The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in New York City has put out two new fact sheets on bed bugs. (Be aware, clicking each of the following links will download a PDF!) One is for the general public, and the other for hotel and hospitality workers, managers, and owners. Thanks to blogger Bugged Out for the tip.
I am really glad to see the Hotels fact sheet. I wonder how it is being disseminated.
I am more skeptical about the fact sheet for the rest of us. I see in it a few possibilities for misinformation. While it does suggest in the first column that people with bed bugs call a licensed pest control professional (as they, or their landlords, should), later, I am concerned with the answer to the question “Is it necessary to use pesticides to get rid of bed bugs?”
The answer begins:
The best way to get rid of bed bugs is to clean, disinfect, and eliminate their hiding places. Since bed bugs can live several months without food and water, pest control professionals may use a pesticide.
Whoa, Nellie! They may use a pesticide? They bloody well better use some pesticides.
First, every account I’ve seen states that bed bugs can live as long as a year (and some sources say 18 months) without feeding. And as far as I know, the food and water is your blood.
Next, sure, the best way to get rid of bed bugs would be to get rid of them. But since you cannot probably reach their hiding places, you had darn well better expect to involve some pesticides. I have never heard of a pest control professional examining a known infestation and saying, “Hmm, well, we might just use some pesticides to be sure.” It”s the main way of eliminating something that can live in the cracks in your bed, the cracks in your floor, the cracks in your wall, the crevices of your electrical sockets and your light fixtures.
There is no good way to get rid of bed bugs by cleaning. Even if you think they are just on your mattress (and you are very likely to be wrong)