I’ve had a (possibly inordinate) fear of bed bugs since they returned to our shores after decades of near-extinction. Since they first crawled into New York City several years ago, the little bugs have infested cities across the United States. They’re in homes, apartments, hotel rooms, airplanes and public transportation seats, and they can attach themselves to our clothing or luggage and hitch a ride home with us. Bedbugs in my home is a nightmare I don’t ever want to deal with.
Last week at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, Bird-X introduced Bed Bug Alert, a nontoxic, rigid plastic bedbug monitoring device—about the size of a business card—that slips under a mattress or into other tight spaces where bedbugs are suspected. Inside the device, a special gel containing human pheromones attracts and traps bedbugs if they are present, alerting you to the problem before it’s too late. Bird-X has been producing humane, nontoxic and environmentally friendly pest and bird repellent products since 1964.
Homeowners can use the Bed Bug Alert device to check daily for the nasty, biting little critters. Hotels can use it to monitor all rooms, and travelers can test hotel and motel beds upon arrival. I can keep it under my mattress and call my local pest control company immediately if a bedbug shows up in my bed. (Bed bug eradication, especially if you have an infestation, is best left to professionals).
Earlier this year at the Second Annual National Bed Bug Summit in Washington, D.C., experts said the best tactics for getting rid of these pests are integrated pest management techniques such as using dessicant dust, mattress encasements, removing clutter, using a vacuum cleaner, chemical treatments and heat. "The clothes dryer is the number-one line of defense,” Dr. Dini Miller of Virginia Tech University told attendees. “Clutter removal also helps by removing bed bug hiding places."
A gel inside this business card-size device attracts and traps bed bugs. Photos courtesy of Bird-X