Tuesday, June 14, 2011

CBS Sunday Morning's excellent segment on bedbugs

CBS Sunday Morning (June 5, 2011) offers one of the best reports on understanding bed bugs. Eeww, didn't you want to swat at those bugs crawling across the screen?

You will note that the expert exterminators shown in this feature are using steam guns on furniture and removing pictures on walls to search for bed bugs (remember they like to climb up)! I highly advocate using steam or freezing as a non-chemical way to rid a dwelling of these unwanted pesky bugs. CBS's segment also offers excellent advice on staying away from from the temptation of free curbside furniture.

The CBS Sunday program does not, however, mention diatomaceous earth. I am not sure why, but I suspect the pest control industry has lobbied against it being mentioned. Why? If you apply diatomaceous earth correctly, it will eradicate, yes I said ERADICATE bed bug infestations (and eradicate the need to call an exterminator) and prevent bed bugs from ever taking hold should you bring home a stray female bed bug. Read my travel tips on how to prevent adopting a bedbug hitchhiker.

Pest control companies should embrace diatomaceous earth and although it is readily available to (and inexpensive for) consumers, there is an art to the application of the fine diatom dust. Diatomaceous earth is   totally organic, but it can be harmful if applied incorrectly. It is microscopically abrasive and may irritate eyes if exposed and lungs if inhaled. Application of DE should be fine and even, not clumpy.

Remember, bed bugs aren't just hanging out in mattresses!  Do not ignore the room where you found the infestation, and to be absolutely safe, treat your entire dwelling with diatomaceous earth and steam as a preventative.

Follow these tips!!!
  • Travel with Space bags and or zip lock-type bags
  • Lightly dust your suitcase with diatomaceous earth
  • Unpack your belonging outside if you suspect something
  • Hot water in laundry or high dryer temps will kill active bed bugs
  • Freezing will kill bed bugs
  • Steam will kill bed bugs
  • Bed bugs aren't just in beds. Books, electronic devices, furniture, paintings are places bed bugs hide.
  • I'm not sure how to suggest you go about steaming or freezing your teenager or college student, but you can and should scrutinize the contents of their duffle bags, laundry baskets, etc. This age demographic tends to sleep over at friends' houses, indulge in after-party crashes on a convenient sofa and loves dragging free curbside furniture into their residences. They are prime candidates for picking up a bed bug hitchhiker. Young adults are also fearless adventurers who travel a great deal and stay in cheap housing. Any interaction with people who fit this profile is a bed bug infestation waiting to happen! As this video shows, they only have to bring home one loaded female to wreak havoc!