Posts Tagged ‘bed bug treatment’

All-natural bedbug sprays have little bite

Products such as Rest Easy and Bed Bug Bully claim to be highly effective at controlling the insects, but researchers say there aren’t yet any consumer products proven to keep bedbugs away.

Bedbug

Bedbugs can be very hard to get rid of, and “all natural” remedies don’t show much promise. (University of Florida Institute of Food / October 25, 2010)

Bedbugs combine all of the bloodsucking annoyance of mosquitoes with the survival instinct of cockroaches. No bigger than apple seeds, the adult bugs hide in ingenious places — inside electrical outlets, behind baseboards, deep in carpet fibers — during the day and attack their victims during the night. You may never know that you have a bedbug problem until bites start showing up on your skin. Bedbugs don’t spread any illnesses, but still. Ick.

The bugs are tough, they’re devious and they’re gaining new ground in homes and hotel rooms across the country, says Susan Jones, an entomologist at Ohio State University in Columbus. “They are the worst insects that we’ve ever had to deal with in an urban environment.”

As worry about bedbugs grows, it’s no surprise that many people are taking pest control into their own hands. Do-it-yourself exterminators can choose from many different sprays that claim to kill the bugs and prevent infestations.

Some products, like Rest Easy Bed Bug Spray, are sold as all-natural alternatives to traditional pesticides. Rest Easy, manufactured by the RMB Group, contains essential oils from cinnamon and lemon grass, among other ingredients. Bed Bug Bully, produced by a company called My Cleaning Products, claims to be 100% natural. The company website doesn’t list any ingredients, but a sales manager reached by phone said that the spray ingredients include tea tree oil and lavender. The company didn’t respond to a request for more information.

A 16-ounce spray bottle of Rest Easy — sold at many Walgreens, Ace Hardware and other stores — costs about $16. The company website instructs users to spray Rest Easy on “dressers drawers, closets, along baseboards, behind headboards, and around any other furniture you want treated.” The site advises against spraying the bed directly. “If bed bugs are present in the bed,” the site says, “call a professional for extermination.”

A 32-ounce bottle of Bed Bug Bully, available at many drugstores, retails for about $50. A video tutorial on the company website encourages users to spray “wherever you think bedbugs may be.”

If you want a little more punch in your spray, you might consider buying a product that contains an EPA-registered pesticide. Steri-Fab, a spray from Noble Pine Products, contains alcohol with a small amount of d-phenothrin, a common pesticide often found in flea and tick products. It’s sold online — Amazon is one option — and at many professional cleaning supply outlets. On Amazon.com, a 1-gallon bottle sells for a little more than $40. According to the company site, a gallon is enough to cover eight to 10 pieces of upholstered furniture or six to seven mattress sets.

The claims

The Rest Easy website says that its “optimized blend of natural ingredients has been universally recognized for thousands of years as a means for controlling insects.” In a phone interview, company President Howard Brenner said, “We are all-natural and highly effective.” He also said that people who have a serious and obvious infestation should call an exterminator. “Our product is for people who think they might have bedbugs or are paranoid that they might get them.”

The Bed Bug Bully site says the product is “by far the best bed bug treatment you can get on the market today.” It also promises “the same results delivered by pest service without evacuation.”

The Steri-Fab website says that, “unlike any other product available in the U.S. and the world,” Steri-Fab kills bedbugs, fleas, ticks and lice along with bacteria and viruses. The site also says it “dries in 15-20 minutes and leaves no residue.” The FAQ section explains that the product kills bugs on contact but becomes essentially inactive once it dries. In a phone interview, company Vice President Eric Bryan said his product “isn’t a panacea” but does have a proven ability to kill bugs. “Those all-natural botanical products” are baloney, he added.

The bottom line

Gail Getty, a research entomologist at UC Berkeley, says she’d love to see a day when people could quickly solve their bedbug problems on their own. “I want to encourage new research. It would be great if there was something that was safe and effective.”

Unfortunately, she says, no consumer products on the market today have been proved to completely remove bedbugs from the home. Because bedbugs are so adept at hiding, and because any bugs you can target with a spray are going to just be the tip of the infestation, it really takes a professional exterminator to get rid of the bugs, she says.

Jones, the Ohio State University entomologist, is especially leery of “all-natural” products. “If you think that using these sprays is going to get rid of your bedbugs, you are sorely mistaken.” Jones points out that pesticide-free products such as Bed Bug Bully or Rest Easy aren’t required by the Environmental Protection Agency to prove that they are actually effective against bugs — all that matters is that they are considered safe.

And while d-phenothrin, the pesticide in Steri-Fab, definitely has some killing power, Jones says many populations of bedbugs are developing a resistance to that chemical.

Jones adds that even professional exterminators armed with industrial-strength chemicals generally need several hours to clean out an infestation. “If somebody goes in and out in 15 minutes, you just wasted your money.”

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The truth of the matter is that those nasty blood sucking devils are here and getting worse. Good public awareness to their habits, signs of infestation and treatment is one of the best tools to getting some control of those guys (and gals).

One thing that you can do to keep safe from Bed Bug’s while traveling is to check the bed. Yep, check the entire bed and then some!

Before I even move anything into a room while travelling, I rip the sheets off, lift the mattress and check out everything from under the bed frame to the pillow cases. Does that seem extreme to you? On a recent trip to North Carolina, we stopped at three motels. Two of those motels had bed bugs, one of which was totally infested.    Check your rooms thoroughly!

BTW do not use a black light! You discover more problems with the room than bed bugs…..as seen below.

And since we are the subject of travelling stop over horro stories…lets keep going  and check out a few more.

ok, this is alittle different, lol.

Hospitals face bloodsucking parasites

by Heather Mayer, DOTmed News Reporter

On top of reimbursement cuts, shrinking procedure volumes, health care reform, mass layoffs and nurse strikes, hospitals now have to worry about an invasion of bloodsucking parasites.

Don’t let the
bedbugs bite.
 

According to a series of news reports, health care centers around the country are finding unwelcome visitors under the sheets: bedbugs.

A surgical unit at the Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston closed last week to allow exterminators to treat the area for bedbugs. The hospital moved patients out of the unit, and it said it hasn’t found any more bedbugs, according to The Associated Press.

And the Blank Children’s Hospital in Iowa recently treated two rooms for the bloodsuckers. While the hospital said the pests are gone right now, new ones can come in with new patients. According to one pest control expert, who treated the Iowa hospital, bedbugs are on the rise.

Orange Park Medical Center in Florida reported the problem several weeks ago, but said the issue had been resolved and it had established processes to screen for bedbugs.

George Richardson of Peninsular Pest Control said exterminators have been treating an increasing number of beds in homes throughout the area for bedbugs, according to a News4Jax article.

But Ron Harrison, director of technical services for Atlanta-based Orkin, said while bedbug infestations have grown over the last five to eight years, he hasn’t noticed a surge in hospital outbreaks, although the media may suggest otherwise. He attributes the seemingly new and frequent outbreaks to media hype.

The chances of hospitals having a bedbug infestation are “relatively small,” Harrison told DOTmed News. They are likely to appear in a long-term care facility where people stay for extended periods of time, thus bringing in belongings from home.

Although pesky, there is currently no evidence that suggests bedbugs carry harmful diseases, said Harrison.

“It’s more psychological than disease transmission,” he said of health concerns. “It’s not a comfortable thing for most people.”

Spotting the critters
The best way to contain bedbugs is to always remain vigilant, said Harrison. Spotting a bug early could save a hospital from a lot of headaches and bug bites.

Short of seeing a bedbug, the best way to determine if a facility or home has an unwanted visitor is by looking for fecal smears, said Harrison. Adult bedbugs, the size of an apple seed or tick, are easily seen. But after a blood meal, the bugs will defecate, leaving an ink-like smear on a mattress or linens. It’s also common to find a dried up ball of fecal matter on hard surfaces such as plastic, said Harrison.

Containing and treating
Often, if only one or two bedbugs are seen, it means they were brought in on an ambulance or by a patient’s personal belongings. Once a hospital determines that it has a minor infestation, it can get rid of the problem through basic isolation – getting rid of a bed or a piece of furniture – explained Harrison.

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“If you go into a long-term care facility or a rehabilitation center, you may be inclined to do a lot of work where you’re treating beds, linens – depending on how bad the infestation is,” he said.

It’s rare, said Harrison, that a hospital will experience a full-on outbreak. But in that situation, exterminators often use heat treatments, steaming or freezing. In a hospital situation, he said, fumigation is generally a last resort.

Bedbugs are notoriously hard to get rid of due to their resistance to most pesticides and their nocturnal nature – they only come out at night.

“If you’re not paying attention and the infestation gets out of control, it can be quite expensive to take care of bedbugs,” said Harrison. “It’s not a do-it-yourself kind of job.”

Cost
It’s hard to pinpoint an exact cost to get rid of bedbugs, explained Harrison. It could be in the hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on the size of the infestation.

“If I find a few crawling around, it’s on the low end,” said Harrison. “If I find a big infestation, it’s on the high end.”

An Orkin spokeswoman would only say that for commercial infestations, the cost varies depending on the number of rooms infested, increasing if the infestation went either unnoticed or unreported for a long period of time, making the treatment more extensive.

But the problem of bedbugs comes down to paying attention. Outbreaks can be contained and costs can be saved by remaining vigilant.

“Just looking around and paying attention can prevent [bedbugs] from getting around,” said Harrison.

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