Recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there have been over 100 illnesses due to exposure to insecticides used on bed bug infestations since 2003. Most of these cases resolved themselves without medical intervention, but there is danger in excessive use, not washing bedding that has been treated and failure to follow application instructions on insecticide products.
Bed bugs themselves do not carry or cause disease. But insecticide exposure can cause nausea and vomiting, dizziness and headaches. There has even been one fatality, but the woman in that case had applied insecticide directly to her body. Additionally, bed bugs are developing resistance to these chemicals.
There are alternative treatments to traditional insecticides but if you are going to go that route, follow some simple guidelines:
1. Read the directions. If you are using a DIY treatment for bed bugs, make sure you are following the instructions on the packaging. Pesticides are dangerous chemicals that must be used in a safety-tested way.
2. If you use a fogger to kill bed bugs, change and wash all the bedding in your home before sleeping on it and air out the house before you move back in.
3. Never apply insecticide directly to your body.
4. Consult a professional pest control company. They are licensed and follow all safety precautions to make sure that your bed bugs end up dead—not you!
Alliance Environmental Group offers a non-pesticide treatment for Bed Bug infestation: ThermaPureHeat(r) is a great alternative to pyrethroid based insecticides. High temperatures can be used to kill all kinds of insects, including bed bugs, in homes, apartments, hotels, hospitals, offices and any other kind of structure. It can be used on entire buildings, confined areas or even localized, spot treatments.
Other non-insecticide treatment methods—freezing, electrocution, microwaves—may be effective in small areas but cannot treat an entire building and your building is safe to enter as soon as the treatment is over—no days of waiting before returning to your home or office!
Having a bed bug infestation is very upsetting and worrisome and can easily cause people to overreact due to distress and squeamishness. It is important to calm down and consider the alternatives and make sure you are making the best choice for you, your family and your employees.