If you obtain bedbugs, you don’t have to call a certified pest control firm, but you’d be foolish not to, is the take-away message from your warning issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last August.
Alarmed by reports of dangerous pesticide misuse and extreme measures being taken by some homeowners and apartment dwellers in do-it-yourself attempts to eradicate bed bugs, the U.S. EPA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a joint announcement last July warning consumers against using outdoor pesticide products inside their houses in attempts to eliminate bed bugs. Reports from accredited pest management professionals in the specialty and news media of folks dousing their beds, their own pajamas as well as bathing their children in backyard insecticides has generated growing concern among police officers, the health care community, public health guardians, along with also the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). Using harsh chemicals not accepted by the EPA for residential use can result in severe burn-like irritation of the eyes and skin, potential damage to the central nervous system, and might even expose you to carcinogens.
There also have been many news reports of home and apartment fires begun by desperate people using highly flammable liquids to kill bedbugs. In January, a Cincinnati, Ohio guy who was wiping his furniture down with a mixture of insecticide and alcohol began a fire in his flat when his smoke ignited fumes in the chemical mixture. In July 2008, an Eatontown, New Jersey man blew up his flat whilst attempting do-it-yourself pest management. A pilot light triggered the chemical spray and fumes causing an explosion that blew from the front windows of the flat and resulted in a fire that destroyed the man’s flat and caused serious damage to neighboring areas.
“kamloops exterminator firms reported seeing many ineffective and potentially dangerous measures used by do-it-yourselfers, including ammonia, bleach, fire, smoke, kerosene, wasp spray, and bug bombs, as well as concentrated pesticides bought on the internet,” University of Kentucky entomologist and nationwide bedbug expert Michael Potter, writes in Bugs Without Borders, Defining the Global Bed Bug Resurgence, an global survey of pest control companies recently conducted by the University of Kentucky in combination with the NPMA.
Bedbugs do not always respond to home treatment. These apple seed-sized insects that feed on human blood are hard to kill, a function of their biology and behavior. At best, do-it-yourself house treatments may induce bedbugs to relocate, spreading infestations faster. These pests have a tough, protective carapace that’s not easily penetrated. To kill pest control products have to come into direct physical contact with the insect; and their eggs are untouched by products currently approved by the EPA for residential use. When not feeding, bedbugs hide in inaccessible spaces deep within minute crevices, inside walls, behind baseboards, under floorboards, and inside electronics. Bedbugs and their eggs can also be easily transported on clothing and belongings, allowing infestations to swiftly spread through a house or apartment building. This mixture of biology and behavior makes it almost impossible to kill an entire bedbug infestation using one pest control treatment. Three specialist pest control remedies spaced two weeks apart are typically required to successfully exterminate a bedbug infestation and ensure that concealed germs and newly-hatched eggs are killed.
Professional extermination by a qualified pest control firm with an experience in bed bug elimination is the very best approach to exterminate bed bugs. The EPA, on the Bed Bug Information Page posted on its website, says, “Getting a pest management professional (PMP) involved as soon as possible rather than taking time to try to treat the problem yourself is very effective at preventing further infestations.”
Speedy action is essential in combating bed bug infestations. Bed bugs replicate at an alarming speed and infestations can grow quickly. Throughout its 6- to 12-month lifespan, a female bed bug can lay 500 eggs with hens capable of reproducing inside a month. It is common to see three or more bed bug generations present in an established infestation. Immediate treatment at the first stages of infestation may restrict the infestation and prevents it from spreading.
To successfully treat bedbug infestations, licensed pest control professionals employ a blend of environmental management processes, known as Integrated Pest Management (IPM), and a variety of pest control materials approved by the EPA for residential usage only by licensed pest control professionals. Powerful bedbug extermination begins with meticulous pre-treatment planning to eliminate clutter, clothing, bed sheets and other things which may enable bedbugs to escape exposure to pest control substances. When site preparation is finished, a blend of pest management substances is used to attack bedbugs on multiple levels.
Concerns about health and safety issues that have emerged from misuse of pest management substances by unlicensed or improperly trained pest controllers and unqualified contractors trying to cash in on public anxiety prompted the EPA to warn users to prevent insect extermination services made with “unrealistic promises of effectiveness or low cost.”