Actual Tips for Treating a Bed Bug Infestation

The Onion released a blog article titled, “Tips for Treating a Bed Bug Infestation”. The tips, while amusing, will not help you treat your bed bug problem. Below are our responses to the Onion’s “tips” and actual advice on what you can do to relive yourself of these annoying pests.

Onion Tip #1

“Come to terms with the fact that your body is but a warm, meaty trough.”

This is true. There is nothing you can do to attempt to make your body, or the body of your pets, (they will feed on other animals such as dogs, cats, pigeons, lizards, chickens, pigs to name a few) unappealing to bed bugs. You are a CO2 producing creature with blood and that is all they need.

Onion Tip #2

“Open your window and shout “Somebody, please, help me!””

This tip will depend on who your neighbours are. If you’re lucky enough to have a Poulin’s Pest Management Professional living next door to you, shouting for assistance may help. In reality, the first thing you need to do if you suspect you have bed bugs is to bring a sample of the bug into one of our retail stores for a positive identification. There are a few insects that often are mistaken for bed bugs. Don’t panic and shout from the windows, instead get that bug identified to know what you are dealing with!

Onion Tip #3

“Wear thick, long-sleeved pajamas to bed so that the bugs are nice and warm.”

Thick, long-sleeved pajamas won’t help protect your body from bed bugs feeding on you at night. Bed bugs will also target your face, neck, hands, and feet as well. Any exposed area will be a delicious treat for bed bugs.

Onion Tip #4

“Try luring the bed bugs away by placing a trail of furniture leading out of your apartment.”

This will not work. Bed bugs are found around your bed frame, end tables, couches, etc. because they are attracted to the areas where humans are at rest. Bed bugs are not attracted to your furniture with no human activity. Your furniture trail will cost you a lot of time and effort, but you still be dined on by bed bugs.

Onion Tip #5

“Use reverse psychology on the bed bugs by sleeping in your bed anyway and constantly talking out loud about how comfortable you are.”

Bed bugs are not going to be scared away by you talking to yourself in bed. They are not feeding on you for the purpose of making you uncomfortable, they are doing it to survive. You are giving the bed bugs what they want if you follow this tip – a tasty snack warm in their bed!

Onion Tip #6

“Get a mattress-sized plastic bag with airtight sealing; sleep in it from now on.”

This tip is almost a good one. These airtight ‘mattress-sized plastic bags’ are called mattress encasements. Mattress and box spring encasements will protect your mattress from bed bugs living and breeding in the mattress crevices. Sleep with your mattress wrapped in an encasement – not your body!

Onion Tip #7

“Accept that bed bugs are one of the less glamorous parts of living in a big city, like riding the subway and failing to achieve your dreams.”

Yes and no. Unfortunately, bed bugs are a common pest. Bed bugs are great hitchhikers, you don’t have to live in a big city to become infested. Small towns, motels, hotels, movie theaters, air travel, public transportation – you can get bed bugs from many public places and unknowingly bring them home.

Onion Tip #8

“During fumigation, make plans to spend the week in your non-bed-bug-affected home.”

Do not “fumigate” for bed bugs. Do not self-treat. Contact a pest control company to positively identify and set up a control program. Only professionals can treat with the commercially labelled pesticides.

Control of bed bugs involves co-operation with home owners and/or tenants. Depending on size of infestations found, multiple treatments may be needed. Treatments occur in cracks and crevices, night stands, baseboards, floorboards, door and window frames, behind loose wallpaper, stuffed furniture, attics and other enclosed places, with properly labelled residual insecticide. Professional will use insecticidal residual dusts in wall voids, light switches, conduits and under carpet seams.

Heat treatments have the highest success rate in eliminating all life stages of bed bugs. Clothes or bedding that may be contaminated with bed bugs should be put in the dryer at the highest temperature setting. Dry, clean items can be put in the dryer on high heat for a minimum of 15-20 minutes in a normal size load. Increase the time based on the size of materials.

Vacuums are a great way to physically remove bed bugs from an area. Be sure to vacuum cracks and crevices where bed bugs like to hide. Also, when finished vacuuming, immediately seal and throw away the vacuum bag or if it’s an empty canister type, to clean it out into a garbage bag and wash out with hot water to an outdoor garbage can and have a pest management professional treat your home and belongings.

Onion Tip #9

“Make sure the exterminators keep one bed bug alive so that you can send it away with firm instructions to tell the others what it saw.”

We advise you to not leave any bed bugs alive. One female bed bug will lay approximately 200 eggs over her lifetime and will deposit them mostly into cracks and crevices as well as many other hidden locations. The eggs will hatch within 10 – 14 days under normal conditions and you will end up with another infestation!


  1. “Tips for Treating a Bed Bug Infestation”
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