I just dropped the price of
the permaculture playing cards
for a wee bit.

 

 

uses include:
- infecting brains with permaculture
- convincing folks that you are not crazy
- gift giving obligations
- stocking stuffer
- gambling distraction
- an hour or two of reading
- find the needle
- find the 26 hidden names

clickity-click-click

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Organic bed bug control  RSS feed

 
Elisheva Cohen
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Is 100% silicon dioxide DE? I need it for bed bugs...
 
Rowan Morgan
Posts: 1
Location: Toronto
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The most effective organic bed bug control is still heat treatment. Firstly, it doesn't make use of any chemicals, and secondly, which is of vital importance, is that it kills the bed bug eggs as well. If you get rid of bed bugs that are crawling around, but don't get rid of the eggs which are in hidden crevices, then the bed bug problem will persist. Here is some useful information about bed bug heat treatment, http://www.bedbugsandbeyond.ca/bed-bugs-one-day-treatment/
 
Ian Harrison
Posts: 9
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I just discovered bed bugs in my bedroom. Seen a dozen or more of the first or second stage, but only one fully grown adult. Hopefully the infestation isn't too bad and this doesn't end up being a two year war.. Wish me luck.. Just ordered some Food grade DE, and I'm working to seal all the cracks in the room. Also having Orkin come out, not so much to treat the issue, because it's very unlikely I let them spray any chemicals in there, but more so to find where they are hiding. I have looked all over the room and can't seem to find any more of them! I know they are somewhat nocturnal but even last night when I was looking I could only find the few that were on top of the sheets, couldn't find them anywhere else in the room.
 
Leslie Bee
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A few months back, I went on vacation with my daughter, son-in-law, and grandkids.  Apparently we picked up bedbugs. After returning home, I noticed a few bites here and there on my body. Suspecting maybe fleas or other 6+ legged critters, (as I live with the four legged kind) I spread a little diatomaceous earth around the bed and bedroom carpet. It was time to do that anyway to minimize the dust mites I'm allergic to. After a while I noticed there was nothing to notice, so I didn't give it another thought. UNTIL...

A couple of months later my daughter said she had bedbugs. An exterminator cost them $600, and was guaranteed for a mere 30 days. What a crock! I now believe I had them too, but killed them off with the diatomaceous earth before they had the chance to breed and spread.

Lately I've been seeing cockroaches around the house. (Here in Texass, the locals call them "water beetles", but I know a cockroach when I see one!) Brazen little suckers--one ran right in when I opened the sliding door to the back porch. That was the last straw! It's been raining almost constantly here, so I was waiting for it to stop before putting out the diatomaceous earth. A quick sprinkle around the house, and no more invading cockroaches! They like to invade the garage as well, so I sprinkle a little around the walls. I'm sure there are plenty of dead cockroaches hiding where I can't see them.

50lb bags are the most cost effective, and it lasts forever. To spread it around, I use a big sieve as a scooper, then sprinkle liberally. All around the house's foundation, and wherever else they hide, like wooden fences, near rocks, etc. Inside the house, I spread it under couches, behind appliances, and under the sink. I love that it's non-toxic, and will work its magic while I enjoy not seeing any bugs.

Now if somebody can just find a safe and effective way to rid the lawn of dallis-grass, I'll be a lot less upset about being stuck in the great big barren (physically and mentally) state of TexAss.
 
Casie Becker
gardener
Posts: 1474
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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forest garden urban
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Since the dallis grass is a perennial, you need a combined technique to remove the existing dallis grass and encourage the preferred grasses to fill in the holes.

Invest in a weed popper that lets you pull the weeds from a standing position. Most of them are marketed for dandelions, but they work just as well for other plants.

Follow paul's instructions for growing a green lawn in http://richsoil.com/lawn-care.jsp to encourage other grasses to come in fast enough and thick enough to prevent the dallis grass or other unwanted plants from seeding themselves into the bare patch you've created. I would also suggest, if you have a large area to tackle that you choose a starting point and work outward in sections as you go.

Something else I've noticed is that in my yard (which started out so bad not even weeds were growing) these only try to grow in areas which get more water than the rest of the yard. In the drier areas the native turf grasses are the ones coming in. If you are using native grasses (the Lady Bird Wildflower Center developed a variety that is particularly suited to our area that makes a lush carpet) you might be able to keep the ground too dry for dallis to thrive. Depends on which area of Texas you're in right now.
 
Kay Gelfling
Posts: 4
Location: Hawaii
forest garden
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I have heard that DE evidently doesn't work when it is wet! I'm not sure why- does anybody know?

The morning i first woke up and suspected we had more than just spiders or mosquito bites, i was able to squish one of the tiny period-sized bugs with a thumb nail in a swipe-motion and it made a little blood smear on the sheet. Then i knew there was trouble! First i checked for bed bugs, but could not find them. It turned out that we had some mites (from rats? or birds? that got into the roof). They were so tiny, about the size of a period here on the forum. They were so small they could crawl through the weave of the cotton sheets. They were all over the wool mattress protector. They didn't look like much at first, but if you looked closely you could see that they were moving. We could pick them up with sticky tape and use a magnifying glass to see that they had legs, etc. When they are full of blood they seem to be at least double in size. The bites would not show up right away, but would itch intensely for days even if you scratched them! Some other people in the household for some reason did not react at all to the bites, but then again my skin tends to overreact to everything! They tend to bite warm spots such as armpits, which was my first clue to what they were.

I have been told that bug bites and mites have very similar control methods. I have also heard that bed bug bites take a few days to start itching as well. Also, bed bugs do not like to be on people, so probably do not travel to your home on a person- but they might get into clothes or suitcases. When I get home from a trip which involved staying at a frequent-traveller place such as a hotel, i like to wash all of my clothes (used or not) and clean off other items just to feel clean. There is also a website for people reporting bedbugs, and you can check to see if the place you stayed is on the list. If you stayed at a bunch of places it might be confusing which one had the bugs, because of the problem of the bites taking some days to show up. (such as bedbugregistry dot com, but i'm sure there are others.)

We had a lot of success with the heat method. Pillows, blankets, sheets etc went into the dryer for long enough to get hot enough to kill them. We had a wool mattress protector, and that i put in a bag and froze for a week, since the heat is bad for wool. I aired the wool outside in the sun after that as well, so it wouldn't be wet from freezing. It's possible i reduced the life of my mattress protector, but it was worth it to me!

I found out that the mites do not prefer to eat people, but will only do so in a pinch. Probably the host had died and the mites were searching for a new home. They are attracted to natural fibers such as wool and feathers, which was bad for me since i had switched to a lot of natural fibers! I got myself a synthetic mattress protector and used a synthetic pillow for a while. We used white sheets to see them and i would check for them every morning. After a month i felt like no more bites and after two months i felt safe again.
 
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