Bedbugs. Creeped out yet? Prior to the mid-twentieth century, bedbugs were a common household nuisance, but the widespread use of DDT in the 1940s and 1950s pretty much eradicated them. But... now they're back, and more resistant than ever. The traditional treatment is a barrage of chemical sprays and dusting performed by a professional exterminator—a grim prospect for anyone concerned with their health and the environment. But there is another option that is gaining popularity for its effectiveness and non-toxic cred: heating! For the last two days there's been a bedbug convention going on in Rosemont, Illinois—and according to The New York Times, among a sampling of conferencegoers there, the least popular solutions being floated involved sprays, dustings or anything involving chemicals. Heating (which is expensive but effective) was highly popular for its natural and nontoxic properties.
How does heating work? Well, while bedbugs may be ubiquitous little creatures, they're very sensitive to heat and die rapidly when exposed to temperatures over 113 degrees.
For more on how this heat treatment works, check out these resources:
Related Link: Bedbugs at Secondhand Stores: Should You Be Worried?
(Video: Courtesy of BedBugCentral.com)