Bed Bugs: Why This isn’t a DIY Project
Bed bugs were once so scarce in this country that the vast majority of the human population didn’t even know of their existence. Unfortunately, since the time that DDT spraying was legally ended, there has been a major revival of the pest. Homeowners desperate to get rid of bed bug infestations are often too willing to attempt a DIY control method, but this is very ill advised.
There are many supposed home remedies. Rubbing alcohol is said to kill bedbugs. This is true, but it cannot extinguish an entire colony. The fix is temporary at best and the insects will quickly multiple, overcoming their original numbers. Similarly, mothballs were once thought to be a strong defense, but they failed to kill the pests, even in controlled studies. Even the pesticides marketed to the public have had little effect. They are more likely to make the residents of the home ill before they wipe out the colony, which has likely already developed an immunity to them. Some of the naturalists blogs have even mentioned that ground up diatomaceous earth can be sprinkled in the known areas of bed bug colonies. The theory? That the sharp sediments will cause small cuts on the insects, thereby killing them slowly. This is nothing more than a hoax.
Even if your DIY approach manages to kill a portion of the colony, bed bugs are constantly reproducing. The average bed bug lives for ten months. Each female lays 4 eggs per day and, though it takes 60 days to reach maturity, assuming a person discovers the colony when there are fifty or so, he or she has only a month before that number will jump to two hundred. As the number of bugs grows, the daily increase in numbers jumps by incredible levels. A colony of four hundred will take less than a week to double itself, for instance.
A preventative approach is the best defense. Checking hotels before bringing luggage in, ensuring that infestations are not spread from one location to another, and hiring the professionals to contend with known colonies is the very best method of keeping the problem at bay.