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How to Stop the Bed Bugs from Biting

This article was written as a response to the question: How do you get rid of bed bugs?
This article uses advice from pest control experts and allergists who are highly rated on Angie's List to help consumers avoid, identify and eliminate bed bugs.

Increased international travel, changes in pest management practices and a lack of public awareness has led to a resurgence of bedbugs in the United States unseen since World War II.  Spotting and eradicating the elusive bedbugs is no easy task and some cities have declared them as an epidemic. Summer travel offers an ideal time for exposure and the issue has become so pervasive, that it prompted the EPA in April to hold its first-ever bedbug summit.

AngieÂ’s List (www.angieslist.com), the nationÂ’s leading provider of consumer ratings on local service providers, including pest control companies and allergists, went to its highly rated providers for tips on avoiding, identifying and eliminating bedbugs.

“Bedbugs are expert hitchhikers, so it only takes one night in an infested location for a person to take bedbugs with them to their next destination,” said Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks. “Usually, the first indication of exposure to bedbugs is bites on a person’s skin, though it often takes a week or longer for people to react to bites.”

“You can’t just hire any pest control company to treat bedbugs, so do your research and find one that specializes in bedbug eradication,” Hicks said. “Treating for the wrong types of bugs is costly and ineffective. It takes a specialized treatment and likely will require multiple treatments.”

1.) Cleaning: Thoroughly clean an infested room. Launder linens in hot water. Remove clutter, turn over drawers and furniture and clean thoroughly. Disassemble bed frames and clean. Repair and seal cracks and holes around baseboards, window frames and moldings. Vacuum thoroughly and discard the bag.

2.) Dust treatment: There are organic insecticidal dusts available that are all-natural, but lethal to bedbugs and may be used by a qualified professional in conjunction with other treatments.

3.) Heat treatment: Some pest control companies use specialized equipment to heat up a room to at least 120-degrees Fahrenheit for two or more hours to kill off bedbugs.

4.) Mattress covers: Use entomologist-approved bedbug mattress covers. By encasing mattresses, bedbugs are restricted to the surface, where they can be more easily detected and eradicated. Encasements should be bedbug “bite-proof” and “escape-proof”.

5.) Structural fumigation: The most extreme and costly method, but also the most effective. Not to be confused with “fogging” or “bombing”, structural fumigations require the structure be covered with a tarp and vacated for several days, while a fumigated gas is released. Be sure to contact a pest control company that is licensed in fumigation services.

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