Defeating the airborne bedbugs
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As soon as you isolated your bed, two things might happen:
I'll focus on how to defeat the airborne bedbugs today. I doubt that the bedbugs possess human intelligence, as suggested by Dr Campbell in his paper "My observations on bedbugs", but rather believe that the strategy is based on basic instinct, which is that the bedbugs are attracted to CO2 and body heat. One web site claims that the bedbug can detect CO2 from 15 feet away. I haven't been able to verify that.
My suggestion is that if you have a light infestation, you don't have to worry too much about it, but if you have a heavy infestation or if you have seen them on the walls or the ceiling, you definitely have to do something about it. Here are a few things that I would suggest:
The first system is simply a rectangle of double-sided carpet tape on top of painter's tape. As shown in Figure 4.1, the rectangle should be at least a few inches bigger than the perimeter of the bed. I actually used this in my old apartment right after I read "My observations on bedbugs". But I mistakenly had carpet tape on top of duct tape, which damaged the ceiling paint when I peeled them off, and I had to repair the ceiling and repaint it. You also don't want to coat Vaseline directly on the ceiling since it will likely be absorbed by the ceiling and leave black marks on it. The painter's tape that I bought from Home Depot was rated for 14 days, meaning that it could be left up for 14 days without leaving residue on the ceiling. The longest one is 60 days, but is less adhesive. If the tape is left up for too long, it could possibly cause some damage, but I think the damage would be very minor. However, I haven't done any experiment, so do it at your own risk. To avoid the messy looking, you might want to tape along the edges of the ceiling instead.
Figure 4.2, tilted bottom view
Figure 4.3, side view
The second system is a plastic sheet, such as painter's drop sheet with double-sided carpet tape adhered to all four edges, and taped or nailed to the ceiling at the four corners. The basic setup is shown in Figure 4.2. The side-view in Figure 4.3 shows that only the four corners are attached to the ceiling. The main advantage of this system is that:
Because the plastic sheet isn't tightly against the ceiling, bedbugs can keep crawling on the ceiling under the sheet, but they won't be able to reach your bed in this case. And if they try to crawl onto the sheet, they will be blocked by the carpet tape. Better yet, bedbugs are not good climbers, if you also have carpet tape on the other side of the sheet, and if any bedbugs drop from the ceiling onto the sheet, they will be trapped.
Of course, with these tape and sheet on the ceiling, your bedroom won't look too neat. But would your pay this small price or rather let them drop to your bed and bite you?