Bed Bug Spray and Other Bed Bug Treatments
While bed bugs can often be hard to spot, there are ways to fight back. Learn which bed bug traps work best and what to do once you’ve trapped them.
Getting rid of bed bugs can be tricky. Therefore, preventing those irritating pests from entering your home in the first place is the best approach. If you do wind up with a bed bug infestation, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends using Integrated Pest Management, an approach that applies both chemical (bed bug spray, bed bug insecticide) and non-chemical treatments to get rid of bed bugs.
IDENTIFY THE BED BUGS
Inspect new or second-hand furniture, especially beds and couches, for signs of bed bugs before bringing them home. Look for:
- Rusty or reddish stains, caused when bed bugs are crushed
- Small dark spots, indicative of bed bug feces
- Tiny (1 mm) eggs or egg shells
- Live bed bugs
- Cover your mattresses and box springs with high-quality protective encasements to trap bed bugs. A light-colored cover makes the bed bugs easier to see.
- De-clutter your home, particularly your bedrooms, to limit bed bugs’ hiding places.
- Vacuum frequently.
- Avoid bringing home bed bugs after you travel. Inspect your suitcases and other items you return home with for evidence of bed bugs. Wash your clothes immediately after you unpack. Dry your clothes on the highest setting to kill any hitchhiking bed bugs.
If you choose to use an insecticide for bed bugs, it should be a product registered with the EPA. Be sure bed bugs are listed on the insecticide’s label. Follow the instructions carefully or hire a pest management specialist to conduct the treatment for you.
Related: Does Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?
Use an EPA-registered bed bug spray that is intended for indoor use. Don’t use a bed bug spray on mattresses, couches or other areas where children and pets sleep or play. Doing so could make your family and pets sick.
Inspect and re-treat if necessary. If you see bed bugs after your initial treatment, maybe you missed some or eggs have hatched, then you’ll have to treat the infested areas again.
Try heat treatment. Put your infested clothes and bedding in your clothes dryer on high heat for at least 20 minutes. Washing your clothes can kill bed bugs, but many items cannot be put in a washing machine. Most of these items won’t be harmed by a cycle in the clothes dryer. If you're not sure about whether to use the clothes dryer for specific items, have them professionally evaluated.
Use cold treatment. Freeze infested items below 0 degrees F for at least four days. Use a thermometer to be sure your home freezer is cold enough.
While the methods mentioned above may reduce the bed bug population, bed bugs are very difficult to control. Even if just a few bed bugs survive, the infestation can rebound within a few weeks. The best remedy for bed bugs is treatment by a professional. Contact Terminix today to get rid of your bed bugs—for good.