Home Forums Living Spaces Bedrooms Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

This topic contains 72 replies, has 25 voices, and was last updated by  steavehussey 5 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #159968

    Seriously.

    One of my kids brought a bedbug or two home from summer camp last month. Luckily my son and I are allergic to all kinds of insect bites, so as soon as we started getting bitten we were frantic to find the source. We found a small infestation in each of the kids’ beds under the boxspring. These bugs breed incredibly quickly.

    I’m really glad we already have a minimal kinda house, but having to heat treat everything forced us to reevaluate whether things were really worth the effort of saving them. My kids really don’t like to part with possessions, so for them this was an interesting experience.

    And boy do I love the pest control company I hired to help with the actual infestation. It was a small infestation and the tech said that lack of DDT plus more international travel has caused a new wave of bedbug problems for many people. There is an old fashioned stigma that it’s only “dirty” households that harbor bedbugs. Not true. These bugs hitch-hike to your home via hotel rooms, friends couches, train and plane seats, restaurant seating etc. If you’re not sensitive to the bites and you have a sleeping/lounging area where furnishings are not often disturbed and are kinda cluttered, it’s pretty easy for the infestation to build up without you knowing.

    The whole situation made my skin crawl. It was really easy to let things go. It also gave the whole family a good cautionary tale about why you might see a perfectly good sofa or mattress on curbmart. Our pest inspector warned us to mark/render useless anything we put out for big trash day so that local scavengers would not pick it up. I have to trash all our moving boxes πŸ™ sad, but it’s $50 of boxes vs $1300 of treatment and I’m not willing to take the risk.

    So there you go. If you want some decluttering motivation, bedbugs may just do the trick!

  • #215864

    seedreemer
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    I have to admit this made my skin crawl too. I’ve bought a lot of used furniture in my lifetime. I’m not sensitive to bites so for all I know I’m not sitting on cushions but a writhing mass of breeding bugs.

  • #215875

    chacha1
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    seedreemer, ewww!! LOL

    lkh: not how anyone wants to spend summer vacation. sorry you had to cope with that!

  • #215880

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    KeKeD – we mightn’t have caught it this quickly because my daughter, who doesn’t really react much to bites, was the first person to have them. They stayed in her boxspring until she went to stay with her dad for a month. The bugs got hungry and sniffed out my son in the next room. Then they found me. There was no infestation in my room, so luckily they were just trotting down the hall to snack on me some nights. The infestation in my kids’ rooms were only about 1/2 inch diameter and tucked away under a label on one bed and under a seam on the other, so REALLY hard to spot.

    My kids are 17 and 22, so they do their own laundry including bedding, which means I don’t get to look at their mattresses any more. Even if I had, there was nothing on the top of the mattresses to show signs.

    All the mattresses and boxsprings are now bagged, everything has been sprayed or heat treated or dusted with diatomaceous earth… and I betcha anything we’re not done with the little horrors yet. They are very well suited to survival! They don’t carry any known diseases, they don’t get into food or eat wood etc, they don’t jump or fly… they just crawl on you when you’re sleeping and that idea makes just about everyone shudder!

  • #215882

    sleepykitten
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    Oh, wow. This story gave me the creeps. I won’t be sleeping well tonight…sorry you had to deal with it.

  • #215960

    luxcat
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    I travel a great deal and I have a horror of bedbugs. I take all sorts of precautions to try to limit the possibility of me bringing them home, but DH refuses to co-operate… he just brings his stuff home and chucks it right on the bed!

    did the heat treating ruin your wood furniture? I’ve always been scared of that.

  • #215968

    bandicoot
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    i have still never seen one or been bitten by one, but i am getting increasingly nervous about them.

    luxcat, what sort of precautions do you take when travelling?
    i could bag and freeze my entire backpack (it isn’t that big) when i got home….would that be sufficient?

  • #215971

    Anonymous

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    I am paranoid about them as well. Early this summer I was getting bitten by something that was causing small blisters and itching. I checked for bedbugs-nothing. I had the cat checked for infestation, since I was getting bitten on all the places she might touch when I hold her to groom. Nothing. DH was not getting any bites. Dermatologist had not been seeing any others in the area with these kinds of bites. It was like fire ant bites, but when they bite you feel them at the time! Still a mystery.

    So, lifekeepshappening, did you contact the camp and let them know about the bugs?

  • #215974

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    I did contact the camp organizer. Last week I contacted a local high quality quilting store where I’d bought a fat quarter of fabric that contained a moth… never heard back from either of them so I guess they have their heads firmly in the sand.

    Because we have hardwood floors and no infestation on the furniture, the pest control sprayed a pesticide on and around the beds, then dusted our very open baseboards (old old house) with diatomaceous earth. I’ve also bought some of the DE from Amazon with a bellows. It’s 104F here this week, so we’re double ziploc-ing the stuff we cannot run through the drier (shoes, vacuum cleaner) and putting it in the car for heat treatment (I used our candymaking thermometer to make sure the car got up to over 115 degrees which is the temp they die at. Car got up to 125F.) Clothes and bags and linens can go on hot cycle in the drier for 20+ minutes and all life stages of the bed bugs will be killed. The eggs are the hardest to kill apparently. If we’d had anything on the wooden furniture, the tech said she would’ve used a dry ice treatment rather than steam. The steam heat is for carpeting and badly infested mattresses. I’m sure each company is different. So far (fingers crossed) I’m pleased with the service as it has a 90 day coverage for coming out and reinspecting/retreating.

    Somewhere in my rather frantic and horrified research I came across a youtube video of a person who travels a lot. She never puts her bags on the bed in a hotel. She puts them in the bathtub or on a luggage rack. I think she bagged her stuff in ziplocs before going home and then shoved everything straight into the drier to heat treat before washing.

    I did discover that even the most delicate of our clothing and soft toys etc did just fine in a hot drier so long as the clothes went in dry not wet. I had evening dresses and gauzy sequinned tops and linen pants in the drier for an hour and no problems (except one load coming out with sequins all over everything lol!)

    The best way to find the bugs on a mattress and boxspring/divan is to use clear packing tape and just press it deep into the seams and corners or anywhere that looks like a bit of fluff or dirt might be. Honestly I didn’t see them on my son’s bed until I used the tape. The eggs are too small to see and nearly transparent, but the tape picked them up. Ugh!!! I stuck the tape onto plain white paper for the pest inspector to see.

    Another Deb: that sounds exactly like my bites. The Terminix tech said people react differently and it also depends what life stage the bug is in when it bites. I got a few blisters and crazy inflammation from adult bugs large enough to hike all the way to my bedroom, my son got many smaller welts from nymphs, my daughter got bumps more like little flea bites because she doesn’t have sensitive skin, my fiance didn’t react at all – which I think is the scarier situation really. I was first bitten on my shoulder then elbow, and the tech guessed that I was a side sleeper. Once I started wearing a long sleeve shirt to bed, I got bitten on my wrists and finger joints a lot – they go for the easiest place to puncture skin and reach blood, so wherever the skin is thinnest. I got a bite on my neck and had to plan my wardrobe to be collared shirts for several days.

    The bugs bite around 3:00-5:00 a.m. when people are sleeping deepest and giving off more CO2. They need to feed for 3-10 minutes, which is why they want you deeply asleep because they cannot grip onto you if you move. If you move your sleeping area to avoid them, they’ll find you. If you cover up with more clothing, they’ll just keep investigating until they find a bit of skin. If you change your sleeping hours, they’ll wait for you or find you in your computer chair during the daytime. All they want to do is have a nice dinner of blood, breed and sleep. They prefer humans to pets. They can live 18 months (MONTHS!) without a meal, they can slip through the slimmest of cracks in floorboards etc, an inseminated female can lay up to 500 eggs, they can hike up to 20 feet to find a nice sleepy human meal.

    They’re definitely worth taking seriously. My online research showed that single home dwellings are fairly easy to treat, but apartment buildings are much harder due to needing cooperation of all tenants. To start with I couldn’t even persuade my own kids to follow the treatment protocol, even though they didn’t want to go to bed!

    I’ll update with our progress so there’s at least a record here on the forum of whether hiring a professional company is effective. I’m assuming that eggs or nymphs fell off the mattresses as they were being treated. The tech comes back in two weeks, which is long enough for eggs to hatch and for us to end up become snackfood again πŸ™

  • #215978

    luxcat
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    @bandicoot I never set my suitcase on the floor, bed or upholstered furniture in hotel rooms– I use a luggage rack or set it on a table or desk. I check mattresses before I sleep (yes I remove the sheets, yes I have found some icky things but no bugs yet) and when I get home I throughly brush the suitcase outside, put all things to be washed directly in the wash, etc. I have heard of the freezer trick. If you are having hot weather I hear you can also put your bag in a trash bag and set it in the sun for a while. Not sure how effective all this is but it makes me feel better πŸ™‚

  • #215993

    bandicoot
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    lkh, i want to scratch and flail….simply from reading.
    i feel for you. what an ordeal!

    luxcat, many thanks for the tips. i feel it is probably time to start being a little more cautious.

  • #215997

    sleepykitten
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    To me the scariest thing is to think that one wouldn’t necessarily notice they were biting…ugh. I am not cautious about bedbugs, but now I’m thinking I should be.

  • #215999

    Mimi
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    yuck! are begbugs only in beds or also on sofas and armchairs?
    i mean, is it possible to get bedbugs at starbucks and other public places with upholstered furniture?
    aaah, i feel itchy just because of thinking of these bugs!

  • #216002

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    Mimi, you can pick them up anywhere that people have been. Occasionally they’re carried by pets, but that’s not their first choice as they cannot hold on well, they have to sort of wedge themselves into a tight spot to stay in place. They are hitchhikers, but they prefer dark quiet habitats near sleeping humans (if you nap on your sofa, they’ll happily set up camp there). If they get onto a purse or shoe or coat or luggage or sleeping bag etc, they can be transferred to a bus, train, plane, restaurant seat, hotel bed, car, movie theater seat. If they can find enough blood to live on (ie someone being still for some length of time with exposed skin), then they’ll feed and breed in that location. I’m unlikely to go to a movie theater again ever. Several cities have severe problems. I’ve read that the Detroit bus system has a real issue and 50% of Brooklyn apartments are infested.

    I react very quickly and severely and have never been bitten by one anywhere except at the house.

    We had another bite free night last night, with one person out of the house, which is usually when they come after me. In apartments, the infestation can be in another unit and the bugs travel through the walls to bite when their regular meal plan is away – that’s got to be maddening. Tonight will be the real test as both kids will be away and I’ll be the only bait πŸ™

    There is a lot of information out there that self-treating doesn’t work or can make it worse, but I think that depends on the size of infestation. It’s difficult to tell how big the infestation is unless you can get inside where they are. They can be under baseboards and carpets or inside boxsprings, behind furniture, under sofas – you know, undisturbed places where you’d have to dismantle the room to look.

    It’s enough to make you paranoid. Mostly, just be really careful about curbmart/thrift purchases, check your bed monthly, don’t have undisturbed clutter piled up within 5 ft of wherever you sleep or deeply relax. And if you discover a problem, get professional pest control help and tell your friends – there is a stigma, but that’s not going to decline until people discuss the issue and realize that bed bugs are an equal opportunity pest.

  • #216051

    Trish
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    A member of my family brought these home from the hospital where she works. She threw away almost everything she owned and slept on the floor in a circle of DE for 3 weeks. It was so traumatizing for her.

    The *entire* hospital was infested. She lives in Kentucky. Kentucky is second only to New York in the US, many hospitals, hotels, nursing homes, and schools are affected. (Or at least it was last I heard).

    My understanding is that department stores are another source, several high profile stores (I think Victoria’s Secret and Macy’s) were shut down in NYC to deal with infestation.

    On the news in KY, they were discussing how boxes carried on UPS trucks are also a major contributor.

    So… don’t ride public transit. Don’t travel. Don’t get sick and need the hospital. Don’t go to school… don’t go shopping… don’t get anything shipped to you in the mail!!!??? The little bugs are everywhere.

    Your story scares me because of how small the infestation was. I travel frequently, and I inspect hotel rooms, but I’m scared I’ll miss something that small! But it’s probably a lost cause because I ride public transit… πŸ™

    Good luck everyone! Stay wary! πŸ˜‰

  • #216083

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    Last night I slept home alone, 3 days after pest control came. No bites. I don’t believe we’re through yet, but it’s a relief to have a break. All our clothing and linens etc remain bagged and sitting on the dining table where our cat cannot gnaw on the plastic bags (his favorite stunt).

    Trish: it really is tramatizing. It’s good to have some basic knowledge of how they behave so that we can catch an infestation early and know how to deal with it. Apparently the foggers sold by stores do nothing but disperse the infestation so that it’s impossible to find them. Once they settle inside the walls etc, it’s far more difficult to treat.

    Diatomaceous Earth is a good preventative plan, but it has to be a thin application so they walk through it. If it’s too thick, they’ll walk around it.

  • #216084

    sleepykitten
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    @Trish – yeah, it sounds like there isn’t a whole lot you can do if there are so many ways to spread the little guys.

    @lifekeepshappening – do you mean to use diatomaceous earth whether you have bugs or not to prevent? Is that safe for cats and other critters?

  • #216086

    Sky
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    This is so gross!! We are going to a beach condo next week and now I’m paranoid!
    Thanks for all the pointers.

  • #216089

    Mimi
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    lifekeepshappning: thanks for the information!
    maybe itΒ΄s just a normal risk of life. digusting and annoying but not life-threatening or badly dangerous.
    *ommmmm* πŸ˜‰

  • #216118

    bandicoot
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    *stil scratching*

  • #216119

    Jackthetiger
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    I have never experienced this either. Sounds rather 19th century! Very itchy now!

  • #216137

    ninakk
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    The worst is in high-storey buildings when people don’t inform the house management. They might spray their own flat but the bugs have moved on through walls to the next one already. The whole house has to be done in one go for it to be effective. Sorry you’re dealing with this now, it’s disgusting.

  • #216178

    Trish
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    @sleepykitten: DE is very, very safe. Just make sure to get DE and not any other type of silica (like the ones they sell for pool chemicals- those are not safe). Wear a mask when treating things to avoid airway irritation. DE is safe for use around pets. In fact, it’s an ingredient in some cat litters. πŸ™‚

  • #216208

    Ella
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    Oh, I have to stop reading this thread. Makes me itch every time.

    I’m so sorry you have to deal with all this, lkh. Hope it will soon be completely cleared from your life.

  • #216215

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    Gah! Last night I was settling into bed with a book and spotted a bed bug marching toward me across the sheet. I grabbed some clear tape and picked it up to start a new “evidence” log for Terminix. I have changed from patterned sheets to plain white so that I can spot anything on the bed.

    At 3 in the morning my son texted me from his bedroom to say he’d found four in his bed, killed them all by crushing with paper tissue and flushed them because he couldn’t find the tape. We both ended up with a bite on the hand.

    I stripped the beds and looked. No sign of the little nasties, so now I don’t know where they are hiding.

    So… sigh sigh sigh… we’re not done yet. Ugh.

  • #216236

    TatiLie
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    @ anotherDeb: you mentioned blister and itching. They might be vesicular eczema (dysidrosis). If you’re sensitive to chemicals, metals and had other kind of dermatitis is very likely that it could be that.

  • #216253

    sleepykitten
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    @Trish – thanks for the info about DE

    @lifekeepshappening – OH NO! I’m so sorry! Hopefully, Terminix “guaranteed” that they for some amount of money they would eradicate the things so they will come back and keep working on it without more cost to you…. We are all itching on your behalf.

  • #216876

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    Update: Terminix came to follow up. Found 4 nymphs under the bagged boxspring in my son’s room, and then I found a tiny one in the seam. The tech sprayed all three beds and bedrooms including bed frames and behind furniture and under the baseboards.

    We cannot figure out if there are any in my room now or if they’re still trotting down the hall to visit me from the kids’ rooms. Friday night I was bitten above my eyebrow, it has swollen up so much that I cannot open my eye properly! I seem to be horribly allergic to them. I can’t really leave the house looking like this.

    I’m spending today heat treating all the bedding again. Luckily all other linens and clothing are being kept in sealed bags.

  • #216883

    J.B.C.
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    Lifekeepshappening, I really feel for you and your family. It is very hot and humid where I live with the monsoons right now, so with the dogs we are having some tick problems, which I have never had to deal with before. Not an infestation by any means, but disgusting and unnerving nonetheless. All the best of luck to you.

  • #216930

    rutheverhart
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    Oh, I’m visiting family in Michigan, and my sister has a bed bug infestation! Her son was at a hotel with a school trip, and that was probably the culprit. They had a heat treatment — the temperature in the whole house raised to 135 degrees. A whole host of guys with vans and furnaces descended on them for the entire day. Yikes! Oh my goodness, this is an awful thing! I feel for you, LKH, and hope your treatment is successful!

  • #217040

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    Ruth – did the heat treatment work?

    I’m still getting bitten. Found an adult bed bug beside my treated bed at 4:00 a.m. this morning πŸ™

  • #217088

    luxcat
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    I really tried to get DH on board with my fear of bedbugs on this trip, but he just won’t believe me that it’s a valid issue. He thinks it’s just me being nuts.

    If we get the bloody things I am taking myself off elsewhere and HE can deal with it!

    As we speak his (full) suitcase is sitting on the carpeted closet floor. Mine was unpacked on a hard surface, brushed outdoors, and everything put in the wash right away.

  • #217094

    liag
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    that is so aggravating.

  • #217095

    CK
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    Yiiikes! I just read this for the first time.

    luxcat-I work out of town fairly often for one of my jobs. Sometimes I stay overnight. This is my worst nightmare!! I do what you do as as far as no bags on bed or upholstered furniture, etc–rack only. I also do some inspection, but probably not as thoroughly as you do.

    lkh-SO sorry to hear of this. Thanks for your willingness to post so honestly about the details. It is very informative.

  • #217097

    sleepykitten
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    Every time I see this thread, I get really itchy! I’m so sorry, lkh, that you are still dealing with the bugs. πŸ™

  • #217098

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    CK, I really think that forewarned is forearmed. If I had known anything about the problem beforehand, I could’ve nipped it in the bud although probably could not have prevented it as I have two kids, 17 and 22, coming and going, plus my fiance lives in a rented apartment at the moment. I have stopped all visitors to our home now, which is a shame as I was hosting a board game group due to having a large dining room table and a clean house for them to meet at. Sigh. Clean and infested!

    I am just one big itch at the moment as Monday’s treatment seemed to push all the bugs my way. 2 new bites close to my eyes and 6 bites on one elbow. I started wearing a short sleeve shirt to bed to stop bites on my face by offering my arms instead, but they haven’t stopped πŸ™

    The cat woke me up at 4 this morning and I did a flashlight search of the bed and floor and found an adult bug sat on the floor on my side of the bed where the residual pesticide had been sprayed around the bed perimeter. I *think* it was dead. I didn’t squish it, I picked it up with clear tape and didn’t see it move. Tuesday morning I found a live nymph upside down and very alive in the bathroom sink (room between my bedroom and my son’s bedroom).

    It’s not anything I’d wish on my worst enemy!

  • #217099

    CK
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    lkh-Everything you’ve said about the difficulty of eradication is what I’ve read. Best wishes!

  • #217100

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    As far as inspection – in my son’s room they were under the boxspring, wedged between the boxspring and the corner of the frame… which isn’t an easy hotel inspection process for anything beyond a twin size bed.

    The main problems seem to be stigma and the fact they are SO hard(and costly) to eliminate.

  • #217101

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    going to bed now, armed with a flashlight and clear tape…

    At some point in the future I really hope this makes a funny family story!

  • #217111

    ninakk
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    Sending you eliminating thoughts; hope they are dead soon. Honestly.

  • #217112

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    I got up at 2:00 a.m. because the itching woke me up and I’m frantic about getting any more bites. Waaaaaaaaah! This is soooooo miserable πŸ™

  • #217122

    CK
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    So sorry to hear that. Everything you’ve said confirms everything I’ve heard about how difficult eradication is. Kind of takes the fun out of travel, camps, etc.

  • #217130

    CK
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    Oops. Repeating myself. I think I was tired last night and this morning.

  • #217138

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    lol CK. I needed the extra sympathy so thank you for reposting!!

  • #217269

    Ella
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    lkh: Last year I thought I might have bed bugs but it turned out to be a spider bite. But meanwhile I had found a forum with great bed bug advice from folks in the throes of infestation. I forgot to bookmark the site, but I finally found it again today. I hope you can use some of these tips for your latest plan of attack. Scroll down to the comments, there are hundreds.

    http://www.badbedbugs.com/bed-bug-treatment/

  • #217276

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    thank you Ella!! I’ll read that over the weekend. I really appreciate all the support on here.

    If it really does become an epidemic, buy stock in whoever makes Ziploc. All our stuff is ending up in their 2 gallon and “big bag” sizes.

  • #217353

    rutheverhart
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    lifekeepshappening — so far it seems the heat treatment worked. I will let you know if I hear anything more. I am away right now and not in touch with my sister. Her heat treatment took all day and cost $2400. It was concentrated in the one bedroom where bugs were present, but also covered the entire house. Things that could not take the heat got a different treatment. I wonder if you need to do something more extreme here! This cannot continue!

  • #217362

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    Ruth, my fiance said he’d pay for the heat treatment if the Terminix treatment failed. I’ve read it takes about 3 treatments for pesticides to work, but our tech has only been doing the job for 4 months so she has no track record for how effective her work is. Our house is old and full of gaps where carpet was pulled up and no shoe molding was installed at the bottom of baseboards. There are holes everywhere from poor upgrades and general aging of the house. It’s a pretty house but very open to critters.

    I surrounded my platform bed with orange oil Pledge (on well varnished hardwood floors) for the past two nights and got no bites, however my daughter now has a bite on her leg, which might mean they’re back in her room again. I haven’t seen any in a few days, which means nothing at all really.

    Thanks for reporting in on the efficacy of heat treatment. There has to be an answer.

  • #218015

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    So, I had to use ammonia to get the orange oil off the floor, the intense heat made it spread and it turned my bedroom into a skating rink. I washed all the residual pesticide off the floor at the same time, duh, so then I got more bites.

    Then the pest control company sent a stand in tech (because my tech is off work with a spider bite – who would want that job huh?) and the stand in tech was tired and untrained. Told me I was the 14th bed bug house he’d done that day – and I’m thinking of all the bedbugs that might be on his shoes and clothing. UGH-UGH-UGH!!!!! I forced him to spray each room and forced him and my son to up-end my platform bed and spray the underside. Found an adult bed bug on the underside of the platform and the tech said “boy, I would never have thought of looking there.” /facepalm.

    Next night I had a few bites, night after that I had umpteen bites. Thank goodness for bed bug forums who assured me the pesticide can make the bugs go bat-crazy and now would be a good time to inspect at night. Checked my platform exterior very very carefully (by hanging over the edge of it, upside down.) Found and destroyed more than half a dozen nymphs and some very panicked bits of lint. Dusted the platform exterior and bed perimeter with DE and heat treated the bedding again.

    When my fiance is here next week, we’ll pull the whole bed to pieces and inspect each piece of wood. No bites since the bat-crazy attack, so I’m just tending bites that are calming down now. No sign of bugs or bites in my kids’ rooms. Yay.

    I do not believe I am anywhere close to having got rid of them, but I might be gaining some ground. It is certainly a very interesting experience and the bed bug forums are full of people who have done extreme decluttering and swear it was a lesson well learned in losing attachment to possessions and stopping shopping/accumulation.

  • #218018

    Ella
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    lkh: Is that the same bed bug forum as the link I posted? I remember that a lot of people there used Dawn dish detergent, and it killed their bed bugs instantly.
    Have you tried drawing a circle around your bed with Dawn?

    I feel so bad for you. It’s all so horribly stressful, and robbing you of your sleep.
    I hope the end is near.

  • #218020

    Jackthetiger
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    LKH, Sending you best wishes. I hope this will improve for you soon.

  • #218022

    luxcat
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    LKH… you just inspired me to pull off our mattress pad and pillow protectors (leaving mattress “bed bug proof bag” in place) and wash them with bleach.

    just in case. (not really.. but a little bit… truthfully they have gotten so stained I’m embarrassed for the housekeeper to see them, time for a good hot wash anyhow)

    *shudder*

  • #218034

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    Ella, no this is bedbugger.com. I did find very useful info at the site you posted though. Any info is useful as it certainly takes a variety of tactics to get rid of these pests.

    Thanks Jack. I’m becoming more hopeful that we caught the problem before it got beyond control.

    Luxcat, good job. Glad I inspired you! I managed to shrink our mattress pad, so need to get another one. Ka-ching.

  • #218301

    GingerGrapefruit
    Participant

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    This is off topic re: bedbugs, but I agree that an infestation of any kind is a motivation to declutter. Just this week, we tossed a plant we had for about 25 years. After a recent repotting, it had become a haven for what we think was gnats.
    I have noticed a chronic cough which I have has greatly lessened in just the few days that the plant has been gone.

  • #218444

    sleepykitten
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    I’ll (slightly) hijack the thread as well – over the weekend I saw some suspicious creepy crawly things, but not bedbugs. I did some googling and discovered they are carpet beetle larvae. And that evidently carpet beetles are also really freakin’ hard to get rid of (although, thankfully, they don’t appear to bite like bedbugs do…at least, nothing has bit me yet).

    So, lkh, I hope you are doing well.

    And in the meantime, I will have some itsy bitsy teeny tiny sense of the struggles you are going through in that I will be cleaning with an eye toward bugs!

  • #220274

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    I am cautiously optimistic that the bedbugs might possibly maybe perhaps be dead.

    I sort of hesitate to get the pest company back out for another treatment for fear that they’ll bring another bedbug in on their equipment or clothing.

    We’re still living out of xxl ziplocs.

  • #220275

    sleepykitten
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    Keeping my fingers crossed for you…I’ve actually been meaning to ask you how this is all going. I would jump for joy, but I don’t want to jinx it! So here is a very quiet “yay”.

  • #220281

    Jackthetiger
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    lkh, That is such good news. It has been a disgusting, expensive frustration for you and I hope you will be bug free from now on. Maybe save the champagne until you are sure, then treat yourself!

  • #220298

    bandicoot
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    i am so glad to hear that you might be seeing light at the end of the bedbug tunnel at last.
    i have been in a different bed every third night on average for the past five weeks of this trip and your bedbugs have crossed my mind once or twice!
    i am either impervious or just dumb lucky… no signs at all of them.

    fingers crossed for their continued absence at your place.

  • #220301

    Sky
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    I hope your bedbug problem is solved. Can’t imagine how frustrating it must be!

  • #220309

    Netleigh
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    lkh,
    hope they are gone now, just read an article that some pesticide resistant ones have been found in the UK, up to now Europeans were regarding it as a mainly USA/New York hotel problem.

  • #220313

    rutheverhart
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    I promised I’d let you know how my sister’s heat treatment worked out. She was surprised that I even asked. She hasn’t seen a single sign of a bug since they baked her house at 130 degrees! So if you’re still having troubles, heat may be the way to go!

  • #220324

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    Thanks everyone. It’s been an education for sure! Next month I’ll be staying in 3 hotel/motel rooms and traveling on planes and rental cars. I’m not overly concerned but will be taking precautions.

    @Ruth – that is SO good to know. The regular pesticide did nothing to my bugs, but there was a white residue spray that seemed to knock them out. If there’s ever a next time, it’ll be heat treatment straight away because this has been a long drawn out pain in the rear!

  • #223727

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    Wanted to quickly update the bedbug saga/information. We’ve had no problems since the 4th visit by Terminix. They were supposed to come back to check again, but I declined the series of recheck appointments because of the risk that the tech would bring fresh bugs into the house.

    The bedbugs were only found in our boxsprings/platforms, plus a few in the bathroom that were crossing from one bedroom to another.

    My conclusion after all of this is that it would’ve been worth it to get the house heat treated just because of the anxiety and disruption it caused the whole family to go months with the problem not resolving completely.

  • #223753

    sleepykitten
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    Hooray! Sounds like you finally made it!

  • #223761

    pkilmain
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    As an aside I saw a story on our local news yesterday about a pest removal company that has trained a beagle to sniff ou bedbugs! A number of hotels have them scan once a month. They showed him at work sniffing out – contained – bedbugs.

  • #223765

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    I’ve read about the dogs on a bedbug forum. They seem to work pretty well, it’s just difficult to find the trained dogs in some regions. I’m sure supply and demand will remedy that situation.

    Changing directions a bit: I now have all these extra large ziploc bags that I don’t know what to do with. They were expensive and there’s no guarantee we’ll never ever have another case of bedbugs, but they are not useful for storing blankets etc in as they’re slippery and slide about if stacked. At the moment they’re just folded up in a drawer. I guess that’s adequate as a solution!

  • #223766

    pkilmain
    Member

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    lkh – I use 2 gallon ziplocks for packing. Each will hold several t-shirts or 2 pair of pants. I squeeze all the air out, and the clothing arrives pretty much unwrinkled, plus TSA keeps their hands off my stuff. Coming home from Spain my suitcase was inspected – in NYC I suspect as we had to take them off for customs. Things were rather stirred around, which just gives me a queasy feeling.

  • #223800

    Best decluttering tactic ever – bedbugs

    Pkilmain, I’ll start a bag thread. Here I should just put info relevant to bedbugs.

    Regarding bag usage during the bedbug situation, we used drawstring trashbags to store and transport used clothing/linens down to the laundry. We were told there was a risk of the tiny eggs being spread/dropped through the house if we didn’t enclose the dirty laundry. We had to trash each trash bag as soon as we’d used it. T’was a lotta bags πŸ™

    For clean, treated laundry, we used and reused ziploc big bags that we filled as clothes came out of the dryer and kept sealed in our bedrooms, just taking out each days clothes before resealing.

    For storing seasonal clothing and linens and stuffies after treating, I used Hefty bags and duct taped them closed.

  • #234380

    evie007
    Member

    This is difficult. they aren’t just in the bed – they get everywhere! So you have to kill them and hoover them up.

  • #234478

    steavehussey
    Member

    I won’t suggest to go for DDT and kind of stuff because that is really risky and it has been banned in many Asian countries.

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