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Close to home with Mary Beth Breckenridge

Bedbugs on the march

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: January 15, 2013

A news release from Orkin declares the Cleveland/Akron/Canton area the eighth worst in the nation for bed bugs.

Weren't you just itching to know that?

Nationwide, the company's bed bug business was up 32 percent last year.

It pays to keep a sharp eye out for bedbugs, because an infestation is much easier and cheaper to control if it's caught early.

If you have a minor infestation, experts say you can try these approaches: 

  • Vacuum or scrub the mattress and box springs, spray them with a contact pesticide or treat them with a steamer. Then enclose the mattress and box springs in encasements made speficially for bedbugs.
  • Put the legs of the bed on insect interceptors such as ClimbUps. They're dishlike devices that capture bugs trying to climb onto or off a bed.
  • Dust the area around the bed frame with diatomaceous earth, which dries up and kills bedbugs. Use only food-grade diatomaceous earth. Look for it in agricultural feed stores, and apply it with a bulb duster -- a device used for applying insecticide dust.
  • Kill bedbugs by drying bedding, clothing and anything else that can go into a clothes dryer for at least 30 minutes on high heat or 90 minutes on medium heat. A dryer with a removable shelf can be used for items that can't be tumbled, such as leather shoes, handbags, knickknacks and books.
  • In warmer weather, you can place eveything in trash bags instead and put the bags in a hot car for a couple of hours.
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