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 22, 2012

Got bed bugs? Don't panic

Mr. Handyman has received several calls requesting more information about bed bugs from the information presented last week.

It has not become such a wide-spread problem that you should be terribly concerned. There are "pockets" of infestations at UNL and now at UNK.

If you currently do not have bed bugs do not panic. Take these precautions to help keep from getting them.

Purchase some DE (Diatomaceous Earth) and lightly sprinkle the powder along the cracks and crevices on your bedroom floor and along the piping of your mattress.

If you have a student returning from school or from travel abroad empty the contents of their suitcase (or dirty laundry bag if a student) in the garage and place the contents directly in the dryer on a high heat setting.

Let the dryer run for 1/2 hour on high setting.

If you get bed bugs the DE can be effective for a DIY treatment.  Tractor Supply claims a product they sell, Tempo, is very effective as well.

If you get to a complete infestation call in the experts and seek the heat treatment.

You can also purchase bed bug insurance which covers the costs of eradicating the little buggers.

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.