Powder & Sprays
We only recommend EFFECTIVE bed bug killing contact sprays and bed bug residual powders -- both are necessary if you want to completely eliminate a bed bug infestation. All these products are LEGIT and work, though we recommend you use them as part of an overall treatment strategy -- not by themselves -- if you want to get rid of bed bugs.
See our Guide to Bed Bug Powders and Sprays at the bottom of this page to help you figure out what type of powder or spray protect works best for your situation.
Powder & Sprays
A BUYERS GUIDE
TO BED BUG POWDERS & SPRAYS
WHAT YOU NEED TO NOW ABOUT BED BUG POWDERS AND SPRAYS
We can divide bed bug sprays and powders into two categories: contacts and residuals. Each of these offer advantages and disadvantages. Given that you can pick up bed bug contact sprays and residual bed bug powders for cheap, there is no reason why you can't have BOTH of these at your disposal.
Indeed, if you want to really get rid of a nasty bed bug infestation, you are best served to use both of these.
CONTACT BED BUG SPRAYS
Bed bug contact killers are what the word says it is: bed bugs will die upon contact with the substance. This works well if you spot a live infestation and want to quickly kill the bed bugs. However, this also means you actually need to spot living bed bugs and apply the spray to them. You won't find contact killing bed bug spray effective if you just spray in locations and leave it at that. You need to directly apply it to the bugs.
Note that you can't just use any old insecticide spray to kill bed bugs. They are quite resistant to many normal pesticides which tend to use synthetic pyrethroid. The most effective contact killers have natural pyrethrins as the as the main ingredient and are more likely to kill bed bugs on contact.
RESIDUAL BED BUG SPRAYS
The problem with contact sprays is they evaporate -- usually within only a few minutes to hours. That means they won't provide long lasting active protection. Residuals, on the other hand, will work for up to 3 months. As such, you want to use a residual bed bug powder as a preventative treatment or just as a final step in your bed bug treatment cycle.
The best residuals contain fenvalerate or imidacloprid. These will kill bed bugs in all 5 stages of their life cycle -- from eggs to fully formed adults.
The downside to using residuals is they can be harmful to your health. This is why you don't want to overuse residual powders -- only use them in key areas and follow the instructions given on the label carefully.
USE CONTACT SPRAYS FOR:
On live bed bugs you find
On areas close to where you sleep (mattress seams, bed frame, etc)
For short term killing (less than 12 hours)
USE RESIDUAL POWDERS:
In potentially infested areas that are not in contact with your skin
In areas where pets and children won't have contact with
In areas like wall cracks, floor cracks, corners, and small spaces
For up to 12 weeks of bed bug killing
WHAT TO BUY?
If you do a simple search on Amazon, you'll spot dozens and dozens of different sprays, powders, and other bed bug treatment products. However, you have to be careful because many of the so called 'bed bug products' won't actually do anything. So be leery of hyped up claims of a product that will completely eliminate a bed bug problem.
We recommend BOTH a residual powder and a contact spray -- you will use BOTH of these. Don't just get one. Use the sprays on directly affected areas like your mattress seams. Use residuals in cracks, around your floor boards beneath your bed, by your bed posts, and other locations.
HOW TO USE THESE IN CONJUCTION WITH A DIY BED BUG TREATMENT CYCLE
Typically, you will want to use powders and sprays as the LAST stage in your 4 step bed bug DIY treatment cycle.
Step 1: Put Mattress & Pillow Encasements to SEAL the bed bugs inside your mattress and prevent new ones from entering
Step 2: Put Bed Bug Traps / Interceptors beneath your bed frame legs to trap and prevent new bugs from gaining access to your mattress
Step 3: Use a bed bug steam machine to KILL bed bugs (around your mattress, along the seams of the mattress, in walls and cracks in the wall/floor). Use a bed bug heater device to kill bed bugs in household items you can't fully apply steam cleaning to (books, bags, clothes, pillows, sheets, etc). For large scale furniture like couches, you can try to steam clean them or if you a large heat treatment device, place the furniture into that. Short of this, you may need to move the furniture out of your house or look at professional gas treatments by pest control companies.
Step 4: Apply bed bug powders to potential infestation areas. Use bed bug (non toxic) sprays by your bed area and residuals in areas NOT TOUCHING YOUR BED.
Step 5: If you still suffer from a bed bug infestation you may need to repeat 1-4 a few times. If this doesn't work, you'll need a pest control company to heat treat your house with gas.
GETTING RID OF BED BUGS IS A MARATHON NOT A SPRINT
The truth is, getting rid of bed bugs is a process (and sometimes a long and expensive one). It's highly unlikely that a single product such as a powder or spray is going to eliminate your infestation unless you are very, very lucky. It's more likely you will have to make a sustained effort to get rid of bed bugs -- an effort that involves using mattress encasements, pillow encasements, bed bug traps, powders, sprays, heaters, and steamers. And in some severe cases, you may have to just call the pest control company and have your house gased.
We recommend you use our Bed Bug Guides for more detailed information about what to do about bed bugs.