Terrible D-I-Y Bed Bug Mistakes
You Really Shouldn't "Do-It-Yourself"...
Before being helped by a professional, many homeowners (and previous Pest Solution Services' clients too) make an effort to remove the bed bug infestation themselves.
With odds stacked against you, this usually makes the problem worse (the infestation prolongs and spreads with mistakes, also, money is lost trying some of these ideas).
For all homeowners out there, here is some valuable advice for every homeowner thinking about trying some D-I-Y ("Do-It-Yourself") tips for bed bug removal.
Terrible D-I-Y Bed Bug Mistakes
1) Kerosene Oil
If you have bed bugs, you definitely do not want to add flammable and toxic to that list of problems!
Using kerosene oil to kill bed bugs are the types Do-It-Yourself tips circulating out there, and despite what people may say, it is a very bad idea to use kerosene oil in an attempt to kill the bed bugs.
Before we talk chemistry, take note that this method has actually been tried before, by putting the oil in containers and using them under each leg of the bed to act as traps and interceptors. Some may also try to rub the oil on furniture and parts of the bed.
This makes your entire house unsanitary, toxic, and flammable! It also gives your house a kerosene stench and you may need huge amounts of oil just to kill the bed bugs.
Keep in mind that bed bug infestations can reach the crevices of electrical outlets and get in to closets. Kerosene oil is not the option!
Many bed bug infestations cannot be washed away with oil, instead you need legitimate tools and control methods with appropriate application to get rid of bed bugs. Have a look at Pest Solution Services' Bed Bug Control page for service and extermination details.
Warning: Recently, bed bug heat treatments have become widely available and may be the first option suggested by some exterminators you may call. If you have been using kerosene oil on your furniture and are now planning to go for a heat treatment, then you must know: a heat treatment reaches very high temperatures that are within the flash point range of kerosene. If you have been spraying or rubbing your mattress/furniture with kerosene, then this can make for a fatal situation. Bed bug heat treatment house fires (new post coming soon on this topic) are sadly possible, and have happened before.
2) Sleeping With The Lights On
Bed bugs will come out for meal if they detect a sleeping human. Whether the lights are on, or off, does not really interrupt or disturb their feeding and senses. Furthermore, sleeping with the lights on will in no way reduce the infestation, and so you will simply waste time and fall further back in fighting against the population of bed bugs in your room.
3) Essential Oils
Many people may not know of the growing trends of essential oils being used in homes for health and therapy, and so, do not know about essential oils well enough to know when and how they should be used.
Whether you are familiar with these oils or not, bluntly put, you do not want to be using them to kill bed bugs.
There are some websites out there that hint or outright advise you to use essential oils to kill bed bugs. Not only is that very expensive (given the fact that essential oils are sold at high prices in small bottles), but also can be detrimental to your health and leave a suffocating, strong scent in your home when used incorrectly (such as killing bed bugs with them).
Here's the explanation: essential oils can range from photo-toxic oils to carcinogens! The book Essential Oil Safety: A Guide For Healthcare Professionals is a known resource for the essential oil industry and is an extremely detailed guide numbering the effects and safety measure for each essential oil. It further expands on previous research in which essential oils are used on animals to evaluate their negative properties.
After educating yourself on essential oils, you will realize that these oils are to be used in extreme scarcity and mixed with vegetable/"carrier" oils when used. Some essential oils are strongly discouraged for pregnant women and people with other medical conditions need to take extra measures.
Lastly, many essential oils come at a huge price for a very SMALL quantity, simply because of the exoticness and difficulty of extraction. Some of the inexpensive, less sought out oils are around CAD $20 for a mere 10 mL! The studies that suggest using them talk about direct application to bed bugs, and not a diffuser, so 10mL is not near the amount you need to spray the bugs or your room directly (which is very unhealthy and suffocating, as essential oils are not meant to be used this way).
In conclusion, it is very sad that there are websites/blogs out there recommending homeowners to use essential oils! All homeowners are urged to do research and not follow every advice on the internet.
4) Turning Up The Heat
After seeing and reading heat-related treatment options, some may assume turning on multiple electric heaters in a room and raising the temperature of the entire house will help get rid of bed bugs. This is not true; bed bugs will survive through the disoriented an un-coordinated D-I-Y heat treatment. Bed bugs almost always survive both high and low temperatures that are produced by consumer level electric heaters and refrigerators and simply raising the heat of your home or room using electric home heaters or your thermometer is not an adequate plan. Without professional expertise and services, getting rid of bed bugs is uncertain and difficult.
5) Leaving The House Vacant
Bed bugs can survive up to a year or more without food. Trying to starve them to death by leaving a specific room, or the entire house vacant will not solve the problem.
Also, if you do leave your home vacant, you will have to move in to a temporary residence.
This means you might be spreading the infestation across multiple properties by taking bed bugs from you infested house in to another. Worse yet, if you sleep in your car, then your car can become heavily infested. (Yes, cars have been a source of infestation before!)
The best way to fight the infestation is to hire a professional, and act quickly. Methods like leaving the house vacant, only slow you down and may cause more damage than you'd expect.
6) Throwing Away The Mattress
Before throwing away the matress, or your entire bed, you should have atleast had a bed bug inspection. If the infestation had spread to your closet, or your living room couches, or another bed room, then throwing away your mattress/bed and buying a new one will have been a large waste of time and money! The matress and bed will get re-infested, and fairly quickly if the infestation in your house is large. Professional consultation is valuable before you decide to exterminate, or dispose of furniture and mattresses