Treatment Options for Bed Bugs
BioActives - Recommended
I am a licensed applicator for Aprehend, a bio-active pesticide treatment that uses the Beauveria conidia fungal spores that target bed bugs. This product is applied in low concentrations that typically have no effect on people. One advantage of this product is it can provide long lasting residual protection for up to 90 days. One disadvantage is that it can take 4 to 10 days for bed bugs to be eliminated. In about 10% of cases re-treatment may be necessary, but this is rare. This pesticide takes advantage of the behavior of the bed bugs. We can often apply less of this pesticide while achieving the same results.
Pesticides - Effective
Traditional chemical pesticides are also very affective on bed bugs. They provide an immediate knockdown and residual protection for up to 30 days. Re-treatment can be necessary if the pests are re-introduced or able to escape treatment. Common sources of re-introduction are neighbors who did not get treated in apartment and condo situations.
It is possible to use both pesticides and bioactive, but they need to be applied one day apart to prevent the water in the pesticide from interfering with the bioactives.
Additional information about treating for bed bugs
Costs of treating for bed bugs
- Inspection for bed bugs – This allows me to determine if you have a light, moderate or severe infestation. Treatment is different for each scenario.
- Initial treatment for bed bugs.
- Handling of untreatable items with encasements and or heat treatment. This can be mattress covers, plastic bags or other storage solutions.
- Follow up inspection to make sure the bed bugs are gone.
- Retreatment if required.
FAQ for Bed Bugs
- Do bed bugs mean I’m dirty? No, they are found everywhere.
- How do you get bed bugs? They are introduced through clothing, furniture, suitcases, etc.
- What are bed bugs? Bed bugs are small, nocturnal insects that feed on blood of humans. Despite the name, they can be found anywhere humans lounge or sleep. This includes beds, chairs, sofas, walls, ceilings, and furniture.
- Why are they such a problem lately? Bed bugs were largely eliminated in the US due to strong pesticides. With international travel and some pesticides being outlawed for environmental reasons bed bugs have returned.
Biology of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs start life as an egg. The eggs are 1mm in size which makes them very small and very hard to find. Bed bugs spend most of their time in a small crevice called a harborage. Harborages can be anywhere from the seam of your bed to a crack in your nightstand. They can easily hide in walls. In apartments, condos and other multi-family buildings it is possible for them to go from one unit to the next vertically or horizontally. From there they go through several life stages called instars. At each instar they must take a blood meal from a human in order to advance to the next life stage. They finally mature as adults which can reproduce and start the cycle of bed bugs all over again.
Resources and products for bed bugs
- Mattress Encasement – Each mattress should be encased to keep bed bugs from coming out and biting.
- Interceptors – place under furniture and bed legs to intercept bed bugs trying to crawl up to bite a human. Great for monitoring.
- ZappBug – a small heat treatment chamber for treating luggage and small items. Great for frequentl travelers.