BEDBUG ELIMINATION: |
Making Your Apartment A "Bug-Free" Zone... Even When The Rest Of The Building Is Infested
PART 1: SECURE THE PERIMETER: Keeping your castle free of these pests once they have been eliminated means putting up a "force field" between you and the rest of the building.
CAULK: ALL PIPES COMING FROM NEIGHBORING APARTMENTS NEED TO BE SEALED WITH CAULK AROUND THE OPENINGS.
Bugs travel along pipelines and "settle" in any warm spot along the way.
- In the kitchen: Pull out the stove, and there are 3 or 4 pipes coming in from the adjacent apartment, each with an opening to anything crawling in from next door. Seal these openings up with caulk - real good!
- In the bedroom: The radiator pipe has a large opening also. Pull the panel from the radiator cover so you can see where the pipe comes in. It will have some fiberglass insulation wrapped around it. Apply caulk to the surrounding hole until you can see that no spaces are left. You may need to use a flashlight in this area.
- Any cracks on adjoining walls - the kitchen and the bathroom in particular - need to be sealed.
WIPE FEET VIGOROUSLY BEFORE ENTERING YOUR APARTMENT!
Hallways are only as clean as the least hygienic tenant or visitor. One egg can produce a colony in mere days.
ANIMALS: Pets are fed upon by bedbugs. They won't show any signs of hosting bedbugs because they don't feel their bites WHILE they're being bitten, and therefore won't scratch at them. But this causes the pests to multiply.
Feeding stray animals outside the building can create breeding conditions. Those insects can then be brought inside inadvertently by anyone feeding or petting strays. BEDBUG-RESISTANT FURNITURE:
Bedbugs can't crawl up metal surfaces, so furniture needs to have a metal frame: Metal legs on chairs, sofas, and beds.
BEDS: Beds must have metal legs and be elevated from the floor. Blankets and bedspreads should never touch the floor.
- Cushions must be sealed on the bottom. Ordinary sofas and chairs have an open bottom similar to a boxspring mattress which is a potential nesting area.
- Wooden legs need to have metal caps that can fit over them. Small metal cups will do the trick.
PLASTIC MATTRESS COVERS prevent them from infesting your mattress.
Position bed AWAY FROM RADIATOR! This is their travel route. It also warms the box spring into a cozy nest for them to colonize in.
Avoid placing ANY furniture near the radiator - whenever possible. This limits the number of corners and crevices they can hide in. Keep furnishings a few inches away from walls - both for cleaning accessibility, and also to limit dark "nesting" areas. Open, "airy", well-lit apartments are the most resistant to bedbugs.
THE FIRST STAGE: GETTING RID OF THEM!
SPRAYING: Once all bedbugs have been killed, the apartment needs to be sprayed 2 weeks later, and once more 2 weeks after that.
This is because remaining eggs will hatch in 12 to 20 days and they must be killed upon "hatching". (Pesticides don't kill eggs)
Also, bedbugs can remain in a dormant, "almost dead" state of inactivity for one year while waiting for someone to feed on. These remaining "lingerers" must be pulverized by follow-up sprayings.
[The following information comes from newspaper articles, government agencies and pest control services. The Source URL (Web Address) is above each article so you can check them out for yourself! ]
(AP) Bedbugs can live up to a year without a meal, they thrive in hot places and their bite usually is undetected until a person gets out of bed, Lawton said. They inject a chemical that numbs you. They feed on you and you don't even know it." says Entomologist Mike Lawton.
Individuals might not initially recognize a bedbug infestation in their homes. Even after a person realizes there's a problem, he or she might not know how to fix it.
"Once they're brought in, you need to deal with them quickly," Lawton said. "Females can lay hundreds and hundreds of eggs. They go through their life cycle every 30 to 50 days, they stay hidden and are very hard to get to."
- Boston Public health board]
To treat bedbugs, all bedding, clothing and other cloth fabric must be removed and sealed in plastic bags until they have been laundered in hot water and then hot dried. Bedbugs can live through a cold wash cycle , says Rahman.
| Inspect every corner! Remove clothing from closets. Seal them in plastic bags until washed in HOT water. Clothes should be kept sealed. Storage in plastic bins is ideal. |
Extermination is not a one-time event; it is a process.”
Ralph Paglucca, owner of Page Exterminators in Boston, detailed some of the steps that need to be taken. “First off, the mattress needs to be dumped - that is very important,” he said. In addition, he explained that all clothes and all clothing and linen must be placed in a sealed bag, taken to a laundry mat and cleaned under extreme heat to kill any bedbugs or eggs. Tenants should vacuum at least every other day. Finally, after the exterminator has sprayed, the apartment should be re-inspected a week to 10 days later. It is not uncommon for exterminators like Paglucca to treat the same apartment two or three times before the bedbugs are finally gone.
Bedbugs are extremely hardy and can go six months without a blood meal. “A friend of mine found two [bedbugs], and he put them in a sealed jar,” said Matt King, who is dealing with an infestation in his Allston apartment. “They actually bred, in the jar, with no oxygen and no food.” This endurance allows bedbugs to lie dormant for extended periods of time, until they have the opportunity to feed. “I have heard that some Rent-a-Centers are having problems with bedbugs,” said Paglucca.
Simple facts about bedbugs
Bedbugs feed on the blood of humans and animals. They usually feed at night when people are asleep. As they feed, they inject a salivary secretion into the wound to prevent coagulation. This fluid causes the skin to itch and become swollen. During the day, bedbugs hide inside cracks on the walls, behind basebroads, wallpaper and pictures They can also be found in joints of beds, around the tufts of mattresses and in bed sheets.
[From: www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/news/6905219.htm ]
Bedbugs are making a comeback across the United States - The Chicago Tribune
First small, then large. Bedbugs are, well, disgusting. The bugs start out nearly invisible - less than a quarter of an inch long and so light brown they can seem almost transparent. But after they bite a host, and gorge on human blood for nights on end, they turn a deep, mahogany red and can swell to nearly the size of a ladybug.
They drop blood-infused feces all over bed sheets - one of the telltale signs of their presence - and give off a sickly-sweet odor.
And, perhaps worst of all, they are astonishingly resilient. Bedbugs can hibernate for more than a year - emerging after the exterminator is long gone, the new bed has been purchased and the residents are back to sleeping peacefully through the night.
Pest-control experts emphasize that bedbugs usually are not a reflection of bad housekeeping or poor hygiene. They are often simply a case of bum luck.
The bedbugs then multiply quickly because they thrive in the warm temperatures provided by a building's central heating.
The bugs arrive often in the belongings of international travelers, they migrate by foot traffic, through air ducts, on housekeeping carts and even by vacuum cleaner.
Even when buildings are free of bedbugs, there's the problem of people picking up discarded furniture from dumpsters or sidewalks. The problem them just spreads to the next guy, or the next neighborhood.
[From: http://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/coun/department/des/publicprotection/publichealth/bedbugs.asp ]
...increased use of central heating and the resultant warm conditions stimulates continuous activity and feeding over the winter months, even the movement of second hand furniture may transfer bed-bugs from one property to another. The female bed-bug lays small, translucent brown eggs approximately 1mm long, which are 'glued' into cracks and crevices in bed frames, furniture, wallpaper, in fact anywhere that provides dark shelter. They will lay about 150 eggs which will hatch in 10 to 20 days and will reach adulthood in approx. 9 weeks. The adults live for up to 18 months usually feeding weekly, but can survive for over a year without blood. Control: You will need professional help in dealing with an infestation of bed-bugs.
| Metal-frame furniture prevents bedbugs from crawling inside & nesting. |
Bedbugs can be carried into your home on second-hand furniture. On luggage brought in by guests or from your luggage if you have stayed in an infested hotel or dwelling. In some cases they can be brought in on a person's clothes. Liquid sprays need to be directed into wall and furniture cavities, and fumigation might be required. Good housekeeping practices and a reduction of possible hiding places, such as cracks and crevices, will discourage repeat infestations.
How To Get Rid Of Bedbugs
... Place the mattress in a plastic mattress cover. Remove everything from the room and launder all clothing sheets and covers at the highest setting, 140F . Treat all the cracks and crevices in the room with an insecticide, including all the baseboards, crevices in the bedframe, mattress stitching and folds, picture frames, outlets....or better yet call an exterminator.
BEDBUG MESSAGEBOARD (!)
[From: http://www.e-bug.net/forum/index.shtml - Log onto this site for a lot of interesting messages from people who are dealing with this problem. A few samples:)
"...Seeing as how you're in an apartment complex is probably what is preventing them from dying off completely. The owner would have to do the *entire* building, and other tenants who have infested furniture would have to throw their stuff out, too. It'll be quite a challenge since all the people would have to cooperate...."
They sell plastic zipper matress covers at Linens n Things or Bed Bath and Beyond. it is a huge plastic case with a zipper.
Live in a lockdown situation. I.e., only wear your bed clothes for bed. Have a a pair of house schlepping clothes. And only leave the house with fresh clothes from sealed bags . If they are in your closet, take all that stuff out of it, bag it up until you have time to disinfect it (steaming, boiling, hot dryer) and caulk all cracks in the closet. Look everywhere in that closet. Then, spray it with pesticide and put diatamaceous earth (or boric acid)at the perimier edge. Do this in every suspected hiding place, otherwise it will get out of control! I know it is overwhelming but it is the only way. Good luck and keep us informed.
Hi, thanks for responding. I have new found empathy for anyone with any kind of bug problem now. I'm at my wits end with this bed bug problem! Does anyone EVER get rid of these things? I've had 3 professional exterminations in 6 weeks, I've applied Drione powder into cracks, I've caulked up every crack & crevice I can find, I spray permethrin in hot spots...thrown out the infested mattress/boxspring...even steam cleaned the room to try to get the stray eggs....and I'm STILL SEEING NYMPHS?????
[The nymphs (immatures) resemble the adult though they are smaller in size. Newly hatched nymphs are almost colorless whereas engorged nymphs are reddish and swollen Bed bug eggs are white, oval egg is about 1 mm long. ]
I'll definitely try the boric acid. Thanks for the
I know it's expensive, I have thrown out all of my bedroom furniture , as I found egg casings everywhere, and I don't plan to replace any of it until I'm moved to a new place. It's a waste of money. So, when you move, remember, if in doubt, leave it behind . I feel your pain. I've had these things for 4 months, and I've had several professional exterminations, purchased sprays, foggers, powders, etc., but these things are bionic !
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