Tag Archives: suburban pest control

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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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?

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