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Last Update: 11/30/14
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BEDBUGS - ON THIS PAGE:    [ In Multi-Family dwellings ]      [ The Bedbug Life Cycle ]
[ How to Prepare for a Bedbug Treatment ]  [ Bedbug Pictures ]   [ Bedbug Links ]
[ Different Types of Bedbug Treatments ]   [ Bedbug Bites ]   [ Inspections by dogs ]
[ Inspecting Your Own Home for Bedbugs ]   [ Traveling - What You Can Do Yourself ]

edbugs, of course, have always been around. For thousands of years, humans
have been plagued with these parasites. After many years in hiding and under the radar, now they are back! For that reason, until now, many people have never even seen a bedbug. In fact, many exterminators have not seen them in years.

Bedbug control, in past years, was performed using different classes of insecticides than are used now, so the bedbug problem rarely reared its ugly head. In those 'Olden Days,' the exterminators used DDT to combat these little fellows. It was a very effective tool. In the years after DDT, we had the organophosphates, diazinon, Dursban and chemicals of that class.
picture of bedbug
They were also quite effective against bedbugs. Bedbugs now are, without a doubt, the most challenging pest that exterminators must deal with!

Treatments for our common bedbug, Cimex lectularius, are different now, and the insecticides we must use today do not have the same action or effectiveness as the insecticides of old. Today, bedbug treatments are necessarily very thorough, (as they always were) but now we use several different insecticides, in powder, liquid and aerosol form, with an assist by several kinds of insect growth regulators. Some exterminators will use steam or super-cold generators for killing these bugs.

Exterminators will vary the different chemicals and treatment procedures, to help eliminate the possibility of bedbugs that may have developed a resistance to specific insecticidal preparations, or escaped treatment in some other way. Therefore, a successful treatment for bedbugs can really only be properly done by a knowledgeable professional. And several follow-up professional treatments, for variable amounts of time, will usually be required to completely eliminate a bedbug infestation. This is not a one-time, 'spritz and go' treatment....


Bedbugs are oval-shaped and flat, reddish-brown, mahogany-colored insects, (they're often called mahogany bugs in some places) they are small, even tiny, insects that live on our blood. A parasite, from a size about the size of the head of a pin, to the adults, which are still less than a quarter inch.

Fast-moving little critters, they are wingless and usually hide during the day, only coming out at night to feed. And hide they will, they are so small and flat that they can get into unbelievably small places. This is why the bombs don't
Drawing of bed bug
work. The insecticide particles released from aerosol cans are too big to enter many of their hiding places completely, so many bedbugs will survive even successive "bombing" episodes. Common glueboards also do not offer any reliable control or even the detection of bedbugs.

Pictures of Bedbugs

The Centers for Disease Control has accumulated a gallery of pictures of bedbugs right here.  Actual bedbug bites are shown here.  (Links open in a new window)

Bedbugs have been reported to live for almost a year and a half, and go without a blood meal for over a year. Some experts have begun to dispute this, attributing this to the inexact science from years ago. It appears that figure may be more like 6 to 9 months. Even so, this is a difficult pest to eliminate, and they can always return! Both the males and the females bite and they will both require blood meals to reproduce.

There really hasn't been that much interest in bedbugs for many years, as they have been largely off the radar screen until a few years ago. Ongoing scientific studies will soon confirm or deny many of the myths surrounding bedbugs. New methods, equipment and chemicals will also be developed for the problem. They are back on the radar screen!

Bedbugs are usually noticed first (SURPRISE!) in the bedroom. This, because you are usually at rest and even asleep in the bedroom, giving the bugs the time and opportunity to feed on YOU - and when you probably won't notice until it's too late. Bedbugs will usually feed on you early in the morning, when most humans are in their deepest sleep, sometime between 2 and 4 in the morning.

And the bedbugs are not necessarily there because it's "dirty" - they survive just as well in a "clean" place. They feed on your blood and they are attracted to you because you exhale carbon dioxide. Whether you're dirty or clean makes no difference to them!

bedbugs in your sofa?
Naturally, this doesn't mean they'll ALWAYS be found in a bedroom. That's only the place where they are mostly found.

They'll insert themselves into every nook and cranny of your bedroom, in your bedroom furniture, mattresses, box springs, headboards, baseboards, door trim and even electrical outlets and picture frames.  

They just LOVE that wicker stuff people use to keep their laundry in! And do you keep a store of magazines in the bathroom? Throw 'em out! (But make sure you transport them outside in a sealed plastic bag.)

Sofas and upholstered furniture (where you are "resting") can be easily infested and you and other members of your family can cross-contaminate every bedroom in the house from one bed or one sofa.
bedbugs in your rec room

Unfortunately, you cannot always count on new furniture not being suspect either. Used and new furniture are often stored or trucked together, we have seen several cases of that. Make sure you obtain all delivery and sales receipts of any upholstered items you purchase. Without those papers, you'll have a tough time getting the store to pay you anything. And the treatments for bedbugs are outrageously expensive.

Bedbugs are not only associated with man, they are also parasites to other mammals too. If you have bedbugs, you can often see the actual bugs, blood spots or sometimes the egg shells or skin casings. The same bedbugs that feed on you may also bite and feed on bats, birds, and rodents. Hope you're alright with that.

This fact, more than all the others, is what creeps most people out. The actual redeeming feature is that the lowly bedbug is a 'kind and harmless' parasite. It vectors nor carries any known disease, which, except for the maddening itching, harms no one.

As opposed, say, to the common mosquito, which kills some two and a half million people per year, more than any other insect. The common bedbug is a good example of a benign parasite - one that does no harm to the host.

Their bites, initially, are virtually painless. Bedbugs, before they actually feed on your blood, will bite your skin and inject some of their saliva into the bite, desensitizing the nerves in your skin - the saliva also keeps your blood from clotting. People usually experience multiple painless bites, often close together.
adult bed bug

But then later on, after your bedbugs have feasted, had their fill of your blood, and are long gone, those bites will probably start to bother you. For some people, bedbugs can cause severe itching and allergic reactions. If you're one of those people, the bites will drive you crazy.

But sometimes, two people, even sleeping together, can both have much different reactions from the bites. And sometimes the itching can be the first time you notice that there's something wrong. Often, by then, you can plainly see the blood spots on your pillows, sheets or bedclothes probably before you can actually see the bugs.

If you can, make up the bed with white or light-colored sheets, so you can better see any blood spots. Take care to transport any suspect items in plastic bags, of course, and wash them in hot, soapy water.

Fortunately, bedbugs are not now known to vector any diseases to man, but the constant scratching can often produce serious secondary skin infections that your doctor will need to treat.

Except for special medical prescriptions obtained through your doctor, most any OTC product for itching will probably help - some more than others. Most important is to stop the itching and your scratching!

There are probably hundreds of "home remedies" for this, but whatever works, and is cheap - is the best.

Speaking of free, and you have to be careful, but using running hot water to help the itching, without tearing up your skin can work. You'll need experience and a steady hot water supply to accomplish this, but take it from an old eczema sufferer, it works and feels great!


Bedbugs are brought in - usually by you, or by someone (or something) that enters your home. Or from places you (or your kids) have visited. They ride in on your clothing, on and in your luggage and storage boxes, from trains, buses and since they can live outdoors, they can even come in on
firewood you bring in from the outside. Those bedbugs that infest other animals, can also feed on humans, if the preferred host is not available. They can ride in on furniture you bring in from, say, the local flea market, or even on new furniture, if it has been stored or kept with other infested furniture. Be especially aware that any second-hand item can be a danger.

In the last 30-40 years or so, people have increased their travel, especially to places where these pests are endemic. Because of this, bedbugs have again become a danger in our own homes. Family members returning from school dormitories and visitors to your home can easily vector bedbugs right into your home (or vice versa) because you figure your own family and friends are "safe."

An insidious pest like this can easily hide in your belongings and thus sneak into your home and be established quite well before you even realize it. And lately, movie theaters have had their own problems with bedbugs.

And depending on the construction of your house, and your own living habits, they will easily migrate from room to room! This will make all of the rest of your upholstered furniture at serious risk of infestation.

Can you get roaches at a garage sale? Yes you can!
Flea markets and garage sales have been a problem, since often you don't know the true history of the items you intend to take home. Beware of those upholstered items, they will be the most difficult to inspect and treat. Never buy or take a used mattress.

Life Cycle of the Bed Bug
life cycle of the bed bug Cimex lectularius


First of all, don't be sucked in to the idea that only one of these following methods works, or is any better than any of the others. They can ALL work, and if someone tells you that only THEIR method works, that's not true. It really depends more on the thoroughness of the operators, and how you, as the customer, prepares for your own treatment. Your preparations and the exterminator's treatment go hand-in-hand, if either one slips up, then any successful treatment will take much longer.

These treatments, by professionals, are generally used in conjunction with other chemical treatments. As long as professional steam generators are used, they can be very effective. Professional steam generators (a good one) can cost a thousand dollars or more. This is a little out of the league of ordinary homeowners. The proper equipment generates a continuous, high temperature, low pressure dry steam. Your steam iron won't work and don't expect those $99 steam machines you see on the Internet to work either.

For clothes, and anything you can put in a clothes dryer, 40 minutes on HIGH temperature will do it. Wash your clothes in hot, soapy water. And it would be best if you also used borax at the regular label rate in your wash, along with the soap. Get borax at the grocery store in the laundry soap aisle. It makes your laundry soap work better and you don't need to use as much soap. Clothes that can't be washed should go to the dry cleaner. The solvents used for dry cleaning kills all bugs of any type.

Also, as mentioned before, small items can be put in your oven. Maintain at least 130 degrees for 24 hours to kill all life stages of bedbugs.

Some things are damaged or changed by too much heat.  Musical instruments should be removed, and sometimes arrangements must be made for large musical instruments such as pianos and drums.  

There are sometimes problems with mold forming afterwards, especially if steam is used.in treatments. Usually, the steam is not hot enough for this kind of work, and it doesn't dry completely. Professional steamers are best for this.

The biggest problem with heat treatments is that it leaves ZERO residual. So you can be re-infected as soon as the heat is gone. There is no residual action as there would be with a chemical application. Most of the heat guys also use chemicals too. Personally, I think, as of now, it is necessary.

No, ice cubes and most refrigerator/freezers are just not gonna hack it... You need SUPER-cold to do the trick.  Liquid nitrogen and carbon dioxide snow seem to be the most effective of what's being used. But cold can damage many items, such as electronics and wood, so it isn't always a good total answer.

Leaving the items out in the cold, in the wintertime, isn't going to do it either. It just isn't cold enough, even in Alaska. The temperatures from day to night will vary too much and the bugs will most likely survive quite easily. They DO have bedbugs in Alaska....

If you want to use a freezer, it must maintain a temperature of MINUS 30 degrees F for at least a week. I have seen some places recommend 'a few days,' but I recommend a week. And remember, it must STAY at that low temperature for the entire time. I've not seen a home freezer that can do that.

Does it kill bedbugs? Yes, it kills all insects - by drying out their exoskeleton. Only thing is, you have to put it EVERYWHERE! And you also have to use the DE that comes from fresh water diatoms - not what you get at the swimming pool store - those are from salt water diatoms. Make sure you have the right kind and make sure you use it correctly. It is expensive, BTW... Don't think of it as a cure-all, think of it as a tool.

Now, here in the second decade of the 21st century, effective treatments are a continually changing combination of tools, and that includes chemicals, depending on the individual situation. For the most part, that means you'll probably need a professional exterminator, someone with those tools, whatever they may be, to fix the problem.


In multi-family settings, bedbugs can spread steadily from unit to unit, so with multi-families there are special instructions and procedures for the tenant AND the landlord, I have listed some of my favorites below. It is especially important to consider adjoining units as possible problem areas, and the fact that they may also need treatment and/or inspections to contain the problem.

Naturally, the complete cooperation of all occupants of each building is an absolute must for a successful end to the problem. Immediate notification to all the tenants in the treatment area should be contacted regarding the problem and your efforts to remedy the problem. Hiding or trying to disguise the problem can lead to real problems down the road, expensive exterminating bills and expensive legal bills.

If You're the tenant....
In most places, if you live in a rental unit, your landlord is responsible for extermination in your unit. You're not. So this means that you DO NOT attempt any control efforts on your own. No spraying, no bombing, no nothing. The exterminator will be able to do a much better job than you will, and the landlord pays for the exterminator. Make sure he sends a REAL exterminator, no maintenance men.

Give your rental or maintenance office a call to get on the exterminator's list. MAKE SURE you have a sample bug for the exterminator to examine. If your landlord won't respond, call your local health department. Bedbug infestations can easily spread, and are always a serious problem that must be addressed by a licensed exterminator. The actual detailed instructions for tenants experiencing bedbug problems should be furnished by the landlord or the landlord's exterminator, but they will generally follow the guidelines I have outlined on this page.

Most important in multi-family buildings is to refrain from moving infected items through common areas, thus endangering other units in the same building. All infected items should be moved only after being sealed in plastic bags. This, no matter which position you're in, that of a landlord, or that of a tenant.

What the landlord does....
My very first piece of advice, to any landlord, would be to get friendly with your exterminator.... If you don't have one, get one. (A friendly exterminator, I mean...) You're definitely gonna need him at some time or another, for one thing or another. And it's really a good feeling if you
can be confidant that you have a "good guy" exterminator - someone you can call - that knows your exact situation and is someone you know isn't out to take advantage of you. Get on a first-name basis, it's important to have that close relationship, same as you should with, say, your plumber. Whether you own or manage 10,000 units or 2 units - it's important.

Any treatments for bedbugs are expensive, time-consuming affairs for all concerned. And remember, in this day and age, tenants will sue a landlord for a lot less than any bedbug problem. Just the lawsuit can cause you all sorts of problems, even if the tenant abandons their lawsuit or don't win. What is REALLY important is RESPONSE! So you FIX it right away, so for bedbug problems, having that good-guy name to call is a comfort all to itself, so to speak.You'll find that being on a first-name basis gives you an edge.

That way you are absolutely sure. The expense of treating for bedbugs makes it imperative to have a proper sample. Ask your tenant for a sample, get it yourself or through your maintenance men. Have it identified by your exterminator.

If indeed you have a bedbug problem, make sure your exterminator can set up a treatment schedule to fit your pocketbook without compromising service quality. Try and deal with an exterminator, rather than some salesman, there IS a difference....

The assumption, of course, is that you've already read the section above this one, FOR THE TENANT. It is important for you to understand those points also.

The biggest no-no would be to hide the problem from other tenants close by. If you have units connected to the infected unit, there is always the possibility of contaminating adjacent units by not following proper procedures. Therefore, units adjacent to infected units should be contacted, notified of the possible problem and each one inspected and/or treated as necessary. Different kinds of construction will present specific problems.

You do risk legal recourse from tenants should there be problems with your bedbug protocol. Ask your exterminator to supply you with a custom made Bedbug Treatment Preparation List, tailored specifically for each of your facilities. There may be a charge for this unless it's specifically addressed in your contract. or it may be in your contract.

Standard Bedbug Preparation List - PDF File

Usually, your first indications are bites on your own body, or on someone else in your family. At that point, an inspection of your bedding is first and foremost. The mattress, bedframes and night stands should be inspected closely, under a strong light. On your bedding, you're looking for the spots of blood and sometimes the insects themselves in the seams and folds of these items. Check under the bed, too. Bedbugs prefer wooden and cloth surfaces, so that's where you concentrate.

Having white or light-colored sheets, you will be more able to see the characteristic bloodspots, even if you are someone that doesn't experience the itching. Some people don't.

Small appliances, clocks, radios and phones on night stands, in any infested room, should be examined and set aside for treatment. Bedbugs like dark, secluded places, so they'll seek out dark closets, behind and under beds, behind and under doors and under carpeting. Tip over furniture and look underneath everything in an infested room.

Your laundry room, and anywhere else you store dirty laundry, should be checked carefully. Travelers should check their hotel/motel rooms for any signs of bedbug infestation. Pull out a night stand drawer and check underneath for hiding bugs. When you get home, all contents of your luggage should be washed (or dry cleaned) in hot, soapy water, and that INCLUDES your clean clothes.  Examine your luggage closely.


Dr. Changlu Wang, of the Rutgers Department of Entomology, focuses on developing new and improved urban pest management technologies through the study of biology, behavior, and ecology of urban pests, insect behavior, insecticide resistance, and urban pest management.

Dr. Wang has designed a bed bug trap that almost anybody can make themselves, from supplies you can probably get in your own town. Dr. Wang has studied bed bugs in the environment and has published a paper, Detecting Bed Bugs Using Bed Bug Monitors.

Here is a .PDF document for you to download and print out. It lists the preparations that you are required to follow before the exterminator can begin his treatment. You can download or read it right here.

The answer to that is "probably not" or better yet,  "No, you probably can't." Even the pros have problems, equipped with every tool (some that you can't get) at their disposal. Besides, there's always the risk of causing some sort of problem that crops up unexpectedly...  

Believe me, save your time, money and trouble and get a good exterminator to do this. This is NOT a simple "spray job" with the stuff you might pick up at a Home Depot. This is a serious pest problem that you will most definitely need a professional to take care of for you.

Whatever you do, remember, DO NOT BOMB! Just because someone told you to do it, it will turn out to be the worst thing you could have ever done, I have seen this many times. If you do this in a multi-family dwelling, the other units will be probably be contaminated with bedbugs or chemicals - or both.

And even though I've said it before, I'll say it again: don't drag infested items through your house, or through apartment common areas, not even to put it out in the trash. You'll spread those little guys around as you're dragging it outside. There are special bags for this, you can get them at hardware and department stores.

And after all that, call that "good guy" exterminator!

The FIRST thing to remember, when you walk into your room at your hotel/motel is
bedbugs get into luggage
you DON'T put your luggage on the luggage carrier or the bed. Put it in the bathtub. And DON'T turn the lights on, not yet. Get out that strong light you brought with you, (you DID bring one, didn't you....) then strip the sheets off the bed and inspect the seams of the mattress and the box spring with your flashlight.

The sheets probably won't tell you anything, they are (supposedly) changed before you checked in. Look BETWEEN the mattress and the box spring. And just because it's a well-known or 'classy' hotel/motel, means nothing to the bedbugs - they go anywhere. I'm sure there are several reasons, I can think of a couple myself, but I usually see more bedbugs on and in the box springs, than I actually do on the mattresses.

Check NEAR the beds too, pull out the night table drawers and look CLOSELY, with a light, underneath the drawers and shelves - examine any little crack or crevice they might hide in. They like to be close to you, so the night table next to your bed is a better bet than some place across the room. If you found them across the room, you should have no trouble finding them in your bed. Two of the most important places are the night table and the headboard. For the most part, these items remain undisturbed by routine housekeeping. The headboards are usually mounted on the wall with clips and can often be lifted right off the wall. Check everything CLOSELY. Remember that the bedbugs will stay close to you, within a couple of feet, if they can find a place to hide when you're not there.

DON'T use the drawers for your clothes and NEVER store your luggage under the bed. Bring your own hanging bag, that's the best. (Forget moth balls, they have no effect on the bedbugs.) And when you get home, open your luggage outside and bring all clothing in (use plastic bags) for the washer and dryer, even if it's still clean.

Also on your return home, place the appropriate size pest strip in each piece of luggage, store the luggage (store upright - the chemicals in the pest strip are heavier than air) somewhere besides inside your house, and inside a heavy duty plastic trash bag, until you know for sure it's okay. Consider the pest strips DOA after the label suggested date. Make sure you date it so you know how long it's been there. Get these pest strips direct from your exterminator.

Sound complicated? Sure it is, but I didn't I  say super-careful? And even after all of that, they can still come back!

You can just forget... um... the Home Defense stuff you may have seen on TV, there's no way that stuff is going to work, otherwise I would use it myself. It'll just give you a big, fat headache, especially if you don't use a respirator.. Also, don't spray luggage or clothes with any of those OTC chemicals, they may stain and/or damage your clothes or luggage.

When you do get home and finally check your luggage, have a Windex-type spray bottle filled with 91% isopropyl alcohol - that's the kind that you can't drink - at any drugstore. Alcohol kills bedbugs on contact, but there is no residual, so you have to spray the insect directly, you can't spray it on your luggage and expect any kind of protection, it won't do that. Keep your spray bottle handy to use should you find any bedbugs. Even spray any that might appear dead, just to be sure.

Remember that alcohol may damage some finishes, check to see that it's okay to be used on your items. Generally, if you can dry clean it, you can use alcohol.

Special luggage encasements are available, and good ones are expensive. You will need to have the outside dimensions of each suitcase to order the suitcase encasements, and they MUST be bedbug-proof and it must say it on the label. Otherwise, you're wasting your money and setting yourself up for failure.

Sometimes cheap luggage is the best way to go. So if you need to, you just toss the luggage after your trip. Who really cares what your luggage looks like, huh? Otherwise, you'll be smart to quarentine all pieces for observation and/or treatment.
suitcases, luggage

You can get a "luggage spray" or the special insecticde pest strips for your luggage. The strips use DDVP, and even though it's pretty nasty stuff, it is effective, and that's what you'll need! Personally, I have questions on the effectiveness of any of the present luggage sprays that I have seen. Just reading the active ingredients, I know there are bedbugs that will survive this stuff.  

Another option, for your luggage, assuming it's not too big, is giving it a "heat treatment" in your own oven. Will the item fit into your oven? If so, put it in the oven, put the oven on for 125 degrees and leave it in there for 24 hours. Any bedbugs, and their eggs, will be dead. You can do this with other small items that were close to the beds, alarm clocks, radios,
etc. Make sure the oven is AT LEAST 125 degrees, use an accurate oven thermometer, don't trust the mechanical dial.


Exterminators usually charge a fee for a bedbug inspection, and a proper and professional inspection is tedious and time-consuming. The bedbugs are so successful at hiding they can easily escape detection by you or your exterminator.

Make sure you know the cost of your bedbug inspection up front. Most exterminators will apply your inspection fee to their treatment price, for a reasonable amount of time following their inspection. And, of course, if you already HAVE an exterminator, give him a call first!

Lastly, don't spring for a bedbug treatment unless the exterminator can show you proof that you indeed have bedbugs. You need to see the adults, the eggs, nymphs or the cast-off debris and skins. Just because you're "itchy" and seem to have "bites" doesn't mean you have bedbugs. You need to identify the bug to be sure.

Yes, and lately there's been a lot of hype about this. So, you ask, are the bedbug searching dogs as good as you've heard about?
bedbug inspecting dog

Well, possibly... Certainly, a properly trained dog can locate infestations of bedbugs by a much more reliable method than us lowly humans can employ. A good dog, on a good day, can often find the bugs within minutes, (sometimes seconds) whereas a human cannot depend on his sense of smell and must actively search all the areas he knows that can harbor these parasites. For humans, that can possibly take hours, depending on the areas of inspection.

But there's the rub. There are so many important variables when it comes to depending on an animal for a job such as this, the most basic and important (to start with) would be "proper" training by a good trainer - it's kinda like training horses for racing. And naturally, some dogs are better at this than others - not necessarily certain breeds, but usually due to each dog's individual characteristics and their own personalities.

A good handler and a good dog, on a good day is what you need.

After the initial training of a dog, no matter if the dog is searching for drugs, people or bedbugs, the handler becomes the most important contact for the dog. They are part of each other's life, just like the K-9 dogs the police use. Good handlers will work their dogs almost every day - a competent dog and handler are either working or training.
Actually, rats might even be a little bit better at this.... They're small and can easily get into many areas a dog can't, they have an excellent sense of smell and are more intelligent than dogs. They are using rats to detect mines in minefields.

All in all, it works great if you have a good dog teamed up with a good handler. The "team" part is important. If either one is not up to snuff, like anything else, their performance will be affected. Nothing is 100%, but dogs, or other animals, can be close! Make sure your inspector/handler is also a state-licensed exterminator. This is important too.

Naturally, if you have an actual sample of the insect, it's easy for the exterminator to tell if it's a bedbug, and you probably won't have to pay any inspection fee. Once you know it is a bedbug, you won't have any problem identifying one in the future, it's the kinda thing that stays with you.

Make sure your sample isn't squashed and unrecognizable and have your exterminator examine it. If you don't have an exterminator to call, make sure you get a good guy!

Usually on their first treatment visit, exterminators will often require the installation of bedbug-proof encasements for your mattresses and box springs  - we often do. These special encasements will not allow bedbugs in OR out, so they can be a MUST for an effective part of your control effort. The encasements are sized according to the size of your mattress and box springs, so you will need to measure each one. Cost depends on the sizes, of course. These are not difficult to install, we can include them with any bedbug job that we do. They should be left on for AT LEAST two years.

Personally, I wouldn't call the encasements at all "intrusive," they're not like the thick, sticky, plastic seat covers of yore.... They are tightly sewn using a fully flexible mesh, with bedbug-proof zippers and seams that the bugs just cannot get through. Bedbugs do not have the proper mouthparts to chew into anything, but they are definitely small enough to get through standard zipper closures.

If you purchase encasements yourself, you should make sure that any encasements you purchase are guaranteed to be bedbug-proof. Know your supplier - because I've seen what's out there, and on the market, I only purchase from one manufacturer that I know backs up his products.  


This has to be said. Homeowners that pick up those aerosol cans at the local hardware store and "bomb" for these creatures will discover that the many survivors will scatter, making any future treatments much more difficult. You'll discover that the insects are now in those other areas - where they weren't before. Not only that, but if you don't follow the specific directions on the label, you'll have a greasy residue all over everything. Overdosing can become a fire and explosion hazard, so save your money and forget the bombs....

If so, don't drag that item through the house without wrapping it in plastic. (This goes for any infected item.) It will shed bedbugs (or eggs) all along your route. Move suspected materials through the house in plastic bags, run your clothes through the dryer on HOT and wash (in HOT, soapy water) anything washable. Dryclean anything you can't wash in hot water.

This operation is NOT going to be easy or cheap for anybody, including the exterminator, so you always want to prepare correctly and make sure that everything is done the right way to start with. Otherwise, control treatments will either fail or take much longer and be much more expensive.
If you're going to use any kind of insecticide,
follow these directions.


Think you might have bed bugs? And you're within our service territory? Just contact us any way you want, all of our contact information is on our main contact page.

And, if you're NOT in our service area, there's always my "Good Guys" page, where you might even be able find a "Good Guy" exterminator near you!  No sharks allowed.

And, of course, you really can't go wrong with any of the IPCO guys. An international group, all of them independent established professionals, where you can go for prompt, reliable action from a local member.
International Pest Control Operator Network

Bedbug Links

The following are links to further information on bedbugs, for your pleasure - or displeasure.
(All links open in a new window.)

Check this out, Dr. Wang, from the Rutgers Department of Entomology, tells you how to construct a home made bedbug detector yourself!

Harvard has an excellent page on bedbugs, and answers to many of your questions.

And this is Cornell's imaginative Insect Diagnostic Laboratory, a comprehensive FAQ on all insect pests, scroll down to bedbugs.

And good ol' Texas A&M, our hero, has published a special bulletin on bedbugs.

The University of Kentucky, school of Entomology has a REALLY good page describing, in detail, all about the bedbug, it's control, history and I'm definitely jealous.

And I just couldn't leave out MSU's excellent color brochure, they have pictures here too..

And last, but certainly not least, is Jim O'Brien's site, a bedbug specialist in the New York-New Jersey area, does a great job of explaining the ins and outs of modern bedbug control in our great northeast.

And if you STILL have questions, we have our Bedbug Message Board for your questions and answers.

I keep this site in flux and under constant construction.  If you have any comments or
recommendations about my Web site, you can tell me about it
right here.

Browse visitor's suggestions here.