(NaturalNews) Bed bugs may be regarded as annoying and even disgusting, but in reality they are relatively harmless to humans. The same cannot be said about the powerful chemical insecticides used to treat bed bug infestations. New research shows exposure to chemicals used to kill bed bugs can cause serious illness and even death.
Researchers from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now confirm that bed bug insecticides have caused acute illness in at least 111 individuals in the last eight years, with 64 cases occurring in New York City alone. One woman died as a result of direct exposure to these insecticides.
The CDC reports illness caused by these insecticides is typically due to excessive application and failure to wash or change bedding after applying the potent chemicals.
Among the side effects caused by bed bug insecticides are nausea, dizziness, difficulty breathing and vomiting. Over exposure or improper ventilation increases the possibility of death resulting from the use of these chemical insecticides. Anyone with existing medical conditions is especially at risk for severe and even fatal reactions.
Natural Prevention for Bed Bugs is Key
What the CDC fails to report is that poisonous chemical insecticides are unnecessary for treating bed bugs. Bed bug infestations can be prevented naturally by taking a few simple measures:
1. Wash bedding in hot water on a regular basis. This is perhaps the most simple and effective way to prevent bed bug infestations. Water should be at last 120 degrees Fahrenheit in order to be effective.
2. If you buy used furniture, check it thoroughly for bed bugs before you purchase it and bring it into your home. This is especially important for mattresses and box springs as well as upholstered sofas, chairs and recliners.
3. Second-hand bedding and clothing is also a concern. Wash these in hot water as soon as you bring them home.
4. Use a protective covering on your mattress and box spring. A waterproof covering is ideal.
5. After traveling, inspect your luggage for bed bugs before bringing it back into your home. Put clothes directly into the laundry and wash in hot water before placing them back into your closet or drawers.
6. Keep areas around beds, upholstered furniture and clothing clean and uncluttered. Bed bug infestations tend to crop up in dusty or cluttered areas.
7. Use natural insecticides to prevent infestation. Food-grade diatomaceous earth is highly effective for killing bed bugs.
For current infestations, the methods above plus proper disposal of infected mattresses and box springs can eliminate the need to use toxic chemical insecticides.
About the author: Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more: www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2009/10/welco...
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