Have bed bugs? Here are proven ways how to get rid of them

 

bedbugWe have bedbugs.

Yep! This is hard for me to admit because of the social stigma associated with the critters. No one wants to admit that they have this problem. In fact, folks are divided into three camps on this issue: those that have the bugs and won’t admit it, those that don’t know if they have them and those that have them and  suffer because they don’t know what to do.

I didn’t write this article for sympathy. But what I want to do is tell you about my experiences and my product testing.  I want to provide you information so that you can take action to control or eliminate these little suckers, no pun intended.

Bed bugs have been re-surging since 1945 for several reasons
One in five homes have some sort of bed bug infestation.

Many people don’t believe that bed bugs exist, and if they do exist, they think that their homes will never be infested. Because of this prevailing attitude, most folks don’t stop to think before they do everyday things. Like picking up discarded furniture they find here and there as cheap alternatives to buying. Or when they buy furniture from thrift stores, garage or estate sales, they bring the stuff inside the house right away.

Any of these actions will introduce bed bugs into your home. One of the problems with an infestation is that bed bug bites may not start right away. Sometimes infestations go undetected for several months as the bugs reconnoiter and find the best hiding spaces, also called harborages.

Who thinks of  bedbugs when we’re on the hunt for stuff? We didn’t.
In our case we picked up a nice recliner from a thrift store. It was in good condition and we never thought twice about what else we were carting home. The itching began about a week or so after we brought the chair into my office. It seems that along with bed bugs the chair also was home to fleas.

The flea bites were bad enough. But one day we saw a curious blood streak on our bed sheet. I didn’t pay much attention to it. And that’s when the problems began.

What are bedbugs?
The name “bed bug” is the name given to the pest Cimex lectularius that prefer warm areas near or inside beds, bedding or other sleep area habitats. Bed bugs are mostly active at night, but will venture forth during the day if their habitats are disturbed.

bedbugBed bugs are light brown to reddish-brown, flat, oval-shaped and lack hind wings. The front wings don’t work and are pad-like things. The bugs have segmented abdomens with microscopic hairs that give them a banded appearance.

Adults grow to 4–5 mm (0.16–0.20 in) long and 1.5–3 mm (0.059–0.118 in) wide. They are so small that they can fit in a crack the thickness of a piece of paper. So nosizes of bugs matter how well-constructed your house or apartment is, cracks and crevices abound.

And if you live in an older structure built 30-50 years ago, consider your home porous because of all the cracks and crevices that have opened up as your abode settled over the years.

nymph

Bed Bug Nymph

Newly hatched nymphs are translucent and lighter in color. They become browner as they reach maturity. A bed bug nymph that has just consumed a blood meal has a bright red, translucent abdomen, which fades to brown over several hours, and to opaque black within two days as the insect digests.

Bed bugs can be mistaken for other insects, like book lice, small cockroaches, or carpet beetles. When active, their movements are ant-like and they skitter about very fast. There’s nothing worse then the feel of one skittering across your body as you lay in bed at night.

Bed bugs use pheromones to communicate nesting locations, feeding, and signals for reproduction.

Lifespan
Bed bugs have five nymph life stages shedding their skins and discarding their outer exoskeleton at each stage. Bed bugs molt six times before becoming fertile adults. They must eat at least one blood meal to complete each molt.

life cycleEach stage lasts about a week, depending on temperature and food availability. The bed bug life cycle is as short as two months. Adult begs may survive for 9 months between feedings.

Fertilized females lay three to four eggs daily until the end of their 9-month lifespans generating up to 500 eggs. A single pregnant bed bug can rapidly produce offspring creating an infestation in just a few weeks.

Bed bugs can survive in a wide temperature range
Below 61.0 °F (16.1 °C ), the bugs enter a semi hibernation stage.
At 14 °F (−10 °C)  they can survive for five days.
At −26 °F (−32 °C )  or below they die within 15 minutes.
At 115 °F (466 °C the heat kills the bugs within 7 minutes.

Bed bugs survive a long time between feedings
Adult bed bugs can live for more than a year without feeding in cool conditions while during warm conditions they feed at 5-10 day intervals. Adults can survive for about five months without food.

Younger bugs between molts don’t survive as long, but even vulnerable hatchlings can survive for weeks without taking a blood meal.

Can we get diseases from bed bugs?
While bed bugs carry at least 28 human pathogens, they don’t transmit these pathogens to humans through contact or biting.

Several adverse health effects can result from bed bug bites, including skin rashes, psychological effects, and allergic symptoms as you can see in the pictures below.

Physical symptoms of bed bug bites

Arm bite site

Arm bite site

Physical symptoms usually includes intense itching at each bite site. A person being repeatedly bitten by bed bugs can become very uncomfortable, develop lots of reddish, itchy welts at bite sites and have difficulty sleeping. The more bugs present, the more bites they make, and the problem grows.

Many folks have delayed reactions up to several weeks or more to bites while others never react at all.  In my case it take about 24 hours before a welt appears.

Sometimes these symptoms are mistakenly assumed to be poison ivy, scabies, allergic reactions or other kinds of bug bites. Sensitivity ranges from 80% of people developing extreme allergic reactions to 20% who develop none at all.

Arm bite site

Bed bugs are nocturnal, emerging from hiding to feed on sleeping folks. Bites are painless so most folks remain unaware that they’ve been bitten.

Once the bugs have finished snacking they retreat back to their hiding places and won’t emerge until dinnertime, which can be several days to a week or more.

Psychological effects of bed bugs in your environment
Sleep deprivation
People typically experience sleep deprivation and a lack good quality sleep because of imagined or real skittering of the pests across their skins while laying in bed. The knowledge that you’re not alone is both repulsive and frightening.

Avoidance behaviors
Folks can also can develop sleep avoidance mechanisms, such as sleeping in other rooms in chairs or on couches rather than coming to bed.  This is prevalent in those who remain clueless as to what to do, figuring that the bugs have somehow gained the upper hand over their lives. But once you initiate any kind of proactive counterattack, normal sleep rhythms can return fairly quickly.

Face bites

Social Stigma
Some people are intimidated by the social stigma of having a bed bug infestation in their home, going to great lengths to deny that they have one, including pretending they don’t have any problems.

History
Bed bugs were mentioned as early as 400 BC by Aristotle in ancient Greece. The Roman author and naturalist Pliny claimed in 77 AD in his Natural History, that the bugs could be used to successfully treat ailments like snake bites and ear infections.

Belief in the medicinal uses of bed bugs persisted until the 18th century, when Jean-Étienne Guettard, a French naturalist and mineralogist, recommended they be used in  treating hysteria.

The bugs were a common problem in the United States through World War II.  Then they were  eradicated through the use of pesticides, including DDT and Malathion.

There’s been a general increase in world-wide bed bug activity during the past decade for several reasons

Bed bugs were almost eradicated once so why are they back?
There are a lot of reasons why. No one reason is enough to answer the question by itself. But added together, you begin to get a clear idea as to why.

Ease of travel
This is the most probable reason. We have more rapid local and global air travel then ever before. We can travel anywhere within the USA in just about 6-8 hours. Or fly to or from Europe, Africa, Asia and other countries in less than 24 hrs. Since bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers, worldwide travelers have unwittingly transported the pest to America because most bed bugs are undetected. Increased immigration from developing 3rd world countries can also be cited, especially from those countries with known bed bug populations.

Decline of natural predators
Our use of household pesticide sprays have destroyed household cockroach and ant populations, both natural predators to bed bugs.

Buying used furniture in yard, garage and estate sales
This is one of the most common method of bed bug entry, purchasing infested used, second hand furniture, reconditioned mattresses or renting furniture.  Another is grabbing infested furniture discards on the street.

Increased multi-room occupancy in general living facilities and college dormitories
Bed bugs easily migrate from one infested dwelling to another in multi-occupancy settings like apartments, college dorm room housing, medical facilities and senior communities. The frequency of regular treatment of apartment and dorm rooms has sharply declined, from regular to whenever management gets around to it. If ever.

The change in treatment frequency began during the mid 1990’s. Routinely scheduled treatments of hotel, motel, apartment, dorm room and elder care facility baseboards was replaced with targeted applications of baits for pests such as ants and cockroaches with no residual applications. These pest control practices worked for these insects, killing off populations of natural predators. Without these, bed bugs traveled freely and safely from luggage to bed, and from bed to baseboards successfully starting infestations.

Changing pest management practices in hotels
Even 4-Star hotel rooms have bed bugs nowadays. In days past, hotel management treated guest room baseboards regularly with residual effect pesticides that hung around for a while continuing to work. Any bed bugs hitchhiking in suitcases were exposed as they left the luggage and traveled to  beds.

Bed bugs also can easily travel from from room-to-room from infested location to new areas previously not infested. All that’s needed is for guests to have a one-night stay in a bed bug infested room to carry bugs with them to their next destination.

Lack of public and professional knowledge
In the late 1990’s bed bugs began re-emerging in the USA, Canada, Australia, the UK and several other countries.  Part of the reason why they’ve returned include the bugs skittering, secretive behavior, a lack of public awareness and denial.

Today there’s far less public and Pest Management Professional (PMP) knowledge about bed bugs’ biology and effective control.

Government pesticide bans
Environmental movement pressure has caused many of the most effective pesticides to be banned, including DDT, while Malathion is still used but more tightly controlled. Government ordered insecticide bands and formula changes to less toxic, less persistent, chemically active ingredients and formulations has opened the door to the crawling critters.

Feeding habits

bed bug feeding

Electron image digitally colorized mouth parts

Bed bugs are bloodsucking pests that feed on humans. Bed bugs are attracted to their human hosts by exhaled carbon dioxide and warmth. They prefer exposed skin, especially on the face, neck, arms and backs of sleeping people.

How they feed
When a bed bug feeds, it injects saliva into the skin of its blood-meal host. The saliva has several proteins that sometimes cause allergic human responses.  The severity of these bite reactions depends on the person’s immune response to the bug’s salivary allergens. These vary greatly in folks. Bed bug bite reactions include varying levels of local spot reddening, minor swelling, inflammation and intense itching that can drive you mad.

feeding bug

Feeding bug

A bed bug saws through the skin using its mouth parts, cutting a path through tissue until it reaches a blood vessel. Then they inject saliva mixed with anticoagulants and painkillers. Blood vessel pressure fills the insect with blood in three to five minutes. Then the bug withdraws the probe and returns to its hiding place.

Bed bugs feed in a “train” with several bugs following a leader into a small area. Reddish spots or zig-zagged bite marks appear once the swelling subsides. This is also why you get trails heading up your leg or across your upper arms, shoulders or legs.

How can you tell if you got bed bugs in your house or apartment?
Bed bugs tend to congregate once established. They are parasitic, but spend only a small amount of their life cycles physically attached to their hosts. Once a bed bug finishes feeding, it relocates to a place close by, following chemical trails laid down on the way out to familiar areas near beds or couches, night stands, dressers or closets, seeking the safety of clusters of adults, juveniles and eggs.

Entomologists call theses places harborage areas or simply harborages.  These can vary greatly from luggage, inside vehicles, in furniture, in bedside clutter, in electrical sockets and nearby laptop computers.

Bed bugs can be detected by their characteristic smell of rotting raspberries.

Are bed bug infestations or attacks signs of dirty living conditions?
Bed bugs infestations aren’t directly related to your home’s sanitation. Even the cleanest living areas can harbor an infestation. Improving sanitation alone won’t get rid of them because room clutter offers lots of great hiding places within 5-10 feet near human hosts.

Bed Bug Management
Getting rid of bed bugs requires a dual combination of non pesticide approaches and the use of residual pesticides. Vacuuming up the insects, their eggs and exoskeletons works pretty good. Wrapping mattresses in plastic encasements is effective. A combination of heat and drying works. Heat from a clothes drier or steam applications kills the suckers dead.

Dust application have been used for centuries, using “plant ash, lime, dolomite, certain types of soil and diatomaceous earth.

If you’re a home owner, apartment or condo dweller and have bed bugs, is calling an exterminator really necessary?
In short: no.

Most Pest Management Professionals (PMP) would prefer you call them. For a couple hundred to thousands of bucks they can spray chemicals in and around residences.

But successful elimination strategies are sometimes lacking depending upon the company. Strategy requires detailed knowledge of bed bug biology and exact hiding locations determined by thorough inspection.  PMPs must also know a lot about which pesticide products can be used effectively, safely, and legally to control bed bugs.

Some arrogant professionals and academics feel that regardless of which specific insecticides are used, self-help efforts seldom work, because folks don’t have the background knowledge or technical support needed.

I disagree. If you can read a post like this and learn about what techniques are good and which products work, then academics and professionals are the ones not needed. Us laymen can effectively control small and localized infestations by using residual (long lasting), properly labeled insecticides as needed to effectively control them. We can spray, we can dust and we can set traps.

Why are the bugs hard to kill?
Bed bugs are very small, thin, and easily hide deep in very narrow cracks as thin as a piece of paper. They can travel as far as 20-feet from their hiding places and back in one night to take a blood meal.

The critters are very adaptable, moving much quicker, and passing through smaller openings or cracks, than most people expect or believe them capable of doing. Bed bugs can detect and avoid chemical deposits from some cleaning agents.

Adult bed bugs can live 9-12 months without feeding. This is way beyond the effective use time most current insecticides used against them in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia, which is 30-90 days.  Some bed bugs have developed physiological resistance to specific chemical insecticides also rendering these insecticides ineffective.

If you don’t have an infestation in your home, what can you do to prevent one?
Pro-action is the best remedy. If an infestation is confirmed, it’s best to educate yourself for dealing with the pests long-term.

Travel
Take care when you travel  to avoid picking up bed bug hitchhikers from hotels, hostels, cabins, camps or even to local destinations.

Used furniture
Don’t buy used upholstered furniture and it into your home until you inspect it carefully for any signs of bed bugs (live or dead, eggs, fecal spots, or cast skins). Even then I would keep the furniture item in your garage, tent it with within industrial plastic and duct tape, apply a residual pesticide and fumigate it for a few days before bringing it inside.

Periodical Inspections
Inspect bedding, mattress, box springs and any dresses or nightstands within 20 feet of the bed. Pull out drawers and inspect the bottoms and beveled edges. Check underneath the piece for any signs. Look behind hanging picture frames on walls.

Cover your mattress and box springs
Cover theses with a quality plastic cover that can be sealed shut to prevent such pests from getting in. Check the selection of the best quality products by clicking this link: Mattress encasements

Avoiding bed bugs at hotels
When you first arrive in your room, thoroughly inspect everything.  Check the bedding that may be touching a headboard, the luggage holding rack, night stands underneath and inside drawers, closet shelves, dresser drawers, and along carpet edges within 5-10 feet of the bed.

If you see any evidence of bed bugs advise management right away so they can take corrective action.  Moving to a different room isn’t necessarily the answer.  You’ll have to inspect the next room all over again.

When packing before you check out, inspect your luggage first, then every item as you pack for signs. Washing most clothing with hot water and detergent followed by drying on high heat for 20 minutes should kill any bed bugs. So will standard dry cleaning. Seal laundered clothing in a plastic bag to prevent any more bugs from getting in those items and carried with you to your next destination or back home.

Do bed bugs have any natural enemies?
The masked hunter insect (AKA masked bed bug hunter)
I’m not kidding about this critter’s name.  It belongs to the assassin bug or Reduviidae family and its name refers to its hunting technique of camouflaging itself with dust. They also will bite you so leave them alone if you spot them.
Cockroaches
Kinda ironic that the insect we despise the most is a secret ally. Although I don’t recommend you introduce a colony to combat any bed bug infestation.

Spider

Other enemies include Thanatus flavidus spiders, mites, ants and centipedes.

Best bed bug management or eradication products
I’ve tested several of these and found many of the products on the market to be less effective than what they claim.

Bug Bombs
Total-release aerosols are ineffective because the bugs escape by skittering through base boards and other cracks. Aerosols don’t have the residual staying power of sprayed liquid insecticides, so there is nothing for the bugs to walk through upon their return to kill them. Bug bombs will chase bed bugs from one room to other bomb-free environments, to return later.

Before I knew this I tried the Hot Shot bug bomb in our bedroom.

I tore apart the bed and set it upright so the aerosol could reach all parts. It worked on a very limited basics, giving us only 2 days of relief before the critters came charging back.

I followed up and used the Hot Shot aerosol spray with similar results. I sprayed all baseboards and took the bed apart again to treat the box springs. Again, same result.

Heat
This technique involves placing infested items like clothing, couch cushions or pillows in a large black plastic bagplastic garbage bag and setting it outdoors under the hot sun’s rays for 6 hours. The temperatures inside the bag heat up to 120 degrees which kills the bugs. In Southern California the sun gets really intense so this works welland should work for you if you live in a similar sunny, hot climate.

clothesd dryerAnother technique is to place stuff in a clothes dryer and run it for 30 minutes at the hottest heat setting your clothing can handle. This also works. I recommend that after washing you seal “cleaned” clothing in plastic bags or in plastic totes. Click this link to see a selection: plastic totes

Image result for ecoraider

EcoRaider Bed Bug Killer is the only natural product that kills bed bugs with 100% efficacy according to a published study by the Entomological Society of America journal.

It quickly kills bed bug adults, nymphs and eggs on contact with 100% efficiency, even bugs that are resistant to chemical sprays, with extended residual protection even after spray has dried. It reduces biting incidents right away.

EcoRaider Bed Bug Killer is is a minimum risk pest control product per EPA regulations,  eco-friendly and non-toxic, safe for use around children, pets, birds and fish. It is recommended by USDA IR-4 Public Health Pesticide Program for public housing.

We know your pain
My wife and I know personally the pain and itching of bed bug bed bites and the reddish trails of  swelling bite marks. We were at the point of desperation, after having tried several products that had little effect. We also experienced psychological avoidance of sleeping with the critters nearby waiting to attack and bite. Every night my wife made an inspection of the bed and every night she or I found critters under the sheets, on pillows or skittering along the quilted ribbons on the mattress.

We were darned tired of it.

When I found EcoRaider we rejoiced
This is the best bed bug killer I’ve tested. It sure did the job in our place! EcoRaider is not a chemical-based insecticide, but a powerful natural pesticide that packs a punch providing residual effects with a 97% kill rate. It’s also child and pet friendly. It’s made with botanical plant extractions of compounds naturally produced by plants. I can’t recommend this one highly enough.

As a green product, EcoRaider® kills bed bugs even faster than many conventional pesticides. Its active ingredients penetrate bugs’ exoskeletons and attack a unique neuron receptor to cause immediate paralysis and death.

Before I bought this product, I researched comments of other buyers who basically said the same thing: this was the last hope for many who had tried other insecticides with little or no result, or paid big bucks to PMPs who came, sprayed and went and in short order the bedbugs returned.

When we got it, I again tore open the bed and sprayed the bed springs thoroughly, keeping a fan in the window to provide cross ventilation. The stuff sprayed on easily and the results were good. The bugs died in the bed springs, on the bed frames and in every crevice or crack I could find including those really tiny ones you wouldn’t think critters could crawl through.

The results were fast: lots of dead bugs that we vacuumed up.

One suggestion:
It’s a great product. Although I would also suggest that when you buy it, you get more than just a  few bottles for each room. You see, the instructions say to do a second assault two weeks after the first. What the spray does is lay down a chemical trail that the bugs have to crawl through to reach their hosts. As they crawl through the stuff, the natural botanicals attack their nervous systems and they simply stop dead in their tracks.

The reason you need to do two treatments per room is that not all bugs will walk though the first barrier, but more will get caught in the second. Be aware that doing your house, apartment or dorm room means that the bugs will vacate to healthier harborages in adjacent rooms or dwellings. Gee.

I did see that any bugs that appeared after treatment moved very slowly, if at all, and didn’t exhibit any of the super-fast skittering that they had before. Some of the bugs crawled up doorway casements and just stopped dead.

One downside
Even though I am pleased about EcoRaider Bed Bug Killer, it does have a downside. Since it’s made with cedar oil, the smell it produces, while not harmful to us humans, is very strong. It was so strong that despite 24/7 fan ventilation, our bedroom because unusable for 4 days. We just couldn’t sleep with the smell. It aggravated my sinuses. So we just closed off the door to the bedroom and lived in adjacent rooms for that time.

So why do I recommend it so highly? For us, a strong lingering after spray smell was still preferable to the living hell we went through every night. And once the smell had dissipated enough, we put the bed together and began have normal deep and restful sleep like we did before the bugs appeared.

Here’s a company how-to video showing you how to use EcoRaider Bed Bug Killer properly.

How to get rid of bed bugs by using EcoRaider

EcoRaider also makes an art and flea killer that’s just as effective but lacks the powerful cedar smell or its bedbug killer. It has a strong, lemony smell but dissipates fairly quickly. I also recommend this product highly. We’ve been using it and have knocked the flea population down big time. Occasionally ants come to visit and it works on them. It’s extremely effective.

Here’s the Ecoraider products
Here are some other EcoRaider products I think you’ll find very useful, especially if you travel, live in a dorm room, senior facility or apartment complex.

They can also be used by facilities maintenance managers for effective treatment of schools, hotels, offices, theaters, stores, health care facilities, daycare centers, public transportation.

EcoRaider
Bed Bug Killer by EcoRaider, 100% Fast Kill and Extended Protection, Green & Non-toxic, " Size: 16 FL OZ (480 ml). The most Effective Natural Bed Bug spray" by Entomological Society of America Journal Publication. Perfect size for homes, dorm rooms, apartments and multi-dwelling units. One 16 oz bottle can be used for one 125 square foot room.
EcoRaider Ant Killer & Crawling Insect Killer (Citrus Scent) 16 OZ, Natural & Non-Toxic EcoRaider's natural, non-toxic ant and crawling Insect killer quickly eliminates invasive household insects. It has a pleasant citrus scent and good for indoor or outdoor use. Ecoraider Ant & Crawling Insect Killer immediately kills 100% of ants on contact This product not only kills fast, it breaks down ants' pheromone trailing preventing them from re-grouping and entry of the treated area. Also kills ticks, beetles, crickets, dermestids, fleas, flies, gnats, lice, midges, millipedes, mites, moths, silverfish, spiders, springtails, stink bugs and other pests.
Pressurized Piston Pump Sprayer 2 Pints (1 Liter) A perfect applicator for small area rooms for both surface and crack-and-crevices treatment. It has an on and off control with lock, easy to use without finger fatigue. And I can tell you from experience that using the bottle of EcoRaider can get a wee bit uncomfortable after 5 minutes or so. If I had known about this 2 pint capacity before, I would have bought it along with the liquid spray. The adjustable copper nozzle provides varying spray from a fine mist to solid stream. Has a durable industrial grade hi density polyethylene tank with fluid level scale.
EcoRaider Bed Bug Killer Spray 1 Gallon Jug, Green + Non-toxic, 100% Kill + Extended Protection EcoRaider® Bed Bug Killer 1 Gallon jug is a perfect choice for the homeowner interested in rooting out and protecting your home from any bed bug infestation. The gallon jug size is a good choice when used with a hand-held or full-size pressurized sprayer to protect your business, hotel, motel, rental property, theater, school, store, library or office building properties from the crawling creeps.
Bed Bug Killer Spray By Ecoraider, Case 1 Gallon Jug X4, All-natural & Non-toxic, Fast Kill & Long Residual , The case size is a good choice for the homeowner to treat a large home, or for the facilities manager to stockpile and use as needed
EcoRaider Pressurized Piston Pump Sprayer, 1.5 gallon This high-quality professional handheld 5-liter piston pump sprayer is the perfect tool for indoor or outdoor spray pest management, fertilizing or sanitation using Ecoraider products. It has an adjustable nozzle that easy for you to control directing a jet of fine mist to solid stream. It has a locking trigger that can really reduce fatique, especially when you're working on large treatment area or commercial applications in hotels, schools, office buildings or multi-dweller units. 1.5 gallon high-density polyethylene tank with its well-designed pump handle design allows for easy pumping and carrying. Reduces fatigue.

CimeXa Insecticide Powder

CimeXa™ Insecticide Dust is a product developed by Rockwell labs and is the second best product I found and tested for control of bed bugs, fleas and other nasty crawling pests.

CimeXa™ controls bedbugs and other pests primarily with engineered silica, a substance that yields rapid pest control yet can remain viable for up to 10 years when undisturbed.  Engineered silica is far superior to ordinary sand which bed bugs can crawl over with ease. The engineered silica acts like a bed of deadly sharp sword blades. As the bug crawls over theses “swords” the blades destroy the insects’ waxy cuticle or nether regions and the bug dies from rapid dehydration.

Residential uses
CimeXa™ is a dry powder that’s easily applied into cracks, crevices, voids, on mattress seams, upholstered furniture, bed posts, bed frames, under furniture, on carpet, in pet rest areas, attics, garages, storage lockers and just about any other place you can think of. Although is easy enough to apply straight out of the bottle, I also picked up an applicator that emits the power in a fine smoky mist that penetrates everything.

You can see a selection CimeXa’s products and applicators here:

CimeXa products
CimeXa Insecticide Dust, 4 ounces of Dust in each bottle by Rockwell CimeXa Insecticide Dust, 4 ounces of Dust in each bottle by Rockwell CimeXa Insecticide Dust is a very effective product in the neve rending battle against bed bugs, fleas, ticks and other nasty critters. It's made of 100% Silica dust, and is very safe, odorless, and won't stain.  CimeXa Dust will last up to 10 years when applied to undisturbed areas like wall voids, cracks and crevices For use in residences, multi-family dwellings, commercial, industrial, institutional, municipal, agricultural, research, daycare, health care, educational, recreational and office buildings, in hotels, motels, garages, transport vehicles, warehouses, theaters, and food handling and food processing establishments.
CimeXa Insecticide Dust 5 lb pail by rockwall For use in residences, multi-family dwellings, commercial, industrial, institutional, municipal, agricultural, research, daycare, health care, educational, recreational and office buildings, in hotels, motels, garages, transport vehicles, warehouses, theaters, and food handling and food processing establishments. Kills bed bug adults, nymphs and nymphs hatched from dusted eggs. Controls fleas, ticks, lice, roaches, ants, firebrats, silverfish, spiders, mites and drywood termites, Can be used for treating cracks, crevices, voids, mattresses, carpets, pet rest areas, attics and many other areas. It's odorless, non-staining desiccant structure won't absorb water vapor except in areas with very high humidity conditions. Resistes clumping to maintaining product integrity after application.
KD-2 Pesticide powder duster & Garden duster This is another handy applicator tool. The bottle is semi-transparent, is easy to hold in yur hand and squeeze and see your remaining powder level. An all rubber and plastic design means it's safer to use around electrical outlets. Comes with a 20 inch flexible hose that can bend and apply dust around or behind obstacles like pips found under kitchen under sinks. It's 22-inch wand provides an extra reach that makes the powerder application easier on your bod. There's far less bending, squatting and repeated climbing up and down ladders. The bottle has a wide mouth that makes filling easy. The applicator works with Diatomaceous Earth, Delta dust, Cimexa and Drione powder.
Easy-to-Use Pest Control Bulb Duster - Evenly Dispenses Pesticide to Get Rid of Bugs & Pests Squeeze bulb applicator is easy to compress and precisely and evenly sprays powder into cracks and crevices. Includes an extender tip allowing you to reach all hard to reach places including cracks, corners, crevices and voids that may be out of reach by hand. Durable and built to last. Includes 3 tips: one for dusts, one for granules, and an extender tip for hard to reach places. Funnell included a for quick, easy filling.
Jt Eaton Bulb Duster This is applicator I chose. It makes it an easy job to distribute a fine, smoky mist of powder in the direction you point the applicator tip. Thsi makes applying the powder to hard to reqach cracks and crevices a breeze. 5 oz capacity. Make wure that you fill it at least 1/3 to ½ full to get a continuoys stream of the power. It may take a few apptemps before you master the techniques buts it's way cool.

The powder controls bed bugs, fleas, ticks, lice, roaches, ants, firebrats, silverfish, spiders, mites and drywood termites. It kills bed bug adults, nymphs and nymphs hatched from dusted eggs, including bed bugs who have developed a resistance to the chemical compound pyrethroid. It’s also good for treatment for brown recluse, yellow sac, hobo and other persistent indoor spiders.

Commercial applications
CimeXa Insecticide Dust is a very effective product in the never ending battle against bed bugs, fleas, ticks and other nasty critters. It’s made of 100% Silica dust, very easy to apply as a powder straight from the bottle and is very safe, odorless, and won’t stain.  CimeXa Dust will last up to 10 years when applied to undisturbed areas like wall voids, cracks and crevices.

CimeXa can be mixed with water and sprayed.  Mix 1 lb. of CimeXa with 1 gallon of clean water. Apply 1 quart of this solution per 250 sq ft. of area to be treated. CimeXa will be remain behind after the water evaporates.

For use in residences, multi-family dwellings, commercial, industrial, institutional, municipal, agricultural, research, daycare, health care, educational, recreational and office buildings, in hotels, motels, garages, transport vehicles, warehouses, theaters, and food handling and food processing establishments. Just about any place you do business, CimeXa can go with you providing an effective deterrent to invading bugs or killing agent to any infestations that may have started.

One downside
The powder is so fine that it quickly disperses into the air when you use an applicator. So wear a mask, close the door to the room you treated and let it air out for a couple of hours before using.

This is a good how-to video for using CimeXa.
I don’t recommend searching for the product the pest control guy uses because it’s not made anymore. Nor do I agree with anyone using bare feet to work the power into your carpet. Better to buy an applicator instead. Despite this, this is a good how to short on applying CimeXa powder to set up perimeters within a room, apartment or house.

Some other ideas that will help you control the pests

Reduce clutter
If you have a bunch of stuff that you don’t need, toss it. Toss it because those items may be infested with bed bugs and you don’t want to infest someone else’s home by giving things away or selling if all all possible.

Buy plastic totes with sealable lids and store your stuff in these. Wet a rag with Eco raider and toss it into each box. The fumes given off will discourage bed bugs from entering, or kill those you may have missed that are hiding inside. This is also good technique to use in any cardboard storage boxes you may have on hand. Toss treated rag in each box and let the EcoRaider Bed Bug Killer do its thing.

Buy & install bed & pillow cases and new pillows
Like the mattress encasements, pillow encasements that work on the same barrier principal. Here’s a selection:

Build a CO2 gas lure
I’ve built 6 of theses with small water bottles with limited results. They seem to have reduced the remaining population after I sprayed with EcoRaider.

Here’s a short video to give you an idea or how to build one from household stuff:

Interceptors
These are traps you can buy that work well. These bed bug interceptors or traps should be centered under each leg of the bed or furniture. The best thing to do is keep them in place for a minimum of 30-60 days. I recommend that you should use them indefinitely so you can continually monitor any bed bug activity.

Here’s a few of the better traps.


How can you tell if you have bedbugs?
Bedbugs are fast and prefer dark shelters within 5-10 feet of where its host sleeps. The best way to discover them is to examine your sleeping areas and furniture at night using a flashlight to inspect every inch of your furniture and bed, especially sewn bindings on mattresses and box springs.

A bedbug has ice-pick like feet that it uses to grab on and climb “rough” surfaces, especially fabric, where sewn fibers act like mini ladders. They can climb just about every surface that appears smooth to us. On a microscopic level, painted surfaces appear to be filled with crevices, crags and other footholds.

Here’s some pictures to give you an idea of where to look.
on matteres

Along the seams of mattress and box springs, upholstered furniture and curtains.

 

 

 

 

atop mattress

Atop a mattress cover.

 

 

 

 

 

Under mattress cover strip

Under mattress seam strip

 

 

 

 

 

in frabirc

In fabric

 

 

 

 

 

phone outlets

In phone or data outlets

 

 

 

 

 

electricsal utlet

Electrical outlets

 

 

 

 

 

in drawers

In drawers

 

 

 

 

 

 

in carpet

In carpet

 

 

 

 

You think you have problems?
Here’s a video that demonstrates in graphic terms what happens when you don’t take aggressive action or report a bed bug problem even when it becomes a disaster.

The sickest most infested Bed Bug job in Syracuse NY

Other good ideas for your Home pest Control arsenal

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs With Heat

Here’s some good steamers for home use.

A powerful steam cleaner is a great tool to use in your bathroom, kitchen, living room and bedrooms for cleaning your mattress and carpet to prevent or kill bed bugs. Most come with nine versatile accessories. Light weight and easy to use. A chemical-free way to keep your home healthy and clean and control bed bug infestations.

Features To Look For

– Extended connecting spray nozzle for extending reach
– Long spray nozzle directing the cleaning action to hard to reach areas
– General spray nozzle for all your steam clean tasks
– Spray nozzle for doors and windows makes cleaning a breeze
– Round brush nozzle for spot cleaning
– Bent spray nozzle for cleaning corners and crevasses
– Brush plate and towel sleeve for flat surfaces

 

Alcohol
Alcohol is a good weapon to have at hand. Just be careful because this stuff is flammable. Don’t use it around open flames like a water heater or central heating pilot lights or stoves. Avoid breathing its fumes for extended periods. Here’s good video demonstrating the technique

How to Kill Bed Bugs with Alcohol


Diatomaceous Earth is a dusty powder containing the crushed fossilized fresh water algae called diatoms. Crushed diatoms feel a little like a cross between flour and talcum powder when you rub it between your fingers. It’s harmless to us but deadly to critters because it has extremely sharp shards that shred insect exoskeletons. Think of it as tiny Ninjas doing battle.

When you apply Diatomaceous Earth, the dust is either ingested by crawling insects or covered by it when they crawl through the powder. When their exoskeletons are cut open, the bugs dehydrate and die. The wonderful thing about Diatomaceous Earth is that insects can’t develop any resistance to it since it contains no chemicals.

 

A final Word
For us the war isn’t over. Living in an apartment complex means that there are always new folks moving in, and new hitchhiking critters moving in with them.

“Eternal vigilance is the price of victory” so said Thomas Jefferson, and for us we will live by his words.

Once the bugs have attempted to infiltrate and infest your residence, you will always need to be alert to their resurgence even after you beaten down or destroyed any signs of bed bugs. They can always come back in a hundred different ways.

Replace your cardboard clutter boxes
I do encourage you to replace any cardboard boxes in your home, apartment or dorm room that stores clutter of any kind that you need with plastic storage totes with a sealable lid. Once this is done, you can saturate a rag with EcoRaider and toss it in with your vital stuff. If any bugs are in there, this technique should do well to clobber them and prevent from from infesting anything else.

Here’s a good selection.

We’re in the process of doing this right now. And, yes, it will be a bit expensive since we have a lot of clutter now residing in cardboard file boxes we’ve had for years.

If you can’t replace all your cardboard boxes right away because of the cost, one thing you can do as you replace these boxes with plastic totes is to open each out of doors, spray some EcoRaider Bed Bug Killer into each, toss in a rag saturated with the stuff and close the lid. Before I bring them back inside. I let the boxes rest outdoors for 24-48 hours until the strong cedar smell dissipates.

Run all clothing through a dryer cycle
Take all clothing hanging in closets and run everything though a dryer. This heat treatment will kill any bugs.

Install traps
Place interceptor traps under your bed posts and upholstered furniture. Check them regularly for signs of trapped critters. If you do see some, initiate a plan of attack immediately. Click this link to see a selection of good, effective traps: insect interceptors

While it may seem that the battle with Bed Bugs looms large and forever, keep in mind that every harborage you discover and render useless to the bugs, will convince them to go elsewhere. But always be on guard. We will. And I’ll add updates to this post about our progress and success.

I wish you success in your efforts. Please let me know if this post has helped you.

Here’s to bug-free homes!