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Posted by on 2/14/2011 to Additional Resources
Bed bugs have made a strong comeback in the United States and around the world and traditional pesticides are failing to get rid of them.  Many bed bug sufferers are now looking for alternative treatments to win the battle against bed bugs. What this means is that a chemical only approach will not work.  The best approach to take is one that uses Integrated Pest Management, which combines non-chemical treatment with targeted pesticide use. The EPA defines Integrated Pest Management (IPM) as an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices.  IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycle of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment. The good news is that there are simple and safe techniques for controlling bed bugs.
Here are some non-chemical solutions to stop bed bugs in their tracks:
  1. Vacuum infested and surrounding areas thoroughly.  Vacuuming will quickly knock down the number of live bugs.  Immediately dispose of vacuum bag and contents in a plastic bag and seal it tightly.
  2. Arm your home with bed bug monitors and traps and find out where they are hiding with a  Bedbug Beacon CO2 Monitor and the BB Alert® Passive Monitor. These devices are totally safe around children and pets and will detect bed bugs within days of them entering your home.  Also caulk and seal all cracks and crevices to prevent the movement of bed bugs and eliminate hiding places.
  3. Wash all bedding and clothing that may be infested. Dry on high setting. Any non-washable items can also be placed in the dryer for 20 minutes.  Heat of 120 degrees or higher kills all stages of bed bugs and their eggs.
  4. Encase your mattress and box spring with Protect-A-Bed mattress and box spring encasements on beds in your home. Encasements take away the bed bugs favorite hiding and breeding ground.  Leave the encasement on your mattress and box spring for 18 months. Bed bugs can live up to one year without feeding. Be sure to also keep all bedding from touching the floor and wash sheets often until the problem is eliminated.
  5. Steam clean infested area with a dry vapor steamer like the Vapamore® MR-100 Steam Cleaning System. Thoroughly steam cleaning furniture, curtains, bedding and flooring kills bed bugs and their eggs instantly.

Persistence is the key. Treating bed bugs requires a combination of more than one method to eliminate them.  There is not a "magic bullet" and pesticides may be necessary to remove bed bugs from your home. Always consult a professional before using any pesticides. strongly recommends that you use a pest control professional that specializes in IPM and is educated in treating bed bugs. 


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