Imagine creepy little critters are crawling up the sheets while you’re asleep, and you wake up with a bite on your body that itches like you’ve never felt before. Oh no! You have bed bugs!
There are so many thoughts that shoot through someone’s head after realizing what is going on literally right underneath them. Sometimes people think that the first order of business is to attempt DIY bed bug eradication, instead of calling a professional first. While this route may be slightly effective in the short term, the Do-It-Yourself bed bug extermination path does much more harm than good in the long term.
Things you should know before you pick up a chemical spray bottle at a store:
Misuse of these publicly accessible chemical agents used to treat infestations is common, some even resulting in deaths.
Think that sounds scary? Well, it is. An elderly couple in North Carolina misused the chemical agent (with an active ingredient called bithenthrin) by over-applying it within their home, and the wife also mistakenly applied it onto her body, including the sores and her scalp. Nine days later, she died in a hospital due to the severity of the toxic reaction. Amongst less serious but still significantly harmful effects, people who do not vacate the place being chemically treated often feel very nauseous, dizzy, get headaches, and even vomit. Children, as well as the elderly, are especially at risk for even more severe effects that can have lasting impacts on health.
These chemicals are linked to behavioral problems in children with long term exposure within the household.
Researchers at the University of Montreal found out that out of 779 children, the urine tested to have the highest levels of pyethroids (meaning they were most recently exposed to pyethroids) matched children who exhibited the most behavioral problems. This held true even after accounting for factors like lead exposure or income related factors. The pyethroid ingredient, in particular, is widely available in chemicals to treat infestations, which means that overuse has led bed bugs to become increasingly more resistant to the chemical.
In addition, bed bugs breed very quickly and, as a result, each subsequent generation is more resistant to chemicals previously used to treat them than the previous one, especially because they are improperly timed in their use or insufficiently treated. Professional bed bug pest control companies use bed bug heat treatment, in addition to some specifically targeted chemical treatment, to ensure all bed bugs are eradicated.
Because DIY bed bug extermination attempts carry such high health risks for residents, bed bug extermination experts urge extreme care when handling such chemicals. Faced with these possible health effects, and the reality that efforts are often too minor to eradicate a severe infestation, it is recommended that an expert, such as a company specializing in professional bed bug extermination, be consulted. By making a thoughtful decision when it comes to bed bug eradication and consulting a certified extermination professionals, a large task like getting red of bed bugs can be accomplished more effectively and efficiently than any DIY bed bug solution could.