Oh dear, yesterday’s news round-up missed the Tampa Bay CBS news website’s article about bed bugs, which kindly directed many Tampa residents here.
Well, I wish I’d seen it yesterday, so I could have warned more of the folks from Tampa. The CBS article
isas originally posted, was wrong: do NOT use the diatomaceous earth (DE) designed for pools in your home to fight bed bugs. It’s dangerous. Use food grade freshwater DE instead. See our FAQ on the subject. (CBS 10 has now updated its article to reflect the dangers of pool grade DE.)
We also have FAQs about what to do if you think you have bed bugs. Hint: the first step is not, as the article states, to treat yourself, the second is not to have a PCO apply one aerosol, as the article also states. Bed bugs are serious and you’d do well to have a Pest Control Operator who knows bed bugs come in and treat your home properly from step one. Don’t believe me? Ask people in the forums.
Florida’s been getting a lot of misinformation and lousy bed bug advice from its news media this month. In such a temperate climate, you have to take bed bugs seriously, or they’re going to have a field day this summer.
Heat. humidity plus bed bug bites = misery, trust me, even though I’m just a New Yorker.
Update 3pm EST: As mentioned in the comments below, several of us have attempted to leave comments mentioning the problems with pool grade DE on the Tampa CBS website, but these were subsequently removed. I think journalists who won’t correct their information, or even allow dissent in a space provided for comments, should be ashamed. Read the SF Chronicle article instead, for less biased information.
Update 10pm EST: My comment is up now (having apparently reappeared some time after I wrote the above), and the journalists have, in fact, corrected the article to say that Pool Grade DE should not be used due to health concerns. Had I known, as ALex points out in the comments, that pool grade DE is also less effective against bed bugs, because of the way its processed, I would have stressed that too. Nevertheless, the Tampa Bay article still contains poor advice about the recommended treatment, and what to do first–namely, call a PCO who knows how to kill bed bugs, since they don’t all know. We’re glad they linked to us and hope Florida readers will find more assistance here.
Update 4/11: Unfortunately, the Southwest Florida News-Press article “State Sees Bed Bug Invasion” includes the entire original Tampa Bay 10 article referred to above, including the advice to buy pool grade DE from the pool supply store. There’s no comment box. There’s no telling how many other Florida papers may carry this story, online or off. That’s a lot of misinformation. Interestingly, the side-box on the article announes “More from News-Press.com:” and the subsequent link “Learn about bed bugs” directs readers to Bedbugger.com, without mentioning us by name. (And clearly, what you’re reading right now is not “More From News-Press.com” at all.) Come to think of it, Tampa Bay 10 didn’t name us either. They just said “click here.” What’s with that?
Okay, let me start over:
Welcome, News-Press readers, and please look at our FAQs. Much of what was written in the article you just read was erroneous…