What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Dear bug man,
In the last few months my roomates and I have been the unfortunate hosts to the dreaded Bed Bug. Until I met the nasty critters in real life, I thought they were only the fabricated subject of the cute little pre-bedtime saying "Night-night, don’t let the bed bugs bite". But they do exist. And they have become a part of my living nightmare now for three long months. I live in Brooklyn, New York in a building with four apartments. The bugs were brought in by our upstairs neighbors. The short of the story is that I have to move out of this building because I cannot take it anymore. I am also afraid that I will bring them with me when I go. Do you have any advice about a bug free move? As it is, I am throwing out my bed my dresser and my couches (that is the extent of my furniture anyway). And I am laundering every article of clothing and bedding and then moving it into storage. The other distressing aspect of my story is that I have become a social pariah. One of my friends just moved into a new apartment and will not allow me to set foot into her home until I am free of bed bugs. She also refuses to see me… well, anywhere. I think she would cross the street if she happened to run into me in Manhattan one day. This has caused a strain on our friendship because, in reality i think she is being paranoid…. is she? Will the eggs stick to my clothes even after i have laundered them? i don’t sleep in my apartment anymore anyway. I am living at my boyfriends while i move out of the infested apartment. Please help me. It sucks that my friends are treating me like I have a communicable disease. Maybe I should just get new friends. Thanks for any advice you can give!
Deirdre .

Dear Deirdre,
I sympathize with you.
You do need to worry about taking the pests with you. Bed bugs may be transported from place
to place on clothing or in luggage or furniture, and they can migrate from house to house.
Eggs are generally laid in cracks, not on people or clothing. The bugs are nocturnal and
during the day, they hide in cracks in the walls, under the baseboard, in the springs of a
bed, under the edge of a mattress, under wallpaper, and in similar places.
My advice is to fumigate before leaving, only take furniture that is irreplacable. Get a new
box spring and mattress, eliminate most of your clothing and only take freshly laundered
clothing to your new place. Good luck.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

2 Responses to Bed Bugs

  1. RichH says:

    Alcohol kills bed bugs, as does 114 degrees heat. We had friends who were given an antique settee, and it was loaded with them. They had it treated by someone, can’t remember by whom, nor did I learn the process, but it got rid of them. They say to wash all bedding and put it in the dryer on high heat. Do this with any clothing that can take heat. We’ve learned that using plain borax, the kind used as a final rinse for baby clothing, will eventually kill them, as well as spiders, cockroaches, etc, as they pick up the fine powder on the microscopic hairs on their legs and carry it back to where they live. It destroys their protective coatings, they will eventually start to dry up and die. It is safe, and not expensive. You can sprinkle it on your matress, around baseboards, under your sinks, work it into carpeting along baseboards, putting it under your couches, chairs, under your beds, under dressers, up in the top of closets, etc. We even put it under our house where we can reach to put it, throwning handfulls it. Attics are also a good place for it. Borax powder isn’t instantanious, but it does do the job after a matter of time. We use it in all of our laundry as it helps clothing last longer and stay fresh as well.

    What is the small bug that eats rayon clothing? It looks like a small dark brown beetle. We had some new clothing, come in with them in it. This was brand new clothing which had never been worn. We didn’t unpack it for quite sometime, and when we did, we discovered the rayon items had been damaged This bug is about a 1/8 inch long if not smaller. Destructive little critters.

  2. RichH says:

    Heat of 114 Kills bedbugs, so use the high setting on your bedding when you dry it. Alcohol kills bed bugs. Wipe down your matteress and box prings with it or mist it all with a fine mist sprayer. Borax poweder kills most bugs, not immediately, but soon enough without using dangerous chemicals. sprinkle it along your baseboards, put it between your matresses, and bed frame, between your box spring and your top matress, between your matress pad and mattress, on top of your matress pad, between it and your sheets, and continue on. Wash all of your bedding using Borax powder in the final rinse. It is safe and recommended for baby bedding, clothing and diapers final rinses. We even sprinkled it under our house, up in the attic, under fridge, stove, up in closet shelves, on closet floors, down in your upholstered furniture, and under it. Work it into the carpeting along all of your baseboards. Most bugs have microscopic hairs on their legs, which picks up the finer powder, taking it back to where they live, and it dries up the protective coating, they then die. It works on most critters, it’s not expensive and it is safe. It is also a fire deterrent and it makes everything smell so much better. I sound like a commercial for it, but just someone who’s had to use it for any number of bugs. It works and keeps costs down and is much safer than chemical products. Make sure to wash all of your clothing in it as well, expecially if you can’t use high heat in your dryer.

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