When people find bed bugs on their property, one of the first thoughts is to kill them. Unfortunately, many people don’t know how to do so. While websites advertise DIY methods, many individuals are not qualified to use the myriad of methods available on the market to kill bed bugs. Usually, someone needs to combine several different procedures and products in order to ensure their home or business is bed bug free at the end of the day.
One of the trending methods in pest control is to take advantage of heat. Many companies have started using these treatments which exterminate bed bugs by exposing them to high temperatures in which they can’t survive. A professional can raise the temperature of a home or business to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and keep it at that level for several hours. This type of heat kills bed bugs because it traps them in uninhabitable conditions. This method is additionally effective at killing bed bugs at all life stages, include eggs and larvae. As the pest control industry continues to evolve, using heat has become a safe and effective way for people to handle bed bug infestations without spraying the chemicals of older methods.
The more traditional method of killing bed bugs is to use pesticides, and it should be no surprise that there are over 300 different pesticides approved by the EPA. These pesticides can be divided into seven categories: pyrethrins, pyrethroids, desiccants, biochemicals, pyrroles, neonicotinoids, and insect growth regulators. Each category kills bed bugs in a different manner, and many pest controllers with use several different types to fully eliminate the pest from homes and businesses. Pyrethrins and pyrethroids are common sprays and can kill bed bugs quickly, but can also chase them to a new location. Desiccants essentially dehydrate a bed bug by eliminating their outer shell, which kills them. The last four pesticides are not used often, and very few types of those products are in use. When in need of a pesticide to kill bed bugs, most products will belong to the first three categories.
The final methods to kill bed bugs are not as efficient and are unlikely to fully eliminate an infestation. These involve vacuuming, freezing, and laundering. Methods like these can kill a small number of bed bugs but will not entirely exterminate the population. One of the first ways is to vacuum a room and the furniture inside of it to pick up any bed bug eggs or small bugs that could be lurking near the surface of a carpet or items like chairs. Freezing can be done to small items around a room and involves placing possessions in a freezer that is at least 0 degrees Fahrenheit. They must be left in the freezer for four days to thoroughly kill bed bugs. Finally, it’s recommended that people wash their clothes, bedding, and any additional fabrics in a washing machine that can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This kills any bed bugs, larvae, and eggs hiding between the fibers. Unlike the first two methods, these ways will eliminate a small population but cannot destroy an infestation.
Bed bugs are a tricky pest and are known for their ability to hide and live in places which are difficult to reach. To effectively kill bed bugs, people often need to combine methods to rid themselves not only of the adult bed bugs, but also of the eggs, nymphs, and larvae. For many home and business owners, it is easier to call a company that specializes in pest control who can mix methods safely than to handle the complex and potentially dangerous process themselves.
Jose D. has been providing pest control solutions to North County San Diego residents since 2000!