“We are looking for the silver bullet,” bed bug expert Michael Potter, a professor of entomology at the University of Kentucky, told the Wall Street Journal in a new article on America’s growing bed bug problem. Culling information from national experts, the Journal spoke to Douglas Stern, owner of Stern Environmental Group, about new methods of eradicating the noxious blood-sucking pests.
Stern has had remarkable success eliminating bed bug infestations with the amazing new Cryonite quick-freeze treatment. Popular in Europe and Australia, Cryonite stops bed bugs before they can scurry into hiding places, freezing them in their tracks and then killing them. The CO2 “frost” penetrates tiny cracks and crevices where bed bugs hide. Unlike traditional pesticide treatments and other new methods being tried by pest control companies, Cryonite is extremely effective in killing bed bugs at all stages of development: adults, larva and eggs. And Stern has found Cryonite to be totally effective against pesticide-resistant bugs that other methods won’t kill.
What distinguishes Cryonite from other new pest control methods is that it is a green, environmentally friendly, completely chemical-free and non-toxic method of eradicating bed bugs. Even immediately after treatment, your home remains safe for your family, children and pets.
Photos and sandy shoes aren’t the only things you might bring home from Spring Break. Bed bugs may hitch a ride on your luggage. Today we continue our March 19 post on how to get rid of the pesky little buggers.
Anything that can be cleaned in a washing machine or tumbled in a dryer — clothes, backpacks, tennis shoes, etc. — should be washed and dried on the hottest settings possible. For other items, follow these tips:
- Hand wash items in hot (100-120 degrees), soapy water. Use a scrub brush on seams and folds.
- Items that cannot be washed should be sealed in plastic and treated with extreme heat or cold. A minimum of two hours at 120 degrees or 2 weeks in a typical home freezer at 20 to 30 degrees is recommended.
- Vacuum suitcases and store away from the bedroom.
- Tightly seal and dispose of plastic bags used to hold buggy items in outdoor trash.
- To make sure you didn’t miss any, check bed sheets daily for signs of bed bugs.
- Cover mattresses and box springs with encasements.
- Call a professional bed bug exterminator if you find signs of bed bug activity.
Gripping, compelling, horrifying; no I am not talking about the latest thriller to reach the best selling paperbacks list. I’m talking about “The Exterminators.” It’s a comic book chronicling the heroic efforts and other activities of pest control personnel that deal with cockroaches. The cockroaches are made from granite and they enjoy tickling people; well actually they’re just ordinary cockroaches. I have not read the comic book so if it’s not gripping, compelling and horrifying please don’t send me a grumpy email.
I’m sure New York City’s courageous bed bug fighting fellows could also be quite captivating if they were depicted in a comic book. Their legendary heroics are already shown on Imax screens throughout Europe; well not yet. Perhaps the bed bug exterminators comic book could be informative and talk about insecticides but perhaps the people who served as a meal for the annoying critters would prefer a comic book showcasing the horrible little insects being destroyed by a former bassoon salesman. Maybe a comic book that chronicles the bed bugs giving “dripping with audacity” apologies to the citizens of New York City for all the havoc they have caused would be a better idea. After the apologies are excepted, well let’s go with rejected the bed bugs leave the city and head to Boston.
It’s your worst nightmare. Your collegiate returns home from spring break and brings home more than dirty clothes and sand in his pockets. If you’re worried that bed bugs might have hitched a ride home in his luggage, follow these steps to keep the little buggers out of your home:
- Don’t unpack suitcases on the bed or in the bedroom. Unpack in the garage, laundry room or over the bathtub so you can see and kill any bugs. Look for signs of bed bugs (live bugs, cast skins and dark fecal spots) on luggage and backpack seams and zippers. Check each item as you unpack it.
- If you suspect bed bugs, place items in tightly closed plastic trash bags.
- Sort clothes into washer loads and bag as you unpack. Wash clothes immediately in hot water and dry in a hot dryer to kill bed bugs and eggs. Soft-sided luggage and tennis shoes can be tumbled in a hot dryer.
- Send your kid to the showers immediately. Have him undress in a non-carpeted area and place all clothing in a sealed plastic bag for washing. Wipe a wet cloth over the floor to pick up stray bugs.
- Keep drycleanables in plastic bags and inform the cleaners so items stay bagged until they’re put into the machines.
More tips on Friday.
The notion that insects only become resistant to chemical types of insecticides is unfortunately a myth. Insects have shown resistance to all types of pesticides they just don’t boast about their accomplishments. It’s not that bed bugs and other insects are clever but rather nature seems to find ways to keep the little critters from being vanished from the world.
Metabolic resistance is the preferred defense with insects. The bed bugs and other little critters that have received this gift from nature, detoxify the potent chemicals by utilizing their enzyme systems. They don’t even have to read a manual to accomplish the complicated task. Some biological, organic and inorganic pesticides can destroy the vast majority of a given insect population but as with their chemical cohorts they meet resistance by a small group of stubborn insects.
Behavioral resistance has saved a small percentage of bed bugs and other insects from powerful insecticides. Some beg bugs see a red flag when confronted by a particular insecticide and may avoid death by staying away from it.
Insects have developed resistance to heat, cold, starvation and other environmental factors. Some robust bed bugs can live for a year and a half without having a meal. Resistance has been offered by nature and unfortunately accepted by some bed bugs.