Getting rid of bed bugs is no easy feat. In fact, they’re one of the most difficult insects to eliminate due to how quickly they invade and multiply. While seemingly quick fixes such as bed bug powder, carpet powder and dusts may look promising in an effort to preempt or combat an infestation, there are facts you should know before attempting to use them.
The best approach for keeping bed bugs at bay is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place. Unfortunately, sometimes taking precautions simply isn’t enough. If you’ve seen signs of bed bugs, it may be tempting to take matters into your own hands and try DIY solutions like bed bug carpet powder. But the EPA recommends hiring a pest control company with experience successfully controlling the pests. There are many reasons to advocate for professional treatment over DIY efforts, the majority of which focus on efficacy and safety concerns as well as knowledge of bed bug behavior and control methods.
The Power of Bed Bud Powder
Some efforts taken to eliminate infestations using bed bug powder can be illegal. For example, using diatomaceous earth in ways that are not descripted on the label may be ineffective and may result in a fine. And while other DIY methods may not be against the law, they’re not necessarily the safest or most effective solutions.
The question remains, does bed bug powder (dust) really work? Most readily available bed bug powder treatments contain diatomaceous earth, which comprises fossilized remains of phytoplankton. Many people make the mistake of not reading labels or directions, and end up scattering the bed bug powder treatment in an effort to blanket a room. And while claims state that it works by drying out the exoskeletons of bed bugs that come into contact with the dust that would require them to come in contact with the dust. If they avoid the treated area, or never cross paths with it at all, there’s only a small chance for it to kill even a few let alone combat an infestation.
Plus, while diatomaceous earth is sometimes considered natural and low risk to humans and pets, it’s important to be aware of the different types. Diatomaceous earth that’s processed and graded for crack and crevice type pest treatment includes trace amounts of pyrethrin pesticides and other chemical synergists. So, while the food grade products can be used in food processing, it’s important to read through all the ingredients. Insecticides for bed bugs should be products registered with the EPA and it’s recommended that they’re handled by a professional.
DIY solutions such as using bed bug powder require multiple treatments and ongoing maintenance, otherwise the problem can quickly get out of hand. Treating a bed bug infestation may also involve multiple methods (in addition to dust) for removal which can be taxing and time consuming. As is the case with most pest infestations, targeted treatment from the beginning is far easier than reactive treatment when bed bugs are more widespread. Contact a Terminix® pest control professional today to help you determine a trusted, customized course of action.