As the summer vacation season begins, bed bugs again become a concern. BBB serving Metro Atlanta, Athens and Northeast Georgia, Inc. recently released an advisory warning people not to let these pesky critters latch onto their beds or their wallets.
According to the advisory, some self-proclaimed bed bug eradicators are professing to get rid of the bugs, but aren't doing so despite taking payment for the service. The Federal Trade Commission and Better Business Bureau are advising consumers on ways to tackle the infestation in order to avoid having to deal with this.
So far this year, BBB officials say nationwide they have received more than 375 complaints against pest control service companies. In a recent October release, BBB recommended tips for choosing a trustworthy pest control company to banish bedbugs. This time, BBB, along with the FTC are advising consumers on ways to prevent a bed bug problem from taking over your home in the first place.
“While it may be easier said than done, it’s always important for consumers to know how to prevent and control a pest problem,” said Fred T. Elsberry, Jr., President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving Metro Atlanta, Athens & Northeast Georgia. “Preventing the problem prevents the possibility of a pest control scam.”
In urging consumers to be proactive when it comes to preventing bed bugs from entering the home, BBB and the FTC issued the following advice.
- Inspect recently purchased furniture from a secondhand store or flea market to make sure there are no bed bugs before bringing it into the home.
- Enclose mattresses and box springs in covers labeled “allergen rated,” “for dust mites,” or “for bed bugs.” Make sure to periodically check for rips or openings so that you can patch them up securely.
- Repair cracks in plaster, loose wallpaper and any loose light switch covers and be proactive by always making sure to apply caulk to seal crevices, joints in baseboards and gaps on shelves or cabinets.
- When traveling, use luggage racks to hold your suitcases when packing and unpacking rather than setting your luggage on the bed or floor.
- When staying in a hotel, check the mattress and headboard before getting into bed. Keep the critters from infesting your home by unpacking directly into a washing machine.
- Wash all items showing bed bug stains and dry on the highest setting for at least 20 minutes. The heat from the dryer kills the bugs. Before relaxing, inspect and then vacuum your luggage.
- Empty the vacuum or seal and dispose of its bag outside of your home after each use.
For more tips on choosing a trustworthy pest controller or to learn more about keeping bed bugs out of your home, visit www.bbb.org, the FTC’s consumer alert www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt194.shtm and the National Pesticide Information Center www.npic.orst.edu/pest.htm.