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Saturday, August 12, 2017

What Are These Itchy Spots From?

While those of us who have suffered from bed bugs know the symptoms, for someone who thinks they may have them for the first time in their house, it may be difficult for them to know if what they have really is a case of bed bugs.  For example, if they have household pets, it is plausible that they may have a flea infestation.  Flea bites are, in my opinion, about as itchy as bed bug bites.

So, what's the difference between flea bites on a human and bed bug bites on a human?  For the answer to this question, one has only to look at the bite pattern difference between the two pests.  Bed bugs tend to bite you multiple times and in a row.  Bed bug bites look kind of like a stop light where the lights are all red instead of red, yellow and green.  If you see 2 or 3 or 4 or more bites about the size of mosquito bites that are in an almost perfect row, you can almost bed for certain that they are bed bugs. Especially if you notice them upon waking up and getting out of bed.  Bites from bed bugs are almost immediately itchy upon waking, when your blood starts circulating a bit faster and your body's reaction time quickens compared to when you were asleep.

Almost immediately after I wake up--sometimes, even when I'm still semi-sleeping--I notice the toenails of one foot digging into the ankle of my other foot in an attempt to quell an itching fit.  Hydrocortisone cream or anti-itch cream with diphenhydramine (Benadryl) are fantastic at stopping the itch for several hours, at least for me.  Everyone is different and so is what relieves their itches and allergic reactions.

Before I get too ahead of myself, let me tell you more about what flea bites look like.  Rather than in a straight line, like bed bugs, flea bites tend to be in a scattered pattern.  You might have just 1 small bite or you can have what looks like a rash going completely around your ankle, or somewhere on your leg or anywhere else the fleas might have jumped onto you.  Again, I would compare their itch intensity to that of bed least, the skin rash.  Bed bugs also seem to make my nose and sinuses swell too (and for this, I take loratadine or several Benadryl tablets, both available over the counter; it goes without saying, talk to your doctor before you 'pop' anything that you're unsure about, and always have any rashes checked by a healthcare professional, particularly when it comes to anyone under the age of 18 years old.)

Back to the Bed Bugs...

Another sign you have bed bugs is that you actually see the bugs crawling in your bed, or the pieces of their outer shell that they 'shed' after filling up with your blood at night.  Whichever you see--or if you see both--one immediate thing to do, WITHOUT HESITATION, is to remove your bed sheets.  Put your bed bug-infested sheets into a plastic trash bag and tie the bag shut.  Include your pillows, pillow cases and any other washable stuffed animals or throw blankets, shams, dust ruffles, comforters, mattress pads, or nearby curtains into the plastic trash bags as well. The trash bags are one line of defense from spreading your bed bug problem to nearby rooms.  They work as a temporary way of transporting your bed buggy items to your washing machine or the laundromat for deep, thorough cleaning and at least 60 minutes on high heat in the dryer.

Also consider immediately showering and washing any clothing that you sleep in.  If you don't, you could personally carry the bed bugs on you from room to room, and that's the last thing you want to do!

Any type of clothing detergent will work, but I also recommend adding Twenty Mule Borax (about 1/2 cup per large load) to the wash cycle when you do your laundry.  Adding an equal amount of baking soda will also help ensure that your wash is fresh-smelling and super-clean.  This is a mechanical way of removing the bed bugs, particularly the drying cycle. DO NOT SKIMP ON DRY TIME!!!  Be patient about drying for the entire 60 minutes per load (more time, obviously, if your sheets and things are still damp).  The extra five minutes or so at the end might mean the difference between a sound night sleep and a night of itchy tossing and turning!

Before you return your sheets and freshly laundered bedroom linens to your bedroom, I recommend the following steps that will help you contain the problem for approximately 24-48 hours.  This is NOT a complete solution; rather, this is a FIX that will make life worth living.  Bed bug removal is a LIFE STYLE change that must happen over the course of approximately a month.  This time period is sometimes less, and sometimes longer, depending on how thorough and committed you are to your bed bug removal regimen.

Step 1: After a good shower and new change of clothes, spray yourself down (outside your house, in the fresh air) with bug spray that contains AT LEAST 25% DEET.  Yes, this is somewhat nasty, but it is a temporary way of keeping the bugs off of you while you move on to step two.  And, on the bright side, after you complete a few steps, you can take another shower (ideally, a cool temperature shower with a real soap, like Ivory, to help remove the maximum amount of bug spray from your skin).  You may choose to leave the DEET-containing spray on your clothes if you'd like---this chemical will help prevent you from being bit by any of the bed bugs you accidentally miss during the next few steps.

Step 2: Using a vacuum with a couch or car seat attachment nozzle, vacuum each side of your mattress, paying particular attention to the ribbing that is around the outer edges.  This is a favorite hiding place because it's essentially a dark crevice that's great for hiding out until you go to sleep.  This is also a great opportunity to examine your mattress for the tell-tale orange splotches that are made by the bed bugs as they use your bed as their restroom after they feast on you at night.  Vacuum the box spring as well, and both sides if you are able to safely pick it up and prop it against a wall to do so.

Step 3:  Remove ALL CLUTTER FROM YOUR BEDROOM.  This is a VERY IMPORTANT STEP!!!  If you don't, you're setting yourself back DAYS from actually getting rid of all the bed bugs.  Those little pests will hide in anything they can--boxes under your bed, shoes that are not properly stored, dirty laundry that is piled in a dark corner of the room, the underneath of dresser drawers, behind photo and picture frames attached to the walls...anywhere there is space that is out of site, dark and has been in place for more than 24 hours.  This step includes cleaning out your clothes closet if it is in the room where you sleep and have the bed bug problems.  To do this, first go through all of your clothes, take them off hangers and out of any drawers or open shelving and run as many of them as you are able through the dryer, for 60 minutes or more at a time.  You don't actually have to wash all of your already-clean items; but again, don't skimp on the drying time---it's what actually kills the bugs.  Using trash bags is the best way to transport anything from your closet that you can to the laundry room.  They are economical AND disposable--make sure you tie them up before you throw them out, and get the used bags out of your house as soon as you empty the contents and clean them.  Used bags are often an over-looked source of re-infestations.

Step 4:  Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum!!!  Vacuum the floor of your room, the corners, the crown/base/chair molding, window sills and window trim, doors and door trim, bedroom furniture, your headboard/foot board/bed frame, and anything else in your room.  Dust electronics carefully, blowing them out with a can of pressurized air where applicable and vacuuming after you do so.  Clean out pencil holders, lamp shades, shoe racks and jewelry boxes.  Hint: make a check list BEFORE you clean so that you can systematically get everything without forgetting any place that the bugs might hide.

Step 5:  After your cleaning is finished, I recommend another shower (and as I mentioned, if you used a bug spray on your own skin and clothes, I find that a cool-temperature shower and some Ivory soap work terrific at removing the insecticide from your skin while maintaining a normal, skin pH, which is important, particularly if you have a bed bug rash).  Also, a fresh change of clothes might make you feel better as well as you set forth replacing all of your clean, dried bed sheets, curtains and pillows.


Step 7: Repeat steps 1 through 6 (well, at least through step 5) again in two days.  Then, repeat it AGAIN two days after that.  While you may have removed the bed bugs mechanically during the first pass or the second cleaning, there may still be eggs that hatch and re-start the cycle.  If you do not repeat these steps every few days for about a month, it is highly likely that you will keep waking up with rows of itchy dots, cursing the critter that did it to you!

Best of Luck!  And keep checking this blog for more advice, tips, photos and suggestions on how to get back your quality of life after finding out that you have bed bugs in your home.


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

New Bed Bug Removal Manual Soon To Be Released!!!

What everyone's been waiting for has finally arrived! It's the 100% GUARANTEED TO WORK Solution to bed bugs.  The new manual will soon be available for purchase on for the purchase price of about $45.00.

That's right, only $45.00....not hundreds or thousands of dollars that you might have otherwise spent on bed bug removal to pay a professional pest remover to come in and do it for you.  You can do this on your own, and better yet, it's 100% NON-TOXIC.  So there are no harsh, cancer-causing chemicals left in your home. The only thing you have to do is simple application of the products that I have concluded are effective and after you apply them, leave them set on your furniture and on your floors, and in the crevices in your home that bed bugs might nest in.  Then, after 3-4 days, you vacuum everything up, and not only are the bed bugs gone, but your house even smells fresher and cleaner because the products also remove any types of odors that are caused by pets, or from food spillage that happen to end up on the floors or inside of cracks around your house.

And application is not difficult...with a little perseverance and this great, new methodology, you will notice almost immediate results: a BED-BUG-FREE HOUSE!!!

Keep checking back for updates to this site. This manual will soon be available for purchase and you can start living a bed bug-free life!

AND MORE GREAT NEWS!!! --->  I will be offering my new bed bug-killing formula, available for purchase off of this website, within the coming weeks.

Click on the link on the side of this page to follow this website for updates and new posts about the availability of these wonderful, low-cost solutions to bed bug infestations as well as for important research reports and essays on keeping your home bug-free and improving your quality of life.

Melissa---over-worked, under-paid, displaced Yankee on a personal mission to persuade evolution to change bed bugs from blood-suckers to herbivores.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Me Likes A Good Challenge

I'm going to try to write every time I get bit.  Sort of like putting a rubber band around your wrist and snapping it to remember.
Bed bug bites will be my prompt to put forth verbiage about how best to annihilate aforementioned bugs.
And the world keeps spinning!
More later!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Bugs That Must Not Be Named

There is a huge stigma attached to bed bugs...that is to say, if you have them, you do NOT want other people to know that you have them.  If other people find out, you are publicly ostracized, in some cases exiled and in all cases, bug shamed!


And being bug shamed is horrible!  It's like back in the days when they had leper colonies...someone finds out that the folks next door have bed bugs and it's 'on like Donkey Kong!'  

Neighbor's wife:  "Did you hear that THEY HAVE BED BUGS?  UGH!"

Neighbor: "Yes, I did...they threw their mattresses out on the curb.  Some poor, unknowing trash collector or hoarder might have driven up and thought they found themselves a nice pile of mattresses!  Well!  I put a stop to that---I took a piece of sheet rock and spray-painted, in RED, 'DO NOT TOUCH----BED BUG INFESTED!!!!'"

Neighbor's wife: "Good for you, the NERVE of some people! DID wash your hands afterward, didn't you?" 

Neighbor: "Oh, I didn't get near enough to the heap...I used the sheet rock as a shield, stood it on its side and heaved it so it would lean on top, for everyone who drives by to see."

Neighbor's wife: "Well GOOD! I wish we could move but now that everyone knows we live next to the Bed Bug Hotel, we'll never find a buyer...there goes our home values!"

What happens next involves pitch-forks, torches and an angry mob.

Bug Shamed!!!

Purpose of this Website

I started this site because while there are many blogs that offer advice about how to rid your household of bedbugs, there are NO sites that will tell you what works 100% of the time.  The sites that come close to that, in general, are trying to sell a bed bug product of some sort and we all get suckered into buying it, only to realize it doesn't work and we still have those red bite marks everywhere when we wake up.

There are not words in the English language to describe how much I hate bed bugs.

Worse, I feel like I'm educated enough that such vermin ought not exist in my house, period! In saying that, I'm not implying that bug infestations are for the stupid; I'm suggesting that all of the bed bug pesticides that are marketed today are just pissing off the bed bugs and not eradicating them...annihilating them...wiping them out and causing an extincting event!

Why is it that humans, as a species, are smart enough to send people out into space to orbit the globe but we can't all get together and solve the bed bug dilemma?

Experimentation and feedback on what works and what does not work is still needed! (Here's where it gets fun, but I'll get to that in a minute!)  :)

What we DO know is that there is no chemical product that is marketed specifically for killing bed bugs--THAT WORKS WITH 100% EFFICIENCY--on the shelves of Walmart or other convenience stores.  Sure, you can buy a can of "Raid Bed Bug Spray" or whatever it's called--the purple and black can, we all know what I'm talking about.  It's a good way to waste about $6, is what it is!

Flea foggers also do not accomplish anything other than covering everything in your household with chemicals that are far more toxic to you than they are to the mighty bed bug.

Evolution has been kind to the bed bug, that's a certainty.  Bed bugs are well-poised to remain 'in the game' of life here on Earth as long as we're complacent; as long as we keep doing what we're doing---that being, just giving them (the bugs) a good chuckle when we permeate their atmosphere (and our own) with the latest, greatest "Product X" that we were suckered into purchasing because we are desperate...and itchy....and pissed off...and itchy.

And itchy.

Errr.....oh how I hates bed bugs!

So....back to the purpose of this website!

I want to begin a series of trials, using different products, to kill the bugs that are currently harvesting more blood than a Red Cross bus on a nightly basis from myself and my family.

Using creativity and relying on my background as a biologist and chemist--and bug lover (yes, I actually DO like bugs...every other species besides bed bugs!)--to generate the most reliable, efficient way to rid one's household of bedbugs.

I would like to encourage others who read this blog and find themselves in the same, giant, infested bed as I am, to post their successes--and lack thereof--relating to their attempts at ridding their houses of bed bugs.

Working together, through trial and error should, in theory, ultimately lead to positive results--> the most effective way to remove bedbugs from your house.

Thank you for reading and participating, and check back soon for more updates, photos and the chance to vote on various products!

Mel in Bed Bug Hell

What Are These Itchy Spots From?

While those of us who have suffered from bed bugs know the symptoms, for someone who thinks they may have them for the first time in their h...