Picture of My war with bed bugs.
  Recently I was lucky enough to spend time in a group home here in Phoenix.  It was not the best and far from the worst.......BUT, bed bugs are a serious problem in this type of environment.  The problem is even worse with the lack of money and participation of EVERYBODY living in the same space.
  This is not a how to or step by step instructable.  My intention is to provide information to a person who may be as desperate as I was to rid myself of these diabolical, persistent, parasitic BUGS.
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Step 1: My only line of defence.

Picture of My only line of defence.
  This worked well and was used throughout this campaign.  My biggest problem was cost and missing spots while trying to "yoga spray" my entire body.  Also while sitting on furniture it would wear off elbows, backs of my legs, and my waist line.... thus waking with small areas of dined on flesh.

Step 2: The first combat agent.

Picture of The first combat agent.
This worked well.  Except it gassed us out of the house on my first attempt.  I tried several mixtures but only could get complaints from the peanut gallery.  I have no actual idea how well this worked because the "management" put an end to my high hopes for a perfect mixture.

Step 3: The second attempt.

Picture of The second attempt.
Diatomaceous earth worked first.  It involved lots of cleaning and this is where I lost all support.  If everybody is not involved and committed (and some had been committed) to a diligent effort, its a fruitless endeavor.

Step 4: A third flop.

Picture of A third flop.
Rubbing alcohol make them run like mad. Then they run back after it has evaporated and you lay your tasty flesh to rest.

Step 5: Failure on the fourth and fifth.

Picture of Failure on the fourth and fifth.
Rosemary.  I thought it was perfect.  It smells good and grows at almost every apartment complex in town.  My problem was I was making a bigger mess than it was worth.  Then I cooked the rosemary down for the oil and used a spray solution.   It worked for a while but it was just too much to keep the oil in production with the use of clean sheets ....... but man did I smell good!
evajung10 months ago

Unfortunately, bedbugs don't care if you're a pauper or a millionaire, a scrub or a germophobic clean freak. The only difference is the millionaire can pay to get rid of them. I've been fighting the little buggers for almost 3 years and 3 apartments. Rubbing alcohol DOES work but it has to be over 90%. As nasty as it sounds they live in everything from your walls to your books and a single bug can go a YEAR without a meal. Through bedbug covers, using covered futons instead of couches, hefty amounts of said rubbing alcohol (you WILL need to open the windows.), diatomaceous earth, boric acid and lots of time; it's gone from waking up screaming in the night covered in the disgusting little things to I see one once in a while. I still have nightmares about being bit while I'm sleeping though. I wake up freaking out and itchy only to realize I was dreaming. At current, the government puts bedbug stats at 1 in every 5 houses. Just make sure you get A LOT of alcohol. It works great for computer chairs or pillows. If you have a couch, get creative, latex paint can be both pretty and functional. Make sure to check your bed right before you get in it. Flip the light on and run to the bed. Inspect and kill everything you find. After only a couple months of this and rubbing alcohol life was bearable again. And god(s) help all of you with carpet. Diatomaceous earth is great here but you can't vacuum it up...

valkgurl1 year ago
Love the "Flee Powder"!!!!

Just today read an article in the NY Times on how BEAN LEAVES have been an Eastern European Folk Remedy for bed bugs for millenia. However science got involved and discovered--IT WORKS.

If you have ever picked beans there is a certain "velcro" quality to the leaves that GRABS the legs and the more they struggle the more entangled they get. I dunno where you would get a large quantity of bean leaves but if you had access and need--well that IS the mother of invention!

Scientists are trying to replicate this as a trap but have not gotten this market worthy yet. Mebbe a farmers market?

I suspect the problem in a communal living space is that there are always NEW bugs being brought in and if you don't get EVERYONE on board---they will never go away.

And--ya know--some of the issues you have here--can you LEAVE Hell On Earth aka Arizona? (We pronounce it somewhat differently but this IS a Family Friendly Site---)
onrust (author)  valkgurl1 year ago

No plans to leave. I just had to raise my standards of living. Not long ago I stayed at a seedy apartment complex and heard of some tenants having bed bugs. I no longer let any neighbors in my door. Then, I would see people move out and toss a mattress, blankets, or sheets in the dumpster. Never fail, you could always count on a person dumpster diving these goods and taking them home.

And apartment management like to keep it on the down low the complete opposite of what you would want to do to stop it.

Man I hear you on this one I got them after moving into an apartment building two heat treatments later and a massive campaign of sealing all small holes vents etc sleeping on a cot with barriers in the way and I have not seen them for months now no bites either I also used Diatomaceous earth and I can verify it works having caught a few of the suckers and testing it its slow acting of course given how it works but good. I also taped a square of glossy scotch tape on the ceiling above my bed to keep them from falling on me. They do that.

onrust (author)  TheCommander1 year ago

There where bunk beds on both sides of the room. Your correct. They did cross the ceiling. The guy on the top bunk laid there and smashed them all the time. Gee, thanks for reminding me. all the smashed blood spots where gross. Anything anybody has gone through can help the next.

I read about a pesticide a few weeks ago called Tempo Ultra SC (Cyfluthrin, cyano 11.8%). It is starting to be looked at for eliminating bed bug infestations because it offers residual protection (along with being very effective for killing them quickly). I don't like to recommend chemicals to anyone... but you were clearly past that point. I believe there are all-natural ways to get it done but sometimes you need to pull out the big guns.

onrust (author)  ChippMarshal1 year ago

The big guns...... and I was pretty broke. Thank you for your information. I don't wish anyone to go through what I did.

bed bugs freak me out and I think I would totally flip my sh!t if I found them on me or even more horrifying…in my house.
onrust (author)  sprinkles681 year ago

The only time I freaked out was on the bus. I looked down and one crawled from under sweatshirt on to my denim pants leg. I seriously freaked out.......and justifiably so I believe.

jostler20132 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
onrust (author)  jostler20132 years ago
My methods are not for everybody. But you hit the key point, information. Thank you for the link. Its a good article and stresses this can and has the possibility to afflict anyone.
Good luck with your battle and may you rest soundly soon
I just moved to NY. I'm favoriting this "just in case." Let's hope I never have to consult this.
onrust (author)  aweekfromthursday2 years ago
I hope you don't either. Good luck.
SpykeNinja2 years ago
Thanks so much for the information! With the mild winters this area has had for 2 years now we've seen an outbreak of them. We're working hard as you seem to have on getting rid of them. The motor oil thing I hadn't heard though, testing it tonight I hope.
We're Thankfully moving soon though and we were planning do take everything to the laundry too. So one way or the other we will escape!
onrust (author)  SpykeNinja2 years ago
I truly wish you the best of luck.
awittnebel2 years ago
Blessings to you my friend! Thank you for sharing!
rimar20002 years ago
Wow, what a problem! A dangerous but effective method is to make black powder rich in sulfur, tightly shut down the house, fire the powder in a can on the floor and get out quickly without breathe.

The sulfur dioxide gas kills nearly every living in minutes. After that treatment you should aerate the house for hours before it can be dwell.

"Rich in sulfur" means to add powdered sulfur to normal black powder until it fires barely and slowly. The try must be done outdoors, don't breathe the smoke, it is very dangerous.
onrust (author)  rimar20002 years ago
Nice.......sounds like something I'd try.
Be very careful about SO2 he isn't kidding about it being deadly . Very low concentrations can kill you . It's something we deal with where I work " a by product of removing sulfur from gasoline " . The legal limit for short term exposure is 0.25 PPM " parts per million " that's not much . In other words if you light it off get the heck out !
Yes, it is dangerous. When I was a young boy (younger than today, I say), doing the experiment with SO2, I accidentally breathed a very little portion of it, and that caused me pain in the lungs, which lasted two days.

After that, I killed with SO2 an impressive cockroach plague in the woodshed of my mother. Sadly, hided in the shed there was a wild cats nest, and the litlle puppies died too. They are very silent, and due to that I don't realized their presence.
onrust (author)  randomray2 years ago
Hey Ray! Not likely. The next time I see or even hear of a bed bug, I'm a fart in the wind! But thank you for your input for all others to consider. This can drive people to poor judgment and extremes.
Obviously, you shuld take off fron the house all pets: mammals, fishes, birds, ophidians, etc.
sunshiine2 years ago
I don't think I could have gone through that! I read bedbugs are really difficult to get rid of. You were very smart to dry all your clothes because of the eggs. Sorry you had to go through that. Your experience will help a lot of people, so thanks! Keep on shining!
onrust (author)  sunshiine2 years ago
I seriously felt a need to share it. Any average person could be in a situation like this with no job, a DUI, domestic problems, criminal, or mental health issues. Its a serious problem that is going unaddressed fueled by the courts and state funding (here in Arizona). This type of housing is simply an unregulated cash cow.
I saw a lot of people not make it. It brought some people to the point of breaking court orders, probation, and parole with no excuse. BUT, the heart of the problem is, some people just live in filth and don't care.
Hey, what doesn't kill me only makes me stronger. Not to mention its just another interesting chapter in the book of onrust ;)
It also builds character! You seem to be glowing these days!
oddstray2 years ago
Good info. Thanks!
onrust (author)  oddstray2 years ago
You are more than welcome. I hope I could help anyone.
bajablue2 years ago
Thanks for sharing, onrust. There, but for the grace of God, go I.

Wishing you better days, happier trails and peaceful slumber when you rest your head at night.
onrust (author)  bajablue2 years ago
Sleeping quite well now. Thanks
iceng2 years ago
I agree with heat treating and it kills the bugs.
quatch2 years ago
Glad you're through it.
VadimS2 years ago
Flee powder from Walmart works, cover everything, wait an hour or two, then vacuum. Do that a couple times wile also washing every blanket and piece of clothing.