How I got rid of bed bugs. That’s right, it’s personal!

It took six months and five pesticide treatments to get bed bugs out of my house.
During my infestation, I was able to form, with the support of our County Public Health Department, a task force of individuals and agencies to help find solutions to the growing bed bug problem in Portland, OR.

As a result of the two-year task force and work group,  Multnomah County put in place, information, resources and education across several agencies. Many public housing agencies now provide prompt and effective inspection, care and treatment for those who report bed bugs. This can include free laundry or dryer services, pest-strips, assistance with removing clutter, treatment and regular inspections.

I have used nearly all of the products advertised on this site. They helped me tremendously with solving my bed bug problem. I can say that my Packtite and vapor steamer were especially useful. *Disclosure: Most of the products on this sites result in an x-small commission when you purchase which goes to support this website’s ongoing maintenance and updates.

Prepping for pesticide treatment means washing and bagging everything.  This is done to contain any bed bugs and/or eggs in your possessions and clothes. I put books, papers and anything I couldn’t wash in in giant ziplock bags (they’re clear and you can heat them in the PackTite, unzipped). I had numerous pesticide treatments. I purchased bed bug proof mattress encasement covers. The encasements and zip bags I advocate have been university tested and have bed bug proof zippers.

I wish I would have bought the Packtite sooner than I did. It wasn’t cheap, but it immediately provided a way to kill bed bugs in shoes, paper, purses, hats, belts, jackets, backpacks, books, and other possessions you can’t wash in a dishwasher or the laundry. It solved a lot of problems. The alternative is bag up your things for 12-18 months or use no-pest strips. I prefer heat as there is no pesticides involved. I used a steamer prior to having pesticides applied to try to kill bed bugs on my bed frame and around the baseboards. Don’t make the mistake of steaming areas that have pesticides applied because that will vaporize your pesticides which could be dangerous to your health and also wipes out the pesticide treatment.

The first pest company I hired did not solve my problem and turned out to be a very bad choice. Don’t be fooled as I was by fancy PowerPoint presentations. I used two other companies after that, one because I was able to get treatment, gratis from our property management company, and the last treatment from Dave the Bug Man, who was very detailed and provided the last treatment I had.

I had isolated my new bed by then, laid down DE under the baseboards on top of the residuals left by the previous pest company, and caulked every baseboard crack I could see. I also had some furniture including my sofa and computer treated with Vikane in a rental truck.

In June, Sprague’s bed bug sniffing dog April came to inspect and declared the house and the building’s common areas clear, including my neighbor’s previously infested unit, and two empty units adjoining that one. April came back in November 2009 to check my house again. All clear!

Making Lemonade out of Bed Bugs

  • I testified before our county commissioners which resulted in funding for Aging and Disabilities to provide bed bug preparation treatment to help people avoid eviction because they cannot comply with preparation on their own.
  • That saying on the bus “Bed Bugs Are Real”, that’s mine. I know, but hey!
  • I currently provide professional bed bug informational training to any interested organization or company. Use my contact form for info on providing training to your group.

If you rely on facts and science, and do the most you can, you can get rid of bed bugs too. Information and behavior play a huge part in getting rid of bed bugs. I am a member of the Citizens Bed Bug Advisory Task Force in Multnomah County, and provide bed bug training to county personnel and affiliates on bed bugs and how to beat them.

My goal is to research and provide advice and education on the best practices to manage and eliminate bed bug infestations locally, but the same information can help you. That is what this site is about, helping you eliminate bed bugs from your home and your life.

1 Comment

  1. First of all Thank You so much for your help and information about bed bugs. I have a SERIOUSLY bad problem with them right now in the apartments that I live in.I’m on disability and have a hard time getting around, have a lot of things in my home and don’t have the money monthly to afford plastic containers to store EVERYTHING in. I’m at such a loss as to how and what to do about this? I know that the whole complex is infested because I see mattresses thrown out by the garbage and furniture and wondered why? That was early last summer. Now I know why! Anything you can tell me to guide me on HELP would greatly be appreciated, Thank you, Paula


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