Thread Number: 78476  /  Tag: Detergents and Additives
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Post# 1024977   2/18/2019 at 01:00 by mrsalvo (New Braunfels Texas)        

Have been somewhat hesitant to post this thread, as there seems to be some social stigma attached to the nasty creatures...or at least there used to be.

Long story short, we have a dear friend, who is elderly and now living alone, who's whole house is infested. She's had a lot of people, her daughter and her family, living with her for 8 years or so when her daughter fell on hard times. At any given time there was between 5-9 people living under her roof, plus she has traveled extensively in the US and abroad. They all moved out last fall and now she's discovered there are bed bugs everywhere. Unfortunately she is not the best housekeeper, and that's putting it mildly, in part due to her age and physical limitations.She recently had wood flooring installed about 6-7 weeks ago and had almost all of her furniture moved to different parts of the house, and at that time she said there were no bugs detected. She discovered the mess when she woke up in the middle of the night being bitten on her stomach and arms, this was about 3 weeks ago, she called me in the middle of the night absolutely beside herself asking what to do to get rid of them.
A few days later I went over to her house and tore her bed apart. Box spring mattress was infected and I hauled out that mattress for her, after spraying it down, so I didn't transport them to my house. She bought a new mattress and I helped her wrap the rest of the mattresses in the house in zippered vinyl mattress covers sealing the covers in heavy tape. After spraying everywhere the problem abated but they are now back with a vengeance. She discovered nests under and behind her couch, easy chairs, closets, shelving, you-name-it. She went on-line and bought a package treatment that included laundry detergent formulated for bed bugs, as well as sprays. She also bought Raid or something-like-that with a money-back-guarantee advertised on the can, but it's so strong it drives a person nearly out of the house, that's what we used to spray the remaining mattresses. She threw away so much bedding, sheeting comforters, pillows, etc. and bought new. She said she did try to wash the comforter and it tore open and bugs came pouring out, so she threw it outside.
I told her that those bugs can bury themselves in wood flooring and baseboards. I recommended to her that it was time to contact the professionals. If they have to use heat to kill them, it might buckle the new flooring. It's an awful mess and now I'm hesitant to go over there to help her, as I don't want to take a chance transporting them into my house.
I called my Doctor and told them of the situation and they advised that she is not at risk catching anything from being bitten. She said she pulled one out of her ear canal, having trouble hearing in one of her ears. (I thought that sounded a little far fetched, but the more I've thought about it, I could kind of see that happening in her sleep.)

Has anyone ever dealt with bed bugs? I feel so bad for her.


Post# 1024981 , Reply# 1   2/18/2019 at 02:20 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Get a professional exterminator involved.  The situation is clearly beyond what a homeowner can handle without pro help.

Post# 1024983 , Reply# 2   2/18/2019 at 02:48 by countryford (Phoenix, AZ)        

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Several years back, we dealt with it at our house. While it was bad, it wasn't quite as bad as your friend's. It started in our bedroom. I think I brought it home from work. The locker I was using at work, had been someone else's a month prior and he had bedbugs at his house. I think he brought it into work and into his locker. When he left and I got there, I was given his old locker. After that incident, I never used it again.

We almost went with the heat option but ended up not needing to. We spoke with an exterminator. It isn't cheap hiring them to do it. They also told us that the RAID just drives the bedbugs further into the wall. He suggested we get rubbing alcohol, the 91% and spray that all around the place. We got quite a bit of that and sprayed it everywhere. We also got rid of our old box-spring and mattress as well as the living-room couch and chair. We also re-washed all of the clothes. Anything that would fit in the dryer, went through that. If it was larger, we stuck it in the car and left the car out in the sun for the day(Lots of heat in Arizona). We were able to take care of it, by doing all that. Other than the rubbing alcohol we didn't use any special product.

Post# 1024989 , Reply# 3   2/18/2019 at 05:55 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Sadly when things have gotten to that state

launderess's profile picture
Best thing your friend can do is call in a competent and highly rated exterminator.

Like roaches, bedbugs are very difficult to eradiate totally once they have infested a home to such an extent. It is going to require a prolonged and multi faceted attack/plan of action. Long as any survive they will simply multiply and infest the home again.

A homeowner on their own armed with enough information, time, money and energy *may* be able to get the job done as a DIY project. But don't think this is something for an elderly person alone to handle.

One of best DIY pest control recourses IMHO:

Post# 1024999 , Reply# 4   2/18/2019 at 10:08 by philcobendixduo (San Jose)        
Happened to Me.....

philcobendixduo's profile picture 2007 after a visit from some overseas visitors who had stayed at a "low budget" hotel at the airport before departing for the U.S.
My exterminator advised that the only sure way to get rid of all the bugs and their eggs was to fumigate the entire house.
So, the house was tented and fumigated. They use extra strength fumigant and leave it in place for 3 days.
It did the trick. No more bedbugs (or ANY bugs!).
Yes - it was expensive and inconvenient but I wanted to be 100% sure of complete bedbug eradication!
Bedbugs can survive up to a year "in hiding" without feeding so, if you think they're all gone, think again...

Post# 1025012 , Reply# 5   2/18/2019 at 13:53 by Oliger (Indianapolis, Indiana)        

They say to get rid of cloth, but I think that is wrong. Swathe the couch, beds pretty much all furniture in sheets. Vacuum carpet a lot. Wash the sheets at least once a week in hot water. Be sure and use a detergent with a strong scent. And you absolutely have to make sure things are tidy and clean or they will never leave. Make sure all curtains drapes etc are washed too. I had somebody in the family pass them onto me, and had no idea for a long time. It was torture while they lasted, but they have been gone for years.

Post# 1025013 , Reply# 6   2/18/2019 at 13:54 by Oliger (Indianapolis, Indiana)        

Oh and mothballs! Yes strong stench, but they work wonders.

Post# 1025017 , Reply# 7   2/18/2019 at 14:47 by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        
fumigate the entire house.

Yeah, with an infestation that bad fumigation is the way to go and get it over with.

Of course if DDT was still allowed we wouldn't be having this conversation to begin with..

Post# 1025038 , Reply# 8   2/18/2019 at 17:17 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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The only dealings I've had with them are with patients at the hospital and last year on one trip to Chattanooga we stayed at a HOJO near Lookout Mountain and I found some when we were leaving.  I was careful when we got back home to wash EVERYTHING that had been in that hotel room in hot water and dried in gas dryer on high heat. 

Bedbugs are like fleas...they can survive for a long time without feeding. 

Post# 1025073 , Reply# 9   2/18/2019 at 23:36 by mrsalvo (New Braunfels Texas)        

We had dinner with her this evening, picked her up and went out to eat. She's working very hard in trying to eradiate them but I'm afraid that she's spinning her wheels, so to speak, and really needs professional help. I told her everything that you all mentioned, rubbing alcohol, mothballs, clutter, etc. but I think its to no avail. I fear they are in the walls, in the attic, and garage (which is full of junk). Told her point blank to call someone in.

I was wondering, do these bugs live outside the house, like in the yard by the foundation? She had a lot of work done outside after 9 years of letting it go. It, too, was a horrid mess. Haven't read anything if they can survive outside for any length of time. The climate down here in San Antonio is a lot warmer in winter, overall, than in the northern states, so I'm thinking that they might could survive.

Thanks, Barry

Post# 1025081 , Reply# 10   2/19/2019 at 03:22 by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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Found in the bed the wife (sometimes baby) sleeps in once by Nanny/lady we had help take care of house, etc.

Somehow (& thankfully!) no longer there anymore...

-- Dave

Post# 1025107 , Reply# 11   2/19/2019 at 16:05 by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

My brother just found bedbugs in his bed recently after trying a new gym... He did all the stuff mentioned above and kept finding one here and there so he called an exterminator and they used a neonicotinoid to treat the room which is like a synthetic nicotine. He said he hasn't seen any bed bugs since. 

Post# 1025131 , Reply# 12   2/19/2019 at 19:15 by Oliger (Indianapolis, Indiana)        

I really can't stress mothballs enough. The same week I tried those, they were gone forever. Because of her age, I would have her wash some clothes and put them directly from the machine to outside the house. Then take Naphthalene mothballs and scatter them everywhere. id say at least 10 per room. Toss them under bed, furniture etc. Have her stay somewhere for a week. Then come back and pick most of them up, but leave a small few. Let in some fresh air. The smell is definitely something else, but it is less torture than dealing with bugs. I can almost guarantee you that if you leave them there for a while that they will die off quickly.

Post# 1025132 , Reply# 13   2/19/2019 at 19:28 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Post# 1025197 , Reply# 14   2/20/2019 at 13:01 by Oliger (Indianapolis, Indiana)        

I don't need an article to say that they don't work. I used them, I know they work. I used them Combined with heavy and frequent laundering of everything, witch definitely is a big part of controlling it. Tried fumigation more than once and it did absolutely nothing. Yes the naphthalene is very dangerous, that's why you want plenty of fresh air afterwards.

YOU can gather your own ideas. I fought them myself and everything I have said is based on my own personal experience. Fumigation did absolutely nothing. The week I set out mothballs, they were gone for good.

Post# 1025201 , Reply# 15   2/20/2019 at 14:48 by turbokinetic (Northport, Alabama USA)        

First off, I am sorry your elderly friend is having to deal with this issue.

I travel for my work, spending hundreds of days each year out of my home. I travel all over the states and overseas as well.

While I have found bedbugs in motel rooms on more than one occasion; I have never had them infest my home.

My standard operating procedure when in an accommodation other than my home is to place the suitcase on an elevated, non-upholstered furniture piece. (Sorry hotel proprietors)so that bedbugs won't get in my suitcase and lay eggs.

Then, when returning home, the first stop is the laundry room. Everything in the washer - and every wash is done in hot water (sorry energy pinchers).

So far this has been effective.

Post# 1025248 , Reply# 16   2/20/2019 at 22:18 by mrsalvo (New Braunfels Texas)        

I told her about the mothballs and she bought some, wether they are the right ones, I don't know. But more importantly, I said it was time to turn it over to the professionals. She's stubborn headed and trying to tackle it herself. I think sooner or later she'll throw-in-the-towel and call someone. She said she keeps finding little ones everywhere, we'll I guess so, as they lay eggs like there's no tomorrow.

Want to thank everyone for the helpful information. I passed it along, and that's about all I can do. Also, I'm glad to hear from everyone who does have experience in dealing with this issue.

If I found a bed bug in my house I would go into Joan Crawford OCD cleaning.

Thanks, Barry

Post# 1025250 , Reply# 17   2/20/2019 at 22:39 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

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Never had an issue with them here.

My grandmother used to tell a story of her bed having bedbugs as a child and mother would put kerosene on the bedding to kill them! Not suggesting that. lol

I remember friends who visited Colonial Williamsburg, VA a number of years ago stayed at the Governor's Inn. They woke the next morning to find bedbug bites. Yep there was an infestation. No other rooms were available in Williamsburg at the time, so hotel had to clean, spray and bring in new mattresses. Don't believe they had any more after that.

It's been a long time since I stayed in a hotel but never recall seeing any.

All that aside, I hope this issue can be taken care of soon.

Post# 1025319 , Reply# 18   2/22/2019 at 00:27 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

askolover's profile picture

I've seen this advertised at our local Co-Op

I know one remedy is diatomaceous earth (which also can help rid of fleas).

I wonder if a steamer would help the situation.  Steam the baseboards and mattresses. 

I know at work when we have a patient and family with bedbug issues, the room has to be quarantined until professionally treated by Orkin, then sealed for 24 hours before we can reopen it to new patients. 

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