Throughout 2010, bed bugs were frequently top news stories across the country because of their ability to creep into homes, offices, movie theatres and other public places without much effort. Unsuspecting people who were bit by these hardy creatures were left itching, confused and worried about how to eliminate the pests, often taking extreme measures to deal with the problem.
Brian Hirsch, Director of Protect-A-Bed's Pest Control Division, works with pest control companies on the front lines of treating bed bug infestations across the country. He has witnessed firsthand and heard numerous stories of people using misguided, and often dangerous, methods for managing bed bugs.
As the year bed bug infestations reached epidemic levels draws to a close, Hirsch has compiled a list of the 10 least effective ways to prevent or eliminate bed bugs in 2010:
1. Gasoline/kerosene – dousing the bed and residence in diesel fuel or kerosene.
2. Sulfur – burning sulfur inside the home; (this was known as the "fire and brimstone" method back in the 18th century).
3. Bug bombs – setting off multiple bug bombs that can blow the windows out of the building as a result of increased pressure.
4. Fire extinguishers – using fire extinguishers to freeze the bugs.
5. Leaving lights on – sleeping with the lights turned on to trick the bugs into not biting.
6. Exterior pesticides – using pesticides that are not effective against bed bugs and risking the health of people in the home.
7. Olive oil - covering your body in olive oil so the bugs can't climb.
8. WD-40 – spraying the bugs directly.
9. Eliminating heat - turning off the heat in the winter to freeze them out.
10. Baking soda/rubbing alcohol – applying this combination to the mattress or sofa.
Although these examples seem humorous, dealing with an infestation is no laughing matter says Hirsch. "Bed bugs and their aftermath have caused many rationale people to lose the ability to reason," Hirsch says. "Part of the reason I wanted to put this list together is to show people what not to do, so they won't try these methods at home."
Hirsch, who often fields inquiries from friends or colleagues who have concerns about bed bugs, continually tells people to remain calm and to contact a reputable pest control expert to help resolve the problem. "There are no modern, do-it-yourself methods that will completely eliminate bed bugs. Therefore, people should be aware of the signs of bed bugs and choose a pest control expert carefully," he says.
"If a person is bitten or notices signs of bed bugs, the best thing he or she can do is to try to remain calm and reassure themselves that you can beat this insect," Jeffrey White, research entomologist with BedBugCentral.com, says. "First thing to do is to try and hire a good pest control company that utilizes a comprehensive approach including chemical and non-chemicals methods due to bed bugs' resistance to many commonly used pesticides. Because of this resistance, even with non-chemical tools such as vacuums and steamers, on average, most people who experience bed bugs should expect to endure approximately three treatments by a pest control expert to rid themselves of the pests."
Even before treatment is necessary, people can protect themselves by using Mattress encasements, which are important part of a bed bug management strategy and a vital tool for those wishing to minimize serious bed bug infestation in their mattresses and box springs. Protect-A-Bed offers bed bug entry, escape and bite proof mattress encasements featuring the company's patented BugLock® with Secure Seal®.
Protect-A-Bed products are designed to make the tell tale signs of a bed bug infestation more easily identifiable, and are used as an essential part of the bed bug management process at most hotels and by a majority of pest control companies nationwide. If you'd like to learn more about Protect-A-Bed and its bed bug management solutions, visit www.protectabed.com.
For information about early detection of bed bugs, visit http://www.protectabed.com/content/ProtectABed/CustomPages/uploads/BedBugs101_Poster.pdf. To learn more about safe and effective treatment methods, visit http://www.bedbugcentral.com/bedbugs101/topic.cfm/elimination-of-infestations.
Protect-A-Bed offers consumers a complete line of protective bedding products because every mattress needs protection. Now celebrating its 30th anniversary year and selling in 30 countries, the company is a worldwide leader in mattress protection innovation. Protect-A-Bed products help create a dry, hygienic, bed bug free and anti-allergy sleep zone while protecting the mattress warranty. The company developed the proprietary Miracle Membrane® and patented BugLock® with SecureSeal® three-sided zipper system. Protect-A-Bed products are listed as Class 1 Medical Devices with the Food and Drug Administration and have received the Good Housekeeping Seal.