Introduction: My War With Bed Bugs.

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.

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!

Step 6: My Last Attempt and It Worked.

Picture of My Last Attempt and It Worked.

  I'm not proud of this, or tired BUT........  I came to the conclusion that I was covering myself in petrochemicals. So.... Why not cover the bed?  I have a buddy who is a mobile mechanic. I remembered this moving blanket he used for a drop cloth on peoples driveways and covered the bed with it.  It worked like a champ and YES, I smelled like a dirty wrench when I woke up every day. That was taken care of with a shower in the morning. Truth be told it made a wrapped mattress quieter and much more comfortable. I slept comfortably, saving what is left of my sanity, for over a month till my departure.   
  As far as the furniture in the living room, I acquired a metal folding chair. From time to time I'd get a bite on my ankles or arms but that is a far cry from what I started with.

Step 7: Moving Out.

Picture of Moving Out.

  All my clothes went into a large garbage bag.  I then went to the $1 store, bought a pack of boxers, and a comfortable horrible looking T-shirt.  My next stop was the laundromat and I changed into my new threads.  I then cooked my clothes (including my shoes) in the dryer well over an hour with every quarter I could conger up. I found 9 bed bugs between 2 lint traps. 
  I've been bed bug free since.

Step 8: To Sum It Up......

Picture of To Sum It Up......

These are extreme circumstances, in a unhealthy living environment, with almost no cooperation.  This IS NOT a set of instruction to follow just helpful information if you where to find yourself in a similar situation........ and may your God help you if you do!


JosephM244 (author)2016-07-17

Also for the person who talked of Delta Dust, that is also used but it is a slow process as long as it is left to do its job it will reduce the infestation greatly. DriOne is another product that is also used as well and is also effective but is not available to the general public. Tempo Ultra SC is a very powerful product and us tyoucally used for exterior treatments and can also be used in dumpsters, balers and compactors for large flies. Demand CS is also a good alternative but is not used for bed bug treatments and should not be used with people or animals present.

JosephM244 (author)2016-07-17

For those of you who do have bed bug issues, and this is coming from me a pest elimination professional who works for one of the big companies, Tempo SC or WP is not approved for bed bugs as of yet and is not used for bed bug control or elimination nor is it federally apprived for that use. I deal with bed bugs on a daily basis in hotels and other locations, we use Temprid and Transport which are highly effective and are extremely useful in treatments especially in mattresses, headboards, bed sheets, linens and clothing. These are for professionals only and the general public should not be attempting to use or recommending products such as Tempo SC or others unless you are state certified as I am and are trained and qualified. These are potent chemicals and must be handled and mixed properly and used properly in their guidelines of use ie EPA and product labels. Find a certified and experienced pest elimination and IPM provider in your area always. Any questions please don't hesitate to ask.

MichelleC16 (author)2016-01-31

We used a combination of Hot Shot Bed Bug and flea killer (liquid in gallon with sprayer) and Ortho Home Defense (also the liquid) and that has worked for us along with cleaning and laundering EVERYTHING!! The worst part for me is that I am highly allergic to the nasty things!! My skin is very scarred but slowly improving. Even worse is the psychological damage it causes. Have not slept more than 4-5 hours a night for over a year. Hope this is helpful and good luck to all who are dealing with these nasty critters!!

Living this (author)MichelleC162016-04-05

Hi. Does it still seem like your combination liquid spray worked?

Living this (author)2016-04-05

I am very happy to know there is a group that has or is experiencing the same thing I'm experiencing.

rmenendez iv (author)2015-08-31

the best product for bedbugs is called Delta Dust. Its what the pros use. Its like DE except it is impervious to water and will last kill any and i mean any insect that comes in contact with it for 18 months. It kills almost instantly. best method is a good steamer ( 150 degree plus to be safe) vacuum, dryer, DE for high traffic areas and delta dust to end all.

randreone (author)2015-08-23

i had a slight if you can call it that bedbug problem while staying @ a shelter , and when i left i took all my laundry to the laundromat-- has to have gas fired dryers-- electric dryers do not get hot enough and washed all my clothes and sheets on heavy soil and extra rinse then dried them until they almost burned my fingers pulling them out of the dryer. worked like a charm. in Fl, there are small salamanders like geckos that love eating roaches and other bugs, so i found one in my apt and let him loose.. economical and no residue and free..and they dont bother with human food..havent seen any roaches after that.

RobertL25 (author)2015-05-31

evajung (author)2014-05-14

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...

valkgurl (author)2013-04-11

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)valkgurl2014-01-19

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.

TheCommander (author)valkgurl2014-01-18

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

TheCommander (author)2014-01-18

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)TheCommander2014-01-19

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.

ChippMarshal (author)2014-01-10

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)ChippMarshal2014-01-19

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

sprinkles68 (author)2013-03-28

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)sprinkles682014-01-19

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.

onrust (author)2013-02-13

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

aweekfromthursday (author)2013-01-29

I just moved to NY. I'm favoriting this "just in case." Let's hope I never have to consult this.

onrust (author)aweekfromthursday2013-01-29

I hope you don't either. Good luck.

SpykeNinja (author)2013-01-21

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.

SpykeNinja (author)SpykeNinja2013-01-21

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)SpykeNinja2013-01-22

I truly wish you the best of luck.

awittnebel (author)2013-01-19

Blessings to you my friend! Thank you for sharing!

rimar2000 (author)2013-01-18

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)rimar20002013-01-18

Nice.......sounds like something I'd try.

randomray (author)onrust2013-01-18

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 !

rimar2000 (author)randomray2013-01-19

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)randomray2013-01-18

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.

rimar2000 (author)onrust2013-01-18

Obviously, you shuld take off fron the house all pets: mammals, fishes, birds, ophidians, etc.

sunshiine (author)2013-01-17

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)sunshiine2013-01-18

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 ;)

sunshiine (author)onrust2013-01-19

It also builds character! You seem to be glowing these days!

oddstray (author)2013-01-17

Good info. Thanks!

onrust (author)oddstray2013-01-18

You are more than welcome. I hope I could help anyone.

bajablue (author)2013-01-18

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)bajablue2013-01-18

Sleeping quite well now. Thanks

iceng (author)2013-01-17

I agree with heat treating and it kills the bugs.

quatch (author)2013-01-17

Glad you're through it.

VadimS (author)2013-01-17

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.

About This Instructable




Bio: My full time job as an Organ Grinder keeps me pretty busy but that's just small change. My part time work, as a Mohel ... More »
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