Helpful as one step in an overall plan, so long as the correct pesticides are used.
It is important to realize that using bed bug pesticides alone will not get rid of bed bugs – you must take additional steps. Pesticide are just one weapon in the arsenal against bed bugs. Experts recommend using Integrated Pest Management practices – combining a variety of tools that work together to help eliminate bed bugs, as embodied in our 8-step process, with pesticides as a last resort when you are unable to bring your infestation under control. Pesticides can be a part of your strategy but they are dangerous chemicals that can have serious health consequences even if used correctly, and for that reason it is crucial that you are as careful as you can be when using them.
The following video discusses pesticide use for bed bugs and our recommendations on what to look for in a licensed pest control professional.
Should you decide to use pesticides, we highly recommend getting a professional to apply them. Make sure they are using the correct pesticides, are fully licensed, and come recommended by others. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misuse of pesticides in the pest control profession and we have seen reports of unscrupulous operators using pesticides intended for outdoor use only with disastrous consequences.
When you talk to a pest control company about coming out to your home ask them what pesticides they use. If they use pyrethoid based pesticides you probably want to find a different pest control professional because many bed populations have developed resistance to pyrethroids.
Generally pest control companies are going to want to do at least two applications of pesticides. After the initial application they will usually follow up within two to three weeks to get any bed bugs that may have hatched since the first spraying. See what plan your pest control professional has and make sure you understand ahead of time what the full schedule and cost of treatment is estimated at.
As the effectiveness of pesticides is constantly changing for bed bugs we can’t really recommend any one pesticide as your best option. One thing we do know for sure is that pyrethroids won’t cut it, but beyond that you’ll want to research what your pest control professional is using to see how effective others have found it. Keep in mind as you read online reviews that even if a pesticide is effective it can be misapplied, or reviewers can misunderstand that multiple applications are often necessary, so don’t take every review at face value. One resource that we highly recommend is the CDC Bed Bug Product Search Tool.
The most important thing is the reputation of the professional you’re entrusting to treat your house: chances are if they have a good reputation they’ll be knowledgeable about up-to-date chemical treatments and willing to explain to you what they’re using and why.
DIY Pest Control for Bed Bugs
We don’t recommend applying your own pesticides for bed bugs. We have seen too many instances of misuse, and pesticides are very dangerous chemicals even when used properly by an experienced professional. If you choose to do this against our advice please be extremely cautious and follow all warnings and use guidelines on pesticides exactly. We cannot emphasize enough that you must exercise an abundance of caution whenever using any pesticides as they can lead to grievous injury or death.
Disclaimer: Some of the procedures outlined in this guide may be dangerous and should be undertaken at the readers own risk. Readers should consult all material safety data sheets for any products they use in their own attempts at pest control and consult with the manufacturers of all products regarding best usage practices. This guide should be construed as theoretical advice. ZappBug and its employees will not be held responsible for any injury due to the advice offered herein. This guide cannot be construed as formal advice and ZappBug will not be held liable in any instance of an action resulting from this story. This disclaimer assigns the readers all responsibility for their own decisions.