Bedbugs have been much talked about in the news lately. They actually were prevalent from Colonial Times (remember the rhyme “night night, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite”) until the 1950’s when DDT greatly reduced their populations. Because of its high toxicity level, DDT was removed from the market. For that reason and the fact that we are such a mobile society, bedbugs are on the rise, especially in hotels, apartments and dormitories. If you are in a hotel, it’s always a good idea to inspect your mattress first before sleeping there. Another source of bedbugs is used furniture and even used clothes.
Bedbugs are very difficult to control, but there are natural remedies worth trying. You certainly don’t want to spray pesticides where you sleep! First clean the room thoroughly, placing all bedding, clothing and small furnishings in sealed plastic bags. Do not move them to another room. Vacuum the mattress, furniture, curtains, everything. Some people recommend steaming the mattress. The mattress either needs to be thrown out or sealed with a special cover. Then apply the following remedies: Diatomaceous earth, a natural, non-toxic powder made from crushed fossil shells of freshwater organisms and marine life. It is harmful to any insect, scratching and damaging their skin so that they dehydrate and die, and completely harmless to humans. Bedbugs do not become resistant to it as they can with pesticides, and it lasts forever. (You can buy it online at http://www.bed-bug.net/bedbugproducts.html). Neem oil acts as a deterrent when applied to you, but doesn’t necessarily get rid of the bedbugs because it only lasts for about a week. The bedbugs will hide from the oil and come out again once the spray has dissipated. Applying Neem oil however, to yourself and your bed will offer additional protection and help prevent future infestations.
Placing your bedding in high heat or outside when it’s cold gets rid of some of the bedbugs, but usually not all. Some people recommend spraying the mattress, pillows, baseboards, outlets and light switches (any place where the bedbug can come through) with a mixture of Pennyroyal Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, and rubbing alcohol. The very thought of bedbugs is so disgusting, anything is worth a try!
If you have a problem with bedbugs, there is lots of helpful information available on line. Good luck!