Chemical Treatment For Bed Bugs: What to expect
Pest companies that provide chemical treatment will give you a preparation sheet. Their suggestions may vary, but the information below is typical. Follow your pest company requirements even if they vary from the suggestions below.
Bedlam is one of the few pesticides you can purchase to treat your home. It is labeled and tested to kill bed bugs and eggs on contact and has a short residual to keep killing for a few days.
Control of bed bugs is best achieved by following an integrated pest management (IPM) approach that involves treating your clothes, posessions, bed, and applying chemicals to specific areas of your home.
Bed bugs are challenging pests to eradicate due to their small size, the speed with which they reproduce, and their ability to hide in any crack or crevice the height of a credit card. This makes killing bed bugs challenging but not impossible.
Experienced pest control companies know where to find bed bugs, but the chemicals they use may differ greatly. You will need to assist the pest control operator (PCO) in making your treatment successful by following their directions carefully.
Chemical treatment includes insecticides specifically labeled for bed bugs. Roach and other bug sprays will not kill bed bugs. Most insecticides labeled for bed bugs do not kill bed bug eggs except for Bedlam.
Chemical treatment may be applied by treating all cracks and crevices where bed bugs tend to hide. Some PCO’s treat beds, moulding, and furniture with portable lo-vapor steam machines or by using Cryonite freezing which like steam and 90 % alcohol, only kills what it hits directly.
Residual pesticides are applied as treatments to baseboards, moulding, cracks and crevices where bed bugs may be hiding. Residual pesticides can be affected by light, heat, or moisture. Pesticides have varying residuals from five to 90 days. Light, temperature, and moisture can affect the length of time a pesticide remains effective. Residual pesticides do not kill bed bugs on contact and can take from 1-12 days, depending on the pesticide and home conditions.
Ask your PCO which residuals they will use and how long it will last. Residuals are important because they kill bed bugs that will hatch from eggs after your treatment.
Your PCO will probably instruct you to keep sleeping in your bed to attract bed bugs to you so they will walk through the pesticides on their way back to their nests. Talk to your PCO before you isolate your bed.
Diatomaceous Earth may be used to treat wall voids, baseboards and electrical outlets. Diatomaceous Earth is effective in killing bed bugs but can take up to 10 days for them to die after walking through it. This dust will dry out their exoskeleton and kill bed bugs. Diatomaceous Earth contains silica and should not be inhaled or used on surfaces, like a sofa or mattress, where the powder can "fluff up" and be inhaled.
Repeat insecticide applications are common and should be expected, as most insecticides that kill bed bugs do not kill the eggs, so repeat treatments at 10-14 day intervals are typical to kill newly hatched bed bugs.
Never attempt to treat anything, ever, in the oven or the microwave. This is a serious fire hazard and cannot be said enough. Never cook anything that's not food, in the oven or microwave. We get this question a lot!
Please don't do it.