Indiana, call a pest control operator

by nobugsonme on April 17, 2007 · 4 comments

in bed bugs, misinformation

Indy6 news is late to the bed bug party of last week. Yesterday it told readers of its website (and presumably a television audience as well):

People whose mattresses have bedbugs can vacuum aggressively in tight spots, which is where the insects like to hide. People also can call an exterminator.

Well you can vacuum aggressively. But you must call the PCO. And I’d do that first, since if you vacuum first, you may wipe out visible signs of bugs, and make it harder for the PCO to diagnose and treat them. Seriously.

And you may also think you “got” them all, when you didn’t. Because they like to hide other places besides your mattress. Journalists! Do your research!

1 parakeets April 17, 2007 at 11:19 am

I agree. I found bedbug eggs laid on the underside of a navy pillow on my couch and the glue the bedbug eggs are laid with was very, very strong. I didn’t test it, but I doubt I could have vacuumed those eggs off the pillow with any vacuum I have.

There was a discussion about vacuuming and bedbugs at the bedbug convention in Hernon VA. The professionals did not seem to favor vacuuming as a way to treat bedbugs.

If someone has a very heavy infestation, I suppose that vacuuming might be a way to remove some bedbugs. If you vacuum before the PCO comes, they won’t necessarily then see where the infestation is, though, and the treatment might not be as effective.

2 willow-the-wisp April 17, 2007 at 12:29 pm

true–I had no evidence–true I did vacuum and I had to use force to ger the eggs off by using a crevis tool. the eggs came uo with force the “glue” remained as it was dry–call a pco or phd first!

3 James Buggles April 17, 2007 at 6:05 pm

This is a common notion among older people from the days when bedbugs were mostly found in tenements and the like. Cleaning was once the only way to combat bedbugs — it may not have eliminated them completely, but was better than nothing I guess.

4 nobugsonme April 17, 2007 at 9:54 pm

Good point James.

I did not mean to imply that vacuuming was not hugely helpful, by the way, but just that PCOs need to see the full extent of the bed bug horror. Indeed, many Bedbuggers do not have much evidence at all.

Willow’s experience reminded me of this.

Also, even after the PCO, people need to ask the PCO where and if to vacuum. Sometimes dusts are put down which need to stay down, and the PCO may tell you to vacuum often, or not at all, or may tell you to reapply something afterwards. They need to be in on everything you’re doing.

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