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Clinician’s Corner: Bedbugs—what to do when they show up!

TREATMENT OF A BITTEN PATIENT

  • Treatment might not be necessary, as the bites usually resolve without any intervention.
  • Oral antihistamines to relieve itching. Ask your Thompson Pharmacist if this is appropriate treatment for you.
  • Topical corticosteroids seem to be effective, and require a prescription.

PREVENTION:

  • using a hair dryer on end seams of mattress will “chase” the bed bugs out of hiding for detection.
  • Check out hotel/motel rooms and look for bedbugs or their feces before climbing into bed. Be sure to check out the mattress cords and crevices in box springs.
  • Placement of luggage on a luggage rack or away from the bed or upholstered furniture while traveling. Some sources recommend placing luggage in the bathtub, as bedbugs can’t crawl up that slippery surface.
  • Placement of worn garments in a sealed plastic bag to minimize bedbug attraction to worn clothing.
  • It’s no bargain mattress even if the bedbugs are free! Examine carefully garage sales or resale shops (especially bedding items), for bedbugs or bedbug feces prior to bringing them inside the home
  • Rid Home Lice, Bedbug and Dust mite Spray: contains Permethrin 0.5%

Permethrin spray that we use as a mosquito and tick repellant is designed for clothing and gear and lasts up to 6 weeks.  We spray our suit cases before packing for a trip. Make sure they are closed. Package reads “for clothing and gear” Repellent should be applied outdoors and before clothing is worn; hang clothing, spray and let dry two hours (four hours in humid conditions).  We carry both RID and Sawyer brand of permethrin spray at Thompson Pharmacy.

BYE-BYE BEDBUGS:

Insecticides and heat treatment are the best options. Combinations of insecticides are generally used to avoid failure due to resistance. Long-lasting residual insecticides may be necessary for heavy infestations.

Heat treatment involves use of equipment to heat rooms to a lethal temperature. All stages of bedbugs can be killed at 50°C (122°F)

Cold treatment can be successful in the home environment if the freezer is set to 0- degrees F. You must leave the items in the freezer at that temperature for four days

Call an exterminator if needed for infestations.  Your Thompson Pharmacist is a great resource for all that “bugs” you.  Go ahead and ask…at Thompson Pharmacy it’s all for  YOU!