Bed bugs are back after over 50 years of eradication and the EPA’s National Bed Bug Summit suggests that we’re not ready to handle them. Several recommendations were made at the summit for controlling this new epidemic and protecting your family.
How do you know if you have bed bugs?
They thrive in mattresses, pillows, luggage, boxes and clothing. They can also live in box springs, upholstery and drawers. Warning signs include fecal (brown) and blood (red) spots on your bedding, a smell like coriander, strange bite marks or lesions on your skin in the morning.
How do you get rid of bed bugs?
• Hire a professional.
• Ask for ThermaPureHeat®, a "green" way of getting rid of bed bugs that is 100% effective, if done properly.
• Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and clean all surfaces thoroughly.
• Wash laundry in hot water at 120°F or higher and dry on high heat for 15 minutes or more.
• Throw out your mattress and box spring.
• Seal cracks and crevices, including torn wallpaper.
How do you prevent bed bugs?
• Inspect items before bringing them home.
• Protect bedding by enclosing your mattress and box spring in protective covers certified as bed bug resistant.
• Get assurance from hotels, and still double check your room.
• School and college kids can bring home bed bugs, so their stuff needs to be inspected.
EPA Holds Bed Bug Summit, empowHer, 4/14/2009
EPA Summit Examines Bed Bug Epidemic. Non Chemical Heat Treatment Safe, Highly Effective Alternative to Toxic Pesticides, 1888 Press Release, April 16, 2009
Bedbugs biting their way across the country, MSNBC: AP, Jan 23, 2006
Bed Bug Infestation an Epidemic; Bugs Found in Cell Phone, TVs and Keyboards, Reuters, April 15, 2009