Bed bug cures are bleeding customers of cash

The Baltimore Sun
Friday, April 8, 2011

By Eileen Ambrose

OK, everyone is thoroughly scared of a bed bug infestation.

Now the Federal Trade Commission warns that some of the remedies on the market don't even work. And sometimes you can even make the problem worse when trying to eradicate bugs.

For example, bug bombs and foggers should be avoided.

"They can make the problem worse because bed bugs tend to cluster in small areas," the FTC says. "When an area is bug bombed, for example, bed bugs scatter, which may expand their infestation throughout your home."

The FTC's consumer alert is filled with factoids about bed bugs, like they feed on blood ever 5 to 10 days, but can live more than a year without nourishment.

If you're doing the extermination on your own, the EPA has an online pesticide product search tool to find the appropriate weapon.

Or if you hire a professional, the FTC says, check out an exterminator through your state's pest control regulator  - which is usually the state Department of Agriculture.