Four years ago my husband and I started dating. We lived 800 miles apart from each other at the time. We didn’t get many chances to see each other because I owned a business that took up all of my time. Eventually, I trained someone to handle the company while I went to visit him. He lived in a nice home that was very clean, very organized, and didn’t seem anything like a bachelor pad. He rented his spare bedroom to a man who went to a local church and played the guitar. During the visit I began to find these red welts all over my arms, my neck, and my back. I was miserable, they itched worse than any mosquito bite. I asked my then boyfriend if he had bedbugs and he assured me that he didn’t pulling up his sleeve to prove so. I went through the visit miserable, but convinced there were no bedbugs because no one else, including his son, did not have bite marks.
As I drove 800 miles the itching was relentless. There were times I cried, times I stopped on the side of the road to search the internet for what was wrong with me. That’s when I found the “breakfast, lunch, and dinner” bites of bedbugs. I looked at my welts, all in triangles, all in the same format of a bedbug bite. I ran to my trunk opened my suitcase and sure enough, there were those most terrifying bugs I’ve ever seen. Bedbugs aren’t terrifying because they are these massively large bugs, in fact they are quiet small and do not appear to be a threat at all. Bedbugs are terrifying because of the itching and how hard they are to rid yourself of.
I decided to turn my car around so I could help my boyfriend figure out how to get rid of these things because we were planning to move in with each other in four months. When I got back to his house the first place I went was the room that was being rented. Sure enough, even in the daylight the bugs were crawling all inside the seems of the man’s mattress, in his pillowcase, and who knows where else. I cannot tell you how upset we both were to see this mess. We decided the best call was to hire a professional. So that’s what we did.
The “professional” came out with his fancy equipment and did his inspection. He announced that yes we did have bedbugs. He estimated it would take a few weeks to rid ourselves of them and a cost of $1,400. We decided to go that route. We went through the process of vacuuming, heating the room, sprays, and wrapping furniture. The first week it seemed like everything had worked fine. My welts were going away and I wasn’t getting more so I felt comfortable that we no longer had bedbugs. Then in the second week I woke up in the middle of the night, breakfast, lunch, and dinner welts again.
At this point, after spending $1,400 dollars on a fancy treatment I decided to treat bedbugs myself. This is how I rid the house of bedbugs. I took every piece of clothing to the laundry mat and washed them. I placed everyone’s laundry in brand new Tupperware tubs and then brought them home. I kept these tubs on our kitchen floor that was laminate. I vacuumed the floors three times a day. I cleaned every surface including picture frames, light fixtures, and wall sockets every day. I vacuumed every bed and pillow everyday. I woke up at 3 a.m. Each day and literally vacuumed every little bedbug crawling around on the beds. I did this over a period of a month. Slowly the numbers began to dwindle. At first I would get two or three bites a night, then just one, and then none. This was the most intensive process I’ve ever went through in my life.
After two months we were completely bed bug free. We didn’t have to burn our house down, although I thought about it several times. We didn’t have to get all new furniture and clothes. We just had to be diligent in everything. The professional treatment may work for you, but for us it didn’t. I want to believe that it didn’t because the renter probably kept bringing them in. However, once we were totally rid of the bugs, he still lived there and we had no further issues. The important thing to remember if you have bed bugs is to never give up. Everything seems miserable, it’s completely embarrassing, and everything is a uphill climb, but with diligence you can beat bed bugs.
How to know if you have a bedbug infestation:
- Spots of blood stains on your sheets and pillowcases
- Bedbug excrement on you sheets, mattresses, and bed clothes. The excrement is rust colored.
- Bedbug egg shells or skins
- A musty odor
Here are a few tips on how to beat bedbugs cheaply and effectively:
- Clean all linens. Bedding, curtains, and clothes.
- Wash these in hot water and dry on high. If you have items that can not be washed then put them in a dryer and run them on high for 30 minutes. For our instance we were in the middle of a heatwave. I bagged stuffed animals and shoes and placed them in an outdoor building for a week.
- Use a stiff brush in the seam of your mattresses. This removes the bed bugs eggs before you vacuum.
- Vacuum your bed and carpets twice daily. Immediacy through the vacuum bag or empty it in an outdoor trash can.
- Invest in a mattress cover. This will ensure that any bedbugs that have survived will be unable to feed. A bedbug can live an entire year without feeding.
- Clutter free your home. If you have clutter it will be harder to keep the bed bugs at bay.
- Clean up all your clutter
- Clean all outlets, your bed frame thoroughly. Bedbugs love tight spaces.
Do not let an infestation get you down. You can beat bedbugs. You just have to be persistent and dedicated to getting rid of them. We have used these guys before to help, when we were in Encinitas.