Bed bug exterminations can be very expensive.  You can pay from $200 to $1,700 and over per room.  Yes per room!  Is it worth that?  Maybe or maybe not, but that’s what it cost. Considering the challenge of a bed bug infestation, the extermination cost can be a bargain in some cases. Everything is relative.  You can either hire a bed bug exterminator or do it yourself.  I made the decision to do it myself utilizing the most natural methods as possible. 

There Were Two Main Reasons Why I Decided Not To Use An Exterminator:
  • The huge cost and pretty much no guarantee from their treatment services.
  • The prep work of bagging up all of my clothes, and removing everything off the walls, out of closets, etc.

    My thinking was these bugs did not come into my home to take up residency hiding behind my pictures or in my closets.  They are there because there is a host to feed on for their survival.  No matter where they are hiding, in an outlet, in a book, even on your mattress, they eventually have to come out and feed.  They have no interest in your clothes or home decor.  Basically, they just want to eat, and they want to eat in the safest environment possible, which is usually at night while you are asleep. 

    Don’t get me wrong, I think some housekeeping is necessary to rid your home of these bugs, focusing mainly on infestation prevention versus cleaning, which is not necessarily synonymous.  I’m a bit of a pack rat too, and all that an exterminator requires would have been too much for me.  I soon realized that a lot of it isn't necessary.  But if you hire an exterminator you have to heed to their instructions, bottom line.

    A Bed Bug War is Just Not That Serious
    I can’t even count the movie scenes where two opposing sides are about to fight each other with one side highly outnumbering the other.  Still the side most likely to lose makes the decision to plunge straight ahead with one thing clear.  They know there is for them a high probability of death.  With you being human and they being bugs and highly outnumbering you there still exists a high probability that this is a war you could win.  

    However, a bed bug war is just not that serious.  If you want to go the extermination route by all means do so.  No one is judging.  Or perhaps someone is judging, so what?  The DIY option is just not for everyone.  It still is in my opinion, good to know a little something about these bugs.  And having the advantage of someone else’s bed bug infestation experience in your tool box in my opinion is priceless.


    The first tool I think is critical in winning this bed bug was is to adopt the mindset of being proactive.  The very first proactive thing that I wish I had done to my bed bug infestation, especially since I had never seen one, was not to ignore the probability that it could happen to me.

    If I had it to do over again, I would exercise extreme caution and protect my mattress.   In my opinion, this is how bed bugs set up their war camp to attack.  If you keep them from setting up camp, you can probably eradicate them quicker, by eliminating one of the main places they like to hide and reproduce.   

    My infestation was never in my bed because I primarily sleep in my chair.  I never invited them into my bedroom either, by staying away from the bed.  They would have spread from the chair to the bed.  However, they did spread from the chair to another room, but the infestation was not as severe as it was where the chair was located.  I purchased that chair used and I think they were present in a dormant state because I noticed no bugs for months. 

    Then one night they woke up and restarted their lives anew.  I say this because the bugs were not babies.  The bugs that presented themselves that very first night were adults.  They had to already be present in that chair.  Like I said I’m not a bug person, but their size indicated to me that was not a new but a renewed infestation in that chair.  I’m just saying using a little deductive reasoning this seems to be the situation. 

    After you eradicate a large number of bed bugs you normally will see a new generation starting up as babies.  Just like any living entity you have life cycles ending and beginning.  Doing my 18 month bed bug infestation I ignored the beginnings that allowed them to make my house their home. 

    First Line of Tools Utilized from My First Line of Defense is 91% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol, and a DIY Water and a Name Brand Dish Soap Spray
    Do it yourself bed bug control can work for many, but not all. Sometimes the infestation is much too advanced for a do it yourselfer to tackle.  That's why it's critical to catch any bed bug problem early.  You may be wondering how to get rid of bed bugs.  There are and have always been do it yourself methods for eradicating bed bugs, but unfortunately a lot of this knowledge has been lost.  There still are some DIY methods that are quite effective in dealing with bed bugs.    

    Isopropyl alcohol does kill bed bugs and their eggs, but only on contact.  So whatever bed bugs you spray will die with no residuals.  The 91% rubbing alcohol was the most effective for me versus the 70%.  I poured the alcohol into a spray container undiluted.  It’s very cheap and effective at killing bed bugs on contact.  I feel it’s a little safer to spray this versus some other commercial products in certain areas where I don’t want to spray products that may be unacceptable in certain places. 

    We use rubbing alcohol on our skin, but not a pesticide per se.  So rubbing alcohol, even though it didn't have any residual was still a very effective tool.  It can be purchased at most pharmacies.  Exercise caution and keep away from heat, electrical, or flame.  Also rubbing alcohol will tend to make ink run, and possibly should not come in contact with certain surfaces.

    There were times when I felt like I was being bitten, but I didn't see anything.  Of course, that did not mean I was not being bitten.  It could just mean that what was biting me was invisible to the naked eye.  I begin to rub my skin where I felt I was being bitten and I often felt tiny particles.  I would spray the 91% alcohol over the area and more often than not the bites would stop immediately.  Who knows?

    Dish Soap       
    Using 91% alcohol rocks, however, over time can get pricey and not safe to use on certain surfaces.  Be careful of all formulations, whether natural or commercial, you just never know how a particular product will react on any given surface.  It’s a good idea to test when applicable.  

    My great grandmother told me that they used soap water to kill bed bugs in her day.  She didn’t remember the exact recipe, so I made my own using some of her input.  I mixed maybe  to ¼ of a cup, or a little more of a name brand dish soap into a 32 ounce spray bottle filled with tap water.  In addition, I added five to fifteen drops of peppermint essential oil. 

    I used my favorite brand of dish soap, and a non-generic which may or may not make a difference.  However, I personally think it makes a huge difference.  I don’t know the exact count, but it’s a big probability that I purchased over 500 bottles of 91% rubbing alcohol over my 18 month bed bug infestation, which can get quite pricey.  

    This new dish soap recipe is quite effective and somewhat cheaper than the 91% alcohol, but like the alcohol it has no residual.  I also liked adding a few drops of peppermint essential oil to the to the 91% alcohol too for a noted boost with maybe some residual.  I loved it and will always include it in my tool box in eradicating bed bugs.  I would think this dish soap spray could be used in certain areas where I wouldn’t want a stronger commercial product.

    I also liked using a peppermint Castile Soap that worked as an awesome deterrent in reducing bed bug bites at night.  Bed bugs like to bite over and over the same skin area.  The repeated bites, especially in the same area can really do great damage to the skin.  

    From my experience, peppermint soap is awesome in discouraging bed bugs from biting at night and in the same area.  I made a paste with the soap and placed it on the area where the bed bugs bit me repeatedly.  It’s not the be all and end all, but has proven worthy to be included in my bed bug eradication toolbox, to be utilized at home as well as when I travel.

    Essential Oils Can be Used to Eradicate and Deter
    Essential oils can be used as a deterrent as well effectively eliminating bed bugs.  Some essential oils are effective in killing bed bugs.  I use essential oils topically and in my diffuser just to name a few.

    Before using any essential oils you might want to clear it with your physician.  Don’t assume that because a product is natural that it's weak.  Some of these natural products are as potent as or even more potent than their commercial counterparts.  Also remember it’s a good idea and is recommended to dilute your essential oil with a carrier oil before usage.  I use extra virgin olive oil from my kitchen cabinet as my carrier oil, while others use almond oil which is good too.  And sometimes I don’t dilute with no problem.

    Don’t Ignore the Eggs and Tiny Babies 
    The first line of defense in my mind was to declare war.  I wanted to utilize products that were as natural as I could find.  My strategy was to eradicate them by reducing their numbers to none.  However, I made mistakes that enabled them to gain a strong foothold into my living space.  I ignored the babies and the eggs when I did decide to fight, which was a huge problem that kept me from gaining any significant ground in my attack. 

    From now on I know to spray the tinniest of bed bugs.  I was thinking that spraying these tiny insects was a waste of time.  I learned to major in the minor in dealing with these bugs.  This is why they are so difficult to eradicate relying on operating under the radar.  They seem so tiny and insignificant as babies, however nothing is insignificant when it comes to these creatures.  I highly encourage you to put your best foot forward. 

    Being Able to ID a Bed Bug Egg is Critical
    There are pictures on the internet of these tubular rice shaped eggs, that I would say are the norm in identifying bed bug eggs.  However, I have experienced that their eggs can be a lot larger and differently shaped.   Also, bed bugs like to lay eggs close by their host.  I found most of their eggs in my chair, sometimes on my socks, on my cover sheets, and very heavy in the carpet around my chair.   

    A major mistake I made in reference to bed bug eggs was to totally misjudge their significance.  I use to see them and dust them off on the carpet to be vacuumed later.  Later could even be the following day.  Vacuuming to eradicate bed bugs is already a very weak attack.  So to brush them off on the carpet was like handing them my weapon.  They must have laughed themselves to sleep.

    I learned that vacuuming does a good job generally cleaning, however it does next to nothing when it comes to eradicating bed bug eggs. Bed bugs reproduce like crazy in carpet.  The life cycle of the average bed bug is probably around six months.  However, life cycles are continually starting due to new bed bug eggs hatching.  The bed bug eggs keep this war going.  The bed bugs will eventually die, but if their eggs are not dealt with, the war will continue for sure.  It took months before I connected these dots.

    I use to spray any eggs that I could see or suspect with 91% alcohol, followed by an application of baking soda on the carpet prior to vacuuming.  When time permitted I allowed the baking soda to remain on the carpet overnight.  It's been my experience that for the purpose of bed bug eradication the thinner the sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) performed better than the baking soda bought off the shelf.  I buy my baking soda with this thinner consistency in bulk. Buying in bulk is also more cost effective.  It's just a good idea to test prior to applying a full application.  I have been a huge fan of baking soda for years.  

    You may or may not know that you can shampoo your carpet, and still leave the eggs and larvae untouched.  Bed bugs can survive vacuuming and shampooing.  Another great tip is to handle these bed bugs and their eggs like hazardous waste.  When you do vacuum you want to make sure that you change your vacuum cleaner bag outside or somewhere outside your living space. 

    You want to insert the vacuum cleaner bag into a garbage bag and twist the bag tight and tie the bag so it's completely sealed.  For this application, you don’t want to use the tie on the bag that can leave an opening.  You want this opening to be completely sealed.  Using the drawstring on the bag to just twist and tie does not seal.  Tying the bag and sealing the bag are not synonymous.

    A Closed Plastic Bag and a Sealed Plastic Bag Are Not Synonymous
    I know I mentioned this earlier, but it’s worth mentioning again.  A closed plastic bag can be closed simply by using the attached drawstring or tie.  However, a sealed plastic bag is twisted tight where no opening is left at the top of the bag.  This makes a huge difference in making sure no bugs are escaping from the bag.  I've learned that victory can be in the details, and by overlooking one simple technique can keep you fighting a war that could have ended much sooner.

    Using Designated Color Coded Sheets Are a Good Idea Too
    Another tip is to color code your sheets for war.  In any war, it’s imperative to identify the enemy.  I used sheets I absolutely loved however, I should have color coded my sheets.  You want your sheets to be able to handle a lot of washing in hot water.  All of this washing especially in hot water will weaken the fibers over time.  So a major tool in my opinion is to use color coded sheets that you don’t mind washing a lot.  Color coding your sheets should enable you to see not only the actual bugs, but their egg too, and will enable you to see them better with the naked eye. 

    A Good LED Flashlight and a Good Quality Magnifying Glass Rocks!
    To aid in locating bed bugs and their eggs, I did use a flashlight and a magnifying glass which helped a great deal.  Contrary to popular belief, not using white sheets or something light while having this infestation is in my opinion a good idea.  In addition to seeing the bed bugs you want to be able to see the eggs too, which are a very light beige in color and difficult to see on very light colored linen. 

    On light colored sheets you are able to see bed bugs, but it’s nearly impossible to see their eggs.   As mentioned earlier a big mistake I made was to ignore the eggs.  It’s important not to go too light or too dark.  For example, bed bugs that are a dark copperish brown color would be difficult to see on a too dark of a color sheet even though you probably could see their eggs.  So it’s kind of a balancing act. You want to select a color where you are able to see the eggs as well as all stages of the bed bugs themselves.

    Bed Bugs Respect Steam
    You have to get rid of bed bugs from the carpet to effectively eradicate them from your home.  Vacuuming and even shampooing your carpet will not, in my opinion eradicate a bed bug infestation.  After every vacuuming session change the bag outside your living space and dispose of it in a sealed plastic bag.  I always used a little baking soda sprinkle on the carpet prior to vacuuming, it helped a lot between steam treatments.

    Keeping Your Linen Bed Bug Free
    I know I might sound like a broken record, but the eggs must be addressed and is in my opinion an absolute priority over and above eradicating the actual bugs themselves.  The bed bugs will only live so long,  but it's the eggs that will continue to keep the infestation going.  This was the primary reason outside of identifying early that enabled my infestation to last 18 months.  You are fighting a never ending war if you do not address the eggs.  

    Let's address the importance of keeping your bedding bed bug free.  You probably already heard about washing your bedding in hot water, and drying on high heat.  I found it important to address bedding on a daily basis.  You may not want to wash everything every day.  However, if it's at all possible place your bedding daily in a hot dryer, or outside in direct sunlight. 

    From my experience, bed bugs lay eggs everyday on bed linen.  As I said earlier they lay their eggs close to their host.  It makes no sense to me to focus energies afar and ignore the area close where they attack (bite)!

    Even if you have clean sheets, but your spread has been infected with their eggs you still have a problem.  Compounding the problem your spread may be in a color that makes it difficult for them to be seen.  I also would like to say that their eggs have stickiness to them.  I have tried on many occasions, to brush them off of whatever they were on and it’s nearly impossible.  They stick like glue.  So while making the bed, it is very probable they would remain attached.  Who knew?  I know now, and now you do too.  Nowhere I found where this tidbit of information is addressed, and it’s critical to know.

    Find the Eggs
    Finding bed bug eggs is absolutely the key to preventing a new re-infestation.  If you have their numbers down, and are only experiencing perhaps two to three bites per night, well in my opinion, I think you are close to being done with these critters.  Then out of nowhere you are being bitten again everywhere.  My guess is that eggs or egg clusters have hatched somewhere near or on you. 

    They could have hatched on your bed sheets, socks, or some place you have missed.  It could also be your pajamas, even slippers.  Yes, they love shoes, slippers included.  Don’t forget hair rollers.  They have no shame.  And remember the eggs can stick like glue.  They may be trying to re-infest your home. 

    The first thing to do is to not panic.  Gear up again to attack.  This is a battle you may have to fight more than once to rid yourself of them.  But if you don’t relax and ignore the situation, it's a battle that can be won by most.

    The Scalp is Skin
    These bugs were under full attack.  However, they are no dummies.  Their numbers were decreasing, and I think they knew it.  My skin was protected with essential oils.  I also had a diffuser with peppermint essential oil that they absolutely detest. 

    They have to have a blood meal prior to laying eggs.  They got desperate I guess, and decided to take up residence to feed and lay eggs in my hair.  I had to wash my hair every day.  However, at night they would crawl back into my hair, feed on my scalp and lay eggs that were difficult to wash out. 

    I soon won this battle, but unfortunately only after they had ripped my scalp apart on top and I lost most of my hair there.  I’m still in the process of trying to re-grow it.  I didn’t want them to permanently damage my hair follicles.  I use to feel them running through my hair.  Using a hand held hair dryer was the tool for me that won this battle. 

    Re-infestations Can Start Anywhere
    Invading your scalp is an effective tool bed bugs will utilize time and time again.  Bed Bugs like the scalp because its skin and they need a safe place to gear up another attack.  It has been my experience that the scalp works well for them to feed, multiply, and re-infest.  These are intelligent creatures.  Their counter attacks are incredible.

    As mentioned earlier bed bugs got in my hair even though I shampoo every night.  They will lay eggs on your scalp to hatch for a convenient meal.  These eggs are sticky and not that easy to wash out.  I strongly suggest taking time when you shampoo your hair.  I experienced several re-infestations from them establishing their domicile in my hair. 

    My scalp was the only part of me that was not protected.  So, I had to come up with some tools to protect my scalp.  Wearing a cap or scarf at night will do nothing to stop their agenda.  I found organic coconut oil to be an effective deterrent in keeping them away from my scalp. However, sometimes a morning shampoo was necessary because my hair would become a little oily.  You only need a tiny bit.

    A product I came across called Buzz Away worked extremely well for me, in keeping bed bugs out of my hair.  Just a small amount on dry hair was all I needed.  They have different formulations.  The one I used for this particular situation was repelled no-see-ums.  For your convenience a link is added at the end of this blog.  I also found apple cider vinegar to be extremely effective in helping me rid my hair of these bugs and especially their eggs.  From my experience, the bed bug eggs are tougher to eradicate than the bed bugs themselves. 

    I added a top full or two along with my shampoo.  I took special attention to massage my scalp and not just the hair itself.  I washed my hair in 4 sections to make sure every section of my scalp was addressed.  Even if you elect to do nothing but shampoo your hair, in my opinion, giving special attention to cleansing the scalp is critical.  If bed bugs have invaded your hair, take action.  You don’t want these bugs to damage your hair follicles.  Just using the apple cider vinegar diluted with water worked wonders for me.  Here are some things I implemented to grow my hair back.

    Is There a Bed Bug Egg Cluster on the Bottom of Your Shoe?
    I am no Entomologist by any stretch of the imagination, but I had to ask myself the question why do their eggs stick? There must be a reason, even function for this stickiness.  Then one day I observed first hand, how the stickiness of the bed bug eggs can play a critical role in their infestation efforts.  Well, one day I think I at least discovered one reason centered-around transporting them. 

    They use us to get around, bottom line.  I do not have pile carpet and was able to spot their eggs.  I would immediately spray the eggs, and treat the area with a thin layer of baking soda prior to vacuuming.  I took this extra measure because they can survive vacuuming.

    I was getting ready to run some errands, after arriving at my destination, and stepping out of my vehicle I noticed a cluster of bed bug eggs.  It is highly probable that I tracked them from my home.  A coincidence, I think not.  Unnoticed I could have tracked them from my home to my car, and who knows wherever else.  Perhaps, even into someone’s home.  This is why bed bug carpet care is extremely important.  

    Again continue to develop your skills in identifying bed bug eggs from all stages in circulation.  It’s a good idea in my opinion to periodically check the bottom of your shoes.  If you see a lot of white particles in your home, perhaps on the carpet or in your vehicle, you could be tracking bed bug eggs.  The secret is to recognize the unusual. 

    I started keeping a spray bottle of my DIY soap water spray, to be used on the bottom of my shoes as I enter and exit my home whenever applicable.  The soap water spray can be an issue on some surfaces.  Just rubbing the bottom of your shoes on the grass could possibly serve the same purpose.  I utilize both methods in my efforts to not transporting bed bugs around via the bottom of my shoes. 

    Blankets and Spreads are Appealing to Bed Bugs
    Bed bugs do appreciate soft fabric.  It makes perfect sense to lay their eggs close to their host on a warm bed of soft fabric.  If I was a bed bug, that would be a no brainer.  This is a favorite place where they like to lay their eggs.  But you have to be able to see them.  If you see a problem you can pop your spread into a hot dryer for about one hour, or take it outside to sun.  It’s not always necessary to wash. 

    I have seen them on too many occasions, after they have bitten me, lay asleep on my blanket in plain view.  I am not kidding.  As I said earlier, these bugs have a lot of nerves.  And you probably already know not to throw your bedding on the floor while you’re in the process of making up a bed.  I have observed hotels doing this a lot.

    Keep Your Bed Linen, Luggage, and Clothes off the Floor
    I think the floor should be off limits for linen these days, including the bedspread and pillows.  This is only my opinion, but I think this makes good sense.  Some people have a problem with a dust ruffle on the bed.  I happen to like what I like.  Maybe it should just be hemmed up a little to keep it from dragging the floor.  If you are steam cleaning as well as vacuuming your floor it shouldn't be much of an issue anyway.  The hot steam cleaning is extremely effective in destroying bed bugs and their eggs. 

    A Friend of Mine Says Silica Gel Works Well
    An inexpensive way to buy silica gel is to buy it as silica crystal cat litter.  This powder sticks to the bed bugs and dehydrates them.  You have to use some elbow grease and really powder it down like flour.  Its labor intensive work, but it works.  Remember that it’s a good idea to always wear proper protection when you are working with any type of dust treatments even if they are food grade. 

    Bed Bugs Can be Killed Using a Household Clothes Dryer
    Yes, killing bed bugs can be this easy when done properly.  Bed bugs will die at 113 °F after 90 minutes.  However, their eggs are a little tougher and more resistant to heat.  So a temperature of 120 °F for 1 hour will usually kill all stages from baby (nymph) to adult.  It is important to allow for the time your particular dryer takes to heat up and then start the timing from there.  A lot of people at the washateria use dryers next to a dryer that is running, to take advantage of the residual heat.

    Prior to using your clothes dryer to eliminate bed bugs, your clothes need to be clean, and stain free if at all possible because as you probably already know a hot dryer will set the stain.  It's not necessary to always wash your clothes prior to using your clothes dryer as a tool in the eradication of bed bugs.  If your clothes are dry clean only I’m told they can be placed into your household clothes dryer to kill bed bugs if they are completely dry.  If you choose to utilize this method for your dry clean only clothing, proceed with caution because your clothes could incur damage. 

    Remember always to clean your dryer lint filter after every drying cycle to help keep your dryer humming.  Most dryers pull a lot of energy, and with all of this extra use, please note that your utility bill could skyrocket.  If this is a concern for you, why not take full advantage of placing your clothes on a clothesline or patio for a full day in the hot sun. 

    I am of the opinion that a clothesline is an absolute necessity for any household.  Place the clothesline where it cannot be seen from the street.  A clothesline placed in the right location is an awesome budget stretcher. Today’s clotheslines have come a long ways from those of the past.  A clothesline can be a cost effective tool in the eradication of bed bugs.  Check out the clothesline link at the end of this blog

    Another awesome tool that utilizes the sun is the sealed plastic black bag method.  The bag must be thick and black, because black will absorb more heat and the thickness will hold it.  If you are utilizing this black bag method just make sure the temperature in the bag reaches 120 °F for at least three hours or more.  Repeat if necessary.  If you use a thin, flimsy black bag, in all likelihood it probably will not work.

    I for one don't find it necessary to check the temperature inside of the sealed black bag.  I could just feel the outside of the bag and guesstimate the internal temperature.  But if you have serious doubts and prefer to be more accurate use a thermometer.  However, I wouldn't leave the thermometer inside the bag.  I would remove the thermometer after each and every time I checked the temperature.  When you reach the desired temperature make sure you feel the bag to get a feel for how it feels at that temperature reading.  And in no time you should be able to accurately guesstimate too.

    Please do not place a thermometer inside your dryer.   I believe most dryers will reach 120 °F, but if you have serious doubt, refer to your owner’s manual or call your dryer’s customer service.  But I repeat please, please, please do not place a thermometer inside your dryer.  Also, it’s probably a good idea to always examine each item after treatment, whether you have used the dryer or the sun method to be sure no bed bugs are seen.  You just never know.

    You Washed Everything Now What?
    Your clothes have been treated and ready to be placed back into your closet or drawers.  Some people will store their treated items in sealed plastic bags, and that’s great.  I do have some items in sealed plastic bags and some items placed back where they belong. However, the clothes stored in sealed plastic bags are now basically not accessible.  

    I like my clothes where they belong and I remembered that bugs hate the smell of cedar.  Years ago I worked at a high end furniture store where a lot of the pieces such as beds, dressers, night stands, headboards, and chest drawers were made from cedar wood.  Using cedar wood was due in part to deter pests such as ticks, bed bugs, cockroaches, and the like.  A lot of bugs including bed bugs hate the smell of cedar.  The cedar does not kill the parasites, but does an awesome job in discouraging them from whatever area you want them to stay away from.

    You may or may not be aware that you can now purchase a product of cedar wood made into thick sheets that are on rolls.  This product is absolutely awesome, provided you are not allergic or have a problem with the cedar scent, which is mild in my opinion.  The cedar wood drawer liners can be cut to the size you want with scissors to duplicate some of the same benefits you get from a high end furniture piece. 

    This product has many applications in that it can also be used to line your closet shelves, drawers and even your luggage.  I think this is a very useful product and is a good match in my opinion for many out-of-the-box type applications.  The main reason I love it, it allowed me to put my clothes in the closets and drawers where they belong for much easier accessibility.  To learn more click on the link provided.  Red Cedar Drawer Liners

    DE (Diatomaceous Earth) Anyone?
    A lot of people are in love with food grade DE.  I don’t know if my infestation was too heavy, but the food grade DE did not work for me.  I chose to use the food grade DE versus the other DE non food grade, but without any real success.  I chose the food grade DE because I was told by the exterminator I consulted with that I only needed to wear a mask versus a respirator with the food grade.  I know a lot of people don’t utilize a respirator or a mask, but it's advised that they do.

    Many people have had great success using the food grade DE.  I don’t know why I didn’t have success using this product.  It could have been the methodology I used.  Remember methodology matters.  I simply placed it down and left it down.  Some say you need to vacuum it up every two to three days and reapply.  I noticed the DE would dry up and harden, because I have high moisture content in my home. 

    DE in essence is made of tiny sharp shell and rock fragments.  The bed bugs do have to come in contact with the DE powder for it to work.  DE should kill bed bugs by dehydrating them, when the sharp tiny shell and rock powder fragment stick to their bodies.  If the bed bugs meet up with DE that has harden and dried out, it should be no surprise that it would not work well if at all.

    The DE can be sprinkled around bed frames but never directly on bedding or mattress.  I think that perhaps if I had replaced the DE and had used a DE applicator for easier and more effective application, it may have made a difference in achieving success with the food grade DE.  The food grade DE is a tool I will probably utilize if I encounter another bed bug infestation.

    Do not use diatomaceous soil that is made for swimming pools and is not designed for indoor use.  This product will probably be labeled for pool use only.  It’s a good idea to always check.

    A Bed Bug Infestation Has Nothing to Do with Clean
    There is a popular misconception that bed bugs are attracted to filth.  This is so not true.  I am considered a cleanaholic but a bed bug infestation still occurred in my home.  Your home can be the cleanest among the clean, but a bed bugs infestation can still happen to you.  And of course clean is relative.  I’ve seen people clean their entire house using one cleaning rag.  They go from the bathroom to the kitchen cleaning using their so-called cleaning rag.  Well, the home looks clean but would I eat there, probably not.  To me, it’s not about just clean!  Methodology matters!

    Not Every Bed Bug Tool Will Kill Bed Bug Eggs        
    Almost nothing is effective against killing bed bug eggs except heat.  An insecticide destroys insects versus a repellent that discourages insects from coming in contact for whatever reason they deem is undesirable for them.  Insecticides are not very effective against killing bed bug eggs. 

    This could be a reason why exterminators come back after two weeks, and that is to kill the newly hatched eggs.  I’m not a bug person, but this does not sound far fetched.  I was told DE is effective against killing bed bugs, but not their eggs.  However, the sun as well as the clothes dryer is an incredible tool in killing bed bug eggs. 

    Vapamore MR-100 Steam Cleaner
    Bed bugs have a high respect for clothes dryers, the hot sun, and steamers.  The only effective carpet treatment is steam.  Steamers can be purchased or rented.  This is a very popular goto steam cleaner that I heard was being used by many New Yorkers who experienced a heavy bed bug infestation.  

    With so many people in close proximity and being extremely mobile, the widespread bed bug infestation is understandable. Bed bugs are in love with mobility.  It’s difficult for them to spread when nobody is in motion.  Steam is an awesome tool in the eradication of bed bugs whether you are using the Vapamore MR-100 or some other awesome steamer you love.  

    I’m guessing somebody used this particular steamer and found it to be effective.  With this tool in hand, I think New Yorkers, as well as others from all over the world will be ecstatic at how well steam can be a major tool in the eradication of a heavy bed bug infestation.  This steamer among others really rock for a lot of people, especially those battling with bed bugs.

    However, some people with very heavy infestations and are at their wits end, make the decision to pull up and remove their carpet.  The carpet is a major tool utilized by bed bugs to reproduce.  In my opinion, in any bed bug war, there are 4 critical areas that need immediate attention.  

    The critical areas are the wooden headboard, mattress, box spring, and the carpet.  If bed bugs gain and keep control of these 4 critical areas, I think that in all likelihood this is a war that they will eventually win.  These bugs are not playing games.  

    They are serious about maintaining their survival.  So it makes good sense to me to steam clean my carpet at least once a year just as a precautionary measure to help maintain my survival.  The less I encounter these bed bugs the better.

    Steam cleaning your house for cleaning can be a little different than what you do for bed bugs.   It was relayed to me by a sales rep that you want a steam cleaner that produces a dry steam, to eliminate or decrease the possibility of mold formation.  Even if you rent a steam cleaner, it’s probably a good idea to rent one that produces dry steam.  You are steam cleaning to eradicate bed bugs so your technique will reflect this purpose.  You want to make sure that you allow the steam to go deep to reach the eggs. 

    You can steam clean your sofa, mattress, and even carpet.  I chose not to steam my mattress since I was enclosing the mattress and box spring.  However, some do choose to steam their mattress.  I would just say make sure that everything gets completely dry to prevent mold. 

    Planning Your Bed Bug Attack Makes Sense
    Planning an attack makes perfect sense to bed bugs, so why don’t we do it too?  Bed bugs like to attack us while we are asleep and most venerable.  That’s one of the main reasons why I don’t make searching for them a priority. 

    I have never had a meal hunt me down.  No, I’m coming to it as soon as dinner is ready.  In my opinion it’s the same situation with bed bugs.  They are coming to me and for them dinner is ready in the early hours of the morning.  Why not plan your attack when you know they are coming?  Set your clock, and have your Temprid, Kleen Free, or whatever tool of choice and be ready for them.  They will be exposed, and the product will probably be more effective. 

    Grow Lemon Grass or Mint Close to Your Entry Way
    The scent of fresh lemon grass is a strong deterrent to bed bugs.  They absolutely hate the citrus scent.  My great grandmother use to have some growing around the area of her chicken coop.  Unfortunately, bed bugs do bite chickens and birds.  She also grew a little by the front door.  If someone comes over with a bed bug on their clothing or whatever, having this scent around will probably discourage them from wanting to change residence. 

    These are intelligent bugs, trust me.  It’s been my experience that they do appear to think.  Consider planting lemon grass if you like the scent.  Also bed bugs absolutely hate the smell of peppermint and lavender.  If you don't like lemon grass, you might consider planting peppermint or lavender.

    Bed Bugs Can Jump 
    Contrary to popular belief bed bugs can jump and can jump down only, and not up, with extreme accuracy.  I can’t tell you how many times I have been sitting in my chair and a bed bug has jumped down yet again directly on my exposed arm or hand to feed in the same area.  Coincidence, I think not.  

    Even if you decided to use double-sided tape and Vaseline, just know that bed bugs can still get to you.  Bed bugs climb walls and can jump on top of your bed from the ceiling.  I am not kidding.  This has happened to me more than once, as well as to someone I know.

    Bed bugs can’t climb up slippery surfaces like a bathtub or a glass, but they can climb up a bed frame leg, the lamp base and lamp shade, a curtain, and unfortunately a wall.  This is not about using double-sided tape but about how effective the strategy is if you do decide to utilize it.  In my opinion doing something could be better than doing nothing.  I’m not saying not to give it a go.  It could work.  You just never know.

    Where Bed Bugs Can be Hiding on You
    Most of us are probably familiar with some favorite common bed bug hiding places.  Some of their favorite places include your television, computer, mattress, box spring, head boards, shoes, purse, and luggage just to name a few.  But are you at all familiar with some of their hiding places on you, the host?  If you have already been there, done that, skip this section.  If not, stay tuned.

    Bed bugs as you know or can assume are some pesky little creatures.  When I say they like to be close to their host sometimes it’s even on their host.  I have discovered them after feeding, asleep on my bedding in plain view.  They are in love with soft and will take risks to experience it. 

    This is the main reason you no longer throw caution to the wind and just jump in bed.  You just never know.  They have been found countless of times in my book or magazine that I fell asleep on top of.  They absolutely love paper.  Even in broad daylight, they will show up to be close to paper. 

    They love to crawl into socks where they will sometimes lay eggs under the fold.  They will get in your hair for a quick meal.  Unlike the lice though, they are just interested in your scalp.  Skin is skin!  They will crawl in your ear and unfortunately the babies will invade your mouth if you sleep with your mouth open.  The adults seem to know better.  You won’t catch them in your mouth.  At least that was my experience. 

    Case in point, one morning when my infestation was heavy my mouth was sore.  I got up and decided to rinse out my mouth.  To my surprise, I begin to spit up tiny bed bugs.  Now I know there are people all over the world who consider insects a food source, and I have no problem with that.  But from my perspective, this was unacceptable.  This is when I came close to the breaking point. 

    When you are fighting bed bugs, it's likely that you will come close to breaking, but you cannot afford this luxury.  If you break the war is over.  Like I said before, the DIY is not an easy option.  Feel free to reconsider at any time. 

    Where Are Bed Bugs on My Clothes?
    When you are looking at a garment or whatever, you might not spot a bed bug moving around in plain view.  That does not mean a bed bug is not present though.  However, after receiving a few bites, I realized that I could not get relaxed just because I didn't see any bed bugs on my clothes.  

    Some of their favorite hiding places are socks, zippers, hems, cuffs, collars, and open linings.  Clothing with any type of fold, should be examined very closely with a flashlight. This seems like a lot to do, but for most it will become second nature in no time. 

    Are Bed Bug Stains Permanent?
    Bed bug stains can become permanent if they are not addressed early versus late.  The stains are just digested blood that’s being excreted by the bed bug.  As soon as you discover you have an infestation, it’s probably a good idea to pull off your bed any special or expensive sheets or bedding that may become permanently damaged. 

    If you place a stained garment in hot water and/or a hot dryer, this will set the stain in the garment.  This will probably make it extremely difficult to remove the stain if removal is even possible.  You can use hydrogen peroxide on a blood stain prior to washing, but the water must be cold.  

    However, there is a catch-22.  Remember the water must be hot when you are washing the linen that has a bed bug problem.  When removing linen that is infested with bed bugs, the linen should be taken off the bed and placing directly into the washer or in a sealed plastic bag. 

    Being in a War with Bed Bugs Requires Resilience
    Do not underestimate these creatures.  They have existed on this planet for hundreds and hundreds of years.  They have fought many wars and won, and fought a war and eventually won case and point DDT.  Some think bringing DDT back is the answer.  However, it’s well documented everywhere that bed bugs have become resistant to DDT. 

    Does anyone understand what resistant means?  Well, for those who may not know, insect resistance is when a given insecticide becomes ineffective due to a build up tolerance in the insect.  From my understanding, and according to various bed bug professionals, bed bugs could be able to pass this resistance to their offspring.  

    DDT was very effective in its day and was used for many many years in the application of killing bed bugs.  However, these bugs fought back and eventually became resistant.  But today’s question to me is: would today’s bed bugs be as receptive to yesterday’s DDT of the past?  Remember the old saying that you can’t put your hand in the same water twice.  If a hand is put in, the water will be different. 

    I absolutely, wholeheartedly, believe that there did exist an easy way to effectively eradicate bed bugs, but that information has been lost.  Who would think that with all the human advancements of this day and time that we would be in the middle of a bed bug plague.  Which brings up the question of what knowledge that exists today that is being ignored or taken for granted that might be needed in the future?  

    In my opinion, there is a missing piece on why these bed bugs are back.  Bed bugs are an incredible foe, but they have been unable to eradicate us.  If we are not careful though, they could get us to eradicate ourselves.

    Is Throwing The Baby Out with the Bath Water a Good Idea?
    This is an age old expression or idiom that suggests you be on the alert to throwing out the good with the bad.  You could even throw out the baby and ke

    This post first appeared on Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Yourself, please read the originial post: here

    Share the post



    Subscribe to Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Yourself

    Get updates delivered right to your inbox!

    Thank you for your subscription