A bed bug is a small pest that can be found lurking in homes and businesses. They are small, roughly 5-7mm in length and 2-3mm wide, oval-shaped, and brown. Unlike other bugs, they are considered true insects because their bodies are divided into three segments with three sets of legs. When people find even one bed bug, it is often a sign of a much larger infestation waiting around the corner. When this happens, home and business owners need to look into the various methods available in the industry to find a treatment which works for them.
Currently, the most popular pest control treatments today are ones which take advantage of the techniques from Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM is a new way of combatting pests which combines multiple methods of pest control for maximum efficiency and preventative power. A practitioner of IPM could combine chemical pesticides with environmentally friendly elements like heat, laundering fabrics, and sealing up entryways to eliminate pests and prevent their return. For bed bugs, the above combination includes the main treatments available for home and business owners. When choosing the right treatment, people need to check the strengths and weaknesses of each one and determine which ones they are comfortable with.
When people think of bed bug treatments, they almost always think of chemical pesticides first. There are over 300 registered products with the EPA that are used to kill bed bugs that fall into seven different categories. The two categories people should know about, though, are desiccants and the combo of pyrethrins and pyrethroids. The majority of pesticides fall into these categories. Desiccants are important pesticides which dry out the waxy outer shell of a bed bug, causing it to become weakened and dehydrated before eventually killing it. Pyrethrins and pyrethroids are toxic chemicals will kill bed bugs quickly. A pesticide can be an effective treatment to combat a bed bug infestation, but it comes with weaknesses. Many pesticides are pyrethrins and pyrethroids, and bed bugs can detect the chemicals and leave the area. They will hide in a new location and will return when the chemical has lost its effectiveness. Because a bed bug can live without food for 18 months, it’s easy for it to live somewhere else for a temporary period of time.
People who are interested in a safer, more efficient treatment can ask a pest control provider about heat treatments. The application of heat is considered one of the safest and most effective ways to exterminate bed bugs. Heat treatments require a professional pest controller who will adjust the temperature of a home or business to 140 degrees Fahrenheit for several hours. Adult bed bugs cannot survive under those conditions, and neither can their offspring or eggs. Unlike other treatments, the application of heat is also inescapable for most bed bugs because they cannot just move to another location in the house. At present, a heat treatment is one of the best ways for a home or business owner to combat a bed bug infestation.
The final types of treatments available can be done at home, but will not fully eliminate a bed bug infestation. People can wrap up smaller items and keep them in the freezer for four days at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Most fabrics like bedsheets and curtains can be laundered it hot water – typically 120 degrees Fahrenheit – to kill bed bug young and eggs to eliminate them from some common possessions. Finally, people can use common cleaning methods like vacuuming to pick up any bed bugs, larvae, or eggs lurking in the carpet or along baseboards. Unlike the first two methods, these treatments can be used to mitigate the effects of an infestation but are not useful in the long run. Because bed bugs are adaptable and difficult to exterminate, it’s a good idea to contact a top rated exterminator to find the right treatment for each property.
Jose D. has been providing pest control solutions to North County San Diego residents since 2000!