Spray It Isn't So: Bedbugs Outlast Many Quick Remedies
NBC New York
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Sleep tight? Yeah, right. New Yorkers worried about the
resurgent bedbug epidemic know they can't rest easy these days
because so many remedies designed to eliminate the creepy crawlers
don't work as quickly as an apartment-dweller might hope.
A Long Island inventor told NBC New York his product, which
combines cinnamon and sea salt with some other "secret ingredients"
he wouldn't name, slays most bedbugs on contact.
"We do show a 98 percent kill rate, many times 100 percent,"
said Stewart Barnett, inventor of Micro-Armor Allo Natural Bed Bug
His product got a skeptical response from some
"That may work under lab conditions, but in real life it may be
another story," said Danny Camacho, a pest control specialist at
Camacho said some of the environmentally friendly sprays
available at the corner store might subdue a bedbug, or act as a
repellent, but chances are a few spritzes won't make much of a dent
if you have an infestation.
"You're better off using rubbing alcohol," said Camacho.
Entomologist Christine Johnson, who studies bedbugs and other
insects at the American Museum of Natural History, said part of the
problem is that you can only spray the bugs you see.
"There's certainly no silver bullet to really get rid of the
bedbugs," said Johnson.
She said natural remedies "might repel bedbugs -- but you're
going to have keep spraying and spraying and spraying to keep them
away from you, and they might be in your wall or five feet away in
your neighbor's apartment."
Johnson agreed with other experts' forecast that 2011 might
bring an even bedbuggier summer than last year.
But she says there's a glimmer of hope: it's possible that in
the future, there will be too many bugs and not enough people to
feast on: that could serve as an evolutionary way to curb the
Waiting for that to happen, however, might not be the fastest
way to a good night's sleep.
More immediate measures that might help, according to Jeffrey
White of bedbugcentral.com: move your bed away from
the wall; remove clutter from your apartment; keep handbags and
purses off the floor; and put baby powder in a small moat-like dish
underneath each of your bedposts.
White said bugs can crawl into the dish, but the powder will
prevent them from crawling out.