Saturday, November 18, 2017

Stop bed bugs

How to stop bed bugs, and possibly for good

Do you have bed bugs? Don't be ashamed, bedbugs are everywhere. I had them too when I moved into a new apartment. They don't care if the place is spotless. They don't care if you live in an apartment, house or villa, or for holiday in a hotel. They don't care if you are rich or poor. They only want your blood. Although it's suggested they prefer alcohol free blood. Not that I want to suggest everybody should become an alcoholic to fight them.

The good news is that bed bugs do not transmit diseases. Besides some, possibly nasty, itching there should be no health concerns. Unless you scratch the spots open and accidentally let something enter the blood stream. It's also known that a few people are allergic to bed bug bites.

Some people call an exterminator to stop bed bugs. While that might work for a while, it can be inconvenient having the place gassed. And they will be back after some time if areas outside your apartment and thus out of your control also have them. This, and an attempt to spray the rooms by oneself or apply heat to the spots where they are suspected to hide, are active approaches which may only be of temporary relief.

Keeping that in mind I was looking for a permanent - or close to permanent - solution to tackle the problem, which then must be a passive attempt. A solution which once put into place stop bed bugs without further action. And something cheap if possible. So I did some research.

I read about Diatomaceous Earth (I will use DE later), a powder killing bed bugs and prevent re-infestation. It is available in any home improvement store, usually found where the other insecticides, like RAID, are located. And fairly cheap ($20) compared to other, less promising means of stopping bed bugs. If you cannot find it, ask the staff. Again, don't be ashamed, you won't be the first asking them.

Now a warning. Although DE doesn't harm - you could even eat it - it's a powder and while applying it or when accidentally stepping into it one could inhale it. People with asthma, people with young children or pets should take extra caution or not do this at all!

My idea was to have two zones in each room where there is a bed. The bed bug free zone, which is the bed, and the "well there may be bugs but doesn't really matter" zone, so everything else. The border between these zones is a layer of DE. Bed bugs coming in contact with DE ingest it. The powder will then bind their inner body fluids and they dry out from within and die. It's not instantly but will take between 24-48 hours. Every bed bug coming to your bed will die, assuming the layer has no gaps. Since it also takes some days (thus longer than 48 hours) for a new born bed bug to mature and be able to reproduce, this also will never happen. And the population in your environment will soon be gone. Give it three or four weeks after DE is applied.

Another good thing is the DE layer works for a long time. Months or even years before it should be re-applied. The bad new is that when you step into it you carry it around. Not that it causes stains, but think about how you would handle wheat.

To work with this you have to embrace that ever so often a new bed bug might come from the outside of your apartment, walk through the DE and bite you. But will die soon after. So there might still a few bites. But you might not even notice them at all.

I could now go on explaining how to apply, what to also take care of. But I already did this on a web page where I explain all of this and more in detail.

I hope you can also get rid of your bed bugs. Although this advice is free I'd appreciate a small donation on this web page if you were successful. Would also be nice to put your comments on the Facebook form there.