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.
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.
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.
Diatomaceous earth worked well.....at 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.
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.
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.
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.
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......
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!