ARGH! Bedbugs!! Help....

…my friend Kay. [sub]not her real name[/sub]

She lives in an apartment, and has been plagued with bedbugs. Despite having the apartment sprayed twice with some time release stuff, she is still getting some bites on her feet and finding lots of dead bugs (though no live ones…but the eggs can be everywhere, I understand.)

I’m doing a little research on it for her because she has no internet access. I’ve found a lot of info, but two questions remain:

1: If she moves, will she transport bugs or eggs in her belongings to the new place? She’s already replaced her bed & all the linens, but…

2:Most importantly, if she moves some of her stuff intp MY garage, can it infest my stuff? I know I have bats on my property, which often provide happy feeding grounds for bedbugs. I mean I love my friends, but :eek: I don’t want my own infestation!

I’m going to keep looking aroun on the net, but if anyone has some definitive answers, I’d love them. She gave 30 ay notice yesterday, & wants to move out fast.


I was always told that if you “sleep tight” the bedbugs won’t bite. I’m not sure if that refers to bed linens or alcohol consumption.

Sorry I don’t have any real help.

Yes, they DO travel well and they CAN infest your stuff. Sorry :frowning: . All of the 5 instars in the bedbug life-cycle are capable of surviving prolonged periods of starvation ( we’re talking up to a 140 days here ) and the eggs can take up to four ( or as little as one ) months to develop. They’re easily carried in clothing or luggage and all it takes is one gravid female to potentially start a colony. And of course old box springs and the sort are prime harboring places for colonies ( they do tend to aggregate ). I’d be cautious about your friend’s stuff unless it is isolated and going to sit a long time or has been thoroughly fumigated.

The time release chemicals often work well, but Bed Bugs can become resistant :frowning: .

On the up side they don’t seem to harbor any diseases.

  • Tamerlane

I’ve never seen bedbugs… are they related to the elusive dust mites that supposedly live in all our pillows? :eek:

What did these bugs do before thier were beds to infest?

We North Americans have to remember to say “insect” rather than “bug” when talking about Mosquitos and Flies to non-N.A. folks. If we say “bug” they naturally and rightfully assume Hemiptera.

Anyway, here’s some Bedbug info:


From a quick look, most of these (aside from Malathion) are Pyrethrins or Pyrethroids. Pretty low human toxicity levels. Just keep them away from your aquarium and your pet hermit crab.

Shiva: And since the Cimicidae ( Bedbugs ) are True Bugs, we can continue to call them bugs correctly in this thread :wink: .

DaveRaver: Nope. Other than them both being arthropods. Bedbugs are insects. Kind of look like flattened, ovoid, red-brown cockroaches with a beak. Actually, they’re not terribly common in most parts of the U.S. any more. But they’re pretty ubiquitous world-wide.

bcullman: They’ve probably been associated ith humans for many millenia. Like fleas on cats ( or people :slight_smile: ). They’re not just found in beds. Crevices in walls are favorite colony spots. They’re associated with beds because they feed on people at night, when you’re asleep. And they do like to be close to their meals :stuck_out_tongue: .

  • Tamerlane

And here I thought bed bugs were a myth…I have heard of dust mites in your linens, but never actual bed bugs. God, how freaky! What are there, what climates do they live in and how in the hell do they get in your bed???

< will check link but still, eeeewww, sounds scary to me >

Amusing ( or gratuitously cruel, if you prefer :stuck_out_tongue: ) bed bug story.

Bed bugs, if they’re not in your bedding per se, tend to come out at night and crawl across the floor, then up in to your bed to eat. They are also associated, when the infestation in a dwelling gets particularly heavy, with a distinctive odor.

So my old Medical Entomology professor relates this story from the seventies of taking a bunch of graduate students down to Baja California to do some field work ( on scorpions ). They get to this little, out of the way hotel, somewhere after a full day of traveling and rent this dormitory-style room for the bunch of them. My ( slightly sadistic, humour-wise ) professor walks into the room, takes one whiff, and promptly announces that he thinks he’ll sling a hammock and sleep in the courtyard. Didn’t mention why :smiley: .

Next morning all of the students ( who were quite unfamiliar with bed bugs, like most Americans ) were covered in red welts. My professor, who slept in the courtyard with the chickens ( apparently a very good biological control for bed bugs :wink: ), was untouched.

He said he explained to them why this was an excellent life lesson in Applied Entomology, but for SOME reason, they seemed unamused :D.

  • Tamerlane

I have a factoid floating around in my head that says that American bedbug populations declined dramatically when the cast-iron bedstead came into wide use. Evidently it doesn’t provide such cozy hiding places as a wooden bedstead.
Bedbug links. :slight_smile:

Augh!! I shouldn’t have read that bedbug link. Now I’m all freaked out.

My bedroom is extremely messy (really bad habit…every time I clean it I swear I’ll never mess it up again but a week later it’s back on track to being a complete “pig pen”), and 2 years ago I was watching TV on my bed (I have a little portable one from the 80s) and suddenly in front of me was a little black shell-looking thing. I figured, “Woah, some sort of ninja bug…I didn’t even notice it moving there.” I hate bugs (especially spiders) so I’m usually well aware of anything moving that shouldn’t be, especially right in front of me on my bed. So I “killed” it (though apparently that could have just been a shell, since it didn’t seem to move at all…I figured it was just stupid and didn’t realize what my superior hunting skills were about to bring down on it). Then when I looked around on my bed, I freaked out because there were like 6 more of them, and on my headboard thing too. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep that night.

For a few weeks they kept appearing and I kept killing them…I figured these were the evil “bed bugs” everyone always said to watch out for (“sleep tight”…thanks for the clear instructions, what the hell does that mean?!), and decided to try getting rid of them. I went to a friend’s house for a few days, and before I left I closed my window in my room, sprayed a TON of bug spray (Raid I think) all around the sides of the bed (not on the sheets because for all I know that’ll kill me), and in the space between my bed and headboard (it’s like a little dark void down there, I don’t know WHAT’S living there). When the room was sufficiently foggy, I closed the door and left. Came back 3 days later, opened my window and turned on two fans, let the room air out for a day, and by night it was sleepable. Didn’t see anymore of the damn things and I was happy.

Then they came back a while ago (a few months maybe…start of winter I guess) and again freaked the hell out of me. I don’t know if they just “appeared” or if they were eggs hatching or something (gross), but they used their ninja stealth to appear in front of me whenever I was laying on my bed. I was reading a comic book when the Terminator Bed Bug decided it wanted to kill me…Something “fell” on my book (made a hard tap/scrape sound as it dropped along the page and onto my chest). I looked at it and almost crapped myself…It was the same as the little bugs (a few of which I had finally seen crawling but REALLY slowly) in it’s physical attributes except it was bloody HUGE. I’m talking the size of the top piece of finger above the last knuckle (which is ginormous when you’re used to seeing them only a few millimeters big). Well I don’t need to explain my girlish screams of terror as this thing crawled up to try to gnaw on my neck, but eventually I killed it.

I did the same spraying thing (but sooner this time…like 2 seconds after I killed the UltraBug) and again it seems to have worked. I haven’t seen them since. After reading that link though, I’ve probably got about a zillion eggs under my bed (it’s got drawers and stuff under blocking the way, so I can’t just look under like with some people’s beds)…I’ll definately be having trouble sleeping tonight, heh…

Anyway, just thought I’d share my experience. As far as I know, loading them down with spray in the room for a while will get rid of them…just don’t spray it on food or your pillow or something that you’re going to be putting your mouth or eyes on, heh.

  • Tsugumo (warning: I have NO idea what I’m doing so for all I know my bedroom is now a waiting chemical death trap and will explode in a mushroom cloud if I light a match in it)

I wake up with bites sometimes, but the first round against the bed bugs I didn’t notice any bites at all…About halfway through the second match is when I started waking up with my hands covered in little red itchy bites. They go away by the time night-time comes around again though, and they’re just a bit itchy throughout the day (not as much as a mosquitoe bite though because these are tiny tiny bites, not huge ones, so if you’re busy thinking about something else you can ignore them).

Of course, it’s probably not healthy to be being EATEN ALIVE BY BUGS…heh.

  • Tsugumo (sleeping with a can of Raid nearby)

For GODS sake, DON’T let her move any of her stuff anywhere near your house. There was a recent story I read somewhere that there was a massive outbreak of bedbugs on some campus somewhere (Cornell IIRC) caused by someone who brought an old mattress from home. Now the whole dormitory is infested.