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Bedbug & Beyond

Posted: December 4th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Well, it was bound to happen. For all your holiday giving needs, Bed Bath & Beyond is featuring a “Bedbug Protection” badge on their home page. It links to their bedbug protectors section.

Most of the products are typically accepted as handy and dandy, like mattress encasements and pillow encasements (although some experts note these are not specifically necessary since bedbugs tend not to congregate in areas that get squished and squashed about). They offer some detection products, including the ClimbUp Insect Interceptor. They also offer a number of sprays, which we have not evaluated. Let’s just say we approach such things with a dose of skepticism, especially the magic travel sprays.

They’re offering Space Bags and BugZip luggage encasements. But what really piqued our interest was this: the Allergy Luxe Bed Bug Storage Bag. It’s nice to know that when we finally get our scientific bedbug colony, our little darlings will have a swanky home! At last, a place to store your bedbugs! Isn’t that what we all really need? Stop using your beds; that is so 2000 and late. If only Prada would throw a hat in the ring and create one.

Thanks to alert reader LBC for the tip!

Weekly Bedbug Link Rodeo, 10/10/10

Posted: October 10th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Bedbugs or no bedbugs, what’s ‘sleep tight’ mean?, [The Journal Gazette]

In short: no one really knows. Does it have something to do with a system of ropes? Making bedbug barriers out of your duvet? Your dumb idea is as good as a guy’s. The OED says “It seems that tight in this expression is the equivalent of the only surviving use of the adverb tightly, meaning soundly, properly, well, effectively.” That’s tight, yo.

Smitherman vows to eradicate bedugs, [Toronto Sun]

Are bedbugs the next war on drugs/terror/cankles? A Toronto mayoral candidate is gearing up to kick ass and take names, if elected. About $3 million dollars in Canada money will be required to do this. There will be protocols, people. It’s about time.

EPA-Registered Bed Bug Products: Product Search Tool,  [via EPA.gov]

Hmm, a way to find just the right pesticide to murtilize all your bedbugs? That sounds great! Their treatment location options include Mattress, Whole House, Whole Room, or Crack/Surface/Void. Let’s say I’ve got a crack that needs treating. It’s a nasty one. I have no idea which product I’m interested in, so I’ll leave the first search box blank. Do I know a specific ingredient? Well, no, I’m just a sap with bedbugs. Am I looking for a company name? Monsanto, they’re pretty evil, right? Oh, not there. Hmmm. OK, do I know the EPA registration number of my pesticide of choice? Well, no.  Fire it up anyway. Wow, only 32 pages of results to treat my crack problem!

Bedbugs make your trigger finger itch? [via WaPo]

A list of products and speculation on their varying levels of importance/efficacy from an entomologist. “Pillow protectors: Unnecessary. Bed bugs typically don’t chill out in pillows, where there are too many disturbances for their taste.” Picks include mattress covers, Ziploc bags, ClimbUp bed leg monitors, and portable heating units, among others.

Bed bugs expected in more schools [via WCSH6.com]

Some lucky, or unlucky, depending on your age and maturity level, kids in Maine got a few days off as pest control professionals treated their classrooms and busses after some students developed bite marks. Search dogs and heat treatment techniques were used. Bedbugs cropping up in schools will be an ongoing problem, and families will need to be vigilant to avoid a home infestation brought back from school. Schools need comprehensive plans for inspections and prevention and treatment. I wonder if faking bedbugs will be the next hot way to get sent home from school for the day? In my day, all we ever had was stomach cramps!

How to Prepare for Extermination

Posted: September 30th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

1.  Confirm that you have bedbugs. The f@#$ers are biting.  Have an exterminator come to inspect before you do any crazy cleaning or vacuuming, to make it easier for them to find evidence of your problem.  After all, it could be fleas or mites, or a raging case of paranoia that has you scratching.  In the case of bedbugs, you will be tempted to flee to your sweetheart/friend/parent’s basement, but keep in mind that you run the risk of taking your unwanted guests with you.  And no one wants that.  Gird your loins to stand your ground and fight the good fight in your own insect flophouse.  Once you have been inspected by an exterminator, and even your fortune cookie reads “sorry, you have bedbugs”, then you can prepare your apartment for the treatment.  The exterminator should provide you with very specific instructions. At this point you should begin treating your clothes and bedding.

2. Treating the bedding. Remove all bedding from mattresses, gather all linens, and clothing from your living area. This includes all textile materials that are machine washable – pillows, mattress covers, anything – and those that must be dry cleaned. Even fabric that is in storage should be collected. Wash bedding and any clothing/fabrics that may have come in contact with bedbugs in hot water, and dry in the dryer if possible. Wash all other linens and fabrics as directed.  After washing, place items in storage bins or bags, such as Ziploc Big Bags (Large, XL, XXL) or clear contractor bags. Seal to prevent bugs from entering and hiding in the clean fabrics.  Maintain your belongings in their sealed compartments until you feel it is safe to unpack them, wait at least a month until after there have been no signs of bedbugs.  Take out very little at a time to prevent having to repeat the whole process, if you need further treatment.  Do not start bagging up all of your stuff, without washing and drying first, unless you plan on storing them, sealed, for more than 18 months, as that is how long it will take to kill any bedbugs sealed inside. Empty out any plague areas closets in rooms where bugs have been found, or closets in which fabrics, linens, towels, etc. have been stored, so that the exterminator can get to these areas.  If you live in New York City, this will not be a problem, since you don’t have any closets.

3. Clear the area. Vacuum floors and carpets, in particular hard to reach areas where bedbugs are likely to hide. Steam cleaning rugs and couch cushions is also a good idea. Reposition your furniture and other belongings away from the walls and toward the center of the room so that the exterminator can treat the perimeters, and you can vacuum these areas as well.

4.  My stuff, my precious stuff. Bedbugs love wood almost as much as they love beds.  Empty wooden bookshelves, desks, dressers, etc., and remove the drawers. You may find them between the boards of your furniture, and even smaller items like picture frames.  Your exterminator can consult with you on whether items need to be disposed of or not.  Throwing away all of your furniture is a drastic and expensive step that may not prevent a recurrence.  It might be better to attempt to treat what you have. You can buy an encasement for your mattress that will trap bedbugs inside and prevent any re-infestation after treatment.  Put the encasement on the mattress after the exterminator is finished so that they may treat the mattress as well.  Anything that you do dispose of should have a scarlet B painted across it to prevent anyone else from taking it.

As an alternative to bagging and sealing items that can’t be washed, such as books and shoes and your collection of creepy doll heads, you might want to consider one of the new fangled devices on the market that comprise a container you can put non-washable belongings into, that will heat them over 120 degrees for a few hours.