USDA IR4 PHP Program field-testing showed this product to be the only natural product that kills bed bugs with near 100% efficacy. Kills bed bug adults, nymphs, and eggs on contact. Dermatologically safe to use, child and pet friendly, and dried residue shown to be effective for up to 2 weeks after treatment.
Has a strong odor, and for intense infestation situations, use of this product becomes expensive.
A fast-acting formula that gives long-lasting control of bed bugs and their eggs. Easy and safe to use on beds, furniture, and luggage. Formula designed to kill pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs, as well as fleas and brown dog ticks. Manufacturer is a long-trusted name in insect control products.
Depending on extent and location of infestation, may need repeated treatments or in conjunction with another type of insecticide.
Kills even toughest "pyrethroid resistant" bed bugs and eggs, best efficacy when sprayed directly on pests. Odorless and non-staining formula. EPA Registered as safe to use in homes and around children and pets. Provides up to 16 weeks of residual protection after treatment.
Effective, although may need re-treatment or use with other formulations to eliminate large infestations. Some purchasers had difficulties with included sprayer.
Active ingredient 7.9% Bifenthrin provides long-lasting (up to 3 months) control of over 75 pests, including bed bugs. Approved for use in multiple sites — almost anywhere, inside or outside, commercial, industrial, residential. Odorless, dries clear, non-staining, doesn't irritate skin.
Not eco-friendly with long residual poison after treatment. Does not appear to be fast-acting, so must allow time before evaluating its effect on infestation.
Long-lasting insect control. Water-based formula reduces staining. Travelers can use this product to protect their luggage from picking up bed bugs at hotels, a common issue. Kills on contact, can also treat lice, fleas, ticks, clothes moths, carpet beetles, and pantry pests.
Unfortunately, some bed bug populations can develop a resistance to Permethrin.
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Nothing will ruin your good night’s sleep faster than an infestation of bed bugs. These insects may be small, but their bites are extremely itchy, and they’re surprisingly difficult to get rid of. You could call an exterminator for help. But if you want to avoid a big bill, you can try tackling the problem yourself with a bed bug spray.
Bed bug sprays are designed to kill bed bugs on contact and prevent new bugs from re-infesting your home. But bed bugs have proven themselves to be terribly resilient, and some populations have even become immune to some of the most common insecticides. That’s why it’s crucial to choose your formula carefully.
Here’s a guide to walk you through all of the important considerations when choosing a bed bug spray.
Before you can start comparing different bed bug sprays, you need to understand the type of spray that you need.
Bed bug sprays are typically designed to kill bed bugs at all stages of their life cycle. This should be plenty if your only problem is bed bugs, but if other insects are getting into your home as well, you may want to choose a spray that can combat other pests, such as ticks, spiders, fleas, or cockroaches. The manufacturer should clearly list all insects that the spray works on, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find one that suits your needs.
Contact vs. residual
The two types of bed bug sprays are contact and residual. Contact sprays are fast-acting, and they kill bed bugs almost immediately. But they degrade quickly and don’t offer much in the way of long-term protection. That’s where residual sprays come in. These take longer to begin working, but they remain effective for several weeks. If you have a bed bug outbreak, it may be wise to purchase a contact and a residual spray to help kill the bed bugs quickly and prevent new infestations. Or you could look for a spray that’s a combination of the two.
For years, the go-to bed bug killer was a pyrethrin- or pyrethroid-based spray. But recently some bed bugs have shown resistance to these products. For this reason, it’s not recommended that you use a bed bug spray that only has pyrethrin or pyrethroid as the active ingredient. Instead you should choose a formula that uses a different chemical like a neonicotinoid (imidacloprid, acetamiprid, etc.) in addition to or in place of pyrethrin or pyrethroid to ensure that you don’t run into any issues with bed bug resistance.
There are also some natural bed bug sprays if you don’t feel comfortable using chemical-based sprays around your home and family. These use geraniol, geranium oil, clove oil, and other compounds to kill and repel bed bugs. However, these sprays are typically not as effective as traditional bed bug sprays, so they’re not a wise choice for a serious infestation.
Once you’ve decided on the general type of spray that you need, you can start focusing on the details.
Length of effectiveness
Each bed bug spray lasts for a different amount of time. Some contact sprays may only be effective for a few minutes. Residual sprays, on the other hand, usually last at least a couple of weeks, and some may even last up to four months at a time.
But just because one spray lasts longer than another doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily better. However, it does mean that you won’t need to respray as often, which is something to take into consideration. You should be able to figure out how long a bed bug spray is effective by reading the product label or instructions.
It’s usually best to choose a bed bug spray that dries clear and does not leave stains, especially if you plan to use it on upholstery, bedding, or carpeting. Before you use a bed bug spray, you should read the instructions to be sure that it’s safe to use on specific surfaces and that it won’t leave any visible residue behind or otherwise damage your furniture.
It’s not uncommon for bed bug sprays, especially chemical-based sprays, to leave an unpleasant odor behind. This should dissipate over time, and you may be able to speed up the process by ventilating the room after you spray. Another option is to go with an odor-free formula. You can get some idea of how strong a bed bug spray’s scent is by reading customer reviews online.
It’s best to choose a bed bug spray that has been certified by an organization like the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as being both safe and effective. Usually, this information is listed on the product itself. Or you can check with the EPA or USDA directly to see which products they’ve approved.
Bed bug sprays range in price from around $5 to over $50. The cost depends on the ingredients, the types of pests killed, and how long the spray is effective. The size of the bottle also matters.
If you’re trying to determine which spray offers the best value, you should compare sprays by price per ounce rather than overall cost. Divide the total cost by the number of ounces to determine the price per ounce. Most bed bug sprays cost somewhere between $0.20 and $0.42 per ounce, but some may cost as much as $1 or more per ounce.
This is one case where a higher price doesn’t always guarantee a better product, though. Base your decision on the product’s ingredients and effectiveness rather than on its cost.
Always read the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly before using the bed bug spray.
It’s a smart idea to reapply the bed bug spray according to the schedule recommended by the manufacturer until you are sure that you have eliminated the problem.
Always allow the bed bug spray to dry before touching any of the items that you’ve sprayed.
Never use an outdoor pesticide in place of a bed bug spray intended for use inside your home.
Those who are interested in natural bed bug sprays may want to consider the Pest Peeve Bye-Bye Bed Bugs. This fast-acting spray kills bed bugs quickly and is safe to use around children and pets. It’s also backed by a customer satisfaction guarantee, so if the product doesn’t work as well as you’d hoped, you can get your money back. Another option is the Premo Guard Premo Bed Bug & Lice Killer. This all-natural, odor-free spray kills bed bugs on contact and keeps them away for up to two weeks after spraying. It also works on other insects, including lice, fleas, cockroaches, and ants.
Q. Are bed bug sprays safe to use?
A. They should be safe as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and do not touch the spray until it has fully dried. If you’re concerned about the safety of the chemicals in the spray, you may want to opt for a natural bed bug spray instead, although these may not work as well.
Q. How do I use a bed bug spray?
A. The spray you choose should have specific instructions, but, in general, you shake up the spray and apply it evenly across all the surfaces you want to treat. You can also spray it around any cracks or crevices in your home where you feel the insects might be getting in and out or hiding.
Q. Can I apply a bed bug spray directly to my bed?
A. It depends on the type of spray that you’re using. Always read the instructions first. If you can’t apply it directly to your mattress, you can still spray the area around it and dry your sheets at a high temperature to help kill the existing bed bugs.
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