Don’t Let the Bed Bug Cure Be Worse Than the Problem

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a chilling report in yesterday’s (Sept 22, 2011) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report concerning illnesses and fatality associated with the use of insecticides used to control bed bugs.  Bed bug infestations have been on the increase and there are many theories why. Contributing factors may include more travel and resistance to commonly used pesticides.  As a result, the bed bug cure (insecticide) is becoming a real problem.

The Center studied data from 7 states participating in the Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risks (SENSOR) pesticides program during the time period 2003 to 2010.  A total of 111 illnesses were associated with bed bug pesticides were identified.  While 81% were of low severity, there was one fatality.  Most of the cases were associated with the use of pyrethroids and pyrethrins. Only 12% of the cases were considered work-related (either pest control operators or hotel workers who entered recently treated rooms) but interestingly included 2 emergency medical technicians who responded to a treated scene.  The remainder fell mostly in the categories of people who applied too much insecticide, didn’t wash treated bedding, or failed to notify others of the pesticide application.  The bed bug cure probably caused more of a problem than the bed bug itself.  Bed bugs won’t kill you, insecticide will.

In an effort to kill the bed bugs, people are making themselves and others sick. It doesn’t do any good to get rid of the bed bugs if you aren’t going to live to enjoy the bug free room.

An editorial note to the report reminds the reader that the CDC and Environmental Protection Agency promote integrated pest management strategies for bed bug control.  Their non-chemical methods include encasing mattresses and box springs with bed bug proof covers and vacuuming, steaming, and laundering and even disposing of infested items.

We agree!  We have provided bed bug proof covers for many years. As the problem has grown, we added the Vapamore Steam Cleaner with 17 tools so that our customers can do the CDC recommended steaming in ALL nooks, crannies and crevices of their infested areas.  We don’t recommend spraying insecticides on your beds and bedding when there are chemical-free ways to treat the problem.  Don’t be a statistic, be safe!  Don’t let your bed bug cure be more of a problem than the bed bug

Til Next Time!

©Copyright 1996-2013™ All Rights Reserved

How to Protect Against Bed Bugs

If you read the newspaper or turn on the TV you have seen reports about bed bugs. If you are like most people, you are wondering what you can do to protect against bed bugs. There are a few things you can do to make sure that you don’t end up fighting the bed bug battle.  Bed bugs are not dust mites.  They are very small but are visible to the naked eye.  They look a little like a very small tick.  If you wake up with bites or see small red or brown blotches on your sheets, you might have bed bugs.

Protect Against Bed Bugs that Come Home from College

When your kids return home from college, make sure their bags go into the garage and the contents go from the garage straight to the washing machine.  Every year we hear from families who find out that their kids are getting much more than an education at college.  Check the empty luggage thoroughly for bed bugs. Consider sending your student back to dorm life with a cover for their mattress, just as an added protection.

 Protect Against Bed Bugs That Come Home from Travels

You want to follow this same routine when you travel yourself.  Speaking of traveling, when you are in a hotel or motel, do not put your luggage on the floor or bed EVER.  Always place it on a table on the bathroom counter, or even in the bathtub.  Make it difficult to pick up any hitchhikers that may be in the room.  If you rent a car, put your luggage in the backseat.  You have a great chance of picking up bed bugs in the trunk, since that is where most people stow their bags.

Protect Against Bed Bugs at Home

At home, using plain cotton sheets will allow you to see any signs of bed bugs.  Also, encase your bed in special bed bug mattress covers.  This goes for the mattress, boxspring, and all pillows on the bed.  These special bed bug covers will keep the bugs from making a home in your bed.  Make sure you buy covers from a company that is willing to show you independent test results like the ones you see by clicking here.

Some people swear by placing your bed on risers and coating the risers with Vaseline or oil.  I understand the concept of making the area too slick for the bugs to climb up, but as a person with dust mite allergies, I personally don’t recommend anything that increases the amount of dust around your bed.  I believe that the best defense is a good offense, and by being careful about what makes it into your house you can protect yourself.

If you live in an apartment or attached dwelling such as a townhouse, you want to make sure that all areas between your unit and your neighbor’s unit are sealed.  Get out the caulk gun and be sure to seal around walls, baseboards, electrical outlets and such.


An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of expensive exterminating.
Til next time!

©Copyright 1996-2013™ All Rights Reserved

Do You Need To Cover All Pillows

A lovely young couple was in the store last week.  He had just been diagnosed with allergy to dust mites.  The doctor had sent them to us right away with instructions for allergy-proofing their bedroom.

They were on a tight budget (aren’t we all) and were looking to spend where they would get the most bang for their buck.

He asked why it was necessary to cover all pillows on the bed with a dust mite proof pillow cover, not just the one he slept on.  It is a very common question.  I mean if you aren’t sleeping on it why must it be covered?  Why do you have to cover all pillows to get allergy relief?

In order to answer the question, you have to understand how you are exposed to dust mites.  These microscopic creatures and their feces are in your mattress, pillow, and comforters.  Every time someone moves on the bed, a cloud of microscopic particles is blown into the air and the allergic person inhales these particles.  So, if person A (the person with allergies) is laying in bed with their covered pillow and person B is laying on the bed with a pillow that is not covered, every time person B moves, they will send up a cloud of particles that will rain down on person A.  Person A is not protected from B’s allergens.

The other scenario is that you sleep on two or more pillows.  If you only cover the pillow on which you lay your head, every time you move your head the other pillows release their cloud, right there by your head.

What I recommended to this couple was something I do myself.   The pillows that are used to cradle the head are the pillows where you put the most expensive and comfortable covers.  For example, if you have 6 pillows on the bed (1 for each person’s head, 1 to go under each person’s sleeping pillow, and 2 for decorative shams) then the pillows that are used for sleeping should have a microweave pillow encasement made from Pristine Luxury or AllergCare Cotton.  The other pillows can be encased with coated fabrics like the Bed Bug Solution fabric, which are totally effective just less expensive.  That way you can cover all pillows and stretch your allergy control dollar.

Just another way to get the protection you need without spending more than you need.

Til Next Time