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Commentary :: Environment
The behavior of starving bed bugs
15 Dec 2006
More amateur bed bug science...a study in bed bug etymology
The following is a continuation of a previous story I posted on ‘bed bug science'.

When I discovered that I had bed bugs last month, I sealed off my bedroom and wrapped my box spring and mattress to trap bed bugs, and I retreated to the living room, where I was safe from bed bugs for about a week and a half. It turns out that sealing bed bugs in a room is very difficult and they found me on the living room floor, and so I retreated into my tent, which I pitched on the living room floor and was then sleeping free of bed bug attacks in my tent until I realized that I could construct a cloth bed bug bed protector out of things I have around the place. See the description of this simple method to prevent bed bug attacks on the following page...

Normally bed bugs are secretive creatures, and as I described in a previous story, I had bed bugs for over half a year and did not know it. You just don't see a bed bug, and bed bugs are most vulnerable when they are out crawling, and so therefore a bed bug will never crawl a foot if it can crawl an inch instead, and thus lower the risk of being detected.

However, it turns out that these bed bugs have not had a good meal since last month, and when you starve a bed bug the behavior of bed bug changes. Today for the first time I have been swatting desperate bed bugs which have been scooting around my place in broad daylight the same way some people swat flies. Bed bugs will also try launching sneak attacks during broad daylight when they get damn good and hungry, and you will feel them crawling up your pant legs for example. Bed bugs have a very noticeable and distinctive crawl, since they have not adapted that crawl to be undetectable, being creatures of the deep night that they are, and so when a desperate bed bug crawls on you during the daytime hours you know it instantly and that turns out to be a very poor survival strategy for bed bugs that wind up getting swatted dead right on the spot.

This experience today has been grossing me out, and I know that things are only going to get worse in the days and weeks ahead as desperate bed bugs are found crawling all over the place in my dwelling and I am swatting bed bugs trying to mount sneaky attacks on my person, as those starving bed bugs just keep getting hungrier and hungrier.

I thought I would mention this fact to those of you who might get bed bugs and might then decide to use the natural chemical free technique to get rid of those bed bugs by driving them out of your residence. Now that there is a plague of pesticide resistant bed bugs spreading around the country you are much better to not let the bed bugs bite and thus discourage bed bugs from setting up nests in your dwelling place. I highly recommend the pro-active strategy, such as the bed tenting strategy, which does work, as described above, because if you should decide to take a wait and see attitude, and you get bed bugs, the process of driving out that nest of bed bugs is very disgusting, and since some people might be freaked out when starving bed bugs start running amok in their pad, this is something to keep in mind. I am in the process of getting rid of these bed bugs, and they will have to leave. What choice do they have, but the process is not neat and tidy, and really is rather gross to tell you the truth, but the change in the behavior of these bed bugs is proof positive that the strategy is working, and sooner or later they will be eliminated from my place without using a shot of pesticide spray upon them, for bed bugs have no resistance to starvation, nor will they ever be able to develop their resistance to that.

This work is in the public domain
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Persistent pests
15 Dec 2006
I thought I would mention that bed bugs are notorious hitchhikers, and to preserve the sanctity of a bed bug free bed tent you should avoid carrying any small bed bugs into the sanctuary on clothing. I am adopting the strategy of a shower before entering the sanctuary to make damn sure they don't hitch a ride into that bed tent. Bed bugs are incredibly persistent and you must be an extremist to deal with such determined bugs.