Bed bugs and the chicken dance

When professional persons such as health care workers must visit a suite that has bed bugs it has been suggested that stomping the feet and vigorously shaking the clothes will remove the bugs. I refer to this maneuver as the “chicken dance.” But is this dance effective? The chicken dance is premised on the idea […]

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The smell of moth balls means bed bugs are nearby

I have noticed over the years that certain cultures use moth balls as a bed bug repellant. While these moth balls are essentially useless against bed bugs they serve as excellent warning signs to exterminators and landlords. If you walk through an apartment block and notice a moth ball smell it is very likely that […]

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You had bed bugs a year ago and now you found another dead one on the floor. Is this a new infestation or is it an old bug?

A few years ago a client I was advising in prevention measures called me in a panic as she found half a bed bug in her bedroom. The client worked in a high risk social services environment so it was plausible that a bed bug made it to her home. On the other hand she […]

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Bed bugs, futons, and zippers

One of the interesting things about futons is that the “mattress” typically has very little good harbourage for bed bugs. The sleeping surface is simply a large bag of stuffing with a zipper. The frame is often made of metal or varnished wood which the bed bugs would prefer to avoid. As such these futons […]

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Problems associated with sealing baseboards

The internet is filled with suggestions of sealing baseboards to keep bed bugs in or out of a suite. But as always there are good ways and bad ways to perform a task. While I fully support the idea of sealing baseboards I suggest there are some basic guidelines that need to be followed. Firstly, […]

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Bed bugs and captain’s beds

25 years ago I stayed in a dormitory while attending a college. Way back then the beds of choice were captain’s beds with drawers underneath for clothing. At the time I thought that was an excellent use of space for a small room and I certainly made use of those handy drawers. I had an […]

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Where do you look for bed bugs when a tenant is sleeping on the floor, has no furniture, and the baseboards are sealed with silicone?

Bed bugs prefer to find a nice secluded crack or crevice in which to hide. The usual spots are mattresses, box springs, furniture, or baseboards. But what happens when all these spots are missing or sealed? You should start by looking in the blankets on the floor and the nearest door and window frames.   […]

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The spread of bed bugs – is there a historical precedent?

Europeans had been living in densely populated centres for many years and disease would ravage the populations frequently. As such Europeans that survived had been inoculated against these diseases and could therefore survive future outbreaks better. Native North Americans tended to live in smaller centers and were more isolated one from the other and the […]

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Do bed bugs transfer outside?

One of my big fears where I live is the multitudes of infested mattresses that are dumped into the back lane unwrapped. In fact there is a slum rooming house across the lane from where I live that constantly dumps infested mattresses and furniture into the back lane. Would these bugs travel and find me […]

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Diatomaceous Earth (DE) does it work?

DE works by making microscopic cuts to the outside of the bed bug and the result is death via dehydration. As such it is a decent non chemical alternative in some insect settings. But does it work with the bed bug? One study showed that most bed bugs died within 4 days of continuous contact […]

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