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Bed Bug Fumigation Side Effects

Contrary to popular belief, a bed bug infestation is not a sign of unsanitary living conditions. People often think of them as parasites on the same level as fleas and lice, and while they do live in close proximity to humans, cleanliness alone will not get rid of them. All cluttered areas, near humans can harbor bed bugs, not just beds, which is why fumigation is often the best option for those who find that their home has been invaded by these unwanted little house guests.

Although engaging in home fumigation is usually not the most effective option, and can be dangerous. When done improperly, your home can be left with toxic surfaces poisonous to people and pets. Failing to completely eliminate the bed bugs can also have the side effect of making the survivors insecticide resistant. Magnesium and aluminum phosphide pesticides can cause burns and are also highly flammable, making explosions a very real risk.

Health-wise, there are some side-effects you should look out for if you decide to fumigate your home yourself:

  • Headaches
  • Coughing and breathing difficulties
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

The first step in home fumigation is to clean up your home and remove any clutter. Next, take all fabrics from the infestation area and expose them to high heat in a dryer. Bed bugs can survive temperatures up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is important to make sure the dryer is on high. Use a handheld steamer to treat furniture that can't be run through a washer and dryer, such as mattresses and couches. The steam needs to be at least 200 degrees Fahrenheit to penetrate deeply at a high enough temperature to kill the bugs and their eggs.

Diatomaceous earth, made from fossilized algae, is extremely sharp on the microscopic level and works by slicing through a bed bug's outer carapace. This non-toxic option should be applied to baseboards, carpets, and any areas with cracks where they may hide. Since bed bugs can travel up to 20 feet to feed, any suspected hiding spots within that radius of a bite hotspot should be suspect.

Although some people have success with homemade treatments, more often than not, the success is short-lived. Bed bugs can hide anywhere, making difficult to get rid of without large-scale treatments and the knowledge and equipment to find their hiding spaces. For this reason, it's recommended that you seek out a professional removal service that is trained in finding and eliminating bed bugs.


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