Originally published October 7 2014
Remove bedbugs using inexpensive household items
by David Gutierrez, staff writer
(NaturalNews) You can eliminate bedbugs from your home without chemicals, using traps that can be built for about a dollar's worth of supplies, say scientists at the University of Florida.
"This concept of trapping works for places where people sleep and need to be protected at those locations," entomologist Phil Koehler said.
In recent years, bedbugs have become a growing problem across the United States, with the blood-sucking insects turning up in cities nationwide. According to an April 2013 survey by the National Pest Management Association, 99.6 percent of all pest management professionals in the country had encountered at least one bedbug infestation in the previous year. Forty-nine percent of those surveyed said that most infestations occurred during summer.
The association said that summer might be a busy bedbug season because more people are traveling or relocating, and are either bringing bedbugs back into their homes or discovering them in their new location.
Although most famous for living in mattresses and bedding, bedbugs can live in nearly any furniture. Their bites are often confused for mosquito bites or rashes, allowing them to go undetected for long periods of time.
Traps are cheap, safe and effectiveBecause bedbugs have now become resistant to most pesticides, people often turn to extreme measures to deal with them. But Koehler warns that techniques such as mothballs, bug bombs or pesticide treatment of mattresses are either ineffective or dangerous.
In contrast, the traps are an easy way to both determine if your home has bedbugs, and to eliminate them if an infestation is confirmed. Koehler estimates that it would take about an afternoon to make the 50 traps needed to remove bedbugs from a three-bedroom apartment. Compared with the average $3,000 price tag for bedbug extermination in such a space however, the time investment may be well worth it. It can cost $1,200 to eliminate bedbugs even from a small apartment.
The traps, made with glue, masking tape and inexpensive plastic containers, present the bedbugs with a rough surface that makes it possible for them to get in, but with a smooth surface inside that makes it impossible for them to get out. They are designed to trap the insects as they move from their daytime hiding places in search of victims to feed on.
The simple nature of the traps makes them basically foolproof, Koehler said, and much safer than the alternatives.
"It's really hard to mess this up to the point that you'd hurt anything," he said.
Five easy stepsYou can find instructions, photos and videos of how to construct the traps on the web site of the university's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. In essence, however, all that is required is:
1. Cut four pieces of rough-surfaced tape into lengths at least the height of a small plastic container.
2. Press the pieces of tape along the inside of the container, evenly spaced.
3. Wrap more tape around the outside of a larger plastic container, from its base to its upper edge.
4. Glue the smaller container inside the larger one, making sure to leave space between the walls of the containers.
5. (optional) Dust the space between the walls of the containers with baby powder.
The bedbugs will be able to climb into the larger container and perhaps even into the smaller one, but will be trapped in the "moat" between the two containers and unable to escape.
The traps should be placed underneath the legs of all furniture in the home, including beds, chairs and sofas. Trapping should continue until no more bedbugs are turning up inside the traps.
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