All Natural Bed Bug Treatments Not Effective

If you have bed bugs, you are searching the net for all the information you can get.   If you start thinking about  all natural bed bug treatments as an alternative to synthetic pesticides, you might be wasting your time and money.

Bed Bug Treatments Found Not Effective

Researchers with Rutgers University looked into the effectiveness of essential oil based treatments and the results were not promising.  They looked at brands that used peppermint oil, clove oil, lemongrass oil, geraniol, rosemary oil, mint oil, cinnamon oil,  and eugenol as the active ingredients.  Some contained the surfactant sodium lauryl sulfate, also known as soap.  The findings were published in a fast track article in the Entomological Society of America’s Journal of Economic Entomology.

The results were not promising for those seeking to avoid conventional pesticides.  Researchers discovered that even under the best of circumstances (the treatment applied directly to the bed bug) only 2 of the products testedhad kill rates of over 90%.  In the practical world, every bug is not always sprayed with the active ingredient.  That is because bed bugs hide in cracks and crevices during treatment.

Soap as a Bed Bug Treatment?

On of the most interesting findings is that the “active” ingredients (the essential oils) in the products that were found to be marginally effective were also found in products that were not effective at all.  Could it be that the inactive ingredients (such as the surfactant sodium lauryl sulfate) are why the more effective product work?  It is interesting that the two products that were found to work best were products that also contained the common ingredient in soap.  Maybe the researchers will investigate further.

Tried and True Bed Bug Treatments

If you find that you have bed bugs, you should call on a professional that has effective tools in their arsenal.  Since the essential oil treatments have shown not to be effective, discuss with your pest control specialist what they recommend that is low in toxicity to humans and high in toxicity to bed bugs.  Treatments using heat instead of chemicals are also available.

No matter if you use pesticides or heat or other methods, make sure keep the bed bugs out of your bed with bed bug coversthat your mattress, boxsprings, and pillows are covered in bed bug proof zippered encasements.

Sleep tight…don’t let the bed bugs bite!

Til Next Time


Sinus Infection Detected on Dental X-Rays

You learn something new everyday in this business. That’s for sure.  I spoke with an elderly lady last week who told me her dentist had advised her to get a dust mite proof cover for her mattress.  Yes, the dentist was able to diagnose a sinus infection from her dental x-ray!

We discussed how to measure the mattress for the cover and about the different type of fabric.  We decided that she would be most happy with the AllergyCare 100% Cotton.  Still, during the entire conversation, I kept hearing a little voice in my head saying “Seriously, the dentist told her to do this?”

As soon as we ended our conversation I fired up the trusty Google search and looked for the connection between dust mites and dentists.  I was amazed.

Dentists frequently see patients with a toothache that is not a toothache.  The person has a sinus infection, usually caused by uncontrolled allergies or a recent head cold that has not been resolved.  But, they think it is a tooth that hurts when it is a sinus infection that is the source of pain.

From a dental x-ray, the dentist can see the maxillary sinus.  Because it runs next to the upper teeth, pain from this sinus area is frequently confused with a toothache.

So, if you have a toothache in that area, ask yourself if you have had a cold recently and if you are prone to sinus infections.  If you have taken an antihistamine or decongestant and the toothache went away, then your problem is probably a sinus infection. You need to see the doctor, not a dentist.

Til Next Time!

Allergies – Know the Enemy – Dust Mites

Sadly you can be the cleanest person in the world and you would still have a problem with dust mites.

Household Dust &  Dust Mites

An allergy to dust found in our homes is the most common cause of perennial allergic rhinitis. House dust allergy usually produces symptoms similar to pollen allergy.

What Is House Dust?

Rather than a single substance, house dust is a varied mixture of potentially allergenic materials. The particles that can be seen floating in a shaft of sunlight may contain fibers from different types of fabrics; cotton lint, feathers, and other stuffing materials; bacteria; mold and fungus spores (especially in damp areas); food particles; bits of plants and insects; and other allergens peculiar to an individual home.

Dust also contains microscopic creatures known as dust mites. These mites also live in bedding, upholstered furniture, carpets, and other fiber-containing surfaces.  Ordinarily, they would thrive in summer and die in winter. However, in a warm, humid house, they continue to thrive even in the coldest months. Their waste products, which contain proteins, are what actually provoke the allergic reaction.

What Are Dust Mites?

Dust mites are tiny creatures you cannot see. Every home has dust mites. There are two major species, the Dermatophagoides farinae or North American Dust Mite, and the Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus or the European or Old World Dust Mite.  Both species feed on shed skin flakes and are found in mattresses, pillows, carpets, upholstered furniture, bedcovers, clothes, stuffed toys, and fabric or other fabric-covered items. In fact, your bed can have millions of dust mites living in it and you will never see them (great reason to cover the mattress with dust mite covers). It is the reason old mattresses, box springs, and pillows weigh so much more than the same item when new.

Dead dust mites are just as bad for you as a living one. Body parts and feces of dust mites can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. House dust mite allergy is the major year-round allergy in the world.  Dust mites do not bite, you cannot feel them on your skin, and you cannot see dust mites.

Next up – Pets and Animal Dander

Till next time

Allergy Store – Helping customers since 1989