Steve Tvedten's "The
Bug Stops Here"
INTELLIGENT CONTROLS FOR BED BUGS
INTELLIGENT PEST MANAGEMENT® CONTROL - Bed bugs are very sensitive to heat in all stages of their development. The thermal death point for the common bedbug is only 111o F. to 113o F.; even lower temperatures of 97o F. to 99o F. will kill large numbers of these bugs. Raising the temperature for an hour or so should eliminate most infestations. Use a steam cleaner to steam the cracks and crevices and mattress weekly using only tap water.
Bed bugs are also killed by prolonged exposure to low temperatures (32o F. to 48o F.) Even the eggs die at these temperatures within 30 to 50 days, although adults and nymphs die within hours. So by simply closing off an infested bedroom and leaving it unheated in cold weather can help eradicate any bed bug infestations, as will carbon dioxide fumigation of the mattress and area. Place mattress, springs, bedding, slats and frames directly in the sun or in a plastic "bag" made of heavy visquine and duct taped together with 1# - 3# of dry ice on a paper bag on top of the mattress to "fumigate the critters".
Thorough cleaning or vacuuming will help but will not completely eliminate the pests. Use a red light at night to determine where they are hiding. Caulk, foam, seal and paint all hiding areas. As a last resort, dust talcum powder, medicated body powder, food-grade diatomaceous earth or Comet® into cracks and crevices of floors and baseboards and then seal completely. Clean thoroughly using diluted Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint and/or borax as needed.
Steam clean with the Vapor Dragon® or with Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint and/or borax or throw out mattresses, furnishings, debris and other objects that serve as nesting sites. Routinely vacuum lint, dust and other debris from mattresses, covers and box springs. Caulk all cracks, holes, gaps and openings in walls and moldings. Re-glue all loose wallpaper. Launder and dry all linens, bedding and pads in a clothes dryer or in direct sunlight. If determined necessary later, treat bed frames, springs and mattresses with only small spot applications of talcum powder, or better yet, medicated body powder or Comet®; then as a last resort, insecticidal soap or food-grade diatomaceous earth. Wash or spray any mattresses and/or bedding with diluted Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint (1 oz. per quart of water) and/or 2 oz. of borax per quart of water.
You can spot treat mattresses that must be saved at seams, folds, buttons or tears with diluted borax (½ cup per gallon of water) or better yet, with a steamer, e.g., the Vapor Dragon®, weekly. After treatment the mattress should be air dried in the sun, and then covered with plastic before use. If all else fails, carefully and lightly apply talcum powder, medicated body powder, Comet®, boric acid, food-grade diatomaceous earth dusts in any/all inaccessible areas; then caulk and/or seal and/or completely cover. Remember that thoroughness is the key to permanent bed bug control. All holes, cracks, crevices or other hiding places must be carefully sealed/caulked. Routinely wash everything with Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint, and/or borax. Freshwater (food-grade) diatomaceous earth will control most ectoparasites of this type, but you should avoid breathing the dust. Try lightly dusting with baby powder containing talc first, but you still should avoid breathing the dust. Call 1-888-443-8738 for a Vapor Dragon®, food-grade DE or enzyme cleaners.
Duct Tape - Place duct tape, sticky-side up, around all walls and bed legs and wherever you suspect bed bug activity. You can hold the duct tape in place with masking tape on the edges.
CAUTION - Never apply volatile, residual synthetic pesticide poison sprays or dusts to an infant's, pregnant woman's, elderly person's or an invalid's mattress or anywhere people have breathing problems or are chemically sensitive. Use several applications spread (over a period of two to six weeks intervals) of diluted enzyme cleaners and/or borax, or as a last resort, some food-grade DE, but only when the label permits such usage, and only if you cannot simply throw away the infested mattress and everything else has failed to gain control.
In concluding any bed bug eradication, thoroughly inspect all attics and other possible harborage points for bats, rodents and birds. If found, clean up all guano and residue with enzymes, remove nests, spray or mist with Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint (1 - 2 oz. per gallon of water and/or borax, ½ cup per gallon of water). If determined absolutely necessary, spot treat the area with a least-toxic food-grade DE. Caution: Wear hard hats, safety glasses, masks, gloves and wash all protective clothing and yourself thoroughly after entering any infested attics, especially any with any visible feces or guano. Clean thoroughly with Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint and/or borax. If you still are having bed bug problems, &read The Best Control© or The Best Control II© on CD-ROM.