Operation Bluelight: a pest control story

October 14, 2016

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To be honest, we been lazy to cleanup house at whole summer. Finally that's resulted with a pest invasion which causes suddenly appeared sores and extreme itch.

My wife called various pest control services first and requested a quote. Approx number for a full-fumigation around $200 and requires minimum three days of temporary relocation which is impossible while i'm a part of a major software project, also in my opinion, usage of heavy chemicals can affect human health more than just few parasites.

Differential diagnosis
Problem was we're didn't noticed any insect or bug, just connected the symptoms to moving dustballs around the house. So i did a quick research and reduced the window of the possibilities. Itch already indicates a mite infestation, size and pattern of sores also fits to a bedbug presence. Both are tough enemies, bedbugs can live up to 300 days and mites are microbial creatures which capable to quickly reproduce themselves.

Few years ago was watched a documentary which mentioning about use of robots in medical industry. A company called xenex developed a remotely operated robot that uses ultraviolet pulses to kill germs. Given a night to research about industrial ultraviolet light sources and decided to use them in our situation.

Fight begins
UV lights separated into three categories by their wavelength, UV-A and UV-B already coming from sun. Mostly harmless, causes sunburn when we're stay too much at beach. UV-C is blocking by ozone layer of earth's atmosphere but it can artificially created by passing electricity from mercury vapor. It's extremely dangerous, can cause skin cancer and permanently damage to the eyes.

UV-C lamps are commercially available as replacement part of sterilization ovens used by dentists, barber shops etc. I found one at a local online store from $15, total cost was $25 to me including housing and electronic ballast.

I received the package in one day, temporarily attached it to desk lamp and turned on at the bedroom. also was monitoring the room by using previously mentioned air quality sensor after 30 minutes of process, noticed increase on MQ9 (methane & co2) levels. also there was a slight smell in room like dead rat. picked the one of laying around black dots and analyzed on webcam, wtf that's an insect that living the it's last moments. the bed was full of them, also few mosquito species was sitting on ground.

Was having doubts but completely convinced that it works after the seen corpses by my eye and proceeded to next room. After the disinfection process, cleaned the floors, washed the clothes at high temperature and finally washed ourselves with Permethrin shampoo. repeated the same process at next day.

There is no itch since two weeks and sores are healing day by day. Probably my immune system was dealing with something, feeling more strong in these days. Also happy to saved $160 by handling infestation by ourselves.

raw footage of catched pest is available in here it seems flea to me but doesn't matter, they're all dead anyway.

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