Five unconventional ways to get rid of bedbugs

Five unconventional ways to get rid of bedbugs

Bedbugs are officially causing paranoia in Toronto. A quick Google news search reveals an increase in bedbug-related news stories from around the city in the past week (like here, here and here). The seed-size monsters are one of the most difficult pests to eradicate, but as incidents start to add up, so do solutions. Most of these go well beyond the time-consuming steam-and-vacuum method or the toxic professional with fumigation equipment. Below, five new or overlooked techniques for dealing with the baddies.

Heat therapy
This technique is new to Toronto, and proponents are hailing it as one of the most effective—and most expensive—treatment methods available. A series of portable heaters and fans raise the temperature of a living space to sauna levels, about 45 degrees Celsius, killing bedbugs and their eggs. Vinyl collections (or anything else that could be warped by the heat) should be taken out of the house prior to treatment.

Cold therapy
If heat seems too risky, property owners can indulge in the opposite. A new technology known as Cryonite sprays a CO2 “snow” on bedbugs, instantly freezing them to death. The snow comes out of a hose at a temperature of -80 degrees Celsius and eventually dissipates into C02 gas, leaving no residue.

Homemade DDT
Some experts are blaming the recent bedbug surge on the banning of DDT. The once-common pesticide is impossible to buy now—but this is the age of DIY. Recipes for DDT are readily available on the Internet. Noting that this toxic slop was banned for a reason, we’re going to put this solution in the “no” pile.

Diatomaceous earth
This dust made from crushed fossils has long been used to control pests, and for good reason. The tiny particles are completely non-toxic but act as razor wire to bugs with waxy shells, like bedbugs. If a bug is unfortunate enough to walk through this stuff, the dust cuts through its shell, causing it to slowly die of dehydration. Good for the vendetta inclined.

The NightWatch bedbug monitor
A little piece of technology that takes advantage of bedbugs’ habit of tracking humans by their exhaled CO2. The machine lures bugs by mimicking a breathing human body and traps them. As nifty as it sounds, the monitor is most effective when combined with other treatments.