Bedbugs may be pretty bad, but there are things that are worse.

Panicked by the unprecedented increase in crawly-critter infestations, people around the nation are getting desperate and making some poor choices.

Some are using chemical insecticides intended for outdoor use in their homes — spraying poisons in their own bedding, which could kill more than just bugs. Others are setting their homes and apartments on fire in their attempt to get some relief.

Portland did not make the list of the bedbuggiest places in the country last month, but pest control experts here are seeing an increased demand for their services.

Bedbugs are resilient creatures that are very easy to bring home from a stay in a motel or a move to a new house or apartment. They can travel in luggage, clothing or moving boxes, and can even move between apartments by crawling through cracks in floorboards and inside walls.

They feed on human blood and once established they are hard to get rid of.

In the past, chemical sprays were the cure, but new strains of bedbugs have become resistant to the poisons.

Pest control experts now find their best results using heat treatments, which work in conjunction with washing and heat-drying clothing, bedding and furniture.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency is warning people to be careful. Bug sprays are poison, after all, and may not even work. Some treatments that claim to be lethal just make the bedbugs scatter.

If you think you have bedbugs, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends hiring a licensed exterminator rather than taking matters into your own hands.

You don’t want to trade one problem for another, especially if it’s worse.