Bug of the Month: Bed Bugs

The word “bug” comes from the Welsh word “bwg” meaning ghost -- thus the word “bugaboo.” Got bedbugs? Don’t panic. They do not transmit disease and can be controlled without toxic chemicals.

The Greek philosopher Democritus advocated hanging a dead deer at the foot of the bed. If a dead deer isn’t handy or desirable, an immediate remedy is to smear petroleum jelly around the legs of the bed so they can’t crawl up. Or place each bed leg in a container of water. The bugs’ flat shape allows them to hide in narrow cracks of baseboards, seams of mattresses and crevices behind wallpaper, baseboards and picture frames – so you may want to caulk, replaster or paint. Also, eliminate clutter, encase mattress and box springs, launder sheets and clothing and vacuum, vacuum, vacuum.

If you still have a problem, try steam treatments of upholstery and carpeting. Hire an experienced company or if you do it yourself be sure to use low moisture or dry steam with low pressure, otherwise the bugs will be blown away. You can also hire an experienced pest control company that has special equipment to kill bedbugs by heating your house to 130 degrees. Do not try this yourself. Keep in mind that spraying pesticides for bedbugs is hazardous to one’s health and also generally ineffective, because the bugs have developed a resistance to the chemicals.

For more information go to www.beyondpesticides.org/bedbugs/index.htm

Barry Zucker

For any bug problems contact Barry Zucker, executive director of Beyond Pesticides Ohio at bzucker@beyondpesticidesohio.org

Read More on Bug of the Month
Volume 4, Issue 9, Posted 10:28 AM, 08.16.2011