Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Safely dealing with the beg bug epidemic

A bedbug nymph feeding on host.Image via Wikipedia
I had never given these critters any thought until all the news hype began and continued on and on.  Now, I have been motivated to check bags, clothes, shopping parcels and everything that I bring home all because of bed bugs. It is said that one bed bug can produce thousands in just a matter of months. Yuck.  What can we do, then to protect ourselves since, one way or another, we are coming in contact with the public? And, it's a certainty that we won't stop shopping or going in stores for that matter.

I looked for information on the internet about them and found out some interesting facts.  I welcome anyone who has tried some of these tips or, who have their own, to leave a comment.

Verify the type of insects

A good basic piece of advice.  Be sure what you are dealing with.  One suggestion that I have read about is taping some tape to the legs of furniture or the bed to catch the bugs and identify what type of infestation exists so that you'll know exactly how to proceed.

Clean and steam

Clear up all clutter, papers, dirty clothes, etc.  Better yet, if you don't want them, throw them away.  If you absolutely can't part with the stuff, bag the dirty items up and clean them in hot water of 120 degrees or more.  High temperatures are very helpful in killing these pests. Also, vacuum and then steam all areas as much as possible.

Check the mattress and box spring for signs of skin casings, blood and excrement, ugh.  Again, clean in high temperatures and buy a plastic casing for your bedding.  Also, be diligent about checking behind outlet covers, sockets and other hidubg places.  One thing that bed bugs seem to like to do is to be close to their source of food. This explains why the bedroom is a hot spot.

Sweep or vacuuum all areas.  Keep everything as clean as possible so as to avoid giving these gross little creatures places to hide.

Check all purchases whether they be clothes or grocery items.  Be wary about buying used bedding, clothes and furniture.

What if they persist?

One thing that I have noted is not to jump the gun in calling the exterminator.  These bugs don't respond to readily to the chemicals out these and they pose a risk for human and pets.  This only applies if the inestation isn't in epidemic proportions.  If they are really bad, you may not have a choice.  Keep in mind, that all treatments aren't created equal and you might not get rid of them right off.

Witih common sense cleaning and super heating everything, you stand a good chance to reduce and eliminate these boterhsome bugs.
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