Bed bugs and your aquarium


I can't express how grossed out I am right now. I have bed bugs. The apartment complex has been battling them for awhile now and they finally landed in my apartment.

the exterminator is coming tomorrow and I received instructions on what do addition to bagging up everything I own, I am supposed to cover my aquarium with plastic.

I worried that this will not be enough to protect my fish. I already plan on bagging up my air pump but won't be home during or after the treatment. My aquaclear 50 breaks the top water up really good, but will this be enough? I'm going to be gone about 7 hours tommorrow.

Any additoinal advice or if someone who has been through this is willing to comment about the fish or anything else concerning an extermination, I would appreciate it.

attached is a pic of the list they gave me.



  • bugs.jpg
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I'd recommend putting a heavy blanket on top of the tank and/or tin foil. Sorry you have to deal with those. We have patients with those and it makes me glad I'm not visiting anymore. Sorry.


I would just shut the air pump off for the day. Your fish will have more than enough oxygen to survive. just make sure you get a good cover on the tank and then wash whatever you use.


Oooh, yucky. Great advice above.

I have moved this topic to the "More Freshwater Aquarium Topics" forum


thanks for the links Lucy...and the advice everyone else. I've been killing them as I come across them. My feelings have morphed from horror to uneasiness to well......I'm just pretty po'd at this point. Me and the fishes are going to make it out of this one!


You will be fine. I would also recommend that "Hot Shot Bed Bug and Flea Killer" (That's the product name and is available at home depot) worked well when I had to deal with them at a friends house once. Also, Read Read Read Read Read up on these pains in the rump, they are VERY difficult to eradicate.


Let the fish be the exterminator! Feed them the bedbugs!


NEver thought of that one, I bet some of your larger fish would love it, altho they are hard pests to even catch.


I know bebugs are a serious problem but my oscars would go nuts if a couple dropped in the tank


Nice! I don't have Oscars but the way my Platys and neons feed the bbgs wouldn't stand a chance. Its like a blur of hungry hungry hippos coming at your fingers.....scares me sometimes.

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Nice! I don't have Oscars but the way my Platys and neons feed the bbgs wouldn't stand a chance. Its like a blur of hungry hungry hippos coming at your fingers.....scares me sometimes.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk

My angels are adults and I can feel their little teeth. When I have people come over I drop a sinking shrimp pellet about the size of my pinky tip. And every single fish in my tank comes to the one corner. My tank almost looks like a feeder tank when I do that.

My oscars have been known to rush to the top so fast I have been splashed with water. And about 2 months ago I was holding a feeder above the water and my oscar was not going to have that. He jumped out of the water hit my stomach hit the hood and fell in. But didn't get the feeder he eventually aTe it. While in the water


Here's an update.

The bug man has come and gone, I'm back in my apartment, and the fish are fine. What I ended up doing is getting a roll of 10x20 1 mil platic dropcloth. You can usually get it at Menards, Lowes, Home Depot, etc. At first I though of draping it over the tank, then I thoughy that any updrafts may carry the chemicals into the tank. So here's what I did.

1. Instead of trying to cover the whole stand(I do not have a sump or overflow tank) I cut a section of plastic big enough to wrap my aquarium like a present. Also, turn your light off to avoid heat build up while your tank is covered.

2. Instead of affixing it to the top of the stand I taped the plastic to the tank itself. I used white duct taped, because it is a tightly woven tape and although it does have strong adhesion, it's not like the grey stuff. I was concerned it would rip the backing if I used regular. I used a long strip of tape to seem the front and then seemed the back.

3. I chose to leave my air hose in the tank, rather than remove it. I disconnected the inline valve I have from the air pump, making sure it was closed completely so water wouldn't siphon out of the tank. I then sealed it by folding a piece of tape over it. This way the was no worry of contamination.

4. The sides you can fold just like the ends of a present. Once, you have the plastic folded over on itself, seam the overlaps, then seam the bottom. Now this may be overkill, but after all initial seams were made I ran a piece of tape all the way around the aquarium. I did this in order to double the seam strength and to make sure the cords I taped over on the back(heater, filter, air hose) would not pull the tape out far enough for air to seep in.

5. I left both the heater and filter running while I was away from my house for approximately 5 hours. I left the shades open so the fish would have some ambient light. I though of keeping it dark to by chance catch my clown pleco out(never happens) but decided against messing with the fishes sleep schedule.

6. Upon returning, open all windows in your house to vent out the chemical odor. It is strong!! This also will avoid any chemical reaction with your tank from airborne contaminants. I waited about 30 min to cut the plastic off of the tank and remove the tape. Although the tape did not harm the backing, I spent a good 15 minutes with a credit card getting the air bubbles out of it. The tape pulled it loose from my tank during removal. I use vegetable oil to affix my backings.

7. reconnect air valve to pump and your back in business.

I also want to mention that I put everything fish related(airpumps, food, nets, chemicals)all in a 20 gallon tote then I wrapped and seeled the tote as well. If you leave your air pumps out you run the risk of getting chemicals on them and when you fire them back up they could pump that right into the water.

I didn't snap pictures, but will do so next week when I do it again during the follow up treatment.

I hope this helps anyone else that comes into contact with these...not very nice things.

Good luck.

I also found a very helpful website about the issue and what to do with the rest of your apartment.


That's great.
Thanks for the update and details about how you handled this situation.

Let's hope you're done with the bedbugs!


This will be a good reference for roach treatments also.

Glad you and the fish survived that ordeal. Did they use the dog to sniff them out?

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