Saturday, June 2, 2012

Parenting Pointers: Bed Bugs

We just found out one of our friends' apartment buildings has bed bugs. Since my kids go there often, we're on high alert when it comes to bed bugs, even though she didn't find any in her apartment or bites on any of her family. One important thing to know about bed bugs is that it's not just cheap apartment buildings or people with poor hygiene that can get bed bugs - they can show up anywhere. I had the chance to interview Chad Tyner, CEO of EucoClean, about bed bug prevention and control.

1. How can people be aware of the possibility of bedbugs while traveling?

A: With Bed Bugs on the rise and statistics showing that more and more people are getting them, it is important to know that everyone has a chance of sleeping with Bed Bugs. From the most expensive hotel to Grandma's house, Bed Bugs can be anywhere. However by just being aware of the likelihood and doing visual inspections, you can dramatically decrease your changes of taking them home.
Simple research of your hotel to see if there are any reports of it as having Bed Bugs is a great first step:  You can use to begin your search.  Often you can find the exact room that has had them!

2. How might they notice bedbugs at home?

A: Become familiar with what a Bed Bug looks like and the markings/stains they leave. Look at the type of reaction people have to being bit from Bed Bugs, often it resembles a mosquito bite. This way if your child complains of bites or itchiness, you can be better educated on the possibility of it being a bed bug or not.  (A simple google search will give you more images than you would want to see)
Even if you haven't been bit, you should still routinely inspect for Bed Bugs. Bed Bugs are called hitchhikers for a reason and can show up at any time.
Check the mattress, headboard, frame and pictures. You should even check couches, dresser drawers, and curtains Bed Bugs can hide almost anywhere.

3. What are some ways people can prevent bedbugs?

A:  This is where knowledge is KEY! The EPA has stated being proactive and using an environmentally friendly regime is showing to be the most effective way to avoid and prevent Bed Bugs. Using Bed Bug encasements on your mattress (Wallmart or Target has great ones), washing your sheet once a week, keeping an all natural Bed Bug spray around your house and when you travel like EucoClean (, and vacuuming your beds routinely are very easy and inexpensive ways to reduce your risk of getting these creepy crawlers in your bed.    

4. What do people need to do once they discover Bed Bugs, either while at home or away?

A:  Home:  Don't rush to throw out all your furniture and redecorate. Remember Bed Bugs hide inside walls and along base boards and can live 6-9 months on 1 feeding. If you discover you have Bed Bugs, you need to start a treatment immediately. Identifying Bed Bugs early, help you to eliminate them yourself with the All Natural Steps I mentioned above.   

Traveling: If you discover Bed Bugs in your room immediately ask to be transferred and make sure you inform them about the Bed Bugs. When you arrive home wash everything in hot water, and vacuum your bags inside and out.
The nice thing with the EucoClean product he mentions, which I got to try out, is that it works for more than just bed bugs. It uses the power of natural Eucalyptus oil, in a naturally-derived formula, to ward of bed bugs and dust mites. It also works as an all-purpose surface cleanser, or you can use it to freshen up your A/C system. It smells nice, so I have no problem using it as a preventative measure around our beds or as a cleaner in other areas of the house as well. The product is non-toxic and uses no harsh chemicals, so it's safe to use around children and pets and in beds where you'll be sleeping.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary bottle of EucoClean as a thank you for this post.

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