"Consumers should never try this on their own because they end up putting harsh pesticides where they're not necessary," says Orkin's Meek. "We're dealing with a blood-sucking ectoparasite attacking people in their beds, where they should be most comfortable, so we don't want to add the stress of subjecting them to pesticides." According to Meek, the key to eradication is process more than product. "You can kill bed bugs with mild materials: we utilize steam to kill the eggs and a product that's basically rubbing alcohol to kill the adults. But the bugs are hard to find, so it's a slow process. When talking to a pest controller, make sure he has experience with bedbugs—and ask for references."