Hi, I’m Boruch Fishman and welcome to another episode of Day in the Life of Dovid Davis Pest Specialist. Today we’re going to be talking about whether you can eradicate bed bugs without using a professional exterminator. Here to answer your question is Dovid Davis.
Boruch: Hi Dovid.
Dovid: Hi, how are you?
Boruch: Good. Dovid, let me ask you to start off with, how can homeowners recognize if they have or might have a bed bug infestation?
Dovid: One of the things you’ll realize is that over a small period of time you’ll be getting bitten on a regular basis. There are other insects that will in fact inflict bites on people. Fleas can do it, spiders can do it, mice can do it. But they are not repeated biters. So you’re not going to be bitten every night by these insects. Bed bugs will bite you every single night and usually in the same particular area. So one of the things you can look for are bite marks on your body. Now the bit markings are actually a reaction to the bites. Some people react quickly within minutes, some people will react over days and weeks. One of the other things you can do is check your sheets. If you think you have a bed bug infestation or that a bed bug has bitten you, keep in mind that when bed bugs bite, they are sloppy and will drip a little bit of blood. So what you can do if, for example, you’ve been bitten around the neck area, the thigh area, or the chest area; look around your bed in that corresponding area and see if you find any small slight blood stains. That will be an indication that you’ve been bitten during the night. You can also check your mattress and bed spring, especially along the seams, to see if you can locate the actual bugs themselves.
If you have identified a bite on the body and a little bit of blood on the sheet or mattress, now you can go ahead and do some preventive work. Some of the preventative things you want to do are:
- Strip your bed, take the sheets off, take the bed covers off, take the dust ruffle off, nothing should be touching the floor.
- One of the simplest things you can do is take your hair blow dryer, one that says it is 1200 – 1500 watts. Put it on an extension cord, turn that hair dryer on, and go around all your seams of the mattress and box spring. Don’t burn the mattress up, don’t melt it, but make it sufficiently hot so it’s hot (more than 110 degrees Fahrenheit) . This is, in actuality, a heat treatment. So you’ll be giving yourself a heat treatment by just using a hair dryer that you should have readily available.
- One of the other things you can use to prevent bed bug infestation or the spread thereof is some Vaseline. You can take that Vaseline and put it on a Styrofoam or paper plate, and you can place that plate underneath a four post bed. That will discourage bed bugs from getting to the legs of the bed to get to the box spring to get to the mattress to get to you.
- You can also apply a thin coating of Vaseline around the legs of the bed, to the bottom six inches. And once again, if there’s a possibility that the bed bugs are living anywhere in the room other than the bed, this will stop them from climbing up the legs of the bed to get to you. And you can also check to make sure no bed bugs are getting caught on the Vasoline. If bed bugs are sticking in it, then you know you have an active infestation.
Boruch: Okay, let me ask you a couple of questions. First off, I had a short lived bed bug infestation, and the bites itched like anything. And I found that they usually go for the arms and the legs. Is that right?
Dovid: No. First off, the itching is just a reaction to the bite. If you have an itching problem you can take an antihistamine and that will stop that urge to itch. Itching, of course, make it worse and can give you an infection. So using an antihistamine will certainly stop that.
Boruch: Okay, we only have about 30 seconds left, so tell the audience, can they save their mattresses without professional treatment?
David: You can save your mattress if you do what I said. Take your hair dryer and go around the mattress seams. And buy a mattress cover, that will serve for both bed bug prevention and detection.
Boruch: Folks that wraps it up for another episode of “Day in the Life of Dovid Davis Pest Exterminator.” I’m Boruch Fishman; have a pest free day!
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