Hints from Heloise: Battling bedbugs

Published: Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014 - 12:00 am

DEAR HELOISE: Is there an at-home remedy to get rid of bedbugs?

– A Reader in Washington

DEAR WASHINGTON: These nasty little creatures did seem to make it around the world several years ago, and many hotels had a problem. Most of that has been resolved, so be sure that you are talking about bedbugs and not fleas or ticks.

There really isn’t any home remedy to get rid of bedbugs. Over-the-counter pesticides and bug-removal products do not work, according to my research. Sorry to give you not-so-good news.

Extreme heat seems to be the only way to kill the little devils. So, wash and dry all of your bedding in the hottest water and highest drying temperature you can.

Call a professional if they are in other areas of the house. You cannot kill them yourself, and they multiply very rapidly. So, if they really are bedbugs, don’t waste time trying old-fashioned hints. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to rid your home of these hitchhiking pests.

DEAR HELOISE: After Christmas has passed, I take the Christmas cards I have received and make name tags. I trim around Santa, snowman, etc., and punch a hole. Next Christmas, I add ribbon and tie onto a gift.

– Linda M. in Mississippi

DEAR HELOISE: My wife and I often paint small items we are assembling. The items are hung from teacup hooks for painting, and the hooks accumulate a thick coat of paint over time.

We wanted to clean the hooks for further use. It looked like a hopeless project until we asked “What would Heloise do?”

The answer, of course, was vinegar. We soaked the hooks overnight in vinegar, and the next morning easily wiped the paint off with a cloth. Heloise’s favorite fix works again.

– Rodger and Trudy, Spokane, Wash.

DEAR RODGER AND TRUDY: Here is another Heloise hint: Wrap the hooks with plastic wrap or foil to help prevent the problem in the first place.

DEAR HELOISE: I have two hints for you. Use a nail file or emery board to refresh the old erasers on your pencils.

Use old prescription pill bottles placed over toothbrushes standing in holders to keep your toothbrushes clean.

– Carol S., Amarillo, Texas

Send a great hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 79500, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com.

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