AARP Live shares tips on how to protect yourself before and after a natural disaster. Watch at 10 p.m. ET.
by Sid Kirchheimer, AARP Bulletin, September 6, 2010
Bedbug bites are itchy and annoying. But they can bring on a more painful bite: high-priced fake treatments, which are multiplying as the media report growing numbers of infestations by the insects.
It's best to ignore the ionic, ultrasonic or electromagnetic gizmos pitched on TV or the Internet. "I have never seen any evidence that any of them work," says Richard Pollack, a research entomologist who has been studying bedbugs for two decades.
And think twice before buying aerosol "bug bombs" or other off-the-shelf insecticides. "Their risk is greater to yourself than the bedbugs," Pollack says. "This is not a do-it-yourself job."
Before accepting a pitch from a self-proclaimed pest control professional, be aware that the bedbug epidemic has brought scammers out of the woodwork.
"I don't want to say there are a lot of fly-by-nights, but the atmosphere is certainly ripe for scams," says Samuel Soto, a retired police detective sergeant who now runs a New York pest control business, First Rate Solutions.
Some tips if you're worried about bedbugs:
Sid Kirchheimer is the author of Scam-Proof Your Life (AARP Books/Sterling).
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Members can print free coupons at the Grocery Coupon Center powered by Coupons.com.
Members save 25% on purchases of $200+ and get free basic lenses or 25% off lens upgrades.
Members save 10% on their check every day.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at