Modified glue board traps, chemical free eradication, and the requirements for success.

As discussed in the video “climb up interceptors versus modified glue boards” it is possible to get rid of bed bugs with heat sterilizing the couch and sleeping furniture and placing glue board traps under the bed legs. While this is true it is not as simple as it sounds. The following are suggestions to increase the likelihood that the procedure would be successful.

Firstly early detection of a problem is helpful. Once the infestation is a year old the bugs have been dispersed over a wide area of the home. For example infested laundry may have been thrown into the basement for laundering and infested clothing has been worn and infested other areas both inside and outside the home. When the infestation becomes widely dispersed it is more difficult to address regardless of method – and chemical free methods are no exception.

Secondly the furniture type plays a role. If the client has a nice bed with box spring and legs the bugs tend to colonize the bed. This fact reduces the spread to other areas which makes eradication easier. Any attempt to keep the bugs off the bed preemptively with encasements will ensure that a future infestation will be more widely dispersed with the dangers inherent therein.  Basically you can choose between  having bugs in your box spring or in your underwear – I pick box spring.   I have also found that bed bugs are not reported/noticed as quickly when there is little harbourage on the bed. This is because the bugs are hiding in baseboards, clothing, and other areas that are more difficult to inspect. A nice bed with box spring and legs concentrates the bugs in an area that is easily inspected which, in turn, leads to earlier reporting. Furthermore when bed bugs are concentrated on the bed (with early detection) a sterilization of the bed will remove the vast majority of the bugs from the home. A perfect start.

We know that bed bugs prefer cloth and raw wood for harbourages and prefer to be close to a sleeping host. Therefore we need to alter the layout of the bedroom to keep clothing and other items that are regularly removed from the bedroom far away from the bed. In my own case I have a chair with steel legs located in the far corner of the bedroom far away from the bed. I put my clothing that has been worn once but not dirty enough for laundry on this chair. If I ever do get bed bugs and do not notice it immediately the distant location of those items from the bed and the fact that bed bugs would rather not climb steel when searching for harbourage reduces the risk to those items for infestation. Therefore I am at lower risk of transporting bed bugs unknowingly if I ever do get bed bugs. These precautions are a cornerstone of integrated pest management. We are making simple alterations to the environment of our bedroom to reduce harm in the event of infestation.

As already mentioned it is relatively common for bed bugs to be in clothing. That is why every single exterminator on the planet recommends laundering all clothing when infestations are noted. As such every person living in an infested home must put on sterilized clothing before leaving the home. If a client refuses to cooperate in this protocol their risk of spreading the infestation beyond the home rises considerably. And, as creatures of habit, we all return to the same places over and over and the bugs that were initially dispersed have a good shot of returning a few weeks later. This is not helpful.

Bed bugs are also known to feed opportunistically during the day so people should not sleep on the couch at night and sit on it during the day. A couch used as a bed will fill with bed bugs and sitting on the couch during the day is incredibly dangerous. The risk of infestation throughout the home and outside is extraordinarily high as the bugs are carried about on clothing. Therefore I absolutely despise hide a beds. I recommend that day time areas and sleeping areas should be as separate as possible.

If you already have bed bugs there are four main mistakes that people make and they must be avoided. Firstly thou shalt not spray RAID. Aerosol pyrethrins will disperse the bugs throughout the home. Secondly thou shalt not drag thy bed. Moving infested beds unsafely also disperses the bugs. Thirdly thou shalt do laundry in a safe manner. Dumping infested laundry in the basement with no thought of harm reduction is a terrible idea. And fourthly thou shalt not move away from an infested bed. Any attempt to move to an area that is not infested simply ensures that area also becomes infested. All these actions cause great harm. If you are unsure of what to do then do absolutely nothing. Anything done without knowledge and a plan will most likely cause greater harm.

Having addressed the above we are now ready to start with chemical free bed bug removal. Heat the beds and couches and place suitable glue board traps under the bed legs. Keep the bed away from the wall and do now allow anything to touch the floor. Before getting in your sterile bed remove your clothing and place in a plastic tub with packing tape stuck around the inside top area to prevent traction for escape. Jump into bed and relax in the knowledge that as you sleep you are killing bed bugs. In the morning put on clothes fresh from the dryer and ensure the laundry hamper is addressed appropriately. Done with attention to detail this plan works. If you fail in the considerable amount of work required don’t expect good results.


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