As somebody who has dealt with vermin, from the tiniest bedbugs to the larger mice and rats, I learned a lot of no-nonsense techniques from personal experiences in dealing with them. I am by no means living in a slum or poor neighbourhood—my apartment is in a working class suburban area. In my ten years living there, I seemed to be besieged by waves of them. It started with bedbugs. In the beginning, I never even realized that they existed until I awoke last night to find my leg being gnawed on by at least a dozen of them! By that time, my apartment was heavily infested with these bloodthirsty vermin.
I tried everything, including pesticides, tenting my couch and chairs in plastic, destroying clothes, and enveloping my beds in plastic. These vermin remained in force. But I found out a way that started to eliminate them was to use scalding hot water: machines, and even pots of scalding hot water. I concentrated on the couches, which I had to remove the plastic simply because it was very uncomfortable and not working anyways. Pouring fiery hot pots of water on them every few days would easily destroy the bedbugs, their eggs and larvae. Most living beings—especially the tiniest ones—cannot survive intensely hot water,
Over time, their numbers started to drop. Washing my clothes more frequently and storing them in high and more secure areas kept them from being re-infested more often and helped to prevent further spreading to couches, chairs and beds. These bedbugs can survive a year without blood and hide in the tiniest cracks and holes in houses. This makes them especially hard to defeat—as they merely return and re-infest. But with a very aggressive counterattack, eventually their numbers fall. There are some newer products on the market to exterminate them, like cedarcide. But it still is a process, as they can still easily return and re-infest.
Vacuuming a lot with a cleaner that has a Hepa filter helps to bring down their numbers. When travelling, use the Internet to identify hotels and motels with reported bedbug infestations. Seal your clothes in plastic bags, wash them before returning, and reseal them in plastic bags. Shower before leaving and place a fresh outfit of lighter clothes on, to give any potential bedbugs an opportunity to ride back to your house…and all of the ‘food’ waiting for them. When you have guests staying at your place, insist that they bring their clothes in sealed plastic bags and immediately shower and wash the clothes that they are wearing.
Showering, bathing, vacuuming, washing and securing your clothes keep these tiny vermin on the run—in ever increasingly smaller numbers. Buying smaller, less larger couches also helps. In my battles with the bedbug infestation, I eventually won and have remained bedbug free for a number of months. But I would face a simultaneous war with cockroaches, rats and mice that would be a completely different war. It led to deep bites on my ankles and hands by the mice and rats.