PCO says only one home remedy is really effective for bed bugs

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Bed bug infestations have hit the headlines after outbreaks in France appeared to spread to the UK, with homes and hotels left trying to find ways to get rid of the insects.

Eric Scherzinger, a pest control expert, told The Express: “The ‘bed bug treatments’ you might find online are, at best, largely ineffective, and at worst, extremely dangerous.”

Mr Scherzinger said that certain DIY solutions to bed bugs such as using baking soda, rubbing alcohol, or trying to freeze them are largely ineffective if tried at home and should only ever be considered by professionals who know what they are doing.

He said: “Heat is one of the most reliable bed bug killers. Bed bugs at all stages of life will die at 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius).”

“Items like bedding and clothing should be washed and dried on the hottest setting. The wash cycle alone will kill bed bugs; however, if items can’t be washed (like dry clean only items), they should be dried for at least 90 minutes in order to ensure that bed bugs are killed.”

Steam treatments can be used for certain items but will not help with bed bugs in larger areas.

Mr Scherzinger said: “Steam is hot enough to kill bed bugs. While steam won’t work to kill bed bugs hidden inside walls, it can be used on materials like sofa cushions.”

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With more than 25 years' experience in business-to-business publishing, Simon is editor of LBM titles Pest and OvertheCounter. Big fan of Manchester United.