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


Know the Enemy – MCS

Synthetic chemicals are all around us. They’re in the products we use, in the clothes we wear, in the food we eat, in the air we breathe, and the water we drink.  Look under your kitchen sink. How many different cleaning products are there?  The prevalence of chemicals in our life is a factor in Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).

Because chemicals are everywhere in the environment, it’s not possible to escape exposure. No wonder, then, many people have learn more about MCSbecome sensitized to the chemicals around them. For most people this doesn’t pose a serious problem. At least not yet. Other people are much more seriously affected.  They may have what appears to be a minor allergy to one or more chemicals.  They may refer to this as MCS.

Chemical sensitivity is not an allergic reaction because IgE is not present. Upon exposure to chemicals some people may feel tired, and suffer from mental confusion, breathing problems, sore muscles and a weakened immune system. Such people suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).

MCS is still quite controversial.  The American Medical Association and the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology consider any relationship between the patient’s symptoms and environmental exposures to chemicals speculative and point out that clear evidence of disease is lacking in many of these cases.

Up Next – What Is MCS?

Till next time

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Out Damn Spot! Remove Cat Urine

Its transition time in our house.  The youngest daughter is in the process of packing up (again) and getting ready to move out for college (again). It is an exciting time.  When you are starting graduate school, the whole world is ahead of you.  She is going through all the things she has had packed away in storage for the last year to determine if they were really worth dragging half way across the country.

She ran across a pair of khaki pants that had been stained by Mr. Lou, her cat that has been gone for almost two years now.  Ewwwww.  Two year old cat urine! Without saying a word, she placed the pants in the laundry basket, thinking that either the wash could remove cat urine stains or she would just throw the pants away.

I can’t think of any stain worse than male cat urine, locked away for two years, staining a pair of light colored pants.

So, I knew that sodium percarbonate kicks butt on organic stains.  Cat urine is most certainly organic and sodium percarbonate is the top ingredient in Molly’s Suds Oxygen Whitener.  What I didn’t know is if Molly’s Suds can remove cat urine  stain that has been set for so long.  The only way to find out is to try it!

You get the best results from a sodium percarbonate solution when you activate it in the hottest water as possible.  I took about 1 1/2 quarts of hot water out of the tap and decided it wasn’t hot enough.  I popped the plastic container in the microwave and zapped it for two minutes.  That was hot water!  I added 1 ounce of Molly’s Suds and gave it a stir.  In to the hot tub went the stained pants leg.  Of course the solution went to work immediately.

The oxidation was full force with more foaming action than I had ever seen before. I allowed the pants leg to soak until all foaming had stopped (a sign that the oxidation process was complete) and the water cooled.

Eww the water looked really yellow and icky.  With trepidation, I took the pants let out of the soaking solution.  At first glance it looked as if the ENTIRE stain was gone COMPLETELY.  Not sure, I rinsed the garment out in the kitchen sink.  Yup, looks like the entire stain was removed.  Like magic, Molly’s Suds had worked to remove cat urine!

Molly’s Suds had saved the day again.  The old, set in stain was gone, no toxic chemicals had been used.  The air was free from chemical fumes (like with chlorine bleach) and the fabric had not been damaged.

Now there are many oxygen bleach products on the market. Maybe some of them would have been up to the task of removing a set in stain like this cat urine, but I seriously doubt it.  The mass distributed oxygen bleach products make generous use of fillers.  Molly’s Suds Oxygen Whitener does not.  It is a simple solution of sodium percarbonate and soda ash.  That is why just a little goes along way.

So, the pants went through the laundry cycle and were returned to young daughter.  She smiled and said “Thanks Mom”..  I say “Molly’s Suds”