Whether people are traveling or dealing with bed bugs in their home, one of the most common questions I receive is “can I use DEET-based mosquito repellent to keep bed bugs away from me while I sleep?” There are two ways to look at this question: do DEET sprays work and can I keep bed bugs away from me.
The Achilles heel of bed bugs is heat. Once you expose bed bugs to 120oF or hotter both the bugs and eggs die very rapidly (less than a minute).
The “S” word in the pest control industry is kind of like the “F” word in the English language. It’s THE bad word. Much of the pest control industry trains technicians to avoid using the word “safe” and discourages others from using it as well. By avoiding it we ARE NOT suggesting that if used properly the products much of the pest control industry uses or those that you can buy over-the-counter aren’t “safe”, the word “safe” is too subjective. Let me explain…
You literally don’t need to read any further. The title says it all. If you’re standing in a store reading this with a fogger in your hand, consider putting the fogger down and step away from the shelf. Foggers play little to no part in a bed bug treatment protocol and in many instances may only make matters worse. Ohio State University conducted a study that found that foggers were ineffective for bed bug control. In addition to their poor effect on bed bugs, they can spread bed bugs into areas of your house you wouldn’t expect to find them, make their future control harder and more e
First things first….take a deep breath. I, like everyone else, run to the internet when you have something bad going on that you’ve never dealt with before for quick information. In most instances, it’s a coin flip whether or not what you read provides you comfort or makes you completely freak out. With bed bugs “freak out” is the more common reaction and I’m here to tell you to take a deep breath, it isn’t as bad as it seems and in most instances you can get rid of them easier than most make it sound.
One aspect of bed bug treatment that we know for sure is that you can, get rid of bed bugs and can usually eliminate them in a reasonable time frame (2-4 treatments). The two approaches widely accepted by professionals to treat for bed bugs are heat treatment and a pesticide-based protocol (often using non-chemical approaches in conjunction with pesticides to address resistance concerns). Both of these approaches can be extremely successful in eliminating bed bugs if applied appropriately by a knowledgeable pest professional.
Before I get into my position on bed bug preparations (preparing for a bed bug treatment) I want everyone reading this to understand one very important thing: what you need to do for a bed bug treatment is pest control company specific. Meaning that every company is going to have a different list of things you need to do to prepare for THEIR bed bug treatment. I can’t comment on what’s right and wrong with every company and every list and I’m going to share MY perspective on the topic based upon the bed bug work we perform in New Jersey.
Developing a game plan is the first step in effectively executing a goal or objective. Treating for bed bugs is no different. You need to understand your opponent, how they behave, what their goals are and use those facts to effectively attack your opponent. Yet many times both homeowners and professionals just go out and buy whatever tools we find that are supposed to treat for bed bugs and then attack a home without doing any research on what our opponent is doing.
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