Pros & Cons of Do It Yourself Bed Bug Treatments & Sprays

Picture of Two Bed Bugs

Bed Bug Infestations

Bed bugs are some of the most troublesome pests that can infest a home, and proper control tactics are essential to eradicating the blood-feeding insects. Homeowners hoping to eliminate the pests on their own face a difficult challenge because effective bed bug control requires an integrated pest management plan.

Insecticidal sprays are an important part of home bed bug control. When used properly and in conjunction with thorough cleaning of infested areas, sprays can eliminate an infestation.

Types of Treatment

Dust Treatments
Considered the most effective at-home control method individuals can buy, insecticidal dust clings to bed bugs and kills them by desiccation, or drying them out. Dusts may be applied in cracks and crevices where bed bugs hide, and the dust will cling to the pests as they walk through it.

Diatomaceous earth, or D.E., is an effective bed bug dust that is entirely natural. Made from crushed, fossilized algae, diatomaceous earth can be sprayed into cracks and openings with a duster or scooped and sprinkled on open areas. Other insecticidal dusts incorporate synthetic compounds, like cyfluthrin, which attack the bed bug’s nervous system.

Liquid Treatments
Liquid sprays are available for both indoor and outdoor applications. Homeowners should make sure to read labels carefully and apply products to appropriate areas. For example, some liquid sprays may be applied to mattresses and fabrics, while others are meant for cracks/crevices and baseboards.

Under no circumstances should outdoor bed bug sprays be used indoors. Non- and low-toxicity sprays are often used indoors and kill bed bugs on contact.

These sprays may include isopropyl alcohol, phenethyl propionate, rosemary oil, and peppermint oil as active ingredients and are more natural means of control. Once dried, however, these sprays offer no lasting residual control effects.

More potent sprays usually contain bifenthrin or lambda-cyhalothrin as the active ingredient and leave behind residues that kill bed bugs. These lethal residues are only effective if bed bugs remain in contact with treated areas for several days.

Reasons to Go with Expert Pest Control Service

Bed bugs are extremely difficult to get rid of through do-it-yourself tactics, and sprays alone often do not eliminate an infestation. Sprays or dusts can be effective if applied directly on bed bugs or in proximity to their hiding spaces. However, bed bugs are nocturnal creatures that hide whenever lights are on, and spraying the insects directly is often a difficult, inefficient means of control.

Additionally, it is often hard to locate where exactly bed bugs hide, and homeowners may not know where to apply treatment methods. Multiple treatments are often required to effectively control bed bugs, and even when used correctly, treatments do not guarantee the elimination of bed bugs.

If misused, insecticidal dusts or sprays can be harmful to residents and non-pest animals residing in the home or cause bed bugs to travel into other areas of the home. As well as possibly causing harm or spreading infestation, misusing insecticides is illegal (not following use directions on pesticide label).

Professional pest control is recommended to effectively eliminate bed bugs from the home. In addition to ensuring pest removal, pest control professionals take care of bed bug problems much faster and more safely than DIY methods can.

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