Tag Archives: bed bugs

Preparing for Pest Professionals – When Doing It Yourself Isn’t Enough

I’ve been through the whole Bed Bug business, so I’d like to consider myself a pro at handling this. So far, I’ve talked about how you can identify if you have bed bugs, Cleaning after finding bed bugs, how you can get rid of them on your own, and today I’m going to talk about how you get ready for Pest Control if, in the end, you decide that you need a professional.

Bed Bugs-Preparing for Pest Professionals

I’m going to be honest with you right up front, it isn’t easy. In some ways, you may think that you would have rather just handled everything on your own, but I assure you that having the professionals in was the RIGHT decision, and if you can afford it, I would absolutely recommend the same for you.

How to Prep for Bed Bug Pest Control

  1. Wash everything. Literally. You will need to go through and wash everything that can be washed in the rooms where you’ve seen the bed bugs. This means emptying out every drawer and your entire close. Even if you THINK that there aren’t any bed bugs lurking in your clothes, don’t take the risk, just wash everything.
  2. Remove all bedding, including mattress pads and the gauze underneath the box springs. Bed bugs LOVE holing up behind the mesh. Wash all of the bedding and the mattress pad, toss the gauze out.
  3. Remind yourself that everything must be washed in HOT HOT water and then dried in HOT heat for at least 30 minutes (I personally go longer).
  4. Store clean laundry in an airtight container. Once you’ve completed a load of laundry, you will NOT want to put it back in your drawers / closet until after pest control finishes. You need to place it in an airtight bag, but those vacuum bags are expensive. We did a little research and determined that the large black contractor bags (these worked best for us, Husky Contractor bags), twisted closed and then sealed with a zip tie are JUST as effective and much less.
  5. Remove all of the face plates on outlets and light switch covers. If you’re wondering why, it’s because Bed Bugs can lurk within walls and enter and exit via this face plates. They’re pretty simple to remove, so just do it!
  6. Place all of the furniture in your rooms in the center of each room. Pest control will need to get behind and around them so that they can treat the edges of the room. I recommend getting slippy furniture movers, they make them both for hardwood and for carpeted floors. For hard wood and for carpet (affiliate links).
  7. If you live in an apartment, insist that your landlord have all apartments checked for Bed Bugs. <A little secret, our landlord refuses to force the tenants below us to have their place inspected. She said she’d let them know we have had them, but will not force them to have a person come in and look. So frustrating!!!>
  8. Finally, remind yourself that no matter the hassle of prepping for pest control, it is worth it, if you can once and for all, get rid of the Bed Bugs.

Going through the whole experience (now, twice) has been difficult, but I have learned a lot and am hopeful that I can impart some of this knowledge onto you.

If you’d like to read my other posts on the subject matter of Bed Bugs, you can read them here.

How to Choose a Pest Control Company – a fantastic article, that is very handy to have around, should you ever need to hire pest control.

Your turn!

If you’ve gone through an ordeal like this before, how did YOU prepare?

Have you had to do as much as we did? More? Less? Share in the comments below!

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Bed Bugs: Do-It Yourself Pest Control

Getting rid of bed bugs on your own can be time consuming, but with the right tools and right amount of effort you can be successful. Here’s what we did to assist in the removal of the bed bugs (this is before the professionals came in).

Bed Bug - Do-it Yourself Pest Control

Suburban Pest Control couldn’t get us in right away, and we didn’t want to deal with the bugs all crawling around so we went ahead and took measures into our own hands, to get the pest control started.

Believe it or not there were a ton of articles on this topic. Never having experienced them before, I did not realize how prevalent they were. So, with just a little google search, we managed to find some great tips, and the tools we would need to get this clean-up going.

What we did before the professionals came in:

Quick assessment to determine where the bed bugs were mostly located. Before running out to the nearest store to buy your supplies, I recommend looking around the rooms of your home, identifying where the bed bugs may be located. Are you only seeing them in one room, or multiple. This will help you to know how much of each supply you’ll need and how much work you’ll be putting into prepping the room.

Purchase the commercial-use supplies to treat the bed bugs. There are many supplies that are off limits for you to use on your own, please keep that in mind. Leave the professional treatments, to the professionals.

Here’s what we purchased:

– Diatomaceous Earth (DE) – This is a dust that you will sprinkle in all cracks or crevices along the wall, baseboards, parts of your bed that you can’t take apart. What it does is dry out the bed bug when it comes into contact with it. This is great to sprinkle along the pieces of your bed frame that connect, but that you just can’t get to. Diatomaceous Earth is just crushed fossilized earth – it is non-toxic, but obviously, you still want to take precautions when using it.

Hot Shot Bed bug and Flea Spray – This is an insecticide that treats on contact. The spray must hit the actual bug, or the bug must walk through it while wet, in order to kill them. It is effective, you just need to be diligent about treating with it. It’s obviously not safe to be ingested, so you want to be super careful making sure that you don’t have this around children.

Interceptor Cups – These are a great way to keep new beg bugs from getting onto the bed. They are basically plastic cups, that go underneath each of the legs of your bed. They are ridged on the outside to make it easy for the bed bug to climb into, but smooth on the inside so that they cannot climb out. Very useful!

Mattress and Box Spring Covers – You want these to approved to keep bed bugs in or out. They make plastic ones, that are inexpensive, but they’re noisy and would likely disturb sleep. We purchased the ones made out of polyester, you can’t even tell that it’s on. They slip on over the mattress (you need a seperate one for the box spring), zip up tight and then you close it with a zip tie (usually provided) and then velcro it close. You are not supposed to remove the cover for up to 18 months (is what’s recommended). This is because bed bugs can live up to a year without feeding (gross! I know!).

Take apart any furniture that you can. If you have a couch where the cushions come out, take the time to remove them and sprinkle the DE right onto all of the cracks and crevices. If you have a bed or crib that can be easily disassembled, I would recommend doing that and ensuring there aren’t any bugs hiding in the recessed screw holes. Yes, this will take a lot of time, but if you are determined to do this on your own without professionals, it is going to take a TON of work.

Wash everything that can be washed in hot water and then dried (for at least 30 minutes) in hot heat. Seriously, I mean EVERYTHING that can be washed, and then placed in a hot hot dryer. The recommendation for length of time in the dryer is 30 minutes, I always go longer, but this is up to you. Also, I should note, you c get away with just drying something – you don’t always need to wash it. So, for instance, if you have a shirt or sweater that wanould be totally worthless with a wash and dry, simply placing the sweater with just a few items in the dryer, on high heat, will do the trick.

Check all locations where they were found, frequently. You can never be too diligent – I recommend doing a sweep of the rooms you found them in daily. When you spot one, you can treat the area with DE in hopes that if there are others, the DE will do the trick. I also, personally recommend at least drying on high heat, every other night, all bedding, to ensure no new bugs hang out in the folds or seams.

There you have it, my do-it-yourself guide to getting rid of bed bugs. If you’ve missed my previous two posts you can read how we identified bed bugs and how we began the clean-up process upon immediately finding them, by clicking the highlighted links.

If you’d like some additional reads, check-out these two articles from Texas A&M Agrilife Extension: Bed Bugs & Insects in the City.

Your turn!

Have you experienced bed bugs? Did you handle it on your own, or did you immediately hire professionals?

Please note, a few of the links used in this article are affiliate links. It does not change the cost of the product for you, I just get a small portion of the proceeds of that purchase.

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Cleaning After Finding Bed Bugs

Finding bed bugs in your home can be a nightmare situation, I’m sharing my tips on how we got the majority of them out of the house before we had pest control come in.

Cleaning After Finding Bed Bugs

If you haven’t read my post about identifying bed bugs, I recommend you click and read it. You’ll understand more of how we found them, it will give you the full picture.

Finding bed bugs in your home can be a nightmare situation, especially if you are not armed with the appropriate means to handle the situation. While, I truly hope you never have to deal with them, I’m going to be sharing our exact process for how we cleaned up, immediately after finding them.

The first thing we did was collect all of the bedding that had been infested. We wanted to remove the bedding without having the bed bugs fall out and land elsewhere in the house. Since we did not have everything we needed from the very beginning, we did the best we could. I grabbed all of our white 13 gallon trash bags and brought them to the entrance of Emmett’s room. Then I slowly started peeling away his sheet and mattress pad, I curled them inside of themselves and immediately placed it into a white garbage bag, tied it tightly closed and took it to the basement.

When washing items that may have bed bugs or their eggs on it, you want to ensure that you are washing your clothes in hot HOT water and then drying (for at least 30 minutes) in the highest temperature your dryer can go to. This will kill off any of the living bugs and their eggs. I also recommend, that even if you don’t see any bugs on an item, you wash &/or dry it anyway, there could be eggs that you’re not seeing and you don’t want to mess around. We took all of the stuffed animals, blankets, everything on Emmett’s bed and our own, down and washed them.

Once I had the first load of wash running, I went back upstairs to see how Emmett was doing. I recommend having a full queue of TV shows/books/new toys for your little one to play with, or better yet, if you can send them to a friend or family member’s house, do that. We didn’t have that luxury, so Emmett got to watch an extreme amount of TV that day.

Back in Emmett’s room, we took the entire crib apart because we wanted to ensure that there were not any bed bugs hiding inside of the brackets of the crib. While Seamus was doing that, I went through his dresser, ensuring that there were not any bugs hanging out inside or underneath any of the drawers (there weren’t, thank goodness). We also took the time to check the drawers of his nightstand and changing table, and the only place we found them (in his room) was on his bed skirt and around the baseboards near his bed.

Anything that was left in his room was placed inside of a white plastic garbage bag and immediately taken into the basement. We wanted to avoid any risk of the bed bugs spreading elsewhere in our apartment.

In my next post, I will be sharing how we managed to keep the clean laundry from getting re-infested and how we started the pest control process on our own.

If you want to read more about how we identified the bed bugs in our home, feel free to click on through.

Your turn!

If you’ve had bed bugs, or other pests in your home – what were your first steps in fighting them, before you could get the professionals in? Comment below!

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Identifying Bed Bugs

The last thing I ever thought I’d be dealing with was bed bugs, but it happened, and here’s how we identified it.

Identifying Bed Bugs - Baby Doodah

[photo source] This is not Emmett’s arm.

In grade school, I vividly remember having lice in maybe 5th grade. It was a terrible experience. Not only the part of having the lice, but the clean-up involved in getting rid of it. Let me tell you that getting rid of lice is probably 10 TIMES easier than getting rid of bed bugs.

Never in a million years would I ever suspect that we’d get bed bugs. We don’t travel, other than to my parent’s house and my in-laws’ (neither of which have the bugs), we don’t really go to a lot of places that you would typically think would have bed bugs, but, yet, somehow we managed to get them. We still don’t know how they got into our house, my hope is that they just STAY OUT!

How we came to find the bed bugs

Over the Summer, Emmett had a terrible rash on his arms – we went to the allergist and to the dermatologist, where they determined it was papular eczema. Not a great diagnosis but with the right treatment, the doctor said it was something that could easily go away. With this eczema it caused lots of raised bumps that itched him like crazy, when he wasn’t rubbed down with the anti-itch cream. The rash was mainly on his arms, so when the same thing seemed to begin occurring on his legs, Seamus and I didn’t think much of it, especially when the doctor confirmed to just keep treating it the same way.

A week or so later, I started seeing bites on myself, but it was summer, there were a few mosquitos here and there and plenty of flies who liked to sneak in. I just assumed it was one of those! I did jokingly make a comment to Seamus about it being bed bugs, but after a quick check of our mattress and not seeing anything there, I put it out of my brain.

About a week later, I found a tiny little bug in Emmett’s crib. My stomach dropped, I quickly went to the fold of his sheet and crib skirt.

There they were. I was sick to my stomach.

I had no idea what to do. I knew that they could then be anywhere and started panicking. [sidenote: If there was one thing I could automatically change about myself, it would be the way I deal with extreme stress.] After a few panicked minutes, Seamus and I went to work, getting rid of everything, throwing what couldn’t be gotten rid of in the washer with hot water and then drying on hot and then we ran out to Home Depot. Our initial instinct was to try and treat this on our own, because the cost of hiring someone seemed astronomical.

We did a lot of *quick* research, found a bunch of sites that talk about how you CAN have success fighting them on your own. I’ll share more on our initial process in a future post, but we got a pesticide and Diatomaceous Earth (affiliate link) to start with. We spent the entire Sunday afternoon cleaning his room. It was tough, but it was so important to get rid of them (again, more on our whole process in a future post).

I did spend a little time in our room, checking the seams and got almost the whole way around without finding any and then found one and my heart dropped. If you see one there could be many MANY more. I started treating our room.

Thankfully, Emmett was such a good boy that day, he got to watch a lot of TV while we were closed up in his room, getting things clean and then put back together.

The next two days, we were diligently checking for anything and saw a few dead ones in the Diatomaceous Earth (affiliate link) and then one live baby in Emmett’s crib. We were stressing out big time, and just wanted to feel 100% safe in our own home, so we went ahead and hired Suburban Pest Control.

They came in and treated the whole house. The treatment is guaranteed for 4 weeks, but if you’re still seeing live ones at the 3 week mark, they will come in and treat again. We used Suburban Pest Control, and so far they have been AMAZING! I would absolutely recommend them and they’re actually the #1 Pest Control in my area, on Angie’s List. Yeah!

This whole journey isn’t over, yet. We’re getting there! We are more diligent than ever when checking and are hoping for this all to be behind us soon.

If you are noticing bites, like those in the picture above on yourself or loved ones, please don’t hesitate to do a little search. Trust me, while you might think not knowing is better, I assure you that it is NOT. 🙂

Read: How we cleaned up after finding the bed bugs.

Your turn!

Have you ever experienced bed bugs? If so, what method did you use to remove them from your house? 

Do you have any tips for someone else who might be dealing with bed bugs?

Reemergence – Where Have I Been?

Hey there, friends!

Reemergence - Baby Doodah

I haven’t been posting much, actually outside of the link-ups I participate in, I haven’t posted at all. I’m not going to apologize because I just don’t feel guilty. Life got busy and I let the one thing slide, that I could. While I’ve missed writing and sharing my daily ins and outs, I had no option but to put something on hold, so that I could actually manage things in my life.

So, you might be asking yourself, what exactly HAS been going on? (Am I right?) We’re all a little nosy, nothing to be ashamed of! 🙂

  1. Emmett has been sick on and off the past couple of weeks. Not life-threateningly sick, but fever, sniffles, other such toddler things. And when he’s sick, he wants his momma, I am 100% okay with this. We spent a lot of time cuddling and watching TV.
  2. Seamus totaled his car. He’s totally fine, no injury to him or the other driver (thank goodness), but still it required us (mainly him and his dad) to figure things out. It was an extremely stressful situation, that seems to be over with. Seamus will be a proud new owner of a Buick Lucerne. Seamus is tall and we eventually want to have more kids so this will suit him perfectly.
  3. Work has been extremely stressful. Since my amazing boss left at the end of September, I’ve been assigned a few of her responsibilities and then I’ve also been training some new staff. So, I’ve pretty much been doing the work of 2.5 people. Yah. Stressed!
  4. (This is the worst.) We found bed bugs in Emmett’s bed. Uggggh! Let me start out by saying that I debated coming onto my blog and essentially telling the whole world (if they were to read it) that we had bed bugs. For whatever reason, having them and dealing with them, just feels so dirty and shameful TO ME (I stress the TO ME part). I then decided, that since this is the place where I like to share the good, bad and ugly – this would be the perfect place to tell our story, and I will. I plan on writing a couple posts surrounding the topic. My hope, like most things I write, is that it will help someone else down the road. Plus, I was inspired by Katy of Chaos and Kiddos’ brutal honesty in a recent post of her’s Surviving Infidelity.

There you have it. To an outsider, it might seem like not a whole lot and I get it, but to me, I struggled with this really hard, especially with the bed bugs. Doing 40 loads of laundry over the span of 4 days and then having to put it all away, is pretty time consuming.

With all that going on, I just didn’t have the energy to also spend a lot of time writing, though I’ve missed it terribly!!!

You might be asking whether the bed bugs are gone? Well, we hope so. We had pest control come to our home on Friday morning to treat, the guy that came in stated that it could take anywhere from 1 to 3 (or even 4) treatments to get rid of them all. However, he DID say that our situation wasn’t that bad compared to others he had seen and dealt with. We check Emmett’s bed on a daily basis, his stuffed animals, the things he brings home from day care – all of it gets checked. I’ve kind of become obsessed with it, but after going through last week, I want to be as diligent as humanly possible. Like I said, more to come in the coming days.

If you’re still here, thank you!! I appreciate you all having faith in me and sticking around. I promise some really good content is to come. I just need to slowly get back on the horse!!

Your turn!

Have you ever went MIA on something that you loved dearly, but just couldn’t handle at that moment?

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