Bed bug sprays are just convenient. You just grab and spray away. Bed bugs don’t stand a chance or do they really? Are bed bug sprays really our best weapon against bed bugs or are we just making things worse?
The Disadvantages of Bed Bug Sprays
- Bed bug sprays are contact-based. This means that the effectiveness of the spray depends on its reach. These sprays cannot reach crevices on the wall and floor and within the folds of upholstered furniture – places that are known as favorite hiding spots of bed bugs.
- Bed bugs developed resistance to several of the common pesticides used in the extermination industry. There are seven main classes of chemicals that are used for bed bug control and different strains of bed bugs have resistance to several types of these chemicals. The best example is the bed bug’s resistance with DDT and then later on with pyrethroids. Only one type of pesticide mix showed positive results in preventing bed bug eggs from hatching. Several strains of bed bugs also show signs of mutations in response to the introduction of new pesticides.
- They can make the bed bug infestation worse. Bug bombs or bed bug foggers are notorious in causing bed bugs to transfer into another room. These total release aerosol foggers cover an entire room and like their spray counterparts, cannot penetrate hard-to-reach areas.
It is an accepted fact that sprays and bug bombs aren’t effective in the total extermination of bed bugs. The extensive use and misuse of these chemical treatments can cause temporary extermination in one home but a surge of infestation in adjacent homes especially in an apartment complex, dorms, barracks, and other close living quarters.
- The chemicals in bed bug sprays can have negative effects on humans and animals. You’ll need to evacuate your room or in some cases the entire house when bed bug foggers are in use – and for a good reason.
The main chemical components of bug bombs and bed bug foggers are pyrethrin, pyrethroids, or a combination of these two chemicals. These chemical’s toxicity category is III (3) meaning it is slightly toxic and slightly irritating. Most cases of illness aren’t severe and mostly result from DIY pest control gone wrong. Symptoms include dizziness, headaches, shortness of breath, pain and irritation in the upper respiratory tract, vomiting and nausea.
The nature of total release aerosol foggers poses a lot of risk to homeowners. As the fog of pesticide fills the room, it can stick to furniture and fabrics and linger even after airing the room.
Beyond the Negatives
Almost all bed bug repellents and killers have their own downsides. Some are more obvious than others. But still, we can’t discount as a part of an effective bed bug extermination strategy.
Perhaps, the most effective approach is through the use of an integrated pest management (IPM) process, utilizing different approaches in solving pest infestation. It’s a long-term process that involves a combination of techniques like habitat manipulation, heat treatments, and monitoring. Chemical treatments are a last resort and are used in an environmentally sensitive manner.
So, before you grab that bed bug spray, ask yourself if it’s really worth it.