It can cost between $500 and $1,500 to have a home treated for bed bugs. So, it's understandable why a homeowner may want to try do-it-yourself options first. While there are a number of at-home remedies that can be effective, there are some you absolute should not employ because they are unsafe, illegal, ineffective, or a combination of all three. Here are two things you absolutely should not do when battling a bed bug infestation.
Don't Use Methods Banned by the EPA
The primary job of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to minimize the harm humans do to the environment. However, the agency also works hard to keep people from hurting themselves by reviewing various chemicals and methods used to get rid of pests for safety and efficacy. Because of this, the agency has produced a list of things people should avoid engaging in while trying to eliminate bed bugs from their homes.
For instance, diatomaceous earth is a natural non-toxic pesticide that does a good job of killing bed bugs and preventing them from entering your home from your neighbor's place (if they live really close by). What people don't know is that there are several types of diatomaceous earth and only a few are approved for use as pesticides. This is because the unapproved forms can damage your lungs and other internal organs if you breathe it in.
Other illegal methods include using rubbing alcohol and attempting to suffocate the bugs by fumigating your place using helium, propane, or carbon dioxide. Before using any method recommended to you by a do-it-yourself website or your cousin's friend's uncle, be sure to check the EPA site to make sure it's legal and appropriate.
Don't Discard Items Inappropriately
Another thing you want to avoid doing is disposing of items inappropriately. Not only can you end up with another bed bug infestation, but you could spread the pain around to your neighbors, who will be most unhappy with you if they find out you're the source of their misery.
Most of your belongings can be saved with proper treatment. However, items that can't be salvaged should be discarded. Still, don't just put those items on the curb on trash day. Anything that has been infected with bed bugs should be sealed in plastic to prevent the critters from escaping and coming back to your home. Furniture that's too big to be bagged should be marked with spray paint that they are infested with bed bugs so the garbage collectors can take proper precautions and any dumpster divers looking for free stuff are properly forewarned.
For help eradicating bed bugs from your home, contact a pest control expert like American Pest Professionals.