BBB Tip of the Week: Bedbugs

Bedbugs have been a problem across the country. If you’ve ever encountered them, you know how stressful it can be. And you don’t want to pay for a remedy that doesn’t work.

 The Federal Trade Commission recently filed deceptive advertising charges against RMG Group LLC and its “Rest Easy” bedbug products, along with Cedarcide Industries Inc. and its “Best Yet!” bedbug and head lice treatments. The Cedarcide defendants also are charged with making deceptive claims that the federal government endorses and is affiliated with their product.

 The agency says there is no proof that natural remedies like cedar, cinnamon, lemon grass, peppermint or clove oil will eradicate bedbugs. Complex measures are needed to prevent and control such infestations, says the FTC, further urging parents to carefully research products claiming to treat head lice. The FTC was awarded a $264,976 judgment against RMG Group, while the Cedarcide case is ongoing.

The FTC says bedding, clothing and electronics should never be treated with pesticides, but alternative treatments may include heat or steam. Also:

• Never spray pesticide on the tops of mattresses, sofas, upholstered furniture, or in areas where there are children or pets.

• If you hire a professional, choose one with experience in bed bug control, as this differs from controlling other pests.

  • Be sure the pest management company is licensed and qualified.

• Check with the BBB, the state attorney general, and the state’s Department of Agriculture (regulates the industry).

  • Get a written guarantee that states what it covers, how long it lasts, and what is required for continuing control and prevention.

•  When traveling use luggage racks to hold your suitcases when packing and unpacking, rather than setting your luggage on the bed or floor.

• Check the mattress and headboard before getting into bed.

• When you get home, unpack directly into a washing machine. Wash all items showing bed bug stains, and dry on the highest setting for at least 20 minutes. The heat from the dryer kills the bugs.

• Inspect and then vacuum luggage. Empty the vacuum or seal and dispose of its bag outside of your home after each use.

More tips or to report scams: Visit the BBB website at Call (509)455-4200 or (800) 356-1007.

Holly Doering, BBB editor

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