People commonly use bed bug bombs - commonly known as insecticide foggers- to fend off bed bugs and other pests in their home and other areas. But do they work? Like most DIY treatments, it depends. Factors like environmental conditions, intensity of infestation and method of treatment application can all play a role in determining control success. Read about the three DIY bed bug foggers below for a better understanding of their efficacy.
Volatile essential oils are frequently used as a treatment option due to their less harmful effects on bed bugs and on humans. However, consumers tend to over-apply natural and other insecticide treatments due to a general lack of training on proper application techniques. Hence excess insecticides may wind up in areas like beds and couches where humans and pets may inhale them, potentially causing non-target effects.
In 2013, researchers conducted a study to determine the efficacy of a variety of essential oils to treat bed bugs. While findings indicated that essential oils could kill the bed bugs, researchers identified many other factors that may influence efficacy of control. By containing the bed bugs in a lab, the essential oil could be applied directly onto the bed bugs, allowing the bed bugs to completely absorb the oils. In a home or other natural environment, however, bed bugs hide in cracks and crevices, making direct contact impractical.
Additionally, essential oil products include other substances that may contribute to killing the bed bugs. Since “natural” products are exempt from the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, they do not have to disclose all ingredients on their packaging. Consumers using essential oils should consider that they may not know exactly which ingredients they are actually using.
Use of Bed Bug Nymphs
Researchers believe that the smell of bed bug nymphs (immature stage) may deter other bed bugs. Bed bugs emit one scent when they’re babies and a different scent when they’re adults. Researchers from Lund University discovered that the smell of nymphs was discouraging to other bed bugs, including both adults and nymphs. This method requires extensive knowledge of bed bug smells and is therefore not a recommended bed bug solution.
Another home-treatment option often suggested involves store-bought bed bug foggers. Ohio State University researchers found that foggers were unable to infiltrate bed bug hiding spots. The ingredients in the foggers caused the bed bugs to divide and migrate to other areas. This can make treatment more difficult. Additionally, foggers often contain DDT, a chemical compound that bed bugs have built resistance to. It’s also dangerous to use multiple foggers in the same location, as the products may explode if too many are used in one area. Since there is no proof of the effectiveness of bed bug foggers, they shouldn’t be sought after as a reliable treatment.
So, do bed bug bombs work? DIY solutions may not be effective for areas with high infestation levels. The more bugs that are present, the longer it will take to see success with these solutions. To help get rid of bed bugs quicker, appropriate methods must be used to target the infestation and environment. This requires prior knowledge and experience of handling bed bugs and treatments.
Since DIY solutions cannot guarantee success, call Terminix® to help get rid of bed bugs. Our customized treatment plans can aid in tackling infestations around your home so you don’t have to worry about experimenting with your own solutions.