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An office visitor inquired about how to get rid of bed bugs in an apartment.
The best answer is to hire a professional pest control company.
They have access to insecticides that are not available to a homeowner. Professional used insecticides such as Temprid, Transport and Phantom, all registered trademark insecticides, tend to be more effective than bed bug sprays sold by retailers.
Bleach, alcohol, cigarette lighters, etc. should not be used to control bed bugs. Bug bombs are considered ineffective in the treatment of bed bugs and can be dangerous if misused. Fumigation using a penetrating gas is another way to de-infest buildings but it is very costly and only offered by certain companies.
Typically these treatments are only offered in areas where certain types of wood-dwelling termites are also treated by this method.
Bed bugs have reappeared because they hitchhiked into the United States. Less ineffective insecticides have not been able to control them completely. Widespread use of DDT in the 1940s and ’50s resulted in a eradicating bed bugs in the U.S. DDT is no longer available for use and hasn’t been for many years.
Other chemicals are not as effective but new ones are being developed.
Fortunately, bed bugs do not transmit diseases to humans. The bite is irritating but not dangerous. Usually the bite site itches and may become red and inflamed. The bites can cause irritation, sleeplessness and embarrassment.
Common insect repellents do not deter bed bugs.
Bed bugs are hard to eradicate. Preparing your home for professional treatment can be time consuming and the treatment is expensive. Heat treatment and spot-freezing can be effectively done by pest control firms.
If you can’t afford a professional, then you should consider installing bed encasements. Your bed can be saved and the pest eliminated if still confined to the sleeping area.
For more information, read the publication Entfact-636 on-line from the University of Kentucky Extension Service.
You can also search on-line for Bed Bugs from the University of Kentucky.
The publication on bed bugs is also available from the Anderson County Extension Office.
Joan Martin is a family and consumer sciences agent at the Anderson County Extension office.