Bed bugs can be difficult to eliminate even for pest control professionals. Homeowners can have a more difficult time and can become desperate for relief. Some turn to home remedies that can be dangerous.
The Detroit Free Press describes what can go wrong. A man, desperate to solve his bed bug problem, sprayed alcohol on his couch and body in an attempt to kill the bed bugs. He sat down to smoke a cigarette when he spotted a bed bug walking across the couch. Determined to get the little sucker, he touched his cigarette to the bed bug to kill it. The bed bug died. However, the couch he had sprayed with alcohol caught fire along with the man’s clothes and alcohol soaked body. The man was seriously burned and is still recovering. The fire and smoke along with water to extinguish the fire damaged some apartments yet people are still living there.
This is not the first bed bug fire. Last November, a woman who had been battling bed bugs for a year purchased 20 bottles of alcohol and began pouring them all over the floor. When she poured alcohol next to the oven, the alcohol ignited. The fire spread quickly and totally destroyed the 48 unit building when the roof caved.
Bed bugs are a public health problem that are beyond the ability of most individuals to control. Coordinated efforts by government, landlords and tenants working together can be the only effective way to solve the problem. Ignoring bed bug problems until tenants take desperate and dangerous measures can lead to bad outcomes.