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“We are certain we have bed bugs!”


“Dear PoPville,

We are certain we have bed bugs! Not too many…yet. A couple live ones today but no other real signs except for a some bites that have been going on for the last few weeks.

Not sure if they’re coming from one of our next door neighbors, which are both group houses (with landlords that aren’t rolling in dough) or from our frequent travel. Could have come in with our dog from boarding or the dog park… But the origin doesn’t matter as much as the solution – except the neighbors aren’t going to pay to remediate based on our experiences (nor should they) so any solution that costs a lot and leaves us open to reinfestation seems silly.

We are planning on bagging the box spring and mattress, washing and drying the hell out of bedding, vacuuming, etc etc. Seems like a decent path to at least try…

Where I get a bit stuck is the professional pest control. Their recommended treatment is super heating. It’s very expensive (thousands!!) and only warranteed for a month.

The chemical treatment seems minimally effective when you have floor boards and baseboards, etc. Plus, there is a noted health risk to the chemicals used.

What have readers’ experiences been? With the risk of reinfestation from neighbors (though I do think the origin was our travel),the thousands of dollars makes it a risky expenditure. A lot on the internet says we can remediate by ourselves (a lot of the internet also has DIY guides for building your own Apollo landing craft) which I’m willing to try since the issue hasn’t gotten really bad… but if the super heating is a slam dunk, I’d give it a shot too. (If it were a slam dunk the warranty would probably be a longer term!). We own our home so there is no one else to pay but us.

So, any experiences with home remediation and the pros, wisdom around the extent of the infestation, etc? I’d poll my friends – but the stigma is a bit overwhelming… this was probably one of my worst fears. It’s hard to 100% trust the pros because their advice comes with a healthy dose of conflict of interest (i.e. Treating the whole house, how much equipment and time) and they’re only accountable for a month…”

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