Hi. We found what I'm fairly sure were two bedbugs on my son's pillow last...

Asked August 10, 2015, 9:37 AM EDT

Hi. We found what I'm fairly sure were two bedbugs on my son's pillow last night (unfortunately, we did not save the bugs but will do so if we see more). We found no other evidence of bedbugs, however. We inspected the mattress, pillows, clothes, etc. We saw no spots or other evidence - and my son has nothing that seems to be bite marks. We also inspected all other beds and linens in the house and saw nothing. But, obviously, we want to take this seriously. We immediately washed all sheets, linens and clothes from my son's room, using hot water and hot dryer. We put the pillow in a plastic bag and removed it from the house. We vacuumed thoroughly and disposed of the cleaner bag. All the information I've seen seems to be for infestation situations. Can you tell me if you recommend any further steps? Our local hardware sells several products that claim to be for bedbugs...is there a product we should apply to be mattress? Any other steps beyond watching carefully to see if we see any other evidence of bedbugs?

Hamilton County Ohio

1 Response

Proper identification of the pest insect is a critical first step in order to take proper action. Be sure to save any captured specimens (put them into rubbing alcohol so they are preserved) and have them examined by an expert. Personnel from a pest management company (one that does bed bug work) can conduct a thorough inspection to look for tell-tale signs of bed bugs that an unexperienced person may not recognize. Specially trained bed bug sniffing dogs also can detect the distinct odor of bed bugs, but this typically costs several hundred dollars; since the dogs can make mistakes, be sure that the inspector finds the bug that the dog "sniffed out". Over-the-counter products from a local hardware store are not a good route for dealing with a true bed bug infestation.