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Bringing Bedbugs Home

Bedbugs can climb into luggage and return home with travelers, so inspect carefully upon returning from a trip.

Q. We recently enjoyed several days with friends at their vacation condo. Now I fear we have bedbugs. Could these critters have traveled home with us in our luggage? How can we verify our suspicions?

A. Bedbugs can indeed hitch a ride in luggage. Unfortunately, this pesky problem can be pricey. A visual examination by an expert can cost up to $200. Trained dogs are very good at detecting bedbugs, but may cost $300 to $600 for an inspection.

An inexpensive bedbug detector can be constructed at home for under $40. You will need some dry ice, a cooler jug to hold it and a plastic pan or dish to catch the bedbugs. Go to PeoplesPharmacy.com and search bedbugs to see the detector in action along with ways to avoid bedbugs when you travel.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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