The Professional Choice

A companion overview to the popular "Ask Mr. Handyman" radio program airing on Christian Talk Radio, KCRO 660AM Saturdays @ 9:30AM.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite!

They are real, they are a nuisance, they DO BITE, and they are a bugger to get rid of.

There has been some recent news about bed bugs being a problem at the UNL campus in Lincoln.  Students returning for the holidays and spring break could bring these pests into the family home if some precautions are not followed. 

Most folks will revert to the professionals, an exterminator or try to DIY with some chemicals from one of the big-box stores. I have another solution that is very effective and very safe. The ONLY precaution is breathing of the dust when applying. It is Diatomaceous Earth, or DE. It can be purchased at any local health food store and is fairly inexpensive. There is no chemical smell and it is an all-natural "green" product.

Wear a dust mask and apply a ring around your bedposts, in any wall or floor cracks near your bed and dust along the decorative piping at the edges of your mattress. The DE will cut these little critters each time they crawl through the fine powder and they will eventually dry-up and die. You can put it down even with no known bed bug problem.  There are no side effects or safety concerns.

If you have visitors or students returning from Lincoln I would dust all areas where they could unknowingly bring these awful critters into your home. There were huge outbreaks in the Manhattan, Chicago, Denver and Detroit areas as well as other cities recently so any traveler should be cautious.  

When you travel and stay in a hotel I would take some precautions to ensure you do not pick up a hitchhiker. Inspect the bed you will lay your head down on. Keep your suitcase on the countertop or table top and vacuum it when you return. I would put out the DE just to be safe.