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Egypt Bed Bugs Treatment

by Rosemary Sabet
(Cairo, Egypt)

I live in Egypt and have resided in the same apartment for 35 years. We are used to mosquitoes and the dreaded cockroaches and have the flat professionally treated every six months or once a year.

A couple of months ago, I woke up at 3 a.m. scratching my hands madly and although there were no physical signs of bites I had scratched so hard that there were tiny blood clots under my skin although no breaks in the skin. We had the bedroom professionally treated but they returned a few days later.

We have tried EVERYTHING. We thought that they may have come from the many books around the bed so we took them all out and sprayed them and wrapped them up for a few days in a sheet and we did find about 6 to 8 bugs. We spray the bed with all sorts of insect sprays every two days but to no avail.

This has been going on for some time now. My husband does not appear to get bitten so I moved into the spare bedroom which, so far is bug free.

Last night I moved back into our room as he is away for a few days - just to try it out. I woke at 2 a.m. itching and scratching like mad and when I turned on the light I found two very small, round, reddish to brown bugs. I pinched them with my fingers and put them in a small glass to show the specialists. I then went to the bathroom and when I returned to the bedroom I found another 5 to 6 of the same bugs.

The odd thing is that the bugs only bite the parts of my body which are not covered by the sheet or blanket - usually my hands as I fall asleep reading.

Another odd thing is that they seem to like the ftwo eather pillows rather than the other, more synthetic ones.


Advice for a Bed Bugs Egypt Problem

Hi Rosemary,

You've touched on a couple of bed bug problems. Here's my advice on each one:

1) Bed Bug Bite Symptoms: Bed bugs bites cause an allergic skin reaction in some people. You are obviously allergic to the bites. This does not mean that your husband is not being bitten, it just means he doesn't show an allergic reaction after being bitten. Bed bugs will bite all available human hosts.

2) Bed Bugs Apartment Extermination: Bed bugs can travel from apartment to apartment, so removing them from your unit will only bring temporary relief. It is necessary to inspect and treat all apartments which are next door, above and below yours. Bed bugs move through the walls. They will not move a long distance, but in your case it sounds like this is an on-going problem, so their may be a building issue. I'd ask your building manager to do the inspection. Payment for treatment will depend on the laws in your area. Often it is best to split the cost between tenants and landlord. A professional exterminator is always the best approach.

3) Bed Bug Protection from Clothes: Bed Bugs prefer to bite exposed skin, so it isn't unusual for bed bugs to only bite the bottoms of the arms, neck and legs. If you wear tight fitting clothes to bed, you can protect most skin areas. A natural skin repellent might also help.

4) Bed Bugs Apartment Treatment: To protect your apartment, there are a few things you can do. Note that bed bug treatment takes 2 to 3 applications in order to eliminate a bed bug problem.

- Wash all linens and items in drawers near the bed. Wash in hot water followed by 20 to 30 minutes in the dryer. Place all items in a
sealed plastic bin or plastic bag when done.

- Start by vacuuming the mattress, box spring bed frame, the back of furniture, along the baseboard etc. I've added a diagram of usual hiding places to this post.

- Purchase a bed bug kit that contains a knock down spray (to kill bed bug eggs on contact), a residual spray to provide lasting protection, and bed bug dust (also called diatomaceous earth or fossil dust). This is a reputable supplier for bed bug kits.

- Treat the mattress with a mattress safe bed bug spray. I'm not sure what is available in Egypt, however, Sterifab is a good choice. Once the mattress is treated, move it out of the room to a "safe" bed bug free area.
- Treat all adjacent furniture and along the baseboards with both the Sterifab and with a residual spray such as Phantom or Bedlam.

Again, buy what is locally available. Remove items from drawers and inspect for bed bugs and bed bug eggs (bed bug pictures). You can place items on top of the box spring for inspection. If you aren't sure, place items in the freezer for 5 days to kill bed bugs. Washables, can be washed in hot water. Items that cannot be washed, place in a sealed plastic bin for now.

- Treat and check around windows, inspect bottoms of lamps etc. If you see bed bugs or eggs dispose of items. They can hide in any thin crack including electronics. Dispose of items or store in sealed bins for 14 months to ensure that bed bugs starve to death.

- Treat along baseboards with both sprays, If you have carpet, steam clean and add a small quantity of disinfectant to the carpet cleaning fluid.

- Move box spring to safe area after treatment.

- Buy mattress and box spring covers such as those sold here via Allerzip. Wait for sprays to dry and for the application of bed bug dust before covering. If you can't cover, at least apply thin layer of bed bug dust to all cracks and crevices in mattress, box spring and bed frame.

- Be sure to treat everything, including the bed frame.

- Take the bed bug dust, which is also called fossil dust or diatomaceous earth. It is natural, inexpensive and usually available in garden or grocery stores. Use a duster to apply in a thin layer inside all wall cracks such as the baseboards. Place a thin layer of dust around electrical outlets (be careful), inside the box spring, along the seams of the mattress (particularly apply under labels, plastic corner guards).

- If you can, seal the baseboard and any wall cracks with caulk.

- Put bed bug traps under each bed leg if you can. Climbup is a good choice. If the traps stay empty after 2 to 3 treatments you've been successful.

- Return the box spring, mattress and blankets.

You could also use a hand steamer to go over all areas. If you have pets keep them out of the room until sprays dry. Do not use bed bug dust around pets as they will lick it up.

Dispose of any vacuum bags that you use.

I hope this helps your bed bugs Egypt apartment problem. Again, your best approach is to hire a professional to treat all adjacent apartments. If that is not possible, you can follow the steps above, which is explained in even more detail on our bed bug treatment guide. Even doing some of the things mentioned will help.

By the way, another way to treat items in drawers and blankets is with a portable heat chamber such as a PackTite. Items are heated to the temperatures required to kill bed bugs and bed bug eggs, a great method since it is chemical free.

Please keep us up to date on your Egypt bed bugs battle.

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