DIY Bed Bug Sprays and Foggers: Do they work?
Milwaukee Bed Bug Exterminators on the Effectiveness of Do-It-Yourself Treatments
When most homeowners realize they have bed bugs, they either start a frantic online search for “ways to kill bedbugs” or head straight to the store to buy bed bug foggers and sprays. Unfortunately, getting rid of a bedbug infestation with DIY products isn’t a quick process, and it’s rarely ever successful. Which is why calling a reputable pest control company ought to be your first move.
One of the biggest problems with store-bought bed bug bombs, foggers and sprays is that many strains of bed bugs have developed a resistance to the pesticides commonly used in these products. Most of them are made with pyrethrins, a pesticide derived from the chrysanthemum flower. Pyrethrins have been used to kill pests for thousands of years, so it’s no surprise many insects have become immune to them.
The other problem with foggers and bombs is that once they go off, any bed bugs in the vicinity will scamper off to a little nook or cranny where they’ll be safe. Their eggs are usually hidden away somewhere, so they won’t be affected by foggers. While setting off a bed bug bomb may kill some stragglers, it’s not going to stop an infestation. All it’s going to do is foul up your bedroom for a few hours.
For the sake of argument, what happens if by some miracle a bed bug fogger in your bedroom actually kills every last bed bug and bed bug egg in there? Success! Well, not hardly. If you have bed bugs in your bedroom there’s a good chance bed bugs are also in your living room sofa, the pile of laundry in your laundry room, and just about anywhere else. Bed bugs will hitch a ride on your sweater, the cuff of your pants, or even your purse as you move from room to room. They (and their eggs) could be anywhere.
Are DIY Bed Bug Treatments Toxic?
It depends on what’s in the product and how much exposure you have to it. Most store-bought pesticides for use on bed bugs have pyrethrins as their primary agent. These are considered to have low toxicity for humans and they degrade rapidly once released, but they’re often combined with other chemicals with higher toxicity. In recent years, there has been an increase in the numbers of people getting sick from using foggers—likely due to an increase in use (and misuse) of these products in response to a nation-wide increase in bed bug infestations.
What About Natural Treatments for Bed Bugs?
The internet is full of recommendations for natural bed bug treatments, most of which have only limited success in wiping out an infestation. Yes, spraying bed bugs directly with vinegar or rubbing alcohol will kill them, but bed bugs are rarely ever out in the open except when feeding on you while you’re asleep. It’s just not possible to spray every last bed bug.
Look online and you’ll find essential oils are a common suggestion for bed bug control. Unfortunately, the best you can hope for with these oils is a mild deterrence. Yes, tea tree oil, lavender oil and peppermint oil will repel bed bugs, but it has to be applied regularly. Ultimately, the bed bugs are still in your home and will just take alternate routes to get to you while you’re in bed at night.
Of all the natural treatments, diatomaceous earth is probably the most effective. Diatomaceous earth is basically a fine sand with sharp edges that pierce and rip apart the weak exoskeletons of bed bugs when they crawl across it. You sprinkle over any infected areas and leave it in place for a day or two, then vacuum up the dead bed bugs and sprinkle some more. Of course, an infected area isn’t just one small area of your bedroom. It’s your entire bedroom, as well as any other rooms the bedbugs may have infiltrated. So, to really be effective you’d have to cover everything with the stuff. It’s just not practical.
Why A-Landlords Pest Management is Your Best Bet for Eliminating a Bed Bug Infestation
A-Landlords Pest Management has been treating Milwaukee area homes and businesses for bed bug infestations for over 25 years, and it’s a specialty of ours. As a professional pest control company, we have access to products not available to the general public. We use a combination of environmentally responsible products, non-toxic pesticides and other approaches proven to be effective at eliminating bed bug infestations.