Monday, October 10, 2011

How to Isolate Your Bed from Bed Bugs

Isolating your bed basically means cleaning the bed bugs off your mattress and linens, and then building traps that prevent remaining bed bugs in the room from crawling up the legs of your bed and re-infesting it. Isolating your bed won't get rid of your bed bug problem, but you will be able to sleep again at night.
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bed-bug-control (1)
Before We Get Started...
Your bed bug exterminator should get involved in this process. Exterminators have chemicals that kill any bed bugs hiding on your mattress, box spring, headboard and frame. So, depending on what your pest control tech tells you, some of these steps may not be necessary for you to do on your own. Again, clear the following plan with the expert before you begin.
What You'll Need 
  • Zippered dust-mite encasements for your mattress, box spring and pillows. These are basically large
  • bags that are designed to keep dust mites inside the encasement - but they also keep bed bugs inside. Find them at allergy supply stores.
  • Wide duct tape.
  • Contractor grade trash bags (not lawn and leaf bags, but the thick contractor grade trash bags, at least two or three mils thick).
  • Wide double-sided tape.
  • Bed lifts to raise your bed off the ground (these are little stands that you set the legs of your bed frame into to raise it off the ground). Find them at your local bedding/linen store. Note that if your frame is already fairly high off the ground (like a foot or more), you don't need the risers.
  • Four metal bowls large enough to place the bed lifts in (heavy duty plastic bowls are fine, too. Either way, they have to be unbreakable). Pet stores have nice metal bowls that are ideal for this.
  • XXL Ziploc bags
  • Food-grade freshwater diatomaceous earth. Also known as DE, diatomaceous earth is an abrasive mineral powder that kills bed bugs and other crawling insects by scratching open their skins, which dehydrates them (they die after a day or two). This stuff is razor wire for bed bugs - they will be able to crawl through it, but the damage they suffer is deadly. You can get DE everywhere: online, your local garden center (gardeners use it to kill pests, sometimes marketed as ant killer), or pet supply stores (food grade stuff is sprinkled on pets to kill fleas). Make sure you don't get swimming pool grade diatomaceous earth - that is the wrong stuff. Also, get a dust mask while you are at Home Depot - you'll wear it as you are dusting around your bed. A note about DE: While considered generally safe, you need to carefully read the label and follow all safety instructions. Wear a dust mask or respirator when applying.
  • Murphy's Oil Soap. Murphy's is a wood cleaner made by Colgate-Palmolive that also has pesticide properties. You can find it everywhere. Buy the spray bottle.
  • A new set of white sheets, pillowcases and covers. You are going to replace your existing bedding with new white linens, to better spot any fresh bed bug fecal spots or blood.
  • New pillows: Your current ones might be infested, so let's start over with new ones.
  • Optional: Something that kills bed bugs on contact. Rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle will do it. You can dilute the alcohol with a bit of water to make it last longer - 9 parts alcohol, 1 part water.

What to Do
Step 1: Clean your Linens and Bedding
First you need to pull all the bedding off your bed - sheets, mattress cover, comforter, pillows and pillow cases. Everything. These are infested with bed bugs, so you need to immediately stuff them into the trash bags and tie the bags off.
Now wash every item in hot water. Don't let those infested linens touch other linens or clothing items. Then dry them on high (at least 140 degrees) for 4 hours, or two complete drying cycles. When done, put each item into an XXL Ziploc and seal it.
Put your pillows in a contractor bag, seal it, and throw it in the trash. Cleaning a pillow thoroughly is tough, so you're better off starting with a new one.
Step 2: Vacuum Your Mattress and Box Spring
You are now going to clean the mattress and box spring of any bed bugs, eggs, or larvae.
Get out you vacuum cleaner and clean EVERY INCH of your mattress. Scraping the end of the vacuum attachment vigorously over the harborage area is better than using a brush, because the bugs cling tightly to the surface, and the eggs are cemented to it. Clean every inch of the surface, the tufts along the edges, and the sides of the mattress. Lean it against the wall and vacuum the other side.
Clean the box spring just as carefully. Tear that flimsy dust cover fabric off the bottom, seal it in a plastic bag and throw it away. Vacuum the insides, making sure to get every bit of fabric, as well as the wooden frames and support.
When you are done vacuuming, remove the bag from the vacuum, seal it in a plastic garbage bag, and throw it out. The vacuum bag will have bed bugs in it, and you don't want them to crawl out.
Step 3: Clean the Bed Frame
If you have a metal frame, you are in luck, because these are fairly easy to clean. Grab the vacuum and clean all the nooks and crannies. Pay special attention to inside corners, joints, the areas where the wheels attach to the frame - any dark little corners where bed bugs might hide.
Spray it down with rubbing alcohol to kill anything you missed. Use caulk or duct tape to fill in any holes or gaps between the metal pieces (bed bugs hide in the holes and joints).
If there are any hollow areas in your bed frame (sometimes, the legs are hollow), those are perfect places for the bed bugs to hide. Spray the interior with alcohol and vacuum them out.
If you have a headboard, you should get rid of it. The headboard is one of the most likely places the bugs will hide and lay eggs, and if you have one, I can pretty much guarantee you that it has bed bugs hiding on it. Put it in a plastic bag, carry it to the dumpster, spray paint the words BED BUGS on the package, and throw it in. (It is important to wrap the headboard in plastic before it leaves your bedroom. You don't want any bugs jumping off in the hallway on the way to the door.)
If you have a wooden bedframe, you need to disassemble it, and wash it down with Murphy's Oil Soap. Once you have the frame disassembled, vacuum it like you did with your mattress and box spring. You may need to use a stiff brush to dislodge any eggs or bed bugs in the nooks and crannies. Now spray the Murphy's onto the frame, making sure to spray it into every cracks and crevice.
Step 4: Clean and Prepare the Floor Around Your Bed
When you reassemble the bed, you have to position it away from the walls and furniture, so bed bugs don't have anything to use as a bridge to reinfest your bed. Usually, the best place is to position the bed toward the center of the room and the night stand or tables away from it.
Carefully vacuum the floor in the area under the bed. If you have any carpets or rugs, I think you should roll them up, put them in the trash bag, seal the bag tightly and put it in the garage or storage for the next 18 months. But consult with your bed bug exterminator. Rugs can be treated by with chemicals, so it's your call as to what to do.
Sprinkle the floor you just cleaned with a light dusting of DE. Don't make piles, just use a baby powder bottle or some other plastic bottle that can puff out a very light layer of the stuff.
Warning: DE is almost lighter than air, and it takes some practice to get used to. As with any pest control product, READ THE LABEL AND FOLLOW ALL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS. Wear a dust mask or respirator when applying.
Step 5: Reassemble the Bed Frame
Now reassemble your bed frame and move it to the middle of the room, over your dust field. Put the legs of the bed frame on the lifters, and put the lifters in the bowls. In other words, the bowl is on the floor, the lifter is in the bowl, and the bed frame is on the lifter.
Wrap plastic wrap around the legs of your bed (regular Saran Wrap is fine for this), then wrap double sided tape over the plastic wrap to catch any bed bugs crawling up.
For additional protection, spread Vaseline on the legs above and below the double sided tape. This is an old trick from the turn of the century, and another obstacle to gum up any bed bugs trying to crawl into your bed.
Put the encasement over the box spring. Put the box spring on the frame. Make sure you don't tear the encasement! Cover the zippered seam of the case with duct tape. Use a lot of tape, and extend it four to six inches from the end of the zipper. You are taping up the zipper because baby bed bugs are tiny, and can slip through the teeth of the zipper.
Gently put the mattress on the box spring. Gently pull the casing over it, and tape the zippers shut.
Now it is time to fill the bowls with soapy water. Bed bugs cannot traverse soapy water, so this becomes like a little moat, protecting the legs of your bed.
Put your new white sheets on the bed, over the encasements. With new sheets, you'll be able to see any blood spots, fecal stains, or crushed bed bugs that might have penetrated your defenses.
Step 6: Securing the Perimeter
Put down a three or four inch wide circle of double-sided carpet tape on the floor around your entire bed (be sure that you vacuumed within this area. If you didn't, do it now). This way, any bed bugs crawling from outside of your fortress will get caught in the tape.
And finally, be sure you have a dusting of DE extending 12 inches around the soapy water-filled bowls. You want to be sure that any bugs that try to get up those bowls have to go through the DE first. Again, this should only be a dusting of DE. You should not see much whiteness at all - thinner is better. Any more than that, and it won't work.
And you're done! Feels good to be taking the offensive, doesn't it? If everything works as planned, you've cleared the bed bugs off your bed, any that you missed are encased inside the mite cover, and the bed bugs elsewhere in the room will be unable to get into your bed. Finally, a chance to sleep!
Jens Alexander is the owner of The Bed Bug Battle Plan, an extensive resource for bed bug victims. At BedBugBattlePlan, you can find links and information, photos of bed bugs, and most importantly, learn how to get rid of bed bugs.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Remodeling series-Week 16

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Last week Mrs S was on vacation. I wanted to mention this because my inbox was flooded with emails from concerned readers wanting to know what happened to the series! Afraid they had missed something. No need to worry, we are back on schedule!
For those of you following this remodel you know that our latest hiccup was the doors. As the story goes in my line of business:  ”it will be two weeks.” But then two weeks comes and goes and it suddenly becomes another “two weeks.” At any rate our two week turn around for doors turned into almost five. So all of us were thrilled when they got here!
Mrs S and Co. immediately poo-poo’d the idea of the stained doors, but I am not past begging and pleading if I know it is perfect for the design. Ritchie, accustomed to working with me silently raised an eyebrow and just couldn’t envision it. But he trusted my judgement and when they went in today, everyone was thrilled with the idea of staining them! Yay!

Stained walnut doors will be THE epitome of luxury and decadence in this refined bathroom. The perfect solution to grounding the space, warming it up and adding that touch of elegance……………..but then the grim reaper ALWAYS has to play the devils advocate and ruin everything. ALWAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!! {Read More}

Monday, September 19, 2011

Entertaining-A guide to proper invitation etiquette with CoryAnne Ettiene

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Housewife Bliss — The Finer Points Of Domesticity

Today I sit down with Corryanne Ettiene from Housewife Bliss, to discuss the proper do’s and don’ts of sending an invitation; a true art of entertaining. It is hard to imagine, but just a few short years ago entertaining was considered a socially routine practice, and people actually looked forward to, and made time for such events. GAASP! Entertaining was considered fun a host took pride in sending out invitations and holding a party in her home. (Oh domestic bliss and feminine power how far we have come)…..But now a days it seems that people spend more time crafting the perfect story why they just can’t make it…or worse they assume the host KNOWS that they won’t be coming.(aren’t we all telepathically connected to a USB port to know such things? …Oh wait we are, it’s called a computer)
In an oxymoronic age where people have a justified rationality for disposable everything, but somehow also want to have a green mentality, it’s hard to make sense of proper etiquette in a time with such convaluted rules. Being courteous and polite were once customary practices, however, it seems that in today’s reality driven, hyper-fame paradise we call America, all we know how to do is hide behind our emails, text messages and pessimistic nature. One of my favorite sayings that my grandmother always said is, “A woman’s beauty lasts only as long as her disposition stays sweet”. Although her dynasty was built entirely on class, sophistication and a 1950′s Continental Mark II Lincoln, grandma is the template of domestic perfection. While I don’t strive to be so organized, animated and pulled together, I do feel that every grandma in America could teach our youth a thing or two about manners. Especially when they can’t make up their mind whether to be activist hippies, or reality driven expendables that are dumber than a box of rocks! But I digress, once again.
In a society devoid of many social etiquette practices, I had some very specific questions from the domestic goddess herself, Coryanne Ettiene:

1) Decorative invites or save a tree
Amanda- Is is socially acceptable to send out decorative invites with so many tree-hugging, prius driving hippies that fantasize about a world without decorative tree killing

CoryAnne-Ah yes, that old chestnut and a rather hard nut to crack, because you are not going to please everyone all the time.  But  if you are inviting me to a dinner party, please send me a nice pretty invitation that I can put on my mantle and enjoy while I am dusting the living room. Rest assured, I am going to love your invitation, and when I remove it from my mantle it will go in the recycling bin to please my inner eco-warrior.

2) To email or not

Amanda- Are there happy alternatives to invitations that are not tree murderers, but not trendy, non-personal shortcuts like email invites?

Coryanne-Eco-invitations on recycled paper are very popular and nearly every stationary shop has an eco option. Some invitations are made from 100% recycled paper and others are creative combinations of recycling cards to create a new product.  With anything, spending a little money will get you a fabulous product, after all, you get what you pay for.
Forgoing the formal invitation in an envelope, a second option is for a bespoke post card invitation, they require less postage, less paper and still send the  message that you are planning a fabulous evening.

3) Where to shop

Amanda-What are some of the best places to get invitations?

Coryanne-Etsy is full of budding stationary shops that embody the eco-chic image and philosophy.  Like all stationary, your taste and style will navigate you towards a particular company. {Continue reading here!}

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bedroom Design

No much more words to describe about bedroom design. Use your unlimited imagination to make the best bedroom design to supporting your general home themes. One thing for sure your bedroom design should be the comfortable place because it was your rest room. Choose little or much bedroom furniture in additional use. The lighting so, we have to think our bedroom lighting is the most relaxing to release our fatigue over the daily activity. Consult with the architect or bedroom designer to gain the best place to take a rest in our home part. Here some bedroom design i have choose to represent our bedroom design session.
contemporary bedroom design
green bedroom design
Pink Bedroom Design for Girl


Friday, April 15, 2011

Kitchen Set

When we need a food our mind straightly think "kitchen". The place which made to make any kind of food for our beloved family. Mother territorial some people name it. Sounds funny but it was the real fact, even now there are many man/ father who has cook in the kitchen. Little tips for your kitchen, if you have large kitchen room you may choose large kitchen appliances or big kitchen set, don't forget to mix and match with your desire themes. We may buy kitchen set by furniture store or online store. When you buying by online furniture store don't forget to ask the  insurance or m.o.u the furniture you bought in good condition in your hand. Here some kitchen set pictures of my collection you may like it, please enjoy.

Green Kitchen Design Modern Kitchen Set
Kitchen Set
Kitchen Sets Design
Kitchen Set
Kitchen Set
Minimalist Kitchen Sets Design
Minimalist Clean Kitchen Style
Modern Kitchen Set
Modern Kitchen Set Arrangement
Red-Kitchen Set
Unique-Kitchen-Set 2

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bathroom Design Ideas

One of the room that we need most in our home is the bathroom. Designing or use architect or designer will bring you the best bathroom you've ever need. They will manage the best bathroom design depend on our needs such as luxury bathroom design, minimalist bathroom design, small bathroom design, green bathroom design even outdoor bathroom design ideas. Below you'll find many pictures of bathroom design which i choose to represent any bathroom design i was talk about. Please enjoy it.
Luxury Bathroom Design
Luxury Bathroom Design
Luxury Bathroom Design
Luxury Bathroom Design
Luxury Bathroom Design
Minimalist Bathroom Design
Luxury Bathroom Design
Bathroom Design Ideas
Green Bathroom Design Ideas
Minimalist Bathroom Design Ideas