In its continuing attack on invading bed bugs, New York City will sponsor its third and final Bed Bug Seminar on Wednesday, March 12 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hope Gardens Senior Center located at 195 Linden Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn. To reserve a space and for more information, call the Department of Housing Preservation and Development at 212-863-8830. Spanish translation will be provided. The program will include:
- How to recognize bed bugs.
- How to prevent bed bug infestations.
- How to eliminate bed bugs from your home.
“Bed bugs do not discriminate and we must do everything we can to stop the spread of the epidemic in our city,” said Council Member Miguel Martinez.
Bed bug complaints have increased across all of New York’s boroughs. Last year the city logged 6,889 infestation complaints and cited 2,008 building owners. Among the worst hit areas are Bushwick, Astoria, Long Island City, Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Central Harlem.
We urge you to attend this city-sponsored bed bug seminar or visit our website to learn more about bed bugs. Stern Environmental now offers the chemical-free, green Cryonite system, the only treatment that kills adult bugs, larva and eggs simultaneously. If you get bed bugs, call Stern immediately. We are the Bed Bug Experts!
Bed bugs are nasty little hitchhikers who will cadge a ride into your home on clothing, used furniture, cardboard boxes, luggage — anything they’ve come in contact with. You can pick them up at a hotel on your next business trip. You can get them from a cab or an airplane seat that was just used by an infested person. So how do you keep them from getting into your home and making your life miserable? Take these steps to help keep your home bed bug-free:
- Don’t bring an old mattress, box springs, sofa, carpeting or other secondhand items into your home. If you see it on the street, leave it there.
- When you check into a hotel, pull back the bedding. Inspect the mattress seams and headboard area. If you find tiny black specks, ask for another room or change hotels. Make sure your new room is not directly above or below the infested room; that’s the first place bed bugs will spread.
- When traveling, put your suitcase on a rack, not the floor. Don’t put it on the bed where bed bugs might crawl in. When you get home, unpack away from your bed and don’t store your suitcase in the bedroom. If you use a soft carryall, give it a quick spin in a hot dryer.
If you get bed bugs, your first urge will be to panic and throw out your bed and everything on it! That’s exactly what you shouldn’t do. Dragging all that stuff through your house on the way to the dumpster will just spread the problem.
The best thing you can do is leave your bed intact and immediately call in the pros. Bed bugs aren’t something you can kill with a can of Raid, but there are some steps you can take that will help get rid of the nasty critters:
- Vacuum infested areas. Immediately double bag the used vacuum bag in plastic and dispose of it outside.
- Wash and dry infested bedding and clothing on HOT settings. A spin in a hot dryer should kill any bugs that live through the wash cycle.
- Use a commercial steamer to steam clean your carpets, sofas and chairs. Richard Cooper, co-author of Bed Bug Handbook, says, “Heat is the single easiest way to destroy bed bugs.” Of course, he wrote his book before Cyronite was introduced in the U.S. Cryonite is an even more effective way to kill bed bugs by freezing them.
- Clean up the clutter to remove potential hiding places and allow professional products to reach and kill all the bugs.
- Invest in specially designed bed bug-proof mattress and box spring encasements.
Bed bugs evoke the image of 1800 dirt-encrusted flophouses, not lovely upper middle-class suburban homes in classy Arlington, Virginia. Tell that to Washington Post reporter Daniela Deane who recently recounted her close encounter with the dreaded Cimex Lectularius, the evil bed bug. Click here to read the whole story.
Sick and in bed, Deane started breaking out in itchy red welts. She was incredulous when her doctor told her it was bed bugs. That’s the reaction most people have, but bed bugs are equal opportunity pests. “They’re not like roaches and flies that feed on filth,” advises Michael Potter, a University of Kentucky entomologist and leading bed bug expert. “You can have a very, very fine hotel, with a guest who comes in with bed bugs in their stuff, and you’re off to the races.”
Expert hitchhikers, bed bugs can enter your home on luggage, clothing, pillows, linens, used furniture — anything that’s recently come in contact with the little blood suckers. Bed bugs can survive away from their human food source for up to a year without feeding! Deane figures they invaded her life during a Manhattan hotel stay.
Deane’s reaction was typical, if extreme. She dragged her king-sized bed, duvet, sheets and pillows outside and threw everything away. (Not recommended, by the way, and a good way to spread the problem.) “Most people just flip out when they realize they have bed bugs,” said Richard Cooper, co-author of Bed Bug Handbook: The Complete Guide to Bed Bugs and Their Control. “They can’t emotionally deal with keeping an infested mattress.”
Next time: What to do when bed bugs visit you.