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Got bed bugs? Killing 'em is one project you don't want to DIY

This undated file photo shows bed bugs in New York.

AP Photo/Orkin LLC

Stand down, city dwellers. Researchers in Vancouver found some bedbugs carrying staph bacteria on hospital patients. Sure, they were only on a few of the hell-raising insects, but it's still enough to make those nervous about bedbugs outright paranoid.

So if you've noticed a few of the creepy crawlers in your home, how do you get rid of them? We know Marge in accounting said eucalyptus oil helped her get rid of the little blood suckers, but a new article in Scientific American ( via BoingBoing) warns against that route. Have a mouse? Set up a trap. Have a family of bedbugs shacking up in your bedroom? Leave it to the pros, advises writer Amy Maxmen.

Household solutions might kill a bug here or there but many of the critters will be able to walk right over whatever it is you've put down.

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As for those bed bug sprays you might spot at your local hardware store? Don't bother.

"During the last 50 years, bedbugs have largely become biologically resistant to the pesticides sold at your corner store, namely pyrethroids and pyrethrins," Ms. Maxmen writes. Spraying will likely encourage bedbugs to relocate to a place nearby: perhaps an unsprayed den.

Another thing: Those readily available cans of spray probably have a laundry list of warnings about health risks associated with inhaling, ingesting or even coming into contact with them (or your unsuspecting cat doing the same). You don't want to be that guy who wins a Darwin Award for killing himself while trying to kill an army of bedbugs.

Other things you should probably leave to the experts: at least one-third of the tutorials at Instructables (we're looking at you, DIY tattoo guide), electrical work and any kind of surgery.

What's the most disastrous or unsuccessful DIY you've tried at home?

Editor's Note: Amy Maxmen's name was mispelled in the original version of this article. This version has been corrected.

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About the Author

Dakshana Bascaramurty is a national news reporter who writes about race and ethnicity. She won a 2013 National Newspaper Award in beat reporting for her coverage of changing demographics in the 905 region. Previously, she was a feature writer for Globe Life. More

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