It would be nice if getting rid of bed bugs was as easy as going to the grocery store, buying regular bug spray and zapping the blood-sucking pests out of existence.
Manufacturers and retailers of bug sprays will tell you that it is that easy. According to them, the only thing you need to know about how to avoid bed bugs is to buy their products.
Don’t be misled. While it’s true that some sprays may kill bed bugs upon contact, you first have to make that contact. That’s an extreme challenge because bed bugs make their nests in tiny nooks and crannies. Chances are you will have no idea where their nests are, but even if you do, you probably won’t be able to reach them with your spray can.
And regular bug sprays don’t kill for long. So you can’t just spray into every crack and crevice and figure that you’ll get them. You actually have to squirt them directly, and it’s virtually impossible to do that for every bed bug in an infested home.
Pesticides Losing Their Effectiveness
Another drawback to store-bought bug sprays is that their active ingredient is a synthetic pyrethroid, despite the fact that research and practical field experience by pest control specialists are revealing that bed bugs are developing a strong resistance to the pyrethroid class of pesticides. In large part this is due to governmental restrictions on the chemicals available to the general public.
Professionals Provide the Solution
If you search the Internet for objective websites about how to avoid bed bugs (e.g., government extension programs, entomology schools), you’ll find that they all recommend professional extermination for the removal of bed bugs.
Professional pest control specialists—sometimes using bed bug dogs trained to sniff out the insects and their eggs—know how to find bed bugs. And they have the chemicals, application tools, and knowledge of bed bug biology necessary to exterminate them.
You may not want to pay for a pest control specialist, but you’ll just end up paying more if you throw your money away on bug sprays.
Photo Credit: uttlefish via Flickr