Creepy little dudes … the bedbug population in the US grew by 500% between 2006 and 2010. Yeah, I’d call that an epidemic. I’ve only had a couple infestations in my rentals, and they were both from mattresses that had been given to my tenants.
Here’s a link to a great, informative piece about these tenacious critters who can survive for several months without eating: http://www.mastersinhealthcare.com/
Pest control companies are raking in the money, treating infestations. I — of course — decided to take matters in my own hands and used a product from www.dgcedaroil.com. I had my tenant wash/dry all her clothing/bedding in hot water, and I sprayed the mattress and box spring with the product, all the furniture and flooring. I then placed plastic covers (they’re cheap) on the bedding. No vacuuming for a couple days, to allow the cedar oil to work, and voila! The bedbugs were gone. I had her re-spray a few days later.
And, the spray is non-toxic and has a pleasant odor, like a cedar closet.
Of course, the best solution is to not get them in the first place! Don’t buy used furniture or bedding, and be careful about travel, too … they’re sneaky little devils who will come home with you if they can!