Building a bridge to nowhere…trying to escape bed bugs!

I recently witnessed a sad and unusual situation. We visited a fraternity house that was having a few bed bug sightings. We had already been there and were checking the improvement of the outbreak. In one room, the resident had noticed bed bugs and had a severe aversion to them. He was truly frightened and scared to sleep in his own bunk. He had taken some store-bought diatomaceous earth and covered the sofa and the mattresses. This is not a good practice, and it also doesn’t seem to provide any of the anticipated benefits….excuse me as I go off on a tangent…

….diatomaceous earth (DE) is basically ground up seashells designed to cut up a bed bug’s exoskeleton. First, it doesn’t work as well as initially hoped. Secondly, using a product in a manner that is not in compliant with the label is NOT good idea! This brings us to number three…dumping DE on fabrics and materials. It can become airborne and get in your lungs! (If it can slice open the exoskeleton of a bed bug, imagine what it can do to your lungs!) Some people are able to be near DE without noticeable effects. It makes me cough almost immediately, and my dogs will have sneezing fits. It is a really bad idea to spread this pesticide around in open areas, even if it IS called “organic” or “green”.

…Anyways, this poor college kid was so bothered by the thought of bed bugs crawling on him while he was sleeping that he made a huge elaborate set-up to keep himself “safe”. He suspended an Eno hammock from the top bunk area and placed two-sided tape all around to reduce the bed bugs ability to climb on him and/or bite him. He had to climb up a ladder and carefully climb out into the Emo (which was six feet up) and try to get some rest. Not to mention that climbing to this contraption included a gaunt through the DE that was sprinkled all over!

Bed bugs are so challenging to deal with. This was another example of that…

~jenn

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