Bed Bugs: My experience and final solution

5 Oct 2019
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United Kingdom
Bed bugs are an advanced pest control problem. Anyone can get rid of mice, but many pest controllers haven't got a clue when it comes to bed bugs. It's extremely difficult to get bed bugs out of a sofa and usually the best option is to throw it out, which is very expensive.
I had bed bugs for years and tried everything, (Steam/hoover/powder/chemicals/two 'professionals'/traps). I finally got rid of bed beds by wrapping my entire sofa in shrink wrap, inserting a hairdryer, topside and underside, and cooking them. At 45 degrees they die in minutes, I did it for 1.5 hours and 50-60 degrees. Remove the black material covering the base so the hot air circulates, and make sure the shrink wrap is air tight.
Afterwards, put bed bug traps under the sofa legs, or wrap flypaper around them.

For the bed frame I toasted every inch of it, inside the steel tubing and out, with a heatgun/paint stripper, the frame is metal but even the wooden slats and plastic bits were only slightly scorched in places, and afterward put traps under the legs or wrap flypaper around them. You can use a hairdryer and shrink wrap on the bed instead if you prefer. Use a blanket not a duvet and tuck it under the mattress so it doesn't touch the floor at night.

If you see the bed bugs you have quite a bad infestation so get a pest controller to spray the place as well. He has to come at least twice to kill the new ones when the eggs hatch in ten days, if he says it only needs one treatment, he's a cowboy.

Shrink wrap is £7 on ebay or amazon, turkey thermometers are £3, and hairdryers are £15, heatguns are £20 -£30.

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Dunno but I've never seen or experienced a bed bug in my own home or anywhere I have ever stayed.
Dunno but I've never seen or experienced a bed bug in my own home or anywhere I have ever stayed.
Consider yourself lucky, then, because they are survivors, living for up to a year, they can hitch a lift on suitcases, clothing, etc from house to house, and they are generally nocturnal, so you don't often see them in the daytime. If they haven't eaten for a while they are translucent and difficult to see, only turning red when they've had a meal (of blood). They don't mind if a home is clean or dirty, but they prefer to live within a small area and like to hide in cracks and crevices (from t'Internet)

Back when I did work in occupied houses I picked up fleas a couple of times (doubtless off family pets) and I had some carpet beetles hitch a ride a few times, too (working at skirting level, perhaps). One of the joys of working on people's homes TBH

As it happens this summer we've been dealing with our own small beetle infestation. Turns out they were breeding in the trees over the road. The cure for them was a couple of snug fitting fly screens below the Veluxes in the attic room. Stopped them dead
Yes he is wrong. Completely wrong! They're becoming a much bigger problem for some reason.
They like clean houses. They can live in a power socket wall box, come out to get you at night, and go back before you wake.

A friend had them arrive in the middle of lockdown, no idea where from. Possibly their cat bought them in. They're a very normal couple, nothing grubby about them at all.
The bugs were first found behind a wall hanging near the bed, but they'd spread a bit. The bed was one with a sprung base so it went to the floor, which didn't help. They bought special covers (ebay I think), which are fine material and have a fine zip, to cover both the mattress and the base,, and pillows. Tumble dryer will kill them in anything like a duvet.
They sprayed everything and used a steamer on the carpet, hangings etc every couple of days - you can't see eggs.
Some had evidently got into the bed base, which they couldn't get out of. You have to leave the covers on for months because they can stay alive for months.
It was about 2 weeks before the last near dead one (they dry out unless they feed, from you) was found, somewhere else.

The cling-film idea could have worked. If you left only one way out, you could put a sticky trap there to detect anything surviving after the hairdying. The covers mentioned do allow air out so you can leave them on. You couldn't really leave a mattress covered in cling film and still use it.

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