Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs - 4 Things an Exterminator won't tell you

We don't want to go about bashing any professional exterminators when we talk about how to get rid of bed bugs.  We've worked with many and highly recommend several to people who would like to go that route.  They are professional, courteous, and effective.  But...

There are also a lot of exterminators out there who don't do a good job, and who effectively rip off their clients.  For that reason, this is short list of recommendations, to either just think about or else ask any exterminator you're thinking of hiring.  We know how to to get rid of bed bugs, and anyone whom you hire should also.

  1. You could do this yourself.  Now - we're not saying that you necessarily should do this yourself, but it's possible.  Getting rid of bed bugs is somewhat simpler than it used to be because we know what works.  It's certainly less of hassle getting someone to come in and solve your infestation, but don't let anyone persuade you that you can't do it on your own if that's the way you'd prefer to go.
  2. It only takes one treatment to get rid of bed bugs.  By and large, this is typically untrue.  Some minor problems may be solved this way, but the fact is that more serious situations will require several treatments, even by the best professionals.  Your exterminator should agree in writing that they'll provide several treatments over a 4-6 week period.
  3. Bed Bug Spray is a sufficient treatment.  Again, this is utterly false.  If you're talking to a professional who tells you how they'll come in and spray every crook and cranny in your home, then say "Great, but what else will you do?"  They should also dry steam and probably sprinkle a treatment of diatomaceous earth around to kill bed bugs that survive the initial treatment.
  4. You need to pay a fortune.  Hiring an exterminator is going to cost you a bit of money.  They know how to get rid of bed bugs, and you are paying for their expertise and experience.  However, they shouldn't be ripping you off, and their prices are almost always negotiable.
Bed bugs are becoming a problem of slightly ridiculous scale, but you can solve your infestation with just a little research and hard work.  

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bed Bug Sprays - Fact or Fiction?

1.  A good bed bug spray is all you need to solve an infestationFICTION.  Bed bug sprays can be a useful tool, but you will need more than that to kill the horde of pests infecting your home.  You will likely need to dry-steam your home, as well as spread around diatomaceous earth.  The former will destroy bed bug eggs, while the latter will ensure that you have residual protection.

2.  You should buy an organic or "natural" bed bug spray: FICTION!  Look - we're not trying to bring back DDT or tell you that there is no environmental or human danger from pesticides, but the fact of the matter is that "natural" bed bug sprays simply don't work.  Moreover, even if one did work, there is a strong likelihood that it would still be pretty toxic to humans and pets, so the benefits would be minimal.

3.  You only need to spray once: FICTION AGAIN!  Just because you made an effort to get rid of your bed bug infestation does not mean that the bugs are going to comply.  Quite the contrary.  Bed bugs can live for months without moving or feeding, so they are likely not going to be out and about during the week or so that your spray is effective.  You will need to spray and treat your home again and again to make sure that you've gotten all the critters.

4.  Getting started today is essential: FACT!  The bed bugs aren't waiting around to bite you or to to reproduce, so if you know that you have a problem, you need to act as soon as possible.  Don't wait to see if the problem goes away.  We can tell you from experience that it will only get worse and will only cost you more to fix.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Getting Rid of Bed Bugs

No pun intended, but bed bugs can truly be a nightmare, and getting rid of bed bugs can be a long, expensive, and painstaking process.  You will often wish that you could just move, leave everything behind, and start all over.  And, to be fair, that is an option that many people take after a while.  Believe me, I've been there, and I know how terrible the experience can be.

Bed bugs have been around for as long as humans, and probably much longer.  Although not much is written about bed bugs in ancient texts, one can presume that they were an occasional problem.  However, with the industrial revolution and the birth of huge cities, bed bugs found a home that they'd never before known, where they can replicate, travel, and feed with relative ease.  In other words, your job is not going to be easy if you think you have a bed bug infestation.

Fortunately, there are better and worse ways to get rid of bed bugs, but it's hard to know which advice to take.  We are just another voice in that mix, but we've had a lot of experience helping thousands of people with their bed bug infestations, and we don't think it makes sense to peddle bad information.  For instance, there are a thousand websites selling bed bug spray as if it's the end-all solution.  The fact of the matter is that it can be a useful and important tool in your fight, but it needs to be paired with other weapons.

In particular, we have found that diatomaceous earth and a good dry steamer are essential to any bed bug war that you fight.  Diatomaceous earth is fairly cheap, easy to use, and generally very effective at killing bed bugs if you're thorough with it and make sure it gets every (including every crack) where the pests may hide.  On the other hand, a good dry steamer is not cheap, but we think the investment pays off in the long run, since you'll otherwise probably end up trying 15 different options before you find one that works (perhaps even coming back to a dry steamer in the end).  A good dry steamer allows you to safely steam pretty much any piece of furniture, including your bed, thereby killing both the bugs and their eggs.

With both of these tools, you will likely need to carry out treatment 3-4 times over a period of a couple months, but we cannot begin to tell you how much happier you will be in 2 months when you can wake up without itching.  Just imagine actually being rested everyday and not dreading going to bed that night.  Bed bugs are a growing problem, but together we can beat them.