About a month ago I started getting bitten but not by mosquitos (not quite as itchy) and was confused as to where the bites were coming from. I thought maybe I had gotten fleas from my neighbors having pets (which has never happened btw) but I couldn’t find a one of them so I just kind of wondered about it for awhile. Then one of my neighbors in my apartment complex (all the apartments are joined together) asked me if I had bedbugs. I responded that I had been getting bitten by something but didn’t know what it was. They told me that apparently the whole building had bedbugs (thanks for letting me know). So I googled and did my homework and found out that they basically are little blood-sucking parasites that are very hard to get rid of, and that apparently I had been doing something right because a typical infestation was a lot worse than what I had (maybe a bite here or there like you might get mosquito bites from being outdoors) compared to this horror show:
My apartment had a prior bug problem due to one of my neighbors and we’d put down boric acid in the cracks and crevices, so maybe it was keeping them at bay. But I kept getting bit.
So I looked online, found out that even exterminators often can’t kill them and that using pesticides on them for decades has produced super-bedbugs resistant to pesticides (according to fundamentalists insects can’t possibly evolve so god must’ve miraculously made them resistant to man-made pesticides just to fuck with us).
Anyway, so I find out that many of the best ways to kill them are actually atmospheric, not chemical. So what to do? Websites in general recommend a) opening a window and using a fan to circulate the air which removes the buildup of CO2 that builds up as you sleep which is what draws them out, making it hard for them to find you, b) putting a little dry ice in a metal dog dish (assuming you don’t have a dog) and putting cloth around it so they can climb into it, dry ice is literally just frozen CO2 so as it melts it will mimic a sleeping person, draw in the bedbugs, but they can’t deal with vertical slippery surfaces so they will climb in but not be able to get out, and viola, bedbug trap. I didn’t try this but it sounds awesome, lol. Then they suggest putting special little “cups” around the legs of your bed and filling them with mineral oil, or putting vaseline around the legs of your bed because both stop them from getting at you while you sleep. One site also suggested glass “shoes” for your bed since they can’t climb the smooth surface. Of course washing and drying your linens and steaming your mattress is also recommended because they hide in there and extreme temperatures kill them and any eggs (which can be microscopic, yay).
So what worked for me? Well, none of the above, lol. I just have a mattress on the floor so the bed-moat idea was out, steaming from what I’ve read doesn’t get them all and the humidity can cause it’s own problems (mold and such). But I had a secret weapon. The giver of life herself, my mom : )
As many of you know I care for a disabled parent, and she due to back problems, sleeps on an air mattress because it’s the only thing that makes her back not hurt as much, and after a strategy session with her I realized she wasn’t getting bit up nearly as much as me, and all of her bites were around her feet, likely while she was at her computer late at night. So I put 2 and 2 together and realized that the slippery sides of the mattress were stopping the bugs from getting to her at night, unless she accidentally had a blanket edge off the side. So I told her to be vigilant about the blanket thing and watching for them periodically while sitting up at night and wadda ya know, she stopped getting fresh bites.
I just last night got an air mattress, put freshly cleaned and dried linens on it and was careful not to have any hang over the sides and had my first bed-bug free night in weeks.
It’s worth mentioning that I also put an air-circulator fan in the room to circulate the air (and thus CO2) because otherwise apparently they are drawn to the buildup above your bed and then drop from the fucking ceiling to get to you. Curse you evolution!
But yeah, hope this helps someone, best to try everything, but if you can’t keep them away from you while you sleep there’s no point.