A bed bug infestation can be very hard to eliminate. Those tiny bugs with oval-shaped bodies are hard to see and even harder to kill, especially when you do not know how to proceed. Using pesticides is definitely one of the more effective ways to kill bed bugs. So, yes, it makes sense to use pesticides to kill bed bugs, but there is something you need to bear in mind – you should not use pesticides yourself if you do not have a pesticide applicator’s license. Not only is it dangerous, it also makes things worse when you apply insecticides in a wrong way. Bed bugs will move into new places and would be hard even for a pest control company to get rid of them using pesticides. Therefore, there is a difference between using pesticides and using pesticides by yourself.
Are Pesticides Always Effective?
While there certainly are some great options available, the fact remains that most of these products are not effective at killing the eggs. This is the reason why it is important to perform a second treatment to kill the juveniles once those eggs hatch. Another common problem with the use of pesticides is that many types of bed bugs have developed resistance to some commonly used insecticides. This renders some sprays completely ineffective. Therefore, even after using insecticides, you may still have to resort to other methods, including fumigation, heat and steam treatments, and cold treatments.
In case you fail to eliminate all those bed bugs and eggs physically, you may also consider using pesticides for added protection. As mentioned already, it is better to let a professional take care of everything. Still, if you want to do it yourself or simply want to learn more about the option, here is what you should know.
When conducted thoroughly, insecticide treatments really help control bed bugs. Most professionals make use of three different types of insecticides to treat the problem. For instance:
- They may use a fast-acting, contact insecticide to clean all those surfaces that you frequently touch.
- They may use a residual insecticide for most of your furniture pieces as well as for the underside of surfaces.
- They may use insecticidal dusts for cracks, crevices, and voids, such as baseboards and electrical outlets.
Insecticidal dusts, such as finely ground silica powder are usually effective unless covered by other dust. If you are going to use other OTC products, be sure to read the label and follow all instructions. Double-check if those products are really meant for indoor use. And always keep records of whatever you do – the location, the date, and insecticide used.
Other Ways to Kill Bed Bugs
Before you decide to use any insecticides yourself or hire a professional, you need to confirm you really have the infestation. Inspect your rooms thoroughly to find bed bugs. You have to check the walls carefully – talk to your neighbors if you share walls with them and make a coordinated effort treat the problem. Here is what to do next:
- Once you have confirmed the presence of bed bugs, start with physical methods. Clean infested rooms carefully and scrub all infested surfaces using a stiff brush – this also helps dislodge eggs. You may also have to dismantle bed frames to inspect all those additional hiding sites. Also, remove drawers from dressers and desks and turn furniture over to ensure no bed bugs are hiding there.
- Use a powerful vacuum to remove any bugs hiding in the cracks and crevices. Install a crevice tool on a vacuum and remove as many bugs as you can. A crevice tool helps you reach for the tighter areas where bed bugs usually like to hide. Be sure to seal and dispose of the vacuum bag immediately after cleaning. Any bed bugs you have removed are still going to be alive in that vacuum bag, so you should empty all the content of the bag into a plastic bag and freeze for a couple of weeks before throwing it out.
- Try steam cleaning to help get rid of bed bugs as well as eggs and nymphs. While you can use a steamer to kill bugs, you should be very careful and move slowly. Cover only 1 foot in 15 seconds and proceed methodically. Using a small nozzle is not a great idea because it would blow bed bugs away and they might survive. You will be applying high heat, so you have to take safety measures when using heat to kill these bugs. Also, stay away from electrical outlets, switch plates, and plugged in appliances because steam can carry electricity.
- Try extreme heat to kill bed bugs. You will be able to kill bed bugs and their eggs by putting your infested clothes and other items in the dryer for an hour or so. Be sure to keep infested stuff in a plastic bag and dispose it off once you have emptied the bag. Never use the same bag to get new clothes. Be careful when using heat because some clothes may become damaged by heat and get stained. Anything that would not damage the dryer could also in it – you can always use the option for pillows, blankets, some shoes, curtains, children’s plush toys, seat cushions, rugs, and fabric bags.
What’s more, you can also try exposing infested items to 32F to an even lower temperature to help kill bed bugs. It also makes sense to encase mattresses and box springs within bed bug proof zippered encasements. They help keep bugs trapped and they will eventually die.
The fact of the matter is that you can take care of bed bug infestation in many different ways, but if you want to use pesticides, let a professional take charge of things. Not only can these professionals use pesticides in the right way, they can also offer other services, such as steam applications, container heat treatments, and freezing infested items. Also, bear in mind that bed bugs do not spread disease, but constant use of insecticides post health risks. So, use pesticides only when you know what you are doing, and how effective the sprays are going to be.