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Sticky Ottoman

A footrest to prevent bedbugs from crawling up your legs while you work or eat. They come out even in the daytime if they are hungry enough.

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  • 1 × 12" square of 3-ply plywood
  • 2 × 12" x 0.75" x 1.5" pine
  • 1 × 9" square of 7/16" plywood pix do not show this; go with the parts list for a stronger build.
  • 4 × 6-32 x 1.5" zinc-plated machine screws use 9/64" dia drill bit
  • 4 × 6-32 acorn nuts

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  • sticky ottoman

    David Matthew Mooney11/24/2020 at 21:48 0 comments


    When they get hungry, they get crazy and will charge without warning at any hour of the day or night. If you don't manage to plug them right between the eyes with the first shot, you're a goner.

    But seriously, when I use carpet-tape isolation, I never see bugs stuck to the tape, but I see a big reduction in bites. Of course, I tape the legs of my chairs as well, and/or put the legs in traps that have a glossy surface finish and steep sides, like disposable PETE cups.

    I also use a drying strategy to kill them: I

    • spread diatomaceous earth everywhere, with extra applied wherever water is or wherever I see them (scratches their waxy surface layer so that they dry out);
    • use a dust mask to do this;
    • keep the air bone-dry by putting trays spread with calcium chloride granules under the windows (which is where drinkable condensate will form first);
    • mop up all moisture before each bedtime and seal anything moist in a polyethylene shoe box;
    • seal anything moist bug-tight;
    • put a carpet tape barrier all around the sides of my mattress with no gaps and sleep without blankets or pillow;
    • and seal the mattress-top seams with masking tape and putty.

    I used 400 g of diatomaceous earth in a 180 ft2 suite, Green Earth Homecare brand.

    I also set out two commercial indicator traps so I know when I'm done: one on the floor closest to my head, and one taped securely to the mattress-top in a corner where I will not kick it.

    I also set up a clothesline for all my clothes and footwear and trapped out the verticals.

    I also put filters on all inlet and outlet air registers, puttied up all fixtures and baseboard cracks, and  carpet taped all around the inside door frame. 

    No bugs now for two days.

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  • 1
    Clarification 1

    Put the double-sticky tape (aka carpet tape) around the perimeter of the underside of the 12"-square of 3-ply plywood, leaving no gaps. Add an additional layer of tape whenever the previous layer has lost its tackiness due to dust accumulation.

  • 2
    Clarification 2

    Do not use little squares and strips of 7/16" plywood like I did; the resulting footrest will break if you put your weight on it. Use a single 9"-square of 7/16" plywood instead.

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