Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bed Bug Bites

Bed Bug Bites
Can you recognize a bed bug bite?  Do you see a series of bites that tend to be in a row?  Photographs of bed bug bites can be found here.  For more information, visit An Introduction to Bed Bug Traps.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bed Bug Removal

Bed Bug Traps Review
Bed bug traps, when used as bed bug monitors or detectors, can be a useful component of a bed bug removal effort.  The first step, of course, is to ascertain that bed bugs are indeed a problem.  Usually the first sign of bed bugs is bed bug bites.  Also, a visual inspection of furniture and other bed bug hiding spaces will often reveal either bed bugs or their feces.  We also recommend the use of BuggyBeds glue traps or ClimbUp traps to determine if there is a serious bed bug problem.
The next step in “bed bug removal” is to remove or isolate any material that may provide hiding places for bed bugs.  Bed bugs are not a sign of filth; however, a thorough vacuuming can remove bed bug eggs from carpets and rugs.  Loose papers, toys, assorted clutter - all provide refuge for bed bugs and should be picked up.  Clothing is a favorite hiding place for bed bugs.  Fortunately, a washing machine and dryer are very effective in killing bed bugs.  Frequently, bed bugs are found in the mattress or box springs of a bed.  Box spring and mattress encasements are commercially available and will permanently trap any bed bugs that are hiding in your bed.
In the case of a severe bed bug infestation, the homeowner or landlord will need to retain the services of an exterminator, also known as a pest management professional (PMP).  Such a person or company should be able to provide evidence of licensing and professional certification.  Consult your local county extension office for information.  Typically, a PMP will perform a visual assessment as the first step in an eradication program.  Some professionals will use bed bug traps as detectors to assess the severity of the problem.  In large cities, a PMP may even use trained dogs to find bed bug hiding places.  Once the problem is assessed, a PMP will propose a bed bug removal program that will utilize either chemicals or heat.  Both are effective.  If chemical pesticides are utilized, at least one repeat application may be required. 
Bed Bug Removal – DIY Programs
Residents are well-advised not to attempt a do-it-yourself bed bug removal program.  Many of the bed bug sprays offered at your local hardware store are not effective and some are actually hazardous.  In particular, be aware of the dispersion problem that is created by some sprays.  That is, many chemical sprays, particularly organic sprays, do not actually kill bed bugs.  Instead the bed bugs are dispersed into walls or adjoining rooms or apartments, only to return later once the chemical has evaporated or lost its effectiveness.  Another do-it-yourself remedy is diatomaceous earth.  Diatomaceous earth is definitely a potent insect killer; however, some formulations are heat treated and thus contain large amounts of toxic crystalline silica.  (See State of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Report.)  Of particular concern is the use of applicators that create airborne respirable crystalline silica.  Silicosis is normally considered an occupational hazard rather than a hazard to homeowners, but caution is advised nonetheless. 
Homeowners and apartment-dwellers can benefit from the use of bed bug traps.  Often described as bed bug monitors or bed bug detectors, traps are a great way of preventing bed bugs from re-establishing themselves after the initial infestation has been eliminated.  Bed bug traps provide peace of mind.  Should bed bugs ever invade your home again, bed bug monitors will alert you to the problem before the infestation becomes severe.  Learn more about bed bug traps at Bed Bug Traps Review.