Does the growing concern over bed bugs have you itching at the thought of an infestation? Ralph Maestre, a board certified entomologist and practicing pest management professional, appeared recently on ABC‘s Good Morning America to share family friendly tips for avoiding bed bugs. His new book, ‘The Bedbug Book,’ chronicles his bed bug encounters during the past couple decades. Maestre attributes the growing bed bug crisis to international travel and open markets.
The best weapon currently available for fighting bed bugs is education, says Maestre. He says it is important to know what bed bugs are, how to prevent them and how to treat them.
A couple of products help to passively detect bed bugs in a family friendly way, says Maestre. Climb-ups are bowl-shaped apparatuses made of smooth plastic that sit underneath the bed post. They trap bed bugs in a reservoir making it impossible for them to climb up the slippery plastic surface. Carbon dioxide traps are also useful in detecting bed bugs. Since bed bugs are attracted to breath, these traps made from dry ice release CO2, simulating breathing. Once bed bugs come into contact with the dry ice, they freeze to death.
Climb-ups and CO2 traps are useful in bed bug detection but they will not eliminate the problem. Since extreme heat is the number one enemy of bed bugs, extermination is best carried out by a professional, says Maestre.
In order to keep your home safe, Maestre suggests inspecting clothes, bags and other personal items for bed bugs before entering the house. This way you can be sure that you are not bringing the pests into your safe haven.