Bye Bye Bed Bugs
Author: Melissa Lahti
October 11, 2012
Bed bugs are becoming a growing problem all around the United States. If you live in an apartment you can almost bet you will get them if your neighbors get them. Unfortunately, the neighbors on the other side of the wall from us were not the cleanest people (not to say you only get bugs if you are dirty) but they had all sorts of bugs. They had to move a while back and the apartment complex gutted their apartment to remodel it. This proved to be a nightmare for us as all those little creatures felt they needed a place to go. As you can imagine, I threw a fit and the apartment complex started sending some bogus pest control company to come and spray every week. Anyone who has used any of these small companies knows that they don’t work for crap. I wouldn’t doubt they are spraying water just to gain more weekly business. It was time to take matters into my own hands as things were getting worse.
Bed bugs are little red bugs that look somewhat like ticks. When they first start out they are tiny and barely visible to the eye. As they eat, they get bigger and become engorged with blood that you can see right through their body. They live on the mattress, or in my case, on the box spring. At night, they come up and bite you. You will have no doubt they are there as you will wake up with intense itching red bumps all over, mostly your arms and legs. At this point I was freaking out and desperate to do anything to get rid of these things that were driving me nuts and keeping me up all night.
If you suspect you may have bed bugs and want to check, it will be obvious as they leave black poop everywhere they visit. It looks like little black ink spots. They also leave big spots of blood if they are squished in the night. If you want to check to see if they are living on the mattress or box spring, just look for the black poop. They will most likely be in the corners and you will see obvious signs of them. It is also easy to spot the bugs with the naked eye. If they are full they can easily be squished with a paper towel but beware because they will always leave a big spot of blood.
Desperate, I began to try anything and everything to get rid of these suckers. One time I flipped the box spring and used Clorox Clean Up (bleach) and washed the entire underside killing every bug I saw. This got rid of many of them. I planned on doing this every week but after 2 weeks I happened to overhear an infomercial on the television selling a book about getting rid of pests naturally. They mentioned that bed bugs are very particular about where they live and that dryer sheets will deter them. That day I placed one dryer sheet (Bounce) on each corner of the box spring and one on each side of the mattress. It was the first good sleep I got in a while, as nothing came to bite me in the night. After exactly one week I started getting bit again and I got up in the middle of the night and put new dryer sheets at each corner of the bed and they went away. By this I determined that the dryer sheets must be changed out every week. After two weeks the pest company came back to spray, when I flipped up the mattress and box spring I noticed that all the bugs were gone. I pulled the headboard away from the wall and they were living in the baseboard between the wall and the carpet. All of them were flat and starving. I found 2 dead in the window sill and then I discovered another problem, many had moved to my daughter’s bed. Only this time I didn’t panic. I covered the bed with dryer sheets. I put dryer sheets under the cushions of my couches and chairs, in the dresser drawers, and everywhere I could think of that a bed bug might want to live.
After three weeks the bugs have moved out and I no longer have to change the dryer sheets every week but I do it every other week just to make sure they stay away. I am sleeping great and don’t have to worry about itchy bites all over my hands and feet. Another good thing is that the dryer sheet is still perfectly fine to use for the laundry after it serves its purpose as a bug deterrent.