When it comes to getting rid of a troublesome bedbug infestation, it’s easy to become frustrated enough that you’re willing to try anything.
Unfortunately, a lot of things simply won’t work against this particular pest – and will only serve to prolong the agony. Getting a trained and qualified pest service is your best bet in this situation. Here are some common solutions that don’t actually work.
Mothballs won’t do much to stop your bedbug problem.
A research team at Rutgers University led by researcher Changlu Wang found that sticking a bunch of completely infested clothes inside a bag with mothballs was mostly ineffective.
Bug bombs won’t do the trick, either.
If you’re thinking of DIY-ing your bed bug troubles away with one of these – or a spray that contains something like DEET – the levels of concentration at which these products are sold aren’t strong enough to be effective, according to research from Consumer Reports.
Rubbing alcohol only works about half the time.
Home remedies can give you some hope if you’re facing an infestation – but it’s not helpful if they don’t work. Unfortunately, rubbing alcohol falls solidly into this category.
In Rutgers University researcher Changlu Wang’s bedbug experiments, his team found that spraying bed bugs directly with rubbing alcohol only killed around 50% of the insects. The more bugs that survive to procreate and perpetuate your problem, the longer your bedbug infestation will remain.
A one-size-fits-all plan that hasn’t been tailored to your specific situation can’t fully address your problem.
A number of factors must be considered by any pest control professionals who are treating your bedbug problem – including what bedbug populations are like in the area where you live. According to the EPA, bedbug populations in some areas may have developed resistance to certain pesticides over time. To effectively battle bedbugs, you need a professional who can thoroughly analyse your situation and develop an appropriate strategy.
Not talking to your neighbours if you live in a multi-family dwelling can be a nightmare for everyone living in that building.
Communication with your neighbours is key in a bed bug situation. You might not visit your neighbour’s place without knocking, but bed bugs – like other pests – tend to go wherever they want, whenever they want.
A bedbug infestation isn’t something to be too embarrassed to talk about, according to Wirecutter. After all, you don’t want to get into a situation where you and your neighbours keep passing the same infestation back and forth because you didn’t communicate and coordinate your strategies to get rid of those pests once and for all.
Understandably freaking out and finding a new place to sleep immediately may spread the pests around.
When you first find out that you have a bedbug infestation, your first instinct might be to find somewhere else to sleep ASAP. Unfortunately, when you pack up your stuff – even if it’s just some blankets and pillows to go sleep on the couch – chances are good that you’re just transporting bedbugs to your new location, according to Western Exterminator.
Ultrasonic bug repellents are better at sending your money away than sending bed bugs away.
When testing the effectiveness of different methods to get rid of bed bugs, Rutgers University’s Changlu Wang found that ultrasonic devices purporting to get rid of these pests don’t work as advertised, according to the Washington Post.
Essential oils had a strange and unwelcome effect in one test — and you probably shouldn’t use them for bedbugs.
When Changlu Wang’s research team at Rutgers tested a commercial essential oil blend called Bed Bug Fix in an isolated lab environment, the product killed 92% of bed bugs according to the Washington Post.
Unfortunately, the bugs in that isolated experiment were also not exposed to any humans on which they could feed. After researchers took the experiment a step further and allowed them to feed after having been sprayed with that product, the bugs somehow survived – and although scientists don’t know why it seems clear that an essential oils blend may not cut it in the real world.
Cleaning may give bedbugs fewer places to hide — but it won’t get rid of them.
One pervasive myth about bedbugs is that they only thrive in dirty places. While it’s true that a messy room gives them better hiding places, bedbugs like any place that’s warm and has appropriate food – in other words, wherever you like to sleep at night, according to the EPA.
Sleeping with the lights on won’t stop bed bugs from feasting on you.
Just because bed bugs would rather operate in a dark room doesn’t mean they will completely abandon their midnight feasting plans if the lights are on.
You may have thought that slapping on a sleep mask and keeping your lights on all night would keep you safe from bites – but it won’t, according to the EPA.
Cayenne pepper is good for seasoning your food — not repelling bedbugs.
University of Kentucky entomologist Mike Potter has conducted studies regarding the efficacy of a variety of DIY products at getting rid of bed bugs. According to Consumer Reports, cayenne pepper was not at all effective at this task.
Switching mattress materials won’t deter bedbugs effectively, either.
If you think you can outsmart bed bugs by switching to a memory foam mattress or some other material, think again.
As Dini Miller told NBC, what bed bugs are attracted to is the warm human sleeping in any kind of bed – so even if they can’t easily get inside a memory foam mattress, they’re more than happy to crawl on its surface to get to their food.
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