Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Bed Bugs #2 - Still Ongoing

As mentioned previously, this was a 2nd hand or sub sale unit. While it has been left vacant to the point almost never occupied for many of its years, the finishing left a lot to be desired.

Its fine for most part of the house... except for half of the living room floor tiles where the grout was coming off. And that's particularly a no-no if you've got this pesky unwanted invader who would find those holes a nice warm place to hide from the chemicals that would eventually rain down on them.
 So what does this mean then? Re-grouting and subsequently re-sealing those gaps.
In Malaysia, we used the famous and easily found PYE products. Makes the floor looks like brand new, eh?
 This was Little One's old cot. Which turn out to be infested as well. And it got discarded.

Poor missus took 1 MONTH of no pay leave just to deal with this menace of epic proportions. You'll know in a short while...
 Laundering, Cleaning, Spraying and many other things as well. (Thanks Luv)
 This came from our room's chest of drawers after using Murphy's Oil.
Not a very good sign. In the end, it was discarded.
 And our Ikea bedside table was wrapped up...
 And eventually... discarded.

In the end, a lot of the furniture was discarded. :(
My house don't quite look the same anymore.

Even now, 6 months on, we have no curtains. No blankets.
For 5 months, we slept without pillows, just a barren bed.
We hesitated for the longest time over having a pillow for fear of introduction or otherwise.
Even then, now, when we do have a pillow, it's encased with IT'S own pillow encasement!

And the world still kept on turning, the sun kept on shining... and our lives had to keep on going.

You may be wondering how it came to this: Well, the one device that had assisted me to keep my house clean was the unfortunate helper giving out free rides from our bedroom.
My Robotic Vacuum cleaner would hand out 'get out of jail' free cards and they would hitch a ride out into my living hall, dining and Little One's room. The only 2 locations they didn't quite make it was the store room and kitchen as baby safety gates prevented the cleaner from going further.

On many levels, you learn to give up items that you don't need and now, when we shop, the first question we ask ourselves is, "Do we need it?".
If we do, "Where do we keep it?"

Poor Little One had had it hard.
Not understanding why most of his toys have been kept away.
Sealed up.
Not allowed to sit and play on the floor like how he used too.
Forced to use slippers.
But he adapted over time...

It has been extremely hard and difficult for us. Thankfully, Google has been very helpful (if you get the right websites and forums).

Will we survive?

We'll have to... we have no choice.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Bed Bugs... A Malaysian Ongoing Experience...

What can I say that hasn't been already mentioned by countless blogs, websites, etc. 
And such a taboo here in this country called Malaysia.
Small blood sucking insects that just know how to check in, but extremely difficult to check out. They'll make any problem that you face seem petty and inconsequential compared to knowing their existence in your home.
In addition to washing, cleaning, engaging pest services...
Changing furniture...

Engaging new methods...
Planet Sticky as it's known...

Using Glue...
And endless hours of caulking...

Using Sofa Encasement
Some ingenius thinking using 'As Is' and kitchen materials from Ikea...
 Life will never be the same...
So here's the rundown of what has been done / bought and what works for us. Bear in mind that we have tried other things as well, and some didn't quite work as planned.

So here goes:
We were told that we needed to regularly clean the floors. Mopping is good. Problem is, mopping is tedious and time is limited for 2 working adults, I figured, why not bust these insects with 100degree's Celcius of hot water vapour? Does it work? No idea. But we sure feel good using it... Done almost everyday when I first got it.... and used with Ace Hardware Terry Towels as a mopping cloth. If you require a liquid detergent, I use Method's Squirt and Mop solution
Karcher SC3 Steam Cleaner
Method's Squirt and Mop
Now @ 6 months, it's done on a 2-3 day interval.

Sofa Encasement
We bought this as we love our Sofa and couldn't bear to part with it. Before that, we had sprayed alcohol, cleaned it up with Leather Cleaner/Polisher
Sofa Encasements
But honestly speaking even after all that we've done, we're still a bit petrified of siting on it! :D

Mattress Encasement
We had initially bought KingKoil's version. But unfortunately, as mentioned in Amazon's customer's feedback, it tend to deteriorate (the special membrane-ny coating) and rip easily. While putting it on was effortless enough, we think that the holes at the bottom feels big enough for these buggers to escape. So, we bite the bullet and bought the best... from Amazon.
In the end, the KingKoil was wrapped by the Sleep Defense Bed Bug system
KingKoil Protect A Bed - Bed Bug Lock
Sleep Defense - Mattress Encasement
That's right, an encasement wrapped over another encasement! Nuts right, but how do we dare to take the old one off???!

DE Powder
Diatomaceous Earth is not something new but yet super effective, simple and non toxic at all. So we bought a tub from a local vendor, poured them into a ketchup bottle and puff the powder to the back and under cupboards as well as under the beds.
These were also placed into jelly cups that we put under the feet of the bed and also for our cupboards. Basically, if they get into these cups, they'll get coated with the DE and slowly just die from dehydration... but as it absorbs moisture from the surroundings, then one has to reapply every week or so...
From Wiki
In Malaysia, you can get it from here
The Jelly cups idea is that while it's a little coarse on the outside, it's smooth on the inside. So, they get in, it's hard for them to get out and up the legs. But heck, let's hope they get coated along the way.

Harris / Ortho Bed Bud Spray / Bio-D
In addition to getting help from your local pest exterminator, one can also use these sprays for locations that isn't covered by them which we found it at the local Ace Hardware store.
Harris Bed Bug Spray
Ortho Bed Bug Spray
If you prefer something less toxic and more friendly, you can consider this one:
We used to spray this on our bed prior to getting our mattress encasement. Boy, it does work and gave us some piece of mind! 

Caulking and sealing
Like any insects, you know they love to hide. And they sure can hide. This means that one would have to seal up those holes and crevices. And as our home was bought 2nd hand, over time, the floor grout has been exposed. Same with the plaster ceiling having cracks. And countless places.
Therefore, spend some time repairing your home. And bring some shine back to the floors and other places as well! :P

While one of the better things of living with abundant sunlight IS abundant and hot sunlight, come the monsoon months, all you'll be getting is cloudy and stormy days. As such, after spending 3 months in Geneva and missing the dryer there, we ended up getting our own. Funny how this piece of equipment would end up being one of our most coveted equipment in our fight against this pest.
Now, we can't live without it!

Storage bins
Once our clothes have been laundered, obviously it can't go back into the cupboards (as we believe they were infected too). But we loved our Ikea Pax's and Besta combinations. So temporarily, massive plastic containers were purchased to store the clothes and other items.

Cling Wrap
There are I'm sure, many items that you wouldn't want to throw away but would like to use them again one fine day. But if you're afraid that they might get infected or is, and with a shelf life of 18 months, what do you do? Starve them of oxygen and/or just restrict them by using industrial cling wrap!
Wrap tightly enough and many times over, heck, even Houdini wouldn't be able to escape!
These cling wraps are easily found in Ace Hardware or even in Lelong.Com.My

Mounting with Planet Sticky or Jelly Cups
You need to be clean. And if those buggers ever wanted to climb up, you want to make life miserable for them. Therefore, if you can raise your furniture up, do it. (And this is why we loved our Besta as we could place legs on them). And thereafter either protect it with a layer of wrapped cellophane tape (some height off the floor on the leg exposing the stickiness) or use small cups/containers filled with DE to protect and make hell for them...
For small cups, what we found most useful were food containers from Daiso and Jelly Cups that we bought in the supermarkets that contained coco-de-nata jelly in it. Scale your cups to size accordingly though as you wouldn't want them to be able to escape through an unintentional 'bridge'!

Planet Steel
They love things warm and wood. Who doesn't? Unfortunately, steel is cold and isn't the most pleasing to the end, not to mention downright plain and boring. And devoid of any imagination. But hey, you're at war, and you need to win at all costs... 
Beauty  has no place...

Finally, think outside of the box. And use whatever means necessary. We may be on top of the food chain, but we are nothing when compared to them.

They'll humble and humiliate you. 
Laugh at you. 
Mock at you even. 
Drive you crazy and even close to tears.

I know missus had a really hard time removing things; things that we have bought from near and far.
Close to our hearts, but we had to get rid of them if we ever wanted to win this.

Don't use a vacuum cleaner unless you want to turn it into a 'bed bugs condominium' as someone on the internet mentioned. Sure you suck them in. Then what? How are you going to get rid of them from the cleaner? They'll be all over the Hepa Filter. Pre Filter. Nozzle. Bag. Cyclone if you're bagless. Sad but true, no?
Hence, my decision to use/get a Karcher Steam Cleaner. It's hot. The tubing's hot. The plastic pipes are hot. Everything's super hot. Not the best and ideal place to attempt to make a home! 
And you'll get steamed up if you decided to stay inside the tubing or anywhere else later... :P

And now, it's close to 6 months (since Feb 2016) since we first encountered them. To be honest, we're still afraid and terrified of a recurrence. Everyday we look at our Dryer Lint filter.

Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

So far... so good...

And yes, considerable amount of $$$ have been spent. Just don't ask me how much. You don't want to know.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Christmas Presents of 2015, Brother's Customer Service Center and what letting your child's imagination go free

One of the toys that we were eyeing out for Little One was this Stacking Toy. What makes it so great, in addition to being a stacker is that, on one side, it helps to count, on another, it combines up to become a larger image.
Needlessly to say though, Little One always had other ideas and taking some leftover cardboard and other toys, he got himself a ramp...
Like so...

But what we loved the most was that, this ToysRUs stacker would 'collapse on itself'; i.e. box within another box and the sum of storage, is just the largest box! Now, that's space saving!
Looky... I got meself a little HotWheel's ramp toy... vrooom...
Sometime back, Missus's Serger / Overlocker developed a problem just 1 week after purchased. So here we are, at the service center @ Jaya33. And what you know...
It's got a children's corner!!!
Books and toys to entertain the Little One.

And boy... WAS he entertained!!! :)
Kudos to Brother's for this initiative!
You know I can't go about having a post that doesn't have anything to do with Marine / Sea creatures, riiiiiight...

Missus made this... which only lasted for 1 day... but his grubby little hands destroyed it.
Whale Shark out of Kinetic Sand...
One of the things that would sometimes as parents, you just don't knot whether to laugh or cry...

But in this case, I'll just laugh at my son's sense of humour...
Give a kid a string or in this case a yarn...
And some Toobs insects...

And see art or is this his way of creating a security system for me?

The End.

Shark Filled Post!

Little One has been nothing short of bewitched over Sharks. And for 2017, his headmistress had a shark costume for his annual recital then....