Bed Bug Control – How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

If you have a bed bug infestation, consult with a pest management professional like Bed Bug Control Boise. EPA-registered products are available to help control the bugs.Bed Bug Control

Vacuum and clean regularly to reduce bed bug numbers. Keep your bed away from walls and install encasements on your mattress and box spring. Remove clutter and seal cracks and crevices around baseboards, light sockets and furniture legs.

Heat treatments for bed bugs are one of the most effective ways to wipe out infestations. They involve raising the interior temperature to a lethal level for both adults and eggs in order to kill them all at once. Professionals use electric or propane convection heaters and air movers to circulate hot air throughout a space, targeting every crack and crevice where the pests might hide. In addition, they might use steam to get at rogue bugs in furniture or in the cracks of baseboards.

Prior to starting a heat treatment, homeowners should do some prep work to maximize the effectiveness of this method. They should clean all linens, clothing and other items that might have bed bugs in them, washing them at the highest temperature the fabrics can stand and sealing them in plastic bags while they are dry. They should also vacuum their mattresses, box springs and headboards thoroughly, and check all upholstered furniture like sofas and accent chairs for signs of the pests. In addition, they should search the walls for signs of bed bugs, looking behind face plates of outlets and electrical boxes, in the seams and folds of drapery, and in the cracks of wood paneling and trim. They should also caulk any small holes in furniture and baseboards to prevent bed bugs from hiding there.

Because heat treatment for bed bugs involves moving large amounts of hot air around an infested space, it’s important to remove anything that could be blown away. This includes all papers, books and knick-knacks from infested rooms, along with pictures, paintings and other wall-mounted items. Electronics should also be moved to a safe place during the process, as they can be damaged by high temperatures.

Before beginning a heat treatment, homeowners should empty all closets and storage areas so that the hot air can reach every part of a room. This is especially important for closets that hold shoes, purses and other items where bed bugs might be hiding. During the treatment, residents should stay out of infested rooms until it is finished and until they are sure that all signs of the pests have gone away.

Chemical Treatments

Chemical treatments are a common bed bug control method. These are typically sprays and powders that kill bed bugs on contact. Some also provide a residual barrier that prevents new bugs from entering treated rooms. However, they are less effective than heat treatment and can be dangerous if not used correctly.

The EPA has more than 300 products registered to kill bed bugs. Most can be purchased by consumers, but some are only available to licensed pest management professionals. Each chemical class kills the bugs using a different mode of action. This makes it difficult for bed bugs to develop resistance to the chemicals.

Pyrethrins (derived from chrysanthemum flowers) and pyrethroid sprays are the most commonly used chemicals for killing bed bugs. Unfortunately, some bed bugs have developed resistance to these chemicals. Other chemicals in this group include pyrroles, such as chlorfenapyr, which kill the bugs by disrupting their cell membranes. And neonicotinoids, which work on bed bugs that are resistant to pyrethrins and pyrethroids by mimicking the effects of nicotine in their nervous system.

Dessicants are another chemical class that kill the bugs by drying them out. They are most effectively used as a follow-up to other treatments, such as steaming and heating. This type of treatment can take months to completely kill the bugs. If using dessicants, be sure to use only those that are EPA-registered as pesticides. Pool or food-grade diatomaceous earth is not a good choice, as it can irritate your respiratory tract when inhaled.

Other chemicals, such as tetramethrin and fipronil, are also effective against some types of bed bugs. But they have more side effects than the pyrethroids and can be toxic to pets.

While sprays and powders may be effective for treating some infested homes, they do not provide a barrier against bed bug re-infestations. In addition, aerosol “bug bombs” mainly kill insects that are exposed, not those hiding in wall crevices or behind baseboards.

For a truly effective bed bug treatment, a professional exterminator will bring in specialized equipment to raise the temperature of your home or business. Most beds bugs and their eggs die at 118 degrees Fahrenheit, but they can survive if they are able to move away from the heat source.


Insecticides can be used for bed bug control, but they need to be combined with other management practices. They may be applied as liquids or dusts, and they are usually applied to cracks and crevices. They aren’t usually used on mattresses or bedding because they can be harmful to humans.

When used as directed by a licensed pesticide applicator, many products can be effective. However, resistance has become a significant problem and pyrethroids have largely been rendered ineffective. Other pesticides, such as growth regulators and pyrroles, are being tested for use in bed bug control. Growth regulators work by forcing insects to develop too quickly while pyrroles interfere with cell functions.

Currently, the best bed bug control treatments are a combination of heat and insecticides. It’s important to thoroughly inspect your home for harborage sites before beginning treatment. Start by examining the mattress, box spring and bed frame for cracks and crevices that the bugs can hide in.

Next, examine the walls and floors for signs of infestation. Be sure to check behind and under furniture as well. If possible, remove and double bag infested items like clothes and toys to prevent them from being unintentionally carried into other areas of your home. Clearly mark items that are infested so they can be properly disposed of.

The most common insecticides for bed bugs are pyrethrins and pyrethroids. These are botanical and synthetic chemicals that both kill and repel the pests. They perform their killing and repelling action by clinging to the bugs’ cuticles, wearing away the insects’ wax coatings or poisoning them when they groom themselves.

In addition to these two compounds, low toxicity contact sprays containing a mix of ingredients are available. However, these sprays are usually only effective when sprayed directly on the bugs and will not kill eggs.

There are also several plant oil-based products that have been found to be effective in controlling bed bugs. Two of these, EcoRaider and Bed Bug Patrol, had more than 90% bed bug nymph death when directly sprayed in laboratory tests (Singh et al. 2014). These products should be mixed with a liquid insecticide such as pyrethrins or pyrethroids for maximum effectiveness.


Exterminators can use a variety of treatments to eliminate bed bugs, and they should be willing to discuss your options and explain the pros and cons of each. They should also be transparent about pricing and provide a warranty.

Vacuuming is a key part of integrated pest management, and it can reduce the number of bed bug eggs and adults that hatch. Your exterminator should vacuum your mattress, box springs, bed frame, and other furniture pieces, as well as the seams and crevices of those items. They may use a brush attachment for the surface and a nozzle for the crevices. They might also vacuum the carpeting and rugs, baseboards, and other areas around heating units and furniture.

Heat treatment involves raising the temperature of an infested space to levels that are lethal for the bugs. Exterminators can use industrial-grade heaters to do this, and they must carefully monitor the room as the temperature rises. This process can take several hours, so it’s important to make arrangements for the day of your treatment.

Chemical treatment is a traditional method for dealing with any kind of pest, and it’s also effective against bed bugs. Insecticides can be applied directly to surfaces, or they can be placed in cracks and crevices where the bugs might hide. Over-the-counter total-release aerosol foggers can also be used to treat infested areas, but they aren’t effective for long-term management and can be dangerous to people and pets.

While it might be tempting to throw out all of your clothing, furniture, and other possessions, doing so could cost a lot of money and cause unnecessary stress. Your exterminator should be able to help you figure out a way to save these items and prevent the spread of bed bugs to other rooms. It’s a good idea to vacuum regularly, reduce the clutter in your home, and double bag and seal all new or used clothing. You should also wash everything in your home at high temperatures and regularly inspect all of your belongings for signs of bed bugs. By taking these precautions, you can keep the bugs away for as long as possible.