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Money Talks News: The Unexpected Costs of Bedbugs

Initial Extermination Costs

Usually when you find pests in your home, a can of bug spray can kill every insect in sight. But the cheap and easy method doesn’t work with bedbugs. Most commercially sold bug sprays aren’t designed for bedbugs. To make matters worse, bedbugs have an increasing resistance to chemicals, so what worked in the past might not work in the future.

Most experts recommend professional extermination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a costly mix of chemical and nonchemical treatment:

CDC and EPA promote integrated pest management (IPM) for bedbug control. IPM is an effective pest control method that uses information on the life cycle of the pest and incorporates nonchemical and chemical methods. Nonchemical methods to effectively control bedbugs include heating infested rooms to 118°F (48°C) for 1 hour or cooling rooms to 3°F (-16°C) for 1 hour by professional applicators; encasing mattresses and box springs with bedbug-excluding covers; and vacuuming, steaming, laundering, and disposing of infested items. Any effective control measure for bedbugs requires support from all residents in affected buildings and ongoing monitoring for infestation from other housing units. Often, multiple inspections and treatments are needed to eradicate bedbugs.

This method will work, but could cost thousands of dollars. Jeff Eisenberg, author of “The Bed Bug Survival Guide,” recently told Time that a knowledgeable exterminator can cost at least $400 or $500 per room.

(iStock)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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