Leave extermination to the professionals:
Working with a licensed pest management professional is the best way to eradicate an infestation.Speak with a professional to learn what type of treatment would be best for you, which might include heat treatment and/or Integrated Pest Management. (Integrated Pest Management means using a combination of pesticide and non-pesticide options to treat the entire infestation.)
Learn About Bed Bugs
Be sure that you actually have bed bugs. Learn to identify the different stages of bed bugs in order to inspect clothing, suitcases and furniture thoroughly.
Minimizing an Infestation
If a licensed pest management professional is not an option, follow the tips provided in the fact sheets below to help minimize (but not eradicate) an infestation.
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs – what NOT to do
What NOT to do can be as important as what to do when dealing with bed bugs. BUG BOMBS DON’T WORK ON BED BUGS. Here are the top five (potentially dangerous) misconceptions about pesticide use and bed bugs. (Reminder: working with a licensed pest management professional is the best way to eradicate an infestation.)
Grocery store/Hardware store insect sprays
- They will not eliminate a bed bug infestation.
- To kill bugs, the spray must come into direct contact with them.
- Since most bugs are hiding in nooks and crannies that the spray can’t reach, the majority of them will NOT be killed by the spray.
- Grocery store insect sprays have little or no residual activity (which means that they break down quickly and only last a short time.)
- Boric acid products do not kill bed bugs.
- Boric acid is a stomach poison that must be eaten by the insect.
- Bed bugs only feed on blood so the boric acid is virtually ineffective.
- NEVER USE AGRICULTURAL OR GARDEN PESTICIDES INDOORS!
- These products are toxic (poisonous). They can make you or your family very sick!
- Household bug bombs that are meant for flying insects will NOT kill bed bugs.
- These insecticides cause bed bugs to scatter because the spray irritates them.
- The scattering effect from bug bombs spreads the infestation to places that may have been bed bug free!
- Dr. Susan Jones with The Ohio State University published a paper in June 2012 on the ineffectiveness of bug bombs on bed bugs.For the science behind the warnings, click here.
Alcohol, Kerosene or Gasoline
- Do not use rubbing alcohol, kerosene or gasoline. These chemicals are potentially very dangerous because they are flammable and may cause a fire.
Choosing a Pest Management Professional to Treat Bed Bugs
This fact sheet provides information on hiring an exterminator using Integrated Pest Management, or IPM. IPM combines effective pest control measures, including pesticides.
Choosing a Pest Management Professional to Treat Bed Bugs – Heat Treatment
Professionals use Heat Treatment, or Thermal Remediation, to raise temperatures high enough to kill bed bugs and eggs.
Preparing for Treatment Using Integrated Pest Management (insecticides)
Once you confirm that you do indeed have a bed bug problem, it is important to have a licensed exterminator treat your home…