Bed Bug Resurgence

Since the forced exile of DDT, beg bugs have enjoyed a renaissance in hotels, condos, college dormitories, and other seemingly innocent residential haunts. The problem has become so severe that it’s caught the attention of the EPA which held a seminar this past April on the matter.
According to today’s article in the NY Times, the only sure way to get rid of the pesky critters is exposure to high temperatures. This means put your belongings, at least those that are appropriate and fit, into your dryer. Bed bugs can’t sustain the high temperatures and die as a result. According to the Times article, beg bugs aren’t killed by the regular spray of pesticides that the average bug control company offers.
The Times article offers some helpful tips in ridding yourself of the biting bed bugs-
“ENCASE YOUR MATTRESS All bed bug experts agree that you must encase your mattress and box spring with a durable, leak-proof cover that will trap existing bugs inside the bedding and prevent new bugs from entering. (Even if you don’t currently suspect bed bugs, you might want to do this preventively, if you live in a highly infested area.)
The best covers are made from tightly woven cloth and have enclosed zippers and zipper locks to ensure there are no openings anywhere on the covering. A good cover will cost $70 to $150, depending on the size of your bed. Don’t bother with cheaper covers made of vinyl, which is uncomfortable to sleep on and is likely to crack and tear over time.
BEFORE YOU TOSS … Often, the first response to bed bugs is to throw stuff out. But replacing contaminated furniture, clothes and other possessions can be one of the biggest unnecessary bed bug expenses.
“Nothing kills bed bugs and their eggs better than high temperatures,” said Mr. Bloom, “so the dryer is your new best friend.”
Bedding, clothes, stuffed animals, backpacks and anything else you can fit into the clothes dryer can be decontaminated by 20 minutes on the high setting. Carry the items to the dryer in a cloth laundry bag that you can throw into the machine. If you use a plastic bag, discard it immediately; bed bugs or eggs might be lurking.
For items that can’t go in the dryer, consider packing them in plastic bins or bags and storing them for a year to make sure any hidden insects die.
For furniture and other large items, you may want to consider a professional fumigation service that will decontaminate the items away from your home and return them within a week or so. This can easily add $1,000 to your bed bug bill. But for antiques, heirlooms and other hard-to-replace items, it may well be worth the cost.”