Bedbugs resistant to traditional extermination

Thursday, July 3rd 2008, 10:11 pm
By: News 9

By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

Experts say bedbugs are largely resistant to tradition methods of extermination. New weapons could offer households across the country a form of defense against the tiny nuisances.

Paula Waller's home was infested with bedbugs.

"It's a very traumatic, catastrophic experience," Waller said.

The pest control industry reported a 500 percent rise in bedbug cases in the past decade, with the most infestations typically found in homes and apartments.

"These bugs hide not only in your mattress and bed frame, but also in pictures, flooring, closets, cracks and crevices of molding," Waller said.

While bedbugs are not known to carry disease, entomologists said they do bite, which could lead to serious emotional issues.

Waller said she had to seek therapeutic and spiritual guidance after experiencing bedbugs.
The bugs are often difficult to get rid of. Entomologist Michael Potter warned many traditional sprays and chemicals no longer work.

"A high percentage of the bedbugs that we're encountering form around the United States have developed immunity to our most widely used group of insecticides for bedbug control," Potter said.

The pest control industry unveiled new weapons to battle the bugs. One technique is called Thermapureheat. Experts use a special equipment to heat up a room to around 140 degrees.

"We have to get those temperatures inside of the mattresses and box springs, inside of wall voids, underneath carpet and padding," Michael Linford of Thermapureheat said. "It has to be circulated heated air, properly measured and filtered so that we achieve a kill."

Cryonite is an icy carbon dioxide spray that freezes and kills the critters on contact. Waller decided to go a different route. She had her house tented and fumigated with vikane gas. The critters are gone, but in case they come back, she hired a company that uses a specially trained dog to sniff out any invaders.

"I stay vigilant and if I was to ever get re-infested, I will catch it much, much sooner," Waller said.

Experts said it's easier to get rid of bedbugs when you catch them early.