Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Battle Continues…

M recently found a tiny cluster of bed bugs in a black plastic bag that had fallen into a space between my solid wood armoire.

Three weeks ago we already got5 rid of a very nice wooden dresser because we found bed bugs living upside down in the underbelly of the dresser’s drawers themselves. This week we determined that our other wooden dresser needs to go as well, as we have spotted bed bugs crawling in and around the dresser.

Our solution? Plastic dressers. We already purchased a three-draw plastic dresser for about $30 at BJ’s Wholesale Club, but because they are smaller than the two wooden ones we need two more to replace the old dressers. Currently, our washed clothes are lying in stacks on the living room coffee table because there is literally no place to put them away in our bedroom.

The clusters of bugs we found in the dressers were tiny, and could hardly be compared to the teeming colonies I discovered more than a year ago and chose to throw out my mattress, bed and headboard. But I learned my lesson: take care of a small problem before it grows into a bigger one. Perhaps if I had followed that advice a year ago, I might still have my bed furniture today.

So continues the war between bed bugs and the urban dwellers seeking to drive them out of their home.

Until next time…

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Roaches and Bed Bugs

A neighbor told me what she does to rid her apartment of roaches, and I decided to try it. As one exterminator opined in a previous post, those of us who have roaches as well as bed bugs have found that foggers designed to kill roaches end up irritating bed bugs and scattering them further throughout your home. This does not kill or even harm the bed bugs, but instead makes it that much harder to ensure that you've killed all the bed bugs in your home when you do go after them.

Obviously, an effective roach-killing method that won't affect bed bugs in any way (until I'm ready to kill them) interested me, as I do have both roaches as well as bed bugs. So here is what my neighbor told me to do:

Boil some eggs, then remove the shell and mash up the insides (yolk and white) with a fork. Then add a generous amount of boric acid onto the mashed egg. Using the same fork, lay a few pieces of this mixture onto the kitchen sink, behind the toilet bowl or anywhere else in your home you've seen roaches.

The beauty of this, of course, is that it effectively kills the roaches (and it does, I tried it out last week) without disturbing the bed bugs. That way the bed bug will never see it coming when you actually do go after them.

I advise anyone to try this hard-boiled egg/boric acid mixture in their homes as an alternative to roach fogger which, as I've witnessed firsthand and many people have told me, will only irritate and scatter the bed bugs.

Good luck, and happy hunting!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Crunch, Crunch, Crunch...

Hi all,

I'm sifting through my bed bug-related Google alerts, looking for blogging material for Bugged Out and I'm eating Tostitos with salsa. It suddenly occurs to me that I must truly be desensitized to the "eewww factor" of bed bugs if I'm eating while reading about bed bugs and browsing through magnified images of the multi-legged creatures.

I'm not sure when exactly I stopped being creeped out by bed bugs. I remember this time a year ago, just thinking about them made me lose my appetite. I remember when I first saw a picture of bed bugs and started gagging at the notion that these tiny, disgusting things were crawling all over me and sucking my blood while I slept. But now? I'm blogging about them, and I'm still eating my chips and salsa. Yum!

Anyone else out these desensitized? If so, what are you eating as you read this?

Remember folks, when it comes to bed bugs, don't be grossed out. Don't be scared. Don't be paranoid. Just be prepared.


Monday, June 04, 2007

Time Management!

I just finished my finals for the semester and am looking forward to my fall semester, after which I will have finally earned my undergrad degree. With all the obligations of work, school, a relationship and fighting another bed bug infestation, it hasn’t been easy to allocate adequate time and energy for everything. Keeping one’s home bed bug-free is like a part-time job, if not a full-time one.

I was considering going to graduate school, but began thinking about how much of a hassle college has been so far, especially the aspect of having to be at a certain place at a certain time or it will affect your grades. I’m notoriously tardy for my classes, usually commuting to college straight from my job. My professors make an attempt to sympathize, since it is the City University of New York (CUNY) and many of the students here have to support themselves, and in some cases, their families.

Which comes to the concept of online college, which makes things a lot easier on those of us who have to commit to an hour plus commute to our schools. I know CUNY offers an online undergrad degree, but they are still stuck in the 20th Century when it comes to a Masters degree.

I’m thinking of studying a field that looks good on a resume. Any suggestions?

Friday, June 01, 2007

Gender, Not Race?

In a previous post I theorized that people with fairer skin have more severe reactions to bed bug bites than people with darker skin. I based this theory on the fact that M who has very fair skin has had a far more severe reaction to bed bug bites than I, who is a shade or two darker. I also gave the example of my black neighbor who had his own infestation and had almost no visible sign of any bites, although he did complain about the itching.

In the Comments area for this post, Nobugs suggested that it may very well be gender, and not race or more specifically, one's presence of pigmentation in their skin. It changed my view and made me consider that females may indeed have a more severe reaction to bed bug bites than males.

Interesting--I don't have any data about race, but that's partly because most of the sufferers I know are known to me on the internet so I have no idea of their race :-)

My hunch is that men are less likely to react to bites, or be allergic to bites (and possibly even less likely to be bitten) than women. Of the people who come on Bedbugger, women often say the men they live with aren't bitten. Men are more likely to say they aren't reacting to bites and their female partners/relatives are. -NoBugs
Other posters stepped in to offer their own stories to support Nobugs' theory.

I would agree with Nobugs.

I am darker skinned than my boyfriend. I have visible bites but he doesn't.

I think he's being bitten but isn't reacting. -Anonymous

Could anyone lend any additional personal accounts to support this theory? It sounds far more plausible than the one I supported in my previous post.