Bedbugs: How to Deal with this Problem

bed bug close up by David P James

One of the major problems that we are experiencing these days is the reemergence of bedbugs. This is a grave problem that is growing everywhere in the world.  The good news is that bed bugs are not supposed to carry any diseases. And the sort of good news is that not everyone seems to be allergic to the bites. But I don’t believe human beings enjoy living with insects and bedbugs breed so rapidly that one can have an infestation quite rapidly (see here). The US government has numerous papers on bed bugs.  (See here)

More and more articles are appearing about places infected by bedbugs – this includes libraries, movie theaters, etc. So if you are planning on traveling in North America, a good website to check out is this.  On this registry, you can also report locations you know about that are infested.

An entomologist who seems to be very knowledgeable about bed bugs and owns a pest control business is Richard Cooper of Cooper Pest
and extermination service. He has a bed bug website where he sells bed bug products and has some of the most up to date information about how to protect yourself from this scourge.  See here.

There are some products you can use to help eliminate some of the bed bug problems.  According to Penn State facts,

Three classes of insecticides are reviewed: (1) Botanical insecticides containing natural pyrethrins will repel insects and can “knock down” bed bugs for a period of time, but natural pyrethrins quickly deteriorate and do not provide the necessary residual action of some other materials. Finishes on furniture and other wood items may be damaged from the petroleum carriers contained in aerosol pyrethrins. (2) Inorganic materials such as silica gel, boric acid, and diatomaceous earth will provide long-term control, provided they are used in an environment with low humidity. These inorganic materials have very low repellency, a long residual life, and can provide good control if thoroughly applied to cracks and crevices. However, they are typically white in color and may leave the surface of items with an undesirable film unless they are carefully applied. (3) Synthetic pyrethroids such as deltamethrin, lambda-cyhalothrin and others can provide good control if they are carefully and thoroughly applied to suspected bed bug areas.

If you have an infestation of bed bugs in your home, it is best to contact a reputable exterminating company. Call your local Master Gardener office or  your agricultural extension to ask if they have new information on dealing with bedbug problems or have a list of reputable exterminating companies.