The Problem with Bed Bug Pesticides

//The Problem with Bed Bug Pesticides
By |2019-09-06T16:38:18+00:00September 6th, 2019|blog|0 Comments

The Problem with Bed Bug Pesticides


Contrary to what many believe, bed bug pesticides are not very effective!

The last thing you want to experience when you crawl into bed at night is to feel something else crawl in with you. But that’s what is happening to many people across the country.

Pest control professionals virtually eradicated bed bugs in the 2950s, but the blood-sucking pests have returned with a vengeance. Today, pest control experts warn the public of the US bed bug epidemic.

According to a 2018 “Bed Bugs Without Borders” survey, 97% of pest professionals treated bed bugs in the past year. 91% of complaints came from single family homeowners, with the rest coming from apartment dwellers and hotel/motel owners.

Professionals constantly debate the best way to eliminate these pests and consumers often believe that bed bug pesticides is the way to go. But, contrary to what many believe, bed bug pesticides are not necessarily an effective at eliminating an infestation.

The Super Bug and Insecticide Resistance

If you’ve read recent news reports, you probably know something about the new strains of super bacteria, resistant to the very medicine we use to wipe them out. The same thing is now happening in the pest control industry. A new strain of bed bugs has grown resistant to the chemical pesticides, such as DDT, that used to work in the past. According to a new study in the Journal of Economic Entomology, many bed bug infestations can no longer be defeated with chemicals alone.

As bed bugs grow more resistant to many pesticides, they come back in full force across the country, in particular in big cities. Another study conducted at Purdue University took bed bug populations from multiple states including Ohio, New Jersey, Indiana and Virginia and exposed them to numerous chemicals over a period of seven days.

The result? Some of the populations were affected by some of the chemicals, but not all. The researchers concluded that bed bug pesticides should be used sparingly, alongside other non-chemical treatments.

Not All Pesticides Reach Bed Bugs

Some chemical treatments do not work simply because they must be ingested by the bed bugs to have any affect. Take boric acid for instance. For it to kill the bed bug it must be consumed by them. Bed Bugs are not like rodents, they don’t eat all sorts of things, they feed on blood and blood only. Applying certain pesticides around your home or office and hoping the bed bugs eat it is not going to be effective for you.

Some Pesticides Can Make the Problem Worse

After discovering bed bugs in their home, many consumers purchase few cans of bug bombs. Unfortunately, bug bombs do not work against bed bugs.

The mist or fog that comes out of these cans will linger in the air for a few moments before settling down onto the surface of carpets, floors, tables, etc. Bed bugs do not live out in the open. They like to hide in cracks and crevices. The pesticides inside of the bug bombs will NEVER reach these little buggers.

But there is even worse news – not only are bug bombs ineffective at killing bed bugs, the fog or mist actually causes the bed bugs to scatter, sending them into different rooms of your house, making the infestation far more problematic. There’s also the health risk to people and pets if these bug bomb fumes have not been properly air out of the home.

Pesticides Cannot Be Used Safely by All People or in All Environments

Pest management professionals simply cannot use bed bug pesticides in certain environments, such as hospitals, elderly homes, or daycares. Moreover, some people simply prefer to avoid exposing their homes to bed bug pesticides. Some people have what is called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), also known as idiopathic environmental intolerances. Even common household items such as soaps, candles, and perfumes negatively impact these people. Consequently, you can rule out using bed bug pesticides around them

Should Pesticides be Used at All?

When it comes to effectively eliminating bed bugs, a one-size-fits-all approach cannot be taken. In fact, no single elimination method works 100% of the time.  Most pest control professionals seem to prefer an integrated pest management (IPM) approach to attain the best results.

An IPM plan may include minimal use of bed bug pesticides, in situations where it makes sense and would be safe to do so. But other IPM strategies should include using monitoring devices, non-chemical pesticides (such as superheated dry steam), and vacuuming.

No one should underestimate this massive rise of bed bug in the US. Effective pest management requires homeowners, property managers, and maintenance workers to remain vigilant for these pests. Be sure to remove any clutter and seal any cracks and crevices where bed bugs may hide. If you travel often, check your luggage thoroughly. In general, the cleaner you keep your house, the less likely you will be to experience a bed bug infestation.

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