Carpet beetles + bedbugs + clutter = help!! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 24 Old 08-25-2009, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sigh. We have a huge challenge in front of us.
1)we have WAY too much stuff.
2)We have a nasty infestation of carpet beetles
3)We have the beginnings of an infestation of bedbugs, and I have many nasty bites to prove it. (we are getting someone in to deal with this ASAP)
4)As it’s summer, we also have ants and fruit flies (geesh we sound gross!)
5)As much as we try to keep the house clean (routine every evening, we sweep, do dishes, wash table, do laundry, tidy etc.) it is TOTALLY out of control.

So…..if you are still reading and not totally icked out. I need your decluttering support! We need to deep clean and declutter:
1)Master bedroom
2)DD1`s bedroom
3)Study/sewing room
4)Living room & kitchen for ants.

Thankfully, our basement, which contains the playroom, storage and a nice guest bedroom is bug free-and (relatively) clutter free. Thank heavens for that!

But we have a major challenge…clearly a huge excess of clutter (and a 4 yo and a crazy 17 mo old, lol) are making it very hard for us to keep the house clean!!

Any thoughts or suggestions, support or motivational stories welcome. If I get organized I will post some photos tonight so that you can see our before, lol!
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#2 of 24 Old 08-25-2009, 05:46 PM
 
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We had a carpet beetle problem earlier in the year.

Yes, clutter is a big part of the problem. They like fabric, though also I think some grains (cereals, rice) so check your pantry too, just in case.

We had EXCELLENT results using a product that is 100% orange oil. It wiped out all the bugs. It smelled great - because it's oranges (or maybe tangerines), and not "orange scented" or any of that crap, it was the real thing. Let me know if you want me to dig out a link for this product. It will kill the bugs (and it's safe to use around children, pets and even FOOD) but you have to spray in the right places, of course. DH is something like a bug genius, he watches them and he can figure out where the nest is, spray a concentrated area, and bam! They're gone. He did that, and then noticed just 2 bugs a day in another area, got those, and we've not seen another carpet beetle again.

Because the nest was in a wall that shared a wall upstairs with my closet (and my closet shares another wall with DH's closet) we emptied the closets 100%. We did a major, major purge (which I can't think about because I got rid of some bigtime sentimentals!!) and sealed all rest of the clothes into garbage bags (with liberal sprinklings of borax right in the bags, to suffocate any bugs that were in the clothes) and put the bags on our back porch. Honestly, we're still working our way through the bags again; I wash the clothes in hot water with my usual mixture of borax, washing soda and soap. If I had a chest freezer, I'd freeze anything I couldn't wash, but I think I might take a chance and just shake the borax off of those items and hang them back up eventually :

Carpets: we sprinkled liberally with borax, let the Borax sit for 48 hours and then vacuumed. VERY IMPORTANT: eating borax is very toxic to pets!! If you have cats, you'll need to explore other options. I don't think cats will just eat the borax but if they walk on the carpet and then clean their paws later, it could be harmful. I don't think tiny amounts will hurt them but I heard of a guy who mixed a cup of borax with some food and put it out for bait for... I forgot what ... but anyway his cat ate it and died. We have two cats and we banished them outside for the two days we let the borax do its work.

I hope some of that helps. I've been there. Good luck.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#3 of 24 Old 08-25-2009, 05:46 PM
 
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Almost forgot, they LOVE pet hair too. So if you have pets, it's a huge priority to clean their fur and their bedding, etc.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#4 of 24 Old 08-26-2009, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks so much for the encouragement! We are now increasingly thinking it is carpet beetles, not bedbugs...which would be really really great as we can treat it ourselves without spending hundreds of dollars and using toxic pesticidies!! So we are keeping our fingers crossed. We bought a new much quieter vaccum last night that our kids aren't scared of and are vacuuming like crazy. We do have a cat, so the dust & hair thing is definitely an issue.

I also made some really good initial decluttering progress, and boy was that satisfying!! I will post pictures tonight I promise (I took them last night, but went to bed instead of uploading, lol).

We are going to do a full carpet beetle protocol and hopefully that will be it for my itchy allergic reaction, and we will not have to deal with bedbugs....hopefully!
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#5 of 24 Old 08-26-2009, 10:36 PM
 
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Make sure you empty your vacuum bag frequently so as not to re-infest your carpet with eggs and such. Good luck with the overhaul!
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#6 of 24 Old 08-28-2009, 03:19 AM
 
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We had carpet beetles too. I am happy to say they havent reappeared in about 9 months. The beetles themselves live outside and eat pollens etc so if you have actual beetles then its something else. The larvae are like little tiny fuzzy caterpillars. They especially like wools and linen. My biggest thing was to put in ziplock bags all the hand me down kids clothes so they could get into those. They wont live on things which are frequently washed or worn and water kills them in all life cycles. So if you cull your clothes down to only things which are worn regularly. Another is regularly washing your kids teddy collection! They can eat dust so we swept under all bookcases and furniture etc (and did find them under there eating it!) Also we sealed up all cracks between the floorboards and skirting boards so the adults couldnt get in to lay the eggs.

Hope tha helps! I know the horrible feeling when they are destroying your nice cothes! Hope you get rid of them soon
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#7 of 24 Old 09-26-2009, 10:31 PM
 
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Do you know how many times I've cried over the fact that our house, too, has carpet beetles? It's awful! Every time I think I've beat 'em, I find a larvae on the top of a baseboard, or crawling along the floor. I pick the bugger up, flush it, and feel defeated. I never would have considered my house to be "dirty," but dusty, sure. Our family consists of me, my husband, 31 month old son, a cat, and our daughter in utero. I find it impossible to keep the house dust free. I guess I'm going to have to put some elbow grease into it and tear this house up top to bottom to get it cleaned, clutter free, dust free, and bug free.

I find solace in knowing I am not alone in my battle.
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#8 of 24 Old 09-27-2009, 12:31 AM
 
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1. I have hdwood so am I safe from the carpet beetles? I dont want them.
2. Does this orange oil work for ants? 9 yrs in and now we have a problem, sigh.
3. My sons pedi told me yesterday that she hasnt seen a case of bed bugs in North America, maybe that info is helpful?
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#9 of 24 Old 09-27-2009, 05:22 AM
 
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No, we have hardwood. They fly in through open doors windows, or crawl in through cracks. Ours try to eat clothing and fabric or dust bunnies hiding under things. But I think ours are mostly gone now from careful storage of things that arent regularly used/washed.
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#10 of 24 Old 09-28-2009, 12:35 AM
 
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1. I have hdwood so am I safe from the carpet beetles? I dont want them.
2. Does this orange oil work for ants? 9 yrs in and now we have a problem, sigh.
3. My sons pedi told me yesterday that she hasnt seen a case of bed bugs in North America, maybe that info is helpful?

I think the pedi is a little behind the times. Bed bugs are back and are a serious problem in the hotel industry. DH used to work in a hotel and we still have friends who work in major hotels around the country. Even the biggest and the best are working to maintain their reputations and keep the bugs out.

Also, at risk are transient communities like college students. During the beginning and end of the year when everyone is swapping roommates and such you often get an out break of bed bugs.

I live on the East coast in a college town and they do exist.
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#11 of 24 Old 09-28-2009, 01:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 2xand2y View Post
I think the pedi is a little behind the times. Bed bugs are back and are a serious problem in the hotel industry. DH used to work in a hotel and we still have friends who work in major hotels around the country. Even the biggest and the best are working to maintain their reputations and keep the bugs out.

Also, at risk are transient communities like college students. During the beginning and end of the year when everyone is swapping roommates and such you often get an out break of bed bugs.

I live on the East coast in a college town and they do exist.
Ditto this. There was an article recently about how they are a big problem in San Francisco and other cities:
http://www.sfbg.com/40/10/news_bedbugs.html

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...NGIDP4V7K1.DTL

There was also an episode of This American Life recently with bedbugs: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radi...spx?sched=1255
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#12 of 24 Old 09-28-2009, 03:22 AM
 
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My husband brought a bed home he got from free cycle and within a week, we had bed bugs crawling across our living room rug and of course in my sons room. I did not want to use anything toxic and researched the net and found Diatomaceous Earth.

We tackled it quickly by getting the bed out and to the dump. We sprinkled the D earth all over the rugs and I washed and washed until anything I thought might have them were washed. The washing finally ended and I haven't seen one yet. It's fine if you have cats or dogs.

Basically Diatomaceous Earth is ground up fossilized shell and it acts like razor wire to the bugs. It cuts their shell open and they die of dehydration within two days. It feels like talcum powder to the human touch but it does dry out the hands so wear gloves. It's also wise to wear a mask when you are laying down the powder.
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#13 of 24 Old 09-28-2009, 03:45 AM
 
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I am not sure but I do not think carpet beetles bite people. Bed bugs however do.Do you have bug bites like the one in the link

http://bedbugger.com/bed-bug-bites-photos/
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#14 of 24 Old 09-28-2009, 03:53 AM
 
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Carpet beetles dont bite, they dot even live in your home. The infestations are only from them laying the eggs. Its the larvae (which look like tiny fuzzy caterpillars) that feed on your things. The beetles eat pollens outside.

I thought bed bugs were invisible to the naked eye???
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#15 of 24 Old 09-28-2009, 04:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan View Post
Carpet beetles dont bite, they dot even live in your home. The infestations are only from them laying the eggs. Its the larvae (which look like tiny fuzzy caterpillars) that feed on your things. The beetles eat pollens outside.

I thought bed bugs were invisible to the naked eye???
I have seen bed bugs. You do however need to look very close in between your mattress and curtins for them (between the seams). Also bed bugs do leave behind bed bug fecal matter.
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#16 of 24 Old 10-08-2009, 05:40 AM
 
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I am no longer allowed to ACCEPT anything from Freecycle or Craigslist Free ads due to the same problem!!! The nice "free" Pottery Barn Couch I brought home caused mounds of problems, and almost a divorce!!!!



Quote:
Originally Posted by simple living mama View Post
My husband brought a bed home he got from free cycle and within a week, we had bed bugs crawling across our living room rug and of course in my sons room. I did not want to use anything toxic and researched the net and found Diatomaceous Earth.

We tackled it quickly by getting the bed out and to the dump. We sprinkled the D earth all over the rugs and I washed and washed until anything I thought might have them were washed. The washing finally ended and I haven't seen one yet. It's fine if you have cats or dogs.

Basically Diatomaceous Earth is ground up fossilized shell and it acts like razor wire to the bugs. It cuts their shell open and they die of dehydration within two days. It feels like talcum powder to the human touch but it does dry out the hands so wear gloves. It's also wise to wear a mask when you are laying down the powder.
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#17 of 24 Old 12-21-2009, 04:37 AM
 
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Yeah, I think I didn't get too mad at him concerning the free bed on freecycle because I wouldn't of thought to check for bedbugs. It's been quite a process to get rid of them but I think we are winning the war because we found them so fast. We have used a combo of Diatanateous Earth and Cedar oil. What a nightmare though!!!
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#18 of 24 Old 12-21-2009, 12:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
We had EXCELLENT results using a product that is 100% orange oil. It wiped out all the bugs. It smelled great - because it's oranges (or maybe tangerines), and not "orange scented" or any of that crap, it was the real thing. Let me know if you want me to dig out a link for this product.
If you have time to find the name or link for the product, I would love to have it for my own use. We occasionally have bug problems (in the springtime) and hate using traditional chemicals.
Thanks

A doula who married a cop & became a mama to 3 boys: G 12/22/00, my rainbow baby B 2/2/07 and L 2/10/10 my CBA2V baby, waiting for my little caboose late February 2013 & always remembering my two angels 2006 & 2012.

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#19 of 24 Old 12-04-2011, 04:02 AM
 
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Hi! I have a major carpet beetle infestation going. 

 

What product did you use to seal up the floor bloards? 

 

Thanks

Lynn

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#20 of 24 Old 12-04-2011, 04:23 AM
 
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Does anyone have experience with diatomaceous earth that is "food grade" versus regular old diatomaceous earth?

 

Thanks

Lynn

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#21 of 24 Old 12-04-2011, 12:49 PM
 
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We didn't seal up the floorboards themselves, rather the gap between the floorboards and the skirting boards around the whole room. For this we used a type of plaster that is designed for large cracks. It came in a squeeze out tube. You can buy it and mix yourself which is cheaper but I was way too lazy to try hehe. My dad told me to use silicone along them since it is more flexible for when the floorboards expand but I tried this and it was very difficult to do and the result was messy- since Im not experienced with that kind of thing. So I found the plaster worked a lot better and gave a clean unnoticeable finish. If you do have gaps in between the actual boards there is something you can buy to seal those. I'm not sure what it's called though I just know that in several places around our old house someone had done that. Good luck, we haven't seen a single carpet beetle in a LONG TIME!   

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#22 of 24 Old 06-02-2013, 09:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by laohaire View Post

We had a carpet beetle problem earlier in the year.


Yes, clutter is a big part of the problem. They like fabric, though also I think some grains (cereals, rice) so check your pantry too, just in case.


We had EXCELLENT results using a product that is 100% orange oil. It wiped out all the bugs. It smelled great - because it's oranges (or maybe tangerines), and not "orange scented" or any of that crap, it was the real thing. Let me know if you want me to dig out a link for this product. It will kill the bugs (and it's safe to use around children, pets and even FOOD) but you have to spray in the right places, of course. DH is something like a bug genius, he watches them and he can figure out where the nest is, spray a concentrated area, and bam! They're gone. He did that, and then noticed just 2 bugs a day in another area, got those, and we've not seen another carpet beetle again.


Because the nest was in a wall that shared a wall upstairs with my closet (and my closet shares another wall with DH's closet) we emptied the closets 100%. We did a major, major purge (which I can't think about because I got rid of some bigtime sentimentals!!) and sealed all rest of the clothes into garbage bags (with liberal sprinklings of borax right in the bags, to suffocate any bugs that were in the clothes) and put the bags on our back porch. Honestly, we're still working our way through the bags again; I wash the clothes in hot water with my usual mixture of borax, washing soda and soap. If I had a chest freezer, I'd freeze anything I couldn't wash, but I think I might take a chance and just shake the borax off of those items and hang them back up eventually
:


Carpets: we sprinkled liberally with borax, let the Borax sit for 48 hours and then vacuumed. VERY IMPORTANT: eating borax is very toxic to pets!! If you have cats, you'll need to explore other options. I don't think cats will just eat the borax but if they walk on the carpet and then clean their paws later, it could be harmful. I don't think tiny amounts will hurt them but I heard of a guy who mixed a cup of borax with some food and put it out for bait for... I forgot what ... but anyway his cat ate it and died.
We have two cats and we banished them outside for the two days we let the borax do its work.


I hope some of that helps. I've been there. Good luck.
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#23 of 24 Old 06-02-2013, 09:59 AM
 
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Hi! I would love to know the name of the orange oil spray and where to find it! Thaks, Rita
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#24 of 24 Old 08-08-2013, 02:36 PM
 
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We had a bed bug experience whena houseguest brought them in  while back.  Fortunately, we caught it very early and have not seen any sign of  them for over a year.

 

We had a pest company come in.  We also pulled up every baseboard in the house and squirted diatomaceous earth behind them with a syringe, then put baseboards back (wearing a mask as the stuff is bad to inhale, though not chemically toxic).  An unexpected result - we are pretty much bug free now!  We always would have the odd beetle or sowbug or cockroach type bug here and there - but the DE in the baseboard cracks put a stop to all of that.


If you are not sure what you have, bedbugger.com is a great free resource. Post a pic there - they will ID.  I hope it isn't bedbugs!

 

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