Are bed bugs in your clock radio too?

As featured in Wired Magazine 

If you’ve got bed bugs in the sack with you, they’re probably hiding all over your bedroom as well. Bed bugs are like vampires – they spend their days hiding from the light and come out at night to feast on your blood!

If you’ve had bed bugs you know they hide everywhere: in and around your mattress, your box spring, in the cracks and crevices in your room, and yes in your clock radio. Most of these creepy critters hide out within about 10 feet of your bed, and they look for all sorts of small dark spaces to hide. They’ll hide in electronics, books, in your piles of shoes and purses, and even clothing left on the floor.

So what do you do if you have bed bugs? A lot of your stuff can’t be sprayed with pesticides either because the spray damages them or they are too toxic to be used on personal items. If you don’t get rid of the bed bugs in these items, the infestation and the bites will continue. To get rid of the bed bugs hiding in your stuff begin with cleaning-up. Inspect all the clutter that’s on the floor in your room and particularly items around your bed. Clothing is often on the floor and bed bugs love to hide there.

The easiest way to get rid of bed bugs in clothing is 20 minutes in the dryer. This will kill them. For the rest of your stuff, you can throw it away or you can treat it to kill the bed bugs. A new method to do this is called Rag in a Bag. The folks at WIRED Magazine recently reviewed work by scientists at Virginia Tech University who tested out Rag in a Bag:

 The results of Miller’s tests were spectacular: 100% mortality for eggs, nymphs, and adults after 7 days in bags containing shoes, purses, electronics, toys, and paperback books. The only exception to that perfect control record was hard-cover books. Bindings of books apparently provided a good enough hiding space that only 70% of bed bug adults were killed after one week.  That’s still pretty good, and additional tests are being done to see if leaving hard-cover books in the bag for an additional week can finish off the stragglers.

The best way to treat bed bugs is to avoid getting them, but once you have them you need to treat all of the stuff in your bedroom.