Bedbugs Bite and You Can't Sleep Tight? Try These Non-Chemical Solutions

Apr 13, 2011, 09:59 by Victor Ryan

Bedbug infestation has become an increasing problem in the United States. Here are a few helpful hints for prevention and treatment.

For those already dealing with bedbugs, the Mayo Clinic recommends a pair of ointments to speed up recovery of the redness and itch associated with bites, which tend to go away on their own within a week or two.

One is a skin cream containing hydrocortisone and the other is an oral antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Bendaryl). If a skin infection develops from scratching, the Mayo Clinic said its likely your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic.

To help prevent a bed bug infestation, the Mayo Clinic recommends taking a number of non-chemical measures.

A comprehensive vacuuming of various cracks and crevices is known to remove bedbugs from an area, though it notes vacuum cleaners are unable to reach all potential hiding places of bedbugs.

Hot water can also eliminate bedbugs. It�s recommended you wash your clothes and other items in water at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

A clothes dryer can also be used successfully to kill bed bugs and their eggs. It�s recommended you place wet or dry items in a dryer set at medium to high heat for 20 minutes.

The Mayo Clinic notes bedbugs are also susceptible to temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Items left outside or in a freezer for several days will usually be rid of bedbugs.

The Lake City News & Post also took a look at bedbug treatment and prevention as part of a three-part series on the subject.

As for prevention, it notes bedbugs are usually brought into a home via luggage or clothes exposed to an infested area.

When on the road it is recommended you thoroughly check the bed and furniture for signs of bedbugs and to keep suitcases off the floor and wrapped in large plastic trash bags.

It's also recommended you do not bring into your home bed frames, mattresses or upholstered furniture found on the street.

Also, a good rule of thumb is to use caulk to seal all cracks and crevices in your home even if bedbugs are not currently an issue.