In recent years, incidents of bed bug infestations have grown to nearly pandemic proportions. With each new outbreak comes the realization that these insidious pests won't be going away anytime soon. What's particulary disturbing about bed bugs is their proficiency at showing up and nesting in all sorts of public locations, as well as our very own homes, libraries, hotels and motels, dormitories, hospitals, schools, office buildings, etc.
What many people don't realize is that not only can bed bugs hitch a rid in all sorts of creative ways, but that the presence of these bugs in any given location is not necessarily an indication that the area itself, or even the occupants, are even remotely dirty in any way. In other words, the presence of bed bugs is no indication of current living conditions.
Bed bugs do not discriminate when it comes to choosing a location for building a nest. The only prerequisite is that there are warm-blooded mammals nearby, so that a constant food sourcre is available for sustenance. What do bed bugs crave as their main source of food? Yep, you guessed it... they feed on the blood of their hosts. Namely, US!
I don't mean to use scare tactics as a way to raise awareness of this issue, but rather to state the facts. Bed bugs need us nearly as much as we DON'T need them. Without us, they would starve and die. So, keeping our homes free and clean of bed bugs means we need to separate ourselves and our family members from the threat.
This is easier than it may sound, and it doesn't need to cost a fortune to get started. Also, it doesn't have to involve the use of harsh chemicals. In fact, this can be accomplished without any harmful chemicals at all, and probably without the intervention of any pest control professionals that cost a lot of money to hire.
First and foremost, it is important to protect our bedding from nesting opportunities, and this involves the purchase of some bed bug mattress and pillow covers. Box springs are also particularly vulnerable, so sealing them as best as possible also reduces potential risks. Yes, these covers can be a bit pricey at first glance, but nothing compared to what it would cost to replace the actual bedding, right?! As a side note, Amazon has great prices on this stuff, I can't even begin to tell you how much we've saved through them over the years, on all sorts of home and garden products!
Next, move all your beds away from the walls and be sure that your beds are raised, not just lying directly on the floor. This isn't an issue for most, but if you live a Bohemian lifestyle, than perhaps you have a futon mattress directly on the floor, or something to that effect. This just invites the bugs to come and feed, and makes the access to you quite... accessible, for lack of a better term.
Bed bugs cannot fly, they can only crawl. So, if nothing is touching the walls or the floors, then they cannot feed on us. They are not creative creatures. They take the most obvious path to food, which means they are not stealthy enough to climb the walls, traverse the ceiling and then drop down on us like paratrooper commandos. They are simple creatures, who travel the most predictable routes.
By moving your beds away from the walls, you can now place some passive bed bug traps under the bed-legs, thus trapping any critters that try to make their way to the food source. The bugs will be trapped, they will die, then you can dispose of them any way you see fit.
Passive bed bug traps are made of inexpensive plastic and cost next to nothing, and they are also quite effective. What makes them even more effective is surrounding them with a food-grade substance known as Diatomaceous Earth, which is harmless to you and your family, but absolutely wreaks havoc on unwanted pests, like dust mites, bed bugs, crickets, etc. The best part? Just a little dab'll do ya, as they say. Just put a bit of this powder around the bed bug traps and the bugs that don't climb into the traps will die later, probably when they are back at the nest.
That's it, and it really can be that simple! How do I know? Because, my girlfriend and I ran into these bugs when the neighbors down the hall brought some home with them. In fact, many of the apartment units experienced an outbreak. Once I started researching the issue and talking to others who knew, it became obvious that we could minimize our risks by taking these simple measures. We are now bedbug-free and have had no other issues since the initial outbreak.
Think about it--protective covers for your bedding, some traps for the bed-legs and a container of Diatomaceous Earth... it doesn't get any simpler than that. Then, you can take other steps, like washing and drying all your clothing and linens (the heat from the dryer will kill any bed bugs, they HATE heat!), and if you need to call the professionals, then at least you've started the process of eliminating the bugs and this should keep the pest control costs to a minimum.
My name is Curt and I own and operate a blog-site that is dedicated to teaching others about getting rid of bed bugs and other unwanted pests - I'm also in favor of using as few chemicals as possible, which keeps things safe for the family unit and keeps our carbon footprint to a bare minimum.
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