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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: N on July 13, 2014, 05:08:42 PM

Title: How do Mustachians get rid of bed bugs?
Post by: N on July 13, 2014, 05:08:42 PM
So, I just discovered bed bugs on my kids mattress today. He has has bites for a couple weeks now. At first we didnt see any bugs or evidence of  them and I thought he might have a rash from something else. But the last couple nights I had both kids sleep in the living room. The bites/rash improved considerably and then today I looked at the mattress again and saw a few bugs on top of his sheet.

We rent, so I will call the landlord and tell them. Is it their responsibility to treat?
for those who survived bed bugs, did you do anything else to help get rid of them?
What treatment worked?

Any other advice?

Title: Re: How do Mustachians get rid of bed bugs?
Post by: Scandium on July 14, 2014, 12:32:17 PM
My GF had this once with her roommate. I believe the landlord had to pay for treatment per law, but this may vary between jurisdictions. In the end it didn't help, the little buggers can survive, or come back from other units. They ended up moving. After cleaning ALL furniture (Thoroughly in every nook an cranny!), throwing out some. Washing and/or freezing all clothes, books, bedsheets, stuffed animals, etc. EVERYTHING must be cleaned properly or frozen.

After this we will never buy or pick up used furniture or mattresses unless we are extremely sure it's clean! Going through this in our house would be a nightmare.
Title: Re: How do Mustachians get rid of bed bugs?
Post by: ingrownstudentloans on July 14, 2014, 12:43:02 PM
Unfortunately I had this experience last year.  It was terrible.  I live alone so I was able to isolate all of my clothes, bag most stuff up, clean everything else and remove it from the bedroom.  Thankfully I found them when the infestation was minor.  I cleaned, cleaned and cleaned again.  Steam mopped the floors. Steamed the mattress.  Steamed the curtains.  Everything was cleaned many times.  I slept on top of the mattress wrapped in plastic sheeting while I was cleaning.  If you start sleeping in other rooms, the bugs will move to find you and then you have to deal with the enemy in many theaters.  It was uncomfortable, but I wanted to keep them all within striking distance.

Once that was done, I sprinkeld Diatomaceous Earth ( all over the room.  Be careful about breathing this stuff - it's nasty if enough gets into the air, but generally harmless if you don't go all Tony Montana/George Jung with the stuff.  I even sprinkled the stuff into the bags of clothes and books that I had separated from ground-zero.  The bugs can live 1 year without feeding and the eggs take a little while to hatch, so leave the bags tied for a while with the DE in it to make sure the buggers are dead dead.

After all of that, the bugs were gone.  It is a process, good luck.  I can't even imagine what it would take to get rid of them with other people/kids in the house.  Bed bugs are the reason I think we need to bring back DEET in the US...if you have ever dealt with them, you will probably agree.
Title: Re: How do Mustachians get rid of bed bugs?
Post by: Chloe358 on July 14, 2014, 12:54:49 PM
Diatomaceous Earth .  It's crazy amazing stuff.  And cheap.
Title: Re: How do Mustachians get rid of bed bugs?
Post by: N on July 14, 2014, 01:06:45 PM
Let Landlord know this morning. I think in my state that it is the landlords responsibility to treat until satisfied.
But as Ive been reading, it can be very hard to get rid of them.

What a PITA.

ALthough I understand, if can be believed, that they only live on blood, so if they cant get to your body, they die eventually. on that website, he offers some ideas on how to make a shield for your bed, however, my kids have an older wooden bunkbed. Theres really no way to line it with plastic to make it safe for the kids to sleep on. plus the bugs could be in any minute crack or joint.

Im tempted to throw out quite a lot of stuff right now.

Im not terribly sure how effective DE is. (diatomaceous earth) I have some already, so probably no harm in puffing it out into the cracks and stuff.
unfortunately, one whole side of the kids room (where the bed is closest to) is open face stone work and has tons of cracks and stuff. we live in a loft with a lot of exposed brick and stonework.
Title: Re: How do Mustachians get rid of bed bugs?
Post by: Doomspark on July 14, 2014, 01:17:27 PM
If you have pets or small children, I recommend Food-grade Diatomaceous Earth.  Works like a dream and will not hurt pets and small children.  It's good for getting rid of ants and roaches as well as bedbugs.

I use an old turkey baster to put it down behind the fridge and in the very back of the cabinets and other hard to reach places.
Title: Re: How do Mustachians get rid of bed bugs?
Post by: usmarine1975 on July 14, 2014, 01:21:12 PM
Not sure what State you are in but in my State the Landlord is only responsible if the issue is a multi-unit issue.  I have a 3 unit and if one unit has bed bugs I do not have to pay for the services to get rid of them.  I have had a tenant with Bed Bugs only in their unit and I have instructed them to send me a copy of the bill so I can decide what we would help them with.  I don't want them to not treat it and it become an issue in other apartments.

My advice is to call an exterminator yes you pay for it but sometime's it's worthwhile to have it done quickly and efficiently.

I should also add that my tenant works at a College and the College recently had a bed bug issue so I am certain it came from the College.
Title: Re: How do Mustachians get rid of bed bugs?
Post by: CestMoi on July 14, 2014, 01:55:25 PM
A friend of mine in Manhattan had bedbugs in their building, but the landlord ignored the problem for years, even after being repeatedly informed by numerous tenants. My friend went through many trials and tribulations with the problem. After witnessing all of that, my advice is to do your own research on bedbugs so you can take care of this correctly the first time around.

My friend had to hire exterminators on their own, but ended up moving out anyway (and it was a rent-controlled apt in a desirable area). It didn't make sense to continue to treat only one apartment if the entire building was infested.

The best treatment I know is to kill them by heating the apartments to a particular temperature with special heaters. Cleaning doesn't get rid of bedbugs, since they've got little to do with dirtiness or filth.

By the way, be aware when going to movies and restaurants. These are apparently the fastest-growing places to pick them up, since they travel on shoes and clothing.
Title: Re: How do Mustachians get rid of bed bugs?
Post by: frugaliknowit on July 14, 2014, 02:27:59 PM
I had them two years ago (live alone) in a high rise condo.  At the time, there was no law imposing responsibility on the landlord.  Since then, the condo Assoc. has to take care of it (I reported it and they're like "a-hah, well we have Orkin's phone number if you want...").

There is no way of knowing how you got these.  They only travel within a building when someone they were nesting on (i.e. sucking their blood) moves out or otherwise is unavailable (they need other blood, are attracted to carbon dioxide, so they might look for a path and start working through the walls and feed off of you...).  By any chance, have you been travelling a lot?  Europe is full of them.  If so, where's your luggage?  Don't ever let luggage in the house...

As for those who spoke about cleanliness:  Supposedly it has nothing to do with it.  They're not cockroaches.  They only want blood.

I spent around 500 bux (for a family it can run in the thousands) via an exterminator who did an excellent job.  They were nesting inside my bedframe and box spring.  BTW, contrary to what others said, the exterminator said don't worry about your clothes.  They only want blood.
As for wives tales about remedies (to save money, don't bother, it's not like painting or changing your oil...).  I tried some organic crap and it didn't do anything.

I now have "bed bug detectors" (basically a cup with talc inside that traps the boogers and let's you know if they are around and prevents them from climbing into your bed):
They have not shown up.
Title: Re: How do Mustachians get rid of bed bugs?
Post by: usmarine1975 on July 14, 2014, 02:56:47 PM
In Pennsylvania if it's a multi-unit apartment building and the infestation is in multiple units it is a landlord issue.  If it's in one unit only it's a tenant issue.  Not sure how other States handle it. 
Title: Re: How do Mustachians get rid of bed bugs?
Post by: N on July 14, 2014, 03:10:06 PM
I checked, and in my state, its the landlord who has to hire the exterminators.
I live in an unusual building. Its a loft, in a brick building, and my apartment is over an office or warehouse space (or both, hard to tell)
the building to the north of us actually touches, but its a separate structure. to the south we share a wall with an office space. there is no one above us.

We went to a hotel in may.
We use public laundromats (no in-unit laundry)
and all of our belongings must be contained inside of our 1000 sq ft apartment. we have no separate storage area.
We also live in Chicago, in a densely populated area, and we go to parks, pools, the beach, on the bus and el, and could have picked up a hitchhiking bug from anywhere. I know it has nothing to do with cleanliness, however its still stigmatizing because no one else wants to dare acquire them either.

I would like to talk to the exterminators before I take drastic action of replacing furntiture/bedding/ etc. I want to do everything smart and efficient. no use replacing stuff before the bugs are gone. but got to get rid of bugs and prevent them from getting to our bodies.
Title: Re: How do Mustachians get rid of bed bugs?
Post by: Eric on July 14, 2014, 04:43:02 PM
I'm sorry, those suck.  We dealt with that a few years back.  Among other methods mentioned, such as using DE, we also bagged up ALL of our loose clothing and bedding, curtains, and the like in trash bags and stuck them in the car that was parked in the sun on a hot summer day.  This works the same as putting all these items in the dryer to kill those bastards, but much faster and cheaper.

Good luck!
Title: Re: How do Mustachians get rid of bed bugs?
Post by: boy_bye on July 14, 2014, 04:59:09 PM
DE doesn't work:

You need an exterminator. Bedbugs are hardy little bastards and they can live for up to a year without eating, which makes them hellaciously difficult to get rid of. Plus there are only a few chemicals that work on them, and they are license-only items. So while I believe in DIY for large parts of life, this is a case where you really do kind of need a professional.

Look on Yelp for a highly recommended exterminator. It cost me about $300 which seemed like a great bargain to get the little fuckers out of my life.

Since the bunk bed is wooden, it might be infested itself. Check out the cracks in the wood and see if you see any dried blood. If so I would get that sprayed too or just burn it with fire.

Good luck!
Title: Re: How do Mustachians get rid of bed bugs?
Post by: frugaliknowit on July 14, 2014, 05:10:34 PM
Box springs and mattresses can be saved by encasing them (after/during the extermination; basically any bugs that survive will die inside the encasement within a year... ).  Tip:  Buy your encasements yourself.  The Bedbug guys add a markup because they know you're disgusted and terrified.
It's really stressful, but keep the faith.  They can be rid of.  Buying your bed and box spring encasements and the bedbug traps/detectors yourself is about the only way to partially lower the margins.

Read about prevention, especially not leaving your luggage on hotel beds and not letting your luggage in your house....
Title: Re: How do Mustachians get rid of bed bugs?
Post by: N on July 14, 2014, 05:53:37 PM
thanks all!
we are in a sort of cool streak right now temp wise, but maybe itll get hot enough to try the plastic bags in car trick.